As astrophotography becomes more mainstream, people are looking for ways to get into this thrilling hobby without breaking the bank. We did some research, studied the current market, and came up with this list of the best budget telescope for DSLR astrophotography:
- Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope.
- Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Telescope.
- SkyWatcher S11610 Traditional Dobsonian 8-Inch.
- Meade-Instruments 114mm Portable Stargazing Telescope.
- Orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope.
Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope
With 30% more light-gathering power than its predecessor, The Celestron Nexstar 130SLT is an amazing telescope that sits perfectly with DSLR and can be a huge step up to your astro-game.
Equipped with a fully computerized hand control, This means you can automatically slew up to 4,000+ objects with over 600 galaxies, and 300 clusters.
The included SkyAlign allows you to align on any three bright celestial objects, which makes alignment fast and easy. And thanks to the additional light-gathering capabilities, the mirror is able to give a fully color-corrected view.
It comes with a quick-release fork arm mount, an internal battery compartment, a sturdy stainless steel tripod, auxiliary port, and motorized alt azimuth mount with a fully computerized hand control.
The manufacturer provides a level 1 planetarium software for controlling your telescope via computer. This can be a good thing to have if you ever find yourself needing to use your laptop for a specific purpose.
- Easy & Simple To Setup.
- Great Build Quality.
- Clear & Wide Eyepieces.
- Can’t handle heavy load.
Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Telescope
Aimed more towards novice to intermediate stargazers. The Orion SpaceProbe 130ST promises to bring to the table an enjoyable view to all near galaxies, nebulae and star clusters.
The telescope is able to produce relatively detailed imagery of objects inside and even outside the solar system. This is possible thanks to its aperture of 5.1’’, the optical tube of 24’’, and the diffraction-limited parabolic mirror which you usually find on much higher priced telescopes.
It has a 6×30 optical finder, 2 eyepieces along with a pinion focuser, and a collimation cap. They also made special edition Astronomy software to make it easier for beginners to use. The 130ST also allows manual slow-motion tracking of celestial objects which is always a good thing to have.
The build quality is solid and fully assembled weighs only around 27 lbs. This make it a lot more portable and make it more flexible to work with in the long run.
The mount is made of solid aluminum and should stay stable in almost all situations. It can also be upgraded easily to a motorized option later down the line when you become more serious and need to track object automatically.
- Highly Detailed Images.
- Slow-Motion Tracking.
- Feature Intensive.
- Generic mount.
SkyWatcher S11610 Traditional Dobsonian 8-Inch
Backed by one of the most recognized astrophotography companies in the market, The SkyWatcher S11610 is a great value for the money if you are a serious amateur that’s looking to get into more premium gears but don’t feel like spending premium money.
The mirrors are made of borosilicate glass (Pyrex) and are able to catch the moon, star clusters, Jupiter, nebulae and a lot more at a shockingly crisp quality. It also contains two Crayford-style focusers that have a 1.25 adaptor on it.
The focal length is 1200mm which gives it that wider field of view of the stars. A Teflon mount is included that comes with a handle and an eyepiece tray, which is a nice convenience. Plus, two handles stick out from the rocker to help with altitude tensioning.
The capture angle is very wide which gives you plenty of room to play around with the telescope. This means you will be able to get more imagery for less the cost of what you would pay for similar products.
- Easy To Assemble.
- Very Affordable.
- Great Focusing Features.
- Captures Very Wide Angle.
- high maintenance is needed
Meade-Instruments 114 mm Portable Stargazing Telescope
Moving on to a more versatile product, The Meade-Instruments 114mm Telescope is an amazing & flexible telescope that makes astrophotography much more accessible to the average Joe by providing ease of use, affordability, and a lot of useful accessories.
Starting with the accessories, the package comes with setting circles for RA, Dec, and a latitude adjuster with latitude scale to make tracking much easier. It is also has a red dot viewfinder, which may be somewhat annoying at first but can make focusing on a celestial object a much more straightforward task.
Includes an all metal equatorial mount with slow motion controls to make tracking a lot smoother. an accessory tray in included which helps when trying to keep everything organized.
The 114mm telescope comes with 3 eyepieces that provide low, medium and high-powered magnification and is able to deliver bright and detailed images that ranges from the moon and solar system planets all the way to near galaxies and nebulae.
The manufacturer made sure to include a One-Year warranty to give their customers all the time they need to test the product and see if everything is as expected.
- Extremely Beginner Friendly.
- Lots of Accessories Included.
- One-Year Warranty.
- Suitable only for novices and hobbyist.
Orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope
Mixing complexity with convenience, The Orion StarBlast II 4.5 is an Equatorial Telescope that brings flexibility, ease of use, and affordability to the table. Making it an excellent choice for upper-amateurs who don’t have the budget for higher-priced gear.
Starting with the accessories, You get an adjustable-height aluminum mount with slow-motion controls. This little addition makes tracking celestial objects a much smoother process.
A separate motor drive can be hooked up to make tracking automatically once you’ve fixed your telescope on a desired object. A red dot sight is included to make it more convenient for novices to keep the tracked body centered.
Features a short 450mm focal length that provides a very wide field of view, a sizable 4.5″ aperture for a brighter view, and two different magnification options for a better and more flexible alignment overall.
Finally, It comes with a One-Year Limited Warranty against defects in materials or workmanship which is always a good thing to have as a starter.
- Easy Tracking.
- Good Quality Optics.
- Extremely Affordable.
- One-Year Warranty.
- Tripod can sometimes be finicky.
Conclusion: Best Budget Telescope For DSLR Astrophotography
Every product in this list has its pros and cons, and the best one for you will depend on your particular requirements and needs. If you enjoyed our buyer’s guide on the best budget telescope for DSLR astrophotography, make sure to leave a comment down below on what you decided to go with and why.