I will explain here, why you need to buy a best Astrophotography Telescope under $1000. Hope you will love this article. But before that, here is a short introduction you can read.
Certainly, the universe is full of secrets. Thus, Astrophotography may be an intriguing and exciting hobby. However, not everyone has the available bulks to buy the required equipment (Such Telescopes, Camera, and related lens…). Usually, best Astrophotography Telescopes cost several thousand dollars.
However, you don’t necessarily need to spend a small fortune on equipment to enjoy the wonders of the universe. With the appropriate knowledge, you can able to find the right Telescope at low cost for yourself.
In this buying guide you’ll find several tips to learn how to choose the best Telescope for Astrophotography within budget price. Here, you’ll also find a top 7 list with the most popular models on the current market.
What is an Astrophotography Telescope?
An Astrophotography Telescope is an optical device specially designed to take pictures of sky objects, such as; Planets, Stars, and galaxies. Unlike other Telescopes, Astrophotography Telescopes have a flat focal plane. That way, there’s no risk of fisheye distortion in the final photograph.
But before we read the full article, you can look into the comparison table. Here you can see top 7 Astrophotography Telescopes. So, if you have no huge time to select anyone, you can rely on our selection.
Why Should You Trust Us?
Currently, the Internet is infested with dishonest reviews. Instead of helping you, these kinds of reviews try to convince you to buy bad products. However, that isn’t our case. For years, TelescopeTEC.com has been the leading website on Telescope reviews. So, if you’re looking for an honest opinion on this niche, we’re the help you need.
All our reviews are based on personal experience. At TelescopeTEC.com, we don’t write about Telescopes just to earn money. We write about Telescopes because it’s our passion. And we want you to enjoy Astrophotography and stargazing as much as we do. Therefore, we put so much effort in finding only the best of the best on Telescopes for you.
How to Choose an Astrophotography Telescope?
Obviously, not all Telescopes are suitable for Astrophotography. In these cases, you need enough light gaining and magnification to get sharp and crystal clear images. In addition, it’s recommended that the Telescope moves at the same pace than sky objects.
Motorized Telescopes are best for Astrophotography because they automatically track targets. Using a manual Telescope in these cases wouldn’t be the wisest decision. Sky objects would disappear from your field of view after a couple minutes. So, you would have to manually adjust the Telescope over and over again to aim your target.
You’ll also need a wide aperture to gather sufficient light. The larger the aperture of your Telescope, the clearer the images you’ll get. For Astrophotography purposes, an aperture greater than 75 mm is suitable.
For newbie users, it’s also recommended to choose something light and easy to setup. That way, the Telescope will be much easier to carry on any outdoor adventure. Also, the optical tube must be resistant to high impacts, scratches and external agents.
Aluminum and stainless steel are certainly the best materials in terms of resistance. However, they aren’t the lightest options. On the other hand, carbon fiber offers high resistance to external agents and only a fraction of the weight than metal Telescopes.
Additionally, always opt for the best brands. If you choose a generic brand to save money, you’ll certainly end up disappointed. Only the best brands can give you superior resistance and durability, long lasting warranties and the best performance. So, stay away from those cheap Telescopes that you can find on department stores.
Here are some common questions with answers to know about Telescope for Astrophotography. So, let’s go to read.
Which Telescope is best for Astrophotography?
Certainly, Meade Instruments StarNavigator is by far the best Telescope for Astrophotography. It has a motorized base that moves automatically with the rotation of the earth. So, the lens always stays focused on a single sky object.
What is the best astronomical Telescope to buy?
Certainly, Zhumell Z12 Dobsonian Telescope is the best astronomical Telescope to buy. It has enough magnification to give you clear and sharp images of the moon and some planets.
What is the most powerful home Telescope?
Of course, Meade Instruments StarNavigator is the most powerful home Telescope in the current market. It has 102 mm of aperture and 660 mm of focal length. That’s more light gathering and magnification than any other Telescope on our top 7 list can give.
What Telescope is best for deep space?
Certainly, Celestron NexStar 130SLT is the best Telescope for deep space. It has 144X of theoretical magnification. However, you can push it to 200X with a Barlow eyepiece. This is enough to get clear and sharp images of distant stars and galaxies.
What is a good starter Telescope for Astrophotography?
Certainly, SMLCTY Astronomical Telescope is a good choice for beginners. It’s lightweight and easy to setup. In addition, it’s considerably cheaper than motorized models. However, it has all the features that any starter astrophotographer needs.
Why are refractors better for Astrophotography?
Refractive Telescopes are better for Astrophotography for many reasons. For example, they have a superior focal ratio and greater aperture than reflectors. Also, lenses don’t need supports as mirrors do. So, there are less light obstructions.
How big of a Telescope do you need to see planets?
To see planets, you need a Telescope with a focal ratio greater than 8. These devices are commonly known as “Slow Telescopes.”
What camera is good for Astrophotography?
Certainly, Canon EOS M100 is one of the best cameras for Astrophotography. It gives you sharp and crystal clear images in low light conditions. So, it’s perfect for taking pictures of sky objects in the middle of the night.
What is needed for Astrophotography?
To become an amateur Astrophotographer you basically need two things:
- A powerful Telescope, and
- A good camera.
You can also add an auto-guiding system, equatorial mount and correction filters to your equipment.
Can you do Astrophotography with Dobsonian Telescope?
Yes. You can do Astrophotography with a Dobsonian Telescope. However, you can only use it to photograph the moon and some planets. They’re not the best for photographing distant sky objects due to their limited magnification and light gathering.
Top 7 Astrophotography Telescope Under $1000 Reviews
Well, now we are going to write reviews on top 7 products that we selected by following our buying guide & experiences. So, you can rely on our selection. Or you can select your own, by following the Telescope buying guide.
1. Meade Instruments StarNavigator Telescope
Certainly, Meade Instruments StarNavigator Telescope is ideal for beginners. It’s also easy to handle and it uses a motor to adjust its position. Also, it has a small computer with more than 3,000 pre-programmed positions of planets, stars and galaxies. In addition, it includes four hours of audio presentations. This device has 660 mm of focal length and 102 mm of aperture.
- Easy to use
- Durable and resistant
- Tripod included
- Beginner friendly
- The tripod may wobble during use
- Need extra effort to adjust the motor 100% accurate
Certainly, Meade Instruments StarNavigator Telescope is very easy to use. So, you don’t need previous experience to learn how to use it. In addition, its more than 3,000 pre-programmed positions help you save time. Additionally, it provides sharp and crystal-clear images during night.
2. Celestron NexStar 130SLT Telescope
This computerized Telescope can automatically locate more than 4,000 sky objects. In addition, its 130-mm primary mirror gives you clear and brighter images during night. The included lens gives you a magnification of 144X. Certainly, that’s enough zoom for watching distant planets and the little details on the moon surface.
- Easy to setup
- Tripod included
- Excellent night vision
- Batteries not included
- It consumes the battery power too fast
Celestron NexStar 130SLT Telescope is very easy to setup. You just need to set the time and hour, and point to three known stars. After that, the Telescope is ready to use. In addition, its sophisticated mirror system gives you better images than regular lens Telescopes.
3. Zhumell Z12 Dobsonian Telescope
This Telescope has a 12-inch mirror to give you clearer images. It also includes a 30-mm and a 9-mm eyepiece. Unlike other similar models, this one comes with a laser collimator. This gadget allows a more precise aiming of sky objects. Zhumell Z12 also has a moon filter for color correction, and more brilliant images.
- Collimator included
- Sturdy design
- Easy to use
- Very heavy
- Tripod not included
Zhumell Z12 isn’t as easy to setup as the best two picks on this list. Therefore, it’s more suitable for intermediate users. However, this device provides clearer images thanks to its big mirror. It’s also a bit heavy, so it may be a little complicated to transport.
4. Orion 9534 Telescope
Orion 9534 uses on optical tube made of carbon fiber. This feature makes it incredibly strong and lightweight. So, it’s perfect to carry with you on your outdoor adventures. In addition, it comes with an aluminum carrying case that protects it from scratches and high impacts. This product also includes its own astronomy software, which makes it perfect for beginner users.
- Easy to assemble
- Carrying case included
- Tripod not included
- Limited magnification
Certainly, Orion 9534 is the best Telescope for camping. It’s light and easy to carry. Also, the assembly process is a breeze. Unfortunately it doesn’t include the tripod, which is quite disappointing.
5. Orion 9005 AstroView Telescope
Orion 9005 has 120 mm of aperture and 600 mm of focal length. This configuration provides clearer images of distant sky objects. It also includes a sturdy tripod with equatorial mount. The adjusting screws are quite accurate, perfect for aiming small targets. This product also includes astronomy software to help beginner users.
- Sturdy design
- Precise adjustment screws
- Durable and resistant
- Very heavy
- Difficult to carry
If you’re looking for something durable and resistant, Orion 9005 is what you need. This Telescope has a thick structure. So, it better protects the lenses and other delicate components. Also, it has big lenses to provide clearer images. Best of all, it’s cheaper than a motorized Telescope.
6. SMLCTY Astronomical Telescope
This Telescope has an 80-mm aperture to provide clear and sharp images in low light conditions. In addition, its multi-coated surface prevents light reflection to improve the quality of images. It also has a laser collimator for precise aiming of small targets. Additionally, the tripod is included with the product.
- Included tripod
- Laser collimator included
- Too fragile
- The surface may scratch so easily
SMLCTY Astronomical Telescope is lightweight and easy to use. Perfect to take with you on all your adventures. Furthermore, it’s compact and easy to setup. Unfortunately, it isn’t very resistant. So, you have to treat it carefully so as not to break it.
7. Celestron NexStar 90SLT Telescope
Celestron NexStar is a powerful computerized Telescope with more than 4,000 pre-programmed locations. It has a 90-mm aperture to capture as much light as possible. That way, you can get clearer images in the middle of the night. With this Telescope you can get 200X of magnification. This is enough to see the smallest details on the moon surface.
- Easy to use
- Durable and resistant
- Motorized mechanism
- It consumes battery power too fast
- Difficult to calibrate
Celestron NexStar is perfect for beginner users. You can interact with all its main functions using a remote control. So, you don’t need to turn knobs to adjust the focus. Also, it automatically detects stars, galaxies and planets.
Types of Astrophotography Telescope
Depending on the type of optical system, Telescopes can be classified in three main types.
Refractive Telescopes are the simplest of all. They use lenses as main light gathering components. In the simplest case, the light passes through the objective lens at the top of the optical tube. Then, the light is focused on the eyepiece at the bottom of the tube.
The optical tube is sealed, reducing the risk of distortion. Also, they don’t require much adjustment because the lenses are permanently aligned within the tube.
Refractive Telescopes were invented in the early 17th century. Galileo used one of these in his numerous observations of space.
Reflective Telescopes use a concave parabolic mirror as main light gathering component. Usually, they also use a flat mirror to change the direction of the light. That way, the eyepiece can be located on one side of the optical tube and not at the bottom.
In 1668, Isaac Newton created the first reflective Telescope. This invention solved the color distortion problems from the first refractive Telescopes. The image quality of first models wasn’t the best because the mirrors were made of metal instead of glass.
Modern reflectors are made from a single glass piece polished to a parabolic shape.
Catadioptric Telescopes use mirrors and lenses to provide clearer and sharper images. In this case, the light passes through a main lens, known as a corrector lens. Then, the light is reflected on a big primary mirror. Then the light is sent to a smaller secondary mirror and focused on the eyepiece.
Catadioptric Telescopes have superior light gathering in contrast to other Telescope types. However, they aren’t the best for Astrophotography because they don’t have a flat focal plane. To correct this aberration, it’s recommended to use a field flattener.
Telescope Buying Guide
Choosing the best Astrophotography Telescope isn’t that different than choosing a good pair of binoculars. The secret for making a good decision is choosing the right aperture and focal length. However, there are other important things to consider, like weight and size. That way, you can easily carry your Telescope to any outdoor adventure.
Below, you’ll find a detailed Telescope buying guide with useful tips to know if a certain Telescope is good for Astrophotography or not.
The aperture is the diameter of the opening through which the light enters the Telescope. So, the light gathering of your Telescope mainly depends on this feature. In this case, the larger the aperture, the clearer the image.
Usually, the aperture is measured in millimeters or inches. To do the conversion, always remember that 1-inch is equivalent to 25.4 mm.
Choosing a large aperture has its pros and cons. A considerable increase in the aperture also implies an increase in weight and size. So, the Telescope may be difficult to carry by a single person. For that reason, it’s recommended to take someone else with you if the equipment you’re carrying is too heavy.
The focal length is the distance from the objective lens to the focal plane. Usually, the focal length affects the magnification and the angle of view. In this case, the longer the focal length, the higher the magnification. If magnification is high, the angle of view is narrower.
Usually, the focal length is measured in millimeters. For example, a 300-mm focal length means that images will be formed 300-mm behind the point of convergence.
Choosing too much focal length isn’t convenient sometimes. Magnified objects may look too faint if the aperture isn’t enough. Also, you’ll need a more precise focusing mechanism, because the movement of the lens is also magnified.
The focal ratio is one number that relates the focal length and the aperture. To calculate it, you just need to divide the focal length by the aperture. For example, if a Telescope has 660 mm of focal length and 102 mm of aperture, the focal ratio or “f number” would be 660/102=6.47 or f/6.47.
Usually, the focal ratio of a Telescope gives you an idea of how long the lens system takes to gather light. Usually, the minor the “f number”, the less exposure time the Telescope will require to provide clear images. Having a small “f number” also allows you to take photos more quickly.
To better understand this point, consider the following example:
Each “f number” in the row represents the double light gaining that its counterpart on the right side. That also means the “f number” on the right side requires the double light exposure time than the “f number” at its left to get a clear image.
So, an f/8 Telescope has the double light gaining than an f/11 Telescope. Also, an f/8 Telescope gets a clear image in half the time of an f/11 Telescope.
There are some accessories that can help to aim small objects and improve the overall image quality. Here’s a list with some of them and their features:
This filter eliminates the blue and violet light that isn’t completely color-corrected. This filter is very useful for improving the image quality on non-apochromatic and achromatic doublet refractors.
This add-on helps to correct the coma distortion, which is very common near the edges of the field of view. It’s very useful in Newtonian Telescopes with a low focal ratio.
A field flattener flattens images on a curved focal plane. It’s very useful for Astrophotography, because it helps to remove the fisheye distortion from your photos.
A telecompressor helps to shorten the focal length, improving light gathering and increasing the field of view. For example, a 0.5X telecompressor will turn 300 mm of focal length into 150mm.
A Barlow works in the opposite way to a telecompressor. It multiplies the focal length to increase magnification. For example, a 2X Barlow will turn 150 mm of focal length into 300 mm.
This add-on helps the Telescope to better aim small sky objects. It works like a second Telescope, with a higher magnification and wider field of view.
Telescope DIY Setup Procedure
Setting up a Telescope is the easiest thing to do. Here’s a step-by-step procedure:
- First of all, place the tripod on a stable and even surface. Spread out the legs evenly to prevent wobbling.
- Then, attach the optical tube to the tripod mount. Then, screw the lock knob to secure the optical tube in place.
- After that, attach the view finder to the optical tube.
- Then, insert the diagonal mirror into the eyepiece holder.
- Insert the eyepiece into the diagonal mirror.
- After that, align the view finder. To do it, point the Telescope on an easy-to-find object.
- Then, look through the eyepiece and turn the focusing knob until you get a sharp image of the target.
- Then, look through the view finder and turn the alignment screws until the red point is on the same object you see through the eyepiece. After that, align perfectly the view finder, and the Telescope.
- The Telescope is now ready to use. Finally, handle the motion controls and knobs to aim your Telescope in the right place.
As you can see, choosing the best Astrophotography Telescope isn’t as difficult as it seems. Before making any decision, think about the use you’re giving to your Telescope. That way, you can know the aperture, focal length and focal ratio you’re going to need.
Don’t forget to include all the necessary accessories for correct aberrations and get an optimum image quality. And finally, choose a good camera with an excellent performance in low light conditions.
Let us know if you are facing any problem with your Telescope. We are always ready to help you to resolve your problem regarding Telescope and related matters.
All the best!