Results 1 to 8 of 8
Like Tree12Likes
  • 6 Post By Avid Astronomer
  • 1 Post By Voyageur
  • 1 Post By bladekeeper
  • 1 Post By I Am Marsha
  • 1 Post By Jay6821
  • 2 Post By Voyageur

Thread: REVIEW: Celestron NexYZ Universal Smartphone Adapter

  1. #1
    Avid Astronomer's Avatar
    Avid Astronomer is offline Main Sequence
    Points: 2,134, Level: 29
    Level completed: 34%, Points required for next Level: 66
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!Got three Friends50 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    College Station, TX
    Posts
    111
    Points
    2,134
    Level
    29
    Thanks
    153
    Thanked 91x 33 Posts

    Default REVIEW: Celestron NexYZ Universal Smartphone Adapter



    As many know, I like to do afocal astrophotography using a smartphone. Originally, I would hold the smartphone to the eyepiece, wiggle it around until I got the image in the camera app's viewscreen, try to focus the best I could, and snap the picture. My main telescope is usually a Dobsonian, and since they aren't guided, it is a fine balance of moving the scope to center the object, then moving the camera to get it in the view and take the photo before the object drifted out of the Dob's eyepiece again. Occasionally, I could get a good image, but most of them were blurry or showed nothing at all.

    A few years ago, I purchased a GoSky universal smartphone adapter which held a smartphone up to the eyepiece and kept it steady. This removed one of the variables (aligning the phone to the eyepiece) and made taking photos much easier. The adapter I had worked for almost any smartphone, and held the phone to the eyepiece with three rubber-lined strips. The strips were narrow, however, and didn't really accomodate phones with curved backs very well. Unfortunately, my smartphone did have a bit of a curved back, so if the telescope were at certain angles, I had to be very careful that the phone didn't suddenly pop out of the adapter and crash to the ground.

    The other downside to this particular adapter was its limitation to being used by 1.25" or smaller eyepieces. This meant that the only eyepieces I could use it with were those with smaller apparent fields of view. This wasn't a problem for imaging planets or even the Moon, but widefield sky shots were all but impossible.

    A few months ago, I saw an ad for the Celestron NexYZ universal smartphone adapter. This one had better phone grips (the gripper bars were plastic instead of metal, but were taller and curved inward, making a better clamp onto the phone. It also would attach to both 1.25" and 2" eyepieces, meaning I could use it for any eyepiece in my collection.

    Still, this wasn't enough to push me over the edge in getting one. The price was a hefty $60 for a mostly-plastic gadget that I already had. I felt I could wait awhile to get this one. That is, until one night last November...

    I had set up the club's 20" Obsession in my driveway. I was still practicing getting it set up and taken down in the dark, so that whenever I took it to darker skies, I wouldn't struggle. It takes me about 15-20 minutes to get it all set up, and by the time I had finished collimating, clouds had started to roll in. The Moon was still uncovered, though, so I thought it would be cool to take some photos of it and compare them to those of my 12" Dob.

    I slipped my smartphone into the GoSky adapter, popped in an eyepiece and aligned it to my camera lens and then popped the whole contraption into the telescope's focuser and tightened it down. I then swung the Obsession over towards the Moon and in the blink of an eye, my smartphone popped out of the adapter and went crashing to my driveway.

    Horrified, my heart fell into my stomach and I turned on my flashlight and went to see what was left of my phone. The back of the phone had popped off, my phone battery lay several inches away, and my glass screen protector was shattered. After a careful look, there was thankfully no actual damage to the phone. However, if I ever wanted to try taking photos with the Obsession, I was going to need a better adapter.

    I kept looking online and after a week or two, found a sale on the NexYZ on Amazon for $50. I pressed the Checkout button and the adapter was soon on its way.

    Opening the well-packed box revealed the NexYZ. Compared to my previous smartphone adapter, this thing was huge. I immediately wondered whether its sheer size and bulk would cause balancing issues for my telescopes.

    The design itself, however, was pretty clever. There were three adjustment knobs which moved the smartphone platform in relation to the eyepiece clamp. One knob for each of the X, Y and Z axes. This must be how Celestron came up with the name. There was a fourth thumbscrew which, when fully loosened, would allow the eyepiece clamp to open wider and then could be tightened again to ensure a snug fit to the eyepiece. This can be a bit hard to reach when the unit is attached to the telescope, but not impossible.

    Also included in the box were a couple of rings that could be fitted over smaller eyepieces (such as microscopes, binoculars, or even the old-style 0.965" eyepieces).

    Functionality: ****-

    The NexYZ does exactly what it says it does. This adapter is great at holding any smartphone in place. I can put in my smartphone and literally turn the adapter to any angle and the smartphone doesn't budge.

    The large size is a bit of a hindrance, however. You may have to put your camera at an odd viewing angle in order to keep the adjustment knobs from bumping into the telescope's focuser knobs. This brings up another possible problem: The torque from a heavy smartphone at an odd angle can cause the eyepiece to begin to unscrew from its barrel. It will only unscrew a little bit (well under half a turn, usually) until it reaches equilibrium with gravity, but it can be a bit disconcerting. In practice, the eyepiece is in no danger of coming completely unscrewed from its barrel (unless it's only barely hanging on to start with) and is merely a minor annoyance.

    The X and Y axis knobs are located on the same shaft, one right above the other. The Z axis, which raises or lowers the smartphone above the eyepiece, has its controls on a separate knob on another side of the adapter. If you don't have the eyepiece clamped low enough, as you lower the phone, you may find your smartphone bumping into the eyepiece clamp pivot, which changes its angle a bit.

    Quality: ****-

    At first, I was a bit disappointed to see so much plastic. Except for the screw mechanisms, the entire adapter is plastic. However, I soon learned that this served a purpose. The plastic helps to keep the adapter as light as possible, which is especially important due to its size. Clamping this on an eyepiece with a smartphone attached can easily shift the balance point of the telescope. The plastic minimizes this as much as possible.

    All three axes use simple worm gears to position the phone. They work well enough most of the time, but at certain angles will slip a bit. At times, I've had to hold the gear knob with my hand when taking the photo in order to keep the eyepiece centered in the shot. There are small adjustment screws which will tighten the gears a bit, but then they become difficult to turn at all.

    My particular smartphone, an LG V20, has two off-centered cameras. One of them is right at the edge of the adapter's left-right range, so it can be a bit of a problem. Luckily, for most angles, the gear doesn't slip and everything works perfectly.

    Adaptability: ****-

    While there are a few 2-inch eyepieces that are too big for the NexYZ to get its arms around, there aren't many. Also, it seems equally at home on a refractor or reflector (I didn't get the chance to try it on a catadipotric telescope, but I don't foresee any problems there. In fact, one of its advertising photos shows it attached to a catadioptric scope).

    Cost: ***--

    The price is a bit on the expensive side, especially considering it is generally a bunch of plastic bits screwed together. However, if you're serious about taking astrophotos with your smartphone, this is the best adapter I've tried. I connect my smartphone to my telescope a lot at outreach events to allow multiple people to "see through the eyepiece" at the same time, so it is worth the cost to me.

    Overall: ****-

    In general, I'm quite pleased with the Celestron NexYZ. It has a few quirks, but it does its job effectively and I feel safe leaving the smartphone in the cradle while I slew to a new object.

    It usually takes me a few minutes to get the phone properly centered over each eyepiece and ready to snap photos. For this reason, I try to limit eyepiece swapping as much as possible during the evening. For outreach events, this also makes it impractical to allow visitors to use the adapter to take photos with their own phone unless you have a short and patient line at your telescope.

    To make sure everything is aligned properly in the dark, I will make the Moon my first target, if it's available. It's big and bright and easy to find and focus on. Failing that, I will shine a flashlight down the tube of the telescope. It will appear as a bright unfocused circle of light to the camera. Once you have that circle centered as well as possible, you know you are aligned and can then take aim at whatever target you wish.

    In summary, if you are interested in doing some afocal astrophotography with your smartphone, you can save a lot of frustration and wasted time by getting an adapter. And if you're going to get an adapter, this is currently the best one I've seen.
    Tom Campbell (astro.tomandjul.com)

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

    SCOPES: Zhumell Z12 f/5 (Zoomie), Discovery DHQ-8 f/6, Meade DS-2080AT 80 f/10, Meade AS80 f/5 (Cutie) BINOS: 10x50, 16x50, 10x70
    1,124 Observations, 603 Objects (97 Glxy, 185 OC, 58 GC, 17 Neb, 39 PN, 171 Dbl) Sessions in 2018: 21 Best: 36 (2001)
    AL Awards: Messier, Double Star, Bino Messier, Planetary Transit

  2. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Avid Astronomer For This Useful Post:

    bladekeeper (03-21-2019),drtmarshall (05-21-2019),Jay6821 (09-20-2019),kingclinton (03-20-2019),SpyderwerX (03-20-2019),Voyageur (03-20-2019)

  3. #2
    Voyageur's Avatar
    Voyageur is offline SUPER GIANT
    Points: 8,835, Level: 65
    Level completed: 29%, Points required for next Level: 215
    Overall activity: 27.0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts AchievementGot three Friends20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Leelanau County, Michigan (April-Oct); Barra de Navidad, MX (Nov-March)
    Posts
    1,402
    Points
    8,835
    Level
    65
    Thanks
    359
    Thanked 527x 343 Posts

    Default Re: REVIEW: Celestron NexYZ Universal Smartphone Adapter

    Very thorough review. I agree with your assessment. Mine needed to have the adjustment screws tightened quite a bit, especially for the Z-axis (in/out). It was very wobbly at first. Now it's working fine.

    You're right that it won't be practical to allow visitors at outreach events to use their own phones, so I was thinking that I could let them take a photo with my phone and then send it to their phone via Bluetooth. With a moderate size group, I might have to set time aside periodically to do that in batches. For large crowds, I simply won't be able to offer it, or maybe only at end of the event. We'll see how it works out this summer.
    Last edited by Voyageur; 03-20-2019 at 04:23 PM.
    Avid Astronomer likes this.
    Mary


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    :
    Vixen VMC200L, D=200mm, F=1950, f/9.75; Televue 2" Everbright diagonal. Coronado PST; AstroTech EDT 80mm, F=480, f/6. Mounts: Vixen SXW/Starbook (original); Stellarvue M2C alt-az. Eyepieces: Televue: 55mm Plossl, 22mm Panoptic, 17.3mm Delos, 13mm Nagler, c. 1980, 11mm Plossl, 7mm Nagler; Meade 15mm Super Plossl; VERNONSCOPE 2.4X
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    . Binoculars: Leica 8x32 Trinovids, circa 1997;
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    Megaview 20x80, Orion Paragon Plus mount.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Voyageur For This Useful Post:

    Avid Astronomer (03-20-2019)

  5. #3
    bladekeeper's Avatar
    bladekeeper is offline Super Moderator
    Points: 308,948, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 100.0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!
    Awards:
    Activity Award
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Lowell, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    39,153
    Points
    308,948
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    29,140
    Thanked 17,692x 12,118 Posts

    Default Re: REVIEW: Celestron NexYZ Universal Smartphone Adapter

    A very thorough and comprehensive review, Tom!
    Avid Astronomer likes this.
    Bryan
    Scopes:
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; ES AR127 f/9.4; Stellarvue SV102T f/7; ES AR102 f/9.8;
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Unitron Model 142 f/16; Meade NG60 f/10
    Mounts: Celestron AVX; Bresser EXOS-2; ES Twilight I; ES Twilight II; iOptron Cube-G; AZ3/wood tripod; Vixen
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

    Eyepieces: GSO Super Plössl 40mm, 32mm, 15mm, 9mm; ES 82° Series; GSO Superview 30mm; Celestron Plössl 26mm, 20mm; ES 70° 25mm; ES Plössl 25mm; Vite Aspheric 23mm, 10mm, 4mm; Orion Expanse 20mm, 9mm; KK Ortho 18mm, 12.5mm; Bresser 70° 15mm; Coulter Optical 12.5mm; BCO 10mm; ES 62° 9mm; Zhumell Z Series 5mm
    Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    12×60 LW, Gordon 10×50, Apogee 20×100

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

    Galaxy Hunter's Creed - When you play whack-a-mole, sometimes you hit 'em on the head, sometimes you miss 'em. But its always fun to play, and if you don't play, you ain't gettin no moles! - KT4HX

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to bladekeeper For This Useful Post:

    Avid Astronomer (03-21-2019)

  7. #4
    I Am Marsha's Avatar
    I Am Marsha is offline SUPER GIANT
    Points: 33,528, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 8.0%
    Achievements:
    Got three Friends365 Days+ Registered Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points20+ Friends Achievement!
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Highlands of Maine
    Posts
    1,180
    Points
    33,528
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    584
    Thanked 493x 308 Posts

    Default Re: REVIEW: Celestron NexYZ Universal Smartphone Adapter

    Thank you for posting this review. I've been thinking about using my smartphone with my scopes and wondered about this product.
    Avid Astronomer likes this.
    Marsha
    Coronado SolarMax II 60mm BF10, DoubleStacked, Cemax EP, Lunt Zoom EP
    Zhumell 12" Dobsonian on an 'Alien' EQ platform, in a POD

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    6SE, solar filter, EPs and Power Tank
    Zhumell Tachyon 25x100, Nikon 10-22x50
    Canon PowerShot A570 IS, Canon EOS Rebel T3i
    ZWO ASI120mm, ZWO ASI120mc, ZWO ASI130mm

  8. #5
    Jay6821's Avatar
    Jay6821 is offline White Dwarf
    Points: 841, Level: 16
    Level completed: 41%, Points required for next Level: 59
    Overall activity: 6.0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!365 Days+ Registered Achievement!
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Posts
    38
    Points
    841
    Level
    16
    Thanks
    74
    Thanked 0x 0 Posts

    Default Re: REVIEW: Celestron NexYZ Universal Smartphone Adapter

    Thanks for the review. I have a cell phone adapter that was recommended by B&H (it’s not a Celestron). It sounds a lot like the Celestron product (and it would not surprise me if they are made at the same factory in China). One thing I have discovered is that I don’t need to touch my iPhone to take a picture. I can control it remotely with my Apple Watch. I like that feature.
    Avid Astronomer likes this.
    Celestron NexStar Evolution 8, StarSense AutoAlign, Oberwerk 8x42 Sport ED, Celestron SkyMaster 15x70

  9. #6
    Pamela's Avatar
    Pamela is offline White Dwarf
    Points: 37, Level: 1
    Level completed: 74%, Points required for next Level: 13
    Overall activity: 6.0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Madera
    Posts
    3
    Points
    37
    Level
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0x 0 Posts

    Default Re: REVIEW: Celestron NexYZ Universal Smartphone Adapter

    Pictures are clear and recognizable?

  10. #7
    Voyageur's Avatar
    Voyageur is offline SUPER GIANT
    Points: 8,835, Level: 65
    Level completed: 29%, Points required for next Level: 215
    Overall activity: 27.0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts AchievementGot three Friends20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Leelanau County, Michigan (April-Oct); Barra de Navidad, MX (Nov-March)
    Posts
    1,402
    Points
    8,835
    Level
    65
    Thanks
    359
    Thanked 527x 343 Posts

    Default Re: REVIEW: Celestron NexYZ Universal Smartphone Adapter

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamela View Post
    Pictures are clear and recognizable?
    Quality of the photos depends on the quality of the cell phone camera as well as the optical train of the telescope being used: objective lens or mirror, diagonal (if used) and eyepiece. And it's necessary to use the camera in manual mode and experiment with exposure for best results, so experience plays a part, too. The NeXYZ does a good job of holding the cell phone in position above the eyepiece, but that's all it can do.
    Avid Astronomer and Jay6821 like this.
    Mary


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    :
    Vixen VMC200L, D=200mm, F=1950, f/9.75; Televue 2" Everbright diagonal. Coronado PST; AstroTech EDT 80mm, F=480, f/6. Mounts: Vixen SXW/Starbook (original); Stellarvue M2C alt-az. Eyepieces: Televue: 55mm Plossl, 22mm Panoptic, 17.3mm Delos, 13mm Nagler, c. 1980, 11mm Plossl, 7mm Nagler; Meade 15mm Super Plossl; VERNONSCOPE 2.4X
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    . Binoculars: Leica 8x32 Trinovids, circa 1997;
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    Megaview 20x80, Orion Paragon Plus mount.

  11. #8
    bheybhesiclot's Avatar
    bheybhesiclot is offline White Dwarf
    Points: 46, Level: 1
    Level completed: 92%, Points required for next Level: 4
    Overall activity: 27.0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    5
    Points
    46
    Level
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0x 0 Posts

    Default Re: REVIEW: Celestron NexYZ Universal Smartphone Adapter

    Thanks for the review it can really help us with our buying decisions.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-15-2016, 03:40 PM
  2. Metal Binocular Tripod Adapter Review: BARSKA vs Celestron
    By Jennifer Gwinn in forum Telescope Accessories Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-09-2015, 11:44 AM
  3. $5 DIY Universal Smartphone-to-Telescope Mount
    By viniguez487 in forum Astro Imaging Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-01-2014, 06:57 PM
  4. For Sale - USA: Celestron 2" Universal Camera Adapter for sale/trade
    By sportsmed in forum Astronomy Classifieds
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-23-2013, 02:03 PM
  5. Celestron universal camera adapter
    By M16SEAL in forum Astro Imaging Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-11-2012, 06:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0
Powered by vBulletin®
All times are GMT. The time now is 07:03 AM.