Telescopes can be expensive and if you’re not sure if this is the right hobby for your self there is no need to spend big bucks on something that will be collecting dust in the corner from a few weeks from now, it is also advisable that you start of with a relatively entry level scope, as it is more important to understand the basic functions and how’s of a telescope.
In this article I cover what I feel are the Best Telescopes for under $300 and the most affordable telescopes these won’t have all the gps, tracking and computerised functions that the higher end models feature, but trustfully you don’t need them to enjoy a pleasant evening watching the night sky, you might find that you’ll be keeping these models for a lifetime and never want to upgrade and if you do there is big market for used telescopes on eBay, Amazon, Craiglist etc
|Telescope||Focal Length||Aperture||Magnification/Eyepieces||Weight||Best for||Bad for||Rating|
|Orion StarBlast II 4.5||450mm||4.5″||18x, 45x||20.7 lbs||Brighter deep sky|
objects, Lunar &
|Tripod could be better|
|Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker||1000mm||5″||50x, 250x||17lb||Best price to value ratio||Need to learn collimation,|
|Meade Infinity 70mm||700mm||2.8″||26mm, 9mm||7lb||Best Value for money Budget||durability questionable|
|Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST||650mm||5.1″||26x 65x||24.2lbs||great|
for viewing planets
|will take beginners some time|
|Orion 9024 AstroView 90mm||910mm||3.5″||36x, 91x||31.9lbs||good views of the Moon||low aperture,|
1. Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope
With its 4.5″-diameter reflector tube and sturdy equatorial mount this telescope goes beyond the capabilities of smaller beginner models, it’s a great telescope to support amateur astronomers as their interest in space grows into a lifelong appreciation of stargazing and you won’t be outgrowing this telescope any time soon due to its great optics, convenient portability, and easy-to-use operation. The Orion StarBlast 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope exceeded all expectations and more! You will be truly fascinated with how clear the views of the Moon will be with this telescope at this price, you’ll experience breath-taking and fascinating views of the lunar craters, valleys and mountains on the Moon; and bright planets like Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Even distant objects like star clusters, brighter nebulas and galaxies can be seen in this tiny portable reflector telescope.
The telescope’s combination of short 450mm focal length and sizable 4.5″ aperture means the StarBlast II 4.5 EQ will provide brighter views at any magnification compared to longer focal length telescopes, which makes it easier for everyone, and especially beginners, to locate interesting sights in the night sky. Using a telescope allows backyard stargazers to explore the sparkling night sky and search out interesting objects to observe.
To really get the best out this telescope, head a little out of town where there is ideally no light pollution to have the best viewing experience.
I would agree that this is an excellent beginner’s telescope to get acclimated with and to see if this could be a hobby or not of yours. It should definitely be on the short list for a first timer and plus you can’t beat the price!
Quality you can expect from this telescope:
2. PowerSeeker 127 EQ
The power seeker pops up on several our lists and for good reason, it’s a marvellous telescope for under $200, it provides good views of the night sky, a great entry level scope that will provide a lot of fun. Buying upgrades for the scope will add to your viewing pleasure of course and is completely optional. You will be able to see our planetary neighbours, the moon looks fantastic, get it a little further away from light population and the details it gives is great for such affordable telescope. Is this a good scope for beginners? Yes, easy to set up with no tools required, If you’re just starting out and collimation, calibration and generic tinkering is not your thing, this is great way to get hands on and learn all the nitty gritty stuff. Prefect to get you up running in the telescoping world.
At a very affordable price this is very capable telescope aimed at new amateur astronomers, It would make an idea gift for kids that have expressed interest in stargazing and you want to gauge how serious they are or if it’s just a passing fade. There is no need to spend big money if their interest ends up being short-lived and it starts collecting dust in a few week.
I used this telescope to view the moon and I was very pleased with the results, once it was in focus you can clearly see the craters and other distinctive lunar landmarks that are so impressive that it will get you hooked. The product comes with the following included eyepieces, a 4mm (150X), 12mm (50X) and 20mm (30X), this gives a nice spectre of magnification for you to play around with, the telescope will require some adjustment as you change up the eye pieces as the mount could be sturdier, that’s not say it’s not a good mount the adjustment just needs a little tweak and will not completely throw of your position, all in all it is quite a smooth mount for horizontal and vertical plane movements, but if you’re looking for a more sophisticated mount with locking and fine-tuned adjustment system, you have two options buy a second mount or look at the more higher end models. Overall we are very pleased with this model and the price
Quality you can expect from this telescope:
3. Medade Infinity 70mm Refractor Telescope
Medade Telescope comes equipped with everything you’ll need to have a pleasurable viewing experiences of the wonders of the night sky, especially if it is your first time out. 70 Millimeter (2.8 inch) aperture it provides good light gathering ability focus not the best, but where this telescope shines is in the bang for bank department, it will very priced for entry level telescope and you’ll get a lot of this scope, but if the stargazing bug catches you’ll be wanting to upgrade to more “powerful” telescope. The Medade is easy to assemble and use but is on the flimsy side and makes use of a lot plastic, the altazimuth mount features a slow motion control rod for tracking celestial objects as they move across the night sky which works really well. The Medade comes with 2 eyepieces that provide low, medium and high powered magnification for viewing a wide range of objects (Moon, planets, or land).
If you’ve never owned a telescope before, the Infinity 70 Refractor is a good telescope to get started in astronomy giving the low price point. Click on the link above to see the latest prices
4. Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope
Ok at just shy over 300, (309) this really doesn’t fall within the under 300 club, but it is just to good to turn down at this price. This telescope is wonderful and it is versatile. It is a bright scope with a wide field of view 5.1 inch aperture parabolic reflector gathers an ample amount of light for great views of the planets and Moon, as well as brighter galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters, You’ll be amazed at the crisp, clear views of sights like the cratered surface of the Moon and much more.
Come’s on a Sturdy EQ-2 equatorial telescope mount and adjustable tripod which allows for manual slow-motion tracking of celestial objects as they migrate across the night sky, the equatorial mount is also great if you wish to get into astrophotography, as you will have everything basically ready to start other than a mount for your camera. You can adjust the magnification to get very high power with a simple eyepiece upgrade to match other longer focal length scopes.
It is portable at a 24 inch long ‘Short Tube’ optical design, you can take the tube and tripod/mount/counterweight apart before traveling and which is easy and quick to assemble once you get the hang out it. Overall this is a well-made scope with options to grow into and can give you some flexibility.
5. Orion AstroView 90mm EQ Refractor Telescope Kit
The Orion AstroView 90mm EQ Refractor is a planetary power-performer with its 90mm aperture and 910mm focal length. Views of the planets and Moon through the f/10 AstroView 90 telescope are nothing short of spectacular. When aimed at our nearest neighbor in space, the Moon, the AstroView 90 yields tack-sharp views of the rocky lunar surface with craters and mountainous regions visible in crisp, high-contrast detail. You’ll find yourself transfixed by the rugged relief of the Moon’s surface as shadows along the terminator enchant your eyes. On a reasonably clear evening, Jupiter’s cloud banding becomes starkly visible, as do all four of its major Galilean moons. Depending on the time of year, the Orion AstroView 90mm EQ Refractor can also provide the whole family with jaw-dropping views of Saturn and its stunning rings, not to mention glimpses of Saturn’s largest moon Titan. This value-packed Telescope Kit includes the complete AstroView 90mm EQ Refractor, Moon Filter, Set of Four Color Planetary Filters, MoonMap 260, and Star Target planisphere. The Orion AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope will provide you and your family with many evenings of heavenly browsing at an unbelievably low price. The assembled telescope weighs just 23.7 lbs. total, so it’s easy to take outside for impromptu observing session.
Amateur astronomy is a great family hobby that can be enjoyed year round, these 4 telescopes are the ideal choice for an affordable and high quality telescope that will provide many hours of enjoyment for the entire family.