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Whether astronomy is your hobby or your profession, getting a telescope is quite essential for you. These tools come with a variety of features that can make stargazing convenient and adventurous as well.
However, with no prior experience in this sector, you might find it difficult to get one of the greatest telescopes under $200 for yourself.
And that is why we are here to help you choose the correct one. With our top 5 picks and a handy buyers’ guide, you won’t have to worry about finding the right telescope anymore.
So, without further delay, let’s get started!
Different Types of Telescopes under $200
Basically, all telescopes have the same purpose: astronomy and stargazing, but these tools still contain particular distinctions that should be noted before you decide to buy one for yourself.
You should choose one according to your requirements, and after discussing the types, you will be clearer about them.
This is the most common type of telescope available out there. In this scope, the front lens focuses light that forms an image at the back. The magnifying glass- that is, the eyepiece is with which you can see the picture.
In a reflector telescope, you will notice that a mirror is generally used to gather and focus light. One of the most common forms of this scope is the Newtonian reflector, which comes with a curved concave primary mirror.
This mirror is located at the bottom end of the telescope, while near the top, you will see a diagonal secondary mirror, which directs the light from the primary mirror to the side of the tube.
If you want a telescope that will give you the best of both worlds, that is, both the refractor and reflector telescope, then a compound telescope is what you should go for.
The scope comes with both lenses and mirrors to form images.
Top 5 Telescopes under $200 Review in 2021
When it comes to finding a suitable telescope under 200 dollars, you will find a lot of options out there. However, the task of choosing can get quite puzzling, which is why we have picked the five best telescopes to make it easier for you.
Gskyer 70mm Aperture 400mm AZ Mount Astronomical Refracting Telescope
Are you looking for the perfect gift for someone who loves stargazing? In that case, here’s a gift-able telescope that you shouldn’t miss out on.
Find out more about its amazing features and why it’s known as the top-rated telescopes for under 200.
Even if you don’t have any prior experience with a telescope, you won’t struggle at all with this. That is because this product is effortless to assemble, thanks to all the instructions included regarding the process.
On the other hand, the scope comes with a fully coated optic lens that includes high transmission coatings.
The benefit of this aspect is that it creates impressive images while protecting your eyes at all times.
For further convenience, the device includes two replaceable eyepieces along with a 3x Barlow lens. Therefore, you won’t have to purchase anything separately, as everything will be included already.
What makes the device even better is that it comes with a smartphone adapter along with a wireless camera remote.
This will allow you to view all the images in your smartphone and control the eyeglass with a remote conveniently.
You will need to shift the position of the telescope from time to time, and for that, a suitable tripod is required. This device comes with an adjustable aluminum alloy tripod, which will last pretty long as well.
And you need to be cautious when buying the tool because the package might have some parts missing, which would be pretty disappointing. On the other hand, the telescope may fail to let you view images from time to time.
Related Review: Best Telescopes Under $300
Celestron – PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope
Most telescopes are entirely on the heavier side, which makes it difficult to carry and transport them from time to time.
However, here’s one that is easy to transport and also includes other unusual aspects that make it one of the good telescopes.
If you are a newbie who’s very passionate in the field of astronomy, then this product is just ideal for you. Its features and structure make it suitable for beginners so that you won’t struggle with it at all.
The reason why the usage of the tool won’t stress you out is that it is relatively effortless to use, thanks to its manual German Equatorial Mount. This feature of the device allows smooth and accurate pointing at all times.
Other than that, the tool is very lightweight and compact, which makes it portable. As a result, you can carry this astronomical device to any place you would like without any hassle whatsoever.
You won’t have to spend any extra bucks by buying accessories separately because it comes with multiple useful tools and parts anyway. For instance, it includes two eyepieces – 20mm and 4mm, along with one 3x Barlow lens.
For smooth tracking, the device includes slow-motion controls. This aspect of the device will allow you to track and capture images as smoothly as possible, with the utmost ease.
One of the most disappointing factors of this tool is that it might be out of collimation after a few days of use. Moreover, the manual included is not very helpful, as it is not comprehensive.
TELMU 70mm Aperture 400mm AZ Mount Astronomical Refracting Telescope
If you have multiple spots and places from where you generally prefer to stargaze, then you will need a portable telescope.
Here’s one that you can transport easily, and it offers many more amazing facilities that make it the top pick telescope for 200 dollars.
Apart from being portable, this product can be a really lovely gift as well. Its design, as well as all the features included, make it delightful for everyone passionate about astronomy.
For instance, the scope will create amazing images at all times, and that too while protecting your eyes. With 400mm focal length and 70mm aperture, you won’t be missing a thing!
Furthermore, the device comes with useful accessories that will add more features to it. With two replaceable 1.25-inch Kellner eyepieces and a 5×24 finder-scope, you won’t have to buy anything separately.
In case you are worried about not being able to operate the tool correctly, then stop already! The scope is designed in such a way that you can move it to different positions conveniently, thanks to its castor wheels.
On the other hand, if you want to capture the images on your smartphone, then you can easily do so with its phone holder.This aspect will allow you to share pictures and videos in real-time.
You may find the assembly process of the device to be quite tricky because it does not come with ample instructions. Furthermore, some parts of the tool are made of plastic, which makes it fragile in general.
Suggested Guide: Gun Safe Under $400
Celestron – 80mm Travel Scope – Portable Refractor Telescope
When it comes to telescopes, the amazing picture quality is one of the essential aspects that people often look for.
Fortunately, this tool comes with that feature and much more, which makes it one of the hgih-quality telescopes.
Even if you have no prior experience with telescopes, you can quickly assemble this product. That is because it comes with all the necessary instructions, which makes the process quite effortless for its users.
Furthermore, the device comes with fully-coated glass optics and a potent 80mm objective lens, which will allow you to capture high-quality images. The custom backpack included provides added convenience as well.
On the other hand, the lightweight frame of the tool will allow you to carry it easily to any destination you want. Along with that, you will be getting a full-height tripod and a smartphone adapter.
To make sure you can get both low and high power views of the stars, the device comes with two lenses – 10mm and 20mm. Therefore, you can add some diversity to the images you capture.
The controls and directions of the telescope are quite straightforward, which makes it relatively convenient to use. Hence, that is not something you will struggle with at all while using this tool.
You will need to be a little careful when using this product because it includes a lot of plastic parts, which makes it fragile. On the other hand, the lightweight frame of the frame also makes it more susceptible to falling if you bump into it.
Meade Instruments – Polaris 70mm Aperture, Portable Backyard Refracting Astronomy Telescope for Beginners
If you have heard of this brand already, then you are aware of the fact that they are well-known for producing reliable products. And this telescope is no different. Find out more about this fantastic tool in this review.
This scope offers such reliability at an affordable price. Therefore, if you are looking to buy a telescope on a budget, then this is undoubtedly for you as it provides excellent value for money.
With an aperture of 70mm and a focal length of 900mm, the scope will be able to capture stunning images. Therefore, you will be able to view the stars clearly, without any trouble whatsoever.
The refractor optical design and the equatorial mount only makes using the tool more convenient. You will be able to adjust its position according to your demands whenever necessary.
What makes it even better is that you won’t have to purchase any extra tools or accessories to use this product because it comes with three 1.25-inch eyepieces with a 2x Barlow lens and red dot viewfinder.
To make sure you don’t struggle at all while assembling or using the tool, the device comes with an instructional DVD and astronomical software. These will include all the information that you will need.
Sadly, the telescope does not guarantee detail or precision, which can make the images quite hazy. Furthermore, the tool is complicated to operate even with all the instructions included.
What to Look for before Buying
You will find telescopes under a wide range of prices, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you will find a great one for 200 dollars.
However, there are some factors and facilities that you should consider before you get a scope for yourself. Especially if you are a newbie, then you might struggle to find a suitable one.
That is why we have compiled all the essential features that you should focus on, and have also added the necessary details to give you better insight on those factors.
Durability and Construction
Although telescopes are not devices that have a high chance of getting damaged, you should still give importance to their construction. That is because you wouldn’t want such an expensive tool to last for a short period.
Furthermore, their ability to remain stable also depends on their construction and durability. The shakier the device, the more distorted your images will tend to be.
These should be able to withstand hits or getting knocked down, or else, they will break down quickly, and you wouldn’t want that. Hence, overall, you should choose a sturdy device.
This term sounds complicated to a lot of people, but this is one of the most important factors to be taken into consideration when looking for a telescope.
The aperture is the diameter of the mirror or lenses of a telescope, and the larger the aperture, the brighter the images will appear to be. Therefore, you should go with a scope that offers a reasonably large aperture.
The focal length of a telescope basically gives you an idea regarding the magnification offered by the scope. That is, the higher the focal length, the larger and brighter the images will appear to be.
However, you shouldn’t assume that the length of the tube is the focal length because many eyeglasses come with shorter tubes and yet don’t fail to yield precise and sharp images.
A sizeable focal length can be achieved through the proper combination of lenses and mirrors. Hence, you should go for a great focal length at all times.
There are two types of mounts that you should take into consideration before looking for a telescope.
Equatorial mounts are for people who are into advanced astronomy. This type is not made for beginners, as these are quite complex and intricate. It comes with the polar axis, which requires a lot of advanced knowledge and experience to work with.
However, if you are a beginner and celestial observation is your hobby, then an altazimuth mount is what you should go for.
This mount involves using the scope in altitude and in azimuth, which makes it convenient to operate.
This is another essential factor that should not be overlooked. The clarity of your images will depend on the eyepieces, and hence, you should always make them a priority when looking for a scope.
Some even include replaceable eyepieces, which may give you a taste of different kinds of images. So, you should choose this aspect depending on the type of objects you intend to view.
The weight of the telescope is quite essential and should not be overlooked at all. And this factor should entirely depend on you and your preferences.
For instance, if you have multiple places from which you like to stargaze, then you would want something that is lightweight, as that will be easy to carry and transport.
However, if you have a fixed spot, then choose something substantial. That is because lighter scopes tend to get knocked over pretty easily, and that might decrease their longevity.
Telescopes come with handy accessories from time to time – such as stands, backpacks, etc.
Having more accessories is definitely useful, but that can also result in a higher cost of the product. However, having a stand is quite essential, so you should buy a scope that offers this, at least.
But if you find a reasonably priced telescope with convenient accessories included, then you should go for it.
There are some additional features that you should look out for – for instance, ease of assembly, smartphone feature, etc.
If you have no prior experience with telescopes, then you should choose one that comes with an instructional DVD or manual, which includes all the details regarding its installation.
Furthermore, if you like to view images from your smartphone or other devices, then make sure the tool includes a smartphone adapter. While these features are not mandatory, they will surely make your overall experience much better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the telescopes:
Yes, telescopes can be used for any kind of extreme telephoto requirement, be it terrestrial objects or wildlife.
You need to locate a bright star first and then point the telescope at that. Afterward, you need to look along the telescope tube while releasing the clutches and aligning the glasses on the object. Then you need to move the telescope around gently and lock it once the object appears.
That depends on the focal length of the telescope, as well as that of the object you will be viewing.
All you have to do is divide the focal length of the object with that of the eyepiece. The bigger the result, the larger the object will appear through the telescope.
You can surely, but it won’t yield a good quality image. That is because the glass in the window doesn’t contain good optical quality and hence will distort the image quite severely. This is why you should pick other suitable places to use the telescope.
Yes, it is safe to use a telescope during the day. However, you should stay clear of the sun, as pointing close to anyplace nearby the sun can cause significant damage to your eyes, and you surely wouldn’t want that.
Stargazing is enjoyable, and it only gets better with the right tool. That is why, no matter how challenging it may seem to be, you should still look properly and get one of the good telescopes under $200 for yourself.