Carson Red Planet 35-78x76mm Newtonian Reflector review

When it comes to low budget telescopes, there are a couple of different brands that most people look for. One of the least well known is Carson, who many amateur astronomers have never even heard of. Whilst they’re not as well known as Orion and Celestron, that doesn’t mean you should ignore what they have to offer. So, we’re going to take a closer look into the details of this telescope.

Carson Red Planet 35-78x76mm Newtonian Reflector review

As a Newtonian reflector, this is one of the cheapest models available on the market right now. That is represented in its pretty low 3 inch aperture. With this kind of power you’re not going to be able to see much detail in any deep sky objects, but it could be useful for getting to grips with things if you’re just starting out. You can see how it compares to other similarly low priced telescopes here in our list of telescopes under $200.

Carson Red Planet 35-78x76mm Newtonian Reflector Telescope (RP-100) , Red
  • Perfect Beginner Newtonian Reflector Telescope for Astronomy and Looking at the Moon, Stars, Saturn, Jupiter and More.
  • Magnification: 35x – 78x | Aperture: 76mm (3 inch) | Focal Length: 700mm (27.6-Inch)
  • Finder Scope: 10x30mm Erecting | Dimensions: 25.5 x 5.0 x 5.0 | Weight: 8.0 lbs

The telescope itself actually weighs only around 8 lbs, which is the benefit of going for a lower aperture telescope like this one. This makes it quite easy to pack up and take with you anywhere, so it’s an ideal choice if you’re looking for something to take into the countryside with you. As well as this, it does well in cold temperatures and doesn’t fog up, which is key when stargazing late at night.

Pros and Cons


  • As always, the most important thing is the views you’re going to be able to get of the night sky above us. And actually, this is something that this Carson telescope manages to do pretty well, as it gives a clear and concise view.
  • The telescope is actually pretty well made and built to last you a long while. You won’t need to worry about it breaking on you, which is a common problem with budget telescopes. Even with thorough use, it should be good for a few years.
  • This telescope stands out as it’s definitely one of the cheapest you’re going to find available. Usually you can only pick up cheaper refractors at this sort of price, so it’s surprising that you can find a Newtonian reflector for the same sort of price. This limits your risk, as even if you end up rarely using it, you haven’t invested much in it in the first place.


  • The worst thing about this telescope is definitely the aperture. At only 3 inches, it isn’t going to give you much of an option when it comes to viewing objects in the sky up close and personal. You may be able to see the moon in some detail, but it’ll really struggle when it comes to planets.
  • Like any reflector telescope, it’s going to take you a while to get it set up properly before you can use it. To avoid this kind of setting up period, then you can think about going for a refractor telescope instead, as they usually come ready to use out of the box.
  • It does come with a viewfinder that you can use with the telescope, but this is also pretty tricky to use if you’ve never used a telescope before. Again, you will get used to using a rangefinder like this one, but it may take you some time.


In conclusion, at a low price I wouldn’t mind opting for this reflector if I was looking to have some fun with the kids. It’s far from perfect and it’s one of the least powerful options available. If you want to make the most of this Carson telescope, then you’re going to be best off pairing it up with a good Barlow lens and eyepieces too. This way, you’ll be able to get a good wide field view without any attachments, and you can use them whenever you want to get a better view.

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