Our guide to buying the right telescope for you
There are lots of telescopes available on the market, and for the beginner, selecting one can be a bewildering experience. Selecting a telescope for both astronomy and land viewing will usually be a compromise. However, once you have decided on the telescope’s main purpose, choosing one can become much easier.
If you have decided that your telescope will be used primarily for observing the night sky, the instrument required does not necessarily need to give a right side up image and is not required to focus on nearby objects. With the exception of the moon, planets and close star clusters, interesting night sky objects are faint, in fact most are very faint.
As a new observer you may be mainly interested in viewing the moon and planets, and if this is the case, a telescope with a small objective (primary mirror or lens) may be sufficient. However, most observers quickly graduate to galaxies, nebulae, globular clusters, open clusters etc. To view these objects you will require a telescope with the largest aperture that is possible for your circumstances, which will include things like cost, weight, portability, etc.
Newtonian reflector telescopes are a popular choice for astronomical use because they have the lowest cost per inch of aperture. Observation of faint deep sky objects, such as nebulae and galaxies, can be achieved at a relatively reasonable cost by reflectors having mirror diameters of 150 to 200mm (6 to 8 inches). Refractor telescopes are good for achieving high power and contrast when viewing the planets and the moon. They have a reputation of providing crisp, sharp-quality images. Since they are virtually maintenance free, they are easy to operate, but due to high costs for the large aperture scopes, most beginners will choose a Newtonian reflector as a first scope for all round astronomy.
Short-tube refractors are now another low cost option for beginners. Their smaller size makes them an excellent choice for a portable telescope and the beautiful wide-field star vistas which they provide, are great for learning your way around the night sky. Astronomy can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to start enjoying the night sky without a lot of expensive equipment. In fact you may aready own a pair of binoculars which is a great way to enjoy the sky. For a few dollars you can get a planisphere, a sort of rotatable star map that can show you the positions of the constellation and major stars in the sky for a given date and time. You can go to the public library or explore the internet for all kinds of information about astronomy and celestial events. There are pitfalls when starting out with astronomy.
Many department and toy stores sell small refractors (usually 50-60mm) that advetise 500, 700 or 1000 POWER! They have colorful space images on the box. These should be avoided. They can become an exercise in frustration, with their inadequate optics and shaky mounts. It’s best to start simply. Find a local astronomy club if available. Astronomy Clubs are great places to learn and to meet people who can answer your questions. Also find a reputable store that sell telescopes. Ask the folks at the astronomy clubs who they recommend. Start learning the sky with your eyes or with a pair of binoculars.
As you start to learn about telescopes and astronomy, you’ll discover that “Aperture” is more important than “Power” and a surprisingly large aperture telescope, like a “Dobsonian Telescope”, can bought with relatively little expense. A telescope provides a very narrow view of the sky, typically around one degree and can provide a lot of aperture and magnification. Binoculars can provide wider views of the sky, around 4-10 degress and have the advantages of using both eyes.
ASTRO DAVE RECOMMENDS……..
Ok, you’re new to all this and you just want to buy a telescope to poke around the sky. You don’t want confusion – heck, all this is confusing enough if you’ve got this far! You don’t want to get ripped off, or worse, pay too much for a telescope with features you’ll never use, right?
Look, I”ve been there, it’s worse than trying to find a good used car with no mechanical knowledge. SO, with all this in mind I’ve taken the bull by the horns and put together this ‘recommened list’ of telescopes to suit most levels and most age groups. Remember, this is just a guide, it’s impossible to tailor one specifically for you, but we’ll come mighty close! There are hundreds of telescopes out there,
BUT it’s a guide based on 40 years of experience and 40 years of consoling many Dads who’ve come to me after Xmas with an el-cheapo scope that won’t work, wobbles in the breeze and has lousy optics. (it’s usually a department store special) and he wants me to “fix it.” Uh Uh! Can’t do! Dad’s dejected because he’s tried to do the right thing, the kid’s lip is on the ground and the scope ends up in a garage sale a few years later selling for a fraction of what it cost. The hardest thing to sell is a used telescope!
As a beginner amateur astronomer, you may feel overwhelmed trying to choose the best starter telescope. The enormously wide range of telescope kits available in the market may add to your confusion. Try to learn at least something of the night sky with your very first telescope, regardless of its inferiority before you upgrade.
You can use practically any telescope, even a terrestrial spotting scope, in conjunction with a star map and binoculars to learn how to star hop. Your first telescope will not be your last telescope and you should not expect it to be. Do not buy a first telescope expecting it to satisfy your observing needs for the rest of your life. As nice as that would be, it is an unrealistic expectation. Learn how telescopes, eyepieces and mounts work. Learn how to quickly align your mount, at least close enough for casual visual observation.
Alignment is not difficult and should not take a lot of time. Achieve this modest level of expertise before you upgrade to an intermediate level telescope, so that you can make an informed decision. I highly recommend the following makes and models. As always, need advice or information on your scope? Email me email@example.com
HERE’S MY GUIDE TO ‘BUYING AND USING TELESCOPES’
This page will help guide you through your beginning steps. It”s the full guide to choosing a telescope, what to look at, how and where to buy, etc. This will give you a BIG head start - THEN come back here to look at a some examples of telescopes to buy. You”ll find a number of ideas to help you enjoy your hobby more so CLICK HERE
Special Offer – Not Available In Stores!
We are Specialists – Not Just a Salesperson In a Shop. Now, all these scopes are available from me and delivery is quick. Full warranties and guarantees apply PLUS you get FREE membership to my ‘advice/help’ line where I’ll answer your astro questions or supply good advice. A FREE newsletter is alo available if you want it (sign up on my home page) and every order gets a FREE astronomy DVD (while stocks last). NB/ As a lot of these telescopes are imported prices are occasionally subject to change due to exchange rate variations. I’ll advise if this is the case .OK. What are we waiting for .. let’s go.
Our SalesPages Are Set In 3 Levels
BEGINNER – INTERMEDIATE – ADVANCED
Level 1 – Beginner: Telescopes suited for beginners are easy to set-up, use and maintain. Very good optical and mechanical quality. A great first telescope that will show you the moon, planets, star clusters and nebulae. Great for families, young people and folks who don’t want to mess with equipment, but just want to take a look. The refractor versions are good for land use, including whale watching!
Level 2 – Intermediate: Telescopes for the intermediate user are more robust in features and performance. Excellent quality in optics and mechanics, but more complex in use than Level 1 telescopes. They typically take slightly longer to set-up because of the addded features but well wortth it. An intermediate telescope will allow an enthusiast to “grow” in the hobby. The refractor versions in this level are good for land use too including whale watching!
Level 3 – Advanced: Advanced telescopes are high performance, with exceptionaly fine optics and mechanics. They may require a longer set-up time and more skill to master and appreciate. Some advanced telescopes are easy-to-use, but large and heavy. Technically inclined folks will love these scopes. An advanced telescope is a purchase for a lifetime. Excellent for astro-photography work as well.
709EQ – 70mm Refracting Telescope System
A great beginners telescope. I love these scopes – always have!
The Saxon 709EQ Special Package 70mm Refractor Telescope system has a 900mm focal length and focal ratio of f/13 for excellent high power views of both terrestrial and celestial objects.
Well suited to the beginner level astronomer looking for a flexible & powerful starter telescope.
The Saxon 709EQ Special Package 70mm Refractor Telescope system features a durable German Equatorial mount with slow motion controls for tracking ease and sturdy aluminium tripod.
Includes image upright diagonal and interchangeable eyepieces for a variety of magnification options.
The Saxon 709EQ Special Package 70mm Refractor Telescope system is easy to assemble – all needed tools are included with the system – and easy to transport!
Complete Package - $244.70 Regular Price:
Delivery: For a no obligation free quote please email me with your scope choice and a contact number Here
1149EQ – 114mm Reflecting Telescope System
Australia’s best value beginner Equatorially mounted telescope
Specifications • Aperture 114mm • Focal ratio f7.9 • Focal length 900mm • Premium parabolic glass primary mirror 114mm • Premium quality optical capability • Mount type – Premium EQ Dual axis Equatorial • Eyepieces – Premium (25mm & 10mm) interchangeable full sized eyepieces • Rack and pinion focuser – 1.25 inch • Finderscope – 5 X 24mm High Quality • High magnification capability • Robust & durable system design
Premium components • Extra strong heavy duty Equatorial mount • Very easy to assemble (tools included with system) Usability • Easy to operate and find dozens of stellar objects • Best value introductory capability telescope in Australia. Range of Accessories: • Additional eyepieces, Colour filters, Lunar filters, Camera adaptors:
Highlights: • Exceptional value for money • High performance equatorial mount • Maximum capability per dollar spent you will get in ANY beginner equatorial reflecting telescope. Total customer support. See pic above, this is an excellent starter telescope. See the giant planets such as Jupiter and Saturn and their moons, nebulae and clusters.
The 114mm Reflector Telescope is a fantastic telescope for the beginning amateur astronomer. Users of this telescope get a great experience of watching the night sky without needing to pay high up front costs associated with more expensive telescopes.
The Telescope has a 114mm (4½”) objective diameter that captures a nice amount of light for viewing the night sky.
It also has a 900mm focal length with smooth rack and pinion focuser. A longer focal length allows for great views of many celestial objects particularly in dark sky environments. This telescope also has the benefits of gathering 125% more light than a 76mm telescope and 165% more than a 70mm refractor.
Delivery: For a no obligation free quote please email me with your scope choice and a contact number Here
1309 EQ2 – 5.2 inch Reflecting Telescope System
Saxon 1309 EQ2 – One of Australia’s best value Equatorially mounted telescope
Specifications • Aperture 130mm (5.2 inch) • Focal ratio f6.9 • Focal length 900mm • Quality parabolic glass primary mirror 130mm • High quality optical capability • Mount type – Quality EQ2 Equatorial mount •
Eyepieces – Premium (25mm & 10mm) interchangeable full sized eyepieces • Rack and pinion focuser – 1.25 inch • Finderscope – 5 X 24mm (Premium quality) High Quality • High magnification capability • Robust & durable system design
Premium components • Heavy duty Equatorial mount • Very easy to assemble (tools included with system) • 5 Magnifications X 24mm size finderscope
Usability: Easy to operate and find dozens of stellar objects • Best value introductory capability telescope in Australia –
Range of Accessories • Additional eyepieces, Colour filters, Lunar filters, Camera adaptors.
Highlights: Exceptional value for money • High performance equatorial mount • Maximum capability per dollar spent you will get in ANY intermediate equatorial reflecting telescope • Made by global leading brand Saxon.
OPTIONAL – Motorised drive for Equatorial mount with hand controller & battery pack (Shown in pic)
$339.00 AU Regular Price: $ 695.00
Want Something A Lot More Powerful For Your First Scope? Try This…
909AZ3 – 90mm Refracting Telescope System
You Will Not Buy A Telescope Like This For This Price Anywhere!!!!!
As is the case with most amateur astronomers I began my hobby with a 60mm “department store junk” refractor. It was small and of average quality but in the end it was the only telescope I had and it did its job well. Showing me loads of nebula, the rings of Saturn and the bold bands of Jupiter, that little scope opened up the Universe to me. When I finally got the chance to replace it I jumped at it and went for a 90mm …. like this one.
Upgraded Special Package – Are you looking for a great telescope for an older child or beginning astronomer? Do you want a telescope that works for both views of the stars or on land? How about a low maintenance, easy-to-use telescope? Then take a closer look at the Saxon 909AZ3 – 90mm Refractor Telescope System!
The Saxon 90mm Refractor Telescope isn’t a toy. It’s a good quality refractor telescope with an aluminium body and a multi-coated achromatic objective lens. It has a 900mm focal length and operates with a f/10 focal ratio – meaning it is capable of sharp, high magnification views. It employs a simple Alt-Az mount with slow motion controls for tracking your subject matter and it sits atop a quality, adjustable aluminium tripod. What’s more? You get a host of quality accessories such as a 45 degree erecting prism (excellent for terrestrial viewing), 25mm and 10mm Super eyepieces, quality 6×30 finderscope for easy location of objects, standard 1.25″ rack and pinion focuser, accepted T-2 adapter ring for SLR cameras, dewcap/ sunshade. Now that’s a deal…
Saxon 909AZ3 – 90mm Refracting Telescope System Features…
* Features Saxon AZ3 Alt-Az mount with slow motion controls
* Quality adjustable height aluminium tripod with accessory tray
* Steel telescope body and a multi-coated achromatic objective lens
* 45 degree angle erecting prism for terrestrial viewing
* Larger 6×30 finderscope for easy location of objects
* 1.25″ rack and pinion focuser
* Accessories include two quality eyepieces, dewcap/ sunshade
What can you expect to see with a Saxon 909AZ3 – 90mm Refractor Telescope? You’ll love your views of the Moon! You’ll explore deep craters and tall mountains – as well as follow bright rays across the lunar surface. Jupiter will show its equatorial zones and the waltz of the Galiean moons. Saturn will show it has a ring system and you’ll spy Titan. Mars, when close, will show dark patches on its surface. You can even follow the phases of Venus and Mercury, too! If you’re interested in deep sky objects, then you’ll enjoy bright star clusters and nebula – all are within the reach of the Saxon 90mm refractor telescope!
Do you want to take a closer look at wildlife? Maybe you’re interested in enjoying distant scenery or want to keep watch on a remote area. The Saxon 909AZ3 is up to the task. The included 45 degree angled prism works equally well for celestial or terrestrial applications and will give you an “image correct” view.
INCLUDING FACTORY BACKED 3 YEAR WARRANTY!
This 90mm scope has 65% more light gathering power than a 70mm AND up to 28% more light grasp than an 80mm model, for just a few dollars more. Now you know why they sell like hotcakes!! (Warning – this telescope will get you ‘hooked’ on astronomy).
This telescope is under promotion – other dealers have it ‘discounted’ for around $549.00 at the moment!
*This model is fitted with a Heavy Duty AZ3 Altazimuth mount with dual axis manual controls for doing terrestrial spotting work (ships on the bay, mountains in the distance, etc) and actual stargazing.
Delivery: For a no obligation free quote please email me with your scope choice and a contact number Here
. Saxon Dob 6″ – 152mm Reflecting Telescope System
150mm (6 inch) aperture Newtonian, 1200mm Focal length
Specifications • Aperture 152mm • Focal ratio f7.9 • Focal length 1200mm • Premium parabolic primary mirror 152mm • Premium quality optical capability • Mount type – Ultra easy to use high quality Dobsonian mount • Eyepieces – Quality (25mm & 10mm) interchangeable full sized eyepieces • Premium rack & pinion 2 inch – including 1.25 inch adaptor • Finderscope – 6 X 30mm high quality
Premium Quality • High magnification capability • Robust & durable system design
Premium components • Extra heavy duty Dobsonian mount • Very easy to assemble (tools included with system) • Quality 30mm size finderscope – enhanced deep space performance
Easy to operate and find dozens of stellar objects • Best value introductory/ intermediate capability telescope in Australia
Range of Accessories • Additional eyepieces, Colour filters, Lunar filters, Camera adaptors.Total customer support. Service centre is located in Melbourne so no worries about service, advice, backup! The mounting is Dobsonian and is particularly suitable for beginners or for those more advanced astronomers wanting the simplest most trouble free mounting arrangement. The telescope is robust, light weight, easy to manoeuvre and simple to transport, fitting in the average car easily. It shows all types of astronomical objects, planets, nebulae, open clusters, globular clusters, stars and galaxies.
Highlights • Outstanding value for a first telescope • Introductory to Intermediate performance capability • Exceptional value for money. • Ultra easy to use mount – easiest operation of any mount available • Maximum performance per dollar spent you will get in ANY introductory to Intermediate capable telescope • Made by global leading brand Saxon.
The SAXON Dobsonian 6″ Reflector Telescope is a powerful telescope which allows you to see further into the nightsky without bursting your budget. They are one of the Best First Time User’s Telescope as they give the most value. This is due to its unique design, whereby the majority of the product cost goes into its high-quality lens. They are one of the more expensive to manufacture because of the quality of glass, and the need for well matched convex and concave lenses to prevent internal reflections. Set up is a lot easier compared to tripod-based models. Simply mount the main unit on the base and you’re good to go.
* INCLUDING FACTORY BACKED 3 YEAR WARRANTY
(* Dobsonian review by a new purchaser Click here)
LOOKING FOR BINOCULARS
Suitable For Astronomy?
The best type are 7×50. These are the ones we not only sell and recommend.. but we use ‘em too! The clarity is superb and the quality perfect!
What you’ll see is literally outa this world!
Premium Quality – Standard size 50mm. Easy to hold, comfortable eye relief, attaches to camera tripod for stability, suited for day/ night use, well made.
Specifications • Magnifications 7 X • Speciality application – Waterproof & Weatherproof • Nitrogen filled – Weather proof operation • Nitrogen filled – Maximum optical capability • Premium quality multi coated optics • Premium quality Rubber armoured body • Includes connection for tripod adaptor • Outstanding visual and mechanical capability • Premium Bak 4 prisms • Suitable for Bay views, Birding, Astronomy & Sporting
Exclusive features of Saxon 7X50BWP • Upgraded Nitrogen filling for Waterproof premium performance • The Do All binocular – Upgraded Optical performance for every application
High Quality • Nitrogen filled for maximum performance • High resolving power Premium components • Heavy duty robust & durable rubber armoured body • Very easy to operate • Including tripod connection capability (fits standard tripods)
Usability • Easy to operate and locate objects • High optical power 7X Magnifications X 50mm lens size
Highlights • Exceptional value for money • Exceptionally easy to use • Maximum performance per dollar spent you will get in ANY premium binocular • Made by global leading brand Saxon
SPECIAL PRICE: $196.70 - INCLUDING FACTORY BACKED WARRANTY
Delivery: For a no obligation free quote please email me with your contact number Here
* * All About Binoculars: Want to know a lot more about binoculars? Find out what makes ‘em tick and how to choose the ones you feel are right for you. This is very comprehensive and will definitely explain everything for you in pretty simple terms.
** Look At This !!!
Brass 80mm Refracting telescope system
* Globally recognised premium Saxon Quality * Superb Brass telescope, complete with even Brass eyepieces * 80mm (3.4 inch) aperture, 900mm Focal length * Excellent feature display unit
PLUS excellent optical & mechanical performance * Multi coated optics, erect image operation including Premium quality interchangeable full sized eyepiece * Brass 30mm finderscope
(Please contact me for delivery details)
INCLUDING FACTORY BACKED 3 YEAR WARRANTY
Regular Price: $ 1,999.00
We’ve explained how to get into astronomy and buy your first telescope. Now we’re going to take things to the next level and get you drooling about bigger and better telescopes. If you’re serious about astronomy, what kinds of telescopes will give you the best bang for your hard earned bucks?
Now GO TO: Intermediate level telescopes