The 8 Best Sky-Watcher Telescopes

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This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in February of 2019. While they might not have the same name recognition as Orion or Celestron, Sky-Watcher telescopes offer some of the most refined consumer-oriented optics on the market. We've included options for a variety of budget levels, and ranked them by their light gathering capabilities, magnification, optical quality, and portability. Grab one and turn your gaze up to the stars. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. ProED 120mm Doublet APO

2. Newtonian Quattro S11230 Imaging

3. GoTo Collapsible Dobsonian

Editor's Notes

September 07, 2020:

Anyone hesitant to pull the trigger on a Sky-Watcher should know that they share a parent company with Celestron in the Synta Technology Corporation of Taiwan, which is one of the reasons you sometimes see one brand name in a listing for another's product. Ultimately, Celestron might have the advantage, especially when it comes to the sheer quantity of models with computerized tracking available, but this brand offers some of the best refractive models for the cost.

Stargazers interested in taking their scopes out into the field should be principally concerned with portability, which can seriously hinder the extent of your journey if you live in a place with a lot of light pollution and need to go far, or even hike into the wild, to see some serious stars. Maksutov-Cassegrain models offer some of the best optics with the smallest footprint, and something like the Newtonian Quattro S11230 Imaging also boasts a low thermal expansion coefficient, which is a fancy way of saying that drastic changes in temperature — like going from a warm car out into the cold winter night — won't have very much effect on the components.

If portability is less of a concern, a Dobsonian model might be the order of the day, though some, like the GoTo Collapsible Dobsonian and the 10-Inch Collapsible Dobsonian, do break down to an extent for transport. This, however, is less about saving space and more about dividing the weight into two packages, which together would get close to or exceed 100 pounds depending on the model.

February 08, 2019:

This is a company that produces a lot of nice options in a very wide budget range, but their refractive models like the ProED 120 and the Maksutov-Cassegrain 180 are undoubtedly among their best. They also produce an array of pretty desirable Dobsonian options, but these tend to be very large and very heavy, which would likely prove to be a stumbling block for most astronomers looking to spend what they cost.

Special Honors

Flextube 400P SynScan The borosilicate glass inside this Newtonian model boasts a 94-percent aluminum coating beneath a 406mm primary aperture. It connects with the company's database of nearly 43,000 celestial objects and can also be controlled by a smartphone app thanks to its convenient Wi-Fi connectivity. It comes with a pair of eyepieces and a 9 x 50 finder.

Esprit 150mm ED Triplet APO As refractors get bigger, the size of their precision optics often makes them prohibitively expensive, and while this model is no exception, it is still pretty reasonable for its class. It also offers some of the finest views of of the heavens you can get in an offering that requires this little maintenance. It's a particularly good choice for astrophotographers.

4. Maksutov-Cassegrain S11540 180mm

5. Pro SW 80ED APO 80mm

6. 10-Inch Collapsible Dobsonian

7. Traditional Dobsonian S11620

8. Virtuoso S11750 90mm Multi-Purpose

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Daniel Imperiale
Last updated by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).

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