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Astronomical Telescope Buying Guide

Astronomical Telescope Buying Guide

Make sure you're choosing the right astronomical telescope for you with our telescope buying guide.

A good quality telescope is key for getting the best viewing experience. Whether you're looking at a wide open landscape or gazing up at the night sky, a telescope will ensure you get the best possible viewing experience.

We offer a huge range of Astronomical Telescopes and it can sometimes be confusing to understand which one would work best for the activity you do. Read our telescope buying guide and find the right telescope for you.

How To Choose A Telescope

It can seem pretty daunting buying a telescope for the first time, but don't be alarmed, there are a few pointers that narrow down the choice available.

Refractor Vs Reflector Telescope

Reflector telescopes are composed of mirrors whereas Refractor telescopes are only made of lenses. Both types of telescopes work equally as well so it doesn't tend to make too much of a difference which one you choose. The reflector telescope has the two mirrors and the refractor telescope has lenses, but invariably with optical equipment, how much light is allowed onto the eye is what will make the most difference. The basic rule of thumb is a larger barrel size captures more light and a tip-top eyepiece helps with the detail. 

Magnification is important as is zoom, but remember that both will reduce light input as a matter of science..... the more magnification the less light, so the bigger the barrel needs to be. The quality of the glass and mirrors used in the telescope is also important as this gives the edge to edge quality and reduced colour fringing, so if the telescope is expensive, then generally the quality of the components is higher.

Understanding Telescope Eyepieces

An eyepiece works by taking the light that’s captured and focussed by your telescope and magnifying the image that goes into your eye. The eyepiece needs to do this effectively if you’re to get a really good view. Your choice of eyepiece will determine the magnification and the size of the field of view that your telescope will deliver.

A telescope either comes with one or more eyepieces which can be swapped over depending on what we are looking at. A 30x eyepiece gives 30 times the magnification and eyepieces go up to around 300x magnification, depending on the length of the telescope barrel. 

With a larger magnification comes a restriction of the amount of sky that can be viewed through the scope, so if you think you are going to need a large magnification, make sure you line up the telescope first before looking through the eyepiece. 

How To Set Up A Telescope

Setting up a telescope is fairly easy as most kits tend to come with a tripod which holds them off the ground. In addition, they are also fairly easy to transport complete with a tripod if necessary. 

The best positioning for your telescope is to find a place that has low, or preferably no light pollution and attach the barrel of the telescope to the tripod. The eyepiece can be removed and replaced easily and if you want the image to be the correct way round when you are viewing the night sky, then we would recommend using an erecting eyepiece which usually fits in-between the eyepiece and the telescope.

Telescope Accessories

Many telescopes work with an equatorial mount, which is a great accessory as it fits to the tripod and shows the lay of the land as far as the stars and planets are concerned. If you can run to a motorised equatorial mount, then the mount follows the night sky, so that you are always looking in the same area. Moon filters are really useful when the moon is at its brightest and sun foils are available for using the telescope during an eclipse.

Astronomical Telescopes We Offer

Now that you’ve read our telescope buying guide, why not check out the range telescopes that we offer. We offer a wide variety of Astronomical Telescopes suitable for the advanced as well as beginners. With a range of finderscopes and focal lengths to choose from, you’re sure to find the right telescope for you at Harrison Cameras. If you need further guidance on which telescope to buy, just give us a call on 0114 285 9854.

by Harrison Cameras on 31/10/2018


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