First of all, don’t buy those cheap telescopes that advertises amazingly-high magnification, mounted on a wobbley spidery like tripods that causes the image of any object to shake and vibrate until you start to feel nauseated, don’t worry about the magnification. As mentioned in “Most Powerful Telescopes for Home Use’ a telescope’s most important feature is its aperture i.e the diameter of its light-collecting lens. A telescope with a larger aperture collects more light, gives you a brighter and clearer image, and lets you see finer detail that have you going ‘Wow’. Your first scope should have an aperture of at least 80-90 mm. Otherwise, the images of anything other than the Moon and Jupiter will be way too blurry and fuzzy. You can, for example, see dozens of galaxies beyond our own Milky Way through a scope with 80 mm aperture from a dark location… they will be faint, but you will see them.
Now that’s out of the way lets focus on some specifics of the two main types of telescopes available for backyard stargazers—reflector, reflector.
Quick break down: This type of telescope has a long, slender tube with a lens at the front that “refracts” the light from the sky. This is the oldest style of telescope and has many advantages. They are simple to use and understand, need less maintenance and typically give very sharp views. Unfortunately, they are difficult and expensive to manufacture for large diameter versions (i.e larger aperture), so they are expensive.
Reflector produce the highest contrast of any telescope, which makes them superb for visual observation of fine detail on the Moon and planets, especially reflector with achromatic lenses, the achromatic lens refactors show virtue zero false colour, even at lower focal point f/6 or f/7, images are super sharp, and the contrast is virtually perfect. If you’re into astro-photography, an achromatic lens is must with a focal point of f/10
|Excellent image contrast and sharpness||Smallest aperture per dollar – expenoisve|
|Mechanically robust; little alignment required||Some false color but an achromatic lenses resolves this issue|
|Easy to use and Set Up|
Check out some reflector telescopes here at Amazon.
Also called Newtonians, reflecting scopes are the best bang for the buck. They have A fat tubes with a parabolic mirror at the bottom. Light enters the tube and gets reflected by the parabolic mirror back up to the top of the tube where there is a small diagonal mirror that bounces the light out the side of the tube thus Newtonians are easy to manufacture and low-cost compared to reflectors due to needing less glass material. The design is optimized for visually observing faint deep sky objects such as nebulae. If you live in densely populated area and are planning using backyard telescope, these may not be your best option, they The aperture is not as good as reflectors if your main purpose is to view plants clearly, reflectors will suit your needs better. Given the relativity low cost they do make good entry level telescopes before scaling up.
Newtonian reflectors are generally the least expensive telescope because, unlike the lenses of a reflector, only one surface of a mirror needs careful positioning and polishing, less expensive glass also is used.
Newtonians are a great value telescope and comparability cheaper then reflector, but as mentioned reflector are superior viewing tools collecting up to as much 9x more light, Newtonians also tend to be bulkier but less longer then reflectors, another plus for reflecting telescopes is that they have no chromatic aberration.
|Largest aperture per dollar||Large, bulky tubes – cumbersome|
|No chromatic aberration||Require occasional minor alignment|
|Good entry due to affordability to gage interest in astronomy||Provide less details then a Reflector|
Check out some reflecting telescopes here at Amazon.
Check out the following Video, I think it covers some great points: