Listing 198 Telescope/Astronomy Brands List

Photo of author
Written By: Zane Landers
Category: Learn

Following is an index of all known active and defunct telescope brands, including prominent brands such as Orion, Celestron, Meade, and Explore Scientific, for which we have separate brand review articles.

All Active Telescopes/Binoculars & Accessories Brands

High Point Scientific’s house brand. Offers a range of Dobsonian telescopes with great value, as well as beginner eyepieces and small ED doublet refractors.

Produces high-quality eyepieces, refractors, and binoculars, catering to both amateurs and professionals.

Specializes in modern, versatile astrophotography optics and accessories. Same company as SharpStar.

Custom Dobsonian telescope kits and various parts/accessories.

Offers a diverse range of telescopes, often praised for their price-to-performance ratio.

Highly regarded for their top-tier refractors and mountings, catering to professionals and serious amateurs.

Observatories, adapters, eyepieces,, filters, solar observation equipment, and other astronomy accessories.

  • Barska

Manufacturer of binoculars, as well as some low-quality telescopes/accessories.

  • Borg

Japanese-made modular telescopes that are known for their lightweight and portable designs.

  • Bosma

OEM for Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes and other gear.

  • Bushnell

Various binoculars and some telescopes – though the majority of the telescopes offered are of poor quality apart from the Ares series Dobsonians and older Japanese imported refractors.

German brand offering a range of optical products from beginner to advanced telescopes, made by JOC, the same manufacturer as Explore Scientific – as a result, there is heavy overlap between the two brands’ products.

  • Carson

Low-quality beginner telescopes and accessories.

One of the most recognized astronomy equipment brand names, offering a wide range of telescopes from beginner to advanced, is especially known for their Schmidt-Cassegrains. Owned by Synta, the same parent company as Sky-Watcher and OEM of many other brand names.

  • Coronado

Offering Hydrogen-alpha solar telescopes and other solar viewing equipment; owned by Meade since the mid-2000s and Orion since the mid-2020s.

Renowned for their solar filters and equipment.

Custom Dobsonian telescopes, parts, and accessories.

Historical brand known for popularizing amateur astronomy with affordable telescopes and kits. Split into two businesses, one still offering the famed RKE eyepieces.

Offers a wide variety of telescopes, mounts, and accessories, known for quality and innovation.

  • Founder Optics

Long Perng’s house brand.

  • Guan Sheng Optical

Taiwanese manufacturer known for quality Dobsonians and Ritchey-Chrétien telescopes. OEM for Apertura, Astro-Tech, Celestron, Orion Telescopes, Zhumell, and others.

  • Gskyer

Targets beginner astronomers with low-quality refractor telescopes.

Specializes in ultra-light Dobsonian telescopes and mirrors.

Innovative center-balanced equatorial and harmonic drive mounts, GSO Ritchey-Chretien telescopes, and a few other odds and ends, such as Bosma-made Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes.

Large Chinese optical manufacturer, parent company of Explore Scientific/Bresser and OEM for Orion Telescopes/Meade Instruments.

Recognized for their large custom telescopes as well as telescope accessories, especially focusers and wheeled bases. Bought out by OSI/Farpoint.

Designer/manufacturer of the Hadley telescope

  • Levenhuk

Offers a range of optical instruments, including eyepieces and refracting telescopes (mostly GSO or Long Perng rebrands).

  • Long Perng

Specializes in manufacturing optics, particularly telescopes and eyepieces, for various brands. Many ED doublet refractors sold by other brands, as well as affordable long eye relief oculars, are manufactured by Long Perng. The house brand is Founder Optics.

Renowned for their solar telescopes and filters, along with ED refractor telescopes and eyepieces.

  • Maxvision

Generic OEM for Explore Scientific and Bresser products, run by JOC

One of the major telescope manufacturers, known for Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, computerized mounts, and the ETX Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes. Now a subsidiary of Orion Telescopes and Binoculars.

  • National Geographic

Renowned for its media and publications, it also offers beginner telescopes and binoculars made by JOC (though mostly low-quality).

  • Nikon

While best known for their cameras, they’ve also produced high-quality eyepieces, astronomical refracting telescopes, and binoculars.

Offers a range of binoculars and binocular telescopes, catering to both terrestrial and astronomical observations.

Offers a diverse range of astronomical equipment, from beginner telescopes to advanced astrophotography gear.

Known for their high-quality Newtonian reflectors, Maksutov-Cassegrains, and custom optics.

Popular brand offering a wide range of products for beginners and advanced astronomers alike. Historically, Orion has mostly been an importer of other brands, including Long Perng, JOC, Synta, Vixen, Intes, GSO, and more. Orion recently acquired Meade Instruments and their associated facilities/products

Offers a range of products, from radio telescopes to astrophotography equipment, and is particularly known for their refractors and mounts.

High-quality refractor and reflector astrograph telescopes for deep-sky imaging. Same company as Askar.

Synta’s house brand. Renowned globally for their telescopes, especially their Dobsonians and computerized mounts.

Long Perng and GSO products offered as First Light Optics’ in-house brand, including Dobsonian telescopes and various eyepieces.

Highly regarded for their premium refractors and mounts.

Produces affordable telescopes, binoculars, cameras, and accessories, especially popular among beginners. One of the most consistent and low-priced resellers of the popular “redline” and “goldline” eyepieces.

  • Synta

Historical brand known for popularizing amateur astronomy with affordable telescopes and kits. Split into two businesses, one still offering the famed RKE eyepieces.

Japanese manufacturer of premium refractors, Newtonians, and mounts, highly respected in the astronomy community.

Russian brand known for robustly built reflectors and Maksutov telescopes, as well as eyepieces and mounts. Still in business, but it may be difficult to order from Russia due to the current geopolitical situation as of 2023.

  • Tasco

Known for low-quality telescopes, historically imported decent RAO refractors before becoming widely derided for peddling “hobby killer” products.

Well-known manufacturer, renowned for premium eyepieces and refractor designs by Al Nagler.

European retailer offering a variety of telescopes, accessories, and their own branded equipment.

  • Vernonscope

Specializes in high-quality eyepieces and optical accessories, related to Questar.

Japanese manufacturer known for telescopes, mounts, and binoculars, respected for quality and innovation.

  • William Optics

Importer of high-quality refracting telescopes, eyepieces, and other accessories.

  • Zeiss

German optics giant, historically significant in the world of telescopes, binoculars, and professional optical systems. Still manufactures excellent cleaning supplies for optics.

Offers a range of telescopes and binoculars, known for their value-for-money Dobsonians made by GSO.

All Active Telescopes-Only Brands

Manufacturer of the automated miniature Dwarf II “smart telescope”.

An affordable telescope kit designed for educational purposes, aiming to promote astronomy worldwide.

Renowned for their large-aperture Dobsonian telescopes, which pioneered the truss tube design.

Specializes in custom Dobsonian telescopes, with an emphasis on craftsmanship, the use of real hardwood, and high-quality optics.

Iconic high-end Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes, available in 3.5”, 5”, 7” and 12” sizes.

  • RCOS (Ritchey-Chrétien Optical Systems)

Renowned for their premium Ritchey-Chrétien telescopes, they provide optical precision for serious astronomers and astrophotographers.

  • SarBlue

Offers 60mm and 70mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes for beginners.

Australian manufacturer of custom Dobsonian telescopes.

 Produces large, professional-grade Dobsonian telescopes tailored for serious enthusiasts and institutions.

Compact truss tube Dobsonian telescopes

French manufacturer of specialized ultra-light Dobsonian telescopes.

  • Unistellar

All-in-one “enhanced vision” telescopes with built-in cameras.

  • Vaonis

Quality all-in-one astrophotography telescopes.

All Active Accessories-only Brands

Various telescope parts/upgrades, mainly for Newtonian reflectors.

Specializes in producing quality mounting solutions and accessories for telescopes.

A popular retailer known for a wide range of astronomy products, from eyepieces to telescopes and accessories. Sells various house-brand eyepieces, including StarGuider Dual ED oculars.

  • AngelEyes

Manufacturer/brand of various budget wide-angle eyepieces.

  • Antlia

Known for producing specialized filters for astrophotography, enhancing image quality.

Custom telescope parts and adapters.

  • Astro Hutech

Specializes in astrophotography equipment and accessories, offering unique solutions like specialized camera modifications and filters.

  • AstroMania

Historical brand known for popularizing amateur astronomy with affordable telescopes and kits. Split into two businesses, one still offering the famed RKE eyepieces.

  • Astronomik

Renowned for high-quality astrophotography and visual filters.

  • AstroZap

Specializes in telescope accessories, particularly dew shields and heaters to improve observing conditions.

  • Aurora Precision

Historical brand known for popularizing amateur astronomy with affordable telescopes and kits. Split into two businesses, one still offering the famed RKE eyepieces.

  • Blue Fireball

Agena Astro’s house brand for adapters.

  • BST

Historical brand known for popularizing amateur astronomy with affordable telescopes and kits. Split into two businesses, one still offering the famed RKE eyepieces.

  • Denkmeier

Known for their premium binoviewers and other optical accessories.

Various accessories for visual observation and astrophotography.

  • Hotech

Advanced telescope collimation tools, adapters, and other astronomy-related accessories.

  • Kendrick

Known for their dew prevention systems and power solutions for amateur astronomers and their gear.

  • Kokusai Kohki

Japanese manufacturer of high-quality eyepieces.

  • Leica

While primarily known for their premium cameras and lenses, Leica also offers eyepieces, binoculars and spotting scopes of exceptional quality for terrestrial and astronomical use.

Renowned in the astronomy community for their high-quality filters, diagonals, and other optical accessories. Now owned by OSI, the same parent of Farpoint and JMI.

  • Lymax

Produces specialized cooling solutions like the “Cat Cooler” for Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, ensuring optimal performance.

  • Masuyama

Japanese manufacturer of eyepieces based on Plossl design.

  • Moonlite

Historical brand known for popularizing amateur astronomy with affordable telescopes and kits. Split into two businesses, one still offering the famed RKE eyepieces.

  • Olivon

The Synta brand, produces a range of optical products, including spotting scopes, binoculars, and telescope eyepieces.

  • Optical Structures Inc

A parent company to several notable astronomy brands, offering a wide range of equipment and services.

  • Optolong

Produces a range of astrophotography and visual filters based on the Astronomik line.

Night vision photointensifier tubes for astronomy purposes.

  • Pegasus Astro

Astronomy accessories, particularly focusing on power and control solutions for astrophotography.

  • Pentax

While famous for their cameras and lenses, they’ve also produced high-quality spotting scopes and eyepieces.

Custom machined telescope adapters.

  • Ricoh

Primarily known for cameras and office equipment, it currently manages the manufacture of Pentax telescope accessories.

  • Rigel Systems

Produces a range of astronomy accessories, including the compact Rigel QuikFinder.

  • Spectrum Telescope

Solar filters and other accessories.

  • Starizona

Provides a range of astronomy equipment and accessories, also known for their HyperStar lens system, which allows for fast, wide-field astrophotography.

Famous for their Feather Touch focusers, they are also manufacturers of other precision telescope hardware such as Howie Glatter laser collimators.

Renowned for their reflex finders, they offer a unique and efficient way to star-hop and locate celestial objects.

  • Telegizmos

Weatherproof telescope covers.

  • Thousand Oaks Optical

Solar filters, safety film, and other accessories.

All Active Mounts-only Brands

  • Argo Navis

Digital setting circle and GoTo mount hand controller.

  • Berlebach

Renowned for their wooden tripods, combining traditional craftsmanship with modern functionality for astronomical and photographic equipment.

  • Losmandy

Renowned for their robust equatorial mounts and accessories, they are widely used in the amateur astronomy community.

  • Nexus DSC

Digital setting circles for telescope pointing aid.

  • Parallax Instruments

Specializes in high-quality mounts and telescope tubes, known for craftsmanship and durability.

  • Rainbow Astro

Innovative in the field of astrophotography, they produce compact mounts and other equipment with unique designs.

  • StellarCat

Offers ServoCat automated tracking systems for large Dobsonian telescopes, aiding in accurate object tracking.

  • Sky Commander

Digital setting circles to assist astronomers in locating and tracking celestial objects efficiently.

All Active Astrophotography & Cameras Brands

  • Astro Hutech

Specializes in astrophotography equipment and accessories, offering unique solutions like specialized camera modifications and filters.

  • Atik

Specializes in advanced imaging solutions, producing high-end CCD cameras and filter wheels for astrophotography.

  • Canon

Canon, a global leader in imaging solutions, has a range of DSLRs and mirrorless cameras popularly used for astrophotography, and they also produce a line of image-stabilized astronomical binoculars.

  • Chroma

Specializes in producing high-quality imaging filters for astrophotography.

  • FLI (Finger Lakes Instrumentation)

Specializes in advanced imaging solutions, producing high-end CCD cameras and filter wheels for astrophotography.

  • IDAS

Recognized for their high-quality filters, especially light pollution suppression filters, enhancing the clarity and contrast of celestial observations.

  • Optec

Specializes in telescope accessories, particularly known for their focusers, adapters, and filter systems that enhance observational and imaging capabilities.

  • Optolong

Specializes in advanced imaging solutions, producing high-end CCD cameras and filter wheels for astrophotography.

  • SBIG (Santa Barbara Instrument Group)

Renowned for their specialized CCD cameras for astrophotography and related accessories.

A leading brand in astrophotography, offering a range of cameras, from planetary imaging to deep sky, along with related accessories like the PoleMaster polar alignment tool.

Specializes in astrophotography cameras and accessories, renowned for their cooled CMOS cameras as well as harmonic drive mounts.

All Active Optics Brands

Renowned optician specializing in optical flats, coatings, Newtonian, and Cassegrain telescope primary mirrors for advanced amateurs and professionals.

Renowned optician specializing in Newtonian and Cassegrain telescope primary mirrors for advanced amateurs and professionals.

Leading manufacturer of optical materials and glass in Russia, renowned for their quality.

High-quality refractor and reflector telescope optics, both USA-made and imported.

Highly respected for their custom telescope mirrors, delivering exceptional quality and performance for amateur astronomers.

Defunct Telescopes/Binoculars & Accessories Brands List

  • Alvan Clark & Sons

Pioneering in the 19th and early 20th centuries, they created some of the world’s largest refractors, which were renowned for their optics.

  • ATCO

Vintage brand that was known for affordable refractor telescopes during the mid-20th century.

  • Bardou

Historical French telescope makers who were known for their quality in the 19th century.

  • Bausch & Lomb

Manufacturer of spotting scopes, eventually purchased Criterion in 1982, leading to disastrously bad “4000”, “6000” and “8000” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes before ceasing production. Avoid these telescopes.

  • Boller & Chivens

Produced professional observatory-class instruments and was prominent in the mid-20th century

  • Brashear

Historic name in telescope-making, creating high-quality refractors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The company was acquired/inherited by JW Fecker.

  • Carton Optical

Known historically for producing quality telescope lenses and binoculars.

Renowned for high-quality Newtonian reflectors, mounts, and parts during the 20th century

  • Coulter Optical

Former manufacturer of large Dobsonian telescopes and optics, as well as early Meade telescope optics. In the late 1990s, Murnaghan Instruments bought out the name.

  • Criterion

Popular in the mid-20th century for their Dynascope Newtonian reflectors. Went out of business due to trouble producing the Dynamax Schmidt-Cassegrains, a failed attempt to compete with Celestron. Acquired by Bausch & Lomb in 1982.

  • Di-Ichi Kogaku

Lesser-known brand producing optical equipment, including telescopes, for various companies, including Celestron, through the 1990s.

  • DGM

Unique off-axis Newtonians and high-quality nebula filters.

  • Eikow

American imports of unique Japanese-produced telescopes and binoculars, primarily in the mid-20th century.

  • Goto

Historically significant in producing planetarium projectors and telescopes in Japan.

  • Grubb Parsons

Historic British company known for large professional observatory telescopes.

  • Intes Micro

Russian producer of high-quality Maksutov telescopes.

  • Jaegers

Surplus and optical shop specializing in refractors, eyepieces, and hardware for homemade telescopes.

  • J.W. Fecker

Successor to Alvan Clark. Historic name in observatory equipment and large telescope production in the early to mid-20th century.

  • Kenko

Japanese brand that is known for their optical products, including binoculars, filters, and telescope accessories.

  • Lafayette

Historical brand offering a range of electronics and scientific goods, including imported Japanese-made refractors/reflectors, in the mid-20th century

  • LOMO

A Russian optical company that produced various optical instruments, including high-quality telescopes and microscopes.

  • Mayflower

Historical brand which imported small refracting telescopes from Japan.

  • Mizar Optical

OEM for Meade from 1970s-1990s, formerly large Japanese manufacturer of a variety of telescopes

  • Monolux

Historical brand known for popularizing amateur astronomy with affordable telescopes and kits. Split into two businesses, one still offering the famed RKE eyepieces.

A lesser-known Japanese optics company that produced telescopes during the mid-20th century for the immensely popular Unitron and Polarex brands.

  • Nippon Kogaku

The precursor to Nikon and was historically significant in optics, including binoculars and telescopes.

  • Parks Optical

Historically known for Newtonian reflecting telescopes with fiberglass tubes, quality optics made in-house and imported Japanese parts/accessories.

European seller of Nihon-Seiko telescopes, equivalent to Unitron.

  • Radian Telescopes

Defunct OPT house brand for imported telescopes and accessories.

  • Royal Astro (RAO)

Japanese OEM for Sears, Tasco, and other refractors in the mid-20th century.

  • Sears

Department store that historically offered a range of refractor telescopes under its brand during the 20th century.

  • Southern Precision Instruments (SPI)

Lesser-known defunct brand that imported Nihon-Seiko and Nippon Kogaku telescopes, among others.

  • Sovietski

Defunct importer of TAL telescopes (see below)

  • Star-Liner

Historical brand in the mid-20th century, known for their Newtonian telescopes and heavy-duty mounts.

  • Swift

Predecessor company to Takahashi known for high-quality refracting telescopes.

  • Thompson Optical

Mid-century manufacturer known for large custom-built telescopes.

  • Tinsley

Historical brand, renowned for professional observatory-class instruments and mirror manufacturing.

  • TMB (Thomas M. Beck)

Renowned for high-quality refractor designs and premium (usually Russian or Ukrainian-made) apochromat optics.

  • Towa

Japanese optics manufacturer that produced telescopes and eyepieces for many other brands.

Historic brand revered for their classic refractor telescopes and mounts in the mid-20th century, imported from Nihon-Seiko.

  • University Optics

Historical brand known for popularizing amateur astronomy with affordable telescopes and kits. Split into two businesses, one still offering the famed RKE eyepieces.

  • Vega

Manufacturer of Maksutov-Newtonian telescopes.

Defunct Telescopes-Only Brands List

  • Astro Sky

Renowned for crafting high-quality Dobsonian telescopes, their custom work focused on fine finishes and top-notch mirrors.

  • Mag 1 Instruments

Produced Portaball ball-mounted reflecting telescopes.

  • Optical Technologies Inc

Manufacturer of 4”, 6”, and 8” Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes, attempted to compete with Questar in the late 1970s.

  • Night Sky Telescopes

Defunct small manufacturer of custom truss tube Dobsonian telescopes.

  • Starmaster Telescopes

Renowned for their premium, large-aperture Dobsonian telescopes, emphasizing portability and precision.

  • Starsplitter Telescopes

Early manufacturer of truss tube Dobsonian telescopes.

  • Tectron Telescopes

Historical brand known for popularizing amateur astronomy with affordable telescopes and kits. Split into two businesses, one still offering the famed RKE eyepieces.

Specializes in custom-made Dobsonian telescopes, known for craftsmanship and personalized finishes. Still technically in operation but no longer offering new telescopes.

Offered large-aperture Dobsonian telescopes.

Defunct Accessories-Only Brands List

  • Howie Glatter

Famous in the astronomy community for producing high-quality laser collimators and tools for precise telescope alignment. Now owned by Starlight Instruments upon Howie’s passing.

  • Optical Mechanics Inc

Specialized in large-aperture telescopes, optics, and related equipment for both amateur and professional use

Defunct Mounts-Only Brands List

  • Byers

High-quality telescope mount drive gears for precision astrophotography work.

  • Mathis Instruments

Known for their premium telescope mounts and platforms, offering stability and precision for serious observers and imagers.

  • Mountain Instruments

Known for producing precision mounts and related equipment for telescopes.

Defunct Optics-Only Brands List

  • Kennedy Optics

Optician offering custom, large diameter Newtonian reflector primary mirrors.

  • Galaxy Optical

Optician offering custom and refigured Newtonian primary mirrors.

Telescope optics, used to manufacture Coulter Odyssey telescopes. Do not try placing an order; the company is defunct.

  • Nova Optical

Known for testing and refiguring telescope optics for amateurs.

Reflecting and refracting telescope optics.

  • Swayze Optical

Renowned optician specializing in Newtonian telescope primary mirrors.