Before concluding, here’s a quick word for the beginner who wants to jump right into astrophotography through their new telescope: Don’t! At least, not until you have taken some time to learn the sky and become familiar with operating your scope. Photography of the heavens can be a wonderfully rewarding pastime, but is a combination of art and science with a steep learning curve that can discourage beginners who try to take on too much at once. Of course, if astrophotography is a primary interest there is nothing wrong with selecting a first scope based on its easy adaptability to camera work in the future. While most telescopes can be used for picture-taking (with varying prospects for success), the most important qualifications for a photographic instrument are a rock-solid equatorial mounting, and ease of attaching a camera so that it can be focused. For a variety of technical and economic reasons, compound telescopes of 8" aperture and larger are most popular for photography. They also make fine instruments for general observing.