You’ll need to acquire the appropriate accessories and mount to get imaging done. The Equatorial mount is sturdy and is easily adjusted for smaller children. Also included is an 8×50 Right Angle Correct Image Finderscope, Mounting Rings, and a V-Style Dovetail. Weighing in at 46lbs, it is rather heavy. The idea behind this genius move is to show you some of the best options that may fit the budget you have in mind. Though it claims it’s for both beginners and advanced users, this telescope definitely works best for advanced amateur astronomers. With that in mind, be prepared to be blown away by the views and have fun putting together your custom setup. Altazimuth Mounts usually have slow-motion controls that allow you to easily keep focus on a celestial object as it moves across the sky. It also works exceptionally well for astrophotography and the magnification can be pushed up to 50% higher than the manual recommends. For example, if your telescope has a 1000mm focal length and you are using a 25mm eyepiece, the magnification would be 1000mm ÷ 25 = 40. Of course, you can try your hand at imaging, but the mount has alt-azimuth movement, so you will be limited somewhat. Integrated computer App may not suit all users. While it does come with an EQ mount which is the same one on the Omni XLT 120, it’s better suited to photography if you purchase a motor drive separately. The telescope has a 120mm aperture and 600mm focal length. If you’re looking to observe deep-sky objects in crisp quality, you’ll want an aperture of around 140mm. Reflectors are desired for their large apertures at low cost with no chromatic aberration issues. This allows you to choose different magnifications for viewing on the same scope. This type of telescope has a long, slender tube with a lens at the front that “refracts” the light from the sky. The telescope comes with some accessories including a mount, two eyepieces, a red dot finderscope, and access to astronomy software, Starry Night. Best Refractor Telescope Reviews 1. Sure, the end result is the same as you can see astronomical objects, but how it provides that view is done differently. While ED is a universal term, various ingredients can be used or combined to form the ED lens material, such as fluorite crystals, fluorophosphate, titanium dioxide, and others. They’re typically what we think of when telescopes come to mind. If you’re after the larger size that a Newtonian offers on a GEM mount without CA getting in the way, the Omni XLT 150 is a great option to consider. We also tried our skills at astrophotography and produced very exciting images. It has a medium-speed focal ratio of f/8.3. Even so, it still may not be enough to convince you that it’s worth the price, so let’s explore more. Aperture: 3.5″ (90mm)Magnification: 36-91xFocal length: 910mmMount type: Adjustable tripodWeight: 14.2 lbs (6.44 kg)Features: WiFi connectivity, lightweight for transportingBest for: Intermediate, computer literate. The images are crystal clear with almost no spherical aberration. Nothing is more frustrating than an object that jumps out of view and takes forever to find again. These telescopes are for hardcore astronomers who intend to dedicate serious time to gazing at the universe. The primary mirror is colimatable like all good Newtonians should be, but you’ll need to DIY a collimation cap or buy a laser to get it done efficiently. It was very sturdy and we had no concerns about the scope toppling over, even when our enthusiastic kids wanted to take a look at the sky. All-in-all, neither type is necessarily better than the other—they’re both suitable for different purposes. Refractors are more convenient to use due to the closed tube and lack of mirrors used in the optical system, but they are more expensive, come in smaller apertures, and suffer from chromatic aberration. Weighing in at 22lbs, it is easy to load into a car for a weekend away. This counterweight offers balance, making the telescope refractor set up more stable. The focal ratio is determined by dividing the focal length, which is simply the distance light has to travel from the front of the telescope to the back, by the diameter of the front lens or mirror, known as the objective (denoted as F/D, where F is the focal length and D is the aperture). While the PowerSeeker is a budget buy, it has all the benefits of a refractor. Planets & Moons – Refractors generally work the best for viewing planetary bodies. While these brands have high-end refractors, they also have a huge inventory of affordable scopes under $2000 for the average Joe. Since refractors use a hardy piece of glass, which is crafted specifically for use in a telescope, they can be a bit pricey. Since budgets also vary, we’ve provided a short list of refractor telescopes at a wide range of price points. But, what is the Omni good for? Best Overall – Sky Watcher EvoStar 100 APO Doublet Refractor There are additional things that matter, such as the quality of your focuser, eyepiece, accessories, and mount, but these remain the most critical aspects of every telescope. Explore Scientific FirstLight AR102 EXOS Refractor Telescope. Upper mid-range: $600-$1000 – Upper to mid-range telescopes dwell in the $600+ range. A motor with computer control drives both axes of the mount. Even my younger children were able to operate the refracted telescope using the slow-motion celestial tracking and internal polar alignment features. Budget: $150-$400 – Budget-refractors will come with fewer features and less capability but are still suitable for planetary viewing and general stargazing. The telescope itself and its optics are surprisingly sturdy and well made for the price point. My name is Jeff Johnson and I’m the founder and editor of Planet Guide. Beginners love them for their celestial and terrestrial seeing benefits and their ease-of-use. It’s a fast f/5 scope, so DSOs and wide-angle viewing is the name of the game. The Orion AstroView 120ST Equatorial Refractor Telescope is a best refractor telescope for astrophotography. As a good refractor telescope, it is priced high and is more suitable for experienced stargazers. They’re also more comfortable to carry around, and most importantly, they don’t need regular adjustment or maintenance. Crisp and unobstructed views of planets and stars, Little chromatic aberration despite not being apochromatic, Included red-dot finder is mediocre quality, Achromatic (focuses only two light wavelengths). It has a 4” aperture and comes with 3 eyepieces for low, medium, and high magnification. We found the Explore Scientific FirstLight AR102 EXOS Refractor Telescope easy to use and were amazed at the fabulous views we got of the moon, planets, star clusters, and deep-sky objects. If you are looking to invest in an apochromatic telescope that will take you from beginner status to professional, the Sky Watcher Evostar 80 APO Telescope is a perfect choice. It’s good enough for visual, but for imaging, you will need to upgrade after you’ve learned the basics on the AstroMaster. However, while it is cheap and great for learning the ropes, the optics on this telescope aren’t the greatest. While it seems simple enough, there is much that can be done to provide a variety of refractor types. To do this refractor telescope review, we set it up at home in a safe place for all our viewing. Views will be better than average thanks to the optical doublet. Think along the lines of instant cooldown, no expansion or contraction, and focusing issues related to it. While they come at multiple price points, you should remember that you get what you pay for. Eyepieces of refractive telescopes fit over the aperture and allow you to view your terrestrial or celestial object. Why do you need the extra power? However, upper mid-range or high-end refractors are mostly apochromatic now, meaning they account for the halo effect caused by chromatic aberration, so either will work! Bargain: $50-$150 – Similar to buying a musical instrument, telescopes under the price of $150 use cheap parts—the optical components in telescopes are expensive to produce correctly! As a fast telescope, this will help greatly with minimizing CA effects. – Reflector telescopes tend to work better for deep-space objects because they have higher apertures and don’t suffer from any chromatic aberration. If your magnification becomes too large, you may start to get distorted images. Refracting telescopes do not have mirrors and instead use glass lenses.