How to choose the right astrophotography telescope for you

Casandra Greer
It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

Does it happen often that when buying a telescope you don’t know which telescope to choose? We’ll cover topics such as budget, quality, and technical specifications, so you can make the best decision for your personal astrophotography journey. 

Determine what you want to see

If you are looking to buy your first telescope, the first step is determining what you want to see. Different telescopes are designed to observe different celestial objects and features. For example, some telescopes are better at viewing planets, while others are better for deep sky observing such as galaxies and nebulae. It is important to do your research and decide what you are interested in seeing before investing in a telescope. Additionally, consider the type of photography or imaging you would like to do. Do you want to take images of planets or galaxies? Is astrophotography something you want to learn? By deciding on the type of celestial objects and features that you want to observe, you can narrow down the types of telescopes that will best suit your needs.

Research what types of telescopes are available

When choosing an astrophotography telescope, it is important to research the different types of telescopes available. Depending on your desired viewing experience and budget, there are a variety of choices. Refractor telescopes offer excellent optics and sharp images with less chromatic aberration than most other designs. Reflector telescopes are popular due to their lightweight and cost-effectiveness. Catadioptric telescopes provide the best combination of portability and imaging quality for many observers, and the Schmidt-Cassegrain design is the most widely used. 

Consider the size and weight of the telescope

When selecting a telescope for astrophotography, you need to consider the size and weight of the device. It is important to purchase a telescope that is both lightweight and portable so that it can be easily transported to dark sky sites for imaging. A large telescope with a heavy mount may require a large vehicle for transportation, which can become costly.

It is also important to keep in mind that the larger the telescope, the more difficult it will be to manage and transport. The heavier the telescope, the more difficult it will be to balance and point. Consider your own strength and capabilities when deciding on the size and weight of your telescope.


Once you have determined the size and weight of your telescope and accessories, you can determine what type of mount is best suited for your needs. Many mounts are designed specifically for telescopes of certain sizes and weights. Be sure to choose a mount that is compatible with your telescope to ensure safe and reliable operation.

Main photo: Simon Delalande/

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