on November 30, 2013
Pretty nice starter telescope. I don't know much about telescopes but I'm happy so far. No complaints. Relatively easy to set up and easy to move around. I put it up on the roof along with a 6-pack and I'm up there every night.
on December 12, 2007
I opted for this telescope to get an idea of the quality of product Celestron produces before investing in a more high-tech and larger telescope.
Out of the box, there were parts missing and broken. Celestron wants you to call about product problems and not return merchandise. I tried calling tech support four times and was on hold for over 90 minutes each time before being disconnected.
I submitted a ticket on their website. That was over a month ago and still no answer.
The scope I bought was sturdy and quite heavy and still worked with the broken pieces. The directions required some medium skill, so if your not technically inclined, avoid this telescope. In addition, the telescope is difficult to maneuver and use so be prepared there as well.
But I would seriously encourage anyone interested in a telescope to do thorough research on the different manufacturers before settling on a Celestron. I'm not giving this scope a poor rating, but if I had any idea about Celestron's customer service, I would have NEVER considered them in the first place. Buyer Beware!!
on February 5, 2014
I bought this telescope after ages of stargazing, but I finally decided to go ahead and buy one, this was the right choice, now that I've been an astronomer for over 6 months I wish I would have learned more helpful tips of this earlier.
- Don't use the latitude control on the mount, that is the screw that causes the scope to angle itself up or down, set that to your current latitude on the earth and leave it like that.
- Learn how to use Right Ascension and Declination, that will make finding things in the sky so much easier, just say look up Messier 31 (the Andromeda Galaxy), find the right ascension and declination of that, and you are pointing at it
- For right ascension and declination, you have to polar align, this is done by setting the latitude control (AKA the thing I was referring to in the first tip) and point the telescope towards the north, you should be looking at Polaris! (the North Star) and then after that try some right ascension and declination and you should be looking at what you want. If you are not pointing you need to change the declination to negative or positive depending on what way it is, so don't panic if you polar align it and you point it at say M31 and it's not showing, you're just pointing it the wrong way.
That being said, this is an amazing beginners scope, easy to set up and take outside, you can see some beautiful things like the rings of Saturn, the stars of Pleiades, and much more!
on December 24, 2013
The telescope has excellent performance for beginners and amateurs, you can see Jupiter and its moons. However, I received a used telescope instead of a new one. Cleaning cloth was used, mirrors were clouded by some cloth (someone cleaned it), the plastic bags where previously opened and tore, several minor scratches on plastic moldings, specially on the eyepieces. I paid for a new one not for a used one. Since I have no time for sending it back, I will keep it. But I recommend you to avoid the purchase of this item for that single reason.
Addendum 8th January 2014: I have read several complaints about this telescope, well, that's not true. The telescope has an excellent performance if you are a beginner in astronomy and despite what is said, this is not a toy.
If you want to introduce yourself in astronomy, you have to know how to maintain this apparatus and the key point in this telescope is COLLIMATION, most of the critics do not know how to collimate this telescope. They just ignore that point. This telescope needs to be collimated by using Barlow collimation technique, which is easy and quick if you use a laser collimator, which cost around USD 40, also an astronomy club member could collimate it without cost. So, be aware this is not a toy, you need to learn how to use it and how to collimate it.
on December 1, 2009
Bought in Sept09 from a different site. Paid $127. No prior experience with astronomy or telescopes but I've wanted one my whole life. I am a technical person (work with and repair mass spectrometers for a living). I only provide that info so you understand that this isn't the easiest thing to get in to. You have to want it. Try to read up on how to use a German EQ mount before you start. It will pay off quickly if you do. I've had trouble with numerous things but have always been able to make it work to some degree and it gets way better with more experience. In my opinion the EQ127 is a great scope for the price. Yes, the finder stinks, the eye pieces you have to choose from stink (only the 20mm is really useful), the mount and tripod aren't great but they work. What did you expect for $100 or $150? Bottom line is that it works and is not a piece of junk. Jupiter and it's moons are easy. The moon is insane (much better with some shadows when it's not full). If you try to view it when it's full or mostly full it will practically blind you because the scope gathers so much light. You will want/need to spend another $200-$300 on accessories like eye pieces,filters, and a collimator to really get into the hobby but this is a great starter set in my opinion. The eye pieces you buy in the future will fit most more expensive scopes. Concerning customer service and robustness....I thought my original EQ mount was broken after a month and a half. I opened a ticket via email with Celestron. They told me it would be $45 to send a replacement. They sent part of of what I needed. I emailed them again. They sent me an entire mount without asking for more money. It turns out it was all my fault. There were adjustmets that I could have made that would have fixed the problem with the original mount. Yes, they should have asked the right questions but didn't, the bottom line is that it's fixed. It took a month. So what. BTW, 2 days ago I tripped and fell on top of the scope and tripod when I was moving it. I weigh 225lbs. It still works. I guess it is pretty tough and can withstand a fall to the ground (;) Now I'm sure I need that collimation tool more than ever.
on February 5, 2005
While the optics of this scope are good, there are quite a few bad things about this telescope. The tripod is shaky, unstable and cheaply produced. The finder scope is flimsy and almost unusable.
The users manual that comes with this scope is not written for beginners. Important topics such as balancing the telescope, polar alignment and collimation (aligning the mirrors) are glossed over and totally unsuitable for a beginner.
I would recommend spending the extra money to buy an Orion Spaceprobe 3 or SPaceprobe 130.
on May 19, 2014
The price was great for this scope especially if you are not sure yet if you want to get into this hobby or if you want to give it as a gift.
you will hear good things and bad thing about this scope but here is my experience with other scopes and this one.
I have had a more expensive scope in the past and quite honestly this one was very comparable to the expensive model. there are plenty of upgrades out there for this scope that will make this scope pretty competitive for the price. the only draw back is the base it is shaky but that can be resolved in two ways either purchase a more stable tripod or base or get some foot stabilizers for it which is cheaper than a new tripod.the other drawback is the finder it is very cheap and yes you will want to replace it. with a better one if your gonna get extremely serious about star gazing. it will give you a general direction in the sky but you must remember the image will be backward to the image from the actual scope and can be frustrating at times. I usually use the hole under the finder scope for a finder and thats just about as accurate if not better. as i said this scope is entry level and highly upgradable. so if you want a great scope you can turn this into one as you are financially able to. but for the price it works rather well. and you are not limited to eye pieces either by brand. as long as the aperture is the same size or you buy the sizing apertures you have endless eye pieces to use by preference or brand. this scope also has a camera mounting point on it so if you want to take pics with your camera you can piggyback mount it on the scope itself. Now if you want to use the optics from the scope itself just purchase the T connector and aperture size for your camera and whala you can use the scope as your camera lense. and you can get some amazing pics with this scope. Plus you should calibrate the mirrors on any scope that is shipped to you or if you travel with it to any location before you use it. Thats where you get the comments that say they got the scope and they have a fuzzy image or it won't focus right. and then they are upset and call it a cheap scope. luckily my mirrors were not too badly aligned and it was a quick fix. if you don't know how to align them take it to a shop or take the time to learn how. plenty of resources online. All in all this is a great scope for the price and i recommend it especially if you're a novice or want to get into the hobby cheaply and easily without the sticker shock and the upgradability is nice.
on September 18, 2015
I love this telescope. The aperture is 6" in diameter. I'm accustomed to my Celestron 80mm binoculars, but binoculars just can't see the details of the planets as well as this telescope can. Unfortunately for me there have not been great sky features to view lately, and most of the nights have been too cloudy to view the stars anyway. But, I have been able to test it out with the moon and some stars and nebulae on a few occasions. I can hardly wait until May, June, and July of 2016 when Mars will be at its closest to Earth and mostly in the night sky. At the same time, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn will be better positioned to be viewed.
The major down side is the assembly that is required. I understand this is necessary because of packing for shipping. However, the telescope does come with a mounting screw on top that lets you mount a smartphone. This is particularly useful if you have an app for tracking the sky, like SkEye, or a similar observatory app. When mounted on top it let's you find objects to view.
One picture is of Venus, the crescent shape is because it has phases like the moon does. This has to do with the relationships between the sun to Venus and Earth to Venus -- we're seeing the day and the night sides of Venus. I used the Celestron 8mm to 24mm zoom eyepiece, 3x Barlow, with a sky glow LPR filter and blue filter.
The other picture is of the moon, magnified through a Celestron 8mm to 24mm zoom eyepiece, 3x Barlow, with 50% ND filter, sky glow LPR filter, and the Celestron nebula UHC/LPR (Ultra High Contrast / Light Pollution Reducer) filter all stacked. With the moon when it's zoomed in only about 1/4 to 1/6 of the moon is visible in the telescope.
on January 4, 2006
My recent Christmas experience with the Celestron Powerseeker 114EQ, my first "real" telescope, was a great disappointment. The assembled telescope looked very impressive but functioned poorly. It came without a detailed instruction manual making it difficult to set up, balance, and aim even for a mechanically inclined novice. The plastic finderscope was very cheap, blurry, and hard to align with the main scope. The "equatorial" (EQ) mount knobs moved the scope with jerky motions at times and the scope itself seemed a bit vibration prone on its tripod. Stellar images were blurry and unimpressive (possibly due to mirror misalignment in shipping and/or manufacturing defect) thus other individual scopes may do better than mine in this category. Newtonian reflector type telescope mirrors go out of alignment ("collimation") fairly easily and this scope came without instructions for how to realign them. I returned the telescope within the 30 day refund period and am looking for a better quality and sturdier one like the highly praised Orion Skyquest series or possibly the smaller and more portable Edmund Scientific Astroscan.
on February 2, 2009
I have absolutely zero background with telescopes but was able to get this one together and take a nice look at the moon. Out of the box, it was straightforward to assemble. Because it was already dark, I didn't take the time to align the little finder scope but I still managed to focus the big guy on the moon and a few stars. The view of the moon was pretty solid, in my opinion.
When viewing planets and stars - even using the highest magnification objectives included - the scope vibrates unless you are very still (and maybe hold your breath) so the image bounces wildly. Also, the stars don't seem to magnify to a size that is really more interesting to view through the telescope than they are with a naked eye.
On another good note, this scope makes it very easy to track a star across the sky as the Earth turns. It only requires the turn of a single knob.
Basically, I think this scope is fairly solid given the price. I'm sure I could spend 10X the money and get almost everything I could hope for from a telescope but I'm happy with this one.