QUESTION: I am looking for a telescope I want your advice of the best option (a great all around telescope for viewing the widest variety of things)  in different price ranges. What is the best under 250$ USD? Between 250 and 500 dollars? And under 1000 dollars?

ANSWER: Hi Dustin

Telescopes are always a compromise between size, cost, andd performance.  At the lower end of your price scale, I would the biggest scope I could:  a 6 inch reflector with a very simple mount (alt/azimuth).

At $500, you have to make a choice.  I would go for a larger scope with that same mount--but an 8 inch mirror.

Once you get to $1000, I think you should look for more convenience:  a compound reflector like a Schmidt Cassegrain with automatic mount, like a Celestron or Meade.

Hope that helps--drop me a follow up note if you want more info.

Paul Wagner

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Do you have any specific models in mind that would be best?

Hi Dustin

There are a lot of good companies--but to keep it simple, I've always had very good luck with Orion Teelescopes out of Santa Cruz.  Goood people, and every scope they carry is a reasonable value for the money.  Take a look at their's a great place to start

Paul Wagner


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Paul Wagner


Astronomy and telescope making. Have made at least seven telescopes, both refractors and reflectors, and have spent 30 years looking at the nighttime sky.

©2017 All rights reserved.