Stargazing is a costly hobby – you need not only expensive equipment, but also enough of free time which you can spend literally staring at the night sky.
No wonder every amateur stargazer wants to reduce the costs and find the best telescope within their budget. Keep reading and get to know 5 models of our choice.
1. Sky-Watcher ProED Refractor Telescope
Maximum magnification and clarity of images
Accurate in focus
Comes with two eyepieces
Dimensions 41 x 12 x 15 inches
Item Weight 29 pounds
Focal length: 900mm
Focal ratio: f/9
Because of heavy eyepieces the focuser may slip
This model is considered to be one of the best telescopes for viewing planets and galaxies equally for professionals and amateurs. It is lightweight, easy to carry and set and the quality of images is inevitably impeccable.
2. Celestron NexStar Telescope
Aperture 6 inches
Focal length 1500mm
Mount Computerised single fork arm altazimuth
Eyepiece 25mm Plössl, 1.25-inch fit
SkyAlign technology and digital controls
Automatically tracks 40,000+ preprogrammed celestial objects
No crosshairs in scope
Tripod isn’t steady
Batteries get low fast
A fully automated model capable to find out and track more than 40,000 celestial objects. Good and reasonable choice for a beginner, and if you can afford to spend a little more money, have a look at 8-inch Celestron 8 SE Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes.
3.Sky-Watcher Dobsonian Telescope
Good for beginners and amateur astronomers
Affordable, good bargain
Aperture 10 inches
Focal length 1200mm
Lots of accessories included
Two-inch single-speed focuser with 1.25-inch adapter
Not suitable for professionals
Being too heavy and bulky (almost 35 kg), this model is still not expensive and efficient for those who just start their “sky-gazer”career and want to save money.
4.Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Telescope
Great price/quality balance
Easy for transportation
Poorly written manuals
Poor image quality
Comparatively poor magnification
One of the cheapest models of such quality level. Excellent for spotting brighter deep space objects. The only problem – instructions are quite confusing, watching YouTube videos might be more useful.
5. Celestron NexStar Computerized Telescope
1500mm focal length
SkyX planetarium software
Lightweight & portable
Unstable, shaky and fragile
Difficult to find good focus
Comes with software so it is easier to locate celestial objects. On the other hand, the model is rather useless for deep-sky imaging.
Obviously not the best choice, but possibly the most affordable one.
How to choose the best telescope for astrophotography
While choosing a model to purchase, it’s essential to pay attention to some important parameters. That is:
Aperture. The more it is, the more light you can spot, the better image you will get. Large aperture enables you to see deep-sky objects and/or use your telescope even in bright locations, for example, cities.
Focal length. This parameter makes objects seem bigger. The longer it is the better.
Magnification level. This parameter depends on the previous one and the optics you use. If it is big enough, you’ll be able to see and record the tiniest details of your ‘sky images’. If you need more, you can always buy new lenses.
Size. Just keep in mind that sometimes you have to carry this equipment for long kilometers or even climb a mountain with it.
Digital control. It makes any device much handier – and more expensive.
Please, remember that this article is just a humble and somehow biased speculation on the topic of modern telescopes. Use it for getting general information and don’t forget to double check all the specifications and actual pricing if you decide to buy something from the list.