I need some advice on the best telescope to get for a beginner that’s affordable. There are so many out there!
Hi - I wonder if you would consider a good pair of binoculars and a tripod to start with? The reason why this set up is good for a beginner is that the field of view is wide and what you see in the sky is what you see in the eyepieces. With reflectors the image is north to south inverted and with refractors the image is north to south inverted which can be corrected for with a diagonal but then the image will be left to right inverted. Good quality binoculars are better than the telescopes available in most department stores. They are a great investment for observing the Moon and are useful for daytime nature watching and sporting activities too. Try Celestron or Meade brands 10 by 50, 15 X 70 or 20 X 80 size. Aim for minimal colour fringing around the edges of objects (chromatic abberation). If you are keen to buy a telescope you could join a local astronomy club and view though other members scopes before making your investment. Second hand scopes can be a good bet as they are often sold with the tags still on as they have been unwanted gifts. Further advice on popastro.com or skyatnightmagazine.com beginners section. If you don't want to invest in a tripod just lay on a sunlounger to stargaze and support heavy binoculars by resting your elbows against your body.
I would have a look at real astronomy outlets, *not* supermarkets or Amazon.
First Light Optics have a very good beginners' telescope section on their site. Although I'm not a beginner any more I've bought a shed load of equipment from them, including my first commercial telescope.
If you can get to the European Astrofest at the Kensington Town Hall in Feb it'd be worth having a wander round the stands and ask loads of questions.