Thanks for the new information Jeremy, and the link to the Astro Essentials finder. I had in fact come across this device when I did a search for 9×50 finders after your last post but was unsure of the quality of such a device at this price point. It’s thus reassuring to hear that “beginners speak well of this kind of finder scope”.
On the downside however, one reviewer does mention the “weight” issue which Roger encountered with the 9×50 he tried. And while the erecting prism will give a corrected view, this is only true for one orientation of the optics. If the prism is removed or rotated (for “observational convenience”), the view will change in a way which might be confusing to a beginner (as I previously noted). Also, an optical device lacks the other advantages of an electronic device which I mentioned in a previous post.
In the end though, it will probably come down to a price/performance trade-off – even at this level of cost. A beginner just starting out or one not wishing to become involved with the “paraphernalia” you mention would undoubtedly find the Astro Essentials device a good fit for their needs. It is unlikely that a device such as Roger has built could be commercially constructed for a similar price to this optical finder, but a beginner wishing to take the next step in imaging might well be prepared to pay a little more for the extra advantages an electronic finder confers while still keeping things well below the price of the sort of finder/guiders mentioned at the beginning of this topic. In other words, there might well be a gap in the market which Roger’s device could fill.