Advice On Telescopes

Last Update was Thursday 21st July 2016.

The two main types of astronomical telescope are: Refractors and Reflectors.

In both cases an objective collects light and an image is formed at the focal point where an eyepiece is used to magnify the image before the light enters the eye. The size of the objective determines how much light is collected and therefore how faint an object can be seen.

Normal amateur telescopes range from small 50 mm refractors, through 20 - 30 cm reflectors and sometimes up to 50 cm!

When I first joined an astronomical society (what was then called the Junior Astronomical Society (or JAS) in Sept 1968 aged 11), I was advised to start observing with the naked eye and learn the constellations. Buying a a pair of binoculars such as 7 by 50 mm was to be my next step and then a small refracting telescope.

I did go through those stages and now at the tender age of 59 I have bought two pairs of decent binoculars suitable for astronomy: my advice was a pair with a good light grasp 60 mm, or 70 mm or even 100 mm and a magnification of *12 or *15 or even *25 plus a suitably sturdy tripod. Last year I got Revellation 20 by 80 mm and Hilkinson 11 by 70 mm binoculars - easy to transport.

Here are some suggestions (prices are very approximate):


Manufacturer Name  Size Cost   Companies
Celestron Skymaster 25 by 100 £227 Amazon, F1
Celestron Skymaster 20 by 80 £106 Amazon, F1
Celestron Skymaster 25 by 70 £82 Amazon, F1
Celestron Skymaster 15 by 70 £64 RVO, Amazon, F1
Celestron Skymaster 8 by 56 £255 F1

Bresser Saturn 20 by 60 £138 SNS
Bresser Spezial Jagd 11 by 56 £127 SNS
Bresser Special Astro 20 by 80 £145 SNS

Hilkinson Jupiter 11 by 70 £170 Ronald White MAIDSTONE
Revelation 25 by 100 £179 TH, HT
20 by 80 £78 TH, HT
15 by 70 £55 TH, HT

Helios 15 by 70 £145 F1
Aquila 12 by 50 £135 TH

Adler Jupiter 20 by 80 £90 SNS
Kosmos 15 by 70 £55 SNS
Practika Diana 8 by 56 £51 SNS

F1 = F1 Telescopes
HT = Harrison Telescopes Ltd
RVO = Rother Valley Optics
SNS = Scopes’n’skies
TH = Telescope House
Ronald White Maidstone

Outlets: Also try astroclassifieds a website devoted to buying and selling astronomy equipment in the UK and Ireland.

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