The 9 Best Catadioptric Telescopes

Updated May 22, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

9 Best Catadioptric Telescopes
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
Catadioptric telescopes combine many of the best features of refractors and reflectors into one package, with only a few of their drawbacks. They allow for the performance of a large aperture, long focal length scope to be folded into a reasonably lightweight and transportable package that's ideal for stargazers on the go. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best catadioptric telescope on Amazon.

9. Meade Instruments ETX90 Observer

The Meade Instruments ETX90 Observer is a 90mm Muksatov-Cassegrain scope with a user-friendly and very specific Audio Star hand box interface. It comes with a removable optical tube and all the necessary tripod accessories.
  • red dot viewfinder sighting
  • hard case included
  • alignment setup is frustrating
Brand Meade
Model 205004
Weight 42.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. Orion 10022 StarMax

If you already own a decent tripod, or you want a model that you can plop down on a rock, point at the sky, and take in an object or two without tracking them, then you can save a good bit of money by investing in the Orion 10022 StarMax.
  • designed for grab-and-go use
  • bright 90 millimeter aperture
  • not the clearest option
Brand Orion 10022 StarMax
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Orion 9825 Apex 127mm

The Orion 9825 Apex 127mm is an inexpensive Maksutov-Cassegrain combination in a compact and portable build. It has a versatile spotting scope capable of high magnification views that's ideal for working in daytime settings.
  • burgundy red finish
  • fitted in a soft carrying case
  • included eyepiece is sub-par
Brand Orion
Model 9825
Weight 13.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

6. Celestron NexStar 127SLT Mak

The Celestron NexStar 127SLT Mak is a 5-inch Maksutov-Cassegrain model designed for easy transportation to and from dark sky sites. In addition to being on the lighter side for its size, it features a quick-release fork arm mount, allowing for instant setups.
  • accessory tray for optical tubes
  • auxiliary port for tracking tools
  • tripod lets in too much vibration
Brand Celestron
Model NexStar 127SLT Mak
Weight 30.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Celestron NexStar 8 SE

The Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron NexStar 8 SE boasts a maximum useful magnification of 480x, bringing celestial bodies into your view with impeccable detail for an option under 10 inches. Its StarAlign technology lets you set marks on any three bright candles you choose.
  • 29x minimum enlargement
  • computerized go-to tracking
  • flimsy plastic accessories
Brand Celestron
Model 11069
Weight 48.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. Celestron Advanced VX 8-Inch

The Celestron Advanced VX 8-Inch Schmidt-Cassegrain scope utilizes StarBright XLT coatings on its glass, which maximize light transmission without creating any flare. Its periodic correction system effectively eliminates recurring track errors.
  • autoguider port for astrophotography
  • vx mount provides stability
  • sturdy and durable base castings
Brand Celestron
Model 12026
Weight 85 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25

The Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25 comes with a slew of lenses, eyepieces, and filters, allowing you to customize the experience you get out of its 9.25-inch design. It even features integrated Wi-Fi for star tracking and guidance.
  • compatible with smartphones
  • rechargeable battery
  • two-year warranty
Brand Celestron
Model NexStar Evolution
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Celestron 11084 Omni XLT 127mm

Thanks to the fact the the Celestron 11084 Omni XLT 127mm comes with the company's CG-4 equatorial tripod, you can reliably set up a stargazing station without any concern over the safety of your unit. It moves with incredibly fluid slowness that lets you track with ease.
  • schmidt-cassegrain style
  • includes planetarium software
  • multi-coated eyepiece
Brand Celestron 11084 Omni XL
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Meade Instruments LX90-ACF

Meade Instruments LX90-ACF 12-inch features advanced coma-free optics with an ƒ/10 aperture rating. The size of the light gathering field alone makes for a bright, clear view of the heavens, even before accounting for the high quality of the mirror and lens.
  • 3048 millimeter focal length
  • ultra-high transmission coatings
  • built-in gps sensor
Brand Meade
Model 1210-90-03
Weight 75 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

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Last updated on May 22, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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