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I'm starting my astronomy hobby and looking for a beginner telescopes to start with. I've searched couple websites and found these 2 within my budget.

I know for a fact that refractors gives you sharper and clearer images but its original price is actually cheaper than the reflector telescope. I will list the specifications below. It would be really appreciated if you guys can tell me the relative benefits and drawbacks of each.

Refractor: Saxon 70mm Telescope

OPTICAL DESIGN: Refractor

APERTURE: 70mm

LOWEST PRACTICAL POWER: No

HIGHEST PRACTICAL POWER: 165x

FOCAL LENGTH: 400mm

FOCAL RATIO: F/10.0

EYEPIECES: 20mm & 10mm

FINDERSCOPE: 5x24

DIAGONAL: 1.25" 45° Erect Image Diagonal

MOUNT TYPE: Alt-Azimuth

TRIPOD: Aluminium

This telescope includes a pre-assembled tripod, two 1.25” eyepieces, a cleaning cloth and a bonus padded backpack.

Reflector: Saxon 767AZ Reflector Telescope

OPTICAL DESIGN:Newtonian Reflector

APERTURE: 76mm

LOWEST PRACTICAL POWER: No

HIGHEST PRACTICAL POWER: 152x

FOCAL LENGTH: 700mm

FOCAL RATIO: F/9.2

EYEPIECES: H25, H12.5 and SR4

FINDER-SCOPE: 5x24

BARLOW LENS: 3x

DIAGONAL: No

MOUNT TYPE: Alt-Azimuth

TRIPOD: Aluminium

OPTICAL TUBE DIMENSIONS: 12.5 cm x 68.5cm

OPTICAL TUBE WEIGHT: 1.76kg

SHIPPING DIMENSIONS: 74 x 25 x 23cm3

SHIPPING WEIGHT: 5.4kg

The accessory pack includes three 1.25" eyepieces,​ a finder-scope, an erecting eyepiece for terrestrial viewing, an adjustable aluminium tripod with accessory tray and a moon filter, which reduces the brightness of the moon and makes surface details sharper and clearer.

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Personally, I would go for neither of those. $200 is a bit steep for such a small refractor or reflector telescope (I am assuming this is USD?)

For a budget of $200, I would be looking at some second hand telescopes, as you will likely be able to pick up a 90mm refractor or 130mm reflector second hand with that budget.

It also depends what you want to do with it. For simple observations of planets and the moon, it will be fine, but don't expect to see much detail with such a small aperture. The optics on these aren't fantastic either so DSO's will not look great, although some of the brighter ones will be viewable.

So my answer would be don't get either of them, shop around second hand places and most importantly, read reviews on telescopes before buying them. If you can, join an astronomy group in your area and have a look through their scopes and see how you get on.

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  • $\begingroup$ oh its NZD haha. So in USD it would be about $133.62. While I was waiting for some answers I've been browsing NZ's local trading site (like amazon, ebay). And i've found couple interesting telescopes on sale. Celestron Powerseeker 80EQ and nova 114mm eq reflector telescope. They are also priced at 220 and 250 respectively. $\endgroup$ – Jason Jan 4 at 13:46
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    $\begingroup$ The powerseeker 80EQ is a nice starter refractor. I believe it is 900 or 1000mm focal length too. The optics will be better on that too. I'm not a fan of any reflectors below 130mm, but refractors are still good. I would 100% take the Powerseeker 80 over any of your proposed options. But be aware that using an EQ mount can be tricky for a beginner, but there are guides online for how to set them up and use them. I would still recommend going to a local astro group and looking through their scopes before making a decision! $\endgroup$ – MCG Jan 4 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ Actually I decided to buy nova 130mm EQ2 reflector, because the seller of powerseeker 80EQ is only allowing pickup, and i cant go all the way to south island from the north island of nz haha. But i appreciate your help. Before I actually buy the telescope, I will check it out with my local astronomy society. $\endgroup$ – Jason Jan 4 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ No problem, glad I could be of some help. A 130 is definitely better than a 76! You'll be able to see much more with that. Checking out the local astronomy society will enable you to get help with the EQ mount too $\endgroup$ – MCG Jan 4 at 15:16

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