Hobbyist telescopes – Buying guide & Comparison
If you are looking for the best hobbyist telescope money can get you but you lack the time to read a lot of specialized reviews, this paragraph should get you cued up. After doing the research for you by reading a handful of product reviews and after taking into account aspects such as price to value ratios and overall brand quality, we have reached the conclusion that the Gskyer 60mm AZ Refractor is the model for you. We came to this decision due to the fact that this unit comes fitted with a handful of useful features such as a 60mm aperture and 350mm focal length. Moreover, the device is easy to maneuver and is said to be quite intuitive, reason why hobbyists will surely appreciate it. If the Gskyer 60mm AZ Refractor is out of stock, check out the Gskyer AZ70400.
Knowing just how tricky finding the best amateur telescope can be, we have decided to lend you a helping hand. Therefore, we have composed a list of must-have features that you should not settle without whenever you are shopping in this line of products. So, read ahead and make your pick accordingly!
The deciding factor that should be considered by all those looking for a quality hobbits telescope is the aperture. Also known as the main lens of the device, the aperture of a telescope is the part of the device that allows for a specific magnification ratio. In other words, a product that has a large aperture can show the user faint objects that models with smaller apertures cannot.
However, buying the telescope with the largest aperture is not the best bet. In fact, models with very large apertures are usually used to study comets and other very faint objects. Nonetheless, if you only want to purchase a product that can be used from time to time by somebody that considers astronomy hobby, a unit with a smaller aperture will suffice.
Type of mount
As all hobbyist telescope reviews are prone to point out, another crucial aspect that should not go unnoticed when in the market for a telescope is the mount. To keep things as simple as possible, one should know that there are three types of mounts that one can choose from altazimuth, Dobsonian and equatorial.
The basic mount that you are likely to stumble upon is the altazimuth. This mount is particularly fitting for not that complex terrestrial viewings and should be seen as a reliable option. Yet, a more advanced type of mount is the Dobsonian. This mount is usually used for telescopes with larger apertures.
Last but not the least, the equatorial mount is the most complex type of mount and is usually recommended for those that intend to use the telescope for astrophotography.
What type of telescope do you need?
Similarly, when considering the myriad of models up for sale, one should also decide what type of telescope he/she needs. As you probably already know, there are three models that one can choose between.
The refractor telescope is easy to use and usually has a simple, intuitive design. This type of telescope is intended to be used in order to observe objects that have a clear shape. They are quite practical due to the fact that they do not require maintenance.
The reflector telescope, on the other hand, is better fitted for observing fainter objects that require more precision. The quality of the image is high. However, a reflector telescope requires its user to do a little bit of maintenance. Still, this model does not work on earth objects.
Lastly, the compound telescope or the catadioptric model is more advanced, and it can do what both the reflector and the refractor telescope usually do. This model can be used to observe earth objects as well as faint ones and comes equipped with a protective tube that keeps the optics away from any type of dirt. Thus, regularly cleaning it is not necessary.
Tips and tricks
If you are a beginner in the field of astronomy and telescopes, we recommend that before you place any orders, you take your time and think about the before mentioned features. Then, once you know what type of telescope you need, we advise that you set a budget and only then proceed and select a model.
Moreover, keep in mind that some models come equipped with what manufacturers call a computer control function. By activating it, the device is automatically pointed to objects that you might not have known how to locate by yourself. This feature comes in handy if you are a novice and you don’t know much about the stars.
Top hobbyist telescopes reviews in 2017
Because we want to make this selection process effortless for you, we have put together a list of products that are worthy of your time and money. While making this list, we took into account a series of aspects such as product quality and specialized reviews. So, don’t waste any more time; read ahead and select the model you like best.
Gskyer 60mm AZ Refractor
If you are interested in an affordable, well-equipped model, the Gskyer Telescope, 60mm AZ Refractor Telescope is the product for you.
This refractive telescope is ideal for all the beginners that want to purchase a model that is easy to use and take care of.
This unit comes fitted with a 60mm aperture and 350mm focal length, as well as with a f/5.8 focal ratio. What is more, the high magnification eyepiece ensures that you’ll be able to see in detail a lot of faint objects otherwise difficult to spot.
What is more, the unit is made from an aluminum alloy construction that makes it lightweight and easy to transport whenever this is needed.
As a plus, the product has all glass optical components coated with a high transmission substance. Consequently, the user will be able to enjoy bright, clear images.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($76.63)
Another model that is worth your consideration is the Gskyer AZ70400. Although a bit pricier than similar models, this product is well regarded by current users.
As its manufacturer puts it, the product is able to depict crystal clear images and to create a stirring visual effect.
The lens of the device was constructed using an aluminum alloy and a superior type of glass called ZF4. Even more so, the glass is plated with a multi-layer green film that is said not to damage the vision.
Also, because the lens barrel was made using the latest German technology, the product is considered quite durable and of high quality.
Additionally, in case you feel the need to change the height of the product you can easily do so by adjusting it to the level you feel fit.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.99)
Celestron 114LCM Computerized
If you want to end up with the best model available and you are not afraid to spend some extra dollars in order to do so, we recommend that you check out the Celestron 114LCM Computerized Telescope.
This high-quality 14mm (4.5″) refractor model is particularly fitted for hobbyists and beginners because it comes equipped with a database that can automatically and accurately locate over 4,000 celestial objects.
In order to align the telescope and use it with the SkyAlign system, one simply has to find the moon and press the “Solar System Align” function on the menu; the rest is done by the device. The unit operates on batteries that are also included in the price.
Moreover, the product includes a fully adjustable tripod that is lightweight, and that can easily be carried around. A convenient accessory tray is also supplied.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($299)
Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ
Another model that should be on your mind is the Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor. This product is very easy to set up, in fact, the person assembling it does not need any type of tool to do so. In fact, the tripod, the mount, and the optical tube fit together effortlessly. According to its manufacturer, this product is ideal for both terrestrial and astronomical use.
The features that recommend it are its coated glass optics that make it durable and the fact that it has a permanently mounted StarPointer finder scope. Also, the product comes shipped with a sturdy tripod with 1.25″ diameter legs that are already assembled.
Moreover, if you don’t know how to view objects using the telescope, you should know that this equatorial model makes tracking and centering objects very easy. To do so, just look through the finder scope and center the red dot over the object you want to look at.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($144.75)
Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ
Last but not least, the Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ Telescope is another affordable, practical alternative. With an aperture of 80mm and a focal length of 900mm, this device is both practical and durable.
Also, because it was designed to be used by first-time users, this unit is easy to set up and quite uncomplicated. Additionally, because this model has a German equatorial mount, it can erect both terrestrial and astronomical images.
Nonetheless, the product has glass optical components that have been covered with high transmission coatings in order to enhance image brightness. Besides, the 3x Barlow lens that the product includes can actually triple the magnifying power of each eyepiece.
As previous buyers claim, this model is worth the money, and it does its job as it claims. Furthermore, the unit is powerful enough for one to catch a close glimpse of Jupiter and Saturn, as well as of Mars and Venus while using it.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($134)