2,379 Brands 450 Categories All Departments

whats the difrence

Need our opinion on a telescope Optics Planet has on sale, go ahead and ask! Post some hints and tips on various telescope brands and configuration.

whats the difrence

Postby king1358 on Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:56 am

hello im thinking of buying a telescope but am wanting to know what the difrence between reflector and refractor telescopes and does it effect the price .i am a bigginer and whichone is best to start out with but not wanting to have to keep upgrading to keep my interest.and thinking of comp type or not for biginerive looked at 40 mm up to 80mm and what does that mean to me far as buying or what to look for

Postby Jne_K on Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:01 am


Refractors use lenses, reflectors use mirrors.

The main factor in telescope performance is the diameter of the mirror or lens - not the magnification or power. A larger scope is a better choice if you want a scope that has potential to maintain an interest in astronomy. Any telescope, even a small telescope, can see exactly the same TYPES of objects - moon, planets, galaxies, nebulae, star clusters - as a large telescope, but a small telescope can't see as many of them or as much detail in them as a larger telescope. If you are concerned with performance, buy the largest telescope you can afford (not the one that advertises the most power) that has all the features you want.

In terms of size for the dollar, a reflector always gets you the most.

A great way to learn more on the basics of choosing a telescope is to first read my article, Telescope First Questions. This gets you started with the two most important decisions to make, right away. Then narrow your choice down even more with my article How to choose the right telescope This discusses the pros and cons of each telescope design.
Thanks for posting with us
Joanie K - Your personal optics expert

Forum: http://www.opticsplanet.com/msgboard
Blog: http://blog.opticsplanet.com/
Store: http://www.opticsplanet.com/

Phone: (800) 504-5897
Fax: (847) 919-3003
Site Admin
Posts: 7665
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:09 pm