Which is Better a Reflector or a Refractor Telescope?

Which is Better a Reflector  or a Refractor Telescope?

You are the target audience for this post if you are looking for a new telescope, perhaps a beginner telescope, but aren’t sure whether to acquire a refractor or a reflector.

When you’re just starting out in astronomy, the sheer amount of technical stuff you’ll need to study can be overwhelming.

Choosing which telescope to purchase might be tough.

These telescopes have some crucial differences that will help you make a better educated decision, even though they appear to be identical at first sight.

Overview of the Reflector Telescope

reflector telescope

In 1668, none other than Isaac Newton constructed the first reflecting telescope.

Reflector telescopes, as the name implies, use a number of mirrors to reflect the image. The primary mirror, or main mirror, is located at the very back of the telescope. Light enters from the front of the optical tube and shines down until it is reflected forward from the back by the primary mirror.

The light is now traveling straight back out the front of the telescope. Another mirror is placed inside the gadget to capture it. This mirror reflects light to an eyepiece positioned near the front of the telescope, and it is looking back towards the primary mirror.

A reflector telescope’s front-facing eyepiece is one of its distinguishing features, making it easier to distinguish it from other types of telescopes at a glance.

Highlights of the reflector

For studying deep-sky objects, this telescope has a large aperture.

Because mirrors are used, there is no chromatic aberration.

It is capable of capturing a large amount of light.

For beginners, this is a good entry-level telescope.

What we like

They have huge mirrors, so they let in a lot of light, and they have adjustable eyepieces, so they can be customized.

It’s possible to get a good price.

What we don’t like

Every usage of a mirror necessitates collimation.

Because of the open design, mirrors must be cleaned on a regular basis.

Overview of the Refractor Telescope

refractor telescope

Light is focused into a picture by refractors, which use specially built lenses. The longer the optical tube in a refracting telescope must be to bring the image into focus, the larger the lens must be.

Because of the length and size of a refractor’s lens, as well as the difficulty and expense of glassmakers producing big lenses of excellent quality, larger refractors can be rather costly.

Refractors are generally smaller than other types of telescopes, making them one of the most portable options available.

The front of a refractor telescope has a big lens. This lens is convex, meaning it takes in light and refracts or bends it into a narrower beam that is then transmitted back to another lens at the telescope’s back.

This lens, which is likewise convex but faces the opposite direction, magnifies the tiny beam of light so that you may see a large, clear image.

Highlights of the Refractor

Image distortion is minimal.

The system is closed.

Images that are upside down.

Collimation isn’t required.

Very user-friendly for newcomers.

What we like

They’re really simple to utilize.

They don’t need to be adjusted on a regular basis.

They have the potential to be smaller.

What we don’t like

They are pricey.

There is chromatic aberration in them.

Which is Better a Reflector or a Refractor Telescope?

Reflectors are usually the best choice for practically everything visual because they have greater apertures at similar pricing. They’re also good for deep sky astrophotography, but they’re not for amateurs because they require a lot of care and proper setup.

A reflector telescope is great if you are interested in brighter astronomical objects such as the Moon or planets, or if you are a beginner.

Refractors, on the other hand, can be excellent for visual purposes as well, but they can be quite costly for apertures of comparable size as reflectors.

If you want to do astrophotography, a refractor is a superior choice because it has a specific optic design that can catch deep space objects like galaxies and nebulae.

What is a Catadiotropic (Schmidt-Cassegrain) Telescope?

Reflector and refractor telescopes both have advantages and disadvantages. Mirrors and lenses were integrated in the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope to capture the best of both worlds.

To concentrate the image into the eyepiece, this sort of telescope employs a combination of lenses and mirrors. They are slightly more expensive, but their design allows for greater magnification in a smaller tube.

These telescopes also have a greater field of view than other telescopes of similar size, making them excellent for seeing bigger objects such as galaxies. As a result, you’ll be able to purchase a powerful telescope that’s yet portable.


Is a refractor telescope or a reflector telescope better? Many newbies to astronomy have this question.

Finally, if you have the space (and the means), get a mix of refractors and reflectors, as well as a nice selection of eyepieces, and you should be set for the rest of your life.