3 Best Telescopes for under $200 – 2018 List

Best Affordable Telescopes under 200 dollars for the year 2018.

The telescope is an expensive instrument where some advance model cost above 1500$. Don’t worry those models are for seasoned astronomers, we don’t recommend them to people pursuing astronomy as a hobby or to people who are beginners in astronomy. For hobbyist astronomer or beginners, we recommend telescope priced under 200-250$ (not less than 50$ though, leave this category for kids) because at that price you get a great optics and decent view and also they are affordable and will teach you a lot about the sky in a fun, engaging way.

In our opinion, it is a right way to decide whether you are ok being hobbyist/beginner astronomer or are you ready to dive deeper into field of astronomy and make a career out of it. For this, we have prepared the list of top 3 best telescopes under $200. Take a look at the list and see yourself which instrument fits your need.

 

Note: – Just as a friendly reminder, all of the telescopes we have presented in this list are indeed under $200. You will get a decent view of celestial objects. However, Consumers should not expect detailed high definition views of deep sky objects.



 

Quick Comparison: Best Telescope under $200

Here is a quick comparison table between Powerseeker, Skyscanner & AstroMaster.

Price*CheckCheckCheck
telescope under 200 best
Aperture127mm (5inch)100mm (3.93inch)114mm (4.45inch)
Focal length1000mm400mm1000mm
Eyepieces20mm & 4mm20mm & 10mm20mm & 10mm
Barlow lens3xNot availableNot available
Weight7.7kg2.2kg7.7kg
TripodAluminum-Steel


 

3 Best Telescopes for Under $200 list:

 

1) Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope

Powerseeker series from Celestron is designed to offer quality and usability to its user at an affordable price. Celestron 127 EQ is no different either with 127cm best telscope under 200(5in.) aperture, 1000mm focal length and equatorial mount it is easily one of the best cheap telescopes you can buy.

#1 best-seller rank and more than thousand positive reviews from a satisfied customer on Amazon also support this statement. Celestron 127EQ comes with two eyepieces with 20mm and 4 mm focal length and when combined with telescopes 1000mm focal length it gives the magnification 50x and 250x respectively.

You also get a 3x Barlow lens in the package that triple the magnification of each eyepiece. In addition, the device also comes with erect image optics that allow users to use the telescope for both celestial as well as terrestrial viewing. Thanks to its decent optics, no tool easy setup and equatorial mount users report they were able to they were easily able to observe rings of Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, and galaxies like M81 and M82.

There is some downside to this telescope also like eyepieces are made of cheap plastic or mount is not stable enough. But thanks to great optics and big 5-inch aperture it overshadows all these minor cons. You can read our detailed review here to know more about this telescope like its pros, cons etc.

That said, here is one satisfied owner take on this scope,

“I love it!!! Still learning to work with it but. Had Jupiter and it’s moons insight couple nights ago so close it was amazing. Then I bumped the scope and after 15 minutes of looking for it again I gave up but the moon was amazing.”

Pros Cons
5-inch Aperture Aluminum Tripod
Equatorial mount, it helps in slow tracking of celestial objects as they move in the sky. The eyepiece is made of cheap plastic.
3x Barlow lens
Lightweight (7.71kg)

Currently, Celestron 127 EQ PowerSeeker is for sale around 135$ on Amazon (original price 170$). This makes it one of the top contender for being best telescope under $200.

Message to the readers :- I am using this telescope for last two years. I am so impressed that I had to include this telescope in our “Best telescopes” & “Best beginners telescope” list.

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon!!!


 

2) Orion SkyScanner 100mm TableTop Reflector Telescope

As the name suggests SkyScanner 100mm is a TableTop style reflector telescope from Orion. Weighing over just 6 pounds and height of just two feet makes this telescope one of the lightest and compact telescope available in the market. Thanks to its compact design you can easily carry this telescope in your backpack while traveling and you can keep this on your study desk for display when not in use.

In addition to small size, this telescope is so easy to set up. Users reported that they were able to assemble the telescope in less than 10 minutes with the help of instruction manual.

In addition to its size and compactness, this telescope also boasts some great optical features that are unusual for an entry-level cheap ($102 at the time of writing) telescope. For instance, device feature a 100mm aperture where Orion has used a parabolic primary mirror to reduce the chromatic aberration. In addition, telescope comes with two different eyepieces (20mm and 10mm). When combined with telescope’s focal length of 400mm, 20mm gives a wide and nice view with 20x magnification and 10mm eyepiece give magnification up to 40x.

Reviewers report they were able to easily spot craters on the moon and Jupiter even in the light polluted area and when used in very dark area it allows user to view Milky Way and other deep sky objects. In fact, the view is so great that sometimes even experienced stargazers keep this SkyScanner 100mm as a secondary device by their side.

That said, here is one satisfied owner take on this scope,

We are really enjoying this telescope, views of the moon using the 10mm are great. This unit does not weight much and is very portable, and steady. Tracking is very easy, you can put it on a table, car hood, etc and get great results.”

Pros Cons
Parabolic Primary Mirror with aluminum and Silicon Dioxide coating for higher reflectivity. No Barlow lens- User needs to purchase an additional Barlow lens to get a decent view.
Solid stable base
Light Weight (2.8 kg only) & Portable.
 

 Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon !!!


 

3) Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114EQ Reflector Telescope

Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ Telescope is a telescope made to give first time buyer an ideal combination of quality, value, and power. Like the other two telescope mentioned in the list, this one is also a reflector style telescope where Celestron has used a mirror to collect the incoming light and form the image. AstroMaster 114EQ features a long 1000mm focal length and a large 114mm parabolic primary mirror with a highly reflective aluminum coating that produces a detailed image of the moon, rings of Saturn the Orion nebula and many more of the most popular celestial objects.

The consumer can also use the telescope for terrestrial viewing during the daytime. Celestron has included a planetarium software called a SkyX which contain a database of more than 10,000 celestial objects. In addition telescope also comes with two high quality Plossl eyepiece of 20mm and 10mm. The only complain with this telescope is its Red dot finderscope which is made of cheap plastic and cause lot of difficulty to spot any target. Overall a good value for money telescope.

That said, here is one satisfied owner take on this scope, 

Once the learning curve was over, this telescope is a lot of fun to use. Planets are very easy to see. The eyepieces are more than enough for you to gaze into the night. Being new to this hobby, I am more than happy to say it works great and really enjoy this telescope. Very happy with it”

Pros Cons
Fully Coated Optics Red Dot Finder made of cheap plastic.
Solid construction- most of the parts are made of Steel.
Solid Steel tripod provides extra stability.  
Sky-X Software with 10,000 object database and 75 images.  
German Equatorial mount  

 Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon !!!



Final Words

Those were our top 3 picks for the “best affordable telescopes for under $200” category.As you can see from the quick comparison table there is not much difference between these three telescopes. That is the reason these are our top three picks for the best telescope under $200 list.

Aperture (5”) is biggest in Powerseeker, still not drastically bigger than the other two telescope that it can influence the buying decision. Only noticeable difference between these three is AstroMaster has a solid steel tripod which provides extra stability to the scope whereas Powerseeker has an aluminum tripod which sometimes wobbles on a rough surface. Skyscanner is stable but customer would have to carry a table or other tall objects to obtain a more tradition height for the telescope. AstroMaster costs 50 dollars more than the Powerseeker but for extra 50 dollars you are getting a solid & stable steel tripod.

We hope this article has helped you to find your ideal first telescope. If you are in still some doubt or have some confusion, please leave a comment below. We would love to clear that. 🙂

🙂 Happy Stargazing 🙂

 

Some Useful Links:-

Best Books for Astronomy.

 

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