HERE’S WHY YOUR GOING TO HAVE A GREAT EXPERIENCE!
- TERRIFIC SERVICE – You will enjoy dealing with us. No Spam Emails, product pushing from us, no “Mailing Lists”. See our reviews for why we are Australia’s most trusted Astronomy Retailer.
- EDUCATION – We’ll help you learn about Astronomy and Telescopes as you browse! No previous knowledge required. Just call if you need a hand.
- GREAT PRODUCTS – We will only stock products that you will faithfully want by your side. We source unusual and interesting gear you won’t find anywhere else.
- BASED IN BRISBANE – Fast shipping, and you can get hold of us to talk to us when you need us!
LATEST SPECIALS AND NEWS
- High Quality Kson Orthoscopic Clearance Sellout, 1/2 Price, 2 left!
- We have added lots of help for newer users when choosing the right scope. Start exploring the range here.
- Kson Packages have been revamped so you can find the perfect scope for you or a loved one.
- New to Astronomy? Wondering what to buy? Don’t want a lemon? Your at the right place – Start here.
Used or clearance gear here. New things added now and then – we list some cool gear when we hear it is available.
Curated Complete Packages
Our curated packages are "just right". We've selected all the elements that go very well together. You'll love it! If your feeling brave, you can assemble your very own package further below. It's not that hard!
Here’s why we recommend these packages for even newer users
- No ‘Yoke’ or cheap ‘Equatorial’ Mounts – Yoke telescopes are unstable and difficult to adjust correctly. They will shake easily when you adjust the telescope to follow an object. Equatorial telescopes require too much prerequisite knowledge and are unsuitable for the telescopes that sit on them. The mounts in these packages adjust the telescope by being pushed left or right, up or down and are easy to use, even for a child.
- Properly Paired Packages – A lot of telescope packages are put together on cheap, rickety mounts that make them a nightmare to use. We bundle each scope with an excellent mount platform that will actually make the scope a pleasure to use.
- Designed to Last, Good Accessories – All of these telescopes are metal. They are designed to last a lifetime – not to be thrown away before next Christmas.
Complete Saxon Packages
Awesome Dobsonians - (Call for Shipping Options for 6" and 8")
Shipping Costs on Dobs
- Dobsonians tend to be among some of the larger items we ship ex-brisbane. It consists of a large tube, followed by a flatpacked base. Roughly, a 6″ Dob delivered to Sydney or Cairns is about $120, Melbourne $145, Adelaide is about $190. An 8″ Dob to Sydney Cairns is $155, Melbourne is $185, Adelaide is $245. If your considering the 6″, but are put off by the shipping costs, consider the Kson 5″ – You only lose 1″, but it is ultra portable and may see a lot more use while also having the advantage of being richfield.
Here’s why we recommend Saxon
- Easy to Use – The mounts in these packages adjust the telescope by being pushed left or right, up or down and are easy to use, even for a child.
- Great Accessories – The accessory packages that come with these scope packages are very generous. You get eyepieces, a diagonal, and a good manual. We still recommend purchasing “A Backyard Astronomers Guide” and a headlamp. Please don’t forget to get these at time of purchase, we can put them in the box and it won’t cost more freight.
- Great Warranty – Can’t beat a 5 year warranty!
- Can be sent with Australia Post – Cheaper freight!
Don't forget these things at time of order - We can stuff these into the box so you don't pay extra freight
Why these items?
- Backyard Astronomers Guide – Hardcover A4 size, with hundreds of pictures and explanations of everything you need to know to get started and beyond. Accurate and Honest information.
- 495nm filter – At the cost of a yellow tinge, this amazing filter will improve contrast, clarity and remove much of the fringing associated with a refractor. It’s amazing.
- Headlamp – Get either the Original or the Pro. A dim red headlamp will allow you to retain much of your hard-earned night vision while still being able to change eyepieces or read a guidebook in the dark.
- A 40mm Eyepiece – Both the Kson and the Meade are terrific and inexpensive. Many want to ‘get in close’ and focus on power and then can’t see the forest for the trees. A 40mm eyepiece means you won’t miss out on massive nebulaes and asterisms that can only be seen with a low powered eyepiece.
- Night Reader Pro – Now you have an adjustable red light at night – and can also attach it to your key ring!
- The Night Sky – Either get ‘Sky Guide’ on iOS or get a manual planisphere so you know where to look.
- Get a UHC filter. It’s a terrific first filter that does much to improve your views of a large range of objects.
- Eyepiece Case – Just stuff them all in a light eyepiece zip case. Unscrewing each one and getting it back in is a pain. This one accepts both 2″ and 1.25″ eyepieces and is just terrific!
Newly Arrived Products
Make your own package!
Below, we have a range of optical tubes and mounts. You can just make up whatever will work for you. Give us a call for a hand to run things past us!
- Grab an optical tube
- Choose a suitable mount
If you buy a telescope and a mount at the same time, we treat it as a package and include some extras for you, including two suitable eyepieces for what you have chosen. Our EDUCATION sections will walk you through the various options, but just give us a call if you need a hand.
We recommend ‘ED’ telescopes and a GOTO Tracking mount (e.g. EQ5 Pro) for any serious astrophotography.
Kson Electronics Optical Telescope Assembly (OTA)'s
EDUCATION – Telescope Types
Refractors use a ‘doublet’ (2) lens with elements made of crown and flint glass, and have the focuser and eyepiece at the end of the telescope. They are inexpensive, offer great contrasty images, and are rugged and durable. They are maintenance free, have improved light gathering capabilities as there is no central obstruction in the tube and are very lightweight. They can be easily adapted for terrestrial (nature/earth/bird viewing!) by using a 45 degree prism which flips the view the ‘right way around’. A refractors design means that it is capable of using truly low powered eyepieces (e.g. 40mm, 45mm or even 50mm eyepieces) that give extraordinarily wide views of the sky.
Reflectors use mirrors rather than lenses and the focuser and eyepiece are on the side of the telescope. They do not suffer from ‘false colour’ (a slight blue/yellow fringe on bright objects such as the Moon, Jupiter) at the cost of needing occasional collimation, and ‘coma’ which is where you have elongated comet shaped stars at the edges. Due to the central obstruction, eyepieces are limited at about 32mm (so, you cannot use a 40mm eyepiece with a reflector).
Maksutov’s are compact – fat and short, with a central obstruction, with sharp optics and a long focal length that lends itself very well to planetary observations. You need to leave them out for a perhaps 20 minutes or to ‘cool’ to the same temperature as the outside for the best views. Like the reflectors, the central obstructions mean that super low powered eyepieces will not work.
EDUCATION – Aperture
The greater the aperture the more light the telescope gathers and the more magnification a telescope allows before the view degrades. For example, an 80mm telescope will allow a magnification of 160x (get the aperture, multiply it by two as a decent guide). A 90mm telescope will allow a 180x magnification, a 102mm telescope about 200x. Telescopes that promise more that this are ‘pulling your leg’ – or worse!
More aperture will not always guarantee better views as atmospheric conditions also affect your viewing, the most obvious of which is clouds, but also something astronomers refer to as “transparency” and “seeing” can affect your views. 80mm is a decent start, with a 100mm scope is a great general compromise.
Short Tube Telescopes (F/3.75-F/6)
EDUCATION – Short Tube Telescopes
Short tube (f/4-F/6) telescopes give you a very wide view of the sky and are also known as “Rich Field” Telescopes as you can see so many stars and objects at once. They are also very good for deep space objects. As they are so light (with the exception of the Ke’sil), they can easily be put onto light, less expensive mounts. The shorter the tube, the more you will benefit from more expensive, well corrected eyepieces (e.g. Morpheus). The Desktop Dobsonian (which is a reflector, it uses mirrors ) does not require a mount and is complete in itself and is amazing for portability and wide sky views.
Medium Tube Telescopes (F/6-F/8)
EDUCATION – Medium Tube Telescopes
Medium tube (f/6-F/8) telescopes are excellent ‘generalist’ telescopes, which do a good job at almost everything. They are suitable for lunar, deep space objects, planetary, asterisms and more. The extra length helps to reduce coma (in case of reflectors) as well as false colour (in case of refractors). They are still very portable and can easily be taken along on trips, or taken outside without any real effort.
Long Tube Telescopes (F/8-F/10)
EDUCATION – Long Tube Telescopes
Long tube (f/8-F/10) telescopes are still excellent ‘generalist’ telescopes, however the extra length helps to reduce coma and false colour even further. Though longer, they are still portable and the extra length means a higher innate magnification. The longer f/ratio also means that even inexpensive eyepieces start to perform much better, and Masuyama’s, as well as the Kson 26mm Erfle offer superb views.
Extra Long Tube Telescopes (F/10-F/15)
EDUCATION – Extra Long Tube / Long Focal Length Telescopes
Extra Long tube / Extra Long Focal Length (f/10-f/15) telescopes are relatively rare outside of Japan, where they have a very long history. The extra length provides significant advantages such as a higher innate magnification (you can use the same eyepiece on say, a f/7 and an f/12 eyepiece, but the view will be more ‘close up’ on the f/12 telescope). In f/10-f/15 focal ratios, chromatic abberation such as false colour are negligible and they provide views very similar to far more expensive ‘ED’ telescopes at a fraction of the price. Interestingly, the Kson Olympus comes with an aperture cap which transforms it from an f/12 to an f/15 instrument. Eyepieces such as Masuyama’s, as well as the Kson Erfles offer truly superb views through longer tube telescopes making a decision to get a longer tube also a financially sound choice. They are superb planetary instruments and can do very well even in light polluted skies. They are not very suitable for Astrophotography however and they require a good quality mount, such as the Kson EQ4 or AZ4 or similar.
The Mak 127 is a Maksutov design that offers very sharp optics, a compact design at a terrific price. Particularly suitable for planetary and lunar work. Remember that these should be put out at least half an hour before viewing to allow the optics to “cool down” to the ambient temperature for best reults.
ED (Extra Low Dispersion) Telescopes
EDUCATION – “ED” Extra Low Dispersion Telescopes & APO Scopes
“ED” Telescopes use expensive special rare earth glass to reduce the effect of false colour. The result is also additional contrast and they are best suited if you are intending to get into Astrophotography. An ideal first Astrophotography Telescope is the TS-Optics FPL51, or the Saxon 80 ED. 100mm ED telescopes are suitable for heavier mounts such as the HEQ5 or NEQ6. The TS-Optics FPL-51 is a superb visual instrument as at f/11, even in a doublet achromatic, false colour is negligible, then – with the addition then of ED glass, it really does offer truly outstanding, contrasty images.
“APO” Scopes are additional rare earth materials to eliminate entirely, or almost eliminate entirely chromatic aberrations and is the best money can buy. The extraordinary optical quality and the way light truly focuses at the eyepiece results in additional contrast for truly spectacular viewws. The F/11 ratio further enhances the optical viewing for a truly breathtaking experience.
EDUCATION – Manual Mounts
Mounts are important – Without a good mount, the optical system is close to useless. Don’t believe it? Consider this. Have you ever looked through some powerful binoculars and had trouble holding it steady, even though your hands were very still? That was the case, even though the object was likely not moving. Up in the sky, everything moves. Once you have found your object to observe, you will need to move the telescope every few seconds to keep the object centered. A poor mount will result in such a wobble that it may take quite a while to settle – and when it does, the object may have already moved on. We’ll help you pick the right mount!
Mount “numbers” – The number on a mount description relates to how heavy of a telescope that mount can handle. So, an AZ3 mount can handle a heavier telescope than a AZ2. An EQ4 mount can handle more weight than a EQ3 and so on.
Slow motion controls – Good quality mounts often feature “slow motion controls”, where, rather than “push” a telescope and get wobbling, you simply turn the hand grip and it moves the telescope every so slightly one way or the other. If you have a long telescope (f/8, f/10, or even longer) you will want long slow motion controls so you can easily adjust the view without taking your eyes away from the eyepiece.
The “AZ” style mount. The AZ mount is simply a mount that allows you to adjust the telescope up and down, left and right. It’s super easy to use! When tracking an object with an AZ mount, you will need to adjust two slow motion controls at the same time. These are the only type of mount that should be considered if you are also going to view terrestrial (nature / birds, balcony etc..) objects.
The “EQ” style mount. The EQ mount is tilted. It’s awful for watching things on the earth – so don’t try it. But if you are willing to spend a little more time setting the mount up, so that you have the convenience of just needing to use a single slow motion controller to track and object for ages, it’s just great! For it to work – at all – you need to align the mount to the Southern Celestial Pole (the closest star to this spot is Sigma Octanis – a faint pain in the neck star to find here in Australia, so use an app for your phone and spare yourself!). Once aligned, you have great object tracking. If this sounds too complicated to you, make sure you get an AZ mount instead.
Why a manual mount? – Manual mounts are very very simple. You don’t need to tell it where you are, the date, and in the case of an AZ mount, you don’t even need to align it with any particular position in the sky. Just set it up, slide in and tighten the telescope, and use it right away.
Tracking / GOTO Mounts
EDUCATION – Visual / Light AP Tracking Mounts
Imagine your mount moving your telescope to exactly what you want to see, or giving you a marvellous tour of the best objects under the sky! Sounds wonderful, right? Not so fast! There are a few things you should know!
Tracking Mount Only – The simplest type of tracking mount is the Kson MD. Set the mount up pointing at the Southern Celestial Pole. Then find your object manually, lock the mount, push a button and it will follow an object across the sky without intervention. The better you align it, the longer you can leave it alone. It is battery powered and extremely light, but it does not have a ‘GOTO’ function, but some marvellous pictures can be taken with this mount. Smaller aperture refractors with a 1.25″ CCD Camera or similar works great.
GOTO mounts – The Astroseeker is a good example of a tracking GOTO mount that is designed for visual astronomy instead of astrophotography. Tell it the time, where is is, and align it with two or three stars (it will tell you what it wants, so you should have an app on your phone that lets you easily see which star it wants). Once you’ve done that, push “tour”, or put in a specific object for it to track and it will move the telescope to the target you want and follow it! Put whatever light to medium telescope you prefer on it, we recommend the Saxon ED 80, an A102G of your choice, or the superb 90mm Kson refractor.
EDUCATION – Astrophotography Tracking Mounts
Astrophotographers – You need a tracking mount! – The reason you would want that, is because a camera needs to keep it’s shutter open for quite a while to capture the very faint light coming from the stars, or deep space objects. The things up there move, right? So, it will end up a horrible mess (star trails, etc..) unless you follow the object precisely.
These mounts are venerable and proven – reliable and suited for the precision required for Astrophotography.
Saxon are backed by a 5 year warranty. The EQ5 pro is the simplest and lightest of your AP mounts – don’t underrate portability. The HEQ5 version has a double saddle, and can optionally be upgraded using a Rowan Belt Kit. The NEQ6 has a belt as a standard, while the AZ-EQ6 boasts an even heavier payload.
EDUCATION – Finders
Why do I need a finder? – Ever tried looking for a very small bird with binoculars? It’s a pain, isn’t it? With telescopes, it can even hard as a lot of the stars all just look the same! You want to be able to see a low or no magnification view of the heavens with a crosshair or dot, align that, and then when you look through your eyepiece, the object your wanting to look at is right there, yes? That’s why you need a finder. Without it, it would be a very frustrating experience to find something even as large as the moon.
The regular finder – The classic finders are a mini telescope with a low magnification view, so you can see more of the sky through them than you could through the telescope. Because of the laws of optics however, your view may be upside down. Oh – and left to right is right to left. Confused? You might want…
A red dot finder – These are marvellous inventions. When you look through them, you look at the sky just the way it is and a red dot is “painted” in the middle. Move the telescope left, it follows. It’s that simple. The Telrad is very well made, tough and can endure heavy use. The Quikfinder sits higher so you don’t need to bump your head against the tube. Both run on cheap batteries.
EDUCATION – Eyepiece Types
Your eyepieces are virtually half your optical system, apart from your telescope, and is worth paying attention to.
Kellner – Kson manufacture some unusually good three element Kellner’s with excellent clarity and sharpness suitable for telescopes of f/6+. These are supremely comfortable eyepieces to look through of about 40 degrees, with large, oversized lenses which make them particularly good eyepieces for newer users to use as ‘eye positioning’ are pretty much non-factors. You can look through these for a long period without straining.
Plossl – Very good four element eyepieces that have a 50 degree field and work well with telescopes of f/5+. Eye relief starts to become rather tight at high focal lengths (e.g. 6mm to 12mm). The Kson 7mm is extraordinarily sharp and useful for planetary viewing, though it does need your eye rather close to it.
Orthoscopics – These eyepieces, with a field of view of about 40-45 degrees offer freedom from ghost images and most abberations, and are particularly useful for deep sky viewing.
Wide-Angle – These lovely eyepieces offer a wide field of view with less edge abberations compared to other eyepiece types, though they are more expensive than other types of eyepieces. Having a low powered wide view eyepiece is a delight for scanning the sky for interesting targets to then observe in other focal lengths.
Useful Links when deciding on eyepieces
Baader Hyperion - Widefield Views, Rugged Construction, Superb Connectivity
Baader Morpheus - Widefield Breathtaking Detail
Japanese Orthoscopic's - Distortion free viewing at it's finest
CLEARANCE - Kson Orthoscopics
Recommended Baader Filters for Astronomy
Telescope Maintenance and Care
Dew Control - RCA Dew Controller, USB Dew Straps, RCA Dew Straps
Bahtinov Focusing Masks
TDE (Turned Down Edge) Rings / Masks - Mirror Clip Masks for Primary Mirrors. Thick, Matt on both sides and Precisely Engineered!
You're buying from a reputable Australian Astronomy Specialist
Great "Transparency"? Target Nebulae and Galaxies!
No Clouds? - Time to grab your Telescope!
Great "Seeing"? Observe the planets or the moon!