The ultimate guide to buying a telescope

When buying an optical instrument like a telescope, deciding on the best one to invest in will undoubtedly be dependent on what you would like to use it for. Investing your money in the best telescope will allow you to enjoy many years of enjoyment from astronomy. Buying cheap designs will provide faint star gazing. Hence, investing in a telescope manufactured by high-end brands like Williams optics in Australia makes sense. Right? There is a massive demand for optical instruments in and around Australia. Exports of optical devices and apparatus in Australia averaged 3.12 AUD million from 1988 until 2022. It reached an all-time high of 26 AUD Million in November 2019.

However, buying the right one will take a lot of work. You will find many options to choose from; one needs to make several considerations while choosing the right telescope, which makes the decision challenging. So to give you ease, here is a quick guide on buying a telescope. Read on!

Things to consider when buying a telescope

Types of telescopes

There are three types of telescopes- Reflector, refractor and Cassegrain. But if you are a first-time buyer, you should consider only the first two types. Cassegrain telescopes are also very nice, but they are a bit advanced and complex for first-time buyers.

Refractor- It is a telescope that uses two or more lenses to gather and refract light. The main advantage of the Refractor Telescope is that they provide a more crisp image of the object being viewed and can be used for terrestrial viewing.

Reflector- These telescopes use spherical or parabolic curved mirrors to gather light. They are the most economical type of telescope for larger sizes. However, these telescopes cannot be used for terrestrial viewing and need occasional maintenance to ensure it is working at their best.

Types of mounts

If you are buying a telescope, you would need a mount. You will find three types of mounts available in the market- Dobsonian, equatorial and altazimuth.

  • Dobsonian Mounts– These mounts use a lazy-susan style platform and some form of hubs to move in altitude.
  • Equatorial Mounts– These mounts require more setup as they need to be adjusted to your latitude and aimed North; however, they are less intuitive than Altazimuth mounts.
  • Altazimuth mounts- These are simple mounts designed for the Altazimuth Mounted Telescopes in a simple up/down and left/right.

Whichever mount you buy, ensure it is strong enough to hold the optical tube without wobbling.


The aperture is the diameter of the primary lens or mirror of the telescope. The bigger it is, the more light the telescope gathers. Hence, more light gathering means better and brighter images. However, avoid buying telescopes that claim to offer excess magnification like 300x, 600x, etc.; this is a sure sign of poor quality. A decent commercially sold telescope usually starts about 60 mm in size and goes about 20” in diameter or more. The big problem with buying more aperture is that it increases the size and weight of the telescope.

Other considerations

Besides the above mentioned things, you must consider a few more things when buying a telescope manufactured by Williams optics in Australia.

Eyepieces- If you are a beginner, you should pay special attention to them. Make sure the telescope you buy comes with eyepieces that are Kellner or preferably Plossi design. Every telescope comes with 1 or 2 eyepieces.

Finder scope- It is a small telescope that sits on the top of the main optical tube and helps aim the telescope in the right direction.


After going through this article, you can make a much more informed decision about what sort of telescope you should buy.