The 10 Best Orion Telescopes
This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in February of 2019. If you are interested in studying the heavens, the Orion Telescopes we've included on this list offer a wide variety of magnifications, features, and price points to suit just about any person's needs. We've included large and relatively expensive options for experienced stargazers, as well as effective, but inexpensive, models perfect for use by youngsters and beginners. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 18, 2020:
While many of the models included on our previous ranking have remained, it's worth noting where we saw the opportunity for upgrades, as we did with both the SkyQuest XX14I and the SkyQuest XX16G. At first glance, these two models might seem extraordinarily similar, but the 16G's light collecting area is significantly larger, and combined with a larger mirror, allows for greater magnification and enhanced clarity, especially when observing distant objects like nebulae.
Those are extremely pricy options, however, and most of the rest of our list contains options for astronomers who are just starting out, or who have been at it for a while and want to make a serious investment. Models like the Observer II 70mm and the SkyScanner 100mm TableTop don't boast the best optical quality, but their relative simplicity and low price points makes them ideal for beginners, where something like the StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector is a nice step up when it's time to graduate past those models.
Star photographers are going to want to take a serious look at the Newtonian Astrograph Reflector, which boasts an ideal focal ratio for hooking up a DSLR to capture images bouncing off its secondary mirror, but it is important to remember that any adapter is going to be sold separately.
February 14, 2019:
Orion offers a lot of subtle differences among many of their models, especially among their most expensive offerings. Two scopes that appear identical at first might have slight differences in aperture size or the particular guidance system used for object tracking. This list intends to find the products that offer the best combination of size, features, and price, so instead of putting three 12-inch Dobsonian models in the top spots, we narrowed those down to the best of the trio. Still, those premiere scopes are on the gigantic side, and it was important to include high-performance models that could still fit inside a sedan, like the StarSeeker IV or the StarMax 127mm. From there, it was a matter of balancing the list to let people with less money or experience find effective choices for their lives.