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Six "telescope basics" videos for beginners

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I recently put together some videos to help beginners better understand the basics of telescopes, so they will have the knowledge to ask better questions and make better choices for their own personal situation. Here's a quick rundown of the videos:

Telescope types:

Magnification/focal ratio:

Standard eyepieces:

Field of view: Apparent and telescopic:

Barlow lenses:


These are not intended to be comprehensive and cover every single aspect of these topics; rather, I tried to provide an overview of each concept with relevant pictures, graphics and video so that viewers can understand each concept better.

I hope these prove helpful to beginners getting started who may feel overwhelmed with telescope choices, terminology, and getting a handle on the basics of telescopes.

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Hi David and congratulations on another set of good videos. One suggestion if I may, regarding the second video "Magnification/focal ratio", and that is when you provide an example of what someone might see, is it possible to show a more realistic image that is devoid of colour. I know this might sound like nit picking but as an observer, I think it is only fair to show objects as they actually appear rather than as a product of some CCD chip. Having watched them all, I can confirm that other star field images used in for example the "Field of View" video, was more appropriate to what we observe and is the sort of thing I would like to see being used.

Hope you don't mind my suggestion and is in no way a comment on the hard work you have clearly put into produce these videos.

Keep up the good work


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James, that is very helpful constructive criticism, and I appreciate the feedback. The thing I was thinking as I was putting that video together was, "What's a large-ish / well-known object that can best be used to get the concept across?"

The Pleiades was what came to mind, naturally. What didn't occur to me - as you aptly point out - is the image that Stellarium provides is not remotely what someone will see in their scope. Of course, it's a bit late to go back and re-edit, but it's a fair criticism, and I will keep in mind for future projects.

In all seriousness and sincerity, thank you. :)

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Hello David,

Thanks very much for these videos. Some nice illustrations of things I've been reviewing after a (very) long lull in astronomy. Exceptionally well made not to overwhelm or confuse the beginner or those needing a quick refresh/summary of the essentials.

Happy New Year


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Thanks so much for the kind words, Tony. :laugh:

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Hi David,

Thanks for those. I found them very helpful.



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