Thu, Aug 23, 18

Beginner Telescopes - The 10 Best Telescopes Under $300

Beginner Telescopes - The 10 Best Telescopes Under $300

*Updated June 2019

Similar to our list of the best telescopes for beginners under $500, here we have an even more budget-friendly collection! Getting into astronomy and astrophotography is only getting easier as the years go by. Even finding awesome things to look at has been simplified into user-friendly phone apps.

Choosing the Right One

With such a large variety of telescopes, cameras, and accessories, amateur and beginning astronomers might have difficulty making the right decision on what to invest in. Never fear! OPT is here to assist your decision in getting the best bang for your buck without breaking the bank. The is the Top 10 Best Telescopes Under $300! 

Explore Scientific Firstlight Celestron Astromaster 130 EQ-MD Orion SkyScanner 100mm Reflector Meade Polaris 114mm Reflector Celestron PowerSeeker 127-EQ Celestron Inspire 70AZ Doublet Meade 114mm LightBridge Mini Celestron Travel Scope 70
$299.95 $248.95 $109.99 $149.95 $169.95 $149 $138.95 $89.95


Explore Scientific FirstLight AR 102mm Refractor

Skywatcher Evostar 80mm Doublet Apo Refractor With Allview Alt-az Mount

Whether you’re looking to delve into the details of our solar system or explore inspiring deep-sky treasures, the versatile FirstLight™ series has an observing package that will fit your individual needs. Each of the combinations in this new line comes complete with all of the essentials — a telescope, a sturdy mount, an eyepiece, and a red dot viewfinder. As an added benefit, this package includes an adapter that allows you to use your smartphone to easily capture and share the beauty unfolding in your eyepiece. With Firstlight™, the only thing you need to provide is a desire to discover.

Explore Scientific FirstLight AR102mm Telescope Features

  • Aperture: 4.02 inches
  • Focal Ratio: f/9.8
  • Focal Length: 1000 mm
  • Smartphone Adapter
  • Lightweight and compact
  • One 25 mm Plossl Eyepiece
  • Red Dot Viewfinder
  • EXOS Nano EQ3 German Equatorial Mount


Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ w/ Motor Drive

Celestron Nexstar 6se F/10 Goto Telescope

The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ MD comes complete with a pre-assembled mount and tripod. The Celestron CG-3 equatorial mount is quite stable, with setting circles and slow-motion controls on both axes for easy, smooth tracking and now a clock drive which continually tracks objects in right ascension, making it a great choice for novice astronomers! This telescope not only performs well but remains durable after years and years of use.

Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ-MD Telescope Features

  • Fully multi-coated optics for bright, crisp, clean images.
  • Quick release dovetail attachment for user-friendly set-up and storage. No tools needed!
  • Permanently mounted StarPointer finderscope projects a red laser dot onto a non-magnified viewing window for easy aiming.
  • German Equatorial Mount with setting circles, slow-motion cables, and a motor drive unit to accurately track sky objects.
  • Rugged pre-assembled tripod with 1.25 Inch steel tube legs with a deluxe accessory tray for convenient access to observing tools.
  • The Sky Level 1 - planetarium software with a 10,000 object database and enhanced images.


Orion SkyScanner 100mm Reflector Telescope

Meade Starnavigator Next Generation 125mm Maksutov

The Orion SkyScanner 100mm Reflector Telescope is just large enough to see night sky objects yet compact enough to sit on a desk! The wide field of vision is deal for observing detailed moon craters and even the spectacular rings of Saturn! 

Orion SkyScanner 100mm Reflector Telescope Features

  • 100mm parabolic primary mirror glass optics
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Two 1.25-inch eyepieces
  • EZ-Finder II finder scope


Meade Polaris 114mm German EQ Reflector

Sky-watcher 8" F/6 Traditional Dobsonian Telescope

The Meade Polaris 114 mm f/8.8 Newtonian Reflecting Telescope is an excellent beginner's instrument, allowing you to see bright galaxies, planets, stars and more. The Polaris comes complete with everything you need to view the wonders of the night sky the first time out. The featured stable equatorial mount with slow motion controls makes it easy to track celestial objects as they move across the night sky. The 3 included eyepieces provide low, medium and high powered magnification for viewing a wide range of objects (Moon, planets, or land) delivering bright and detailed images

Meade Polaris 114mm German EQ Telescope Features

  • Aperture: 114 mm (4.5-inch)
  • Focal Ratio: f/7.9
  • Focal Length: 900 mm
  • Stable equatorial mount with slow motion controls
  • 3 eyepieces included- low, medium and high powered magnification
  • Easy to use Reflector on an Equatorial Mount



Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ

Skywatcher Evostar 80mm Doublet Apo Refractor With Allview Alt-az Mount

The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ is a 127mm (5-inch) aperture Newtonian Reflector Telescope equipped with an Equatorial Mount and Tripod. This is a great telescope to open up the wonders of the Universe to beginner and aspiring astronomers. PowerSeekers are designed and manufactured using all fully coated glass optical components with high transmission coatings for enhanced image brightness and clarity. Enjoy the perfect combination of quality, value, features, and power as a first-time telescope user!

Celestron Powerseeker 127 EQ Newtonian Reflector Telescope Features

  • Quick and easy tool-free setup
  • Slow motion controls for smooth tracking
  • Ideal for astronomical use
  • Fully coated glass optical components with high transmission coatings for enhanced image brightness and clarity
  • 3x Barlow lens triples the magnifying power of each eyepiece
  • Accessory tray for convenient storage of accessories and added stability 
  • The Sky - Level 1 planetarium software with 10,000 object database and enhanced images



Celestron Inspire 70AZ f/10 Doublet Refractor

Celestron Nexstar 6se F/10 Goto Telescope

The Celestron Inspire 70AZ Refractor is a perfect entry-level very portable scope for anyone interested in astronomy. A 70 mm (2.75-inch) aperture achromatic refractor telescope with an Alt-Azimuth mount on a sturdy tripod. Not only does it offer easy transport due to its lightweight design, but it is also packed with features rarely if ever seen on entry-level scopes; these increase the Inspire telescopes' flexibility and other key traits greatly! 

Celestron Inspire 70AZ Doublet Refracting Telescope Features

  • Easy Setup
  • A 70 mm (2.75-inch) Refractor Telescope
  • Smartphone Adapter
  • Fully coated glass optics
  • Solid Alt-Azimuth Mount
  • Sturdy steel tripod with fold-up accessory tray
  • Built-in red LED flashlights
  • Finder, Tripod, Diagonal, 2 Eyepieces


Meade 114mm LightBridge Mini

Meade Starnavigator Next Generation 125mm Maksutov
The LightBridge Mini 114 allows you to set up and share a stargazing experience in seconds. Whether you are camping in the outdoors or relaxing in your backyard, the LightBridge Mini 114 Dobsonian is the ideal “grab-and-go” telescope, offering easy and portable observation with its removable optical tube. With its sleek, compact size, it’s both functional and eye-catching. The stylish tabletop design allows the LightBridge Mini to be displayed as a decorative piece yet readily available when the moment strikes. 


Meade 114mm LightBridge Mini Telescope Features

  • Parabolic Newtonian Reflector with a large 114mm (4.5") aperture for a great view of planets, star clusters, and nebulae
  • Lightweight (10.8 lbs) and compact with a removable 450mm (f/3.95) optical tube for portability
  • Comes with 26mm (17x) and 9mm (50x) eyepieces for low and high magnifications
  • 360° swivel mount and a simple point-and-look design for easy use


Celestron PortableTravel Scope 70

Sky-watcher 8" F/6 Traditional Dobsonian Telescope

The Celestron Travel Scope 70 was designed with traveling in mind while offering exceptional value. The Celestron Travel Scope is made of the highest quality materials to ensure stability and durability, and comes with two full-size eyepieces and a 5X24 finderscope. All this adds up to a portable telescope that gives you a lifetime of pleasure with a minimal amount of maintenance. Featuring a compact and portable design with ample optical performance, the Celestron Travel Scope 70 is ideal for terrestrial as well as casual astronomical observation

Celestron Travel Scope 70 Portable Telescope Features

  • All coated glass optical elements for clear, crisp images
  • Erect image diagonal so that your views are correctly oriented
  • Smooth functioning altazimuth mount with easy pointing to located objects
  • Pre-assembled aluminum full size photographic tripod ensures a stable platform
  • Quick and easy no-tool set up
  • The telescope and tripod fit inside the custom backpack for easy traveling and storage
  • Includes The Sky X - First Light Edition CD-ROM


Want to learn more about different types of Telescopes? Check out our Blog Posts on the Newtonian, Dobsonian and Cassegrain Telescopes

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