Sure, you can take photos of the moon with just your smartphone camera, but they’re not going to be anything that the human eye can’t already see. But if you want to get some high-definition, close up shots with detailed images of the mountains and craters on the lunar surface, then why not attach your smartphone to a telescope designed for Astrophotography.
Take a look at our list below for some great options for both beginners and professionals alike.
Best Telescopes for Moon Photography
Here are our best telescopes for moon photography reviews.
1. Celestron – PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope
This is a great telescope for any beginner interested in photographing the moon. If you’re unsure of how to navigate the starts, simply download the mobile app that comes included with your purchase.
- 2-year warranty
- Compatible with a number of photography devices
- Sturdy tripod included
2. Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Edition
This telescope is a great option for any beginner. Capable of taking clear photos of the moon and beyond, this telescope will have you wishing the nights were longer.
- Affordable option for beginners
- Compact and lightweight means this telescope can easily be transported
- Illuminated finder scope
3. Celestron – AstroMaster 130EQ Newtonian Telescope
This one is great for the amateur looking to step up his or her game. For under $200, this telescope is comes equipped with everything you need to get started, minus the camera.
- Sturdy equatorial mount allows for smooth object tracking
- Fully-coated glass optics to reduce light interference
- Quick and easy set up with no tools required
4. Orion 9534 ED80T CF
The rion ED80T CF is a highly recommended model for beginners due to its ability to capture high definition, professional photographs at a reasonable price.
- Built-in dew shield and dual-speed Crayford focuser
- Lightweight and strong
- Built with extra-low, dispersion glass for exceptional resolution
5. Celestron Inspire 100AZ Refractor Smartphone Adapter Built-in Refracting Telescope
This telescope is perfect for taking breath-taking images of the lunar surface. Complete with a smartphone adapter, this device is great for the aspiring astrophotographer.
- Easiest setup of any entry-level telescopes
- Fully integrated smartphone adapter built-in
- Comes with Starry Night astronomy software to help you navigate the skies
Telescopes for Moon Photography Buyer’s Guide
The great thing about moon photography is that it can be accomplished for a very reasonable price. As far as space is concerned, the moon isn’t actually that far away and therefore, you don’t need a telescope capable of extreme levels of magnification, which in turn saves you a lot of money. All you need is a beginner’s telescope and a smartphone attachment and you’re ready to go; it’s that simple.
As with any product, some are better than others. That’s why we’ve put together this buyer’s guide to help you make your decision. Below are a few things to consider before making your purchase.
As mentioned above, for the amateur, a smartphone camera that you’re familiar with can be more than enough to get started and keep it simple. However, when getting more serious about astrophotography, you’re going to want to invest in a DSLR or mirror-less camera that is capable of opening the shutter for at least 30 seconds. When deciding which telescope is right for you, take note of any included camera mounts.
Remember, you’re photographing the moon, not distant galaxies. There is no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a computerized telescope capable of extreme magnification and electronic tracking capabilities. There are plenty of great options in the $200 price range.
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.
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. Just keep in mind, you will have to use your own camera or purchase one separately.
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