Why is reflecting telescope better than refracting?

Chris Klein, Amateur Astronomy Advisor

By Chris Klein


Do you want to explore the stars and galaxies without leaving your home? Are you trying to confirm your choice for a reflector vs. a refractor telescope? Look no further!

In this article, you get

The top 3 advantages of using a reflecting telescope over a refracting telescope

Information to make an informed decision about getting a reflecting telescope

By the end of this article, you’ll know why a reflecting telescope is a better choice than a refracting telescope for exploring the night sky.

Let’s dive right in.


Reflecting telescopes have greater light-gathering power than refractors!

Reflectors use mirrors to collect and focus light. The brighter images they produce make them ideal for observing deep-space objects like galaxies and nebulae.

Reflectors also have higher magnification capabilities than refractors.

And finally, reflectors don’t suffer from chromatic aberration!


  • One of the main advantages of reflecting telescopes over refractors is their greater light-gathering power. The mirror in a reflecting telescope can be larger than the lens in a refracting telescope, allowing it to collect more light. The result? A brighter and sharper image! Excellent for viewing distant galaxies and nebulae.
  • Reflecting telescopes offer greater magnification than refracting telescopes. Greater magnification is ideal for detailed astronomical observation.
  • Reflectors don’t suffer from chromatic aberration! You don’t want colored fringes around stars or other objects, right?

These top 3 benefits make reflectors an excellent choice for amateur astronomers like you and me looking for a high-quality viewing experience.

Let’s explore each in more detail.


One significant advantage of reflecting telescopes over refractors is their greater light-gathering power. They can capture more light, allowing you to see a broader range of objects in the night sky.

The larger aperture of the reflecting telescope will enable it to collect more light than its refractor counterpart, resulting in brighter images and increased magnifications. With this greater light-gathering power, you can observe fainter objects and view them in more detail.

The result? You’ll be able to see distant galaxies and nebulae with more clarity.


When it comes to increased magnification, reflector telescopes are the clear winners.

Since they have longer focal lengths, they can provide higher magnifications than refracting telescopes.

The result? They are great for viewing smaller, fainter objects in the night sky.

With a reflector telescope, you can take your observing sessions to a new level and explore the universe like never before.


A substantial advantage of reflecting telescopes is they do not suffer from chromatic aberration.

Chromatic aberration is color fringing caused by the fact that different wavelengths of light are refracted at different angles when passing through a lens.

By using mirrors instead of lenses, reflecting telescopes can avoid this problem altogether.

The result? Sharper, more accurate images without any color distortions.


It’s hard to give a definite answer since it depends on your budget, intended use, and personal preference.

When you consider each telescope’s features, it ultimately comes down to what you are looking for in a telescope and how much you are willing to pay for it.

When comparing cost, reflectors are usually a better value for money.

Although reflectors have the advantages mentioned above, they require frequent mirror alignment.


Once you get past 6″, the Newtonian reflector is the king of price performance as measured by cost per inch of aperture.

Reflectors tend to be cheaper than refractors, especially when you compare similarly sized telescopes. When mated with a good-quality mount, you can get a lot of bang for your buck.

Similar-sized refractors are more expensive than reflectors! Reflecting telescopes can be made from simpler materials and don’t require extra optics.

When properly constructed and of high quality, reflector telescopes offer superior light-gathering power at a lower price than an equally priced refractor telescope.

Reflector telescopes are a great option if you’re looking for a bright image with lots of detail but don’t want to break the bank.


Thank you for reading my article “Why is reflecting telescope better than refracting?”

Reflecting telescopes offer several advantages over refracting telescopes. With greater light-gathering power, increased magnification, and no chromatic aberration, they are ideal for observing faint stars and galaxies.

Reflectors are also much cheaper than refractors!

A reflecting telescope is the way to go if you’re looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to observe the night sky.

With all these benefits, you’re probably wondering if people still buy refractors.

About the Author

Chris Klein, Amateur Astronomy Advisor

Chris Klein is an amateur astronomy advisor, astrophotographer, and entrepreneur. Go here to read his incredible story "From $50,000 in Debt to Award-Winning Photographer Living in Switzerland". If you want to send Chris a quick message, then visit his contact page here.