SIR PATRICK MOORE 1923-2012Norman Lockyer Observatory.
Beginner Basics Telescopes
If you would like to start taking up astronomy or imaging here we will try to steer you in the right direction.
Rule 1 Don't go buying a really cheap telescope, they are a waste of money and limited to just the moon with often poor quality viewing.
Many years ago when telescopes were very expensive, you were advised to buy a good pair of binoculars!, well in my opinion if you are going to spend £100-200 on a pair of binoculars then you really should think about a telescope, for that price you will find a very good beginners scope with a mount so you won't need to keep holding up the binoculars.
Rule 2. Generally the smallest aperture for observing is 6 inch for newtonians (mirrors)
you can have a really excellent views with a 3 inch refractor (lens), but this will be limited to star clusters and very faint fuzzies ( galaxies)
Rule 3. For astro imaging even with a web cam you will need a telescope with at least one motor drive on the mount for the telescope to track with the earths rotaion.
Rule 4. Dobsonians give you a large viewing area for little money if you are interested in observing or drawing only, rather than imaging.
Rule 5. Never be tempted to look at the sun with any kind of device such as telescopes, binoculars not even naked eye, You need special filters for looking at the sun without going blind!!!
Rule 6. Think about what you may want to do in the future it's no use spending money on a small telescope if a week later you decide thet you want to do more, really research the subject see what people are doing and using. There are hundreds of forums out there dedicated to amateur astro imaging etc.