Telescopes use lenses and mirrors to collect and focus light from distant objects such as planets, the Moon, and the stars. Astrophotographers use them to explore the sky and photograph different planets, stars, galaxies, and nebulae. There are thousands of models of telescopes available on the market today and they vary a lot in price. So, how much does a good telescope cost?
The cheapest telescope starts from around $100 while the more expensive models may cost up to $500 or even more. The price depends on a number of factors such as size or type of telescope, its optical quality, and other features it has. The more expensive a telescope is the better visibility and performance.
The price of a telescope depends on its features, size, and brand name. The low-end telescopes are priced at $200 while high-end ones can cost up to $5000 or more depending on the specifications you want in your scope.
How Much Does A Good Telescope Cost?
Telescopes have been used for many centuries but it is only recently that they have been made smaller and more affordable. Now anyone who is interested can own one. But how much do you need to spend?
Telescopes are traditionally expensive, but technological advancements in recent years have led to more reasonably priced options.
Here are some of the best telescopes for astrophotography.
The cost of a telescope depends on the type of telescope you buy, the features it has, and the quality of optics. The first consideration is what you want to do with your telescope. If you only want to observe the moon, you can get one very cheaply for less than $100 or so. But this will be quite limited and not useful for any form of astrophotography beyond the moon.
Professional grade telescopes can cost up to $25-30 thousand dollars while hobby telescopes can be bought for as little as $200-300 dollars depending on the size of the lens. I spent in the region of $450 for my first telescope which was the Celestron 130slt. I have managed to do some beginner astrophotography with this telescope.
The first telescope I had came with an az alt mount. The mount includes a tripod and may include a tracker to move with the stars. An alt-az mount is generally cheaper but only allows you to take exposures of a shorter length. I was able to take exposures of a maximum of 30 seconds reliably. An Equatorial mount costs more and this is what I now have.
The ability to locate objects in the sky is something very useful to an astrophotographer or astronomer. I chose a telescope with a GoTo system which is a computerized system with a hand controller to find objects in the sky. This also adds to the cost of your telescope.
Best Reasonably Priced Telescope for Beginners
A good telescope lets you explore the universe in all its beauty and wonder. As an astrophotographer, I am constantly amazed and in awe of the size and beauty of our universe.
For those who are looking for an easy way to explore the night sky, there are many telescopes available in the market, but what makes one better than another?
One important factor that you need to consider when choosing a telescope is your budget. If you’re on a tight budget and need something affordable and still good enough for beginners, pick anyone from these few:
- Celestron 114AZ 114mm Reflector Telescope – Cost $250
- Celestron AstroMaster 114AZ70 114mm Refractor Telescope – Cost $300
- Orion SpaceProbe 3 AZ Reflector – Cost $100
- Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope. – Cost $500
The best reasonably priced telescope for beginners is the 114mm Newtonian Reflector Telescope because it is affordable without sacrificing quality. The 114mm Newtonian Reflector Telescope has the best views of the moon and planets. The cheapest model noted here does not have tracking or computerized tracking and so can only be used for some limited astrophotography. For that, you’ll need to get a higher-cost model.
The Orion SpaceProbe 3 Altazimuth Reflector telescope is a product designed for novice astronomers. It is relatively affordable and easy to assemble. The Orion SpaceProbe 3 Altazimuth Reflector Telescope has a three-inch diameter mirror, which allows for high-quality views of celestial objects such as the moon and planets. Star clusters like the Pleiades and some nebulae can also be observed with this beginner telescope. Not really for astrophotography as it has no tracker.
The Celestron NexStar 130SLT telescope is a great option for beginners because it has an easy-to-use mount with a database of over 40,000 objects. It also includes a variety of eyepieces and is quite transportable. It can be used for beginner-level astrophotography and I used it for almost one year.
What to Search for When Buying a Telescope
A telescope can be used in many ways, which is why when you are looking for one it’s important to know what your intended use is going to be. Will you be using it for astrophotography, if so, you’ll need to spend a little more on the telescope mount and the quality of the telescope. This is especially true if you want to photograph deep-sky objects like me.
If you are interested in long-distance deep-space observation, then you will need a telescope that has an aperture of 12 inches or larger. If not, then any size between four and six inches will work.
Understanding the Types of Telescopes
Telescopes all have in common one thing, that they all function the same way, by collecting light from a distant object and focusing it.
There are three main categories: refracting, reflecting, and compound. Refracting telescopes usually use a lens to create an image and only allow light from a certain point to be seen. Reflecting telescopes also use lenses but reflect them off mirrors at the front of the telescope instead; this allows for more light to enter through the lens and makes it easier for us to see what is happening in space. Compound telescopes combine elements from both refracting and reflecting telescopes by using both lenses as well as mirrors at the front.
Reflecting telescopes use mirrors to collect light. It is these mirrors that bounce light onto an object and then magnify it so that it can be seen more clearly through lenses or other instruments. The first reflecting telescope was made in 1668 by Isaac Newton with a mirror shaped like an elliptic paraboloid.
What Affects the Price of a Telescope?
There are many factors that go into determining the price of a telescope. The most important factor, however, is what kind of telescope you want to buy.
The cost of a telescope can be significantly influenced by the level of magnification power it offers. Large telescopes with higher levels of magnification are usually more expensive than smaller telescopes with less magnification power.
The cost of a telescope depends on the type and size of the telescope. The size and type of a telescope will affect what you can see and how much it will cost.
The size and type determine the price range. For example, a small handheld telescope typically costs less than $50, while a large refractor scope can cost up to $3000 or more.
Different telescopes also have different uses. Some are better for beginners, while others are better for more advanced hobbyists or professionals.
The more expensive quality telescopes magnify images while avoiding distortion.
I hope that the information I have given you on this page has enabled you to start your search for a suitable telescope. Good luck with your choice and in your journey into astrophotography!