When looking for the best beginner telescope it’s good to avoid sets with a lot of accessories and do not believe the near impossible claims. As a beginner you should only spend money on a telescope that has good functionality, meaning the best optics and mount. Optics is the main thing you want to look into, while many beginner scopes offer poor optics, there is some worth-while. Please keep in mind, there is many different types of telescopes with many different features. Finding the best beginner telescope is up to you – attending a night group will allow you to test out telescopes and find what is best for you. However, we will show you the best beginner telescopes in terms of: Optics, Quality, Price and overall a “beginner” fit telescope.
1. Orion XT 6″ Classic – In our opinion this is the best bang for your buck standard beginner telescope. First of all, this telescope is built with quality in mind and is very solid. It’s a telescope that you can effectivly bring with you everywhere without being a huge pain in the you know what, but keep in mind it does weigh 35lbs. To put into perspective what this type of scope can see many owners have reported: A mesmorzing image of the moon, something you can stare at for literally hours. Cloud belts on Jupiter are seen clearly even Jupiter itself, just like the rings of Saturn. Galaxies and nebulas will simply blow your mind. $299
2. Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Reflector – Another great beginner telescope. It’s not as portable as the 6″ Classic but will be more portable than most 8″ tube telescopes. The 130ST is very versatile and will allow you to purchase/change addons more easily, allowing you to “advance” to the intermediate stage. It’s a very bright scope with a fantastic image quality. The SpaceProbe 130ST Reflector comes with a wide field of view, which is needed for beginners. Overall a great telescope that will allow you to learn/work with a bit of everything, something you may not be able to do with the classic. $279
3. Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic – Very similar to the classic we have listed as #1, but with a 8 inch reflector. If you do not plan on taking a telescope with you often this will be your best bet as a “at home” telescope. When compared to the XT6 owners report the XT8 to be the perfect mix of aperture and portability. Keep in mind, this telescope will pretty much take up the whole back of your car/truck. Overall it’s the same quality as the XT6, but will allow you get a better look at planets, stars and nebulaes. $349
Orion XT 6″ Classic is recommended by many star-gazers as the best beginner telescope simply because it’s simple, built with good optics, great for traveling, and will allow you to see what you want to see. Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Reflector may not be as portable as the classic, but it’s very versatile and will allow you to purchase/change addons. It’s highly recommend if it’s more than a hobby and you’d like to “advance” to the intermediate level. Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic is the 8″ version of the XT6. If you do not plan on traveling with your telescope this will be your best “at home” telescope. XT8 will obviously give you more aperture while not as much portability.