Most helpful positive review
93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
Review based on 6 months using this scope
on 3 August 2012
This is a fantastic beginners refractor telescope. I bought this for my sons 8th birthday earlier this year. Unfortunately we just missed out on the clear skies we had in March with the Jupiter Venus conjunction. That said we've had a few clear skies since then to get good use out of the scope where we have seen some fabulous views of the moon, Jupiter, Venus & Saturn.
I would highly recommend an additional purchase of the Celestron eyepiece set to use with this scope. The refractor comes with two eyepieces, a 20mm & 10mm. The 20mm is ok but the 10mm in my opinion is a poor eyepiece. Since purchasing the eyepiece set I don't think I have bothered with either of the two included eyepieces as the set one's are far better quality (in particular the 32mm eyepiece). Getting back to the telescope I was impressed with the build quality of both the tripod and scope. The tripod is an Alt-Azimuth. At first I regretted not getting an equatorial mount for the scope which is recommended over the Alt-Azimuth for astronomy. I'm not so bothered about it now as I find the tripod very easy to set up which means I can get it out of the house and into the garden quickly. My son has also used the scope for spotting on the seafront which an Alt-Azimuth is recommended for so you now have more than one use for the telescope. Perhaps in the future we may purchase an equatorial mount when it's time to upgrade but this suits us perfectly for now.
The scope has a dove tail mount for the tripod, I noticed some reviewers complain about the scope wobbling at the mount which I have also experienced but I got round this by taking my time carefully mounting the scope to the tripod. Once done you don't really need to do this again as I tend to put the telescope away by removing the tray and collapsing the tripod legs rather than removing the scope from the tripod.
With the stock 20mm eyepiece you will see Jupiter and it's four largest moons, the phases of Venus, Saturn with it's rings visible and as expected with most telescopes very clear close up images of the moon. I think this is excellent for what is a sub £100 telescope.
There are of course things not to like at this price range. I've already commented on what I think about the stock eyepieces. My only other gripe is with the diagonal which has a cheap plastic feel to it. It's perfectly functional but I found over time it loosened with the screws not doing a good job of holding it tightly to the back of the scope. I ended up replacing this for a better quality celestron diagonal which cost about £25. Money well spent.
Hopefully you can see an image I have attached of the moon taken with a compact camera mounted to this telescope via a 32mm eyepiece. Definitely recommend upgrading your eyepieces, that said at less than £100 this is the scope to get and perfect for starting out in Astronomy.
Update - 19-Sep-2012 :-
Just like to add that I recently purchased a Telrad red dot finder to use with this telescope which I'm very glad I did as it helped me locate the Andromeda Galaxy last night! Seeing conditions were as good as they get with no moon but still some light pollution what with living 35 miles outside of London and near an airport. People who say that this scope is limited to just solar objects are wrong! You can use this for viewing Deep Sky Objects (DSO) as well. Ok Andromeda was just a faint grey smudge but I still managed to locate it with this telescope using the stock 20mm eyepiece. Simply amazing!