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Since the advent of astrophotography, seeing the astronomical world at night has become a breeze. Astrophotography gives more insight into the astronomical world than visual astronomy.

However, like anything involving photography, you need some essentials before you can start astrophotography. And one of such is a telescope. Unfortunately, not all telescopes can be used for astrophotography. There are telescopes specially made for this purpose.

In this post, we’ve researched the five best telescopes for astrophotography for you. We’ll also show you how to choose the best telescope for astrophotography and, perhaps, the best way to maintain your telescope.

Top 5 Telescopes for Astrophotography

1.    Celestron Astromaster 130EQ-MD Telescope

The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ-MD Telescope is what you will love for stargazing at night. Its aperture is 5.11 inches wide. And with this, you can easily see and study the moon and planetary bodies without distortion.

Even though the aperture length is a bit longer, the telescope is compact yet light enough for you to gaze into the sky for long without being weighed down. The telescope even comes with a StarPointer red dot finderscope and two eyepieces with a magnification of 33X and 65X each. Of course, these are enough for you to properly gaze at the astronomical world.

The telescope features an equatorial mount with two-way control knobs for proper view. Interestingly, the tripod’s height is adjustable; and you can easily collapse the tripod and store it neatly after use.


It comes with good accessories


Sturdy and adjustable tripod

Very easy to assemble


Maybe cumbersome for beginners

2.    Celestron NexStar 5SE Telescope

This is yet another wonderful invention from Celestron. This Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with 5-inch wide aperture is made classy, simple yet powerful to take you beyond the moon and the solar system. The telescope can even magnify images up to 50X, and it is also made with a Go-to mount, allowing you to find your target easily.

You can easily connect and control the telescope from your PC, thanks to the free CPWI telescope control software. At 17.1 pounds, the telescope won’t weigh you down during vigorous stargazing. And besides, its lightweight design also makes it a good travel companion. Despite its high functionality, it is very easy to assemble. That’s weird, isn’t it?


Compact and Lightweight

Fully automated Go-to mount

Easy to control on PC

Easy to assemble


Too pricey

3.    Sky-Watcher S10105 Portable Telescope

If you are looking for something simple yet powerful to gaze deeply into the astronomical world, you should get the Sky-Watcher S10105 Portable Telescope. The refractor telescope combines everything possible to make astrophotography more attractive than before.

Firstly, the telescope is made with two-element air-spaced fully multi-coated lenses and a focal ratio of f/5. This duo makes it very easy to see the galaxy or any other deep sky object.

Besides, the telescope has a red dot finder so that you can easily find your target. Another exciting thing about the telescope is that, unlike many refractor telescopes, it features an optical prism that eliminates optical flip during vigorous stargazing.

What more? Its AZ3 mount has slow-motion control, so you don’t miss anything in the sky. The AZ3 mount is also made with a sturdy aluminum tripod that makes it more stable. The telescope is also equipped with a large accessory storage tray.


Has a large storage tray

Anti optical flip

Suitable for deep sky object

Sturdy AZ mounts with slow motion control


Not suitable for beginners

4.    Sky-Watcher Skymax 180 Telescope

Despite its diminutive and compact look, few telescopes can match the efficiency of the Sky-Watcher Skymax 180 Telescope. The telescope is a reflective type with aluminum and quartz mirror coating, which makes it very easy to deliver perfect planetary and deep sky object images.

The telescope comes with good accessories. For instance, the finderscope in it provides a quality viewing experience. Plus, the telescope is thoughtfully made with a design that eliminates any forms of interference while gazing through the celestial bodies.

On the flip side, the telescope doesn’t come with a mount. However, it has a dovetail plate that can fit perfectly into any of your desired mounts.


Compact and lightweight

Anti-interference design

It comes with good accessories

Suitable for deep sky object


It doesn’t come with a mount

5.    Technosky AP 70/350 Telescope

The Technosky AP 70/350 Telescope is an apochromatic refractor with aperture size and focal length of 70 mm and 350 mm, respectively. Of course, at its price, the aperture is not wide enough. Nevertheless, it has some remarkable features to compensate for the relatively small aperture.

Foremost, the optical parts are fully coated, producing incredibly sharp images with no aberration. Besides, the telescope is made compact, with a total weight of 2.1 kg. You can see you don’t need any physical strength to carry this telescope. Plus, you can use the telescope for any of your full-frame cameras.

On the flip side, the telescope doesn’t come with a mount. That is, you have to create a separate budget for that. And thankfully, the telescope is made with a vixen-style dovetail mount plate, allowing you to attach your desired mount to it.


Fully coated optical parts

Sharp image with no aberration

Compatible with a full-frame camera

Light and compact


It doesn’t come with a mount

Not suitable for beginners

How to Choose the Telescope for Astrophotography

Unlike the usual visual astronomy, astrophotography is a bit complex. In this regard, not all telescopes are suitable for astrophotography. So, if you want to buy a telescope for astrophotography, here are tips for choosing one.

Understand your Area of Interest

There are different objects in the sky, and each object requires a specific telescope to view. For instance, if you are interested in viewing deep sky objects like galaxies, you need a telescope with a large aperture and short focal length. But if you are keen on looking at the moon, you can go for a telescope as large as 4-5 inches.

Optical Features

boy looking through astrophotography telescope

The optical features of a telescope vary from brand or type to another. However, when purchasing a telescope for astrophotography, here are the basic optical elements to understand:


The aperture is the most important thing to consider when buying astrophotography telescopes. Aperture is the diameter of a light gathering region of a lens/mirror of the telescope. It is commonly expressed in mm or inches. The larger the aperture, the better the detail, and the bulkier and heavier the telescope.

That means a telescope with a very wide aperture, even though it will reveal more details, can overly weigh you down. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t choose a scope with an aperture size less than 2.5 inches.

Focal Ratio

The focal ratio is another thing you shouldn’t joke about when purchasing an astrophotography telescope. The focal ratio is the time taken for a telescope to deliver a set amount of light. And It is obtained by taken the ratio of a focal length by the aperture. The lower the focal number, the clearer the image. This means an f/5 will deliver a more precise image than an f/11.


The mount is a mechanical part of the telescope. And it is as important as the optical part of the telescope. A mount provides stability for the telescope. While some telescope comes with a mount, some don’t.

There are different kinds of mount to choose from. Each differs in functionality and comfort. If you are new to astrophotography, you can go for the GO-TO or equatorial mount. If not, you can choose any other available ones.


The telescope’s weight is also an important factor to consider. A heavy and bulky telescope won’t do the job well as it can make you lose focus during stargazing. Besides, you won’t like something that will make you beg for a helping hand to carry after use.

So, ensure you go for a compact and lightweight telescope. You can pick a telescope around 21 pounds or less.

Understand the Type of Telescope

There are different types of telescopes for astrophotography. But the most common ones are; Reflective telescopes (uses mirror for image formation), Refractive telescopes (uses lenses for image formation), and Compound telescopes (combines both lense and mirror for image formation).

The refractive telescopes are good for deep sky objects, though some reflective telescopes can also do that.

Tips for Maintaining a Telescope

Even with the best telescope, you won’t get the best result without proper care. Besides, improper maintenance can shorten the life of your telescope. To prevent this, read the basic telescope maintenance tips below.

  • Be mindful of the storing environment:Always store your telescope at or near outside temperature to reduce the cooling or warming time needed for night use. Also, cover the sensitive part with a dust cover and ensure you store it in a dry and dust-free environment. If you must put your telescope in a case, ensure the case is larger than the telescope to enhance easy access.
  • Clean with appropriate materials:Each of the telescope parts has the suitable material for cleaning it. For instance, you can clean the lense or mirror with a Camel hair brush. You can check this for more tips on cleaning telescope lenses and mirrors.

To cap it all, always consult an expert or refer to the instruction manual whenever you have an issue with your telescope. Doing so will make your telescope last longer than expected.

Frequently Asked Questions

What telescope focal length best for astrophotography?

The focal length of a telescope for astrophotography depends on the type of object you want to view. For instance, the best focal length you need to consider the planets, sun and moon must be long.

What telescope is best for deep space viewing?

A telescope for deep space astrophotography viewing requires a sophisticated rig. For this purpose, you need a telescope with a short focal length and a wide field of view. You can also use a small refractor (around 3 or 4 inches large).

What is astrophotography?

Find what astrophotography is and the basics for setting up your rig.

Bottom Line

We’ve reviewed the best telescope for astrophotography for you. But before you purchase any of the telescopes, ensure you know your experience level and what you intend to view. By so doing, you will reduce guesswork.


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