Best Telescopes for Astrophotography

Looking for the best telescopes to use for your Astrophotography hobby? Then look no further than this list, containing some of the best and most up to date choices on the market.

Most Astrophotography telescopes are more expensive than regular ones, but for the quality you get it is the most sensible bang for your buck in any hobby.

1. Celestron EdgeHD 800 CGEM Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope

Celestron edgehd 800 cgem schmidt cassegrain telescope

Celestron strikes again with the high priced EdgeHD 800 CGEM Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope, in the same family as the previous scope but costing a bit less by comparison.

This 8 inch aperture telescope does not hide the fact that it uses the same Schmidt-Cassegrain technology as the last product, without a loss in detail or quality. You’ll get the same flat focal plane that is necessary for accurate astrophotography.

The same goes for the EdgeHD’s coma-free cassegrain optics with the built in flattener that not only gives you a better picture, but keeps things professional without you having to mess around with the settings.

Aberration free images are the norm for this scope no matter how far out into the galaxy you peek. Even telescopes that have the same aperture of the EdgeHD 800 can’t produce images that are as sharp, due to the quality of optics between the two.

Even without counting in natural light, there is a huge difference in the amount of detail you will see on any given night with this product.

And like all EdgeHD models, if you move around a lot the adjustment settings are a lot more forgiving. This includes a mirror lock so that you don’t have to spend precious minutes readjusting the built in mirror on every move you make.

Product weight is a good stable 110 pounds including the mount, so it will take a really strong gust to knock it off of the base. Getting started you can align it using the stars, and for the customers that become more advanced, polat aligning brings you into the realm of what is necessary for astrophotography.

For the serious buyer that wants to save a little money, this could be the perfect scope for their adventures, and worth a second or third look.

2. Orion 8297 8-Inch f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector Telescope

Orion 8297 8 inch f3.9 newtonian astrograph reflector telescope

Orion makes the list again and shows that they put the customer first with this middle priced Astrograph Reflector Telescope. Astrophotos are easy to capture due to the 8 aperture and get enhanced with the imaging optimizations of the f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector Telescope, which in many ways is underrated in terms of efficiency.

The deep space exploration is there, but what makes this model different is how easy it is to stay on point, even on nights that aren’t that clear.

You’ll get true astrophotography performance form this model rather than having it as a tacked on feature of a lesser scope. The internals are just as impressive, featuring 9 baffle rings, an extended tube length for the front of the focuser, and a combination of a flat black interior so that your image contrast is always at maximum levels.

With the amount of light that this telescope gathers on its own, you can expect to get some of the best imaging features ever for a product of this size. Both mirrors have enhanced reflectivity up to 94% and aluminum coatings with a quartz overcoat.

It is a finely made telescope that will last for years, and is as durable as the person taking care of it. Orion went through great lengths to protect the quality insides of this product, so don’t expect it to break anytime soon.

Using the included extension adapters you can view the Moon, celestial objects and many other space phenomena without having to switch telescopes on the fly. By making this more than just an astrograph telescope, Orion has managed to make a pretty decent all in one telescope that should not be overlooked.

This will definitely pay for itself within the first year, and is top 5 on the list.

3. Orion 8296 10-Inch f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector Telescope

Orion 8296 10 inch f3.9 newtonian astrograph reflector telescope

Just hitting the high price point is the Orion 8296 10-Inch f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector Telescope, which could be considered the big brother of the series.

It is a little bigger with at 10 inches and functions perfectly as a full featured astrograph that can catch the most hard to capture out of space photos. Images that you never thought possible are available with this model and can go a long way in ensuring this is a beginner, intermediate and expert choice for the remainder of its life.

An f/3.9 focal ratio gives a wide depth of field without losing any of the deep space viewing that buyers have become accustomed with when using an Orion telescope.

The Crayford focuser is reliable enough to permit ultra-fine focus with an 11:1 ratio, so expect to get some really stunning visuals even on tough nights.

This is a telescope that will get details when others fail, and considering the price this can be put in the same category as the first two telescopes on the list. Peripheral light is blocked by the extended tube length of 7.5, something that a lot of telescopes in this range don’t do.

Because of this contrast is not only more balanced but remains evened out even as you track things in the sky.

Weight of the product is only 34.2 pounds so mounting it isn’t a hassle at all if you already have a mount selected. It’s light enough to where it will even function great on a mount without adequate shock protection. Since it is 2 inches bigger than the last item more light can be reflected back to the eye piece for a better visual.

This isn’t just a subtle difference, but one that you will see instantly and appreciate. For buyers that want just slightly better detail than provided in the older models, this is a great choice that will last them for a long time.

4. Orion 09565 EON 130mm ED Triplet Apochromatic Refractor Telescope

Orion 09565 eon 130mm ed triplet apochromatic refractor telescope

Near the end of the list is this high priced Orion that is a bit different than the others on the list. It does have one of the smaller apertures at 5.1, but focuses on having a deeper view rather than wider. This will probably be the lowest triplet ED aprochromat that will be able to buy for a while.

It uses a three lens Ed optic system and combined it with an above average f/7.0 focal ratio that gives you the perfect balance of speed and deep space detail.

The Crayford focuser is a 3 inch dual speed accessory which prioritizes detail so that what comes back on your end matches perfectly. But the main reason why this is so popular is the way it was built like a tank, featuring two split-clamp tube rings and a triple-latch hard case.

Even on the bumpiest of rides, this scope can take a beating better than any on the list. Although this has a bit less power than the others on the list, it more than makes up for it with a solid construction. Consider this a great telescope to own if it falls within your price range.

5. Orion Sirius ED80 EQ-G Computerized GoTo Refractor Telescope

Orion sirius ed80 eq g computerized goto refractor telescope

Second to last on the list is also the most advanced scope on the list, the high priced Orion Sirius ED80 EQ-G Computerized GoTo Refractor Telescope. Featuring a combo of short focal length and superior optics, it is the perfect telescope to use for astrophotography.

The star is not only the telescope, but the mount that comes with it. The EQ-G GoTo equatorial telescope mount and tripod supports the telescope fully, but also has extra headway to take on additional astrophotography gear.

It is the best mount/tripod combo on the list, and is another reason this one is so highly touted. With the multi coated 80mm lens, it manages to grab the best images due to the extra low-dispersion given out by the FPL-53 ED glass.

Both new and intermediate observes will have no trouble getting used to the remote and the built in 42,900 celestial objects that automatically scan and set without you having to do any of the grunt work. Hailing as one of the top 5 on the list, this will be a wonderful product for anyone interested in the stars.

6. Orion Sirius 8 EQ-G Reflector Telescope with GoTo Controller

Orion sirius 8 eq g reflector telescope with goto controller

The perfect combo of technology and accessories, the high priced Orion Sirius 8 EQ-G Reflector Telescope with GoTo Controller is the last on the list and one of the best.

A nice sized 8 inch aperture scope works great for astrophotography and regular viewing. It also has one of the strongest mirrors built in a reflector telescope of its size, a parabolic mirror of 1000 focal length.

You’ll get both long and wide shots that are breathtaking, and the same quality as if you had viewed it from a telescope twice the price. It features a handy remote that is easy to operate and a database of over 42,000 objects to track.

Accessories included are an 8×40 finder scope, 25mm Sirius Plossl 1.25 eyepiece and the Starry Night astronomy software. Not bad for the last product on the list, and it ends up being one of the higher recommended ones!

7. Celestron EdgeHD 1100 XLT Optical Tube Assembly

Celestron edgehd 1100 xlt optical tube assembly

The first product on the list is far from cheap, and is the ultra-expensive Celestron EdgeHD 14 inch Schmidt Cassegrain Optical Tube Assembly with StarBright XLT Coatings.

This is a telescope loaded with features from top to bottom, and is available in several styles like 11 inch EdgeHD CGE, 14 inch EdgeHD CGE, 8 inch EdgeHD CG5, 8 inch EdgeHD CGE and the 9.25 inch EdgeHD CGE.

They all have a lot of features but are not lacking in the power necessary for astrophotography, even on the smallest version. This gives a lot of flexibility to a buyer that wants this scope but doesn’t want to pay the premium price for the top tier model.

Concentrating on the 14 inch CGE version, it has a 14 aperture made of aplanatic Schmidt-Cassegrain that is perfect for producing quality astrophotography details. Besides the crisp images it provides the coma-free optics work together with the field flattener so that you get long, deep distance but a flat focal plane.

This is the best combination of settings you will find prebuilt into a telescope that is made for astrophotography. If you have a habit of moving a lot then the stability of this product will be perfect as it includes a flexible tensions clutch so that the mirror does not get knocked out of place.

It gives a perfect mix of movement and sharpening of an angle all in one package, and all without you having to be a perfectionist with the settings. A known problem with certain telescopes is how the air can sometimes mess with the optics, leading to many taking great care to plan around using telescopes outside that use mirrors in their setup.

Because this telescope has cooling vents on the rear, hot air can be released and bypass the mirror. This means not fogging up or distorted image when you are ready to look through the telescope.

With optional accessories all version of the EdgeHD optical tubes are Fastar compatible for imaging, right down to f/2. Not many on the list can make this claim, and it is the prime reason why this is a top 5 choice on the list, if not the very best.

8. Celestron EdgeHD 1100 CGEM Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope

Celestron edgehd 1100 cgem schmidt cassegrain telescope

Celestron introduces another expensive telescope from their popular EdgeHD series with this model, one of the rare but sought after ones. Featuring a huge 11 inch aperture you will get more out of looking through this scope than in previous incarnations of the series.

It is built from the ground up to produce astrograph-quality flat focal planes rather than emulating them. This gives the user the most complete Astrophotography experience available, and all within a good price.

With optics that put a focus on clarity you’ll also get an enhanced flat surface image while the built in mechanics reduce image shift. This is most notable if you have a bad mount, but thankfully the included mount is very capable.

The primary mirror releases hot air due to the cooling vent in the rear cell, so optics stay clean and won’t get fogged up due to manic weather. Overall this is a very foolproof system that will save you more than once if you live in humid areas. Tension clutches hold the mirror in place but are completely optional in use with the telescope.

They do provide steadiness, but the superior construction of the telescope makes their aid very little unless you are moving it constantly. Along with optional accessories, users can expect to get a lot of use out of this product for a while.

It is a bit of a heavy one at 160 pounds, but that is due to the construction of the materials. For new users this will be one of the most intimidating scopes they have ever used, and for good reason.

It is an upper tier astrophotography scope that will last years with proper maintenance. For a good alternative in the luxury scope department, consider this product from Celestron.

9. Orion 10066 StarSeeker III 90mm GoTo Mak-Cass Telescope

Orion 10066 starseeker iii 90mm goto mak cass telescope

The first Orion on the list is a mid-priced StarSeeker III from their popular line, and up to this point the lowest priced on the list. Key to this model is the advanced electronics and the portability, easily giving the other scopes on the list a run for their money.

Get deep into the cosmos in great detail without the need to spend more than you’re comfortable with. If you are a first time astronomer, then the GoTo database will be essential to your discoveries with its over 42,000 object to discover, all without having to do any extra work.

This is a really big plus for those that are in a hurry and want to look at specific things in the night sky. The nice sized 90mm Maksutov-Cassegrain design gives you the power of larger scopes but without all of the bulk.

There are no worries about getting this scope and not having enough power to view the finer details on the moon. Tracking is done automatically once you find an object, so the hardest parts about using a telescope are simply automated with this model.

Included in the package are 10mm and 25mm 1.25 inch eyepieces, a 90 degree diagonal and an EZ Finder II reflex sight. It is one of the lightest products on the list at 10.7 pounds, and is a far cry from the larger but more powerful EdgeHD series.

Dimensions come out to 11x8x52.5 so could fit in many places where others cannot. Other options accessories can be added, but by the time you get used to the included remote control you probably won’t need them. The remote by itself is worth half the value, if that gives you an idea of the importance.

Buyers that want more automatic control to their stargazing will appreciate this product.


Astrophotography is a rewarding experience if you have one of these scopes, so try to stick with this list for a better experience. With the wealth of information found online about astrophotography, it won’t do you any good if you have cheap equipment.

Stick to the good stuff and you are guaranteed to have a once in a lifetime experience.

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