Telescopes under $200 – Buying guide & Comparison
If you’re in a hurry and want to find the best telescope under 200 available for sale, this short paragraph should be able to provide you with the information you need to make a good purchase. After an extensive analysis of what the market has to offer, we have found that the Gskyer AZ70700 is the best because of how it combines quality with affordability. With a 2.8 inch aperture, this option draws enough light to make viewing the starry night sky a pleasure, you will be able to glance each and every detail of the moon and its craters. The device can be used both on land and sky, making it perfect not only for amateur stargazers but also for people that love to travel and have the best view of distant landmarks. If by any chance the Gskyer AZ70700 is unavailable, we recommend you set your eyes on the Celestron PowerSeeker 21048CEL as your second option.
Our Top Choice
For a telescope that asks for a decent price, this unit surely provides above expectations. You can use it to explore the craters on the moon, as well as the rings of Saturn, or the moons of Jupiter. Another thing that we feel we should mention is the fact that this model is an excellent option when you need to travel for exploring various spots, ideal for observation of the night sky. It only weighs 5 pounds, and you can easily fit it in a backpack.
It can be used only from a seated position.
A great portable model that doesn’t cost a lot of money.
The number one thing you will love about this model is the fact that its erect optics allow you to use it for night sky observation, and terrestrial explorations. You will not have to buy two separate units, and that can save you up a lot of money. Its magnification can go as high as 225x, so you can expect it to let you explore the night sky to your heart’s content. Even reaching the Orion nebula is possible, just to mention a little of what this telescope can do.
The finder scope included is subpar.
A unit ideal for night sky and terrestrial observation.
Whether you are a novice astronomer, or you want to teach your kids about this fascinating hobby, you will find the Observer to be ideal for that purpose. The 60mm aperture gives you the possibility to explore the night sky objects in great detail, which can be very exciting in itself. The starter kit, however, will make your kids’ day, as it provides an astronomy book, a map of the moon, and the Star Target planisphere for easy star location.
Some faulty hardware was reported.
A model that is great for beginners and novice astronomers.
Finding the best telescope for under 200 may seem like an impossible task, especially since we can’t help but think of these devices as expensive products. While it is indeed true that they can be quite expensive, with a bit of research nothing is impossible. After a quick look at our buying guide, we believe we can make it easier for you to find that product that can deliver both in terms of quality and price.
When it comes to telescopes, no matter their price or size, the one thing that you have to consider carefully is the aperture. In this case, bigger is indeed better, think of the aperture as the pixels in a display, the more you have, the more detailed the image will be.
The aperture is the opening through which light travels, so the bigger that opening is, the more light your eyes will receive. This is important if you want to use your product to view space objects, the Moon or other planets. The more amount of light your lenses can capture, the easier will it be for you to notice sharp details such as the shadows inside the Moon’s craters.
Due to the importance the size of the aperture has on your viewing experience, we recommend to consider it as a decision-making factor when you have to choose between two or more products. If you are unsure of which one to choose, selecting the one that offers the biggest aperture is the smartest decision.
A telescope is useless without one important feature: magnification. With the use of the eyepiece, you can make your device have as much magnification as you want, but there’s a catch. While you can add as much magnification as you want, it can all be useless without a large enough aperture.
Yes, this is why the size of the aperture is so important. You can have an eyepiece that can offer a lot of magnification, but unless you have a large aperture, all that you will see will be a blurry and messy image. Not at all what you would want to see.
To make it clearer, depending on the external conditions and the quality of the optics, you can expect to get anywhere between 20x to 50x of magnification per inch of aperture. A 50x magnification is enough to view Jupiter’s moons, Saturn’s ring, nebulae, and galaxies.
While browsing through some of the most popular cheap telescope reviews, we have found that affordable options can more often than not, also come in more portable designs. The reason we find this as an important factor is that unless you live in the countryside, you might have to travel a bit to avoid the lights of the city and the pollution. Factors that can affect negatively the quality of the image.
An easy to carry and deposit device can make your travels more entertaining, allowing you to spend nights gazing at the night sky. Not only that, but some alternatives also come with the option of using optics meant to be used during daylight. This means that you can use your gadget as a means of admiring landmarks, wildlife or for bird watching.
5 Best Telescopes under $200 (Reviews) in 2020
Because we want to give you a helping hand and aid you in finding the best cheap telescope, we have displayed some of the best models below. We’ve gone and checked consumer reports and articles written by experts to come up with a selection that will help you find a good telescope for the money. Have a look if your time allows you to.
1. Gskyer Telescope AZ70700 Instruments Infinity Refractor Telescope
The Gskyer AZ70700 is a product that will give you one of the best quality to affordability ratio on the market. With the help of the 2.8-inch aperture, you will be able to view distant planets such Saturn and its rings, the moons of Jupiter and, of course, a detailed view of the Moon.
One thing that we noticed and which makes this device stand out from the crowd is its portability. With a weight of just 5 pounds, you will find no trouble in transporting and storing this product. It makes for an ideal choice if you plan on using it while traveling.
Because safety is important, the multilayer glass green coated optics will protect your eyes from excessive brightness. As a plus, due to its mobility and the precise tracking of the tripod, you will be able to use this telescope when traveling not only for stargazing but also for observing landmarks
Buy from Amazon.com for ($143.99)
2. Celestron 21048 PowerSeeker 80EQ Telescope
With an aperture of 80mm (3.15 in.), the Celestron PowerSeeker 21048CEL allows for a detailed view of the night sky. From the surface of the Moon and its craters to the moons of Jupiter and all the way to the Orion nebula. With the help of this product, the sky will be your playground.
The magnification of the eyepiece gives you a minimum magnification of 45x, up to the maximum magnification of 225x. That is enough to help you see all the wonders of our solar system and beyond. The erect image optics are perfect for both astronomical and terrestrial use.
The set-up of the Celestron PowerSeeker 21048CEL is easy and straightforward. It does not require the use of tools, everything you need to assemble and have the device ready for use is provided in the box. To make tracking distant stars a smooth process, you are provided with slow motion controls so that you don’t miss a thing.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($133.94)
3. Orion Observer 60mm AZ Refractor & Starter Kit
If you want a comprehensive first step into the world of astronomy going for the Orion Observer Telescope is a no-brainer. This alternative makes for an informative and fun experience for any amateur astronomer. It comes in a great bundle for kids, and you can use it together with them and have some quality time exploring the cosmos.
It comes with an aperture of 60mm which makes viewing distant space objects easier, without losing much of the details. This way you will be able to see clearly Saturn’s rings, Jupiter, and its moons, and of course, jaw dropping views of our Moon and its craters.
What makes the Orion Observer Telescope a perfect choice for your kids or for anyone that is unfamiliar with the field of astronomy is the fact that it comes bundled with a kit. The starter kit comes with an astronomy book, the Orion MoonMap 260 to help you explore all the Moon’s craters and the Star Target planisphere to aid you in finding what’s in the sky any day of the year.
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4. Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114EQ Reflector Telescope
With an aperture of 114mm (4.49 in.), the Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ C31042 will surely satisfy both amateur and advanced astronomers alike. The large aperture makes viewing deep space objects possible without losing much of the details. The provided tripod will allow for a rigid and steady platform to make your viewing experience as best as possible.
The highest useful magnification that the device allows is a staggering 269x. From the surface of the moon to distant extrasolar objects such as nebulae and galaxies, with the help of this product, you will be able to admire them all.
To make things easier for the customer, the assembly of the Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ C31042 is easy and fast, requiring no tools or extra accessories to make it work. Everything you need is already included by the manufacturer. It even comes with a downloadable software that includes over 10.000 objects and printable sky maps.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($189.98)
Making for quite an affordable choice, the Orion SkyScanner 10012 is a compact and light telescope that does not compromise when it comes to quality. It comes with an aperture of 100mm (3.9 in.) and with lenses made of quality glass. It’s an ideal product for beginners that want their first telescope to be affordable but still do its job properly.
The portable size of the product makes it easy to transport and store, yet it is still large enough to allow for great views of the planets and the Moon. Even when used from bright city locations, the device promises to deliver clear and detailed images.
The device comes with two 20x and 40x magnification eyepieces. The magnification that they offer should be enough for amateur astronomers. The good thing is that if you do want to increase the magnification of your option, there are a lot of eyepieces that are compatible with this product for you to choose from.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.97)