What Can A $1,000 Telescope Budget Get Me?

We have tackled $200 telescopes, $500 telescopes, $750 telescopes, and now we are going to enter four figures. If You want to stay under four figures including tax, then by all means check out the previous posts.

My budget is around $200
My budget is around $500
My budget is around $750

Telescopes equipped with their useful functions that are worth four figures can look rather impressive to a casual observer who doesn’t own a scope. Often times they’ll ask how much, and when you reveal the price, they realize that valuable good quality telescopes are not too far out of reach!

You’re also a few steps closer to observatory grade mounts and other equipment!

Remember, just because a brand’s website listing is featured doesn’t mean I’m exclusively endorsing them, I’m merely giving you an idea what kind of specs and functions can a $1,000 telescope budget get you. As an example, if you see a computerized telescope with an equatorial mount, by all means you should check out other websites, see what specifications match, and see what else you get for what you’re paying!

Also, don’t forget to factor in a portable 12V battery pack if you are not using an electrical outlet to power the computer telescopes up!

Orion SkyView Pro EQ 8″ GoTo Reflector Telescope

Glow in the dark tape not included! 

Price: $1,100 plus tax
Aperture (mm/in): 203 / 8
Focal Length: 1000 mm
Focal Ratio: f/4.9
Mount: Equatorial
Drives?: GoTo
Included Accessories: 1.25″ 25 mm/10 mm eyepieces, 8×40 finder-scope,

Hey, wait a minute, didn’t I already feature this same telescope and mount in the $750 budget article? Yes I did, but that is because that telescope was to be equipped with a dual axis clock drive.

With this same mount and same telescope, you can purchase it in a bundle with a GoTo System, which can actually save you some cash in the long run. I originally bought the scope and the clock drive which counted as two separate purchases, and then when I got into astrophotography, I purchased the GoTo system upgrade separately, which was an additional $500 on its own. While I didn’t know that I would eventually buy the GoTo system,in hindsight this $1,100 purchase cost me an additional $200-$300 from buying things separately over time.

Should you purchase this bundle, be advised that the GoTo drive and mount arrive separated and require you to assemble it onto the mount, and if you’ve never done that before, then don’t worry, the instructions are easy to follow.

Meade 12″ Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope

1000 12dob

Price: $1,000 plus tax
Aperture (mm/in): 304 / 12
Focal Length: 1524 mm
Focal Ratio: f/5
Mount: Alt-Az
Drives?: No
Included Accessories: 2″ 26 mm eyepiece, red dot viewfinder

A 12″ telescope has the light gathering power of 1,836 times that of your eyes, and collects two times more light than an 8″ telescope.

Larger Dobsonians have earned the nickname, “light bucket” for a reason! With their ease of use and almost instant set up, you’ll be scanning for deep sky objects in no time! You’ll definitely be amazed with how much depth you’ll be able to see with just your eyes compared to smaller aperture telescope.

While this model is 100% manual, if all you need is the telescope itself and the ability to scan and see, then this is for you. The truss tube assembly makes it easier to transport, set up, and break down.

Orion SkyQuest XT 10i Dobsonian Intelliscope

1000 xt10i

Price: $900 plus tax
Aperture (mm/in): 254 / 10
Focal Length: 1200 mm
Focal Ratio: f/4.7
Mount: Alt-Az
Drives?: Intelliscope
Included Accessories: 1.25″ 25mm/ 10mm eyepieces. 9×50 right angle finder-scope

For a little less, if you want SOME technological assistance with the IntelliScope technology, then you’d enjoy this 10″ Dobsonian. The model that includes the Go-To system is out of this articles price range.

Surprisingly, this listing doesn’t include any 2″ eyepieces, which are a huge recommendation when scanning the deep sky with telescopes 8″ or larger.

Orion Starseeker IV 150mm Maksutov-Cassegrain GoTo

1000 starseeker iv

Price: $1,000 plus tax
Aperture (mm/in): 150 / 6
Focal Length: 1800 mm
Focal Ratio: f/12
Mount: Alt-Az
Drives?: GoTo
Included Accessories:  1.25″  23 mm/ 10 mm eyepieces, red dot finder,

This is from the same Starseeker IV line as previously featured before, only this time this is for the 6 inch Maksutov telescope versus the 5 inch. Compared to the 5 inch, the focal length is slightly longer, and the included eyepieces will give you slightly more magnification.

While this listing is for the base kit, there is an “Explorer Kit” option for $300 more that includes a padded case, a smartphone adapter, a lunar filter, a 2x Barlow lens, plus a red flashlight key chain.

Celestron Advanced VX 6″ Newtonian GoTo

Price: $1,019 plus tax
Aperture (mm/in): 150 / 6
Focal Length: 750 mm
Focal Ratio: f/5
Mount: Equatorial
Drives?: GoTo
Included Accessories:  1.25″ 20 mm eyepiece, 6×30 finder-scope

The popular AVX mount from Celestron includes a 6″ Newtonian in this setup. With this smaller Newtonian, the lighter weight, which won’t come close to the mount’s 30lb max payload, ensures smoother tracking and less backlash, especially when it comes to astrophotography.

While the Orion Skyview mount listed above includes an 8″ telescope with a GoTo system, that mount’s max load is 20lbs, and the included optical tube assembly is just a little above that limit. The AVX mount in comparison is going to be sturdier, hence it should offer better tracking and have less backlash for beginning astrophotographers using this telescope.

Where are the Refractors?

Refractor prices spike much higher as you increase the aperture. The reason why is because it costs more to make an objective glass lens versus a mirror. Because Refractors also exhibit chromatic aberration, refractors with the necessary layers to combat it also cost more. The tube itself also needs to be longer as well

You’ll start seeing them again in the next entry, dealing with telescope budgets in the $1,250 range.

TL; DR – With $1,000 at your disposal, you can get a fully manual 12″ Dobsonian, a 10″ Dobsonian IntelliScope, or 6″ – 8″ GoTo Reflectors.

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