- Product Dimensions: 81.9 x 43.2 x 27.9 cm ; 8 Kg
- Shipping Weight: 13 Kg
- Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
- Item model number: 31042
- ASIN: B000MLL6R8
- Date first available at Amazon.ca: June 14 2010
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,774 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
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Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector Telescope
|Price:||CDN$ 299.99 & FREE Shipping. Details|
- UPC: 050234310420
- Weight: 3.99 kg
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Amazon.ca Product Description
If you're looking for a dual-purpose telescope appropriate for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, then the AstroMaster Series is for you. Each AstroMaster model is capable of giving correct views of land and sky. The AstroMaster Series produce bright, clear images of the Moon and planets. It is easy to see the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with every one of these fine instruments. For views of the brighter deep space objects like galaxies and nebulae, we recommend the larger aperture and light gathering ability of the Newtonian reflectors.
From the Manufacturer
If you're looking for a dual-purpose telescope appropriate for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, then the AstroMaster Series is for you. Each AstroMaster model is capable of giving correct views of land and sky.
The AstroMaster Series produce bright, clear images of the Moon and planets. It is easy to see the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with every one of these fine instruments. For views of the brighter deep space objects like galaxies and nebulae, we recommend the larger aperture and light gathering ability of the Newtonian reflectors.
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Top Customer Reviews
Am I happy... I'll see when it gets here.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Red Dot Scope:
The Red Dot Scope has proven itself pretty much useless. I cannot tell where i'm supposed to put my head in order to have it lined up with the view of the scope itself. it is slightly adjustable, but I have not been able to line it up with what I see in the scope. Because of this i usually find myself just pointing the red dot at an object and then moving the scope in mini circles while looking through the eye piece. *(Tip: if you are looking for a bright object you can pull the eyepiece all the way out of focus. This will make the object look like a big bright disc with a cross in it. When you see this disc you can start focusing while adjusting the angle of the scope. It makes the hunt sooo much easier. Do not use this method with the moon. It's just too big.)*
You cannot perfectly balance this scope. Because of the aesthetics on the scope i cannot center the scope in the rings where it will be perfectly balanced, however i have not tried mounting the scope just off center of it's bracket to change the position of its axis of rotation. At the same time i feel that i shouldn't have to. Since i cannot perfectly balance the scope i find at certain extreme angles the scope will rotate on its own, however because of the method i use to find objects with this scope that balance issue does not really affect me since i'll be holding the scope the entire time until i lock it in.*(Tip: While locking the scope into position, the scope will move. So be sure to look through the eyepiece while locking the axes(axes is plural for axis)so you know which direction the object went. Right and left are flipped with the 25mm eyepiece, and up/down are flipped with the 10mm eyepiece.)
Fine Tuning Knobs:
The fine tune knobs look cheap, but they are flexible for a reason.
Using an equatorial mount for a novice is very daunting at first. However it is important to learn how to use this mount if you plan to get into Astrophotography. Also the movement of the scope does not take long to get use to, and all of the aggravation accumulated while getting your object into view is immediately dissipated when you finally get the object in sight.
What You Will See:
The Moon: They moon will take up the entire scope of view with the 20mm eyepiece. It is Awesome. Very Awesome. And if you find it too bright the center of the scope cover pops out so you can limit the amount of light coming into the scope. Very awesome.
Jupiter: You will see Jupiter. You will even be able to see a few of Jupiter's bands. You will also see some of Jupiter's moons.
Venus: It is super bright. every time i see it through the scope i also see a lens flare, but you still will be able to make out its shape.
Saturn: You will see Saturn. You will also be able to see its rings,(it will look like 1 ring) as well as 1 color band. The reason i bought this scope was to see Saturn and it does not disappoint. *(With the 10mm eyepiece Saturn will take up about 1/100th of your viewing area. Still awesome.
Mars: You will see mars, but because of its color, it will seem feint. I have found the view of Saturn, Jupiter, and Orion's Nebula to be much more satisfying.
M42/M43(Orion's nebula): You will not really be able to see the nebula since it is very feint, but you will see the star clusters with ease which is still very breath taking.
To be honest i have found these sights to be so satisfying i haven't even begun to look for other object. I have seen all of these with ease in my apartment complex, which is filled with light pollution. All of these have been seen as described using only the eyepieces that came with the scope. There are also many filters and many eyepieces that can be used to enhance your view of the heavens.
This scope has a maximum useful magnification of 269x. This means that the smallest useful eyepiece is 3.71mm. This magnification can also be obtained with a 7.40mm eyepiece and a 2x Barlow lens. *(Tip: The smaller the number on your eyepiece the higher its magnification. So, if you cannot find these exact eyepieces go for a larger number so that you do not exceed the Max. Mag. This does not apply to the Barlow Lens)*
All in all this is a very good beginner telescope; especially for its price. Not only will you get decent views of bright astral bodies, but the scope itself is challenging enough to develop real astronomical skills that will prove useful if you decide to delve deeper into the world of amateur astronomy.
The only thing keeping this scope from attaining 5 stars is the red dot sight. (this took me too long to write for proofreading so sorry for any typos or grammatical errors.)
The build quality is quite good. The tripod is very sturdy and the equatorial mount is well constructed. If I am not mistaken, some of the more expensive Celestron telescopes use this same tripod and mount. This package comes with a software that helps you locate stars and planets, so as long as you set the telescope to the north correctly, trying to locate stars is not a problem.
One thing I wished I had paid more attention to is the dimensions of the whole telescope kit. It is much larger than I anticipated; my reasoning was: it is a kid's telescope, it is probably not full sized. Not so!
Most telescope books I read said you cannot get a decent telescope for under $300, but for the beginner, the price and quality of this telescope is a great buy.
The 2 main things are 1) calibrate your finder first and 2) use the right eye piece when looking for something (this scope comes with a 10mm and a 20mm, so you would want to use the 20 to find and 10 to magnify once you found what it is your looking for). I have found Astronomy is not a hobby where you can easily learn stuff through trial and error, and most frustration comes when you try just that.
The only thing it's lacking is an eyepiece that goes to it's full magnification. I'm buying a 5mm for this, but if they included that, they would have to up the price. So all in all, this in my opinion is the best bang for the buck telescope out there for beginners on a budget!
1. Looks. I think you'll be hard pressed to find anything in this price range that looks more the part. I really like the orange annodized alum. bits & pieces. They really pop against the metallic blue optical tube. To me this thing looks like more scope than it really is.
2. Apeture. 130mm is about as big as you'll find at this price point. Apeture is everything. The more the merrier. Do not get caught up in the magnification hype that is very common in department store telescopes. As a matter of fact this scope does not have very high power as supplied. With it's reletively short focal length, you'll need a barlow lens to get some big mag. numbers.
3. Mount. Since I come from a cheap department store scope background, this is the best mount I've owned. Now that said, it is still very light, and there are plastic bits on the telescoping legs that will break if you get over assertive when tightening fittings. To a serious amature astronomer this thing is probably shakier than a Chihuahua at the north pole. The tripod probably is the weakest link in the package. THe legs are steel, but of the shower curtain rod wieght, not electrical conduit weight. It's probably the best place for them to skimp, in my opinion. There are tricks to make a mount more stable, but most of us don't want to grind our own optics at home. If you keep your hands off the scope while observing, it's more than stable enough for some good viewing. It will take some time for it to settle down after focusing, but that's what we have to deal whith at this price point.
4. Optics. They seem pretty good. I get sharp points when viewing stars. I've found nebulae for myself for the first time with this scope. It's small and light enough to grab and go, which is how I use it so far. The viewfinder is on the weak side. It's a red dot finder with no magnification. That's not the bad part. It's that they used plastic lenses that definately eat some of the light passing through, and also seem to illuminate a slight bit when the red dot is on. Combined with the positions you may have to contort yourself in when viewing objects near azimuth, it's my least liked feature on this scope.
5. Overall you get good apeture and optics for the money, it's nice enough looking to leave set up in a corner. You get an equatorial mount that can be motor upgraded cheaply. I'm happy with my purchase, and I've since spent more money on eye pieces and accesories than I originally spent on the scope itself.
1. Price: Very affordable, I got mine on sale for $213.
2. Optics: Very good and clear for this price point.
3. Appearance: Very cool looking scope, impressive.
Cons: (PLEASE PAY ATTENTION!!!!, I'm Not Kidding)
1. Mount: Ummm, Check Please! The German Equatorial mount supplied might as well be a solid block of steel, that would be about as easy to adjust and MUCH more stable, unacceptable. The Latitude adjustment screw requires gloves if you don't want permanent indentations in your fingers. Mine would actually make the whole scope jerk sideways when you would engage it, it's a heavy scope and allot of the weight is exerted on this adjustment, even if you balance the scope correctly. The Declination adjustment was stiff and would not track smoothly...and forget turning the scope....see a trend here?
2. Tripod: Solid Steel construction....."Solid"??? I'll put it this way, Steel is a solid, so is Silly Putty. As long as you DO NOT plan to fully extend the tripod legs and view it upright it's more stable than Silly Putty. But if you want to stand as you view the sky (most adults would prefer that to bending over like you're talking to a 2 year old) once the legs are fully extended it just adds to the shakiness. Brother!
3. Focus: Are you good at "Estimating"? You'll have to be to focus this thing; any time you even touch this thing (or breathe on it) the objects in the eyepiece do their best 7.5 earthquake impersonation. Once you wait a day or so, it stops shaking.....Now....DON'T TOUCH IT! VERY Frustrating, by the time I got Jupiter and its moons in focus it had practically moved out of view. But Jupiter was VERY cool to see.
The Viewfinder has been trashed by allot of people for being inaccurate and basically useless, maybe I lucked out because mine actually worked well. Too bad the rest of the scope didn't.
So there it is, it's a really great scope crippled by a cheap mount and tripod. At this price point it's a good Kids Scope and for adults who are not too picky about trivial things like being able to focus and see what you're looking at clearly.
I'm returning mine and going back on the Good Scope Hunt, BTW Amazon does not pay for return shipping on this item, I had a $25 gift certificate that I used to get my purchase price down to $188, kiss that goodbye, return shipping was $28.
Oh well, live and learn...and return.