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Ranking 64 Tripod-Mounted Reflector Telescopes

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A Dobsonian reflector telescope will be far superior in value to non-Dobsonian reflectors at any given price point. We already have a Dobsonian Telescope Ranking Page, where all of the listed Dobsonian telescopes use Newtonian reflector optics. Reflecting telescopes mounted on tripods are a bit silly; the larger ones will end up being very heavy and unsteady, putting the eyepiece in awkward positions on an equatorial mount. Smaller units just become a lot less convenient than an equivalent catadioptric or Dobsonian of the same aperture and are usually not much more cost-effective. However, you may still wish to purchase a tripod-mounted reflector for different reasons, so we’ve provided a ranking list here excluding all Dobsonians for your benefit.
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3" range

A 3” reflector doesn’t have much capability, and the long focal length units usually sold mounted on tripods don’t have the advantage of a wide field of view. A small refractor is comparable in planetary performance or even better, which kind of obviates any reason in buying one unless you are on a very tight budget.

Rank 1
The SpaceProbe II 76 EQ lacks aperture, but it’s easy to use, and the views of the Moon and planets are sharper and brighter than those through low-quality, cheap refractors. The included mount and accessories are plenty good to get started with, too.
List Price: $119.99
Rank 2
The AstroMaster 76EQ has significantly less light-gathering ability than even a 70mm refractor but offers potentially the sharpest images of any of the scopes in its price range on a relatively sturdy mount.
List Price: $179.95
Orion SpaceProbe II 76 Altazimuth
Rank 3
Not Recommended
Zhumell 76 AZ
Rank 4
Not Recommended
Carson RedPlanet RP-100 76mm Reflector
Rank 5
Not Recommended
Celestron AstroMaster LT 76AZ
Rank 6
Not Recommended
HSL76mm Aperture 700mm Reflector
Rank 7
Not Recommended

4.5” range

A 4.5” reflector is often considered to be the minimum acceptable telescope for beginners. Many of the options here share optics and other design aspects with Dobsonians offered at similar prices, and a few come with computerized or motorized tracking mounts too.

Rank 1
The Orion StarBlast II is perched atop a rather spindly EQ-1 equatorial mount. While there is a bit of a learning curve to using the EQ-1, you’re rewarded with a full-sized tripod, equatorial movements, and the ability to upgrade to motorized tracking later on. However, compared to a Dobsonian, it’s a lot less easy to set up and navigate around the sky, and less sturdy too.
List Price: $179.99
Orion StarBlast 114mm AutoTracker Reflector
Rank 2
List Price: $349.99
Rank 3
The Explore One Aurora 114 is marketed mainly towards kids, but makes for a surprisingly good scope for adults too—the optical tube is identical to the Orion Starblast 4.5 EQ’s, the full-sized mount/tripod has slow-motion controls, and the included eyepieces are quite good. However, the Aurora’s red-dot finder is very poorly made, and overall, the scope has a relatively cheap feel to its construction.
Celestron Cometron 114AZ Reflector
Rank 4
The Cometron 114AZ is simply a StarBlast optical tube perched atop a glorified photo tripod. While stable and, of course, quite capable of delivering sharp images, the lack of fine adjustment capability and the jerky motions of the mount make for a rather frustrating user experience out of the box.
List Price: $239.95

5. National Geographic NG114mm Reflector w/ Equatorial Mount

6. National Geographic NT114CF 114mm

7. Solomark 114AZ Reflector

8. Explore Scientific FirstLight 114 EQ3 Reflector

9. Explore Scientific FirstLight 114 Twilight Nano

10. Orion Observer 114mm

11. Bresser Pluto 114/500 EQ Reflector

12. Unistellar eVscope

13. Carson RedPlanet 114mm

14. Tasco Spacestation 4.5″/114mm Reflector

15. KonusNova-114 f/3.8 AZ Reflector

16. Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ

17. Meade Polaris 114 EQ

18. Omegon Telescope N 114/900 EQ-1 with 114mm Aperture and 900mm Focal Length

19. ESSENWI 114EQ Reflector

20. BanJoo 114/900 EQ

21. Celestron 114 LCM

22. Celestron ExploraScope 114AZ

23. Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ

5” Range

5” reflectors offer decent light-gathering and resolving power and are a substantial upgrade from a 4.5”. These are the largest telescopes which are typically convenient on a tripod; larger reflectors tend to become awkward, bulky, and uncomfortable to use.
Rank 1
The Astro-Fi 130 is optically identical to the Orion SpaceProbe 130ST and Zhumell Z130 (our $300 manual telescope picks), but sports a 2” plastic rack-and-pinion focuser. The Astro-Fi’s fully computerized GoTo mount is controlled by your phone or tablet, and will automatically slew to and track almost any object you choose. However, the scope is a bit of a battery guzzler, and the free SkyPortal app is lacking. For optimal use, you’ll need a rechargeable power supply and a copy of SkySafari Pro, both of which increase the price of this gizmo quite a bit.
Rank 2
The StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ uses the same optical tube as the Astro-Fi 130 and other 130mm f/5 telescopes. But it is mounted atop Celestron’s StarSense Explorer mount, which assists in locating targets with your smartphone but don’t track them unlike AstroFi 130. The Astro-Fi 130 is almost similar in price and offers full tracking and GoTo, which is vastly preferable to the simple Push-To system of the DX 130AZ.
Best Reflector in Tripod
Rank 3
The SpaceProbe 130ST is just a Z130/Heritage 130P optical tube placed atop an EQ-2 equatorial mount, and includes high-quality Sirius Plossl eyepieces. While perhaps not the largest nor most advanced scope in its price range, the 130ST is a great platform for beginners and can be easily upgraded to motorized, hands-free tracking later on.
List Price: $299.99

#4. Gskyer Telescope 130EQ Reflector

#5. Vixen R130SF w/Porta II Reflector

#6 Bresser Spica 130mm/Bresser Reflector 130/650

#7. Explore FirstLight 130mm Newtonian Twilight I Mount

#8. Celestron NexStar 130SLT

#9. Omegon N 130/920 EQ-2

#10. Explore Scientific FirstLight 130mm EQ3 Reflector

#11. Vixen Optics Advanced Polaris-M Mount with R130SF Reflector

#12. Vixen Optics R130SF Reflector with APZ Mount

#13. Celestron SkyProdigy 130 Reflector GoTo

#14. Orion Observer 134mm 

#15. Omegon Telescope N 126/920 EQ-3

#16. Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ MD

#17. Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ

#18. HEXEUM Telescope 130EQ Reflector

#19. ESSENWI 130mm Reflector

#20. Meade Polaris 127 Reflector

#21. Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ

6” Range

6” reflectors can be a little ungainly when mounted atop a tripod, especially for beginners. Many 6” f/4 and f/5 reflectors are optimized for imaging purposes, though it’s hard to find one bundled with a mount that’s actually up to the job for serious long-exposure astrophotography. You might want to consider perusing our OTA rankings page, picking out an optical tube, and then choosing a matching mount separately.

Best Astrophotography
Meade 6″ f/4.1 LX85 Astrograph Reflector Telescope
Rank 1
The Meade 6” f/4.11 LX85 Astrograph is a great kit for the beginner deep-sky astrophotographer. There are better mounts available for sure, and such a fast imaging Newtonian needs a coma corrector to provide good photos, but it makes for a great package, and the price is quite attractive too.
Rank 2
The Omni XLT 150 Reflector’s f/5 focal ratio and 750mm focal length provide a wider field of view than the 6” f/8 Dobsonians we’ve listed, bolstered further by the XLT’s 2” focuser. The scope’s equatorial mount can also be motorized later on for automatic tracking.

#3. Celestron Advanced VX Series 6″ Newtonian

#4. Orion AstroView 6 Reflector

#5. Omegon Advanced Telescope 150/750 EQ-320

#6. Explore FirstLight 150mm Newtonian with EXOS2GT GoTo Mount

#7. Omegon Telescope N 150/750 EQ-3

Not Recommended

#8. Omegon N 150/750 EQ-4 Astronomical Telescope

#9. Bresser Pollux 150/1400 EQ3 Reflector 

#10. Skyoptikst 1400x 150 mm Reflector

8” Range

An 8” tripod-mounted reflector is a nightmare to deal with for visual astronomers. The main purpose in buying one is for imaging, though as with the 6” scopes you may be better served by picking an optical tube from our OTA Rankings page and pairing it with a high-quality equatorial mount.
Meade 8″ f/4 LX85 Astrograph Reflector Telescope
If you really want a scope that’s good for both visual and imaging use, there are worse options than the 8” f/4 LX85 Astrograph. It’s a great scope for wide-field views of deep-sky objects. You can do some deep-sky imaging with it, and with a strong Barlow lens, you can also image the Moon and planets pretty well.

#2. Celestron Advanced VX Series 8″ Newtonian GoTo

#3. Explore FirstLight 203mm Newtonian with EXOS2GT GoTo Mount