Telescopes are an amazing way to get up close and personal with the night skies. With new advances in technology and prices ranging from very affordable to highly expensive, home telescopes have seen soaring popularity over the past years from both amateurs and professional alike.
Best Beginner Telescopes for Under $200
Here are our reviews of the best beginner telescopes for under $200
1. Orion Observer II 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope
As this is an entry-level telescope, it’s perfect for amazing views of the moon, the rings of Saturn and other deep space objects.
- Complete with tripod and equatorial mount for stability and object tracking
- Complete with all of the accessories you need to get stared right away
- Produces high-quality images
2. Gskyer Telescope, 80mm AZ Space Astronomical Refractor Telescope
This telescope was built with beginners in mind. Easy-to-use for both adults and children alike, sit back and enjoy viewing the moon and any deep sky objects that happen to pass by.
- Comes with three replaceable eyepieces for strong magnification
- Adjustable aluminum tripod
- No tools required, perfect for any beginne
3. Orion 10022 StarMax 90mm TableTop Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope
As one of the leading brands of telescopes on the market, the Orion Table Top telescope, had to make the top of this list. One of the smallest telescopes you’ll come across, this telescope is highly preferred for beginners.
- Produces high-quality images
- So compact, it can sit on any table top or window ledge
- Extremely portable, can be held in one hand
4. Strike 80 NG Telescope in Blue and Black
This telescope is thin and compact, making it great for transportation to and from your favourite dark-sky locations. Complete with a sturdy tripod, use this telescope for great views of the solar system.
- Coated glass and internally blackened tube eliminates light pollution
- Comes with all the accessories you need to get started including a diagonal mirror, eyepieces and a Barlow lens.
- Sturdy tripod included makes object tracking easy
5. Celestron – PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope
Built with beginners in mind, this easy-to-use telescope was built to give first-time telescope users the perfect combination of quality, value, features and power the market has to offer.
- Complete with a 2-year warranty
- Compact and portable, this telescope is great for camping under the stars
- Equatorial mount is great for slow-motion tracking
Beginner Telescopes for Under $200 Buyer’s Guide
Depending on what you want to look at, magnification capabilities, electronics and many other factors, telescopes can be anywhere from very affordable to highly expensive. Thankfully, today we’re looking at the best telescopes on the market for under $200. Don’t be fooled by their low-cost, telescopes in this price range are perfectly capable of producing high-quality images of the moon, surrounding planets and some deep space objects. Take a look at our buyer’s guide for some tips on things to keep in mind when making your purchase.
Magnification is obviously important, but keep in mind, some telescopes are built for viewing distant galaxies and require extreme levels of magnification, which also leads to them being highly expensive. These beginner telescopes are perfectly suited for planet observation and therefore, expensive, high levels of magnification are not required.
When gazing into space, often you’ll find yourself following a moving target. Look for telescopes that are manufactured with tracking in mind, including a good tripod and equatorial mount.
Different companies include different accessories with their telescope packages. Whether included with your purchase or not, as a rule of thumb, every beginner will need the following: a field flattener, carrying case, tube rings, a diagonal and a finder’s scope. Read the product list carefully before making your purchase. If any of these items are not included, they will need to be purchased separately.
As a novice, consider buying a starter kit. These kits are geared toward beginners and come with everything you need to get started, right out of the box. Many of these kits also include digital software and online databases to help beginners navigate the skies.
Telescopes vary in size and weight, from small and compact to large and stationary. Think about how you plan on using your telescope: do you plan on travelling to dark sky locations? If so, a compact model that will fit into a hiking bag would be a good choice; do you live in the country, away from city lights and light pollution? Then perhaps a large, sturdy model would suffice. Consider this before making your final decision.
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