The best telescopes for astrophotography and stargazing in 2024

Best telescopes 2024: Jump Menu

best telescopes

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1. The list in brief ↴
2. Best overall: Unistellar eVscope eQuinox smart telescope
3. Best reflector: Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ
4. Best catadioptric: Celestron Nexstar 5SE
5. Best all-rounder: Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ
6. Best for the moon and planets: Sky-Watcher Skymax 127 SynScan AZ GoTo
7. Best for Canon shooters: Sky-Watcher Heritage-114P Virtuoso
8. Best for beginners: Celestron Inspire 100AZ
9. Best for solar system objects: Sky-Watcher SkyMax-180 PRO
10. Best for advanced features: Sky-Watcher Startravel 120 EQ3-2
11. Best for longevity: Skywatcher Evostar 120
12. Best for group imaging: Vaonis Stellina Observation Station and Hybrid Telescope
13. Further analysis
14. How to choose
15. How we test

The best telescopes for astrophotography open up the heavens above us in an exciting new way. Introducing us to new worlds beyond what can be seen with the naked eye, they're ideal for both stargazing enthusiasts and those who want to capture the cosmos with their cameras.

So which model should you buy? Well, that depends a lot on your level of experience. If you're looking for the best telescope for beginners, we recommend setting your sights on an inclusive package that lets you try a bit of everything, from general observing to afocal astrophotography. These instruments often come with a tripod, mount, eyepieces, finderscope, and even a smartphone adapter.

If your needs are slightly more advanced, you should consider whether you're a deep-sky or Solar System imager. The aperture (or objective lens) of the telescope will be your guide on whether it's capable of capturing 'faint fuzzies' or just enough to make the planets and lunar surface pop. 

The focal ratio is also an essential number to consider – fast telescopes with ratios of f/4 or f/5 are great for wide-field and deep-sky imaging, while slow instruments with ratios of f/11 to f/15 will offer dazzling high-power images of the Moon and planets. Meanwhile, the kind of mount you use will determine whether long-exposure astrophotography is possible.

Luckily, there are so many great options for the best telescope for astrophotography that users are spoilt for choice. This means that you can figure out exactly which product will work best for you and your needs.

So whether you're a beginner searching for a budget telescope to help explore your new hobby, or you're an experienced astrophotographer looking to upgrade your kit, we've listed the very best telescopes for astrophotography below. 

We'll start with the best-refracting telescopes, followed by the best-reflecting telescopes. If you're not sure of the difference, skip ahead to this explainer.

Gemma Lavender
Gemma Lavender

Gemma is content director of science and space magazines How It Works and All About Space, history magazines All About History and History of War as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) kids education brand Future Genius. She is the author of several books including "Quantum Physics in Minutes", "Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual to the Large Hadron Collider" and "Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual to the Milky Way". She holds a degree in physical sciences, a Master’s in astrophysics and a PhD in computational astrophysics.

The quick list

Below there's a quick round-up of our favorite telescopes for astrophotography, curated specifically for those who are in a hurry and want to grab a top model quickly.

The best telescopes for astrophotography in 2024

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Best overall

The best telescope for astrophotography and stargazing overall

Specifications

Optical design: Newtonian Reflector
Aperture: 114mm
Focal length: 450mm
Focal ratio: f/3.9
Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): 50x optical, 400x digital

Reasons to buy

+
Deals well with light pollution
+
Self-aligning software
+
Bright, colorful 4.8-megapixel images
+
Superb build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Narrow field of view
-
App sometimes stalls
Buy it if

✅ You're new to astronomy: This smart telescope can automatically detect and slew to night sky objects.


✅ Fast setup is important: From turning it on to taking your first astrophotograph it can take as little as five minutes.

Don't buy it if:

❌ The budget is tight: This smart telescope costs thousands and while you can grab a bargain during holiday sales it's not cheap.

❌ Traditional telescopes are important: If you're someone who gets excited about looking through a viewfinder to gaze at the heavens then viewing through a smartphone won't cut it.

The bottom line

🔎 Unistellar eVscope eQuinox this smart telescope can be linked to a smartphone or device within minutes and long-exposure, automatically tracked astrophotography can be taken in the press of a single button, it's remarkable but comes at a premium cost. ★★★★½

The eVscope eQuinox is not perfect, but compared to your average small reflector telescope the views this smart telescope affords of deep-sky objects are astounding. With resolution increasing via firmware updates, the already very clever algorithms inside the eVscope eQuinox’s onboard computer will only get better. 

Add an intriguing community dimension for crowdsourcing observations and the admittedly very expensive eVscope eQuinox seems a next-generation ‘smart telescope’ with a very bright future.

The eVscope eQuinox – which arrives with a photographic-style adjustable tripod (though with a proprietary design) – has some impressive light-gathering abilities. Though its core optics are average for a backyard telescope, it’s sensor, circuitry and its algorithms are unique. Small telescopes only impress with planets and the Moon, but the eVscope eQuinox goes for the celestial jugular by concentrating solely on galaxies and other previously unobtainable objects in the deep sky.

Read our Unistellar eVscope eQuinox smart telescope review for more details

Best reflector

The best telescope for astrophotography and stargazing overall

Specifications

Optical design: Newtonian Reflector
Aperture: 130mm
Focal length: 650mm
Focal ratio: f/5
Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x33 & x65
Finderscope: Red Dot Finder
Mount: Equatorial with R/A motor drive for object tracking
Resolving power: 0.88 arc seconds
Limiting stellar magnitude: 14.2
Highest useful magnification: x250

Reasons to buy

+
Larger aperture
+
Motor-driven equatorial mount
+
Good for long exposure astrophotography

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite complex to set up
Buy it if

✅ Automatic slewing is important: Tired of manually pushing the telescope back and forth? This telescope has a motorized mount that can automatically slew to night sky objects.

✅ You want to take long exposures: Because of the motorized mount long exposure photography is possible thanks to tracking of objects to prevent motion blur.

Don't buy it if:

❌ Complex setup: Need something ideal for a newcomer to astronomer? The equatorial mount on this telescope is slightly more complicated than an Alt-az.

❌ Collimation causes problems: The technical aspect of collimating a reflector telescope might be too much of a task for some who don't want that upkeep.

The bottom line

🔎 Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ Powerful and accurate this motorized reflector is ideal for astrophotographers who are hoping for long exposure shots, but its equatorial mount and requirement for collimating will need some learning. 50 words ★★★★

If you're after the best telescope for astrophotography and serious stargazing, we recommend the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ, which offers a great package for the slightly more experienced amateur astronomer – especially given that it comes with a CG-3 equatorial mount, which requires more practice and patience to use over the basic alt-azimuth.

The equatorial mount assists with tracking, which is essential for longer exposure astrophotography. Meanwhile, its decent aperture will show a good amount of detail on the solar system and deep-sky targets. However, in order to get the very best from the optical system – which is a Newtonian reflector –  you'll need to collimate the setup. 

This process can be tricky for beginners, but with practice, it's easily achieved – especially given Celestron has supplied a manual that walks you through the process. The optical performance is very good, with no major visual defects visible and we enjoyed the stunning contrast and clarity in the field of view. 

The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ comes fairly well equipped, and features two good quality eyepieces (20mm and 10mm), a StarPointer red dot finderscope, and a free download of Starry Night Basic Software, allowing you to choose your targets and plan your observing session before heading outside. Be warned though: you won't see all 36,000 objects in the software database using the 130mm aperture.  

Overall, the package is a sound choice as the first serious telescope for astrophotography. And, if you're a complete beginner, practice, and patience will help you to yield some impressive images – more so, provided you accessorize the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ with eyepieces that are respectful of the optical tube's useful magnifications. For example, it doesn't come with a Barlow lens, which will improve viewing and imaging further. 

Read our Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ telescope review for more details

Best catadioptric

(Image credit: Celestron)
High-quality optics with a multitude of advanced features

Specifications

Optical design: Schmidt Cassegrain
Aperture: 125mm
Focal length: 1250mm
Focal ratio: f/10
Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x50
Finderscope: Red Dot Finder
Mount: Alt-Azimuth, GoTo with object tracking
Resolving power: 0.93 arc seconds
Limiting stellar magnitude: 13
Highest useful magnification: x295

Reasons to buy

+
Superb user friendly design
+
Enough aperture to show plenty of detail
+
Full GoTo system with easy alignment routine

Reasons to avoid

-
Not ideal for longer exposure astrophotography
Buy it if

✅ Easy setup is a priority: Thanks to the clever design of the telescope and its tripod you'll have the scope set up in a matter of minutes.

✅ You need a motorized mount: Manual slewing can be fun but navigating to celestial objects automatically with the hand controller can be faster and more accurate.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're a beginner: There are other telescopes more suited to beginners that are far smaller and lighter than the NexStar 5SE.

❌ Budget is tight: While not the most expensive telescope ever, it's certainly not entry-level. The sophisticated features built-in means it'll take a small investment.

The bottom line

🔎 Celestron NexStar 5SE The Celestron NexStar 5SE is an all-rounder that's hard to beat as an introduction to observing and imaging. The long focal length and high focal ratio tailor the NexStar 5SE to lunar and planetary imaging in particular, and it will facilitate great images of the our neighbors in the Solar System as well as some of the brighter deep-sky objects such as the Orion Nebula or the Andromeda Galaxy. ★★★★½

Very popular among amateur astronomers worldwide, the Celestron NexStar 5SE is an extremely user-friendly option for those who are not just starting out in observing, but who are also keen to try their hand at astrophotography. 

It features a computerized mount, which enables the astronomer to spend more time imaging and observing instead of spending huge amounts of time tracking down targets in the night sky: at the simple touch of a button on the included hand control, you can lock onto your chosen object and get stargazing right away. What's more, the SkyAlign technology is a breeze to use and, in our experience, aligned the instrument within minutes.  

The telescope's design is exquisite given the cost and we're impressed with the optical performance. Given its focal ratio of f/10, the NexStar 5SE is a fast telescope, so it's best suited to lunar and planetary astrophotography. We found views and resulting images clear and crisp, especially craters along the Moon's terminator where night meets day. 

Beginners and seasoned astrophotographers will also enjoy picking out detail on the surface of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn; we highly recommend accessorizing this telescope with a range of filters for optimum results.    

The Celestron NexStar 5SE is quite portable, and since it's comprised of three different components – the optical tube, mount, and steel tripod – assembly takes no more than about 10 minutes. 

Read our Celestron NexStar 5SE telescope review for more details

Best all-rounder

A great all-rounder for basic astrophotography

Specifications

Optical design: Newtonian reflector
Aperture: 130mm
Focal length: 650mm
Focal ratio: f/5
Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x26, x65
Finderscope: Red Dot Finder
Mount: Alt-azimuth
Highest useful magnification: x307

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent price
+
Very beginner friendly
+
Good-sized aperture
+
Portable

Reasons to avoid

-
Undriven mount
-
Low-powered views only with supplied eyepieces
-
Only allows for basic astrophotography
Buy it if

✅ You're on a budget: The StarSense Exporer DX 130AZ is very accessible if you're working to a tight budget and this beginner telescope is often on sale during the holiday sales.

✅ Comes with everything: This telescope ships with everything you need to get started including a finderscope, a 25mm and 10mm eyepiece, plus a tripod.

Don't buy it if:

❌ Astrophotography is key: Grabbing a quick smartphone snap is do-able, but anything more sophisticated isn't great due to the lack of a motorized mount.

❌ Smartphone battery life: During testing we found that the battery life wasn't fantastic on our smartphone when left strapped to the telescope outside on a cold night.

The bottom line

🔎 Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ The StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ is a fine telescope for beginners wanting astronomical views. We can see the thinking behind it, and the way it uses its StarSense app to align with the night sky is very clever. It's all about the smartphone app used to align it, though it’s a more manual affair than you might expect. ★★★★

The largest of Celestron's StarSense Explorer range, the Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ offers a very good aperture size and a selection of accessories, including two eyepieces (10mm and 20mm), star diagonal, StarPointer red-dot finder, alt-azimuth mount, tripod, smartphone dock, and accessory tray. Set up is a simple process that takes no more than about 15 to 20 minutes. And it all comes in at a very reasonable cost

The StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ is a fast telescope due to its focal ratio of f/5 and focal length of 650mm. That makes it better suited to low-power views of the night sky. We enjoyed a selection of planetary and deep-sky targets in the field of view. 

Before we began observing, we downloaded the StarSense App, which is supplied for free with the telescope. We encountered no problems installing it onto our iPhone 11 and found the interface to be extremely simple to navigate and use. 

The StarSense App is packed with planets, stars, nebulae, and galaxies to explore – so if you don't know what to observe on your first night, there are plenty of recommendations. The app also makes short work of aligning the telescope, working accurately, and offering plenty of guidance to ensure that the skywatcher is imaging and observing within minutes.

Our first target was Mars, which shone brightly in the south east. Slewing to the Red Planet as instructed by the app, we noted the screen "zoom in", which prompted us to use the slow-motion controls (which work smoothly enough) to bring our target into focus. The fourth planet from the Sun is an impressive sight through the StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ, especially when we added a 2x Barlow lens. At a magnification of 150x, Mars appears as a sharp disk with the south polar cap visible. 

Testing the StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ's mettle on fainter deep-sky targets, we slewed to the Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31) and the Triangulum Galaxy (Messier 33). We weren't disappointed with the views; they were clear, and contrasty and demonstrated the reflector's ability to collect enough light for bright observations.

It's not possible to take long-exposure astrophotography due to the undriven amount but were able to take a decent focal shot using a smartphone and the supplied dock – results are pleasing and sure to delight beginners. 

Read our Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ review for more details

Best for moon and planets

5. Sky-Watcher Skymax 127 SynScan AZ GoTo

A great starter scope for shooting the Moon and planets

Specifications

Optical design: Maksutov-Cassegrain
Aperture: 127mm
Focal length: 1500mm
Focal ratio: f/11.8
Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x60, x120, x150 & x300
Finderscope: 6x30 optical finder
Mount: Alt-Az GoTo with object tracking
Resolving power: 0.9 arc seconds
Limiting stellar magnitude: 14.0
Highest useful magnification: x300

Reasons to buy

+
GoTo tracking mount
+
Long focal length

Reasons to avoid

-
Not well suited to long exposure photography
Buy it if

✅ Tracking is important: The GoTo tracking mount means you can keep celestial objects in view and steady when observing.

✅ Great focal length: With a whopping 1500mm focal length so this gives good magnifying power for viewing smaller subjects like galaxies.

Don't buy it if:

❌ Alignment: For absolute beginner astronomers, some might find the star alignment process (when using the optional GoTo mount) a little complicated.

The bottom line

🔎 Sky-Watcher Skymax 127 SynScan AZ GoTo As Maksutov-Cassegrains go this Sky-Watcher Skymax is a prime example of a very specific type of astrophotography: imaging the lunar surface and the planets of our solar system. Thanks to its impressively long focal length of 1500mm it's possible to get a view of Saturns rings, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter and a closer look at the red planet.

This telescope is a good example of one that is well suited to a particular area of astrophotography: due to its long focal length (1500mm), it is best for observing and photographing the Moon and planets. So, if you know you'll be studying the rings of Saturn, imaging the Moon's mountains, craters and mare or chasing Jupiter's Great Red Spot, then the Sky-Watcher Skymax 127 could be the instrument for you. 

As we have mentioned previously, a Barlow lens will serve you well for astrophotography – this Maksutov-Cassegrain is supplied with one, pushing your magnification up by 2x and increasing your focal length for better observing and photography.  

In terms of build, the overall package is of a very good quality. The optical tube assembly is a particular highlight, and we appreciated the excellent finish. The optics offered pin-sharp views of a selection of solar system targets with no coma, or other optical defects, hugely visible.  

The Sky-Watcher Skymax 127 is a great choice for those who are planetary and lunar enthusiasts. However, it's not well suited to long-exposure photography of deep-sky objects such as nebulae or galaxies. It's possible to purchase this telescope with or without a GoTo mount, depending on your kit preferences – whatever you decide though, a Vixen dovetail fixture means that the tube can be fitted to a variety of mounts, offering a great deal of flexibility for the astrophotographer. 

Best for Canon shooters

6. Sky-Watcher Heritage-114P Virtuoso

Great choice for Canon DSLR users

Specifications

Optical design: Newtonian Reflector
Aperture: 114mm
Focal length: 500mm
Focal ratio: f/4.38
Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x20 & x50
Finderscope: Red Dot Finder
Mount: Computerised Multi-Function Alt-Az Tracking Mount
Resolving power: 1.0 arc second
Limiting stellar magnitude: 13.9
Highest useful magnification: x250
Power requirement: 12v DC 1 Amp Power Supply (Tip Positive)

Reasons to buy

+
Advanced features for a budget price
+
GoTo upgradeable

Reasons to avoid

-
No tripod
GoTo handset sold separately
-
Collimation required
Buy it if

✅ Sophisticated features: Due to the Freedom-Find dual-encoder technology, this telescope can be moved by hand in either axis without loss of alignment or position information.

✅ Customizable: The GoTo mount is an optional upgrade for astronomers who want to be able to automatically slew to targets and track them.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a set: This telescope is sold separately from the tripod so if you want to ensure everything you buy is compatible (i.e. you're a rank beginner) then this might not be the one for you.

Handset optional: The handset controller that comes with the GoTo mount is also purchaseable for an additional cost.

The bottom line

🔎 Sky-Watcher Heritage-114P Virtuoso Astrophotographers, so long as they shoot Canon DSLR, will welcome the Canon-D electronic shutter release cable, which allows automatic DSLR control at up to six preset positions. This tabletop telescope is useful for anyone lacking outdoor space, too.

The Sky-Watcher Heritage 114P telescope, though a small package, offers some great features for those wanting a hugely portable instrument to use for astrophotography.

This reflector comes equipped with a couple of fair-quality eyepieces (10mm and 25mm), but we do recommend adding a Barlow lens to the kit to ramp up the magnification. What we can see through in the field of view, though, is sure to delight those just starting out in astronomy and astrophotography: there is a decent amount of contrast and clarity when capturing bright deep-sky targets, the planets and cratered lunar surface, especially given the reasonable price tag.

The mount provides a stable observing platform and will also track night-sky objects once located. The telescope can be slewed automatically in both axes, at five different speeds, via the mount's electronic keypad. 

Another standout feature is the Freedom-Find dual-encoder technology, which enables the telescope to be moved manually in either axis without losing its alignment or positional information. This is enormously convenient and offers great flexibility during observing sessions.

The telescope also includes a Canon-D electronic shutter release cable, enabling automatic DSLR control at up to six preset positions. If you're shopping around, or have a smaller budget, the 90mm Sky-Watcher Heritage 90P is also worth considering. 

Best for beginners

A perfect first choice for beginners, whatever camera you use

Specifications

Optical design: Refractor
Aperture: 100mm
Focal length: 660mm
Focal ratio: f/6.5
Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): 33x, 66x
Finderscope: StarPointer Pro
Mount: Manual Alt-Az with tripod
Resolving power: 1.45 arc seconds
Limiting stellar magnitude: 12.5
Highest useful magnification: 214x

Reasons to buy

+
Simple to use
+
Low cost
+
Would be a good choice for kids

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited to basic, short exposure photography
Buy it if

✅ Easy to use: The simple user interface of this beginner refractor telescope makes it ideal for those just getting into astronomy.

✅ Fully equipped: Two eyepieces, 90-degree diagonal, a finderscope and full-height tripod with Alt-az mount also ships with the Inspire 100AZ and means full compatibility and instant setup guaranteed.

Don't buy it if:

❌ Astrophotography: Only basic astrophotography is possible with this telescope, limited to short exposures of targets.

Night-time use only: Solar filters cannot be attached to this telescope so viewing the eclipse or observing the sun during the day is not safely possible.

The bottom line

🔎 Celestron Inspire 100AZ: This 4 inch/100mm refractor telescope has a clever lens cap that doubles as a smartphone clamp with which it's possible to photograph and even video the Moon, planets and deep-sky objects in space using just a smartphone. ★★★★

The Celestron Inspire 100AZ is our recommended telescope for the ultimate beginner, or for those on a tight budget. Given the complete package, which features a 10mm and 20mm eyepiece, erect image star diagonal, accessory tray, smartphone adapter, Starry Night Software, red LED flashlight for preserving night vision, and a StarPointer Pro red dot finderscope, you truly get more bang for your buck with the Inspire series of telescopes.

Though its mount is a basic undriven alt-azimuth design, it will still enable you to get some impressive images of the lunar surface – which is by far the best initial target to try photographing. As with the majority of instruments, the Inspire 100AZ's optics are multicoated providing good clarity for the low price tag. Color fringing is visible in images, but this is to be expected through the optical system of a budget telescope.

The integrated smartphone adapter means you can mount your phone to the eyepiece to take photos. You can also easily mount a digital SLR to the telescope with a low-cost adapter (this is available separately), although be mindful of the loading weight of this instrument when attaching additional pieces of kit.

Read our Celestron Inspire 100AZ review for more details

Best for solar system objects

(Image credit: Sky-Watcher)
Provides excellent images, with next to no color fringing

Specifications

Optical design: Maksutov-Cassegrain
Apeture: 180mm
Focal length: 2700mm
Focal ratio: f/15
Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x96
Finderscope: 9x50
Mount: Not included
Highest usable magnification: x360

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent sharp focus
+
Very little color fringing 
+
Produces top-of-the-range planetary images 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive, especially since no mount or tripod are supplied
Buy it if

✅ Viewing planets: Pin-sharp views (and images) of solar system planets is well-known for this Sky-Watcher telescope, with great contrast and detail.

✅ Deep Sky Objects: Brighter deep sky objects can be seen and photographed easily with the 2700mm focal length and 180mm aperture. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ Image shifts: During our review of this legendary telescope we did find that our image shifted whilst we were focusing.

Premium price: Considering this telescope ships with no eyepieces, mount or tripod we think it's quite an expensive option.

The bottom line

🔎 Sky-Watcher SkyMax-180 PRO: The Sky-Watcher SkyMax-180 PRO outperforms its reputation as just being a planetary telescope. It’s a "planet killer" for sure, but its adaptability when viewing bright deep-sky objects astounds. ★★★★½

The Sky-Watcher SkyMax-180 PRO features a long focal length, which makes it ideal for those who like to image the members of the solar system. Its Maksutov-Cassegrain design offers excellent, high-clarity views of the cratered surface of the Moon, very good contrast of Jupiter's atmospheric bands and belts, spectacular views of the dust storms that rage across the face of red planet Mars, and enables astrophotographers to pick out the Cassini Division in Saturn's rings. 

While it's famed for planetary and lunar imaging, the Sky-Watcher SkyMax-180 PRO is also capable of giving fair views of a selection of bright nebulae and galaxies, particularly those that take up a larger section of the sky – the Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31) and the Orion Nebula (Messier 42) in particular are worthwhile astrophotography targets through this telescope. 

Sky-Watcher prides itself in creating an instrument that stops chromatic aberration – also known as color fringing – from ruining views and images taken through the SkyMax-180 PRO. We were pleased to find that no purple-blue tints are visible along the limb of luminous targets such as the Moon and Jupiter, which both dazzle at magnitudes -12.6 and -2.7.

A downside of the Sky-Watcher SkyMax-180 PRO is that it doesn't come with a mount, tripod, or plenty of eyepieces, despite the hefty price tag. With any instrument, the more you accessorize, the better the views get provided the astrophotographer is respectful of the optical tube assembly's highest useful magnification. 

With the tube exuding a high-quality finish and manufactured using robust materials (the SkyMax-180 PRO weighs in at 7.8kg), we recommend purchasing a heavy-duty mount such as the Sky-Watcher HEQ5 to support the heft, especially given that accessory and a camera will add to the weight. 

Read our Sky-Watcher SkyMax-180 PRO telescope review for more details

Best for advanced features

(Image credit: Sky-Watcher)
Lots of advanced features for an affordable price

Specifications

Optical design: Refractor
Aperture: 120mm
Focal length: 600mm
Focal ratio: f/5
Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x24, x48, x60, x120
Finderscope: Red Dot Finder
Mount: EQ3-2 Equatorial Mount
Resolving power: 1.0 arc seconds
Limiting stellar magnitude: 12.7
Highest useful magnification: x240

Reasons to buy

+
Tracking mount with iOS/Android WiFi control
+
Large aperture for great flexibility

Reasons to avoid

-
Some chromatic aberration
Buy it if

✅ Good value: For the money, we think you'll be getting a decent telescope at an affordable price point.

✅ Versatile: Can easily be used for taking astrophotographs or simple observing through the eyepiece.

Don't buy it if:

❌ Flimsy tripod: Unfortunately, during testing we were exactly enamoured with the tripod.

Colour fringing: We did notice some chromatic aberration whilst using the telescope with some color fringing around contrasted objects.

The bo