What are the Best Telescopes Under $200?
As a beginner astronomer when you have to decide what is a good telescope to buy, you need to consider a few factors like the quality of images produced by the telescope and its price. Many of us don’t like spending too much money at the very initial stage of an hobby.
Here is a list of some of our favorites entry level best telescopes under $200.
Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker
The Celestron 127EQ has a Barlow lens that magnifies the image up to three times. It has an aluminum tripod stand along with an accessory tray and an equatorial mount. The aperture is about 127 mm and the focal length is 1000mm. The 127EQ PowerSeeker is one of the absolute best sellers in the reflectors category with a price of less than $200. You can click on the picture to check the actual price on Amazon:
According to many reviews, this is one of the best entry level telescope. Main reason is that many entry level telescopes in such a low price range are usually not exceptional, whereas this certainly is. According to a review by a customer who had his first experience with an equatorial mount, it did not require much time in setting up and balancing. The package includes software which makes navigation easier.
Here is a video of the full moon pass taken with this scope, look the level of detail:
The 127EQ is a good product to buy at an entry level, however with time and the advancement you will need to upgrade a few accessories like the eyepiece, Barlow lens and the finder scope. At such a price range, you get to see images of really good quality. And the image quality is really great, as long as you focus the objects in the sky properly.
You can expect quite detailed images of the Moon, Saturn rings, the shapes of the galaxies, Venus and Mars. However, they won’t give extremely high precision as required by more experienced users. To sum it up, this is a great investment for an amateur who doesn’t want to spend too much money on his hobby and still get a performing instrument.
Orion 10012 SkyScanner 100mm Table Top Reflector
This is another best entry level telescope that has 100 mm parabolic mirror optics. There are no plastic lenses as some of the beginner level telescopes have. You can easily view detailed images of Jupiter and other planets of the Solar System, and the Moon from bright city locations as well.
This tabletop reflector is big enough to view objects in the night sky. But it isn’t small enough to be stored in a closet or be kept for display on a desk. It has two eyepieces, one of 20 mm that is for a magnification up to 20 times and the other is about 10 mm, which gives magnification up to 40 times.
It has Starry Night astronomy software, an EZ Finder II aiming device, that aids in wide-angle and low power views of the Milky Way and other dim objects in space. The 10012 Skyscanner is available in burgundy color at really low price. You can click on the picture to check reviews on Amazon:
The customer reviews for the Orion 10012 Sky Scanner are quite satisfactory. Customers seems to be really happy with what they got at this price. You can easily carry it with you on camping because of its light weight. The Starry Night software is quite phenomenal, detailed and easy to use.
You can easily view detailed images of the Moon and the craters, the rings and moons of the Saturn and Jupiter, the Nebula and Pleiades. However, there are a few shortcomings, like the finder scope which is hard to use for viewing objects far above the horizon and the difficulty to collimate without employing serious modifications. Many users says that if you add a good Barlow lens, this tabletop reflector will be a bliss for its price.
Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor
The Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Reflector is a quick and easy to use scope that requires close to zero setup. It has a permanently mounted star pointer. It gives erect images and it is ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use. The optical lens has a diameter of 70 mm. It has a pan handle Alt-Az control with a clutch that aids in smooth and accurate pointing.
This is yet another best seller by the notorious Celestron, at a really low price. Click on the picture to get more details on Amazon:
The Celestron 21061 is as good for amateurs of any level, as for the beginners. To clearly explain why this is rated as one of the best telescopes under $200, a user shared his thoughts saying that it has outstanding optics at such a low price. He praised its light in weight, the exceptional portability, the complete absence of chromatic aberrations and the clear and crisp views of the Moon and other planets.
Here is an unboxing video, you will get a better feeling for the size and the packaging:
The Astromaster 70AZ has a very helpful viewfinder, its software too is easy to use and quite helpful for navigation purposes. It comes with a good focal length and the prism gives erect image of celestial objects. But the cons of this design are related to its structural stability. The horizontal rotation works well, but the vertical movement might give you some problems. Be sure to pay caution to the area where you install your scope. Be sure to always check the tripod. Otherwise the telescope will be absolutely great and you will probably be delighted by the quality of images and ease of use.
You might want to check some other pages, have a look at this one with 12 different reviews.
Image Credits: 1.