Astronomy is a fascinating science, so it is no wonder that so many people want to learn the secrets of planets and the cosmos. One of the first steps on this journey is to purchase a telescope, but many beginners ask how much is a telescope? Many people assume that all telescopes are large and cost thousands of dollars, but this is far from the truth. There are plenty of great telescopes for beginners and professionals that don’t cost a fortune but have a lot of features. In this guide, I collected helpful information on five great telescopes and what factors influence their cost, making it easier for you to decide.
5 Best Telescopes Reviewed
How much is a good telescope? The answer depends on a range of characteristics, and a good telescope means different things for professionals and beginners. To get a telescope that won’t disappoint, you should consider various factors, such as its aperture, materials, optics, and other features. Here you will find five great telescopes for novice astronomers and those with experience.
1. Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ — a top-pick telescope for beginner astronomers
I firmly believe that beginners should purchase a telescope that will be affordable and boost their interest in astronomy even more. Get a high-quality telescope, such as PowerSeeker 127EQ from Celestron, if you want to achieve it. This model is robust and affordable, making it ideal for those who want to get into astronomy.
The telescope uses a Newtonian reflector, relying on mirrors to get the images. Because it has mirrors instead of lenses, it is such a budget-friendly option. This model has a 127mm making it a good choice for beginners. It is possible to see the mood in a lot of detail, and the telescope allows you to see close planets and nebulas. The telescope is made from high-quality materials and has two eyepieces — 200mm and 4mm, which offer excellent magnification of up to x250. This model also comes with a 3x Barlow lens, ensuring triple magnification for eyepieces. A significant advantage of this telescope is its compact size and lightweight, making it suitable for children.
- The telescope is mount-ready when you purchase it;
- Affordable cost makes it ideal for beginners;
- It offers a magnification of up to 300x and even more with the Barlow lens;
- Provides clear images;
- Reliable construction.
- Minor aberration caused by a spherical mirror.
2. Gaterda 70x700mm — a runner-up telescope for beginners
Another interesting telescope that beginners may want to consider is a 70×700 model created by Gaterda. The first thing to say about this telescope, which makes it a good option for beginners, is that it’s easy to set up and use. When I received this model, I didn’t have to go through a complicated assembly, so this is a bonus for novice astronomers.
Despite being an affordable telescope, this model doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the image you get. You can see everything in high definition thanks to the 45° zenith lens and the objective lens that has been thoroughly coated. Two eyepieces are included in the kit of this telescope. The first one is 25mm, and the second one is 10mm. Barlow lens is also present and provides the magnification of 3x, so there are no issues in this department.
I like that this telescope has a red dot finder, which is a great feature for beginners to locate stars a lot faster.
- Easy-to-use model for beginners;
- Quick installation that doesn’t require special tools;
- It has a red dot finder feature;
- A lightweight model;
- It comes with two eyepieces and the Barlow lens.
- The tripod is slightly wobbly on uneven surfaces.
3. SOLOMARK 130EQ — an excellent telescope for professional astronomers
This is another reflector-type telescope on the list suitable for intermediate and professional astronomers. The first thing to mention about this telescope is its large aperture of 130mm, which means that it can capture a lot of light and offer a clear image. The optics of this telescope allow you to observe the Moon and planets, such as Mars and Saturn. The aperture offers the maximum magnification of x260 which is a significant number for a telescope.
It is also important to mention the accessories that come with this telescope. SOLOMARK 130EQ includes two Kellner eyepieces, 20mm and 10mm. Similar to most modern telescopes, it also comprises a Barlow lens. In this case, the magnification is x1.5.
I also like this telescope because it’s lightweight, so you can take it to look at the skies outside without any problems. One thing to note about this telescope is that it requires setting up after purchasing it, but the process is not overly complicated. Overall, this is a great affordable telescope that will be useful for many astronomers.
- A lightweight model that is perfect for traveling;
- It comes with all the necessary accessories;
- It provides a clear and bright image;
- It has a large aperture.
- Re-aligning mirrors may take some time, especially for beginners.
4. SOLOMARK 80EQ – a powerful refractor telescope for intermediate users
Another telescope that I decided to include in this review and consider an excellent option for intermediate users is SOLOMARK 80EQ. This telescope comes with a German Equatorial Mount, making it easier for astronomers to keep track of stars and objects in the sky. Like other telescopes in this review, this one is lightweight and relatively compact, so you won’t have problems taking it to the mountains or a field.
All the essential accessories are present when you buy this telescope. This includes a 20mm eyepiece, a 10mm eyepiece, an x1.5 Barlow lens, and a cellphone mount, which is also a helpful feature. I was watching Saturn one night using this telescope, and it provided a clear image of its rings, so you can imagine how detailed you can see the Moon. The telescope also has a practical 13%T Moon Filter, which prevents too much light from getting in to see everything more clearly. It is a great-quality telescope from a reliable brand, evident in all the details.
- It has a large aperture;
- It comes with a 13%T Moon Filter;
- Features a German EQ mount;
- An easy-to-use model with all the accessories.
- The case is not included in the kit.
5. Gskyer 600x90mm — an easy-to-use telescope for intermediate astronomers
The telescope from Gskyer is another one that deserves to be mentioned. This model has a 90mm aperture that ensures enough light to provide a clear image. I used it in different conditions and it provided escellent results. You will get 24x, 60x, and 120x eyepieces when buying this telescope. There is enough magnification with the 3x Barlow lens to ensure that you see the details when you look at the skies.
The tripod of this telescope is adjustable, so you can make sure you get the best viewing angle. I was surprised by how easy this telescope is to set up. You won’t have to use any special tools, so it’s easy and quick, even if you do this for the first time. This is a good telescope that allows you to see major planets with minor aberrations.
- Reliable and stable telescope;
- Comes with replaceable eyepieces;
- Has fully coated optic lens;
- Easy to use and set up.
- The manual is useless for setting up this telescope.
Telescope Buyer’s Guide
How much is a starter telescope? If you want to have the best experience getting into astronomy, having an appropriate telescope is a must. Here are some factors you should consider before investing in a telescope.
What Factors Influence the Cost of a Telescope?
There are a lot of factors that influence how much a telescope will cost. They include:
- A larger aperture increases the cost of a telescope
- Telescopes that use lenses are more expensive than those with mirrors
- Quality of accessories (eyepiece, focuser, etc.)
- Durability of materials
- The focal length
- The brand
What Is Considered a Good Telescope?
A good telescope can look completely different at different stages of your astronomy journey. For beginners, a great telescope will differ significantly from a professional one, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad. A telescope should be appropriate for your needs and have the features you will use.
It is always best to choose a telescope from a reputable brand to be sure that it’s made from high-quality materials and will last you for years.
What Is the Price of a Good Telescope?
How much is a decent telescope? As you can imagine, there is a significant difference in pricing when we talk about professionals and beginners. Not all people interested in astronomy are immediately ready to spend thousands of dollars on a telescope. The good price of a telescope depends on who will use it, so here are some general guidelines.
Do you ask yourself — how much is a cheap telescope for beginners? You may have already seen telescopes sold for less than $100. As you can imagine, this price is too low to give you a telescope that will provide any decent results. In 2022, a reasonable price for a beginner telescope is around $200 to $500. Manual models tend to be cheaper than computerized ones, but you should be prepared to learn manual tracking.
Many people interested in astronomy are in the intermediate stage of their journey. They are far from professionals, but not beginners as well. A good telescope for such astronomers costs from $500 to $1000. Intermediate users can purchase even more expensive options, but it all depends on your budget and whether you want to become a professional.
How much is a professional telescope? Seasoned astronomers have access to many telescope models, and the only limitation is a budget. Some may be willing to spend more to get exclusive features, while others may be satisfied with the more basic ones. Professional telescopes can cost anywhere from $1500 up to $10,000.
FAQ on Best Telescopes
All beginner astronomers have many questions about how to use a telescope and choose it, so here are answers to some common ones.
How much is a telescope that can see Saturn?
It is possible to see rings with the cheapest telescope with x25 magnification. To see more details, you need an intermediate-level telescope that costs around $300-$500.
How much is a telescope to see the Moon?
It is possible to see the Moon using the most affordable telescopes. If you are willing to splurge, you will get a more detailed image of the Moon. However, you can still see many details using a beginner telescope that costs $200-$400.
How much is a telescope that can see planets?
The price depends on how detailed the image will be and how far the planets that you want to see are, but it is possible to see some planets when using a telescope that costs $200-$300.
Begin your astronomy journey with a great telescope
Most people interested in astronomy google ‘how much is a really good telescope,’ which makes sense, as a telescope can make or break your astronomy experience. Getting the cheapest telescope is not the best idea, even for beginners, because it will simply be useless. There are plenty of affordable telescopes for beginner astronomers, and, in my opinion, Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ is a great choice. It is durable, made by a reputable brand, provides a clear image, and has valuable features for beginners.
Have you had any experience with the mentioned telescopes? Do you have other favorites? Share your thoughts in the comments below.