The best telescopes for astrophotography
Many people think that only the rich can afford to buy their own telescopes. But, if you feel the same way, take note that this isn’t really the case! Sure, there are lots of telescopes that cost a thousand dollars and more, but there are also those that have more affordable price tags.
For beginners, it is very confusing to choose a telescope that suits the requirements for astrophotography. This is because there are several factors that need to be considered, such as experience level, budget, area of interest, and portability.
If you are new to this type of hobby, it is important to note that astrophotography requires powerful telescopes that will be able to capture celestial bodies quickly and efficiently. It is also essential to know that almost any type of telescope will be able to take pictures. However, it depends on the quality of the equipment, personal standards, amount of work done, and level of expertise in order to perfect the craft.
Since you are going to select the best telescope for astrophotography, here are a few of the best options that you can choose from.
Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope
With an aperture of 5.1 inches, the reflector telescope has the ability to gather a decent amount of light and allows you to enjoy clear and detailed views of the moon and the planets as well as other nebulas, star clusters, and other deep-sky objects. It also has a fast focal ratio that makes wide-field performance possible and has an equatorial telescope mount with an adjustable tripod that let you track the movements of celestial bodies. The best thing about this telescopes is that it’s highly portable (it weighs just 27lbs and is only 24 inches long) and can be brought along wherever you go.
Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope
This Newtonian reflector telescope has an aperture of 127mm and a focal length of 1000mm, and its magnifying power is tripled by the included 3x Barlow lens. Its glass optical components have high transmission coatings that let you enjoy excellent image clarity and brightness, while its erect image optics give you the ability to use the telescope both for astronomical and terrestrial use. The free planetarium software with a 10,000 object database makes the telescope a steal.
Orion 9024 AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope
If you want to have a powerful telescope without spending too much, this is one of your best choices. With an aperture of 90mm and a focal length of 910mm, this refractor telescope gives you the ability not just to view the moon and the planets but also star clusters and other deep-sky objects. It also allows you to do manual manually track celestial objects in slow motion through its equatorial mount and EQ-2 adjustable tripod.
Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope
This is a great choice if you’re looking for a decent telescope that’s easy to use and has a reasonable price tag. This refractor telescope comes with an aperture of 70mm and a focal length of 900 mm and has a permanently mounted StarPointer. Its erect image optics makes it ideal for both terrestrial and astronomical use, and simple design ensures it’s quick and easy to set up.
Gskyer Refractor 60mm Apeture 350mm Desktable Tripod
Gskyer is known for making powerful telescopes that have relatively high price tags, but this is one of the few exceptions since it’s budget friendly. This doesn’t mean it’s not powerful, though; it has a decent aperture of 60mm and multilayer glass green coated optics that improve image brightness while protecting your eyes. It also comes with two separate interchangeable eyepieces, 3x Barlow lens, a moon filter, and an adjustable aluminum alloy tripod.
Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector Telescope
If you are aiming for a shot at the moon or nearby planets such as Mars, Jupiter or Saturn, this is your perfect piece of equipment. It provides powerful views of these heavenly objects with its 130mm aperture. Thus, it is possible to acquire pretty views of brighter objects in space such as globular clusters, galaxies, and nebulas. With this product, you surely get a bang for your astronomy buck.
Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope
If it’s all about opening up the wonders of the Universe, the Celestron PowerSeeker telescope is the one designed to match the features, power, quality and value that every astronomer desire at 127mm aperture. If you are one of those amateur astronomer just beginning to embrace a family hobby, then this is the ideal choice for you. It is an affordable piece of equipment but it does not compromise the quality as it can provide hours of fun for adults and children alike.
Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope
When it comes to gathering enough amount of light to produce great views of the solar system, the 5.1-inch aperture of this product can handle the job well. It can also possible to view some brighter star clusters, galaxies, and nebulas. Moreover, it is very suitable for small spaces to mount with as it has a short 24-inch optical tube designed for quick and easy installation.
These items are very ideal for aspiring astronomers and professionals alike. Beginners can also take advantage of these best-selling telescopes as they are very affordable. Of course, the reasonable prices simply do not compromise the quality. So, don’t waste more time and select the piece of equipment to suit your needs today!
Best Cheap Telescopes – Quality Low Cost Telescopes
Hobbies can be quite expensive and this includes taking up amateur astronomy. However, this does not mean you have to give up learning more about the Milky Way and enjoying backyard astronomy. Telescope manufacturers know that astronomy enthusiasts come in different types. So, if you are pondering on buying a telescope but reluctant to pay a high price or just are not ready to spend much, we can help you in this aspect. We have come up with a list of affordable telescopes you can invest in this 2021.
Meade Instruments 216004 Polaris 114 EQ Reflector Telescope
Whether you are looking for telescope for personal use or as a gift to your child or loved one, this reflector telescope is ideal for amateurs and beginners. One of its pros is having a large aperture that allows for better view of celestial objects hidden deep in the sky. It sports a 4.5-inch aperture. Another feature of this powerful viewing instrument is its equatorial mount that accounts for stability. It also has controls that make it easier to locate celestial objects. Together with the kit comes three different eye pieces with 1.25-in MA at 26, 9 and 6.3 mm. These are for low, medium and high powered magnification.
Celestron 21079 Cometron 114AZ Telescope
Notable telescope manufacturer, Celestron, came up with the cheap yet powerful Cometron 114AZ Telescope that beginners in stargazing can use to view the Moon, Milky and even have a glimpse of the rings of Saturn. This model was specifically designed to view comets and equipped with two Kellner eyepieces and a 114 mm parabolic mirror. Also, for easy navigation and clear view of the night sky, the Cometron 114AZ also has an altazimuth mount, red-dot finderscope and a Newtonian reflector optical design. It is also lightweight and can easily be transported.Moreover, its large aperture allows more light and at the same time give clearer details of objects. With the amazing features of this powerful telescope and its low price, the Cometron 114AZ Telescope will give you a bang for your buck.
Orion 11043 SpaceProbe 3 Altazimuth Reflector Telescope
Another good find that is perfect as a gift to kids who are just starting to appreciate the beauty of astronomy is this inexpensive reflector telescope from Orion. Even with just a 3-inch aperture, a little smaller that other models, the SpaceProbe 3 can still offer clear views of some brighter nebulas, the Moon and the rings of Jupiter. It also has an EZ Finder II reflex sight for easier tracking of celestial bodies once they are aligned. Apart from an altazimuth mount and tripod to ensure stability and smooth motion, this affordable piece comes with two 1.25-inch eyepieces, reflector collimation cap and Starry Night astronomy software with a database of celestial objects. Whether your kid needs this for school or you just want a gift that your child will really love, this is just the telescope to buy.
There are numerous telescopes available that are not heavy on the budget but still allow you to see clear images of celestial objects and make your stargazing full of excitement and awe.
Best Telescopes Under 1000$
What Are the Best Telescopes Under $1,000 Price Range?
Perhaps you have a teen who’s serious about studying astronomy and has outgrown his kids’ telescope. Or maybe you’re an amateur astronomer and are ready to move up from your beginner’s telescope. Either way, the best step you can take is to invest in a telescope that has advanced features and allows you to get clearer and more detailed views of celestial bodies.
Don’t worry since you don’t have to spend thousands to do this! If you do your research, you can find a decent telescope that’s priced between $500 to $1,000. Here are a few examples to help you get started
Orion 9005 AstroView 120ST Equatorial Refractor Telescope
With its 120mm aperture and 600mm focal length, this refractor telescope promotes wide-field views and lets you enjoy sharp images not just of the moon and planets but also of star clusters and nebular clouds. It has an internal polar alignment scope that allows for precision performance and an equatorial mount that lets you manually track celestial bodies in slow motion. It costs less than most on this list, so you won’t have to break the bank to get one for yourself.
Read more: Best Telescopes Under 200$
Best Affordable Telescopes In The Market
Keeping Track of the Best Affordable Telescopes in the Market
People often choose products that are well within their budget but, of course, it must not compromise the quality. Potential stargazers often end up with this type of ideology as they have no idea where to begin. Well, shopping for a telescope can be a very challenging task for beginners. Moreover, if your budget is simply way below the cheapest item on the shelf, you will end up sacrificing the quality.
If you are searching for the best affordable telescope out there, never settle for the one that first gets your attention. Try to shop around first so that you can learn about amazing deals that you can encounter. We have done the hard part, so the rest is up to you. To begin with, here are the best affordable telescope that you can choose from.
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The NexStar 130 SLT from Celestron
Considering the price range where the NexStar 130 SLT is, it can provide the best views in terms of celestial bodies compared to its counterparts. Unlike the SkyProdigy 130 that aligns itself automatically, this unit does not but it can set up itself quick enough. It can also provide precise mobility around the sky through its wired keypad.
Celestron telescope reviews
Celestron NexStar 8SE Telescope Review
With its iconic orange tube, stargazing fans would instantly recognize the Celestron NexStar 8SE Telescope. Since the 1970s until today, it is the world’s most beloved telescope. But it is likely to be more in demand now that it comes with updated features.
Large, 8-inch aperture, SkyAlign Technology and a unique single fork arm design are just some of the features that will provide beginners and experienced observers the best stargazing experience. The easy-to-use system is what makes the NexStar 8SE the ideal choice if you’re looking for your first serious telescope, especially because of its economical price point.
The NexStar 8SE comes with a full, 8-inch aperture that lets you see even the faintest celestial objects in detail, thanks to its excellent light gathering ability. Believe it or not, you will clearly see geographic features and craters on the moon. You will also see hundreds of pinpoint stars beyond the solar system.
In terms of design, the NexStar 8SE is built with a unique, patented single fork arm mount that makes for easy setup and adjustment of the telescope. Made with convenience in mind, the telescope also breaks down into compact and lightweight pieces, making it portable enough to take with you when camping or travelling. To align your telescope, simply use the SkyAlign Technology and get a clear view of that celestial body that you want to see. All you have to do is center the eyepiece on 3 bright objects and press Align.
But what really makes the NexStar 8SE 21st-century ready is it’s compatibility with high-tech accessories and mobile devices. Using your iPad or iPhone, you can easily control your telescope through the SkyQ Link, or add GPS functionality using SkySync. Pair it with other advanced features and effectively increase the capabilities of the telescope. Achieve wide field imaging super-fast with Fastar imaging. Get planetary imaging using Skyris cameras. And with a database of over 40,000 celestial objects, you can easily track and locate them.
Of course, if you want to take the manual route, the telescope includes the NexStar+ hand control that allows you to see beyond the skies with just a push of different buttons.
- Offers rapid, efficient alignment process through SkyAlign and a database filled with over 40000 celestial objects.
- Boasts of excellent optics with a large aperture and a basic 25mm eyepiece
- Weighing just 24 pounds, the NexStar 8SE is lightweight and portable.
- It is one of the most affordable and economical telescopes
- Short but pricey battery life. You will need 8 AA battery to use the telescope, which can only last as long. Depending on how often you use the telescope, you might need to bring several batteries with you.
- The motor is a bit noisy, although it is accurate
- It comes with plastic accessories
- The telescope can be moved along the azimuth without power, rendering it useless
Despite the issue of battery life, NexStar 8SE is a great a telescope overall. If you’re not using it outdoors, you can always connect it to an AC adapter, which will solve the power problem. An affordable telescope suitable for beginners and experienced observers, you won’t go wrong with this device.
Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope Review
If you liked the NexStar 114 models, you’re going to love the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope. Built to be bigger (not in size) and better, expect amazing features and functionalities that will make your stargazing experience twice the fun and excitement.
This telescope is worth the investment, thanks to its light gathering power that is 30% more than what its predecessor had. Combined with the SkyAlign Technology and StarPointer Finderscope with a red LED, tracking and pointing the telescope to that celestial body that you want to see would be a breeze.
With the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT, you won’t have trouble seeing the details of the surface of the Moon, the rings of Saturn, the cloud belts on Jupiter, and even the Great Nebula in Orion (M42). Suffice to say that this telescope would wow an amateur, and impress an experienced observer.
Like most telescopes in the SLT series, the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT also comes with a fully computerized hand control. Computerized and hand control in the same sentence may seem a bit confusing. Wouldn’t that constitute as automated? Yes and no. The telescope has over 4000 objects in its database, including 300 binary stars and 600 galaxies, which it automatically tracks and finds with just a press of a button or adjustments on the hand control.
In addition to the computerized hand control, the telescope is also compatible with the NexRemote telescope control software that allows you to control the device using your computer.
The device is meant for easy no-tool setup, so unboxing it would be quick and convenient. It also comes with a pre-assembled, adjustable steel tripod that allows you to set up the telescope in minutes. Its internal battery compartment also serves as housing for the cord when the telescope is in use. When you need to connect additional accessories, such as a GPS, an Auxiliary Port is available for use.
Now for the best part. The Celestron NexStar 130 SLT uses mirrors instead of lenses, which is why it produces an image that is 5 times brighter than what a refractor telescope is capable of. And when paired with different eyepieces, the view gets even better. When the 9mm eyepiece is used with the standard 25mm eyepiece, for instance, magnification is increased, and you will be able to clearly see the globular star clusters like the M13.
- The Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Is optimized for wide field views
- Fully computerized altazimuth mount for easy adjustment
- Quick no-tool set up thanks to its optical tube, quick-release fork arm mount and accessory tray
- Light and portable for easy handling when using the telescope on the go
- Battery life is significantly shortened because of its computerized features, nearly every move eats up power
- The mirrors have to be collimated or aligned occasionally to ensure the telescope will have more light gathering power
- Its performance may be affected with vibration
Performance-wise, the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope is a cut above the rest, providing you with clear images of celestial bodies that are light years away. As for the battery life, there is an optional PowerTank battery that you can use.
Celestron Advanced VX 8 F10 EdgeHD Telescope Review
As a leader in the optics industry, Celestron has been offering excellent innovative products for several years. In fact, the company is now regarded as one of the most respected manufacturers of telescopes in the world. One of its most recent creations is the Celestron Advanced VX 8 f10 EdgeHD Telescope. Here, we look at what this instrument has in store for us.
Reviewing The Features
The Advanced VX 8 f10 is an ultimate entry-level astro-imaging package that combines the groundbreaking Advanced VXmount and the best optics from Celestron—the EdgeHD optical system. Its setup provides the astro-imager with the maximum level of versatility that allows up to three different F-stop configurations, which means that you can shoot at f/10 with a camera attached to the rear of the telescope, at f/7 with the use of the upcoming 8-inch focal reducer and at ultra-fast f/2, as it is compatible with Fastar/Hyperstar technologies. So, no matter which configuration you choose, the technology that comes with this instrument can allow you to pinpoint stars all the way through the CCD sensor’s edge.
Aside from the portable Advanced VX mount, this telescope also comes with an 8-inch optical tube, which means that you can easily transport and assemble the set-up by yourself, not to mention that you will also have sufficient load capacity to attach your camera and other accessories.
What is so special about the Advanced VX mount is that it was specifically designed to provide maximum imaging performance for telescopes of smaller sizes, allowing them to take advantage of auto-guider support and the All-Star Polar Alignment. This means that you can track through long exposures with the use of permanently programmable periodic error correction and do some imagings across meridians without performing a meridian flip, thus you will be able to seamlessly view the best parts of the night sky.
Pros and Cons
The tripod and mount are quite solid, so there would be no issues with vibration while viewing through the eyepiece. The optics is very good for its size, and its coatings maximize the light transmission through the front glass. The mount tracks very well, and the mirror focus locks are very useful when photographing. Moreover, setting up this telescope is very straightforward and simple enough for both sophisticated astro-imagers and beginners.
However, the assembled telescope would be far too heavy to move even to short distances. Also, this instrument’s focus knob could have more precise control.
The Celestron Advanced VX 8 f10 EdgeHD Telescope is an astro-imaging instrument that will suit the taste of professionals and amateurs alike. With its Edge HD optical system and light-weight GE mount, it will be easy for you to track star alignments. In fact, it has the best light-weight GE mount on the market today, which is great for tracking objects accurately during long-exposure photograph sessions. All in all, it is a good package for those who are looking for an excellent telescope that is not too heavy to set up and carry around.
Celestron 21079 Cometron 114 AZ Review
A telescope that is perfect for stargazers who have just taken up this hobby is the Celestron 21079 Cometron 114AZ. This Newtonian reflector scope boasts of a large aperture that allows for collecting lights in great detail. It is also designed with a focal ratio that is fast which makes it possible for you, the user, to get a wide field of view for stargazing and exploring the night sky. The 114 AZ also sports glass optics that are fully coated to ensure clear, crisp images, including galaxies, star clusters and bright comets. For sharp images, this telescope also has quality optical design.
This lightweight and portable telescope from Celestron is ideal for kids and beginners. Its weight at 12 pounds makes it portable and easy to grab. It also has a large aperture of 114mm that is big enough to allow for more collection of light to show images in great detail. Moreover, it has a fast focal ratio that gives the user a wide field of view of the celestial bodies. As for optics, it sports a superb optical design-parabolic mirror that removes spherical aberration and delivers sharp images. Another appealing feature of the Cometron 114 AZ is its not having the need for tools to setup the telescope. It also has a pre-assembled tripod made from steel material. It also has a panning handle and is adjustable that makes it easier to handle. The finderscope of this beginner’s telescope that gives the user a wide field of view that allows for easy alignment of the telescope to the part of the sky the user wants to explore. The telescope has an altazimuth mounting that gives it stability and allows for repositioning the scope in different directions. As for operation, this model is not automated and is not designed with motorized components. Basically, the user needs to manually track the celestial objects. Other features of the Newtonian telescope include a useful magnification of 16-269x, 450mm focal length, 3.95 focal ration as well as 10mm and 20mm Kellner eyepieces. The focal length and ratio are designed to make tracking of comets easier while the eyepieces ensure optimal clarity.
Pros and Cons
One of the advantages of owning the Celestron 21079 Cometron 114 AZ is its affordability. Moreover, it is lightweight at just 14 pounds and it stable because of its pre-assembled tripod and base mount. It also gives a clear view of the night sky.
Conversely, it does not have computerized or motorized motors so manual operation is required. Focusing might also take a while because there are some instances where images bleed. While the finderscope makes it easier to alight the telescope with the part of the sky to be explored, its aperture collects less light as opposed to some models and the focal range is not enough. It limits magnification levels when it comes to small field of vision.
Overall, Cometron 114 AZ is great for beginners because of its affordable price and features. Although it has flaws like lack of automation and occasional bleeding images, this telescope still offers a clear view of the sky and celestial objects.
Skywatcher telescope review
Sky-Watcher 8 Collapsible Dobsonian Telescope Review
In response to the trending aperture fever in amateur astronomy for several years now, 8-inch diameter telescopes are now generally considered as the minimum entry-level aperture for serious night sky observations. One of these instruments that are recently introduced today is the Sky-Watcher 8″ Collapsible Dobsonian Telescope, which is an ideal dedicated telescope for wide-field viewing of deep-space objects, such as galaxies, star clusters and nebulae. With low power, this instrument can dramatically capture wide swaths of the sky in one view. Let us dig deeper into this telescope.
Reviewing The Features
If you have experienced observing the sky through a high-quality, wide-field Dobsonian, then the Sky-Watcher 8″ will take you for a great experience in amateur astronomy with its excellent features. The instrument will allow you to easily find your target, where you just have to swing it to the quadrant of the sky that you want to search and then scan the vicinity. It sports an 8 x 50 millimeter right-angle optical viewfinder that offers light gathering and magnification to help narrow your search for elusive celestial objects when star-hopping. It also includes the backlash-free 2-inch Crayford Focuser, which ensures ultra-smooth focusing adjustments and the multi-coated, 4-element Plossl eyepieces, which provide a spacious 52-degree apparent field of view.
The polishing process for its diagonal and primary mirror produces smooth mirror surfaces that ensures good contrast, as well as properly corrected optics that shows minimum alterations to the optical wave front. On each elliptical diagonal and primary mirror aluminum component, there is vacuum deposited to the front glass surface and over-coated with hard quartz, as well as additional layers of titanium dioxide.
All in all, the Sky-Watcher 8″ DOB features Newtonian (parabolic) optical design; 200mm aperture; grade A annealed glass lens material; 1200mm focal length; 47mm secondary mirror; f/6 focal ratio; 406x highest practical power; .96 arc sec resolving power; 14.2 faintest stellar magnitude; 8×50 RA viewfinder finderscope; internal diagonal; 2-inch focuser diameter with 1.25-inch adapter; Dobsonian mount type; 25mm and 10mm 1.25-inch Plossl eyepieces; manual slow-motion control with tension adjustments; 11.5kg ground board weights; and standard accessory tray.
Pros and Cons
The collapse feature of the Sky-Watcher is pretty straightforward, where you just have to loosen three knobs, pull it up, snap into place and then tighten the knobs, not to mention that it is easy to collimate. Well-made, the instrument comes with great quality and offers smooth movements with its tensioning knobs and handles. Moreover, it is highly transportable when disassembled, as it can fit into any car.
However, this telescope is not without its own set of drawbacks. For one, it would pose some difficulties in its right-angle corrected view-finder, which would need replacement or supplementation. It can also be heavy, so you need to move it in parts. Aside from these, its multiple eyepiece holder would make it difficult for you to move its base.
All in all, the Sky-Watcher 8″ Collapsible Dobsonian Telescope is an excellent instrument for its price. It offers great value and is a good investment to make, especially for those who are just starting in astronomy and star-hopping.