If you are an astronomy enthusiast, you may often wonder how much is a good telescope? And the answer to this question depends on the type of telescope you are looking for. Don’t worry, in this guide; I’ll explain how much you’ll need to pay for each type of telescope!

The cost of a good telescope can range from under $100 to more than $1000. Of course, the more features you want in your telescope, the costlier it will be. Also, the optics quality will be much better at a higher price.

There are many different types of telescopes on the market currently, and each has its unique set of features. So, you can’t declare one type to be better than the others.

The reason why this article was written is to give a nuanced answer to this question. We have researched so that you can see the results and decide what product to buy.

There are mainly three different types of telescopes, and if you read the entire article, you will know about the cost of the best telescopes in each category. However, it is important to note that you don’t have to shell out more than $1000 to buy a good telescope.

There are budget-friendly options out there; you have to look for them. Even if you are an amateur astronomer, this article will discuss telescope recommendations that work well for all budgets.

So, sit back and read through the entire article to find the answer to your question.

What Are The Different Types Of Telescopes?

As you have read above, there are three different types of telescopes out there, namely: refractor, reflector, and catadioptric telescopes. Catadioptric telescopes are optical telescopes, and the other types use refraction to view the stars.

Orion and Celestron are some of the best brands to make high-quality telescopes. The price mainly depends on the aperture of a telescope, and some of these scopes can range from 75mm up to 250 mm.

A telescope with a higher aperture will cost more. Many telescopes sell for less than $100, but it is highly recommended that you stay away from the cheap ones as they may ruin your user experience.

A good telescope may fall between $200 to over $1000, but if you are an amateur astronomer, you can stay away from the pricier options. On the other hand, if you are willing to spend more than $400, you will get higher capabilities telescopes.

Different Price Ranges Of A Telescope And What Features To Expect From Them

Telescopes vary in type in aperture sizes. That is the main differentiator of price among the different telescope models. A refractor model will cost less than a catadioptric model. The ones having a bigger aperture will also cost more as they will call you with greater magnifying capabilities.

The table below will highlight the different price ranges of a telescope. You will also know what features to expect in a particular price range.

Types of Telescopes Under $100 $100-$400 $400-$600 Over $600
Refractor Telescopes Entry-level telescopes with less than 70mm aperture and poor quality features APO Refractor Telescopes are available at this price range with 130mm + aperture Celestron NexStar models available with galaxy viewing capabilities At this range, you can get telescopes with 250mm aperture and the best lenses
Reflector Telescopes Celestron models are available with decent features but low magnification capabilities Newtonian Telescopes available with 150 mm aperture and above Dobsonian Telescopes available with high-quality mounts and computerized scopes 8-inch Dobsonian Telescopes with GoTo scopes that offer computerized target tracking with greater magnification capabilities
Catadioptric Telescopes Not Available Not Available Not Available Meade telescopes with PushTo Intelliscope offering greater stability and object tracking abilities

How Much Is A Good Telescope?

Let us now discuss the capabilities of a good telescope. This segment will help you budget for a telescope across different price ranges.

Under the $100 range

This is where you will find the cheapest telescopes with small apertures. Unfortunately, most of the telescopes in this price range are less than 75mm, so you can’t use them to see anything beyond our solar system.

$100 to $400

This is where you start to see telescopes with decent capabilities. First, you can buy a good refractor telescope, which gathers light at the front of the telescope where a lens is positioned. These products are simple to maintain and are rugged so they can be easily carried from place to place.

Reflector telescopes are known as Newtonian telescopes, and they have a mirror on the back part of the telescope that gathers light. They require maintenance from time to time, a simple procedure you can perform at home.

Reflectors or Newtonians come with higher apertures with greater magnification capabilities, enabling you to zoom further into the night sky. The Orion SkyScanner 100 is a good option in this price range. Telescopes in this price range come with a tripod and a red dot finder that helps you to aim in the night sky.

Once you go to the $300 to $400 range, you will get better eyepieces and higher apertures. The 150mm Dobsonian telescope is a great product for this budget, and they provide great value for amateur astronomers. Dobsonian telescopes are very simple to use, and if you place them in a cart, they can be easily moved around.

If you plan to spend more money, you can get computerized scopes that typically take 5 minutes to set up. Manual scopes require you to find the target object yourself, which can be hard for an amateur.

If you live in a city with a lot of light pollution, then you need a computerized scope as that will help you find more planets.

Telescopes with higher apertures will allow you to watch planets with greater detail. In this price range, you can also watch distant galaxies and nebula with telescopes. Celestron Omni XLT 102mm AltAz Refractor is another great product that falls in this range.

$400 to $600

You will find more computerized scopes with 130mm aperture in this range. The optical telescopes from Celestron and Meade are some of the best in this range, and they can do the same job as the manual scopes with higher apertures, albeit with a much more seamless targeting experience.

These telescopes also come with better mounts and lenses. In addition, the Celestron NexStar 102 SLT GoTo Refractor will offer you a stable scope and a great user experience in this price range.

Over $600

This is where you can get telescopes with the highest capabilities. Dobsonian telescopes can be found in this price range, and one of their models comes with a PushTo Intelliscope, another item that will help you find targets in the night sky, albeit with no motors.

The only difference between these scopes with the computerized ones is that they don’t have any motors, while the computerized GoTo scopes are operated with the help of motors.

The good thing about PushTo scopes is that they are cheaper as they don’t require motors to operate, and many people prefer this over computerized scopes as it enables them to get larger apertures.

If you want a telescope with a long focal length, then buy the 6-inch or 8-inch Celestron NexStar telescopes. These telescopes feature lightweight construction and compact design, which many people love. They also come with a very capable GoTo scope. Thus, they are some of the most popular choices in this budget range.

Once you get to the $600 plus range, you have the flexibility to buy better scopes and lenses with higher apertures as you won’t be facing any budgetary constraints. This is where you can get Catadioptric telescopes, the most expensive types of telescopes due to their superior features.

Where Can I Buy Telescopes?

Although online shopping may seem alluring to most people, it is recommended that you visit a local store to get a hands-on feel of your telescope. If you want to buy your first telescope, visit a local store to help you decide on the best brand that fits your budget and requirements.

Many camera shops also sell telescopes, so you can visit them to check out telescopes. The hands-on feel of a new telescope can give you a taste of what to expect and the features you will get in a particular price range, especially if you are a first-time telescope buyer.

If you want to buy your telescope from an online store, then the number 1 recommended site is Amazon, the largest e-commerce store in the world and carries thousands of different brands.

You can also check out various user reviews of a given product to make up your mind. www.telescope.com is another website where you can find all things related to telescopes.


I hope I have successfully given you an idea about the cost of a good telescope in this article. There are plenty of brands, some cheap and others very expensive.

Telescopes are marketed with a wide range of capabilities, but most of these are not important for you if you want to buy your first telescope. However, if you want to view a particular planet, then you can get in touch with the people running the stores, and they will be able to help you out.

If you are an amateur astronomer, you must find the middle ground because you don’t have much money to spend on your hobby. However, once you get a taste of your first telescope, you can buy a better quality telescope with a larger budget.

Telescopes can be upgraded, and if you feel you are missing out on something, you should consider upgrading the lenses or the scopes to get a better user experience.