You probably think that you can get the best telescope under $200 as long as you are willing to spend a fortune. That’s not the case. In reality, you don’t always have to spend a fortune to get a premium and quality telescopes. As long as you know what to do, finding the perfect one would be, at least, simpler.
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Types of Telescopes
Before we buy the best telescope for under $200, it is important to know the basic telescope types. In general, there are 3 different types of telescope. They share the same purpose and principle: to make far-away objects look brighter, bigger, and closer. However, each of them has different specifications and unique design.
- Refractors. This design has a lens located on the front side of the tube. The price is generally lower at first, but when the aperture increases, it can be quite expensive. This design offers apochromat with its better quality than the achromat.
- Reflectors. This one has a mirror located on the backside of the tube. The mirror will gather the light to help you see better. This type is generally inexpensive although you need to constantly adjust the optical alignment quite often. It’s good that the adjustment is pretty easy and straightforward.
- Catadioptric or Compound. This type has a combination of mirrors and lenses. The tubes are generally lightweight and compact. This type has two most popular designs: Maksutov-Cassegrains and Schmidt-Cassegrains.
Top 5 Picks Best Telescope Under 200 Dollars
This is a refractor telescope that can deliver a good image. The images are detailed and bright, has 102mm (4 inches) lens. Whether you want to enjoy celestial or land objects, the telescope is very convenient to use. Meade Infinity 102 comes with Alt-azimuth mount and also handy slow-motion control. The mount is easily adjusted, so it would be convenient to manage the setting. Also, has 3 eyepieces for the medium, high, and low magnification.
Another thing that most people like is the easy assembly process. It is very easy to use with clear optics. Viewing far away objects is amazing and quite fun too. The slow-motion controller is very handy and the overall construction is stable. This would be a perfect pick if you are a beginner user and yet you want to have one of the best telescopes every designed – without burning a hole in your pocket.
The glass optical components are excellent and they are fully coated. The result is improved clarity and brightness. Not to mention that the telescope also comes with the PLOSSL eyepiece (2 of them) which is known for the quality. The eyepiece has a bigger field of view and has pupil distance – perfect for all magnifications.
Most people like the easy setup and assemble. Even if you are new to this, you can fix everything easily. Does it mean that the telescope is suitable for the kids? You bet it does! They can learn a lot about space and they can develop their interest in astronomy. The telescope comes with equatorial mount with its own two cables (for slow-motion control) enabling you to make easy pointing adjustment within the Declination and R.A modes. The tripod is sturdy and tough. It is adjustable and durable, made from aluminum construction offering a stable platform. You can even attach an extra tray for temporary use – but it should be small. In the end, you can have an enjoyable time with the telescope – you can even take pictures if you want to! No wonder if the telescope is claimed as the best budget telescope.
If you want to enjoy the city view or you want to take a closer look at the celestial objects, this refractor device can help. The telescope has 80mm of the lens, which makes it very perfect and suitable to enjoy the night sky. This device is released as a compact package, which means that you can use it on the go. However, don’t underestimate it because it comes packing – in a complete manner.
Orion Observer 80ST can produce bright and sharp wide-field views in the greatest quality. Can you see the Milky Way? Yes, you can! You can observe the star clusters, the moon, and even the galaxies and nebulas. The device is also coming with equatorial mount and also tripod (with adjustable height) to enable slow motion and smooth movement. It gives you the chance to track objects in the sky.
A word of advice, though. You can see celestial objects brightly and in detail, but don’t get your hopes too high. Remember that the aperture is only 80mm which means that you won’t be able to seep Pluto (although you can see the Saturn’s ring quite well). But then again, it gives you somewhat a serene feeling of enjoying the night sky. And another thing: the image is mirrored – left becomes right and right becomes left.
If you are looking for a reliable refractor telescope, AstroMaster 90AZ would be a perfect piece to own. You can use it for the long-range scope as well as the device in astronomy. The telescope is big so it is more suitable as the adult telescope. If you are going to buy one for your kids, be sure to accompany them. It is heavy (around 20 pounds) and it can reach five feet in height.
The telescope is accompanied by several eyepieces. The low one is the 20mm with 50x magnification while the high one is the 10mm with 100x magnification. Can you see the images clearly? Yes, you will definitely enjoy the night sky. It has an alt-azimuth mount and also a sturdy tripod. Doing the assembly would be a piece of cake! The telescope feels solid and sturdy, so you will have tons of a great time with it.
This is a telescope that is great for astronomical and terrestrial use. The glass optical components are fully coated – with the high-quality transmission coatings – for enhanced clarity and brightness for the image. The package comes with low and high power eyepieces, and also cellphone eyepiece adapter mounts that is just ideal for photography.
As the best telescope under $200, the device comes with an equatorial mount that is packed with slow-motion control. It is super fun to use! The setup is quick and you don’t need any professional tool – or technical abilities. The slow-motion control also offers smooth use and tracking – very handy for astronomy viewing.
Several people have problems with sloppy and loose joints even after everything they have done to tighten everything. If you have done your best, contact the seller immediately. It is possible that you get the defect products. Most of those who don’t get the defect products claim that the quality is just superb – more than offered by the price.
Best Telescope Buying Guide
A telescope isn’t exactly a cheap device. Even if it is the cheapest one in the line, you still need to spend some money – and for some people, it can be a lot. It doesn’t hurt to pay some extra attention to these particular technical matters so you can get the best telescope within your budget and not regret your spending.
- Aperture. It is the diameter of the lens (or mirror) that is responsible for gathering the light. In general, the telescope should have 70mm or 2.8 inches, at least. If you can find a bigger aperture, you can see farther objects with finer details.
- Focal length and power (or magnification). It is the focal length that is divided by the eyepiece. For instance, a telescope with 500mm focal length and 25mm eyepiece has 20x magnification (500 divided by 25).
- Size. It is related to the aperture. As it was mentioned before, the bigger the aperture, the better (and clearer) the view will be. However, the decision to buy the telescope should be based on other elements, such as: how are you going to use the telescope? Will you travel with it quite often? Do you have a storage for the telescope and what kind? Can the telescope fit in your car? Having a big telescope (with big aperture) enables to see farther and better, but if you won’t be able to store it, set it up, or even lift it easily and conveniently, then what’s the point of having such a big device?
- Eyepiece. It would be a good idea to choose a telescope that is packaged with the eyepieces. However, don’t be too surprised if the eyepieces aren’t good in quality. The solution? Find your eyepieces.
- Mount options. The alt-azimuth is the most popular pick because it is direct, straightforward, and easy to use. It is also sturdy so it is good for heavier telescopes. However, it isn’t very good for long (exposure) astrophotography and tracking the skies can be difficult. The equatorial mount, on the other hand, is very convenient and precise for sky tracking. However, it isn’t for beginners because of the tricky construction. It is not good for a bigger telescope either and it can be quite costly.
There you have it, the best picks for a powerful telescope. Check each of the best telescopes under $200 and you should be able to pick one.