18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2011
This is a great telescope, especially for the price. I see the other reviewer thinks this telescope has a "flimsy" tripod, but that seems more like a personal problem with construction. Mine was very sturdy. As for the viewfinder, this can also be adjusted. All you have to do is look at the moon which takes just a few minutes, and then use the fine tuning manual adjusters to completely center the dot on the moon. It's pretty simple.
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2013
Within limits, this is a fantastic bargain basement scope worthy of using for our moon, Jupiter, etc. $80 at Kohls today and I had this thing zeroed in after dinner. If you have a IQ beyond double digits, you can figure this out (even w/o Cub Scout astronomy experience). The low-rating reviews are funny here. Don't blame your ineptitude on this simple telescope. I have a Celestron 11 Inch CPC Schmidt-Cassegrain which is some serious night glass so I know a little of what I am doing here. This will be a great little telescope for dragging on camping trips this summer. Hey, at $80, I can afford to bang it up at the cost of an eyepiece for my 11." For the very casual observer, do not be afraid, you cannot go wrong here. Happy star hunting!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2013
This scope provides more aperture for your dollar than any scope, with good optical quality and a decent tripod.
However, it can't aim at the zenith like a dob can. The AZ mount is simpler to use than an EQ mount, but is better if you remove the vertical fine adjustment rod and drill two new holes to move the tube forwards 2 inches for balance. The fork knobs tighten to give it good friction for slewing.
The Huygen eyepieces have half the apparent field of view of a Plossl, and have lateral chromatic aberration, making Jupiter red on one side and blue on the other as it nears the edge of the view. However, I clearly saw the great red spot in the 6mm eyepiece when Jupiter was in the center of view. A 10mm or 6mm Plossl has very short eye relief. There are 5 eyepieces, and a shorty 3x barlow, inside a foam cushioned hard plastic outside case. HM25, H20, H12.5, H8, SR4. They have metal barrels, double caps, and blackened and baffled insides.
It took me less than 4 minutes to assemble.
It is so light I can carry it with one hand with my arm parallel to the ground. But a kid can knock it over easily too, if they push it the wrong direction. The tripod is much steadier than that of cheap refractors, but not as steady as a heavy equatorial mount. The joints are machined with tight tolerances to minimize wiggle.
The Newtonian eyepiece being higher than that of a refractor makes it much easier to use.
The solid metal fork rotates very smoothly even at 150x, as though the coefficient of static friction and of kinetic friction are very close to the same. This is unlike the fork of my $20 GSI 60mm refractor, which moved in discrete amounts. The rotation can be locked in place by a knob on the fork neck. I had no trouble aiming it at the top of a distant radio tower even with the 6mm eyepiece. It went right into the middle of the view, and did not show much vibration.
Fine control is available for vertical panning. It can be disengaged for course aiming. However, the fine control can slip with age, and the torque of the mirror is a problem. I removed the rod, moved the tube forward for balance, and now just slew it vertically with pure friction.
The scope comes with a red dot finder, which makes aiming very easy once it is aligned. I can hit Jupiter at 150x. The brightness goes from very dim to bright in continuous amounts. Or you can aim by looking down the tube and still be accurate at 150x.
The focuser is 1.25", single speed and metal, and feels solid. Only the knob is plastic.
User guide, registration option, and astronomy software CD are included.
I can take the scope outside in less than a minute, point it at Jupiter at 150x in another 20 seconds, have a good look, and then fold it back up in 10 seconds and bring it back inside.
I also used this to look at many deep sky objects, including the Andromeda galaxy.
One big downside to this scope is it can't aim at the Zenith. A dob can.
Collimation is easy, since the secondary and primary mirrors have hand knobs for adjustment, so no tools are needed.
I aimed this scope at a tree 200 yards away, and used 150x to see clean detail on the tree as though I were standing right there.
My next scope will likely be a StarBlast 6, so I can point at the zenith. It is just large enough I can sit on the ground next to it. The Powerseeker is better for show planets to passerby's.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
This is the Kohls edition of the Celestron 114 using an AZ mount. The telescope is supposed to come with a red dot finder and 5 eye pieces. I got a standard finder with black cross hairs and 2 eye pieces. The instructions were clear and had good information. For a beginner, like myself, it was helpful. It even had some detailed information on collimating the scope. While the telescope did function well, I would have preferred the other higher power eye pieces in between the 20mm and 4mm to get a little better magnification. The 3x Barlow lens is too much on most occasions, so it did me no good.
The tripod is not the best, but when extended only about half way I didn't have much of an issue. It was fairly easy to operate and sat well on concrete and grass.
I was able to align the finder scope during the day. Being a standard finder the images are upside down and backwards. This is normal, but is why I wanted a red dot finder. If I bumped the finder it went out of alignment rather easily. The plastic screws against the plastic housing did not provide a lot of bite. It was okay, but still touchy. I had bumped the finder one night and it went out of alignment just slightly. It was rather difficult to realign since the black cross hairs do not work well at night.
I was able to spot Jupiter one night and see the cloud lines on the planet. It was a new moon, so no moon exploring was available. I will be returning this scope due to the misrepresentation and find something else. For the price of this scope, it's a good deal, but since it was misrepresented and didn't include parts and accessories I expected, it goes back.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2012
I purchased this telescope as a Black Friday "bargain." I wish I had researched it first. The telescope might be "okay" for an entry level telescope, but the tripod is not sturdy enough to hold the weight of this scope firmly enough to make the slight adjustments or focus in on the target. It took me over an hour to get it set up correctly (after assembly). A very slight breeze or a slight touch will knock this thing way off its target. While that's not a big deal when looking at the moon, it sure makes focusing on the stars difficult!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2014
This is a great telescope, especially considering the price, which is ~$75 online. The one I got (not from Amazon) included a 5x24 crosshair finder, a 3x Barlow (which triples the magnification), and 2 eyepieces - a 4mm SR, and a 20mm H. (These are the same eyepieces that are included with the Firstscope, so look at the reviews there for more information.) The tripod is aluminum, and while light, is stable. Despite the claims on the box of 675x!!!, the highest useful magnification for this telescope is actually 260x, as stated in the manual. (Which is still only useful for the moon - the higher the magnification, the dimmer the image.) The only issue with this package is that the tripod is not a very good mount. It vibrates in even the lightest breeze. But when the air is still, and you're careful to not bump it, you can get some really good views. My telescope came collimated - the mirrors were aligned and didn't need any adjustment.
Best telescope deal currently available
Good views - big aperture, good focal ratio
Light but sturdy
Came well packaged and mirrors were properly aligned
Finderscope is useful
Tripod doesn't hold the telescope steady in even a light wind
Included eyepieces are bad
Conclusion: Highly recommended for <$100.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2014
The telescope has good optics. Even though the mirror is spherical, at F/8 it provides virtually distortion free views. The biggest issue with this scope is the mount. It's extremely thin and there is excessive shake. The Optical tube hinge is in the center of the tube when 80% of the tube weight is mirror. I added some weights in the front to balance the tube. Put 5 LB weight in the accessory try. With those two changes I was able to observe about 60 X but beyond that it was miserable.
The scope is capable of 114 X or even 150 X magnification but that is impossible to achieve when everything is shaking. The included Eyepieces are plastic junk and so is the finder. I already own several telescopes, so I had plenty of eyepieces and finders lying around that I could use.
If you are prepared to make modifications or already have heavy duty mounts where you can mount the tube this is not a bad deal.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2014
Purchased this telescope when it was on sale at less than $50. I do have homebuilt 16" Dobsonian but for my children it is way too big and heavy to operate. This telescope is very lightweight and quick to grab in comparison. Kids love it and have no problems on operating it.
The optics (mirrors) are good quality. After shipping it only needed little collimating adjustment. The eyepieces are the typical cheap parts that ships with starter telescopes. I didn't even try them, while I have no doubt they would work. (Normally the cheap eyepieces have narrow field of view, and also eye relief with short focal lengths will be very short.) The focuser in this telescope is plastic and very basic type. It is a bit flimsy but fortunately not too flimsy to hold normal quality eyepieces. It accepts the standard 1.25" eyepieces, the same ones I use with my other telescope.
The base is the biggest disappointment as most reviewers have commented. The biggest issue is that the pivot point is in the middle of the telescope tube which is not the center point considering weight balance. Using heavier eyepieces helps a little to balance it, but still the tube wants to swing up especially when observing objects closer to horizon. If they did place the pivot point closer to balance point would have given the 5th star. Also the tripod legs interfere with the telescope tube when observing objects high in the sky.
As stated with current prices this offers tremendous bang for the buck. As expected all the parts and construction are about as cheap as they can be. Fortunately the quality is still sufficient to make this usable telescope. If you are interested in astronomy and don't want to spend more than $100 then you should be seriously considering this telescope.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2013
I only bought this scope because it only cost me $89.00 on black friday at Kohls. I recognize a steal when I see one. The scope was very easy to set up, and was viewing in no time. The eyepieces are not that great, but you can't complain for the money. The only issue I have is with the altazimuth mount. I was able to find Great Orion Nebula, Jupiter and Andromeda Galaxy very easily (not hard to find anyways), but to keep the scope where you point it is very difficult, and I'm not talking about tracking. As soon as you let go of the scope, it drifts, not because of sky rotation, it just doesn't stick to where you are pointing it. I'll fiddle with the knob adjustments and tinker with it some more to try and remedy this, but this could drive anyone away from astronomy due to frustration. I still give it 4 stars, because of the scope itself.
on July 3, 2015
Perfect small telescope. fun! There is a lot of Magic in This scope. I gave it 5 stars for the price and what it does. If anyone gives this scope a bad rating then they probably never had an expensive scope and tripod to compare it to. This is a good scope for a small town farm kid that wants to experience more than pigs and chickens. So if your a small town kid, ignore the bad ratings and buy this scope. Set it up out by the ditch near the corn and stay up all night.