Telescopes come in an overwhelming variety of sizes, shapes, and prices. To make sense of this embarrassment of riches, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions using this guide. The author owns a half dozen scopes, including the mm refractor at left and the Carla Procaskey How much are you willing to spend? How portable does your telescope need to be? Do you plan to do astrophotography? Why are some telescopes made with mirrors,others with lenses, and some with a combination of the two?
Purchasing Amateur Telescopes FAQ
Web Wisdom: Telescope Buying Guides and Reviews – Northern Virginia Astronomy Club
This is the single most important thing you should get out of this FAQ: do not buy your telescope from a department store. Ignore everything any literature tells you about magnification and such. Buy from a telescope store, where you will get a telescope that makes smaller claims, but will give you FAR better performance. The reason is that as far as telescopes go, how much you can magnify is a function of the amount of light the telescope receives, which is almost entirely determined by the telescope's aperture the size of the lens or mirror that points at the sky. As far as magnification goes, you can expect 50x per inch of aperture on a normal night. Strictly speaking, this is true. However, applying the 50x rule, it is easy to see that x would be pushing the optics, and that is assuming that they were high quality ones.
Telescope Buying Guide Part 1: What You Must Know First
Is amateur astronomy difficult to start with or will I be able to get straight into it? How much should I expect to pay for a good telescope? What different types of telescopes are there?
Please read the update page for some important updates to this site. Waste of money. The current models are generally poor, though. Bushnell: I have looked at this companys telescopes 1st hand and I do not belive that they would withstand one full night of usage viewing the sky. They are so bad they make Tasco junk look good!