A popular question among amateur astronomers (and astrophotographers) is whether you should invest in a telescope or not. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer. There are many factors that come into play, such as your budget, your location and your desired outcome. You’ll want to talk to someone who has been in your shoes before to make the correct decision.
Beginners in astronomy and astrophotography may be eager to buy their first telescope to begin capturing images of the heavens. However, there is a lot to learn before getting started. In this guide, we will help you select a telescope that is suitable for your needs, what equipment to purchase, and what lenses to get for your setup.
If you have not started yet or are just getting into the hobby of telescope observing, do not hesitate. The telescopes in the list below are easy to use and affordable enough for any amateur. It is imperative that you understand that each instrument has strengths and weaknesses, some more than others. With patience and practice, you will get a feel for the right telescope for you!
As you embark on a journey of astronomy, it can seem that the stars are always out of reach. Even though the truth is that you don’t need a telescope to capture amazing photos of the universe, it can certainly make your life easier. If you’re a beginner to astrophotography, our beginner astrophotography equipment guide will show you everything you need for getting started with the hobby.
- 1 Reflecting vs. refractive telescopes
- 2 Telescopes for beginner astronomers: what to look for
- 3 Beginner telescopes need to be of a reasonable size
- 4 A telescope’s optics makes a difference even when you are only a novice astrophotographer
- 5 You can also test the focus and clarity of your lens by performing a “star test”
- 6 Magnification of the telescope is also essential for a beginner
- 7 Field of view of the telescope
- 8 Focal length of the telescope
- 9 The telescope’s optical resolution
- 10 Telescope Mount
Reflecting vs. refractive telescopes
Refracting telescopes collect light from the sky and direct it to a focal point using lenses. Typically, the image is created at the focal point, which is located at the back of the telescope. As a general rule, refractor telescopes are more difficult to use, but they are also extremely popular among amateur astronomers.
Reflecting telescopes, on the other hand, collect light by using a mirror instead of a lens. The mirror reflects light to the focal point, which is usually located at the front of the telescope.
In comparison to reflectors, refractor telescopes have the advantage that the focal point is very close to the eyepiece. You can therefore use smaller eyepieces, which are more convenient to handle.
The compact design of refractors is one of the primary reasons why they are so popular with amateur astronomers.
Refractors are typically less expensive than reflectors, but they are no longer as popular as they once were. They are not as easy to use as reflectors and do not provide the same wide-field of view as reflectors.
Telescopes for beginner astronomers: what to look for
A telescope is the heart of any amateur astronomer’s observing experience. It is the tool that you use to gather light from the sky, and then it directs it to your eyepiece.
When shopping for a telescope, there are several factors to consider.
Beginner telescopes need to be of a reasonable size
The size of the telescope is one of the most critical things to consider when purchasing a telescope for astrophotography. You should consider the size of the telescope in relation to your height and how you intend to use it.
It can be difficult to carry a telescope that is too large, especially when traveling long distances. You don’t want to carry a large telescope around if you’re not going to be using it often. A small telescope will limit your views of the sky.
Your budget is also important to consider when choosing a telescope. Larger telescopes are generally more expensive. The size of the telescope will also depend on the magnification level.
If you are looking for a wide-angle telescope, then you must go for the one which is bigger in size. You can also check the size of the telescope by looking at the size of its base or the diameter of the tube. It should be able to fit in your room.
A telescope’s optics makes a difference even when you are only a novice astrophotographer
One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a telescope is its optics. A telescope with a good lens will provide a better view of the sky than one with poor optics.
The quality of the telescope’s optics will also determine its price. The cost of a telescope with a good lens will be higher than a telescope with poor optics.
The image should be clear and sharp. If it is not, then the optics may not be as good as they should be.
You can also test the focus and clarity of your lens by performing a “star test”
Rotate the focus knob one way and the other. The disk of the star should appear the same on both sides. When the star disk is different on both sides, the scope will not be able to provide the best images.
There are several types of telescopes available for deep sky photography, depending on the optical system used.
For beginning astronomers, Dobsonian and Cassegrain telescopes are the two most common options. Dobsonian telescopes are easier to use and less expensive, however Cassegrain telescopes offer more power and performance in a more compact and elegant design.
Magnification of the telescope is also essential for a beginner
The magnification of a telescope determines the size of the object you are viewing.
Magnification is the ability of a lens to increase or decrease the size of an object. The size of an object can be magnified by 10 times when viewed through a 10x lens.
Field of view of the telescope
A telescope’s field of view is another important consideration. Consider the size of the field of view, as well as the number of stars you can view at once.
If you are new to astronomy, you may find it easier to use a telescope with a wide field of view. It will take you less time to align the telescope, and you will be able to observe more stars simultaneously.
Observing planets requires a wide field of view as well. If you have a telescope with a wide field of view, you will be able to see more planets.
Focal length of the telescope
The focal length is the distance between the objective lens and the eyepiece. It is measured in millimeters.
When choosing a focal length, it is important to consider how you intend to use the telescope. A longer focal length will be more beneficial if you plan to use it for astronomy. The focal length of the lens should be shorter if you plan to use it for photography.
A telescope with a longer focal length will allow you to see more in the sky. A disadvantage of this is that the telescope will be larger and heavier.
The telescope’s optical resolution
The optical resolution of a telescope is the ability to see the details of celestial objects through the lens. The lens of a telescope has a great impact on its optical resolution.
When purchasing a telescope for deep sky photography, it is also important to consider the mount of the telescope. Your mount will determine how well you can focus your telescope, which in turn will determine the quality of the image you will get.
By mounting the telescope on a tripod, you can also improve the image quality. You should be able to track objects for a long time with a mount that has a smooth motion and a wide range of motion.