Best Telescopes for Under £200

Best Telescopes for Under £200

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You have decided on a budget of £200 for your new telescope. If you have read our guide to buying a telescope you will remember there are several factors to consider. Your new telescope has to suit your needs. So first decide what you want from your telescope then have a look at the recommendation for those needs. 


The categories are: 


  • Best Visual Observing Telescope 


The telescope that should offer the best views at the eyepiece.


  • Best Telescope with Goto Technology  


Fully computerised telescope that will locate deep space objects like galaxies, nebulae and star clusters for you.


  • Most Portable Telescope 


Compact and lightweight so it can be easily transported to dark sky sites. 


  • Best All-Rounder


Telescope that offers the most features for the money. Not necessarily the best in any one area though.


All these telescopes are our opinion and as with most things opinions vary wildly. So seek out further advice. Go along to your local astronomical society and try some telescopes out or ask advice. The telescopes mentioned here are all available on Amazon and we receive a small commission if you buy through these links at no cost to yourself, but it helps to keep this site running.


Best Visual Observing Telescope


SkyWatcher 150P Dobsonian

Okay, so this telescope is £15 over the £200 budget, but for the extra few pounds you get a 6 inch scope. If getting the best image at the eyepiece is most important to you then aperture counts and six inches for this price by a high quality make like SkyWatcher is a very nice telescope. It is cumbersome though and you will need to locate and track your own space objects.

Most astronomers will agree that generally good advice for a beginner scope is to get the largest aperture you can afford on a dobsonian mount. This scope delivers on this in this price range.

Here is a video on Youtube of this telescope so you can see the size and functioning of this telescope.

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Best Telescope With Goto


Celestron LCM 76 Computerised Reflector


Goto technology is the software that finds and tracks space objects. At this price range finding a telescope with a large aperture and Goto is unusual as the Goto technology comes at a price. You have to decide whether you are willing to give up on the visual observing quality to have the computerised features. This telescope has a 3 inch aperture. This is theoretically enough to see all of the beginners deep space objects in the Messier list but only under dark skies. 

Many people feel part of the fun of amateur astronomy is the hunt for the deep sky objects and therefore, your hard earned money is best spent on larger apertures and better optics. However, other people prefer to be shown where the objects are so they can see as many objects as the sky conditions and telescope allow in one sitting. Or where star hopping to your desired object is difficult due to light pollution. You can read more on whether to choose Goto or not here.

Celestron’s video on this telescope can be viewed below

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Most Portable Telescope


Orion StarMax 90mm Mak

If you live in an area with terrible light pollution you will probably want to travel with your telescope to darker skies. Dobsonian reflector telescopes can be very large and cumbersome. If you want a compact telescope that you can take camping with you or just want to be able to easily transport and carry the telescope then this is probably the best choice for you in this price range. 

The telescope is made by the excellent Orion company. This scope is 3.5 inches, has a red dot finderscope to help locate objects and a star diagonal which allows for comfortable viewing. The downside is that it is on a table top mount. So you will need to either get on the ground or have a surface to put it on. Also, you can get 3 inch reflector telescopes on table top mounts for under £50 (See best telescopes for under £50). However, there is no doubting the optical quality and portability of this telescope. If you prefer to have a full size mount an alternative would be the SkyWatcher 90 Mak on an EQ1 mount. The downside is that equatorial mounts take longer to set-up and you’ll need to carry the mount and it’s counterweights with you which reduces its portability. 

Here is Orion’s video on this telescope.

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Best All-Rounder


Celestron Astromaster 130EQ-MD Motor Drive Reflector


This is probably the hardest to recommend as this telescope is chosen due to its all round versatility with no specific feature in mind. This scope has a 5 inch aperture which offers great views of the night sky and will allow many deep sky objects to be observed under moderate light pollution. It has a motorised drive so it will track objects for you once you have located them and it comes on an equatorial mount. Although these mounts generally take longer to set-up than Alt-Az mounts they do offer the chance for you to dip your toes into astrophotography. Don’t expect great results as a good astrophotography set-up will set you back a lot more money, but at least you have the option of long exposure shots that you can’t get with Alt-Az mounts or Dobsonians.

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Conclusion

Hopefully the selection of telescopes above will help you to find what you are looking for. Finding the right telescope to suit your needs can be daunting. Before you purchase your telescope just make sure you know what you want from it and choose accordingly within your budget. 

If you want a bit more for your money then why not have a look at the Used Telescopes for Sale section. The page lists UK based auctions that are finishing soon. If you don’t see anything you want then like the Facebook page ‘Astronomy Telescopes For Sale’ so you can see telescopes as they are listed for auction.


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