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Customer Review

447 of 467 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good starter scope, not so great eyepieces, August 21, 2009
This review is from: Celestron 21024 FirstScope Telescope (Electronics)
I bought this telescope to gain some experience with telescope optics before spending "real" money on a more powerful instrument. In that capacity, this really is the perfect thing to buy. Celestron really did go to some trouble to design a decent telescope, but for under $50, you can expect to bump into the limitations fairly quickly. If you are trying to learn about telescope optics, this is actually a good thing -- you will learn as much from what this telescope cannot do as from what it can.

However, if you buying it to do astronomy (rather than to learn about optics), some advice :

1) Do *not* buy the accessory kit. There is no way you can get your head into a position where you could use the spot finder. Unless you are a squirrel.

2) *Do* buy some better eyepieces and a Barlow.

With the included eyepieces, Jupiter is a fuzzy orange circle. With a better eyepiece and a Barlow, I could see the bands, the Great Red Spot and the poles.

The weakness of this telescope is the included the eyepieces. However, in my opinion, you could throw them in the garbage and the FirstScope would still be a bargain. Eyepieces are replaceable, and you can use them on just about any other telescope.
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Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 29, 2009 2:05:49 PM PDT
Babis says:
Hi, could you recommend a specific type of Barlow and eyepiece? Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2009 12:18:26 PM PDT
I recommend going to ebay and search on "celestron plossl" ... these are very nice quality beginner eyepieces that work very well on the planets and the moon. I have signicantly more expensive eyepieces and still find occasions where I will plug one of these in. I would recommend the 15mm. I would then look for something in the 4, 6 or 9mm range (just remember the more powerful eyepiece, the more sensitive your views will be to changing atmospheric / weather conditions). Also note that you will see Celestron plossls that are a step up from the standard plossls (celestron omni and excel eyepiece lines)... these are nice but will cost more and are not necessary to get you going. The standard plossl is a well designed quality eyepiece.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2009 3:50:47 PM PDT
T. Crosby says:
The scope comes with the 4mm and 20mm. If the lower the number = better magnification, wouldn;t the 4mm be the best? I agree that Jupiter only looks like a blur of light. I would really like to see it in greater detail. Any tips would be nice. I did the search on ebay like you suggested, but not really sure about them. Thanks.

Posted on Dec 24, 2009 11:33:00 PM PST
Hi, would this be a good buy for this telescope?
Celestron Accessory Kit
i would be very appreciative of your opinion.

Posted on Dec 25, 2009 11:12:20 PM PST
A. Morrow says:
I can't thank you enough, Russell! I bought this for my son and on your advice, bought a 2x barlow and a pretty good zoom eyepiece. Sure, I dropped $130 on glass and only $40 on the telescope, but the difference between the included eyepieces was AMAZING. The moon went from a poloroid dot to a razor sharp photo. The difference is incredible and I'm very aware that the eyepieces I bought will follow me to my son's NEXT telescope as well so there's just no downside!

Thank you so much for the great advice!

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 8:44:41 PM PST
Kyla's Mom says:
Hi Russell,
Can you please give me advise on what added pieces to buy for this scope? My daughter just got this as a gift for Christmas, and can't see anything. Barlow, what size? Eyepieces? Sorry for the same question, again!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2009 10:39:06 PM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jan 7, 2010 4:57:40 AM PST
SORmom says:
We bought this for our son for Christmas based on your advice. It's great, he loves it. We are going to try the better eye pieces and barlow when the weather warms up a little. Thanks for posting a helpful review.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2010 12:38:27 PM PDT
Amy says:
I do not know much about telescopes but my 9 year old daughter is very interested in looking at the stars and would love to see any planet! I am going to purchase this telescope for her birthday but have no idea what type of eye piece i should look for. Could you make any recommendations? I do not mind spending a little more on the eye piece considering the scope is priced so reasonably.

Thank you for any info you can offer!


In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2010 12:54:19 PM PDT
A. Morrow says:
I found that the following worked best for me and my son:
A Celestron 93230 8 to 24mm 1.25 Zoom Eyepiece. This lets you zoom out a bit for finding your subject, then tighten that knob on the side to stop from losing it and zoom in quite a bit. $57.30 (today)
Celestron 93230 8 to 24mm 1.25 Zoom Eyepiece
A Barlow lens is one that will magnify your image FURTHER. In my case, it is only REALLY useful when you're really picky about getting up close and personal (or at least as much as you can with a beginner's scope)
I have this one. Today it's $61.30
Celestron Ultima Barlow Lens

Remember that these lenses can be re-used with other telescopes if your daughter decides this is just great and wants to keep it up, so it's no money wasted. If on a budget, just get the zoom lens.

Finally - even in the lowest zoom setting, the zoom lens will be quite a bit more than the included lenses. It can be VERY useful to keep the zoom lens handy, find your subject with the included low power lens and center it, then pop in the zoom lens to do your stargazing. Given that I don't have an attached spotting scope, this can often be the only way to get a small subject in view.

Hope she enjoys it! Happy stargazing!
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