A good refractor is to be preferred when it comes to high-quality celestial observation, such as that which involves the user looking at anything from the moon to planets, binary stars, and globular clusters. Even nebulas and galaxies can be seen in a far more efficient way with the help of a refracting telescope. So, this is one of the first reasons why refracting telescopes are becoming more and more popular.
Another aspect that should be taken into account if you’re trying to figure out what type of telescope you should choose from the plethora of types available for sale these days is that refractors are capable of having the highest light transmission of all. Because they are not outfitted with a mirror obstruction, they ensure considerably brighter images. In fact, many specialized articles suggest that they are capable of transmitting approximately ninety percent of the light they collect. By contrast, catadioptric telescopes can transmit about 75% while reflectors can ensure a light transmission of about up to 80%, but no more.
One thing that should be given some thought to whenever you are in the market for a telescope and you’re trying to tell whether you need a refractor or not is that you might not need a large light-gathering capacity depending on what you’re trying to visualize. Some planets, as well as the Moon, are brightly lit, and so this feature matters less in this case. However, if you intend to get a telescope for deep space observation or for looking at star clusters and nebulae, you ought to consider a refractor as it is by far the best choice when it comes to gathering light. You can find out more about the essential aspects you should take into account when you’re trying to get a new telescope by reading this article from opticsandlab.com.
An altazimuth refractor is a good choice when there’s only one person using the telescope. On the other hand, if you intend to get one for your entire family, perhaps you should opt for an equatorial mount equipped with a motor drive. The latter will ensure that the objects are centered and that everyone manages to look at the same celestial object.
One important drawback of refractors is that they suffer from chromatic aberration. So, even if the images you will get to look at will be bright enough, they might not reflect the accurate colors of the celestial objects that interest you. Typically, refractors are lightweight enough to be carried with ease. However, if you want to go for a model that comes with a high aperture, it will inevitably be bulkier and heavier when compared to a reflecting or catadioptric alternative.
Plus, the better the features of the refractor, the more likely it is for it to cost a pretty penny. A high-quality apochromatic refractor can be about four times pricier compared to a Cassegrain or a reflector with almost the same characteristics. For instance, the minimum cost of a large aperture refractor starts at about five thousand dollars.