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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
Style Name: AstroMaster 114EQ Reflector|Change
Price:£139.99+ Free shipping
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 January 2011
[Also see my moon images submitted as user images above]

This is a first telescope for me and a first trip into the world of astronomy. I've wanted a 'scope for years and have wanted to know more about the stars etc, but this is me actually taking the plunge. Possibly the first plunge, depending on this experience.

I researched telescopes over a few weeks and kept coming back to this one. I toyed with 'go-to' scopes but realised that a) that was defeating the object of learning about the skies - I'd just be saying "Show me this, nice. Now show me that." and b) the quality of the 'scope itself would be offest by the cost of the go-to computer. At just over 130 quid (with an RRP of 200 quid) it was in the price bracket I was looking at, and the spec seemed pretty high and ideal for a starter like me.

I wanted to see what I was likley to be able to see with the scope, I wanted to get some idea of just how much of the sky the scope was going to reveal to me that I couldn't see with the naked eye.. it's just a start, by my moon images attached to this product page should help give you some idea of what's acheivable by someone with no experience using a telescope after just an hour of playing around.

Another thing missing in most reviews I read was any mention of how easy it was to take photos through this 'scope. I couldn't find any that review that specifically showed images taken with this'scope and a DSLR... so with this review (and my user images) I'll try to fill that gap in my own small way.

FISRT IMPRESSIONS:

I unpacked the scope and 'set it up' - by which I mean put the bits together - in about 20 minutes. Unpacking was alittle tricky due to the way things were packed with bits poking into other boxes so a bit of care has to be taken to not damage anything. But then, thisis a telescope so you're always going to be careful when handling it!

On the whole it looks like you get a lot for your money - the scope tube and mount are built well and feel solid. But the tripod does seem a little flimsy. Not that it won't hold the scope, there just seems to be a bit of movement from the tripod even when minimally extended.

The 'German Equatorial' mount is also very solid and seems very well built. If the weight of it is anything to go by its good quality, then you have to fit the supplied weights to it! These mounts require a bit more learning than other mount types to use properly, but by loosening the locking bolts a little you can still just swing the scope around to find things before setting things up properly.

The 10mm lens is of very good quality - metal bodied and supplied in a holder. The 20mm lens, on the other hand, is cheap plastic and comes in a plastic bag! The 20mm lens is an erecting lens though, so is useful for lining up on objects if nothing else.

You also get a mounted red dot finder (of which more later), a motor drive (of which more in the next paragraph), and a couple of CDs.

The motor seems a bit flimsy being mounted oon a bit of circuit board and covered in a rubbery plastic cover (not a box, a cover!), but I guess it kind of does the job for basic use. Unfortunately the 9v batter supplied with my scope to power the motor was corroded and dead on unpacking - luckily I had a spare in a drawer to test things with. The motor is now disconnected and will only be reconnected at a later date if I fancy playing with it. The difference in price between the MD model with the motor and the non-MD version was only 6 quid, so I don;t think I wasted my money, but I don;t think it's really needed unless I'm going to try long-exposure astro-imaging.

Another thing to consider with the motor is that there is no easy 'clutch' on the motor to disengage it - you have to loosed the coupling screw between the motor to be able to use the relevent adjustment knob!

Was it a waste of money paying the extra for the motor? At 6 quid I'd have to say no, but don't pay a lot extra for it.

I actually quite like the red dot finder - despite what a lot of people have said. Maybe I will become frustrated by it when I am trying to find fainter objects, but on initial use (after lining up) it actually seems pretty good. A lot of people are mentioning the fact that your can't see the lack rings in the finder at night - you're not supposed to, its a reddot finder not a black ring finder! The black rings help you align the finder with the scope (do it in daylight, center a distand object in the eyepiece manually, then adjust the finder so that the same object is in the center of the two rings when they are concentric - simples!), but in use you sinmply align the two red dots - the brighter one and the dimmer one - with each other and the object. The two dots are created by the same spot being illuminated on the two planes on the finder and therefore you are aligning three points to gain a straight line in line with the scope itself. The more distant the object the more accurate the alignment.

COLLIMATION ON DELIVERY:

It seems my scope has been delivered out of alignment and so needs collimating. One frustration for me is that if the scope arrives out of alignment I don't think I should have to shell out another 40 quid for a collimating eyepiece to be be able to align it! I'm going to try manual collimation just by eye, but I fear I coud be heading for trouble there... we'll see. Essentially I get pretty good images, but they are off to one side of the view through the eyepiece so some tweaking is needed. This isa regular maintenance thing on a Newt Refelctor apparently, so I may as well get learning now!

FIRST USE:

Once the scope was built - I say built as I have not aligned the axes at all or performed a proper collimation so I don't really consider it 'set up' yet - I took a look at the moon.

Even finding the moon can be a bit tricky on a first attempt because the narrow view through the scope even with the 20mm lens is narrower than a newcomer like me is likely to expect. However once I foudn it I was wowed. Sticking the 10mm lens in I was wowed more - the detail I could see was pretty astonishing, ad this was on a pretty hazy night.

SECOND USE - QUICK, GET THE CAMERA!:

A few nights passed that were overcast, and then a completely clear night...

Scope out again and the Celestron 'Omni' Series X2 Barlow Lens had turned up by this time so time get a closer look at the moon.

The photographs I've uploaded to Amazon were taken after about 15 minutes of fiddling around. Remember this scope is not properly collimated yet, and I'm just pointing it usingthe red dot finder and adjusting manually with the slow-mo knobs. Also, the camera, a Pentax K10D Digital SLR Camera with the supplied 18-55mm lens, is just being hand held uin front of the eyepiece to capture these images. No T-adapter, no camera mount, just the camera, the 'scope and a /fairly/ steady hand.

The pictures aren't perfect, but considering how they were taken and only on the second night of using the 'scope (and the fact that they are actually taken through a window!) I think they are pretty good, and show off well that this 'scope is capable of very good things.

When set up properly I imagine the quality of the viewed image will improve further, and with an SLR mount I may well be capturing far better images as well. Though it's worth considering that the Barlow Lens is apparently required on this telescope to increase the focal distance to the secondary mirror to a length that your SLR will be able to focus on - that's from reading forums and reviews elsewhere, I haven't tried it yet myself.

CONCLUSION:

I'm really looking forward to getting to know the telescope over the next few months (I am expecting to have to learn - but that's the point! next stop EQ mount alignment...) and am looking forward to what it will show me. I've already recommended this scope to friends, with the caveat that I really don't know what I'm talking about! But if I can see what I am seeing, and take the pictures I am taking with this kit when I really don't know what I'm talking about, imagine what can be done with it when you do know.

Very pleased with this purchase - and it looks great sat in the back bedroom just waiting to show me more!
review image review image
1717 comments| 256 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 December 2014
I was brought this telescope for a graduation present and boy am I happy with it. Here is my opinion:
It will take you a while to get used to it (and you will need to put effort in to understand how to use it properly, but once you do, it's a dream (for a first scope). You should check out my blog www(dot)Jackedwardlee(dot)com . Here, I keep an astronomy log book of everything I have seen. If you have any specific questions, ask away.

Advice and tips:

• Don't extent the tripod legs out all the way; the shorter they are, the more stable the telescope will be.
• The EQ mount is ace, once you get the hang of it (again, it takes time and effort to work it out).
• You need to put some effort into learning the night sky. I recommend stellarium or 'turn left at Orion'
• Manage your expectations! Stars pretty much always look like points of light, even through Hubble. Astronomy is not so much about what the eyes see, but what the mind comprehends. Most deep sky object look like ‘faint fuzzies’, even through large telescope.
• Invest in the “Celestron accessory kit (6 mm, 15mm EP, 2x Barlow)”. This add-on will massively improve the functionality of the telescope.
• Forget about the red dot finder. Just use that to get within the vicinity of your target. Invest in a cheap 30 mm eyepiece and use the large field of view to find targets. Again, finding things in the night sky is a skill that requires practice. When I first used this scope, it took me ages (and I mean ages) to even find Jupiter (one of the brightest objects in the night sky). However, now I can point at objects in less than a minute, without even using the red-dot finder.
• You always need to make sure the telescope/tube is balanced. Google a video by 'eyes on the sky' on aligning equatorial mount.
• Keep with it, it really is a new skill to learn and master, but now I'm so glad I kept at it; it's worth it. Invest time into reading about how telescopes work and the night sky.
• I have also brought a solar filter for this scope; looking at the sun is awesome (but NEVER look at the sun without a proper filter; you will get blinded!)
• For the price, and the enjoyment this has brought me, I would definitely give this scope 5/5!
• Here is a list of everything I have observed with this telescope:
Moon
Jupiter and its moons
Saturn
Mars
M13: Globular Cluster
M81: Galaxy
M82: Galaxy
Epsilon Lyrae: Double-Double
M57: Planetary Nebula
M64: Galaxy
M31: Galaxy
Albireo: Double Star
Mizar + Alcor: Double Star
M3: Globular Cluster
M51: Galaxy
M56: Globular Cluster
M27: Planetary Nebula
M92: Globular Cluster
M11: Open Cluster
M71: Globular Cluster
M10: Globular Cluster
M12: Globular Cluster
M52: Open Cluster
The Double Cluster
NGC 7789: Open Cluster
Cassiopeia: Open Clusters
M81: Galaxy
M82: Galaxy
Cor Caroli
M94: Galaxy
M21: Open Cluster
M20: Planetary nebula
M5 Globular Cluster
M101: Galaxy
M29: Open Cluster
M110: Galaxy
Gamma Delphini: Double Star
M15: Globular Cluster
M16: Eagle nebula
M17: Swan nebula
M22: Globular cluster
M45: Open cluster
M110: Galaxy/a>
M32: Galaxy/a>
M2: Globular cluster
Almaak: Double Star
Neptune: Planet
IC 4665: Open Cluster
Epsilon Lyrae: Double-Double
M103: Open Cluster
NGC 457: Open Cluster
NGC 464: Open Cluster
NGC 459: Open Cluster
Eta Cassiopeiae: Double Star
M39: Open Cluster
M34: Open Cluster
M33: Galaxy
M42: Nebula
M43: Nebula
M37: Open Cluster
M36: Open Cluster
M38: Open Cluster
M1: Crab Nebula
M35 & NGC 2158
Uranus: Planet
Total Messier Objects 42/110
Total Planets Observed 5/7

• Below are some of the images I have been able to capture using the ‘Celetron Astromaster 130 EQ MD. These were all taken just using my smartphone (by holding it up to the lens)!

Cheers and clear skies!
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33 comments| 157 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 May 2009
My boyfriend and I have recently acquired a sudden fascination with the universe. He's always wanted a telescope and we started looking into getting one about a week ago.

All of the Celestron telescopes looked really appealing, especially the Astromaster range for their affordability. We were toying between the 130EQ and the 114EQ, eventually we choose the later for the difference in price weighed up against the specification.

We are so glad we bought this scope... the second night we had it, when the skies were clear, our first mission was to see the moon, and boy did we see it! The craters were so crisp, it blew my mind. Though we will certainly be investing in a moon filter, as the moon can be very bright, it will soon hurt your eyes.

We knew Saturn was visible that night, but being complete newbies we didn't really know where it was, so we decided to try and point the scope at the brightest star near to the moon, turned out it wasn't a star, but Saturn!!

You could clearly make out the rings, although small - don't be fooled, this is a "budget" scope, you are not going to see Saturn at the same size of the moon, but we found it to be very crisp with the Astromaster 114EQ. To think that we were looking at something over 750 million miles away is just astonishing!

Our scope was perfectly collimated out of the box, though we gather this is not always the case, however there are instructions on how to test whether your scope is set up correctly in the manual.

We feel that for the amazing sights we have already seen in just one night, the scope has already paid for itself. The manufacturing quality is very good, the tripod and equitorial mount alone seem like pieces of kit that could easily sell for over £100 on their own.

A great scope for anyone thinking about delving into astronomy. I have yet to try any astrophotography with it, but there are attachments available to enbable you to attach your SLR directly to the eyepiece, I can't wait!
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on 30 January 2011
Celestron Astromaster 130EQ

Very surprised at the quality for the money. If you're into astronomy in a big way but can't afford an all-singing-all-dancing digital telescope, then this might appeal to you.
The eyepieces are of excellent quality and that really counts when viewing.
Let me break it down a bit.

Pluses:
* Terrific build quality
* Very precise control
* Solid tripod
* Quality eyepieces

Minuses:
* A bit weighty if you're lugging very far

Recommended attachments: (available at Amazon.)
* Moon filter (Celestron)
* Revelation Astro 5X Barlow lens OR Celestron `Omni' Series 2X Barlow
* Phillip's Planisphere
* Celestron Flash Light, Red Astro Lite
* Celestron Omni 4mm eyepiece OR SEITZ High Power 4mm Glass eyepiece

For astrophotography:
* Camera adapter 93626 (Celestron or Bar and Stroud)

Dimensions: (approx.)
* Main scope length = 24 inches
* Scope diameter = 6 inches
* Minimum floor-to-eyepiece = 42 inches (depending on scope pitch)
* Tripod spread = 42 inches
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on 29 November 2010
I spent quite a lot of time looking at telescope reviews before buying this telescope. It soon became quite obvious which reviewers knew what they were talking about. For example: the people on this site who gave this product 1 star clearly didn't understand what they were buying, and had no clue what to do with it.

Bearing in mind the cost (between £110 and £130), I would be surprised is it is possible to buy a better value for money scope. Assembly was a very simple 20 minute job, using the comprehensive instructions, but there is also a quick start picture guide, and if you still have problems, look on Youtube or Celestron's website for the video guide. I experienced none of the difficulties with bits breaking off or getting jammed that others have had - just be moderately careful putting it together. The mount and tripod are quite robust, although the counterweights are fairly heavy. The mount and tripod are very important - they must be stable to get a clear steady image. There is very slight judder, but in less than a second, everything settles down.

The image quality is excellent in my opinion, using the included 10mm eyepiece although most will probably quite quickly want a 2x or 3x Barlow lens, and variety of eyepieces to increase magnification. For the meantime however, there are plenty of objects clearly visible - Jupiter and it's moons are for instance visible using the eyepiece provided with this telescope. Many stars not visible to the naked eye can also be seen. I am now just waiting for a clear night to see what else I can find. The only slight snag is the starpointer (the red LED aiming device). This is quite difficult to align and use, hence the 4 stars instead of 5, but it may just be me.

This telescope is mainly intended for myself and my children - my 9 year old is fascinated and this telescope is powerful enough to keep him interested. My advice would be to strongly consider this telescope if you're looking to spend under £300. Also, don't forget that a £300 "GOTO" computerised scope is just a £150 scope with a £150 computer attached and may have a smaller mirror than 5" (130mm). Go for the largest mirror you can afford, and avoid paying extra for the motor drive as well. It's not really necessary.
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on 24 April 2011
You're probably reading this having never bought a telescope before, wanting to know exactly what you're going to get and SEE for your money. As far as the telescope is concerned it's more of an investment than a purchase. It's a real quality piece of kit which I've surprised many people by telling them it only cost ~£100. Once set up it looks quite impressive and I'm sure with proper care it will continue to give you gazing pleasure for many years to come. One of the advantages of a reflector scope such as this is that the optical tube is open allowing you to maintain the mirror surfaces and also collimate the optics for optimised performance. Allow a good hour for proper initial set up (which for me was part of the fun!). It's got a fair weight to it but not to the extent it makes it impractical to move, the tripod can be easily dismounted and collapsed to be put in the boot of a car, for example.

The first week I had the scope I was desperate for a clear night until eventually I got my wish and managed to view Saturn from the comfort of my back garden. Despite moderate light pollution and a slight haze in the sky, the scope still produced a crisp, colour image, complete with rings. Admittedly it was small in the viewfinder but you always have the option to purchase additional barlow lenses for increased magnification. It's also amazing just to aim at a seemingly clear patch of sky to reveal a dense patchwork of stars not visible to the naked eye. For optimal viewing its mainly about the conditions, the scope claims to be capable of imaging "deep sky objects" which I believe is possible but you need to be in a seriously dark area, which I shall soon be experimenting with during a drive to the countryside! I'm currently waiting in great anticipation for the next lunar transit to use my newly acquired moon filter.

If you're thinking of getting into astronomy and debating whether to push the boat out I would say it's DEFINITELY worth going the extra buck. As a complete astro-virgin, I was able to set the scope up and view a planet over 700 million miles away in the space of a few days. One thing I will say is you need a great deal of patience, aligning the viewfinder is extremely sensitive and takes practice (which again is part of the satisfaction). The scope comes with a software CD allowing you to view when and where objects will be on any given night. The 114 also performs exceptionally well during daytime, using the terrestrial scope I've counted the feathers on many a pigeon from hundreds of meters away, so any budding Ornithologists will also find this function useful.

All in all, a great value scope which will delight many an amateur stargazer.
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on 5 April 2010
The pros:
The quality of the telescope and the mount is quite good.
I think that it has a good value for money.

Now, the cons:
The tripod legs bend slightly when fully extended and the plastic "nerves" and braces seem a bit fragile.
The red dot view finder is unusable at night. During the day I could use the two black circles of the view finder to align the telescope with the intended target, but at night only a single red dot was visible. So I could not aim. I do not know if there was a problem with the finder, but I removed it and replace it with a different one.
NOTE the telescope does not have a standard bracket for the view finder, so I had to buy both a shoe holder, a bracket and to be a bit creative.

Another drawback to the telescope is that the primary mirror's center is not marked, so forget most of the collimation tools. In addition my secondary mirror seems marginally off center. I cannot align it, because one aligning bolt is stuck and the other two have terminated. But as I said it's only marginally off and I can live with that.

As for the motor drive, I find the lack of a "neutral" mode annoying, in general I do not think that it worths the extra money.

In conclusion, It's a fairly good telescope, but it could have been much better with only minor changes. If you have decided to buy this telescope, I would suggest the one without the motor drive.
I rate it with 4 stars because I believe it's a good telescope for its money, despite its drawbacks.
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on 25 November 2008
Since the main factor in telescope size is diameter of the mirror or lens, a larger scope is a better choice if you want a scope that has potential to maintain an interest in astronomy. A small telescope can see exactly the same TYPES of objects as a large telescope, it just cant-see as many of them or as much detail in them. If you are concerned with performance, buy the largest telscope you can afford that has all the features that you want. go with the 130EQ if you can afford it.I found it to be the best value telescope on the market and i did alot of research.
Good luck
jack (Bath)
review image
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on 31 January 2012
After reading several mixed reviews about this telescope I eventually purchased it (despite more advanced astronomers calling it a smaller amature telescope) on the Saturday and was amazed when I found the huge box in my porch on Monday- super fast delivery! Inside the box was the telescope and mount with their parts, a quick set up guide, a manual on how to use the telescope, a manual on a disk and some software for tracking the planets. It wasn't too difficult to set up- took about half hour, the mount seemed a little confusing at first but after turning the knobs the controls where self explanatory. Locating planets using the red dot pointer was difficult but aiming through it points you in at least the right direction. There are 2 interchangeable lenses with this telescope one 20mm for locating a planet and one 10mm for more detail. The views I got where amazing! The moon nearly filled the whole view using the 20mm lens and I had to pan around using the 10mm as the moon went well outside the view, the details where so crisp I could count the craters and even could make out the mare imbrium and serenitatis very easily! I also saw Jupiter and 4 of it's moon's and the most rewarding yet the Orion nebula! My only complaints about this telescope are the red dot pointer and the tripod is a bit shakey but for a complete novice like me it's absolutely brilliant, well worth the money!
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on 2 December 2014
I was bought this telescope for a graduation present and boy am I happy with it. Here is my opinion:
It will take you a while to get used to it (and you will need to put effort in to understand how to use it properly, but once you do, it's a dream (for a first scope). You should check out my blog [...]. Here, I keep an astronomy log book of everything I have seen. If you have any specific questions, ask away.

Advice and tips:

* Don't extent the tripod legs out all the way; the shorter they are, the more stable the telescope will be.
* The EQ mount is ace, once you get the hang of it (again, it takes time and effort to work it out).
* You need to put some effort into learning the night sky. I recommend stellarium or 'turn left at Orion'
* Manage your expectations! Stars pretty much always look like points of light, even through Hubble. Astronomy is not so much about what the eyes see, but what the mind comprehends. Most deep sky object look like `faint fuzzies', even through large telescope.
* Invest in the "Celestron accessory kit (6 mm, 15mm EP, 2x Barlow)". This add-on will massively improve the functionality of the telescope.
* Forget about the red dot finder. Just use that to get within the vicinity of your target. Invest in a cheap 30 mm eyepiece and use the large field of view to find targets. Again, finding things in the night sky is a skill that requires practice. When I first used this scope, it took me ages (and I mean ages) to even find Jupiter (one of the brightest objects in the night sky). However, now I can point at objects in less than a minute, without even using the red-dot finder.
* You always need to make sure the telescope/tube is balanced. Google a video by 'eyes on the sky' on aligning equatorial mount.
* Keep with it, it really is a new skill to learn and master, but now I'm so glad I kept at it; it's worth it. Invest time into reading about how telescopes work and the night sky.
* I have also brought a solar filter for this scope; looking at the sun is awesome (but NEVER look at the sun without a proper filter; you will get blinded!)
* For the price, and the enjoyment this has brought me, I would definitely give this scope 5/5!
* Here is a list of everything I have observed with this telescope:
Moon
Jupiter and its moons
Saturn
Mars
M13: Globular Cluster
M81: Galaxy
M82: Galaxy
Epsilon Lyrae: Double-Double
M57: Planetary Nebula
M64: Galaxy
M31: Galaxy
Albireo: Double Star
Mizar + Alcor: Double Star
M3: Globular Cluster
M51: Galaxy
M56: Globular Cluster
M27: Planetary Nebula
M92: Globular Cluster
M11: Open Cluster
M71: Globular Cluster
M10: Globular Cluster
M12: Globular Cluster
M52: Open Cluster
The Double Cluster
NGC 7789: Open Cluster
Cassiopeia: Open Clusters
M81: Galaxy
M82: Galaxy
Cor Caroli
M94: Galaxy
M21: Open Cluster
M20: Planetary nebula
M5 Globular Cluster
M101: Galaxy
M29: Open Cluster
M110: Galaxy
Gamma Delphini: Double Star
M15: Globular Cluster
M16: Eagle nebula
M17: Swan nebula
M22: Globular cluster
M45: Open cluster
M110: Galaxy/a>
M32: Galaxy/a>
M2: Globular cluster
Almaak: Double Star
Neptune: Planet
IC 4665: Open Cluster
Epsilon Lyrae: Double-Double
M103: Open Cluster
NGC 457: Open Cluster
NGC 464: Open Cluster
NGC 459: Open Cluster
Eta Cassiopeiae: Double Star
M39: Open Cluster
M34: Open Cluster
M33: Galaxy
M42: Nebula
M43: Nebula
M37: Open Cluster
M36: Open Cluster
M38: Open Cluster
M1: Crab Nebula
M35 & NGC 2158
Uranus: Planet
Total Messier Objects 42/110
Total Planets Observed 5/7

* Below are some of the images I have been able to capture using the `Celetron Astromaster 130 EQ MD. These were all taken just using my smartphone (by holding it up to the lens)!

Cheers and clear skies!
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