Reflecting telescopes – Buying guide & Comparison
If you’re short on time and you just want to find the best reflecting telescope, this short paragraph should help you get exactly the model you need. According to our research the Orion 10134 is the best because it is computerized so you can easily find and track over 42,000 celestial objects in the sky. The 8 inch aperture ensures that details on distant planets are crisp and clear, including bright star clusters and nebulas. It also comes with two eyepieces for wide viewing, and objects will never appear dim thanks to the long focal length. Since all of the moving parts and motor comes already installed all you need to do is attach the reflecting telescope to the easy to use Dobsonian base. It can also run off of 12v battery power so you can still use the telescope even if there isn’t an outlet in sight. If the Orion 10134 is not available, your second option should be the Celestron 31045.
Whether you just want to view and track distant celestial objects or engage in astrophotography, you need a powerful reflecting telescope. There are several makes and models to choose from and finding the right one can be overwhelming. To help you find the best reflector telescope for the money we have included the following tips in this buying guide .
The best reflecting telescope reviews suggest first deciding on a budget, before you start shopping. It is easy to get caught up in the various features and functions, and if you’re not careful you could end up spending thousands of dollars on extras you don’t need and are not even sure how to use. Taking a few minutes to decide on a budget will not only prevent you from spending more than you can afford, it will also help you significantly narrow down your choices.
You do want to remember that price and quality often go together, and it is usually not worth your time and money to purchase an inferior model. Not only will the telescope not last as long, chances are it won’t have the performance and magnification you need to see far off galaxies and dim, distant stars. The price of the reflecting telescope will also affect how easy it is to use, and in some cases it might be worth it to pay a little extra for one that is simple and convenient. Deciding on a set spending limit will make it easier for you to choose the right reflecting telescope to meet your needs.
Whether you are looking for the best reflector telescope for beginners or you just want to upgrade, how well it performs should be carefully considered. The performance of a telescope refers to its power or magnification, and this will determine how far and clear objects appear in the sky. Almost all telescopes are capable of providing you with plenty of power for distance viewing, where they differ is how clear the object appears. The eyepiece is the part of the telescope that is responsible for the view, and it can usually be changed as needed. Most come with a 25mm or 9mm eyepiece to get you started and this is ideal for mid and long distance viewing.
The aperture is the part of the telescope that ensures details are sharp and that objects don’t appear blurry. This can be especially important if the reflecting telescope is going to be used for astrophotography. To determine the power of the aperture you just have to simply measure its diameter. The larger the aperture the more light it will allow in, and this translates into crisp, clear and bright images. If you only want to see the surface of the moon and nearby bright planets, a 60-80 mm aperture will be more than enough for you. However apertures that measure 150 mm will allow you to see distant galaxies, nebulas and bright star clusters.
When you are trying to decide on the aperture’s size it is important to remember that for every millimeter added its performance will increase significantly. Another aspect to remember is that larger apertures will weigh more, and if the telescope needs to be portable you might have to settle for one that is smaller.
There are two types of mounts to choose from, altazimuth and equatorial. There are also variations on these two styles, which includes the popular Dobsonian mount. This mount is similar in design to the altazimuth, only it is often lighter in weight and priced lower. In some cases the money you save on the mount can be used to increase the telescope’s power.
All of these mounts are capable of supporting the reflecting telescope and providing it with a stable base. This is extremely important when you are trying to line up accurately with a distant planet or constellation. Altazimuth mounts have the advantage of being easier to set up, but it can be a little more difficult to track objects as they cross the sky. If you want to easily track objects across the sky you will probably want to choose an equatorial mount. It can be a little more difficult to set up, but the one axis design makes it easier to follow moving objects. This is why the best reflecting telescopes for astrophotography usually come with an equatorial mount.
Top reflecting telescope reviews in 2018
A reflecting telescope is the perfect choice for beginners and avid astronomers. They are also great for anyone interested in astrophotography. While we can’t choose the right model for you we can help you make an informed decision, which is why we have the best reflecting telescopes showcased below.
If you are looking for a reflecting telescope that is easy to use and powerful this model by Orion might be just what you are looking for. Since it is computerized you have instant access to the location of 42,000 celestial bodies, along with automatic tracking.
This makes it extremely easy to find distant planets and galaxies. This telescope also comes with a lightweight Dobsonian mount that is simple to attach without the use of tools. All of the motorized pieces and gears are pre-assembled so the telescope is almost ready to go right out of the box.
You will appreciate how bright and clear objects appear in the sky thanks to the powerful 8 inch aperture, and the two included eyepieces ensure every wide views of your surroundings.
The 28mm eyepiece will provide you with detailed views of deep space, while the 12.5mm eyepiece is ideal for mid range objects and it even comes with an illuminated crosshair. To ensure everything is protected and easy to find, Orion included a convenient eyepiece rack with your purchase. It should be noted that the 12v adapter is not included, though it can be purchased separately for a small fee.
This telescope is computerized, offering you the possibility to choose between over 42,000 pre-set celestial bodies, including stars, planets, galaxies, nebulas, the Moon, and more.
The most important parts of this telescope come pre-installed on the Dobsonian base boards to ensure an easy and quick assemble in under a couple of hours.
The 8-inch aperture reflector helps to offer a detailed overview of planets and the Moon.
It is the perfect telescope for beginners and also comes with a good price/ quality ratio.
Although good enough for a beginner’s telescope, this one should not be used for astrophotography or any other complicated tasks. If you require a more professional telescope, we do suggest looking for alternative products that are obviously more expensive.
The product seems a bit bulky and uncomfortable to grab and wear, so we suggest opting for more lightweight devices if this is an inconvenience for you.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($999.99)
This reflecting telescope is perfect for celestial and terrestrial viewing, and since it comes with a smooth aligning equatorial mount it is also a great choice for astrophotographers. The equatorial mount makes it easy to locate celestial objects and track them as they move across the sky.
SInce the telescope comes with a “quick release” dovetail attachment you won’t need any tools to set it up, and the same is true regarding the rest of the telescope. Even the sturdy tripod comes pre-assembled so all you need to do is attach the reflecting telescope, and you are ready to go.
When it comes to the telescope’s magnification capabilities you won’t be disappointed. The 130mm aperture is powerful enough to bring distant galaxies and cloudy nebulas into bright, sharp focus. The long 650mm focal length is easy to use, and makes adjusting the focus quick and easy. Its longer length is also ideal for bespeckled astronomers.
You also have the advantage of the 20mm and 10mm eyepieces. This allows you to see distant and mid range details. The eyepieces are easy to change as needed, and you can even add more as your budget allows.
This is a great beginners telescope counting for plenty of functions available at an affordable price.
The product is quick and easy to set up without requiring any additional tools. In other words, you can benefit from its power in no time, without complicated installation guidelines.
Ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use, the Celestron telescope will enlarge image optics and provide a clear image of the items you are trying to see.
It is equipped with Setting circles to allow you to easily and accurately locate sky objects and see them without any hustle.
Purchase this product, and you will benefit from a two-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Some customers said the tripod is very lightweight and shaky and cannot stabilize large-sized objectives or camera.
Other buyers were unhappy because they found it difficult to align the objects so that they could get a clear image of what they are looking at.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($197.99)
You can use this telescope just as easily at home or away, thanks to its durable and lightweight construction. Weighing only 27 pounds, when it is fully assembled it is relatively easy to pack and carry so you can enjoy different views of the night sky.
The short tube only measures 24 inches long making it extremely easy to pack and carry with the collapsable tripod. While this reflecting telescope might come in a compact design it still comes with plenty of power.
The 5.1 inch aperture ensures that distant objects are bright and clear, even on cloudy evenings. To ensure you can find the celestial bodies you are looking for, it also comes with a 6×30 finder scope. When you want to see the details on the moon or take a closer look at the rings around Saturn you only need to insert the right eyepiece.
The telescope comes with a 25mm and 10mm eyepiece so distant and mid range viewing is never a problem. Lining up the telescope accurately and tracking objects as they move is also easy with the equatorial mount. You can also choose to track the celestial bodies manually with the adjustable tripod.
This 5.1-inch aperture reflector telescope is able to gather a large amount of light to allow you a great view of the stars, the planets, and the Moon, as well as brighter galaxies or star clusters.
It is great for amateur astrologists or stargazers and nature lovers.
It features a short, 24-inch long optical tube design for easy transportation and enhanced portability. You can carry this telescope anywhere with you and enjoy the sky at night from the comfort of your own backyard or anywhere with a great view. The assembled item only weighs 27 pounds.
This telescope also comes equipped with all additional accessories for easy mounting and transporting.
The eyepieces provided by the manufacturer don’t allow you to see too much apart from the Moon. We suggest acquiring additional eyepieces with larger magnification rates if you want to see celestial objects clearer and from a greater distance.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($309.99)
This reflecting telescope is also extremely easy to use, making it great for students and families. While the software will introduce you to the different celestial bodies, the DVD will help you get the most out of this telescope. You will learn how its’ equatorial mount ensures that objects are accurately located and smoothly tracked across the sky. Since it comes with “slow motion” controls it is even easy to track faster moving objects.
To ensure distant celestial bodies appear bright and clear, the telescope comes with a 130mm aperture. This ensures plenty of light is gathered around the image so you can clearly make out surface features and other important details. When you need to zoom in on an object you can choose from 3 eyepieces.
Not only does it come with a 26mm, 9mm and 6.33 eyepieces, there is also a 2x barlow lens so the magnification of each eyepiece can be doubled. With this reflecting telescope there is very little you won’t be able to see in the sky, including distant galaxies that similar models aren’t powerful enough to detect.
This is a great beginners telescope with an aperture of 130mm and a focal length of 650mm.
The easy mount featuring motion controls allows for tracking celestial objects smooth and simple, without too much of hustle. You can easily find the Moon, the planets or other large stars.
It comes with three different eyepieces – a low one, a medium one, and a high one to offer you variety whenever you want to view something in the sky.
This telescope is shipped with an Astronomical Software and an Instructions DVD for easy mounting, setting, and use.
Some customers claim the instructions are hard to follow and misleading. It is quite difficult to match the text with the illustrations, so mounting could last for a few full hours. Also, the DVD doesn’t seem to work very well in all cases.
Other buyers complained about the poor quality of the 2X Barlow lens provided.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($182.99)
It is priced to fit most student and beginning astronomer’s budgets, while still having the power you need to clearly see distant celestial bodies. It also comes in a compact size that makes it easy to store and carry. Weighing slightly over 19 pounds you can easily take this telescope to class or to a nearby field for a different view of the sky.
With an impressive focal length of 900mm and a 114mm aperture objects will always appear bright and clear. Even cloudy evenings won’t dampen this telescope’s power so you never have to worry about missing a great celestial show. It also comes with two eyepieces so details are sharp and clear, and this is enhanced by the included 3x barlow lens.
The 5×24 finderscope also ensures that you can locate objects in the sky. To make it easier to accurately position the telescope and track objects as they move, it comes with a equatorial mount.
This Celestron telescope is made from high-quality materials to ensure easy mounting and great technical specifications for all beginners who are in love with the sky and its beauties.
Portable yet powerful, this manages to approach the qualities of a very good beginner’s telescope also sold for a very affordable price.
All optical compounds are made of glass with high transmission coatings to enhance their image brightness and clarity. In other words, you will benefit from enhanced images with better quality and clarity.
The shipping package includes 3X Barlow lens, a 20-mm eyepiece, and a 4mm eyepiece, as well as an aluminum tripod for hands-free stargazing.
Some customers said the product is quite difficult to collimate and comes with a wobbly mount. It is not very sturdy or trustworthy, while the finder and focuser are made from quite cheap quality plastic.
This item might last less time compared to others.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($114.95)