Buying a Telescope

We get a lot of questions about buying a telescope, a senior ASV member has written the following notes for those keen to buy a telescope:

Here’s some advice….DON’T!

Unless you’re a seasoned astronomer, you’re likely to buy the wrong thing and regret it forever. We see too many poor quality telescopes from people trying to learning how to use them. So, in brief, here’s the skinny:

  • For a first telescope avoid anything on a tripod!
  • Be prepared to spend between $600 – $700 (and not much more than that!)
  • Get a ‘reflector’ not a ‘refractor’ or any other type
  • Don’t go near ‘equatorial’ mounts
  • Forget the electronic stuff
  • Get an 8-inch Dobsonian – the brand doesn’t matter - Skywatcher, Saxon, Bintel, GSO - they're all much the same.

That’s what the recommendation is, and it looks like the picture below. Without question the best advice is join the ASV and then look through many of our telescopes first to get a better idea before you start spending.

Binoculars are a great option too!

Don’t spend more than $150 on binoculars. Saxon 7X50 should be under $100.