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Best telescope for beginners

15 Jun, 2019 16:31
Hello everybody!

As the topic tells, what is the best telescope for beginners, especially if you want to view galaxies and nebulae? I'm new to this, that's why I want to learn how to imaging and study space with a good telescope.
Thanks in advance!

15 Jun, 2019 21:22
You get the biggest opening with Newton scope for the money and they usually have a bigger focus plan.Personally, I myself have Skywatcher pds 150/750 and is quite excellent starting scope which is priced around 200-250 euros.Hope you can use it for something.
15 Jun, 2019 22:34
I agree with Morian regarding the Newtonian. Best bang for your buck for a beginning visual scope.
I would also suggest, if you were going to get a decent size Newt, to probably go with a Dobsonian mount. They are very simple and easy to use.
There is literally no learning curve. No knobs or dials….just point and look. Good times.
16 Jun, 2019 04:38
You also mentioned imaging . Visual and imaging are really two different subjects.    I've been involved in astronomy for many years and won't comment on visual recommendations because my new focus is learning astrophotography. What's best for imaging is what's best for you and what you want to do, and your access to dark skies, where you will image from, time you can spend imaging, etc. There's a lot of considerations.

If you don't want a big scope to start with, a small refractor might be a good option for learning how to image. I began imaging with a William Optics Z61mm refractor. It's very small and it's been a great wide field scope for learning how to image nebulae and galaxies. I've since started moving my aperture up to a 100mm refractor, but wouldn't part with my Z61 because I like like too much.  It's forgiving to use and doesn't break the bank.  You can get them used for 300-350 with a field flattener.

As I was advised, and I'm glad I listened, if you're at all serious about astrophotography, start with a good mount you can grow with.  You might want to reach out to a local astronomy club and see how things are done because it's a real personal and financial commitment, even at the beginner level.  If you can do it, it's a lot of fun and a great learning experience.
16 Jun, 2019 07:11
150/750 is a good advice, but don't forget you need a good precise mount. Here a EQ5 is reasonable. The belt driven Pro are better.
For deep space photography you need exposure times around 4 Minutes, and while this time the tracking must be perfect.

16 Jun, 2019 08:19
Okay I've been reading all of your post and done some research but I haven't decided which scope and mount I should start with get. It's between the Skywatcher pds 150/750, Newtonian and the William Optics Z61mm refractor.
Otherwise, thanks for all the answers. I truly appreciate it smile
Edited 16 Jun, 2019 11:23
16 Jun, 2019 10:39
I agree regarding the newtonian, this will be a good allrounder to start with. But keep looking at your astro-budget overall, because the scope isn't the only thing you will need. A good mount is more essential than a good scope in my experience (Siegfried mentioned the EQ5 (Pro) which is a good one for a medium sized newtonian). For visual you will also need eyepieces, which can be expensive too.

Make a list what you need and how much money you want to spend. Sometimes it is surprisingly that all the smaller things you need sum up to a not so small price :-)
Edited 16 Jun, 2019 13:26
17 Jun, 2019 01:45
Hi  Caroline,

As Tom said, visual observing and imaging require very different equipment and knowledge. You may like to plan your journey into astronomy by steps.

First,  spend some nights under the skies learning to identify the constellations and the brightest stars, using a planisphere . Then,  with the help of the Pocket Sky Atlas (or similar), go to a dark sky location carrying binoculars and practice finding deep sky objects.  You will never regret this time! If you discovered that the cold of the night is not enough to stop you, then borrow a good dobsonian and go for watching star clusters, galaxies and nebulae in a dark location. You will be amazed how your abilities and capacity to distinguish faint objects will evolve with time and practice.  Contact an astronomy club nearby, they will be happy  to assist you.

Now you must decide if you want to pursue investing into a larger dob or start making images (or both)! If you opt for imaging, start simple.  Instead of beginning with a refractor, I suggest using a prime lens, like the Canon 50mm  f/1.8 and a DSLR  camera like the Rebel T3i, which you could buy  used in good condition.  They could be used to make short exposures of the Milky Way with a fixed tripod, and you could combine them with astrophotography software, like APT or Backyard EOS.   Learn how to use those softwares, and learn the basics of astrophotography processing.  This is really important.  Learn how to process images using PixInsight. Buy Keller's book "Inside PixInsight". Read a lot. Ask your colleagues. Visit sites like

The  EQ5 mount suggestion mentioned above is an excellent choice, along with an autoguider setup, but they are expensive, and you can wait until you gain more experience with your camera and processing the images you had acquired. Don't start with a refractor, start with a prime telephoto lens, like the Samyang 135mm f/2 or the Canon 200mm f/2.8. They are much easier to use and will produce excellent results, and you will never get tired of using them.  I have the iOptron SkyTracker that works well with the 135mm lens.

Good luck!
17 Jun, 2019 04:56
Thanks a lot Duczmal!  smile
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