The 8 Best Catadioptric Telescopes

Updated December 15, 2016 by Daniel Imperiale

8 Best Catadioptric Telescopes
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 26 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Catadioptric telescopes combine many of the best features of refractors and reflectors into one package, with few of their drawbacks. They allow the performance of a large aperture, long focal length scope to be folded into a reasonably lightweight and transportable package. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best catadioptric telescope on Amazon.

8. Bushnell Northstar

The Bushnell Northstar 90 mm telescope carries a built-in database of more than 20,000 celestial objects, giving you a ton of options for tracking and observation. Its hand-held remote includes real voice output, keeping the words of the pros at your fingertips.
  • quickly camera adaptable
  • kinetic mount provides smooth motion
  • 4 mm eyepiece underperforms
Brand Bushnell
Model BSH788890
Weight 27.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Celestron's NexStar 127SLT Mak

Celestron's NexStar 127SLT Mak is a 5" Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope 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 on its tripod, allowing for instant setups.
  • accessory tray for optical tubes
  • auxiliary port for tracking tools
  • tripod allows too much vibration
Brand Celestron
Model NexStar 127SLT Mak
Weight 30.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. NexStar 8 SE

The Schmidt-Cassegrain NexStar 8 SE by Celestron boasts a highest useful magnification of 480x, bringing celestial bodies into your purview with impeccable detail for a telescope under 10". Its StarAlign technology lets you set marks on any three bright candles you choose.
  • 29x minimum magnification
  • computerized go-to tracking
  • light plastic accessories
Brand Celestron
Model 11069
Weight 48.9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. ETX90 Observer

The ETX90 Observer by Meade Instruments is a 90 mm Muksatov-Cassegrain telescope 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
  • tight aperture rating
Brand Meade
Model 205004
Weight 42.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. NexStar Evolution 9.25

The NexStar Evolution 9.25 by Celestron comes with a slew of lenses, eyepieces, and filters, allowing you to customize the experience you get out of its 9.25" design. It even features integrated WiFi for star tracking and guidance.
  • compatible with smartphones
  • rechargeable battery
  • high price for a sub-10-inch scope
Brand Celestron
Model NexStar Evolution
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Celestron Advanced VX

The Celestron Advanced VX 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope utilizes StarBright XLT coatings on its glass, which maximize light transmission without creating any flare. Its periodic error 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 4.8 / 5.0

2. Orion 9825 Apex

The Orion 9825 Apex 127 mm telescope 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.
  • 25 mm eyepiece included
  • burgundy red finish
  • fitted in a soft carrying case
Brand Orion
Model 9825
Weight 13.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Meade Instruments' LX90-ACF

Meade Instruments' LX90-ACF 12" telescope features advanced coma-free optics with an ƒ/10 aperture rating. The size of the light gathering field alone makes for a brighter, clearer view of the heavens, even before accounting for the high quality of the mirror and lens.
  • 3048 mm 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 December 15, 2016 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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