Telescope Buying Guide 2016

Telescope Buying Guide 2016

Telescopes have been big favorites among those who enjoy viewing and studying stars. In some cases, people start at early age desiring to see millions of stars up close. Even though the original technology was nowhere near what people can see today, it has had a long flourishing history that dates back to as early as the 1600s.

Since that time, advances in technology has made it possible for anyone to gain access to a telescope. This means that both children and adults can find a telescope that they like at an affordable price in many different retail stores.

Before making a purchase, however, there are some facts about telescopes that the buyer should be aware of beforehand. A significant consideration involves identifying different types of telescopes that are available in the market today.

Once the buyer has a better understanding of what types of telescopes are available, they can use this telescope buying guide 2016 to make an informed decision.

The Three Types of Telescopes

First of all, it is important to note that there are at least 3 types of telescopes. They are known as refractor, reflector and compound. Although all 3 of these types have been designed with similar purpose in mind, each of these has both advantages and disadvantages.

Therefore, people need to review each type to know which would best suit their purpose. With that said, here is a brief description of each of them.

Refractor Telescopes

The refractor telescope is usually the most common type that people are familiar with today. When a person is viewing this telescope, they can usually identify it by its overall shape. This is because it is designed with a big lens at the front and is easy to identify when people see them in any setting.

With this type of telescope, buyers would find that there are both pros and cons that they should be aware of, especially if they want to make the best decision possible for their needs. The pros of this type of a telescope are as follows:

  • Users find that this type of telescope is simple and easy to use.
  • It has been designed to work for objects that are on the earth.
  • To protect the optics, this telescope comes with a sealed tube.
  • Most people prefer this type of telescope because of its zero maintenance.

While this version has quite a few advantages to it, there are some cons that must be considered before making a purchase and they are as follows:

  • Not designed to view faint objects.
  • These devices are usually very bulky and heavy hence lack easy mobility.
  • The refractor is considered to be of lesser value than the reflector.

Reflector Telescopes

Just as the name suggests, this kind of telescope is made with mirror at the end of its tube. With this design, it allows the telescope to gather light prior to sending it through another mirror and then it sends it directly into the eyepiece.

As stated above, this type of telescope has both pros and cons too and they are as follows:


  • Idea design for viewing faint objects.
  • Made with high image quality in mind.
  • Has more value than the refractor telescope.
  • Lightweight and compact for better transporting and mobility.

Although the benefits of buying a reflector telescope are many, there are some cons that the buyer should review first before making a final decision. The cons of the reflector telescopes are listed below:


  • Tube is open so it is easy for it to collect and accumulate dust particles.
  • Maintenance is required for its proper upkeep.
  • Not made for earth objects.

Compound Telescopes

The compound telescope is also known by other names such as Catadioptric  and Schmidt-Cassegrain. This is because it is made with two separate mirrors; one in the front of the telescope and one in the back of the telescope. It is also designed with a lens.


  • Designed with viewing faint objects in mind.
  • Functionality includes viewing objects on earth.
  • Protects optics because it is made with a sealed tube.
  • Designed for those who have an interest in astrophotography.


Although most people may see all the benefits of this telescope and may prefer it over the other two types, there are a few more aspects that the buyer should know before making a choice. Unfortunately, this involves some of the cons of this type of telescope. These are as follows:

  • Usually the most expensive.
  • Bulky in appearance because it is large.
  • Brightness reduces significantly because of the second mirror.

After an individual has reviewed each type, one of the next steps is to review the price of these telescopes. Because the ranges can differ greatly, the buyer needs to find the best one that fits into their budget.


Buying a telescope does not have to be a daunting task for customers today if they know what they are looking for. One of the first things that they need to be aware of, however, is that there are three basic types available in the market today. With a brief description of each type and their pros and cons, the buyer can make an informed decision.

Although the type that a person prefers can make a significant difference in their purchase, there are other factors that can play a big role in selecting the best telescope for a person. One of the most notable factors is the amount of money that a buyer is willing and able to pay.

This is especially because the price of these devices can range from relatively low and reasonable to significantly high and expensive. Therefore, for the buyers who are interested in purchasing a telescope for themselves, a friend or a family member, they should search online and in local retail stores for the best type for a newbie or a veteran user.

Once they have identified the type that they want, the buyer must then consider the price that they are willing to pay. This way they can make a decision based on the telescope of their preference and the amount that they want to pay for it.

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