A beginner’s guide to choosing your first telescope

There are different types of telescopes and astronomical gears available in the market. Are You confused about them how to select the right one for you to fulfill your observation and astrophotography dreams? then stay connected with the article. You will find a good advice on how to select one.

Different Types of Telescopes

Refractor TelescopesNewtonian ReflectorCompound Telescopes
Achromatic RefractorsEquatorial MountSchmidt-Cassegrain
Apochromatic RefractorsDobsonian Telescopesmaksutov-Cassegrain

These are the basic types of the telescope. Now we will discuss more about the each category that which telescope is useful for which application.

Before we start, please make sure that for which application you would like to buy a telescope. Because a single pair of telescope is not going to fulfill all of your expectations in astronomy. If you are looking for astrophotography then there are different equatorial tripods are require. For a deep-sky observation you need a high aperture telescopes require. Similarly, there are different applications in astronomy for which different telescopes are designed.

Refractor Telescopes

Refractor Telescopes are designed in two categories: Achromatic and Apochromatic

Refractor telescopes are the most used by beginners in their backyards. This type of telescope does not have higher apertures because of chromatic aberration.

Achromatic Telescopes

  • Aperture size is usually range in between the 60mm to 100mm.
  • Best for the beginners to observe The Moon, bright stars, double stars and planets. But you cannot be able to observe the deep-sky objects with this type of telescope.
  • small, Portable and easy to operate as beginner.

Apochromatic Telescopes.

  • Apochromatic telescopes are excellent for the Astrophotographers as telescope lens has the better correction of chromatic abbration.
  • Images produce by this telescopes are the bright and sharp.
  • Aperture size of this telescopes are range between the 60mm to 150mm.
  • Best for Astrophotographers, Planet and bright nebula hunter, Lunar viewers.

In conclusion, If you are new to astronomy and want to see the bright planets and stars OR want to learn some astrophotography then these are the good telescopes for you.

Newtonian Reflector

Higher aperture sizes are available compare to the Refractor telescope. This type of telescope is simple in design, rugged in construction, and low-budget compare to the refractors.

Best for those who really want to search for deep-sky objects. The higher the aperture, the more light will be gathered by the telescope and can see dim deep-sky objects easily.

Aperture size start from 4″ and go up to 12″-14″-16″ or higher. But up to 8″ it is easily handled and movable.

This type of telescope is used to see planets, star clusters, nebulas, galaxies, and more deep-sky objects. The higher the aperture the deeper you can see into the universe. Not good for photography purposes, but you can do it with a stable equatorial tripod.

You are a beginner and looking for this type of telescope then 6″ dobsonian should be the best one for you.

Compound Telescopes

There are two types available in compound telescopes are schmidt-cassegrain and maksutov-cassegrain.


  • Compact in design but best all round telescope
  • Aperture ranges from 5″ to 16″
  • Best for observation as well as astrophotography, even used for scientific purpose also.
  • Many backyard astronomers have found comets with these kind of telescopes.
  • Costly compare to refractors and reflectors.


  • Telescope available in small and compact designs.
  • Good for those who want to travel with their scopes due to small in size. Table top models are available in this kind of category.
  • Cannot see more deep into the sky due to less light gathering power. But good for all kind of observations.

In Sum up, if you want to do good astrophotography and basic planet observations then refractors are good for you. For deep-sky object hunters, a large size Dobsonian is perfect and the compound telescope is allrounder but quite high in price. So select your telescope according to your applications.

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