Telescope Nerd » Sizes » 12-inch Telescopes (305mm)

12-inch Telescopes (305mm)

12-inch telescopes allow observers to see stars of 16.2 magnitudes. On average, they have 1200- 1525 mm focal lengths, and f/3.93-f/5 focal ratios. They can resolve double stars at 0.38 arcsec. They provide magnification power 600x times the human eye. They are great for astrophotography as they provide great views of planets and galaxies with details.

What is a 12-inch telescope?

A 12-inch telescope refers to a telescope having an aperture (the diameter of the objective lens) of 12-inch (305 mm). A 12-inch telescope is considered to be in the category of large telescopes. For example, Meade LightBridge Plus 12″ f/5 Truss-Tube AZ Dobsonian, Explore Scientific 12″ f/5 Truss Tube Dobsonian, Sky-Watcher Flextube 300P SynScan 12″ f/4.9 Dobsonian GoTo AZ, Sky-Watcher 12″ f/3.93 Quattro Imaging Newtonian Telescope, etc

What can you see with a 12-inch telescope?

  • The Moon and its crater Copernicus and volcanic plains around it.
  • The rings of Saturn and the Cassini Division.
  • The phases of Venus.
  • The moons of Jupiter, the Great Red Spot, and other details, etc.
  • The polar ice caps on Mars.
  • Uranus and Neptune.
  • 5000 star-clusters like M3, M5, and M13, etc
  • 3000 nebulae like Ring, Dumbbell, and Swan nebulas
  • 22000 galaxies like M81 or the Leo Triplet, the Whirlpool and the NGC galaxies, etc

Types and Technical Specifications of 12-inch telescopes

Types

Newtonian Reflector: Example: Sky-Watcher 12″ f/3.93 Quattro Imaging Newtonian Telescope

Dobsonian Reflector: Example: Meade LightBridge Plus 12″ f/5 Truss-Tube AZ Dobsonian, and Sky-Watcher Flextube 300P SynScan 12″ f/4.9 Dobsonian GoTo AZ Telescope,

Truss Tube: Example: Explore Scientific 12″ f/5 Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope

Technical Specifications

Aperture: 12″ / 305 mm 

Focal Length: 1200- 1525 mm 

Focal ratio: f/3.93-f/5

Highest Magnification: 600x

Price: 1,200-2,550$

Images taken with 12-inch telescopes

Examples of 12-inch telescopes

  • Meade LightBridge Plus 12″ f/5 Truss-Tube AZ Dobsonian Telescope
  • Explore Scientific 12″ f/5 Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope
  • Sky-Watcher Flextube 300P SynScan 12″ f/4.9 Dobsonian GoTo AZ Telescope
  • Sky-Watcher 12″ f/3.93 Quattro Imaging Newtonian Telescope
  • Apertura 12″ Dobsonian Telescope
  • Apertura DT12 12″ Dobsonian Telescope

How do 12-inch telescopes compare to other size telescopes

12-inch vs 14-inch telescope

14-inch telescopes provide a focal length of 2463-3916 mm with a focal ratio of  f/6.7-f/11. In contrast, 12-inch telescopes vary from 1200- 1525 mm in focal length and  f/6.7-f/11 in focal ratio. However, the price of the 14-inch telescope is five times that of the 12-inch scope. Moreover, 12-inch telescopes provide 600x highest magnification, which increases to 710x-840x in the case of 14-inch scopes

12-inch telescope14-inch telescope
Aperture12-inch (305 mm)14-inch (355 mm)
Focal Ratiof/3.93-f/5f/6.7-f/11
Focal Length1200-1525 mm2463-3916 mm
Highest Magnification600x710-840x
Price1,200-2,550$6,000-15,500$

12-inch vs 15-inch telescope

Though the 12-inch telescope has less aperture than the 15-inch scopes, it offers a focal ratio of    f/3.93-f/5 whereas the 15-inch telescopes provide  f/4.2. Besides, 15-inch telescopes offer a focal length of 1600 mm whereas the 12-inch telescopes vary from 1200- 1525 mm mm in focal lengths.

12-inch telescope15-inch telescope
Aperture12-inch (305 mm)15-inch (381 mm)
Focal Ratiof/3.93-f/5f/4.2
Focal Length1200-1525 mm1600 mm
Price1,200-2,550$7,500$

12-inch vs 16-inch telescopes

12-inch telescope has less aperture than the 16-inch telescopes. They offer a focal ratio of  f/3.93-f/5 whereas the 16-inch telescopes vary from f/10 to f/4.43. Besides, 12-inch telescopes offer a focal length of 1200- 1525 mm whereas the 16-inch telescopes start from 1800 mm to 4064 mm in focal lengths. Moreover, 12-inch telescopes provide 600x highest magnification, which increases to  810x -960x in the case of 16- inch telescopes.

12-inch telescope16-inch telescopes
Aperture12-inch (305 mm)16-inch (406 mm)
Focal Ratiof/3.93-f/5f/10- f/4.43
Focal Length1200-1525 mm1800-4064 mm
Highest Magnification600x810-960x
Price1,200-2,550$4,500-11,000$

12-inch vs 17-inch telescope

12-inch telescopes provide a focal length of 1200- 1525 mm (f/3.93- f/5) , while 17-inch has a focal length of 2939 mm (f/6.8). Besides, 12-inch telescopes cannot remove off-axis astigmatism and field curvature whereas 17-inch telescopes can eliminate them completely.

12-inch telescope17-inch telescope
Aperture12-inch (305 mm)17-inch (432 mm)
Focal Ratiof/3.93- f/5f/6.8
Focal Length1200-1525 mm2939 mm
Price1,200-2,550$22,500$

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