Stargazing is one thing, but capturing images of various wonders in outer space is another. But you need the right telescope equipment to get the job done, especially if you want the clearest, most vibrant pictures possible.
Of course, you can choose from plenty of equipment to help with this, but if you’re looking for the best, there are a few key features you want to look out for.
So, what’s the best telescope for galaxy astrophotography?
Luckily, there’s more than one option that’s more than suitable and that I am here to present to you today. Conside, each has something unique to offer for both beginner and expert photographers to use to their advantage.
Overall, here are my top three picks:
Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Series Refractor Telescope
- True apochromatic Air-Spaced Triplet Refractor Telescope
- Focal Ratio f/6, Limiting Magnitude 12, Resolution 1.45 arcsec
- Diameter 85mm
- Weight 5.95 lb; 2.7 kg
- Support after the sale
Features & Specifications
- Aperture: 80mm
- Focal Length: 480mm
- Optical Design: Apochromatic (APO)
- Eyepiece: 90-degree star diagonal and 20mm eyepiece
This will be a great option if you’re looking for a telescope that offers versatility.
Known for its high-quality apochromatic lens, capturing images with immense clarity won’t be an issue. Considering its build, many feel it’s relatively lightweight, even if it’s nearly 6 lbs.
The telescope also has a durable EQ-3 equatorial mount, which helps immensely when tracking specific celestial objects.
Thankfully, galaxies are pretty large, and you won’t have much trouble spotting them with the help of this telescope.
You’ll also benefit from its 480mm focal length, which gives you a clear look at individual objects or a wide-field view.
You can’t forget about the accessories, as you’ll also have a red dot finderscope and camera adapter.
This makes capturing photos much easier and takes some of the manual work off of your plate. The telescope also offers a multi-coated lens and an f/6 focal ratio.
Although the telescope comes with an eyepiece included, it’s only 20mm, which some people may find to be limiting.
For better magnification, it may be wise to look into a different eyepiece.
The aperture size may lead to a little struggle when it comes to viewing fainter objects in the distance.
This may not be the case with galaxies, but far away small objects could be more difficult.
The telescope is perfectly fine for beginners and experienced users, but the price point may not uphold this sentiment. If you’re looking for your first astrophotography telescope, this one is considered to be a little pricey.
Nevertheless, this is somewhat common with astrophotography telescopes.
Sky-Watcher Classic 250 Dobsonian 10-inch Aperture Telescope
- LARGE APERTURE: Get a bright, bold viewing experience at a fraction of the cost of other optical designs.
- PROPRIETARY TENSION CONTROL HANDLES: These patented handles allow for accurate movement without the need for perfect balance.
- 94 percent REFLECTIVE MIRRORS: Fully multi-coated borosilicate primary and secondary mirrors deliver exceptional views.
- TEFLON BEARINGS: Proprietary Teflon bearings ensure smooth azimuth movement.
- COMES COMPLETE: All accessories such as, 2-inch Crayford-style focuser with 1 1/4-inch adapter, two super wide-angle eyepieces (25mm and 10mm), and 9x50 straight-through finder scope are included with purchase.
Features & Specifications
- Aperture: 250mm
- Focal Length: 1,200mm
- Optical Design: Newtonian reflector
- Eyepiece: 10mm and 25mm Plossl eyepieces
The large aperture of this telescope provides a light-gather power that’s perfect for astrophotography.
Whether it’s near or faint deep sky celestial objects, this telescope can help you capture it all in vivid detail.
You can generate clear and vibrant images with the help of its parabolic primary mirror. Its low thermal expansion borosilicate glass secondary mirror plays into this as well.
Most users find the included eyepieces to be more than enough for their needs, as you have two options to choose from.
A range of accessories, such as a cooling fan, a 9×50 straight-through finderscope, and a 2-inch focuser, makes this telescope all the more worth the investment.
Other benefits include a reliable and sturdy mount and a build quality that’ll withstand the test of time. It should be noted that this telescope may not be the top choice for everyone, but its overall quality can’t be argued with.
One downside of this telescope is the cost. It’s pretty expensive, sitting at $910, but there are many different features and qualities that stack up to that cost.
It also requires consistent maintenance to ensure the best quality possible at all times. Ensuring the mirrors remain clean is an easy way to avoid quality issues.
Aside from that, the telescope is pretty large and heavy in comparison to many other options.
This alone may be a deal breaker for some people, but it does make for a good stationary telescope. In general, it isn’t the most travel-friendly choice.
You’ll be able to get visually stunning wide shots using this telescope, but it isn’t the best when it comes to viewing specific objects up close, such as planets or individual stars.
The telescope, in more ways than one, is a pretty steep investment, so it’s vital you consider how you’ll put it to use before making a purchase.
Celestron – 114LCM Computerized Newtonian Telescope
- COMPUTERIZED AUTOMATIC TELESCOPE: The Celestron 114LCM Computerized Newtonian Telescope with all glass optics can automatically locate 4,000 celestial objects with its computerized GoTo mount.
- TAKE THE SKY TOUR: If you’re not sure of what to observe, the Sky Tour button will do the work for you. Simply press the button and your computerized telescope will generate a list of the best objects currently available to view in the sky.
- EVERYTHING YOU NEED: The Celestron LCM telescope comes with everything you need for stargazing, including a full-height tripod, 2 high-quality eyepieces (25mm & 9mm), and a StarPointer red dot finderscope.
- BONUS FREE STARRY NIGHT SOFTWARE: This Celestron 114LCM Computerized Telescope includes a FREE download of one of the top consumer rated astronomy software programs. Simulate the night sky from any location on Earth or plan your next observing session.
- UNBEATABLE WARRANTY & SUPPORT: Buy with confidence from Celestron, a leading telescope brand in California since 1960. Your purchase includes a 2-Year US Warranty and unlimited support from our team of US-based experts.
Features & Specifications
- Aperture: 114mm
- Focal Length: 1,000mm
- Optical Design: Newtonian reflector
- Eyepiece: 9mm and 25mm
The Celestron brand of telescopes sells itself in many ways as it’s widely known for its many cool features.
Take advantage of its fully computerized control, which not only helps you find objects but track this as well.
This is possible with Celestron’s SkyAlign technology, which also has the ability to help you source over 4,000 different celestial objects, galaxies being a part of its database.
The motorized tracking features ensure an object remains in center view at all times, and you can count on its stability due to the included mount.
Many users find the aperture to be quite satisfactory, as it’s able to gather sufficient light to help you capture stunning images. From the moon, nearby planets, and deep sky objects, its aperture has you covered across the board.
Another big selling point of this telescope is its overall ease of use.
With the help of Celestron’s automated and database features, you can spend more time focusing on mastering your photography.
There are also a few accessories that people love, including Celestron’s Starry Night astronomy software and a built-in wedge made for astrophotography.
This telescope may sound perfect on paper, but it has its fair share of downsides, as does any other telescope.
One small consideration is its overall build quality.
Many of its parts are entirely plastic, which means they may not hold up in the long term compared to other brands.
The capabilities of its magnification may be limiting for some people, as it caps out at 269x. This doesn’t mean you can’t see galaxies, but you’ll eventually hit a limit with more advanced observations.
Although the telescope includes a mount, some previous buyers have mentioned it isn’t as stable as they’d hoped.
You’re likely to do just fine in your backyard, but it may not be the best for very uneven terrains out in nature.
However, many people overlook a few of these cons due to the fair price point of $411, which is much cheaper than the other options on this list.
What To Look For In A Telescope For Galaxy Astrophotography
When shopping for any telescope, you want to look for a range of features, but some hold more importance than others. For example, regarding galaxy astrophotography, reviewing the telescope’s aperture, focal length, and camera compatibility is essential. These features can vary significantly based on the telescope you’re looking at.
Aperture is pretty simple to understand, as it pertains to how much light can enter a telescope.
This helps to provide a certain image quality and clarity, which is essential when considering astrophotography.
Although an aperture of 800mm is suggested to view galaxies, it’s possible to view them with a variety of apertures. It just depends on how much clarity you’re looking for.
The focal length of a telescope is directly correlated to the image’s magnification capabilities and overall detail.
You can see how this would be important for astrophotography.
It should be noted that with a longer focal length, you may have trouble focusing on certain objects. This is where automated targeting and tracking features can be helpful.
Likely to be one of the most essential features, you want to ensure the telescope you choose is compatible with astrophotography. You don’t want to spend your money just to find out you can’t take pictures through your new telescope.
Look for included accessories for camera mounts or telescopes that give you the option of at least adding a camera mount.
It’s also be a good idea to choose a telescope that offers a substantial back focus distance, as this will accommodate many different types of cameras.
Things To Consider When Buying A Telescope For Galaxy Astrophotography
There are a few aspects you want to consider if you’re looking to get into galaxy astrophotography. Depending on your needs, this may look different for some people, but price and automation are two big factors. Expensive doesn’t always mean better, and automated features can help immensely when it comes to taking high-quality photos.
Always review the cost and what’s included with the telescope before making a purchase.
You can also find different price ranges for the same product on the internet, so always do thorough research before spending any money.
Don’t always sort by the most expensive telescope, as you may end up overspending for features you can get in a cheaper option.
Stability and tracking are vital in astrophotography, which can be tricky sometimes, depending on the object.
If you don’t want to struggle with finding and tracking celestial objects, looking into a telescope that offers automated tracking and targeting features never hurts.
If you are looking for a telescope for galaxy astrophotography , the three telescopes referenced here today will really not do you wrong.
Though if I were currently in the market, based on my extensive research, I’d opt for the Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Series Refractor Telescope.
Looking for other astrophotography equipment? Then my other guides may help:
- Best Tripod for Astrophotography
- Best Light Pollution Filter For Astrophotography
- Best Equatorial Mount For Astrophotography
Hey, my name is Chris. I’m a passionate and seasoned astronomer who loves nothing more than observing the night sky. I also love researching, learning, and writing all things Space and the Universe. I created Astronomy Scope to share my knowledge, experience, suggestions, and recommendations of what I have learned along the way while helping anyone to get into and maximize their enjoyment of the hobby.