Catadioptric telescopes – Buying guide & Comparison
If you are in search for the best catadioptric telescope money can get you, but you are running short on time, and you can’t do the research by yourself, this inclusive paragraph should clue you in. After analyzing the market and after going through what previous owners had to say about specific models, we have determined that the Celestron NexStar 127SLT is the unit that you should consider purchasing. This 5″ Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope comes provided with a StarPointer finderscope that can help you locate different objects accurately. Besides, this unit comes outfitted with an auxiliary port that can fit additional compatible accessories such as a GPS device. The item runs on 8 AA batteries that are not included in the deal and it features the well-known SkyX Planetarium software. If this product is out of stock, feel free to take a good look at the Celestron CPC 925 StarBright.
Our Top Choice
This unit has a compact design, and it features a quick-release fork arm mount that most prior users appreciate. Moreover, it incorporates a StarPointer finderscope that enables novices to find various celestial bodies easier. The item has an auxiliary port that allows owners to add accessories such as a GPS.
Some buyers pointed out that this telescope comes fitted with a star alignment system that is not as practical as one might expect.
Because this choice runs on eight AA batteries, it is very practical and easy to transport. Besides, it incorporates a software that has received great reviews.
If you want a model that has a dual fork arm altazimuth mount, this might be the right choice for you. The device has an ergonomic design and, because of it, you won’t find it difficult to move it from one location to another. On top of that, it comes provided with a practical remote hand control holder that makes it extra convenient.
A small number of customers have received damaged units. Yet, this might have something to do with the shipping conditions.
If you want a model that can deliver sharp views, this might be the unit for you, as it was constructed using a 9.25” Schmidt- Cassegrain optical tube.
This alternative supplies the buyer with a database of 40,000 celestial bodies such as stars, galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae. Additionally, by using the NexStar SE option, you can locate them effortlessly. This device is compatible with all the accessories made by Celestron, including the StarSense AutoAlign.
One owner had issues with the telescope because it displayed a Bootloader error message that prevented him from using the device.
This option includes a 4" primary mirror that allows the users to gather enough light to see a significant part of the solar system, such as Saturn’s rings.
What is the best catadioptric telescope? If you’ve wanted to find out the answer to this question, perhaps we can be of assistance. We’ve created a short and comprehensive guide that can take you through all the factors you ought to mull over before making an investment and get that device you’ve always dreamt about. To make an informed decision, just keep on reading.
Purpose and usability
Unlike their refractor or reflector counterparts, most catadioptric telescopes for sale these days are hefty and somewhat difficult to manage. The first thing you have to do, because of this, is determine whether or not you’d prefer a more portable version than one you can’t take with you everywhere.
Unfortunately, the design of catadioptric models is often times anything but user-friendly. Plus, you’ll need a bit of skill and experience to manage using such a device. If you have little to no background in this respect, perhaps you might do better with a telescope for beginners.
Some of the questions you need to ask yourself are what you want to look at and how much you are willing to spend. Just how much weight can you handle carrying? How about the storage space you might have in your living room or office?
It’s all about the aperture
Even when selecting a somewhat basic telescope, one of the core aspects you ought to give some thought to is the aperture of the model you’re set on investing your money in. A superior aperture translates into a greater capability of gathering light, so you’ll be able to look at the night sky without being bothered by the darkness.
The aperture also defines the power of the telescope. While there are many catadioptric telescopes advantages and disadvantages that are worth mentioning, this particular feature can influence your entire experience with the product and even make you want to buy another.
Convenience and performance
As we were mentioning above, you will have to make a difficult choice between a model that has a lower overall weight and is portable and one you can use from your balcony. The fact of the matter is that most catadioptric telescopes are made with components that have to weigh a bit in order to ensure that the device raises up to par.
People always say that electronic devices that are heavier are made with better materials and better components. Believe it or not, this myth might, in fact, be true. So, if you’re looking for a remarkably powerful telescope, you ought to consider those that you cannot take with you everywhere.
Prepare to make an investment?
While some argue that catadioptric models are somewhere in between reflectors and refractors when it comes to their price, it doesn’t just come down to this. Some models, such as those manufactured by world-known brands like Celestron and others, can cost a pretty penny. That’s why you need to know what you’re getting yourself into and understand whether it actually pays off for you to make such an investment.
It used to be that you had to set your location, date, and time every time you needed to use such a telescope. These days, most models come with a GPS system that enables them to do all of this without you having to tinker with the device. Keep in mind that models that outfitted with GPSes are a bit more expensive than the rest, especially as they’re focused on offering you the best user experience.
5 Best Catadioptric Telescopes (Reviews) in 2019
If you’re still having a bit of trouble telling which model is for you and which one you can do without, perhaps you should take the time to look over the following units. They appear to have gathered some of the best catadioptric telescope reviews, which is something worth noting as there are so many alternatives out there.
1. Celestron 22097 NexStar 127 SLT Mak Computerised Telescope
If you are interested in a device that has been vetted by owners, the NexStar 127SLT from Celestron might suit you. This computerized telescope was designed as a mid-level unit that can be used by novices.
The model comes provided with a stainless steel tripod that you can make use of whenever you go stargazing. Besides, because it comes pre-assembled, you won’t have to waste time reading instructions on how to set it in place.
What is more, this choice is powerful enough to allow users to see details of the lunar surface, as well as the planet Venus or the polar caps on Mars. Apart from being versatile and easy to transport, you should also know that this item runs on eight AA batteries. Moreover, if you want to save money and you are against constantly having to buy batteries, keep in mind that this telescope is shipped alongside a very practical AC adapter.
According to the seller, because this unit is battery-operated, buyers will no longer have to deal with cord wrap issues.
This choice was designed for beginner and intermediate users. Therefore, it has a straightforward menu, and it is highly intuitive.
The NexStar 127SLT allows its owners to select from a database of more than 4,000 celestial bodies. Besides, this device can actually automatically locate the object that you want to analyze, and it tracks it down for you to see it.
Because this model is so compact, it can be carried with you whenever you decide to go camping for the weekend.
One user was not too pleased with the fact that this telescope does not come provided with a lens cap. Still, not many other buyers considered this an issue.
A small number of owners said that the computerized mount that the device includes is not as good as they had expected it to be.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($392.99)
2. Celestron CPC 925 GPS (XLT) Computerised Telescope
If you are one of those people who truly want to get the best and find nothing against spending a bit of their savings in order to do so, the CPC 925 StarBright might be one of the models you may have to consider. Because this unit boasts NexStar computer control technology and GPS alignment, all you’ll have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the view. This Celestron model actually does everything for you.
You’ll probably find that the CPC database of this telescope is baffling, to say the least, as it contains over 40,000 celestial objects ranging from nebula to planets. Galaxies are at your fingertips with this alternative, and there’s no doubt about it. The only thing that might fail to impress you is its price point unless you’re committed to the cause.
Given that most of those who have decided to invest in the CPC 925 StarBright have only good things to say about it, it’s safe to say that it is worth its weight in gold.
This alternative includes a dual fork arm altazimuth mount that is fully computerized for easy use.
Because it has an ergonomic design, this unit is effortless to move from one place to another. Consequently, you can take it with you when you go camping.
To make it easy to operate, the manufacturer of the CPC 925 StarBright has also fitted it with a remote hand control holder that is regarded as highly convenient.
Among the most appreciated features of this choice are the NexStar computer control technology that it uses and the GPS alignment option that can help one locate celestial bodies with little to no effort.
Although it has received numerous positive reviews, some have noted that this model is a bit expensive.
One buyer remarked that the CPC 925 StarBright is a tad heavier than other available counterparts. However, this aspect is not considered a significant disadvantage of the device.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($2499)
3. Celestron 11049 NexStar 4 SE Computerised Telescope
Because this model is an exceptionally compact and portable alternative, we felt compelled to showcase it. Plus, it’s far more budget-friendly than other choices manufactured by Celestron, which means that it will go easy on your finances.
This 4-inch Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope comes with a StarPointer finderscope that can help you a bit when it comes to aligning the device and locating the celestial objects you’re interested in viewing. Besides, an undeniable benefit provided by this choice is that it comes with an accessory tray and a quick-release fork arm mount that can both help you understand how to set up the telescope no muss, no fuss.
As is the case with other products in the same line, this one comes with a database consisting of approximately 40,000 objects and 200 user-definable ones. The model is available in a wide range of sizes and two configurations, so you’re more than free to pick the right one.
The biggest advantage of this product is that it is compact and lightweight. Because of this, you can carry it with you during trips.
Additionally, because this unit comes equipped with numerous practical features, beginner users won’t find it at all challenging to use.
This telescope was constructed using SkyAlign technology so that the owners won’t have to spend a lot of time locating the objects that they want to observe.
Because of the single fork arm design of the item and its sturdy steel tripod, it can be quickly taken apart and safely stored in between uses.
It has been said that the one-arm design of the model is not as convenient as one might assume at first glance.
Users have stated that the instructions provided by the seller are minimal. Therefore, setting this telescope up and using it for the first time might prove problematic for inexperienced owners.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($449)
If superior aperture, power, and magnification are the features you’re looking for in a brand new telescope, the 6 SE might be one of those options you may have to consider. Just like the formerly mentioned alternative, this one comes with an immense database that can allow you to make the most of it.
The optics in this model appear to be of excellent quality, at least judging by the user reviews garnered by the NexStar 6 SE. The only area where this unit might be a bit of a disappointment is portability as it’s not exactly lightweight, so you might have to keep your expectations realistic.
The single arm mount that this unit comes outfitted with seems to be solid enough for you to enjoy the view without worrying about anything on this account. All in all, the NexStar 6 SE is a good choice for people who are willing to spend a pretty penny on a top-notch telescope.
Because of its 6-inch aperture, the device can gather plenty of light, and it can deliver excellent views of the planets and of the moon.
This computerized alternative includes a database of more than 40,000 celestial objects. Furthermore, this telescope was designed to locate these objects automatically.
Technically speaking, this device has an apparent FOV of 44 feet at 1000 yards and a focal length of 1500mm or 59 inches. What is more, it has a focal ratio of 10.
Given that the 6SE is highly compact and particularly light in weight, you can use it during those excursions when you go on to dark sky sites.
Although it is considered a suitable telescope for beginners, some have argued that it needs a power adapter and extra eyepiece upgrades.
One user was disappointed by the accuracy of the GoTo controller. According to him, it takes quite a bit of practice before one gets used to it.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($799)
5. Orion 10022 StarMax 90mm TableTop Maksutov
Not all catadioptric models have to cost a pretty penny, and that’s especially true when tackling the matter of this Orion unit. The caveat is that it comes with an aperture of 90mm, so it’s not your regular high-power Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope. However, it does offer the benefit of portability despite being primarily designed as a tabletop alternative.
Since the unit weighs in at just 6.5 pounds, you’ll have no trouble taking it with you on a field nearby, where the sky is less polluted. The aperture is somewhat versatile as you will be able to take a peek at nebulas, galaxies, and clusters, as well. As it is to be expected, the Moon and the other planets stand no chance when being looked at with this model.
Described as one of the top choices out there for beginners, this 90mm tabletop telescope can probably help you brush up on your stargazing skills.
When fully assembled, this alternative only weighs 6.5 lbs. Moreover, given that you can take off its base, the choice can be easily transported.
The model has a 90mm aperture and, thus, it can deliver great views of space objects such as nebulas, globular clusters, and even bright galaxies.
Because the item includes a tabletop base, you can be sure that your new acquisition will remain steady, no matter where you decide to place it.
When shipped, the Orion 10022 StarMax includes two 1.25″ eyepieces, a 90-degree mirror diagonal so that you can enjoy a comfortable night sky viewing experience, as well as an EZ Finder II reflex sight.
Many consider this alternative a good investment for a novice. However, some were prone to point out that it does not have numerous features.
One buyer reported that he had issues with the 10mm eyepiece included in the deal, as he found it difficult to get it to focus.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.99)
Vixen 2604 R130Sf
Despite being one of the most reasonably priced options currently available for sale, this Vixen telescope can take your skills to a whole new level. Having garnered the appreciation of most of the people who have decided to invest in it, it’s safe to say that it is worth every penny.
Besides, something that also needs to be added in regards to this product is that it is lightweight, thus making it easy for you to take it everywhere. With a 130mm optical tube and a focal length of 650mm, it stands to reason that this model can allow you to have a peek at nebulas, galaxies, and virtually any celestial object you might have been interested in studying by now.
Plus, the deal even includes a box that can easily be utilized for storage. In case getting a separate case isn’t one of your plans, you can rely on this particular box to get your telescope everywhere you want.