Nothing’s more complicated than choosing a new telescope these days, and that’s because there are just too many choices to consider. On the one hand, not all are made the same and so they’re not suited for the same purpose. On the other, there are price differences to consider, constructional quality details, as well as convenience and ease of use, and they all need to be mulled over before making a final call.
There are three main types of telescopes you ought to make up your mind on. Refracting telescopes are more affordable than their counterparts and that’s because they are more prone to color aberrations and others. The quality of the image is somewhat lower compared to that which can be ensured by a reflecting telescope. Both the material that the latter has been made out of is better, but it’s also beneficial for a number of other reasons. For example, reflectors are large, which means that they can collect much more light and make it possible for you to glance at a brighter and clearer image.
Cassegrain telescopes are others you ought to take into account. They combine the advantages of reflectors and refractors and still have a somewhat portable design that can allow you to take them where your adventures might take you.
I’d like to add here that one of the core parts of your research should be going through the reviews of other buyers. You need to read a buying guide to make sure that you’re focusing on the right factors such as the aperture and other capabilities and features.
I needed to look at the amount of expertise I had accumulated. As I said, I wasn’t particularly gifted in this sense, but at least I had the availability and was willing to try my best. I know that learning to operate a new device can be a daunting task but I actually wanted to invest in a life-long journey that would allow me to observe the sky as best as possible.
Since I was a beginner and knew little to nothing about telescopes, in general, I decided to get a refractor. An 80mm aperture seemed to do, especially as I didn’t have the budget for anything more. Even after all this time, it appears to me that the aperture is the feature that governs the end price of the product. Of course, other functionalities such as built-in GPS and the type of mount also have a say in the matter, although I hardly think they are as or more expensive as the optical components.
In the end, what you need to find out is your purpose. Decide on the celestial objects you want to observe and figure out your expertise. Invest some time in researching the model you want to spend your precious cents on.