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Thread: 1st scope, beginner's budget, Celestron AstroMaster 130 vs. Celestron PowerSeeker 127

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    Say Chi Sin Lo's Avatar
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    Default 1st scope, beginner's budget, Celestron AstroMaster 130 vs. Celestron PowerSeeker 127



    First post here and I'm overwhelmed by the sheer knowledge of you all! Kind of makes me feel this little, haha.

    I am interested in picking up a new hobby and I've done some of my own research. I have kind of narrowed it down to Celestron AstroMaster 130, or the Celestron PowerSeeker 127. I am a beginner and I would like to stick to a beginner's budget. I don't want to be that idiot who spends tons of money but know next to nothing. I'm also making this thread because the bulk of the discussion centers around middle-higher end telescopes.

    Why I settled on these two, based on my own research:
    - Reflector eliminates the purple-ish tint seen in refractor scopes
    - They both have reasonably large aperture. I'm interested in planets of course, but I am also interested in seeing as many deep space objects as I can!
    - They're cheap, and they already come with an equatorial mount.
    - Celestron seems to be a reputable brand
    - I don't want any computerized system for my first scope. I'd rather learn the sky and explore, that's part of the fun right?

    But I do have problems picking between the two. Aside from the price (both of which are in my budget), what are the main difference between the two? Also, I am open to other suggestions.

    As for the conditions of my sky, I live in San Francisco. So I will have to put up with light pollution, and every other day will be foggy. I know, sucks

    Thanks for your time! Looking forward to your responses!

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    Default Re: 1st scope, beginner's budget, Celestron AstroMaster 130 vs. Celestron PowerSeeker

    The Astromaster looks to have a slightly more robust mount IMO. I have seen them in person at a local hobby shop and compared to the powerseeker mount(that had a refractor on it though I was testing the mounts.)

    Also the 2nd eyepiece(the ten mm) is probably usable where the 4mm with the Powerseeker is probably junkier. Either way the higher power eyepieces are likely your first upgrade. I love and prefer to use the Dual ED eyepieces sold under multiple brands, but if those are too pricy, the celestron omni plossls >12mm focal length are comfortable and work nice(so does their omni barlow.)

    Also the finderscope on the powerseeker will be difficult to use(it is too small of an aperture and view will be very dim.)

    Remember to budget in a celestron collimation eyepiece to keep your optics aligned.

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    Default Re: 1st scope, beginner's budget, Celestron AstroMaster 130 vs. Celestron PowerSeeker

    So, looks like the AstroMaster is a better purchase?

    Are there any other scope I should consider for the similar price range?

    Lastly, is the AstroMaster capable of adding a dSLR?

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    Default Re: 1st scope, beginner's budget, Celestron AstroMaster 130 vs. Celestron PowerSeeker

    for visual only - really forget about doing any AP other than lunar or planetary unless you want to increase your budget significantly, I'd recommend for the sheer value for money you go for a 6 or for a bit more an 8" dob. It also will be a lot more comfortable to use an a reflector on an EQ mount for visual use!

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    Default Re: 1st scope, beginner's budget, Celestron AstroMaster 130 vs. Celestron PowerSeeker

    Yeah I'll have to rethink it. The mount that comes with the AstroMaster 130 is apparently flimsy. Several Amazon reviews are saying they're scared s***less when it's mounted with a dSLR.

    It looks like the mount is the limiting factor here...

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    Default Re: 1st scope, beginner's budget, Celestron AstroMaster 130 vs. Celestron PowerSeeker

    From the two of them, the Astromaster is a better option. I consider that the Astromaster is what you get for what you paid, but if somebody ask me, I would rather advice to start with a dobsonian. Orion has good Dobsonians and it seems like they put more quality in their begginer products than Celestron (eventhough both companies share the same chinese manufacturer). Another option and a very inexpensive one is to get a pair or binoculars. Although, it is possible you would not see detail on the planets, you can see several DSOs to keep you busy until you have more knowledge of the sky and want to do a serious investment.
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    Default Re: 1st scope, beginner's budget, Celestron AstroMaster 130 vs. Celestron PowerSeeker

    Quote Originally Posted by Say Chi Sin Lo View Post
    Yeah I'll have to rethink it. The mount that comes with the AstroMaster 130 is apparently flimsy. Several Amazon reviews are saying they're scared s***less when it's mounted with a dSLR.

    It looks like the mount is the limiting factor here...
    This is why the Dobsonian is so popular... They are robust and in place of money going to towards the mount it's going towards better (and larger) optics. There are people on here that are doing great lunar shots or video (for planets).

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    Default Re: 1st scope, beginner's budget, Celestron AstroMaster 130 vs. Celestron PowerSeeker

    Quote Originally Posted by Davesellars View Post
    This is why the Dobsonian is so popular... They are robust and in place of money going to towards the mount it's going towards better (and larger) optics. There are people on here that are doing great lunar shots or video (for planets).
    Those look rather massive and aren't all that portable, correct?

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    Default Re: 1st scope, beginner's budget, Celestron AstroMaster 130 vs. Celestron PowerSeeker

    Of the two the Astromaster is the better scope but you will be much happier with a 6" or 8" Dobsonian, although you will pay a bit more. I can easily carry my 6" Dob into and out of the house assembled for viewing sessions and for road trips the base travels in the car trunk and the OTA lays across the back seat.

    This is a very portable table top reflector that I recommend.
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    Default Re: 1st scope, beginner's budget, Celestron AstroMaster 130 vs. Celestron PowerSeeker

    The best scope to purchase is the one you will end up using. I would go with the Astromaster if I were you but you also should consider getting a Dobsonian scope. They offer bigger bang for the buck, letting you see fainter objects. I have a Dob and really enjoy it. Portability with a 6" or 8" is really not a problem. With the weather here you will probably be able to get out 3-4 times per month because of the fogginess - so you will really want to take the opportunity to enjoy clear skies when they occur!
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