top of page
best telescope for visual

budget £300 - £1000


12 inch Dobsonian:

10 inch Dobsonian:

best telescope for viewing planets


Choosing this the value best scope for visual is pretty straightforward because a big aperture is key. To put it simply you want a fat scope, the fattest you can move around without inducing a hernia. A fat scope will catch lots of photons and therefore brighten the very dim deep space objects. Also a fat aperture will reduce the telescope’s diffraction rings allowing you to see more detail and tighter stars.  Ironically fatter scopes shows smaller tighter stars.  

Optically speaking the best telescopes are fancy exotic glass refractors but these scopes so expensive no mortal can afford one wider than the width of your hand. From a purely optical perspective the next best telescope design is the Newtonian. These simple reflectors make use of a relatively inexpensive curved mirror. As a result Newtonians can have a huge aperture without breaking the bank. And that makes a big Newtonian the best telescope for visual astronomy. Californian monk John Dobson spent his life designing and perfecting an inexpensive mount for his big Newtonian telescopes.  He allowed any manufacturer to use his cheap and brilliant “Dobsonian” design for free. After leaving the monastery devoted his life to showing the public the wonders of the universe through his big dobs.

diy cheap telescope

Ex monk John Dobson perfected his Dobsonian mount design in  1950's California and allowed manufacturers to copy his brilliant budget design for free.

 Please note that the sharpest Newtonians for visual astronomy have a focal ratio of around f6 or more . Unfortunately the higher the focal ration the longer the scope. So to avoid growing unmanageably long the fattest scopes tend to have a focal ratio of F5 or less. 

 8 inch Dobsonian

best telescope for observing


bottom of page