Telescopes are of different types and it is important to get the right one for any usage. The reflector telescope is the ideal option for astronomy. This type of telescope uses a mirror to gather and focus light. The mirror is usually parabolic in shape, which is perfect for focusing parallel light rays to a single point. Since celestial objects are so far, the lights coming from them reach the earth as parallel rays. With the reflector telescope, you will be able to view such objects with ease.
Modern research telescopes are of the reflector type. Most large amateur ones, which are the best options for hobbyist are also reflector telescopes. If you are serious about astronomy even as a hobbyist, investing in the right reflector telescope is the right place to start. In this article, we have put together the top 10 best reflector telescopes available right now and also included a comprehensive buyer’s guide that will help you with your selection.
Top 10 Reflector Telescopes Reviewed
1. Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST
Orion Telescope and Binoculars has been on the forefront of releasing best quality telescopes to the public. They have also shown uncommon commitment to providing real value for customers, boasting of one of the best customer care teams in the industry. The Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope is an excellent option for beginner or intermediate stargazers.
This is a relatively compact telescope that weighs about 27 pounds after assembly. It has a 5.1 inch aperture that gathers an ample amount of light for great views of celestial bodies. It is also a versatile telescope, thanks to the 24-inch long ‘Short Tube’ optical tube design and fast f/5 focal ratio for exciting wide-field performance. It also comes with a sturdy and precise EQ2 equatorial mount and adjustable tripod which allows manual slow-motion tracking. The package also comes with 1.25 inch Sirius Plossl eyepieces (25mm and 10mm), 6×30 finder scope, 1.25inch rack and pinion focuser, tripod accessory tray, collimation cap, starry night astronomy software, and more. In fact, it has everything you need to explore starry skies.
2. Celestron Astromaster 130EQ
Celestron is a household name for astronomers, it is regarded as the world’s #1 Telescope brand. The company has produced a variety of top quality telescope for all levels of hobbyist and this is a perfect option for beginners. It is a powerful reflector telescope that features fully-coated glass optics, a sturdy and lightweight frame, two eyepieces, a StarPointer red dot finderscope and an adjustable tripod.
The Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Newtonian Telescope has several impressive features. It has a 130mm glass optic objective lens, two slow motion control knobs that permit precision adjustments for viewing terrestrial and celestial objects. It also comes with 2 eyepieces (a 20mm eyepiece that has a 45x magnification, and a 10mm eyepiece that offers up to 90x magnification). Users can also download the BONUS Starry Night Basic Edition astronomy software for interactive sky simulation. It comes with 2-year warranty and you will enjoy the best customer support from Celestron.
3. Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5 Astro
Another excellent product from Orion, this is a great compact reflector telescope designed to inspire anyone’s natural inclination to explore. It is an ideal instrument for entry-level and intermediate astronomy enthusiasts. It features a 4.5-inch aperture and fast f/4 focal ratio that will reliably provide bright, detailed view of solar system targets and other celestial objects.
The Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope is described as a grab-and-go instrument because it ships pre-assembled. In few minutes you can get the powerful telescope ready for use. The value package has all the accessories you need to get started including two explorer II 1.25 inch Kellner telescope eyepieces (17mm and 6mm), EZ Finder II reflex sight for easy aiming, eyepiece rack, collimation cap, Starry Night astronomy software, the required 1 Lithium Metal battery and more.
4. Zhumell Z130 Portable
The innovative Z series Dobsonian telescopes from Zhumell has been the toast of the world of amateur astronomy for a while. This a portable member of the family that has the capacity to transform your astronomy experience. It is an excellent choice for individuals who are just embracing astronomy as a hobby or an ardent astronomer who is looking to add a grab-and-go telescope to his/her collection.
The Zhumell Z130 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope features a 130mm parabolic primary mirror, which is rare for tabletop instruments of this size. It also has an industry-standard 1.25-inch focuser, which works with many different accessories. It can reliably provide 90 percent light transmission, for brighter view of planetary bodies and celestial objects. With the easy-to-use red dot finder, using the instrument will be very easy for anyone. It comes with 25mm and 10mm eyepieces. It has a durable, sturdy construction that will hold on for years.
5. Orion SkyQuest XT8 Plus
If you have encountered the Orion’s XT8 Classic, you will have just a little idea of what this monster is all about. It is a plush upgrade of the stalwart 8-inch reflector telescope that is exceptional in many ways. It features a redesigned Dobsonian base, adjustable altitude axis tension, a 2-inch dual-speed Crayford focuser, and several other upgraded features and accessories.
The Orion SkyQuest XT8 Plus Dobsonian Reflector Telescope is a good-looking instrument, with an eye-catching metallic blue optical tube properly balanced on the redesigned base. Included in the value package are 2-inch 28mm DeepView eyepiece, standard 1.25-inch 10mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece, Shorty 2x Barlow lens, eyepiece rack, EX Finder II reflex sight, collimation cap, and more. For improved performance, it has enhanced-reflectivity mirror coating. You will obtain exceptionally bright, clear views, which is great for all levels of users.
6. Sky-Watcher S11610
This has earned an enviable spot on the list of the best Dobsonian telescope. It is an excellent option for individuals who are on a budget but want an 8″ Dobsonian. Though it is an affordable option, this reflector telescope is not at all compromised, quality-wise. An f/5.9 Newtonian, the 8″ Traditional is manufactured by Suzhou Synta Optical Technologies, the same company behind Celestron. The telescope is made with the right materials and will stand the test of time.
There is no question about the optical quality of the Skywatcher S11610 8″ Traditional telescope. The glass type is Borosilicate. It also features solid rocker-mount with Teflon bearings and tension clutch for altitude. With the 94% aluminum mirror coating, users will obtain clearer views of celestial bodies. It comes with several other accessories you need to get started. The only issue is that the item may ship in more than one box and may arrive separately.
7. Gskyer 130EQ Professional
This telescope comes as an excellent instrument for all kinds of users. It will be an incredible companion for every hobbyist and an ideal travel telescope for a professional. It comes in a package that contains everything you need to get started and enjoy clear views of planetary bodies, brighter galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters. The all-glass optical components with high transmission coatings enhances image brightness and clarity of objects.
The Gskyer Telescope, 130EQ Professional Astronomical Reflector Telescope is a very versatile instrument. The 130mm instrument can be also used for daytime birding and wildlife viewing. It also comes with all the accessories you need for astronomical viewing including 3 eyepieces, a 3x Barlow lens, a finderscope, an adjustable tripod and many more. It is an excellent option for on-the-go stargazing.
8. Zhumell Z114 Portable
This is another member of the Zhumell’s revolutionary Z series Dobsonian telescopes. It is an excellent options for individuals in need of a powerful yet portable telescope for on-the-go stargazing and exploration. It features a 114mm parabolic primary mirror that helps in producing noticeably sharper views. In addition to the primary mirror, other optical surfaces are sufficiently coated with Zhumell’s high-reflective coatings.
In terms of construction, the Zhumell Z114 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope is a well-built instrument. It will definitely stand years of use and travels. The industry standard 1.25″ focuser is compatible with many different accessories. There is an included 17mm and 10mm eyepieces. Using it is also very simple. Once you get to the right site, putting it together is easy and will happen within few minutes.
9. Celestron NextStar 130SLT
A fully computerized reflective telescope, this is one product that ever serious astronomer must consider buying. Clearly, this instrument was designed with beginners and intermediate users in mind but it can also be an excellent addition for a top-level astronomer. The Computerized Star Locating Telescope (SLT) allows users to select from a database of more than 4,000 stars, galaxies, nebulae, and other celestial bodies. It features the Skyalign technology that allows users to focus on three bright celestial objects.
Asides from the advanced technology it boasts of, this mid-prized telescope has several other top features. It has a 130mm aperture with focal length of 650mm. Many users have testified to its incredible magnification power. It is compact, portable and easy to use. Adults and children can have excellent stargazing experience with it.
10. SkyWatcher S11810
This is one of the most exciting reflective telescopes available to the public. It is part of the Sky-Watcher Robesonian syncing series. Like other instruments in the series, this is a precision engineered instrument that will allow the user to easily find and enjoy viewing all manner of planetary bodies and celestial objects. It features a patented collapsible tube design which makes for improved portability and performance.
The SkyWatcher S11810 GoTo Collapsible Dobsonian Telescope features 1200 mm focal length (f/4.7), 2-inch single-speed Crawford-style Focuser with 1.25-inch adaptor. The syncing AZ hand control makes it easier for users to focus on any object. Among the advanced telescopes, it is one of the easiest to use. It doesn’t have to be disassembled between uses as it can be transported as two compact pieces and assembled within seconds. The only issue you may have with the product is the price, otherwise, it is one of the telescopes you should consider adding to your collection. It comes with all the accessories you will need.
Reflective telescopes are the right types of telescopes for astronomers. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran, viewing with the right kind of telescope will help make the experience worthwhile for you. In this guide, we will discuss some of the most important considerations to make before picking a reflector telescope and also answer some important questions that may be lurking on your mind.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Reflector Telescope
To determine the best telescope for you, there are some factors you need to consider. Here are the most important ones:
Your need and experience level
Like other products, reflective telescopes are not made equal. While there are some that are exclusively made for veterans and professional astronomers, there are others that are made for beginners. If you are just starting off, it is important to buy one that is user-friendly. Most of the instruments you will find are made for beginner and intermediate users. Confirm that any product is friendly to users of your level before making a purchase.
Quality of Construction
Since it is always a sizable investment, you will like to use your reflector telescope for as long as possible. The durability of the instrument will depend on the quality of construction and you need to consider this before making a purchase.
The diameter of the light-gathering mirror or lens of a telescope (aperture) is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to performance. A substantial aperture of 4.5-inch is recommended. With the right aperture and focal length, users can obtain clearer and more detailed view of celestial objects.
You also need to consider the accessories that come with your instrument. A standard telescope package should include eyepieces and other things you need to get started.
Price is another important factor to consider when buying a telescope. While the expensive models are considered better, you must make sure the instrument have enough features and specifications to command any quoted price. Compare products to find the best deal for you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Reflective Telescopes
What is the major advantage of reflective telescopes?
The major advantage of reflectors is that they do not suffer from chromatic aberration since reflected light does not disperse according to wavelength.
Can reflective telescopes be used to view galaxies?
Yes, Reflector telescopes are the best for viewing of planets and galaxies. They are used for viewing far away objects in space.
What function do the mirror in reflector telescope perform?
The parabolic mirror of a reflector telescope is used to gather and focus the light from far away astronomical objects.
What are the major components of a reflective telescope?
The most important components of reflector telescope are the lens, the telescope tube, the finderscope, eyepiece, and the mount.
Are reflective telescopes expensive?
While reflective telescopes are generally more expensive than refractive telescopes, there are affordable options on the market.
Reflector telescope is the perfect telescope for astronomers and hobbyist who want to view planetary bodies and objects that are far in space. There are several reflective telescopes on the market with the right features to meet your need. We have reviewed the top ten options you can get now and provided other information you will need to make the right choice. We sincerely hope this piece helps you get the perfect instrument for you.