Best Telescope for Land Viewing

The sky is a fascinating infinity of stars, planets, and many passing comets. You could spend night after night, glued to a telescope, watching the universe dance by.

However, a telescope doesn’t always have to be pointed upward, as there are just as many wonders to observe right here in our world. Telescopes that are used for land viewing, are also known as refractor telescopes.

What makes them better suited to observing the land, rather than the sky, is that they are designed with lenses instead of the mirrors that are used in astronomy telescopes.

With your land viewing telescope, you can easily watch different natural phenomena, as well as observing wildlife or looking at the far side of a city from the window of your own home.

Telescopes for land viewing are just as popular as those used for watching the skies, and there are plenty of options available in today’s market.

Of course, if you want to make sure that you’ll be able to see far and wide without struggling, you need to ensure you purchase a high-quality and reliable telescope, of a good make and with all of the necessary features that make it worthwhile. 

To help you on your telescope-finding quest, we’ve compiled a list with our top five picks for the overall best telescope for land viewing. All you need to do is pick the one most suited to your needs and preferences!

In a hurry?

Whether you want to watch nature, observe some wild animals, or take a look at the far side of the city to see what’s going on, a telescope for land viewing can prove very useful and can make for a fascinating pastime.

If you’re in a hurry to find the best possible one, then we recommend you check out our number one top choice: the Celestron Portable Refractor Telescope.

The Celestron Portable Refractor Telescope is one of the most popular telescopes when it comes to land-viewing, especially amongst people that are just starting out in the world of using telescopes and observing the world and universe around you.

It has great viewing and image quality for both watching the sky at night, and for land-viewing scenery or natural wildlife during the day. With a bag, a tripod, and a free download of an astronomy software program, it’s the ideal choice for setting you up and getting you started.

Customers have found no downside or cons whatsoever, as the product holds up to its product description and it is well-made and high-quality.

Here are some of the main features:

  • Highly recommended and well-reviewed product
  • Superior optics with a 70mm objective lens
  • Features 2 high-quality eyepieces for enhanced visibility
  • Portable bag, tripod and downloadable astronomy software included
  • 2-year warranty and unlimited access to technical support
  • Ideal for watching the sky, and for land viewing - highly versatile 

OUR TOP PICK

Celestron - 70mm Travel Scope - Portable Refractor Telescope - Fully-Coated Glass Optics - Ideal Telescope for Beginners - BONUS Astronomy Software Package

The Celestron Portable Refractor Telescope is an excellent option to go for, and it has made it to the top of our list thanks to its huge popularity amongst customers, and the many positive reviews and ratings that it features.

It features superior optics, with high-quality and fully-coated glass optics, a powerful 70mm objective lens, a lightweight frame, and a custom backpack that makes it a lot easier to carry everything for portability.

It is ideal for those that are purchasing their first telescope for land-viewing, and it features two high-quality eyepieces, of 20mm and 10mm, that provide for an enhanced visibility of both celestial objects at night and terrestrial objects during the day.

It is also very easy to set up and to use, and with it being so portable, you can easily take this telescope around with you to view different places!

As a bonus, the Celestron Portable comes with a portable bag to carry it in, and a tripod to set it up.

Plus, it also includes a free download of one of the top consumer rated astronomy software programs, which will come in super handy if you’re getting serious about astronomy.

As well as that, the product comes with a 2-year warranty and unlimited access to technical support from a big team of experts based in the US.

Overall, this telescope is versatile and easy to use, making it perfect for those getting into the world of observing and watching!

Pros

  • Highly recommended and well-reviewed product
  • Superior optics with a 70mm objective lens
  • Features 2 high-quality eyepieces for enhanced visibility
  • Portable bag, tripod, and downloadable astronomy software included
  • 2-year warranty and unlimited access to technical support
  • Ideal for watching the sky, and for land viewing - highly versatile 

Cons

  • No downsides

EDITORS CHOICE

Gskyer Telescope, 80mm AZ Space Astronomical Refractor Telescope, German Technology Scope

The Gskyer Telescope Astronomical Refractor is another excellent choice and a close second on our list of favorites, as well as being highly popular amongst customers and very recommended for those that want a good and versatile telescope.

It has superior and enhanced image brightness, which helps protect your eyes. This is thanks to the 400mm focal length and the 80mm aperture that can capture more light picture, as well as the optical glass coating.

It features three replaceable eyepieces with a 3X Barlow lens, for optimum magnification and the ability to locate specific objects a lot easier, helping you aim your telescope a lot better and a lot faster.

This is further enhanced by the adjustable tripod, as you can easily maneuver and reposition your telescope to different viewing positions and angles, all while remaining stable for a clear view.

The Gskyer telescope is incredibly easy to set up and to use, making it great for beginners and a highly popular option for children that are just starting to develop an interest in astronomy and in land-viewing.

If you have any issues at all, you can completely rely on the customer service that is offered by Gskyer, and the product also comes with a 1-year care for a free replacement.

Pros

  • Enhanced image brightness - helps protect your eyes
  • 400mm focal length and 80mm aperture
  • Features 3 replaceable eyepieces
  • Adjustable tripod - very easy to position for different viewing points
  • Reliable customer service and a 1-year care for free replacement

Cons

  • No downsides

BEST VALUE

Emarth Telescope, 70mm/360mm Astronomical Refracter Telescope with Tripod & Finder Scope, Portable Telescope for Kids Beginners Adults (Blue)

Another amazing option, if you’re looking for a great telescope for land viewing, is the Emarth Astronomical Refractor Telescope.

It has premium quality optics, with a 360mm focal length and a 70mm aperture, as well as having a fully coated optical glass.

The high transmission coating creates the most beautiful images, thanks to the increased brightness and the enhanced clarity, which also help protect your eyes.

It’s ideal for beginners that are starting to get into the use of telescopes, and it is highly versatile as you can use it for watching the night sky, as well as for land viewing during the day.

It also features a high magnification, with interchangeable eyepieces and a 3X Barlow lens to increase viewing power.

The Emarth telescope is super easy to set up and use, but just in case, it includes a helpful manual to clear up any doubts you might have.

The tripod it comes with is completely adjustable and can adapt to different viewing positions and angles, making it super convenient.

Another great thing about buying an Emarth telescope is that you are automatically offered the lifetime VIP customer service so that you can contact them for any issues at all that you might have with the telescope!

It’s an especially popular option for children that are curious about learning about wildlife and scenery, as this telescope is one of the best for land viewing!

Pros

  • Premium optics - 360mm focal length and 70mm aperture
  • Increased brightness and enhanced clarity - protect your eyes
  • Ideal for beginners and for children - very easy to set up and use
  • High magnification with interchangeable eyepieces
  • Includes a lifetime VIP customer service 

Cons

  • The tripod might be a little flimsy

RUNNER UP

Orion 9024 AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope

If you’re looking for a telescope that can handle both sky-watching and land-viewing, in an advanced and slightly more professional way, then the Orion 9024 AstroView Equatorial Refractor Telescope might be the product that you’ve been looking for.

The Orion is an amazingly high-value telescope, with a high standard of quality for a very accessible price, which is what makes it one of the products on this list of top picks.

It features a 90mm aperture and a 910mm focal length, for crystal clear views of objects and landscapes that are very far away, making it highly effective.

It includes an EQ-2 adjustable tripod, as well as an equatorial mount that allows for a manual slow-motion celestial-tracking (which could also come in handy for land-viewing and tracking different natural phenomena.)

With a correct-image diagonal, it can easily be used for daytime terrestrial viewing, and it does so to a great quality, making it ideal for those that want a versatile and professional telescope that can switch from night sky to day land.

The Orion 9024 telescope also comes with a starry night astronomy software, as well as the few accessories that it features.

And for the accessible price, it can be considered an absolute bargain, as Orion is known for making top quality telescopes.

Pros

  • High-quality and well-known brand
  • 910mm focal length and 90mm aperture
  • Includes an EQ-2 adjustable tripod and an equatorial mount
  • Versatile and great for sky-watching at night and land-viewing during the day
  • Includes a Starry night astronomy software

Cons

  • The correct-image diagonal is sold separately

RUNNER UP

Orion GoScope III 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope

Last but not least on our list, we have another product by Orion, which is the Orion GoScope III Refractor Travel Telescope.

Ideal for both watching the sky at night, and for land-viewing during the day, it is ideal for those that want to take the telescope with them to different locations so that they can view different things. 

The amazingly lightweight aluminum tripod makes it super easy to transport and carry the set-up around, making this telescope the best for travel.

A tugged and specially designed backpack that is included with the product is perfect for holding the 70mm telescope, the tripod, and any other accessories that you need to take with you on the go.

The 400mm focal length is especially good for birdwatching during the day and is ideal for viewing wildlife and scenery.

It also features a 5x24 finder scope, for easier aiming of the telescope, anti-reflection coated eyepieces, and an Orion MoonMap 260 that can help you learn about the different lunar features you’re able to spot with the telescope at night.

Overall, this tends to be the preferred telescope for beginners that want to go around different places with the telescope, so that they can see different parts of wildlife or of the sky.

Pros

  • Ideal for sky-watching and for land-viewing
  • Ideal for travel and on the go - lightweight and easy to transport
  • 400mm focal length and 70mm aperture
  • Includes an Orion MoonMap and accessories 

Cons

  • Tripod can be quite flimsy

Best Telescope for Land Viewing Buying Guide

Telescopes might seem like a rather advanced and technical tool that is better left to the professionals, but in truth, they are becoming more and more accessible to the public as more and more people are getting interested in astronomy, or in observing the wildlife and natural scenery around them.

Apart from watching the sky at night, you can get a telescope for land-viewing during the day, and most of the time, you will get a telescope that can do both to a pretty high standard of quality.

However, with so many options in the market, it can be hard to determine which telescope is truly the best suited to your needs and preferences, and which is reliable and trustworthy in regards to quality and image.

We like to take a few basic factors into consideration, to check whether a telescope meets enough standards to be considered of good value or not, as well as comparing product description, ratings, and reviews.

Here are some of those basic factors:

Image and Viewing Quality

The image and the viewing quality of your telescope will depend on the focal length and the aperture, as well as the quality of the optic and lens. Always check the product description for full information on the lens itself.

As for the aperture, the bigger it is the more light it lets in and the clearer and better the image will be. However, do take into account that bigger apertures will mean having a bigger and bulkier telescope, that won’t be as well suited for being on the go or traveling.

Tripod Adjustability

Setting up your telescope on a tripod should be fairly easy. However, you should also be able to easily adjust the tripod once it's set up, so that you can switch and change the viewing position and angle of the telescope, accommodating it to the different things or areas that you want to observe.

The more lightweight the tripod is, the better you’ll be able to carry it around and the more portable your setup for the telescope will be, meaning you can travel out to different locations to observe different things.

However, be careful of the tripod being too lightweight, as it might then become too flimsy to hold up the telescope safely.

Accessories Included

Depending on the telescope that you end up choosing, it can turn out to be quite a little investment. That is why it is good to look out for telescopes that include various different accessories, as it means that you won’t have to spend more money buying them separately.

What we always recommend you look for in a carrier bag for the telescope and a tripod, as they are the two most basic accessories that you are guaranteed to need.

Other things can include some downloadable astronomy software or even maps of the sky for you to learn to spot different things when using the telescope. Always check the product description to see everything that is included with the product! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a telescope to look at wildlife?

Although telescopes are more commonly used for watching the night sky, they can also be used for land-viewing.

This is also known as terrestrial viewing, and it includes looking at wildlife during the day, and can also include things such as watching the far side of a city, tracking faraway natural phenomenon, and many more! 

There’s plenty to observe and look at on this planet during the day, and the telescope is the perfect instrument for doing so!

Can I use a telescope through a window?

You can use a telescope through a window, as long as the window is open.

If the window is closed and you’re trying to use the telescope through the glass, the image you get is going to be slightly distorted and the view won’t be nearly as clear or as good.

The best way to use your telescope is to have it set up outside, with nothing blocking its image whatsoever. 

Gordon Watts
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