Browse by Optical Tube Type

The Optical Tube is the part of the telescope that collects the light and forms an image into an eyepiece

A refractor is the traditional form of a telescope that most people think of. They use a series of lenses that refract the incoming light to the focal point. They have a long thin tube, and the eyepiece and focussing wheel is at the rear. They are great for beginners, are low maintenance and are best suited for viewing the Moon and Planets.

Reflectors generally have shorter fatter tubes when compared to refractors, and the eyepiece and focusing happens at the front of the tube.  Their design, using mirrors to reflect the incoming light into the eyepiece means that larger apertures are possible.  A larger aperture can gather more light and deep space objects can be seen. Perfect for beginner to intermediate users, reflectors are well suited for Moon, Planets and Deep Space Objects (DSO’s).

Catadioptric telescopes take the best from both refractor and reflector designs, with the eyepiece and focussing at the rear.  They are commonly known as Maksutov and Schmidt-Cassegrains. Combining both the high magnification power of a refractor design and huge light gathering power of a reflector design, a catadioptric telescope is the most powerful. Suited for intermediate to advanced users, they are the best all-round telescope for viewing the Moon, Planets and Deep Sky Objects (DSO’s).

Browse by mount type

 

The mount is the part of the telescope that controls the movement of the Optical Tube

An Alt-Azimuth mount is the simplest and most intuitive to use design, perfect for beginners.  It allows free movement in Altitude (Up/Down) and Azimuth (Left/Right) directions.  They do not require any setup to use and are usually paired with refractor optical tubes. The limitation of this type of mount is that they are not best suited to extended tracking of objects as they appear to move across the night sky.

 

An equatorial mount can be easily identified, as this design uses a counterweight bar to balance the telescope.  Best suited for intermediate or amateur users looking to advance their hobby, as some setup is required for them to work to the maximum potential.  An equatorial mount can track (manually) an object across the night sky with less adjustments vs. an AltAzimuth mount. In order to do this, the mount has to be polar aligned, which is a simple step.  This type of mount is usually paired with reflector optical tubes.

 

A computerised mount is the easiest way to explore the night sky.  With integrated motors and a computer powered by batteries, this mount will automatically go to an object, and track it as it appears to move across the night sky.  This design is perfect for amateurs to advanced users alike. A simple setup procedure is all that is needed to get observing within minutes. This type of mount is available across refractor, reflector and catadioptric optical tube options.

 

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