27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Great scope in general with a few caveats.,
This review is from: Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope (Electronics)
I have revisited my review and dropped 1 star after owning this scope for 2 years now. The 1 star drop to 4 stars is due to the azimuth [horizontal] motor acting erratically now. It will slow down as if it is binding somewhere, then speed way up for periods. Contacting service had me running various basic tests, but all failed, so they gave me an RMA number to send back for repairs. I have decided to wait for winter to return the mount so I won't "miss" it for the 3-4 months of coldest weather, but now being out of warranty, I've no idea how much this repair will cost. I will update this review again after the repair. In any case, since I don't use it all that much, I'd have expected this scope to last a lot longer before this sort of thing happened.
(Original Review starts here)
I have now owned this telescope for 4 months, using it (so far) exclusively on upper Manhattan... yes, NYC! So my experience so far is with the moon and planets. For this, it's a great telescope, bringing out many details quite nicely. Set up was quick and easy to understand. Once set up, I did notice a little tweaking on the alignment [mirror collumation] was needed, and after some indoor alignment, followed by "bright-star" fine tuning, this telescope's fine optics came into full display.
The 2 eyepieces that come with the scope are quite good, but it was with my 7mm Nagler eyepiece that Saturn's rings shone fine, and Jupiter's cloud bands popped right out!
Now, the few caviats: This scope is not good on a windy day as it is prone to vibrations! Vibrations induced from touching the scope to focus quickly disappear so, for normal use, it's quite tolerable. As to the "goto" system: If you're going out just to spot the moon or planets, use the "solar system" alignment. It's quick and only takes one planet or the moon to align. 3-star alignment for multiple object gazing is a bit trickier, but here's the two secrets: The tripod comes with a built-in bubble level. USE IT! If your scope is not level, alignment will fail. Also, make sure your watch is accurate! If you enter the time and it's more than 30-45 seconds off, again, alignment will fail!
Take the time to set up the telescope carefully first [yes, there's a bit of a learning curve, but once you've memorized it, it goes quickly. Yes, you'll have to "fiddle" with their battery compartment cover, but it will pop into place when you've got the 2 battery holders in the right position. Finally, get yourself a really GOOD eyepiece somewhere in the range of 5-8mm for truly spectacular lunar and planetary views. Be prepared to spend $150-$300 for that eyepiece, but then you'll experience this scope's full optical potential!