Celestial bodies have always fascinated the human eyes. Our ever-growing will to explore them has made our solar system seem very close to us. And one of the easiest and most sought methods of discovering our solar system and universe is through the use of Refractor Telescopes.
Refractor telescopes are easy to operate, offer a convenient design that makes them more manageable and requires less maintenance when compared to reflector and compound telescopes.
Having objective lens aperture from big to small, these telescopes are suitable for professional astronomers as well as your kids who are aspiring to become Astro-physicist. Who knows, they may be the next Issac Newton, Galileo or Einstein.
These telescopes come in various shapes and sizes that you can easily install in the backyard of your home or on your terrace to explore the night sky. All of them are available at an affordable price, select the one which suits you best.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional astronomer or an amateur science enthusiast who is just crazy to explore the night sky. These easy to operate Refractor telescopes will help you achieve every desire of yours relating to celestial bodies.
Here in this article, we bring you the TOP7 REFRACTOR TELESCOPES which you can buy for your celestial, astronomical discoveries.
But before we move further, you should focus on following three points that are of prime importance and needed to be kept in mind before buying your refractor telescope
- Objective Lens Aperture: : Objective lens is the lens through which the light enters your telescope. It is mounted at the top end of telescope away from the eyes. With this lens, you focus on the objects in the night sky. The aperture of any lens tells about its size or simply saying the diameter of the lens.So, the objective lens having a larger aperture captures more light and wider object size than small aperture lens. This makes the object appear brighter and bigger to you. Hence its aperture should be maximum. But, with increasing objective lens aperture cost and size of your telescope increases.Objective lens is permanently fixed in the telescopes and cannot be changed like eyepiece lenses.
- Eyepiece Lens:Just like the objective lens eyepiece lens are also an integral part of any telescope. But they can be removed to fit different eyepiece lens. These are mounted on the back end of telescopes opposite to the objective lens. Through the eyepiece, you can see the object images captured by the objective lens.Hence, you should always focus on how many eyepiece lenses you are getting with your telescope. As each eyepiece has different magnification power. It ensures you get different views of the same object and select the one which is most clear and bigger for you.If you will go for single eyepiece telescope you will feel handicapped with your telescope. It will be better if you buy binoculars instead of a single eyepiece telescope.
- Magnification: Magnification tells you how much big you will see the image from your telescope. But not every magnification is useful for you. Since with increasing magnification, the image quality starts depleting as it gets blurry and dim. It is just like any image getting blur in your smartphone when you zoom it excessively.So, what is the maximum useful magnification a telescope should have? We have described it in detail, click here to know more.
So, these were some most important factors to keep in mind before purchasing a telescope. But there is more to it, read our Buying Guide to know other important factors that decide the performance of your telescope.
The wait is over! We had spent over a week on reading thousands of user reviews and ended up selecting following TOP7 REFRACTOR TELESCOPES for you to buy
6 Best Refractor Telescopes
6 Best Refractor Telescopes Reviews
1. Gskyer Telescope 600x90mm AZ Astronomical Refractor Telescope
German technology has always ruled the world when it comes to machinery and devices useful for mankind. Gskyer is one such German brand that specializes in making telescopes.
Anybody from intermediate to advance can explore celestial bodies through the night sky with this easy to operate telescope.
What you get
- Its 90mm aperture objective lens makes the objects appear clearly and brightly to you. As a result, you will be able to see every crater on moon clearly with this telescope.
- You can combine its 600mm focal length with three eyepiece lens of aperture 22mm,11mm and 10mm to get magnifications of x27, x54, x60.
- Not enough? Don’t worry its X3 Barlow lens triples the magnification produced by each lens. Now no crater of moon will go unobserved from your eyes.
- Its lenses are made of anti-reflection blue film coating that keeps your image still and makes it appear crisp and clear. Thus, you can now enjoy every detail of your planet clearly in the night sky.
- Further, all the lenses of your telescope are fully optically coated and protect your eyes from harmful lights that may harm them.
- To help you easily navigate through the night sky, its stainless-steel tripod stand gives you multiple positions to fix your telescope. You can also increase or decrease the length of your tripod from 31.5” to 49”.
- Your telescope’s tube is made of aluminium that along with making it lightweight also makes it durable, resistant to corrosion and other environmental constraints.
- What you will love most is the GSKEYR’s friendly customer support and the warranty of 12 months that help you in case your telescope develops any glitch, although the probability of it is very low.
What we liked
- Multi-coated anti-reflection blue-film decreases image distortion.
- Solid stainless-steel tripod for stable views.
- Easy to assemble and to use.
- 90mm aperture objective lens provides brightness to the image.
- Aluminium body makes it lightweight and portable.
- It has a long life.
What we didn’t like
- Expensive in cost.
- You will feel difficulty using it in polluted night sky.
- Less Warranty period only of 12months.
2. Celestron-400x70mm Travel Scope-Portable Refractor Telescope
Founded in 1960(California USA), CELESTRON is another telescopic brand in our list. They have given hundreds of telescopic models to this world, some of them are installed in the White House of USA also.
They are another perfect in fact most liked brand sought by children, beginners, and intermediate astronomers who want to explore the night sky full of questions with undiscovered stars and planets.
What you get
- It has got the objective lens of 70mm aperture that captures the object clearly for you and you can see the image brightly. It is the improved version of their previous 50mm objective lens.
- You get two eyepieces lens of 20mm and 10mm that combine with its 400mm focal length to give you the magnification of x20 and x40. This is considered to be good for people who are just beginners in astronomy.
- You can utilize this telescope for viewing celestial objects in the night and terrestrial objects in the day time.
- All the lenses are equipped with high quality fully coated optical glass so that you observe crisp and still images without distortions. It also protects your eyes from harmful rays.
- This model has little add-on in its weight when compared to their previous model, but still very portable and carries the unmatched quality when compared to its other competitors.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble, you can mount your telescope on a full height tripod stand to enjoy the night sky. You also get a bag pack with this purchase to carry your telescope anywhere with you.
- What is the bonus you get? The answer is a top-rated astronomy software program which is free to download. So, learn as much as you can with this telescope.
- Unbeatable warranty of 2years and unlimited access to technical support from their US-based experts is what makes CELESTRON TELESCOPES superior from other brands.
What we liked
- Sturdy Made Design and Build
- Easy to store or transport
- High-Quality Optical View
- Affordable Price
- High-Quality Photo Resolution
- Easy to Use
- Dual Powered Eyepieces
What we didn’t like
- Flimsy Tripod
- Few Plastic Part
- You get only two magnifications because of only two eyepiece lenses.
3. Orion 9024 Astro View 90mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope
Estd. in 1975 ORION offers its telescopes and binoculars to customers of every level i.e Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced astronomers. Orion telescopes are famous to enhance your telescopic enjoyment without breaking your bank too much.
Especially talking about ORION9024 telescope, it is good for those who are active in research programs of astronomy. It has a high price but best for adult astronomical use.
What you get
- The objective lens has a massive aperture of 90mm, that makes your image appear very clear to you. You will be able to notice every single detail of the object you are focusing on.
- Your telescope has a focal length of 910mm, that can be mounted on an EQ-2 adjustable tripod stand. Its enabled equatorial mount helps you in manual slow-motion tracking of constellations, far lying planets etc.
- Its 25mm eyepiece lens gives x36 magnification with bright image of your object, while the 10mm lens gives magnification of x91 for crisp full image of your object. Don’t worry the image will not get blurred much in this case.
- With its 6×30 finder scope and smooth-adjusting 1.25” rack and pinion focuser, you can easily swivel your telescope in the night sky to find the hidden truths on moon and other planets.
- You can also enjoy the day time terrestrial viewing on earth with its correct-image diagonal. But you will feel sad to know that correct image diagonal is sold separately.
- We would like to sum up our review as it is a telescope specially made for adults who are indulged in professional astronomy. It will cost you a bit, but the performance you will get is exceptional when compared to any other brand mentioned in this list.
What we liked
- Classic refractor design
- Crisp clear views of the Moon and planets
- Two Sirius Plossl eyepieces and 6×30 finder
- Starry Night planetarium software included
What we didn’t like
- Equatorial mount wobbles a bit while focusing.
4. Toyer Bee 70x300mm Astronomical Refractor Telescope
Searching for an affordable and easy to operate telescopes for your kids? Toyer bee is the answer for you. Toyer bee telescopes are small in size, user friendly and a perfect choice for your kids to start their astronomical journey.
What you get
- With a focal length of just 300mm, this telescope is very handy and small in size. It can be easily managed by your kids while operating in the night sky.
- 70mm aperture of the objective lens helps your kids to gather a bright and stable image of moon, stars, planets, constellations etc. This telescope increases the inquisitiveness of space exploration in your child’s mind.
- Its 2 Eyepiece lens measure 20mm and 6mm to give you magnification of x15 and x150 respectively. You can triple this with the help of x3 Barlow Lens. This will let you see every crater on moon and other planets.
- It can be used as terrestrial telescope also as it is found to deliver great views of mountains, valleys, and many other features of the world around.
- With an adjustable tripod stand, you can easily mount your telescope on it. The height of the tripod stand can be changed from 16” to 46” to let you enjoy every angle with your telescope.
- It has a very lightweight and can be taken anywhere along with you.
- You can connect this telescope with your smartphone and deliver the captured scientific photos directly to your Whatsapp groups and contacts.
- Toyer bee gives its customers immense importance hence offers you a 3year warranty on your telescope. You will never feel alone if any problem occurs with your telescope, the solution is just a call away.
What we liked
- Very easy to install, takes only 10minutes.
- 3years warranty.
- Highly portable.
- Barlow lens triples magnification.
- Low price telescope.
- Easy to operate.
What we didn’t like
- Weak metal screws develop misalignment in the telescope.
- Not too much durable.
5. Zhumell 60mm AZ Refractor Telescope
Zhumell provides you field-tested, precision-crafted telescopes at the best possible value. Even if you are just an amateur starting as a beginner in astronomy, you don’t have to settle for an entry-level telescope. Being a Zhumell customer you will enjoy astronomy in rich and colourful detail.
What you get
- Objective lens of 60mm aperture captures enough light to make your image appear clear to you.
- It has a focal length of 700mm and with a sturdy design, it can be easily mounted on a tripod stand to help you easy navigation in the night sky.
- With eyepieces of 25mm and 10mm aperture, you get a magnification of x24 and x70 respectively. Not enough? Don’t worry you also get an X2 Barlow lens that doubles the magnification produced by these lenses.
- Only of its kind, its RED DOT finder scope helps you easily focus through the objects in the eyepiece. This is not present in any other brand we have mentioned in this list.
- It has a simple and quick no tool assembly. You can assemble this telescope within minutes of unboxing it. Hence most of your time goes observing in the night sky.
- Weighing only 4.5 pounds this telescope is portable and can be carried with you anywhere you go.
What we liked
- Low price.
- Easy to set up.
- Light weight hence portable.
- Red dot finder makes it easier to locate objects.
- Perfect for amateur users.
What we didn’t like
- Barlow lens has a low magnification of x2.
- User manual is difficult to understand.
6. Sky-Watcher 120mm, f5 Refractor Telescope
Founded in 1999, Sky-Watcher has strived to improve quality while reducing the cost of their telescopes. With the motto of “Innovate continuously, and challenge your limits”, Sky-watcher is committed to design and manufacturer superior telescopes for you at affordable rates.
What you get
- This telescope gives you an extra wide-field view with its 120mm aperture objective lens. No brand in this list carries such a massive aperture. It will catch everything that comes in its way. This makes it a perfect buy for professional astronomers.
- Its focal length is 22″ or 560mm approx. which when combined with its eyepieces of 10and 25mm gives you the desirable magnification of x56 and x22. You can use it for breathtaking views of moon, planets, constellations along with terrestrial beauty.
- With its 45° erect image prism all the optical flip errors which are inherent in refractor-style telescopes get corrected. Hence you always get correct orientation viewing. This feature is missing in other brands.
- It comes with an aluminium tripod stand which is sturdy and lightweight. You don’t need to spend too much energy in setting up this telescope. This makes it portable also as the entire set up weighs just 17pounds.
- There are Slow-motion controls on both the vertical and horizontal axes of your telescope. It helps you in precise targeting of objects in the night sky. Its red dot finder scope further makes your object focusing task easier.
- You don’t need to be worry about where to place eyepieces and other gears because its large accessory tray provides a convenient storage place for all the gears of your telescope.
What we liked
- Slow-motion control for object focusing.
- Red dot finder for precise focus.
- Large accessory tray to place your telescopic gears.
- Tripod stand is lightweight.
- Massive objective lens aperture.
What we didn’t like
- It weighs too much, hence difficult to port.
- Barlow lens feature is missing.
How To Select The Best Refracting Telescopes For You?
We know that buying a telescope is not an easy cake for you to walk. You need to be aware of every aspect and feature that your telescope can give you.
Keeping your such demands in mind we have created the following buying guide for you that will help you understand the role and importance of every feature your telescopes carries.
This buying guide will help you in selecting the best telescope for you having the right features to serve your purpose.
1. Types of Telescopes
There are three types of Telescopes available in the market namely Refractor Telescopes, Reflector Telescopes and Compound Telescopes. We have explained them briefly in the following points –
- Refractor Telescopes: Intended for lunar and planetary explorations, all the brands we have mentioned here are refractor telescopes.They are more convenient to use and have greater durability that’s why they are preferred over the other two types. They are compact in size hence most useful for astronomical research from home.They are much easy to operate among all the 3types of telescopes, hence require less attention when it comes to care and maintenance. However, they are heavy in weight and due to delicate lenses are expensive to buy.
- Reflector Telescopes :These telescopes use a large size concave mirror for magnifying the object you are looking at. They are useful for deep sky investigations.Since lenses are not involved in this thus, they are less costly but require hefty effort in maintenance.They are difficult to adjust and require daily cleaning which is not possible if you are short of time. Invented by Newton, they are also called as Newtonian Reflector.
- Compound Telescopes: Most advanced of other two telescopes, they use the properties of both Refractors as well as Reflector Telescopes. They make use of mirror and lens for magnification and are compact in size when compared to the other two types.You can integrate these telescopes with your smartphones, but they are very expensive to buy.
2. Objective lens Aperture of Telescope
Objective lens is the primary lens that catches the image of the object you are focusing on. It is the first lens of telescope mounted at the top end of your telescopic tube.
Talking about Aperture, it is the size or diameter of the objective lens of your Refractor Telescope. As this size increases the light-capturing capacity of your telescope also increases. It is measured in mm or inches.
As the aperture of your objective lens increases, let’s say from 4” to 8” then the 8” lens will brighten up your target 4times better than the 4” lens, hence you will be able to see the target more clearly than a smaller objective lens.
So, if you wish to see through the solar systems more deeply, buying the larger aperture objective lens telescope is a must for you. But going for larger objective lens makes your telescope expensive, not only this the size of your telescope also increases.
So, before you buy large objective lens telescope make sure you have enough space in your home to accommodate them, more than that you should have enough money in your pocket to be able to buy them.
3. Number of Eyepiece Lens
As the name suggests, the eyepiece lens is the lens through which you see the object you are focusing on. It is just at the opposite end of the objective lens.
It becomes important for you to know that how many eyepiece lenses you are getting with your telescope. Because each eyepiece lens gives you different magnification.
Hence if you want a wide range of magnifications goes for the telescope which has 2 or more eyepiece lenses. If your telescope is having only eyepiece lens please don’t buy that to regret later.
Brands we have mentioned here carry 2 to 3 eyepiece lenses with them. You should note that lesser the aperture of your eyepiece greater will be the magnification produced by your telescope.
Curious to know what is magnification? Read next factor in this buying guide.
“How much it magnifies?” is the first question that arises in your mind looking at a telescope, isn’t it. The answer you want to listen to is super high magnification. But trust me, super high magnification is not fruitful at all.
You must have noticed that image in your phone gets blurred when you excessively zoom it, same is the case with telescopes. Excessive magnification makes the celestial objects appear dim and blurry. And it gets even worse when the night is too dark.
So, what is the line between too much high magnification and optimum useful magnification? Read the next line.
Optimum useful magnification should be less than or equal to 2times the aperture of objective lens in mm. This means a 100mm aperture objective lens telescope should not have magnification more than x200.
So, from now onwards don’t fall into the traps of people telling you this telescope has greater magnification, just use the above logic and find the truth.
But how to find the magnification that you will actually get from your telescope?
Just divide the focal length of your telescope with the focal length of the eyepiece of your telescope. This will give you the magnification of your telescope.
For example, a 300mm focal length telescope having eyepiece of 5mm focal length gives you x60 magnification.
Ok so now you must be wondering what is focal length, don’t worry next factor in our buying guide is about focal length only, read further for knowing it.
5. Focal Length
The focal length is also referred to as the size of your telescope. This tells you the distance between the objective lens and the eyepiece of your telescope. It is again a measurement in mm or inches.
So as this distance or focal length of your telescope increases the size or length of your telescope also increases.
Also as told in the above point, it directly affects the magnification of your telescope. Hence select the telescope after thorough research of what purpose you are buying it for.
If you want to go for deep space explorations like galaxies, stars etc. then buying a large focal length telescope is a must. But then you should also have a large space area enough to accommodate your large size telescope.
However, if your discovery is limited to the moon or nearby planets then a small focal length telescope will work for you. Generally, most people seek small focal length telescopes unless they are a professional astronomer.
6. Does it carry Barlow Lens?
Barlow lens is a special type of lens which when combined with the eyepiece of the telescope increases the magnification of your telescope from actual magnification.
It can be x2 Barlow Lens which doubles the magnification produced by each eyepiece or it can be x3 Barlow lens which triples the magnification produced by each eyepiece.
If you feel that the actual magnification produced is not enough for you, then always included Barlow lens in your telescope. Some brands give Barlow lens along with your purchase while for some brands you need to buy it separately.
7. How much you can spend?
If you are seeking to buy a refractor telescope then keep in mind that you will have to pay at least 50$ to get a good quality telescope.
If you are thinking to buy Telescopes below this price range then we will suggest you to buy binoculars instead of a telescope. Such telescopes are poor in quality and not durable, kindly refrain from buying low-cost telescopes.
However, even if you can pay any kind of amount then also don’t buy the most expensive and largest telescope available. Start your astronomical journey with low size, more manageable and affordable telescopes.
You will cherish the point that all the brands we have mentioned here are selected keeping in mind this point only. They give you the best performance at the minimum cost possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Type of Telescope Should I Buy?
For that you need to answer several questions of yourself, what is your location? what sort of observations do you want to do like are you limited observe the Moon and the solar system planets only? or you want to go after galaxies stars?
Refractor type telescopes are better when it comes to studying the solar system, moon or near to earth celestial bodies. On the other hand, reflector telescopes are the best options for deep-sky astronomy beyond the solar systems.
However, if you have interest of both the worlds then Compound telescopes give you the features of both the other telescopes by combining their individual features.
You should also keep in mind that are you looking for telescopes for beginners or for astronomers who are professionally indulged in astronomy. For beginners, a normal low price telescope with minimal features will work but for professional astronomers best telescope is needed to view planets and stars.
2. How Big Should My Telescope Be?
When we talk about telescopes bigger is always better. The reason is bigger the aperture more it will capture the light that will give a clear image. Bigger the focal length larger the magnification you will get.
So, try to optimize how much big you can afford as the price of the telescope also increases with an increase in the size of the telescope.
You should also keep in mind the weight of your telescope, its overall size because they will decide the portability of your telescope and you will need to have that much storage also to fix your telescope.
3. How Powerful Should My Telescope Be?
Powerful nature of your telescope is determined by its magnification capability. However, if you are a noob you will easily come into the traps of sellers creating hype of x200 or x400 magnification. This is not useful at all because the image will get blurry and the image will not be clearly visible at all.
Follow this simple trick, the magnification of your telescope should not be greater than twice the aperture of your objective lens in mm. This means a 50mm objective lens telescope should not have magnification greater than x100. Otherwise, the image will seem excessive blurry and dim.
Hence our advice for you will be to not judge your telescope based on its magnification power. Because any level of magnification can be achieved by your telescope when combined with the right eyepiece.
Thus, the aperture of the objective lens is the more accurate measure of your telescope’s capability.
4. What is the Right Telescope for Kids?
100mm aperture objective lens telescopes are considered enough for kid’s purpose. Since your kids will be involved thus ensure that the telescope is lightweight. The tripod stand must be adjustable to your kid’s height so that the telescope can be adjusted to the kid’s eye level.
It should also be sturdy and stable so that it doesn’t vibrate while focusing in the night sky. Try to buy a basic telescope for your kids which is not that much costly but gives full enjoyment to your child.
Once they develop the interest in astronomy and become more mature then move to the advanced versions like GSKYER or ORION telescopes.
Telescopes are great way to develop interest in astronomy. They easily fill up your spare time and give you breathtaking views of celestial bodies.
So, whether you are a professional astronomer or just a noob who is seeking a telescope to fulfil his free time. All the brands we have listed in this article can do the job for you.
However, our first choice for you is Gskyer Telescope 600x90mm AZ Astronomical Refractor Telescope. This German technology telescope is durable and long-lasting. It gives you three eyepieces to achieve 3magnifications. You can choose the one which is perfect for you.
This magnification can be further increased by x3 times with the help of a Barlow lens. It is not provided by any other brand. It is a costly affair but the best telescope to buy.