The following three animated GIFs (please allow some time for them to load; it’s two 1-second frames each) show how vast and overwhelming the difference between a $300 and a $30,000 telescope can be.

I don’t need to tell you which is which, but know that one frame was shot with an 80 mm semi-apochromatic refractor telescope, and the other with a 400 mm Riccardi-Honders reflector.

The first to GIFs are crops that let you appreciate the impressive difference in detail, and the last one shows you the true extension of the galaxy, M101, which truly appears twice as large with the large telescope.

Enjoy the show and be patient while both frames of each image load!

(original images: with the 80ED by yours truly, and with the RILA 400 by Giovanni Paglioli)