Refractors

Refractors are the design that most people associate with a telescope, but they are also the most expensive in terms of dollars per unit aperture. A high quality apochromatic refractor is ideal for both visual observing and astrophotography. The term apochromatic means virtually free of false color. These instruments produce pinpoint stars against a black background.

Most entry level and inexpensive refractors fall into the category of achromatic refractors. These instruments behave much like their more expensive counterparts at low magnification and on objects fainter than Saturn. On brighter objects they will exhibit some false color, or a violet fringe around the object. They also will not reach the same levels of magnification as their more expensive apochromatic cousins. These limitations may not even be noticeable on f/10 instruments, but become more pronounced at faster (lower) focal ratios.

  • Takahashi FC-100D Refractors
  • Takahashi FC-100D Refractors

  • The Takahashi FC-100D series consists of an apochromatic fluorite Steinheil doublet with a 100 mm objective diameter. read more...
  • Starting from: $1784.00

  • Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ
  • Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ

  • The Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ is the quintessential beginner telescope featuring a 70mm refractor on a point and shoot altazimuth mount. read more...
  • Our price: $139.00

  • Celestron AstroMaster 70EQ
  • Celestron AstroMaster 70EQ

  • The Celestron AstroMaster 70EQ combines a classic 70mm refractor with a lightweight German equatorial mount and makes a fine beginner telescope. read more...
  • Our price: $149.00

  • Celestron AstroMaster 90AZ
  • Celestron AstroMaster 90AZ

  • The Celestron AstroMaster 90AZ is at the large end of the spectrum when it comes to beginner telescopes on simple altazimuth mounts. read more...
  • Our price: $235.00

  • Celestron AstroMaster 90EQ
  • Celestron AstroMaster 90EQ

  • The Celestron AstroMaster 90EQ is a long focal ratio refractor on a lightweight German equatorial mount. read more...
  • Our price: $259.00

  • Celestron Omni XLT AZ 102
  • Celestron Omni XLT AZ 102

  • The Celestron Omni XLT AZ 102 is an ideal beginner telescope featuring an intuitive altazimuth mount with slow motion controls. read more...
  • Our price: $289.00

  • Celestron Omni XLT 102 Telescope
  • Celestron Omni XLT 102 Telescope

  • The Celestron Omni XLT 102 can deliver exquisite views of the moon and planets, as well as a number of deep bright space objects. read more...
  • Our price: $489.00

  • RRP: $499.00
    save 2%
  • Celestron NexStar 102 SLT Telescope
  • Celestron NexStar 102 SLT Telescope

  • The Celestron NexStar 102 SLT is a compact beginner telescope that is sure to please the first time buyer. read more...
  • Our price: $459.00

  • Celestron Omni XLT 120 Telescope
  • Celestron Omni XLT 120 Telescope

  • The Celestron Omni XLT 120 is truly a large refractor capable of resolving globular clusters and revealing hundreds of deep sky objects. read more...
  • Our price: $619.00

  • RRP: $649.00
    save 5%
  • Celestron Advanced VX 6-inch Refractor Telescope
  • Celestron Advanced VX 6-inch Refractor Telescope

  • Big refractors are great for deep sky observing. They have the aperture to go deep with the contrast you'll only get from a refractor. read more...
  • Our price: $1399.00

  • Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Edition Telescope
  • Explore Scientific ED80 Essential Edition Telescope

  • The Explore Scientific ED80 Triplet APO Essential Edition is a value oriented member of the 80mm apochromatic refractor class, priced only slightly higher than competing doublet refractors. read more...
  • Our price: $729.99

  • Explore Scientific ED80 Carbon Fiber Edition Telescope
  • Explore Scientific ED80 Carbon Fiber Edition Telescope

  • The Explore Scientific ED80 Carbon Fiber Edition is an ideal telescope for wide field observing or astro-imaging on a budget. read more...
  • Our price: $999.99

  • RRP: $1149.00
    save 13%
  • Explore Scientific 80mm FCD100
  • Explore Scientific 80mm FCD100

  • This 80 mm f/6 apochromatic refractor features an air-spaced triplet optical design with premium Hoya FCD100 optics that virtually eliminates chromatic aberration. read more...
  • Our price: $999.99

  • Explore Scientific AR102 102mm Achromatic Refractor Telescope
  • Explore Scientific AR102 102mm Achromatic Refractor Telescope

  • The Explore Scientific AR102 offers advanced features such as a dual speed focuser and is a great value in a four-inch refractor. read more...
  • Our price: $419.99

  • RRP: $499.99
    save 16%
  • Explore Scientific ED102 Essential Edition Telescope
  • Explore Scientific ED102 Essential Edition Telescope

  • The Explore Scientific ED102 Essential Edition is a value oriented member of the 102mm apochromatic refractor class. read more...
  • Our price: $1029.99

  • RRP: $1249.99
    save 18%
  • Explore Scientific ED102 Carbon Fiber Edition Telescope
  • Explore Scientific ED102 Carbon Fiber Edition Telescope

  • The Explore Scientific ED102 Carbon Fiber Edition represents an excellent value in a four-inch apochromatic refractor. Weighing in at under ten pounds, this telescope can be combined with a camera and filter wheel without overtaxing an entry level mount. read more...
  • Our price: $1499.99

  • RRP: $1729.99
    save 13%
  • Explore Scientific 102mm FCD100 Apo Refractor
  • Explore Scientific 102mm FCD100 Apo Refractor

  • The Explore Scientific 102mm FCD100 is a 102-mm f/7 apochromatic refractor featuring an air-spaced triplet optical design. read more...
  • Our price: $1499.99

  • Explore Scientific AR127 127mm Achromatic Refractor Telescope
  • Explore Scientific AR127 127mm Achromatic Refractor Telescope

  • The Explore Scientific AR127 is a large aperture refractor designed to handle the rigors of public star parties and educational outreach. read more...
  • Our price: $619.99

  • Explore Scientific ED127 Essential Edition Telescope
  • Explore Scientific ED127 Essential Edition Telescope

  • The Explore Scientific ED127 Essential Edition is a classic white refractor offering larger aperture and apochromatic performance. read more...
  • Our price: $1549.99

  • RRP: $1899.00
    save 18%
  • Explore Scientific ED127 Carbon Fiber Edition Telescope
  • Explore Scientific ED127 Carbon Fiber Edition Telescope

  • The Explore Scientific ED127 Carbon Fiber Edition is a large aperture apochromatic refractor that weighs just over 14 pounds. read more...
  • Our price: $1999.99

  • RRP: $2499.99
    save 20%
  • Explore Scientific 127mm FCD100 Apo Triplet
  • Explore Scientific 127mm FCD100 Apo Triplet

  • The Explore Scientific 127 mm f/7.5 apochromatic refractor features an air-spaced triplet optical design. read more...
  • Our price: $1999.99

  • Explore Scientific AR152 152mm Achromatic Refractor Telescope
  • Explore Scientific AR152 152mm Achromatic Refractor Telescope

  • The Explore Scientific AR152 is a large refractor that is sure to delight by providing bright images of deep space objects. read more...
  • Our price: $824.99

  • Explore Scientific 152mm Carbon Fiber Apochromatic Refractor w/Starlight 3" Focuser
  • Explore Scientific 152mm Carbon Fiber Apochromatic Refractor w/Starlight 3" Focuser

  • The Explore Scientific ED152 Carbon Fiber Edition is the absolute price leader in the six-inch apochromatic triplet market. read more...
  • Our price: $4939.99

  • RRP: $5999.00
    save 18%
  • Meade Infinity 90mm Altazimuth Refractor
  • Meade Infinity 90mm Altazimuth Refractor

  • Meade Infinity 90mm Altazimuth Refractor comes complete with everything you need to view the wonders of the night sky the first time out. read more...
  • Our price: $189.00

  • Meade Infinity 102mm Altazimuth Refractor
  • Meade Infinity 102mm Altazimuth Refractor

  • Meade Infinity 102 is a four-inch grab and go telescope suitable for wide field observation of the moon and brighter deep space objects. read more...
  • Our price: $229.95

  • RRP: $249.95
    save 8%
  • Orion Sirius ED80 EQ-G Computerized GoTo Refractor Telescope
  • Orion Sirius ED80 EQ-G Computerized GoTo Refractor Telescope

  • The Orion ED80 refractor's short focal length and superb apochromatic optics make it a great telescope for astrophotography and visual use. read more...
  • Our price: $1549.00

  • Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
  • Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope

  • Orion ED80 represents an exceptional value for those seeking the apochromatic experience on a limited budget. read more...
  • Our price: $449.00

  • Orion ED80T CF Triplet Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
  • Orion ED80T CF Triplet Apochromatic Refractor Telescope

  • This versatile triplet apochromatic refractor featuring ED glass is ideal for wide field astrophotography that is virtually devoid of chromatic aberration. read more...
  • Our price: $949.00

  • Orion Astroview 120ST EQ Telescope
  • Orion Astroview 120ST EQ Telescope

  • Wonderful wide-field refractor telescope for viewing deep-sky objects with crisp resolution. read more...
  • Our price: $599.00

  • Sky-Watcher ProED 80mm Doublet APO Refractor
  • Sky-Watcher ProED 80mm Doublet APO Refractor

  • The Sky-Watcher Pro 80ED is an affordable doublet APO refractor that includes tube rings, Vixen dovetail bar, finder scope and two eyepieces. read more...
  • Our price: $639.00

  • RRP: $689.00
    save 7%
  • Sky-Watcher ProED 100mm Doublet APO Refractor
  • Sky-Watcher ProED 100mm Doublet APO Refractor

  • The Sky-Watcher Pro 100ED is a long focal ratio doublet APO refractor ideal for lunar and planetary observation. read more...
  • Our price: $649.00

  • RRP: $769.00
    save 16%
  • Sky-Watcher ProED 120mm Doublet APO Refractor
  • Sky-Watcher ProED 120mm Doublet APO Refractor

  • The Sky-Watcher ProED 120mm Doublet APO refractor telescope is an excellent choice for planetary observing and has enough aperture to also reveal many deep space objects. read more...
  • Our price: $1549.00

  • RRP: $1679.00
    save 8%
  • Sky-Watcher Esprit 80 ED APO Refractor
  • Sky-Watcher Esprit 80 ED APO Refractor

  • The Sky-Watcher Esprit 80 is a fast f/5 triplet apochromatic refractor that is perfect for capturing wide field astronomy images. read more...
  • Our price: $1649.00

  • Sky-Watcher Esprit 100 ED APO Refractor
  • Sky-Watcher Esprit 100 ED APO Refractor

  • The Sky-Watcher Esprit 100 is a premium quality 100 mm f/5.5 triplet apochromatic refractor that is perfect for capturing wide field astronomy images. read more...
  • Our price: $2499.00

  • Sky-Watcher Esprit 120 ED APO Refractor
  • Sky-Watcher Esprit 120 ED APO Refractor

  • The Sky-Watcher Esprit 120 mm apochromatic triplet is a large refractor that will server equally well as a visual or photographic instrument. read more...
  • Our price: $3199.00

  • Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 ED APO Refractor
  • Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 ED APO Refractor

  • The Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 ED is a great value in large aperture apochromatic refractors and is suitable for both visual observing and astrophotography. read more...
  • Our price: $6399.00

  • Stellarvue SV70T
  • Stellarvue SV70T

  • The Stellarvue SV70T-25SV features a 70 mm f/6 (420 mm focal length) fully multi-coated, 3 element objective lens with an Ohara FPL-53 center element. read more...
  • Our price: $899.00

  • Stellarvue SV80-Access
  • Stellarvue SV80-Access

  • The Stellarvue Access 80 mm telescope is a high-performance ED Apochromatic doublet using a combination of FPL53 and Lanthanum glasses. read more...
  • Our price: $699.00

  • Stellarvue SV102-Access
  • Stellarvue SV102-Access

  • The Stellarvue 102 Access telescope is a high-quality apochromatic refractor with a 2.5-inch dual speed focuser that's ideal for people looking for a quality telescope at an attractive price point. read more...
  • Starting from: $1234.00

  • Stellarvue SV80ST-25SV Triplet Refractor Telescope
  • Stellarvue SV80ST-25SV Triplet Refractor Telescope

  • The Stellarvue SV80ST-25SV is an apochromatic triplet refractor that's ideal for wide field imaging. read more...
  • Starting from: $1295.00

  • Stellarvue SV80ST Triplet Refractor Telescope SV80ST-25FT
  • Stellarvue SV80ST Triplet Refractor Telescope SV80ST-25FT

  • The Stellarvue SV80ST is art apochromatic triplet that is ideal for wide field imaging. read more...
  • Starting from: $1845.00

  • Stellarvue SVQ100 Astrograph
  • Stellarvue SVQ100 Astrograph

  • The Stellarvue SVQ100 is a unique, four-element apochromatic refractor telescope designed for wide field full-frame imaging. read more...
  • Our price: $3695.00

  • Stellarvue SVR102T-25SV APO Triplet Refractor Telescope
  • Stellarvue SVR102T-25SV APO Triplet Refractor Telescope

  • The SVR102T-25SV is a high performance 4-inch f/7.05 air spaced apochromatic triplet refractor featuring the Stellarvue 2.5-inch rack and pinion focuser. read more...
  • Starting from: $2295.00

  • Stellarvue SVR102T-3FT Triplet Refractor Telescope
  • Stellarvue SVR102T-3FT Triplet Refractor Telescope

  • The SVR102T is an extremely high performance, light weight 4-inch f/7.05 air spaced apochromatic triplet refractor. read more...
  • Starting from: $2845.00

  • Stellarvue SVA130T-25SV
  • Stellarvue SVA130T-25SV

  • The Stellarvue SVA130EDT comes standard with our Stellarvue 2.5" dual speed, rack and pinion focuser and this telescope is certified to have a Strehl Ratio of 0.95 or better. read more...
  • Starting from: $3295.00

  • Takahashi FSQ-85EDX Optical Tube Assembly
  • Takahashi FSQ-85EDX Optical Tube Assembly

  • The Takahashi FSQ-85EDX is the newest and smallest member of the FSQ Series of flat field astrographs. Designed from the ground up for digital imaging, the Baby Q is a go anywhere portable astrograph. read more...
  • Our price: $3450.00

  • Takahashi FSQ-106 EDXIII Heavy Imaging Optical Tube
  • Takahashi FSQ-106 EDXIII Heavy Imaging Optical Tube

  • The Takahashi FSQ-106 EDXIII is an outstanding short focal length apochromatic refractor ideal for use with heavy camera bodies in photographic applications. read more...
  • Our price: $5150.00

  • Takahashi TSA-120 Optical Tube Assembly
  • Takahashi TSA-120 Optical Tube Assembly

  • The Takahashi TSA-120 is an apochromatic triplet refractor with a slower f/7.5 focal ratio that is ideal telescope for serious lunar and planetary observing. read more...
  • Our price: $4430.00

Refractor Telescopes & Apochromatic Refractor Telescopes

Refractors are the optical design that most people associate with a telescope. Their primary function is to gather as much light as possible, rendering distant objects brighter and easier to see when magnified. Refractors do this by using an objective lens group at the front of the telescope, which uses two or more pieces of glass to focus light at the viewing end of the telescope. The bigger this objective lens, the more light the telescope can gather, and the more the viewer can see. This image is also right-side up when presented to the viewer, making refractor telescopes useful for both terrestrial viewing and stargazing purposes.

There are two primary types of refractors: achromatic and apochromatic. They differ primarily in how they handle chromatic aberration. Chromatic aberration is most commonly seen as a violet halo around bright objects, but there are other more subtle visual impacts.  False color that occurs when different wavelengths of light pass through glass, bending at different angles so their focal points slightly differ and produce incorrect images at the eyepiece. Refractors are generally categorized according to their level of color correction:

  • Achromatic: An achromatic lens uses two-lenses in the objective, called a doublet, to correct for chromatic aberration. The two lenses are designed to focus both red and blue light at the same point, while green is focused to a slightly different point. Since the human eye reacts more to green light in the dark, the green light will appear brighter and more in focus compared to blue and red light. The result is a slight chromatic aberration, which often appears as purple halos around bright objects. Achromatic refractors are typically sold as inexpensive beginner telescopes.
  • ED Achromatic: ED achromats utilize exotic high refractive index glasses to minimize chromatic aberration in doublet designs.  Well executed examples of this type are often represented as apochromatic telescopes and can be nearly indistinguishable visually from the more expesive apochromatic refractors.  Some false color may appear around the brightest stars in photographs, but it may not be objectionable to most users.
  • Apochromatic: Apochromatic means virtually free of false color. Achromatic refractors often use three lenses in an objective, called a triplet, to correct chromatic aberration completely bringing red, blue and green light all to the same point of focus. Other more exotic examples use four or more lenses in multiple groups. The result is an image devoid of halos, producing pinpoint stars against a black background. This means apochromatic refractors are capable of higher magnifications and produce excellent images for astrophotography. The primary limiting factor for an apochromatic refractor, however, is its relatively higher cost compared to an achromatic or ED achromatic model.

Refractors have a wider variation in quality level than any other type of telescope, and are certainly the most expensive in dollars per unit aperture. That’s why choosing the right type of refractor for your needs is so essential — and Skies Unlimited can help. We’re committed to providing you with the type of refractor that will fit your needs exactly. We offer refractor telescopes for sale from all major suppliers, including Celestron refractors, Takahashi refractors and Meade refractors.

At Skies Unlimited, we offer quality telescopes for sale as well as valuable expertise and advice. Founded in 2004 by real amateur astronomers and employing a full team of astronomy enthusiasts, we strive to make astronomy as accessible as possible. Speak with one of our team members to get a wealth of information and advice backed by both personal and professional experience. Anyone, from beginners to avid amateur astronomers, is welcome to talk to us and discover what Skies Unlimited can do to help.

Get Refractors from Skies Unlimited

Want to place an order for a refractor telescope or ask a question about our merchandise and free shipping offers? Call Skies Unlimited today or visit us at our suburban Philadelphia location near Pottstown, PA to speak with a staff member and see our large supply of refractor telescopes for sale. We’ll give you everything you need to know, from product dimensions and specifications to recommendations and advice. We want to make sure you get the quality astronomy equipment you need to get the best viewing experience possible.


Skies Unlimited Logo

Call (888)947-2673

SkiesUnlimited.com: Your source for telescopes and telescope accessories