on July 17, 2009
[...] Originally I got it for myself, and once it came I proceeded to open it up and put it through it's paces.
It came with a few different lens atachments with varying degrees of magnification. I used the first lens to look down a long street and could clearly read the street sign and people's licenses plates over on the next street.
I used the next lens atachment, and I could see even further down that street and pick up details in the grout of their brickwork.
Once nightfall hit, I used the 3rd and most powerful lens in combination with the 3x barlow lens, and was lucky enough to have a full moon that night. The detail available in the moon was really incredible. I could see many craters and holes and different peaks and vallys, it really made me form a closer connection with our moon. Yes you can look at pictures, and some take with far more powerful zoom... but actually beholding it with your own eyes personally is a completely different experience, it's a little tough to understand unless you've actually done that yourself.
Anyways, I live in the city and there's not much to look at other than other people's houses, and since I'm not a peeping tom / voyeur, or some kind of spy, I decided to pack this up and send it to my mother as a gift. She lives in Florida on a lakefront, and she has a very nice view across a very large lake. So she can watch wildlife, and there is much less city lights in her area so even celestial viewing I'm sure would be better.
She called me and was very excited to receive this out of the blue, she didn't mind that I had already used it. I figured she would get much more use out of this than I could.
The included tripod isn't anything fantastic, but it gets the job done. Since it's lightweight and inexpensive, it does tend to move around, so you have to be careful when useing the really powerful lens because a small shake or shift will cause you to lose your target. At least it comes with a tripod at all.
It also comes with a 3x barlow lens that I mentioned, which will triple the magnification power of each individual lens, which can make for some pretty powerful magnification.
The included software seems powerful, I installed it, but didn't have much of a chance to mess around with it much, but it contains a mind boggling amount of information about celestial objects. The learning curve of the software seemed somewhat steep for newbies, but with some studious application of wit, I'm sure almost any novice could conquer it.
Overall, I would recommend this telescope to a beginner, as it can open up a world of astronomy for them, and if nothing else, they will have a nice little toy to do some casual moon gazing or wildlife viewing.
on June 16, 2011
Let me preface this review by saying that this is an under $100.00 telescope. With that considered, let me say that this may be one of the best values available in that price range. I opened the box and was pleased to see that everything was perfectly packaged as if I had pay 5x the price for it. Everything was pretty solid. There are some plastic parts, but they are not the important ones. The finder scope is plastic as well but it works and you won't be looking through that much anyways.
I regularly use a higher end 10" Dobsonian reflector, so there is no comparison, but I wouldn't take my expensive scope over to the beach at night and expose it to sand and salt either ( no light pollution over the ocean ). The lenses supplied are better than expected, except that a 9 or 10mm might be more appropriate than a 4mm, but once again....consider the price. The tripod and fork mount are rather stable and the views are great ! I think that the contrast and clarity are great as well as the overall construction of the main tube. The focuser is not the best, but works, and with a little TLC will get you where you need to be.
I was lucky enough to grab mine last week when Amazon had them for only $59.00, so I really lucked out !!!! If you are looking for a solid yet simple beginner, travel, super portable, or backup scope and don't want to spend a fortune - BUY THIS !!!! - You will not regret it.
on March 12, 2012
I began looking for a telescope to buy because I love the stars and every other celestial object in the night sky. I was looking for a telescope to for me to view these objects, as well as see objects around the yard and also in the back of our property (20 Acres clear) I decided to pick this one up and I am not disappointed.
* Easy assembly. Only took about ten minutes before it was up and working as pictured.
* For the price, this scope has a great clear image of the moon and a decent one of Jupiter and other planets.
* Swivel works well, as long as you tighten everything properly.
* Eye pieces and entire scope seem to be well-made with only a few pieces being plastic.
* Fast shipping and everything was packed extremely well. Came inside of a box, inside of another box!
* Tripod is actually above the quality I would have expected and it sits a good four feet above the ground unlike some other scopes that sit too low.
* Comes with a DVD to show you how to find the stars and other objects.
* Can be used to view night objects, and also to see what your neighbor is doing down the road!
* The screws on the scope seem to come loose easily and I have to adjust them.
* The finder's scope is plastic, and this does not bother me, but if everything else is made well, why is this piece made with any less integrity?
* Does not come with a moon or planet filter like other telescopes of the same price, but an additional kit can be purchased.
* Instructions are a little complicated, but nothing a Google search cannot fix.
Overall this product is a solid 5 stars out of 5. If you are willing to spend a little more money, grab the Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope. It is usually about $20 more and is basically the same thing, but it has a Pan Handle swivel mount. I promise, with both of these telescopes one cannot go wrong for the money.
Also, if you would like an accessory kit, grab the Celestron PowerSeeker Accessory Kit Telescope. It adds the moon and planet filter along with a few more eyepieces of different magnitudes.
on October 14, 2004
I am pleasantly surprised by the telescope I got for the price. It was intended for casual observing and I am getting a lot of enjoyment out of it. It has all the accessories needed for viewing. High powered eyepiece, low powered eyepiece, adjustable tripod (stable for this size) and fine adjustment control for easy panning. I have shopped telescopes before and noticed that the tripods and eyepieces aren't too good in quality. But this one is different. I love the way it is easy to use for land viewing and gives nice views of the moon and its craters, specially when I use the high powered eyepiece. Its pretty lightweight so I can take it outside easily. It assembles easily and in my opinion is a very easy to use telescope. Overall, a nice telescope at a great price.
on November 17, 2010
You can't beat the price on this simple beginner telescope. And the Celestron company has an impeccable reputation. The optics of this scope are excellent and that counts for a lot. The mount is a bit shaky where the scope attaches to the tripod but the tripod itself is sturdy.So I recommend you use this on stable ground, not on a deck.
Viewing through it is pretty good. I can see good definition of craters on the moon, the mid band of jupiter and the jovian satellites. Some of the more popular night sky objects such as m13 and m31 are also pretty well viewed.
Good gift for a child and a good value. WIth something like this though you have to get yourself a book too. You don't want to just take it outside and start looking around. There are a lot of things out there and you need a map or book to tell you where they are.
This scope has two critical flaws:
1. The 50mm (2") objective is too small to be useful. You'd be better off getting a pair of 7x50 binoculars.
2. The mount is unsuitable for astronomy use. It's far too wobbly, and the design, which puts the center of mass far above the pivot, makes it impossible to track objects.
There are two far better choices in a beginner's telescope that are not only more stable and have a bigger objective- they're cheaper, too! One is the Celestron 21024 FirstScope Telescope, which is currently under $30. Another is the FunScope 76mm Tabletop Reflector Telescope for under $40. Both are more rugged, easier to use, have more light gathering power, and will provide much more satisfaction and enjoyment for the beginning astronomer.
on March 23, 2010
We purchased this telescope for our son as an 8th birthday present. We were a little skeptical due to the scope being so inexpensive. Not wanting to spend a fortune on a telescope if our son was not interesed, this one had the right price. We definitely make the right choice. We are thrilled with the quality! We can see the moon so clear and in great detail. We and our son love using it. I would highly recommend this scope as first.
on April 30, 2014
First off I have tried and tried and never seen the rings of Saturn through this scope. It was given to me as a gift and I am rather impressed considering they purchased it for $40 somehow at a big name store that sounds as if walls are all it sells. And for the value as a first scope I would've paid $70-$80 for it.
Things you should know. When looking out into the cosmos above, you will find there is only one focus level required for the one good lens it comes with. If you keep it at that it will give you the best optical view no matter what you look at up there, beyond our moon. The lenses that come with it make excellent candle holders, lol. Basically I use the largest lens available since the rest only make things smaller, and virtually unviewable.
If you want to view planets like Mars, Jupiter, Venus, etc. It has pro's and con's... For instance I can see the bands on Jupiter and I'm about 10 miles west of downtown Tampa. In between Tampa, Clearwater, and St Petersburg, Florida. So my views are often obstructed with higher levels of light pollution. Yet I can see the bands on Jupiter as well as make out 3 of it's moons. It cannot make out the rings of Saturn or any detail on Mars. Both look like little orange or tan/grey blips (Most people Ive shown say they look like brighter stars, lol.)
So don't expect too much and you wont be too disappointed. But if you are afraid to buy something really good until you knew what type of scope you could use to optimize your viewing enjoyment, I'd say go for it.
As far as any flaws.... Mine has a few. But it's to be expected from a store like the type it was bought from. I have little bits of things inside the scope, as well as a piece of something that always hovers next to my edge of the image. The tripod is ok, but its a bit of work to use. Myself, I am one-handed since losing the use of my left arm about 3 years ago, and I can use it how it is meant to be used. So no one else should complain hahahaha.
All in all it gave me a little perspective as to what scope I would like to buy next once I can save up the money to do so. So if you are nervous and don't know which one to buy, then start small and use it a LOT!
I live for the stars. in the sky as if they died to create me. :) It has healed my mind and my soul. So when I buy a new scope I will give this one to someone that cannot afford it and if you buy this then later on upgrade to a better one, please do the same. This universe is amazing. And I couldnt have normally afforded this scope on my own right now. But it got me hooked. So I will eat Ramen for the next 8 months 5 times a week in order to get a better scope and hopefully look at the rings of Saturn and maybe a nebula or two. After all what is the point of looking up if we cannot at least see Saturn's rings. :P
on October 26, 2012
Let me first make this clear, this is a telescope that is fairly inexpensive (at least compared to some others out there). but with my Prime account for only $62, this telescope is well worth what I paid, perhaps a tad more.
Compared with my ETX-90 this doesn't hold a candle but, this telescope did impress me.
#1) Mostly metel, except for the viewfinder (which is the first thing I replace) , so it's sturdy which is a large plus.
#2.) This came with a 3x 1.25mm Barlow lens, which for the price is really nice, I'd recommend the Celestron PowerSeeker Accessory kit, which is well worth 20 or 30 Dollars.
#3.) the base was more than I expected, and was in whole easy to set up and adjust.
#4) total setup time was about 30 minutes on a lazy afternoon, oh and if you have difficulties and think the manual is written in Martian please refer to google.
Here is what I didn't not like about it:
*doesn't come with lens filters (but not related to the product itself).
*Damages easily if it gets too dewy
So Overall, This telescope marks a 4/5 on my list, it's for someone who is just coming into astronomy, don't expect Hubble like images.
When You buy this telescope, I definitely Recommend the Accessory kit, a Telrad Viewfinder, A Case for sure (if they have them, I'm sure they do). A Do-it yourself dew shield, (just use a manilla folder). get those and your set.
on July 29, 2013
I've only used this telescope for two nights now, so while I don't really have extensive time with it, I'll say preliminary impressions are fairly favorable, and at least about what I expected. I have been looking around for a telescope for a little while, and while I know I'll be graduating to a larger, more expensive telescope, I wanted something small to start off with. So far, I feel like this little guy has done its job, though someone in a similar situation might want to take the cons that are there into consideration, and splurge on something a little more with a tad more quality.
PRO'S: Think you might just be casually interested in astronomy, and don't want to sink a whole lot of money into equipment right away? Well, this unit might be good for familiarizing and getting your feet wet and see if you're more interested swimming in deeper waters. The first night out, I did a short viewing session, and ended up training the scope on what I learned was Lambda Scorpii, aka Shaula, in the constellation Scorpius. The second night, I noticed that Saturn was within my field of view from my back porch, so I decided to give'r a shot, not knowing just what this $40 scope could show me. Turns out, even with the lower power 20mm (45x) and 12.5mm (75x) eye pieces, I could clearly distinguish Saturn and its rings! I didn't, however have so much luck aquiring Saturn with the 4mm (225x) eyepiece, (more on that in a bit). After viewing Saturn, I retrained the scope on Antares, also in the constellation Scorpius. I've only been out two nights, and I feel already that this thing is already giving me my money's worth. I haven't even tried this thing on any other planets or the moon yet. In two days, I've learned more about two stars in their respective constellation, and have been able to view a planet. From my back porch, In a mid sized city at that. I certainly didn't expect to see Saturn so well.
CONS: As another reviewer has pointed out, this thing, while pleasantly light-weight, does wobble quite a bit. Even a mild breeze is enough to disturb your viewing. As this is my first telescope, I don't really know what price range you'd be looking at to get a set up that doesn't have this problem. Also, acquisition of your subject will be rather difficult. The spotter scope included will take quite a bit of "zeroing" to line up with the telescope itself. Plus, there isn't a sophisticated way to train the scope on a celestial object; you're just manually directing it. This is, actually, fairly tricky. A big reason I haven't used the higher powered included eye pieces yet is because trying to get on target and stay on target with the more powerful pieces (i.e. smaller, more narrow field of view) takes too long. By the time you've gotten close to being reasonably centered and focused, the object might have already moved out of the field of view. Plus, the whole time, you are dealing with the aforementioned wobblyness. Again, I don't know just how much more you'll spend to get a set up that doesn't give you this trouble.
Conclusion: It seems that, while the scope itself is of reasonable enough quality to be able to deliver fairly good views of the sky, the tripod mount and manual acquisition may be too much of a negative for some. It may be more worth-while to save up an additional forty bucks to get something with a better tripod and mount. So far, I've gotten a fair amount of enjoyment for my $40, but I also know that I will be graduating at some point to a more sophisticated set up. I'll add to my review as I gain experience with it.