Telescope “tiers”

A friend asked me for “suggestions on entry level telescopes that I can slap a camera on?”, and I wrote a textwall. I sure as heck don’t want to write this again, so, let’s put it on the internet!

(These “tiers” are completely made up, don’t google them)

Clarifications on 4/4b (reflectors/refractors): Reflectors are way cheaper, and generally longer focal lengths than refractors. They’re also usually much physically bigger which means they need bigger (more expensive) mounts. Longer focal length sometimes isn’t what you’re going for, though! Sometimes you need some really quality lenses to get some seriously sharp pics - and yes, traditional refracting lenses are pretty dang good. The end result of the weight is that for refractors, you don’t need as beefy of a mount, but the telescope itself is usually as expensive or more so than the mount. With reflectors, the mount usually dominates the cost - the actual telescope tube itself is surprisingly cheap!! (A refractor is way easier for portability, too, if that’s a concern)

For reference, here’s the telescope tube I currently have - I really hecking love the speed of it, f/4 is pretty dang fast in the world of telescopes. (also, telescope f ratio means something completely different in astro world than photography world) For a mount, I have an older (cheaper?) version of the EQ6 mount.