Picking up the best telescope under 200 is likely to be a great investment if you're wanting to get into stargazing without spending too much money.
Many of the best telescopes can run you a four-figure sum, such as the very professional Celestron NexStar 8SE, but you can actually still get a good user experience for much less than that.
More affordable telescopes may typically dial back on the materials used in construction, as well as the overall quality of an eyepiece. But they still have some very good features and do their intended job well.
Cheaper telescopes can also be more portable and easier to carry around than their larger, specialist counterparts, which can actually be viewed as an advantage if you're a budding astronomer on the go.
They may not have as long focal lengths or times of magnification, but you'll definitely still be able to see objects in the sky with pretty good clarity. .
With all this in mind, we’ve selected these telescopes based on our research into their specs, features, general reviews, and other general points, that we think make them worth considering, plus, we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions so you can pick the best ones for you.
So with that being said, let’s get into it – here are some top picks for the best telescope under 200 available today.
Best Telescope Under 200
- Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ
- SkyWatcher Heritage 100-P
- GSkyer Telescope
- Orion Observer 80ST
- Zhumell Z130 Portable Altazimuth Reflector
Best Telescope Under 200 Celestron - Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ
Celestron makes some of the best telescopes out there, and their PowerSeeker 127EQ looks like a marvellous choice if you're after something more affordable.
With it, you'll be getting loads of additional eyepieces with a 4mm, Barlow, and 20mm on offer, so you can scale the magnification to suit your viewing intentions.
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Alongside it comes a focal length of 1000mm and a maximum usable magnification of 300x, which should allow you to zoom in rather far, and see some pretty far-off objects.
A 127mm aperture should also mean those images are nicely detailed. This is because a larger aperture will let more light in, and allow for better low-light performance, which is particularly key for viewing objects in the night sky.
With the Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ, you will need to know about equatorial mounting, or in other words, the process of aligning your telescope's mount in line with the poles to parallel the Earth's axis. Once you've mastered this, you'll be stargazing in no time.
Best Telescope Under 200 SkyWatcher - SkyWatcher Heritage-100P
The SkyWatcher Heritage-100P looks like a great choice if you're after a tabletop telescope with plenty of power.
It features a 400mm focal length, which allows for wide views of the night sky, and with a 100mm aperture, it should be pretty clear too.
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There is a good selection of lenses with the SkyWatcher Heritage-100P, including 10mm and 25mm, as well as a 2x Barlow lens.
It weighs just 2.8kg, making this quite a light telescope, which is useful if you're wanting to take it out anywhere.
Best Telescope Under 200 Gskyer -GSkyer Telescope
The GSkyer Telescope looks to be a fantastic choice for those after a rather wide field of view.
To this end, it features a 400mm focal length, as well as a 70mm aperture to also ensure what you're viewing will be rather sharp.
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With the GSkyer Telescope, you also get a range of eyepieces including a 3x Barlow Lens which can help to increase the magnification level so you can get in even closer.
In addition, this telescope also comes with a wireless remote that can be used in conjunction with your smartphone (when mounted) so you can take pictures of the night sky, and with the standard of phone cameras looking to be better than ever before, even with any of the best mid-range phones, those pictures should look great.
Best Telescope Under 200 Orion - Orion Observer 80ST
The Orion Observer 80ST looks like a great choice for a telescope under 200.
What you'll be getting here is a 400mm focal length that'll allow you to take a wider view of the night sky, although combined with the two eyepieces on offer, namely a 10mm and 25mm, you should be getting some good magnification if you do want to get closer.
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The mount on the Orion Observer 80ST does feature slow motion controls on its equatorial mount, which is convenient so you can accurately track objects in the night sky as you pan around. Its equatorial mount also looks to be rather stable, which should make tracking a breeze.
This is also quite a compact telescope, which makes it a great choice for those wanting to save space, too.
Best Telescope Under 200 Zhumell - Zhumell Z130 Portable Altazimuth Reflector
The Zhumell Z130 Portable Altazimuth Reflector looks like a fantastic choice if you're after a rather portable, but powerful telescope.
It features a handy tabletop base, so you can set it up almost anywhere and begin stargazing, which means it should be a great choice for those stargazers on the go who still want a marvellous telescope to do it with.
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You'll find a 130mm aperture with the Zhumell Z130 Portable Altazimuth Reflector which should give you some crisp and detailed images, whilst a 650mm focal length is a nice middle ground so you can view some objects up close, as well as a wide angle if you so wish.
The two eyepieces on offer, namely a 25mm and 10mm, contribute well to this telescope offering a nice middle ground, especially given a possible max magnification of 256x, if you want to get really close.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I buy a telescope for under 200?
In our humble opinion, we'd say that picking up a telescope for under 200 is worth doing.
This is because you'll still be getting a great viewing experience with clear images of the night sky possible, as long as you're willing to go for a more compact telescope to do so, as well as something that may not be as powerful for truly professional use.
What should I look for in a telescope for under 200?
As a general rule, we'd say to look for a telescope that's got a good focal length of between 400mm and 1000mm, depending on what you're looking to see, as well as a good selection of eyepieces, so you can have some good magnification.
You'll also want to look for a telescope that's sturdily built, too, and if you want something more compact, many of these telescopes may also be able to be used on a tabletop, if that's what you're after.
Is getting a telescope under 200 worth it?
If you're wanting to stargaze on a budget, then getting a telescope for under 200 is definitely worth it.
You'll still be getting a rather capable telescope for the price that should offer up some marvellous clarity and magnification, and offer a good first step for beginners, whilst you maybe save up for something a little more pro-grade when the time comes to upgrade.
What can you see with a 100mm telescope?
A 100mm telescope refers to its aperture and truth be told, you'll be likely to be able to see quite a lot.
This includes all the planets, as well as being able to see the Moon's craters in great detail, and some of the most prominent nebulae, too.
What magnification telescope do I need to see planets?
This all depends on how much detail you want to see planets in, but as a general rule, a magnification of around 200x will be enough to see the planets and their moons. For more detail, you can of course go higher - around 400x is a good barometer.
What's the difference between a refractor telescope and a reflector telescope?
The transparent material of reflector lenses slows down light, causing it to bend, which allows us to manipulate its size so we can have a magnified image to look at.
Reflector telescopes, on the other hand, manipulate light using a circuit of mirrors to enlarge and flip the image.
We've already done a deep dive into the differences between Refractor and Reflector telescopes, to ensure that you can choose the telescope that fits your needs best.
Is 10mm or 25mm better for a telescope?
This depends on what you're aiming to see, but generally speaking, a 10mm eyepiece will give you higher magnification than a 25mm one.
In addition, as telescopes themselves let in a fixed amount of light, a lower magnification may give you a sharper image than if you used a smaller eyepiece which could provide a blurrier image.