Cost: £169 (approximately $287)
Focal length: 900mm
At such a low price, you would only expect the bare minimum for this telescope. However, after using the Sky-Watcher Evostar 90, we found that this refractor is more than able to assist with lunar and planetary astrophotography. Also, with a little care and an additional solar film (not included), it can also be used as a basic solar telescope. This is on top of the general lunar and planetary observations you can make with it.
We were delighted to see that you truly get your money’s worth (and more!) with this scope. Not only does it exceed the capabilities of other instruments in roughly the same price range, but it also comes with two eyepieces (25mm and 10mm) that boost the telescope’s magnification up to 36x and 90x respectively. It’s also complemented by a useful Barlow lens, along with a 1.25” star diagonal thrown into the bargain.
The Sky-Watcher Evostar 90 is aimed at beginners, who usually make planets and the Moon their first target, so we’re pleased to say the refractor doesn’t disappoint. It provided crisp and clear views with no halos or diffraction spikes when turned to bright objects. There was a small amount of chromatic aberration around the Moon, but this didn’t affect the observing experience. May’s planets were easy to locate and when the 10mm was combined with the supplied Barlow lens, we were able to get good views of Saturn and Mars.