Best Telescope for Astrophotography

Best Telescope for Astrophotography

Are you in search of the best telescope for astrophotography that is capable of taking sharp, bright and clear photos of planets, stars, the Moon or other space objects? If you fancy to capture the magnificence of the universe, check out these 10 best telescopes for astrophotography to put the galaxy exploration to the next level.

What Is the Best Telescope for Astrophotography?

Top 3 Best Telescopes for Astrophotography

It is rather painstaking to take high-quality astrophotography. For the first time You should spend a lot of time while taking photos and editing them. So, it is necessary to pick up the best type of telescope for astrophotography. With the help of my review of 10 best telescopes for astrophotography, you will choose the best gear to capture stunning objects in outer space.

Best Telescopes for Astrophotography in 2019:

1. Celestron NexStar 130SLT

Celestron NexStar 130SLT telescope for astrophotography


Price: about $310

  • Completely computerized hand control
  • STL with high accuracy
  • Portable
  • Automatic Sky Tour to a vast number of objects
  • Haven't been found

This model is great for amateur astrophotography. It has the automatic technology of tracking different celestial bodies. Thanks to the built-in components of the device, it is possible to remotely control it just using a personal computer.

The combination of large lens speed and a shorter focal length transferred into high-speed f/5 value makes Celestron NexStar 130SLT ideal for wide-field astrophotography or for creating detailed views of deep-sky objects. The best telescope for astrophotography includes the reflector technology which uses mirrors to get as much light as possible. Consequently, you can take clear pictures, even when the objects are located in deep space.

2. Orion ED80T CF

Orion ED80T CF telescope for astrophotography


Price: about $950

  • Remarkable wide-field apochromatic optics
  • Extra-low dispersion glass
  • Fantastic Starry Night astronomy program
  • Poor connection between a focuser and carbon fiber tube

If you are an upper-intermediate astronomer, this universal triplet apochromatic refractor telescope is just what you are looking for. It works well in the daytime and it is really amazing at night. This model provides the best aberration-free pictures.

The apochromatic lens provides excellent, clear and high contrast pictures. It is quite user-friendly and transportable. Furthermore, this model is suitable for both beginners and experienced astrophotography lovers.

3. Celestron NexStar 8 SE

Celestron NexStar 8 SE telescope for astrophotography


Price: about $1200

  • Easy to use and transport
  • An 8-inch aperture with first-rate light-gathering capability
  • Flip mirror focuser
  • Completely computerized GoTo mount
  • The model features StarPointer finderscope with a red dot
  • An extra power source is required
  • Insignificant vibration of the eyepiece when focusing

Firstly, it is necessary to direct the device to the star, then you need to defocus it and regulate the three small screws on the additional mirror until everything is aligned. It is much easier to swap the screws with thumbscrews, but in this case, the telescope may be miscollimated.

With this telescope for deep space astrophotography, it is possible to observe the Moon, planets as well as such deep space objects as the Orion Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy. The exposure time should be no more than twenty or thirty seconds. If you kept it longer, the alt-azimuth mount field spinning and slight tracking inaccuracies would make your pictures blurred.

4. Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Edition

Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Edition telescope for astrophotography


Price: about $1000

  • Remarkable diffraction-limited optics with phenomenal color
  • First-rate visual rendering
  • Easy for transportation
  • Excellent contrast
  • You need to buy an eyepiece
  • Incorrect balancing

The scope features good metal objective lens cover that doesn’t slip off. There are instruments for the elimination of chromatic aberration and high contrast, which makes it possible to produce sharp images with excellent color.

Using this outstanding telescope for astrophotography I managed to capture the Orion Nebula. I used ultra-fast 2″ focuser and received accurate images. At f/6, I was thrilled with the amount of light I could capture using a 3-minute exposure with an average 80mm lens. When you try 480mm focal length, you will see how easy it is to capture large, wide-field images of different objects in outer space.

5. Orion SpaceProbe 130ST

Orion SpaceProbe 130ST telescope for astrophotography


Price: about $310

  • Perfect for capturing deep outer space objects
  • Track objects using manual slow-motion mode
  • Portable
  • Starry Night SE Software is available
  • Rather confusing assembly instruction
  • The poor specification EQ mount
  • You need to buy an additional lens for magnification

It features 130 mm parabolic primary mirror which makes it possible to observe deep-sky celestial bodies. Moreover, the model comprises the precise and stout EQ-2 mount and stable tripod. The EQ-2 equatorial mount has dual setting circles and slow-motion manual control. This good telescope for astrophotography features f/5 focal ratio, that provides a heavy-duty wide-field performance. If you are a kind of astronomer who prefers stargazing on the backyard, SpaceProbe 130ST is a perfect choice.

6. Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT

Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT telescope for astrophotography


Price: about $2700

  • Awesome ergonomic design
  • Built-in GPS technology with the databank of 40,000+ celestial objects
  • Easy-to-use manual control holder
  • Heavyweight

This is the most powerful telescope you can buy. It has awesome features such as fast and easy alignment, built-in GPS, excellent optical quality, simple setting up, ergonomic design as well as improved computerization. The altazimuth mount is fully computerized which allows tracking with total accuracy.

With this telescope, your space adventures will never be the same. There are about 40,000 celestial objects in the databank, so you can easily reach to the necessary star or planet. All you need is to choose the object from the catalog and the telescope will show it.

7. Celestron Advanced VX 8" SCT

Celestron Advanced VX 8


Price: about $1400

  • Autoguider port is designed for long exposure
  • Hand controller databank consists of 40,000+ celestial objects
  • Slow performance at lower temperatures
  • Works loudly at the highest speed

This astrophotography telescope was designed specifically for those stargazers, who have at least some experience. It boasts of the combination of a parabolic main mirror with impressive capacity to assemble light. The mirror’s design makes it possible to minimize distortions of the objects viewed, which appear because of the distortion of light when it goes through the mirror edges.

If you are in a search of the best telescope under 2000, I highly recommend this model with its user-friendly design, intuitive features, reduced spherical aberration, efficient optics and small dimensions.

8. Sky-Watcher ProED 80mm Doublet APO

Sky-Watcher ProED 80mm Doublet APO telescope for astrophotography


Price: about $765

  • Lightweight
  • Eyepieces with decent eye relief
  • Cools down fast
  • The focuser requires regulations

This telescope for astrophotography was created with respect to wishes and demands of users interested in astronomy. The manufacturer decided not to compromise on image quality, contrast and color rendition, and charge an unexpectedly reasonable price for such an extensive functionality.

Typically, plenty of achromatic telescopes produce visible chromatic aberrations. In Sky-Watcher, they are fully neutralized. The model is definitely one of the best telescopes for astrophotography because of its extra-low dispersion (ED) grade-A glass doublet. It gives you an opportunity to achieve more true-to-life imagery with fantastic color correction.

9. Meade Instruments 216003 Polaris 90 EQ

Meade Instruments 216003 Polaris 90 EQ telescope for astrophotography


Price: about $180

  • AutoStar Suite Astronomer Software for arranging observation sessions
  • Quality optics and an equatorial mount
  • Prevents reflections
  • Deep-sky objects aren’t captured in detail
  • Grating noise

It is the best type of telescope for astrophotography if you only start exploring the world of astronomy. The model has a large steady equatorial mount with slow motion controls which simplify the tracking of moving astronomical objects. In addition, you receive 3 eyepieces offering low (6.3mm), medium (9mm) and high-powered (26mm) magnification. This particular feature enables you to see even planets, land and Moon.

Purchasing this telescope for beginners, you will be able to watch the AutoStar Suite Astronomy Planetarium DVD (for Windows PC). It features more than 10,000 astronomical objects and you may even print out star charts.

10. Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ

Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ telescope for astrophotography


Price: about $185

  • A stable tripod
  • Exceptional brightness for distant objects
  • User-friendly assembly
  • Heavy for carrying
  • Disappointing design

In case you are only at the starting point of the stargazing process, it will be the best telescope for astrophotography. The peculiar features of this model are really affordable price along with intuitive usage and setting up. The telescope is designed specifically for viewing a bright, clear image of the Moon and other planets. It features a tripod with 1.25-inch tube legs made of steel. This construction serves as reliable support for the scope.

Top 10 Best Telescopes for Astrophotography

Image Telescope Details Check price
Celestron NexStar 130SLT Celestron NexStar 130SLT OUR CHOICE
  • 130mm
  • f/5
Orion ED80T CF Orion ED80T CF
  • 80mm
  • f/6
Celestron NexStar 8 SE Celestron NexStar 8 SE
  • 203.2mm
  • f/10
Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Edition Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Edition
  • 80mm
  • f/7
Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Orion SpaceProbe 130ST
  • 130mm
  • f/5
Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLTPROFESSIONAL
  • 280mm
  • f/10
Celestron Advanced VX 8 Celestron Advanced VX 8" SCT
  • 203mm
  • f/10
Sky-Watcher ProED 80mm Doublet APO Sky-Watcher ProED 80mm Doublet APO
  • 80mm
  • f/7.5
Meade Instruments 216003 Polaris 90 EQ Meade Instruments 216003 Polaris 90 EQ TelescopeCHEAPEST
  • 90mm
  • f/6.7
Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQFOR BEGINNERS
  • 114mm
  • f/8.7

How to Choose a Telescope?

If you believe that choosing a decent telescope for astrophotography is pretty simple, unfortunately, you are wrong. Actually, every part of this device is important and affects the process and results of both stargazing and shooting. Hopefully, the information presented below would help you save money and remain satisfied with your choice.

1. Type of Telescope

A reflecting telescope is often referred to as a reflector. It either combines curved mirrors or features one mirror, which make up a picture and reflect light.

An apochromatic refractor has an extra-low dispersion glass. This feature makes it possible to achieve impressively clear pictures with no chromatic aberrations. It is of small dimensions, light weight and is easily transported. The focusing isn’t problematic, the color correction is outstanding. Besides, it may quickly adapt to different temperatures.

2. Type of Imaging You Are Going to Do

Do you want to concentrate on the Moon or are you interested in the overall look of the sky? Are you aiming at deep-sky or wide-field imagery? Answer these questions and select the suitable focal length and aperture.

3. Field of View

The best telescope for astrophotography is capable of reaching a certain part of the sky. This parameter depends on the size of the chosen camera’s imaging chip and the focal length of the optics. Shorter focal length extends the part of the viewed sky while larger focal length diminishes this area because of the bigger magnifying ability. Consequently, bigger sensors offer wider field and smaller imaging chips narrow the field of view. Sensor size and focal length collaborate in order to specify the precise part of the sky that can be captured.

4. Manual Focusing

In case you have already tried shooting with telescopes at night, you have probably faced the difficulties with focusing. Autofocus doesn’t operate as effectively as you want, the infinity mark on the camera or lens isn’t really precise and the readout on the LCD is pretty dim. While you photograph astronomical objects or night scenes, manual focusing will come to the rescue and ensure that the focus is on point. Your telescope must have it.

5. Aperture

This parameter means the size of an opening in the telescope with the help of which the mirror or lens “gets” light. If the aperture is large, the device will be able to gather a sufficient amount of light to produce bright, full of details pictures. Depending on the aperture, you will observe either unclear or vivid stars through the scope.

6. Additional Equipment

If you want to be 100% satisfied with the achieved astrophotography, you must pick up appropriate telescope accessories.

Celestron Case for Nexstar 4/5/6/8-Inch Optical Tube

Portable Case

A portable case is aimed at preventing the telescope from potential damage when traveling and transporting.



90mm ID Orion Telescope Tube Rings

Tube Rings

They are regulated rings for the finder to make it optically suit. Highly recommended to place them to your bag to avoid unpleasant damages.



Celestron Dovetail Bar CGE 11in - 94219

Dovetail Bar

An integrated dovetail or a dovetail bar is designed for mounting a telescope. It is needed to fasten additional gear.



Meade Series 6000 2


A field reducer/flattener is used to generate a flat area for shooting. A field flattener lens is used for countering the way the field-angle is dependent on the focal length of the telescope.



Celestron Illuminated RACI Finder Scope

Finder Scope

A finder scope with brackets to observe and implement automatic guiding. A finder assists in locating the desired sky objects.



Celestron 1.25


A diagonal helps align mount and observe stars or planets placed overhead. It is an inclined prism or mirror which enables you to view from a direction perpendicular to the typical eyepiece axis.





Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.




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