Dobsonian vs Newtonian Telescope: What is the Difference?

Are you going to buy a telescope very soon? Well, that’s an amazing idea! But, all those excitement is also bringing up tons of confusion that are killing your patience at the moment.

And why won’t you get confused?

Of course, a wide range of variety is essential to find a perfect piece. However, too many options do not necessarily make the choosing process easy all the time.

So then, which one should you pick? Well, all that confusion calls for a Dobsonian vs Newtonian telescope battle for sure. 

You know both Newtonian and Dobsonian telescopes are super popular with all their magnificent features. 

Therefore, let me take you to an exciting battle between these two giant contestants, and then you can decide which one is winner for you. 

Dobsonian Telescope

Dobsonian telescopes are pretty famous among the field of astronomy. These telescopes are widely used to check out galaxies, planets, stars, and deep-sky objects. 

The telescope is capable of collecting a maximum amount of light utilizing the reflecting optics. Thus, the light becomes critical for the observation of a celestial body. 

As a result, more light is collected and the resultant images are sharper and better even during those darker nights. 

Another interesting thing about this type of telescope is that they have a shorter focal length. 

Again, the short tubes along with the special mount facility help you to operate it easily, and thus, you can enjoy an incredible amount of precision with it. 

Not just that, the Dobsonian telescopes is very light in weight. Therefore, they are very portable and you can easily take them with you wherever you like.

Newtonian Telescope

The Newtonian telescope has gained enormous fame with its glorifying history of almost four hundred years.

The design of this telescope focuses on having two different types of mirrors. One of them is considered as the primary one whereas the other one is called the secondary one.

Thus combining these two mirrors, the telescope produces a high-quality image that you can see with their eyepiece set-up.

Moreover, their simple and basic structural design makes it easier to build and use. Again, they are made of better materials than most other products available in the market. 

Therefore, these telescopes are a brilliant option for you without any doubt.

Dobsonian vs Newtonian Telescope

Now that I have introduced you to both of the types, which one seems better? I know, it’s not that simple to decide. 

When you work with these individuals, you will hardly notice any problem as both of them are very efficient. 

So, let’s explore more by analyzing some major differences among them that I am going to describe below.

Mirror Quality

Mirror quality is one of the most important qualities that make these two telescopes different from each other. 

If you take a look at the Newtonian telescope, you will notice that both the primary and the secondary mirrors are thick, heavy, and high in quality. These mirrors collect a huge amount of light and produce extremely high-quality images 

On the other hand, Dobsonian telescopes do not have thick and heavy mirrors like the Newtonian ones. Instead, they use lighter and more durable options.

So, Dobsonian telescopes are capable to maintain their mirror quality despite decreasing their weight and width.

Again, in the Newtonian one, secondary mirrors are a bit curved whereas, in the Dobsonian one, they are flat. As a result, price varies a lot among these two types. 

So, if you are looking for a budget-friendly option, the Dobsonian telescope might be a better option for you.

Mount Type

Unlike the Newtonian telescope, the Dobsonian telescope includes a very easy mounting set-up. This set up is commonly known as Alt-Azimuth mounting. 

I know, it sounds a bit difficult. But, trust me, although the spelling seems quite difficult, the procedure is very simple.

The idea is to rotate the telescope body into two axes that are perpendicular to each other. This way, these horizontal and vertical axes helps to change the compass-bearing along with the direction.

This approach is very straight forward and easy to understand. However, Newtonian telescopes do not provide this type of mounting facility. For this reason, Newtonian telescopes are a bit difficult to mount.

Therefore, the specially designed mounting facility makes the Dobsonian telescope a very user-friendly option to choose from.


Another interesting difference amount these two telescopes is their tube. You can easily differentiate them by taking a closer look.

The Newtonian tubes are made of fine and expensive materials. In general cases, fiberglass or aluminum is used for making the tubes. For this reason, they usually come at a higher price.

On the other side, Dobsonian tubes are made from a special type of solidified paper. Therefore, the construction cost is lessened in a great amount which makes these a cheaper option.

However, it is not like the cheap solidified papers are bad in quality. These are more durable and they also provide more protection against sudden accidental damages.

Again, Newtonian tubes are smaller than Dobsonian tubes. They are almost half in length which makes their appearances different from each other.

Therefore, you should have a clear vision of what type of tube you are looking for and then choose any of them you like better.


So, how did you like the small Dobsonian vs Newtonian telescope competition? It sure helped a lot to answer all those questions that were popping on your head.

An easy tip to decide which one you need is to determine your expectations first. Decide if you want to go with a cheaper one or with a portable one or even with something that offers more than that?

And thus, match your requirements with the qualities of these and find the perfect one for you.

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