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Which telescope to buy?

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Hi folks, brand new to this forum and needing advice. I have bought an heq5 pro synscan mount and now trying to choose what telescope to buy. I want to observe at first then when feeling more confident try some astrophotography. I was pretty set on an 8 inch Newtonian reflector but after visiting a shop the short tube achromatic refractors with wide field view look appealing. I can't decide but money will dictate my final decision. If I go for refractor what is the minimum aperture I should go for? Thanks.

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I suggest you stay on this forum for a few weeks and read all the posts before you think about buying anything. You'll pick up a LOT of information about the pro's and con's of various telescopes and hopefully be able to make your own decision about what's best for you. You should also consider buying a few basic books about the hobby. They tend to be a lot less expensive than scopes.

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The best advice I was offered when I was in your position was to buy two scopes - one for visual and one for imaging. To use one for both will be a compromise - nothing wrong with that as long as you understand that is the case.

For visual (in general) the more aperture the better - that gets more light to your eye and hence makes the dimmer objects a bit easier to see - or even to see at all. Big aperture is possible with reflectors or refractors but the latter become expensive very quickly.

For imaging, a good mount is the most important part (you have bought a good one) so that you can track objects over an extended period i.e. take long exposures. You can image with a refractor or a reflector but now aperture is not so important since the camera will accumulate the light over the exposure period. Many of the fantastic images on here are taken with small short refractors but they would not be my choice for visual observing.

Having said all that, there are some hybrid (sort of a mix of reflector and refractor) designs that might be a good compromise for you.

My advice? See if you have a local society and go and look at what the members use, read the forums on here and ask questions. Don't rush into it (you will - everyone does) the skies aren't going anywhere soon.


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hi and welcome to SGL.

i was and still am in the same predicament as yourself. i've found everyone on here very helpfull, but unfortunatly you probably will hear that you cant get one scope to do everything.

the only advice i'm going to offer is that you get a copy of "making every photon count" from FLO, cost's £20 but is worth every penny as far as wanting into AP goes.


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