Expensive Telescopes


  Ultra High Quality; Expensive
   Expect to pay a lofty price – many above $3000 for these ultra high quality instruments. But if you can afford one of them – by all means, get one! Below is a short-list of some of the best. [NOTE]: All scopes in this category are Top rated.


Featured in this section: 

RC Optical Systems
Coronado Instruments


TeleVue TV-102

   TeleVue manufactures telescopes of legendary optical quality. They are sold by almost every distributor and major dealer in the world. Their TV-85 is an 85mm APO refractor that comes with a 2-inch focuser (you'll appreciate that!).  It sells for $2000 and includes aTeleVue 20mm Plossl2-inch Everbrite diagonal, and carrying case. The TV-76, (a 76mm APO refractor, also with a 2-inch focuser) is priced at $1575 for the same package. The TV-102 package is $2,485.*


   TeleVue's optics are unrivaled for image purity and color fidelity. The best views we have seen of double stars and open clusters are with these instruments.


   Star images in fine APO refractors are crisp points of light with clearly defined diffraction rings. We would rather view most double stars*open clusters and planets with these magnificent instruments than with any large Dobsonian, on any night of the year.

NOTE: Although these smallish APO refractors will render stunning and faithful images of double stars, there is still no substitute for larger apertures! For splitting doubles closer than 1.2 arc-second, a 4.5-inch aperture is needed, in addition to a very dark sky. Hunting for extremely close doubles with a small or medium aperture would be an exercise in futility, regardless of optical quality. Antares can be split at 250 power. Though it resolves more clearly in larger Dobsonians, color rendition and contrast are more compelling with an APO refractor.



   RC Optical Systems designs and produces quality Ritchey-Chretien telescopes for the professional and amateur astronomer. Our innovative design incorporates state-of-the-art materials to assure a product with the utmost performance and quality. Our telescopes are the lightest and most thermally stable in their class, bar none! Correct composite construction allows for "focus and forget" utilization. RCOS Ritchey-Chretiens maintain precise focus all night, every night.

   Pictured here is their 12.5" Carbon Truss Ritchey-Chretien design. This beauty can be had for $21,500.00.



Takahashi manufactures many telescope-types including APO refractorsRitchey-ChretiensCassegrain-Newtonians and Astrographs. These scopes are classic examples of World Class Quality. Prices range from roughly a $1000 to nearly $15,000. Their excellent f/8 FS-102 is pictured here (priced at $8,925 as shown) with EM-200 Temma II mount and wooden tripod.


Takahashi offers a complete line of accessories and observing aids.




   Telescope Engineering Company, aka TEC, manufactures high quality APO refractors that are a very popular choice for both visual and astrophotography/CCD imaging. TheTEC 140 APO is their smallest refractor and their most popular aperture.  It's lightweight and portable and is used both on its own or piggybacked onto larger scopes. The 140 sells for $5,200.

    TEC offers larger APOs at 160mm and 180mm sizes.  The TEC 180 Fluorite Oiled Triplet refractor is still portable and lightweight enough to be manageable to set up by one person.  TEC backs its world-class telescopes with a lifetime warranty.


   Borg telescopes are designed with portability as a primary parameter. Their entire telescope line ranges in aperture size from 50 to 125 mm. Tube diameters are kept to a bare minimum without sacrificing the essential light-cone. Most significantly, Borg telescopes are modular — permitting easy disassembly down to short pieces. Even the objective lens can be removed, permitting convenient storage and transport disciplines, leaving only the more critical components for hand carrying.

   A modular design has two major benefits: (1): It allows for easy upgrading. Design changes or product improvements won't necessarily require the purchase of an entire telescope to take advantage. (2): More simplistic manufacturing techniques and lower production costs. Many parts can be generically similar (or even identical) between several product families, which usually translates to lower retail prices and maintenance costs. Kind of analogous to Chevrolet, Buick and Pontiac all having the same body and chassis parts.

   Borg telescopes are excellent performers. They exhibit World Class Quality, and are recognized for their convenience, portability and a pragmatic approach to a user's perspective. For instance, astrophotographers will appreciate their photo-visual design parameters. "Borg scopes fully cover the 6x7 cm frame of the popular medium format Pentax 67 series cameras. With the photographer in mind, they include extras like a precise, indexed, lockable helical focuser and a full range of field flatteners and teleconverters. Also available are a full line of 35mm camera accessories and adapters. Borg also offers a complete line of visual and guider accessories.

   Price for the 101ED Optical Tube Assembly at lower left is $1,755. Their 125SD F/6optical tube assembly is $4,315. 


   For the past forty years or so, Coronado Instruments has been developing filter technology for scientific and government programs. About ten years ago they began evolving products to benefit the amateur astronomer. Their SolarMax narrowband filter was a major breakthrough in bringing high-grade Hydrogen-alpha technology to the amateur ranks on a mass-produced basis, and at a price that didn't invoke the spectacle of a government contract.

   Although their SolarMax line is fairly expensive by "budget" standards, the price tag can easily be justified by the burdens of overwhelming production costs which routinely confront the high-grade optical industry. And for those who demanded the very best in solar imagery, there was no price too high.  Coronado Instruments now manufactures lower priced solar scopes called the PST - Personal Solar Telescope.  These run $499 to $999 and represent a very affordable option for a high quality solar experience.

   Coronado Instruments demonstrates a faithful passion that is aimed at a single target —the sun  The SolarMax Telescope is available in three different aperture sizes: 4060, and 90mm. It is specifically designed as a performance optimizer for the SolarMax filter. The two products used together produce images of stunning clarity and impact. The 40mmversion is most interesting because of its price: $1,699 for the BF/10 version. The 60mmaperture is priced at $2,499. We believe the SolarMax 60 to be a better choice for detailed views. The 60mm seems to provide an all-around "more comfortable" picture. Or of course you could go with the SolarMax 90. Its price was recently reduced drastically and sells for just $5,999.

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