Celestron has been around for a long time, and they just keep making telescopes. Not all of Celestron’s telescopes are winners but they are not afraid to try different things to spice up their designs and functionality of their scopes. The Celestron Omni XLT AZ 114mm Newtonian is an up to scratch reflector telescope with a wholly redesigned altazimuth mount that I absolutely adore.
The features and the specifications of this telescope come together in a way that works really well. Some telescopes have features, mounts, and design specifications that do not gel well together leading to some awkward experiences but there is none of that with this telescope. Celestron has done their homework and designed something that is really a joy to use.
- Newtonian reflector
- 114mm aperture
- f/3.95 focal ratio
- 225x highest useful magnification
- 14lbs assembled weight
With a low focal ratio and decent light gathering ability, this telescope is going to be a great light bucket type of scope that excels at scanning the night sky for star patches but is going to lag when it comes to singular bright objects like the planets. Either way, this is a great scope for beginners or those who want an easy to use general purpose telescope.Check Latest Price
Simple and Functional
The first thing I noticed about this telescope is that it is not super distinctive. All of it’s specifications and features are pretty much standard fare in the realm of mid-priced reflectors. This is not necessarily a bad thing, these are standard numbers for a reason, but nothing really stood out to me as distinctive about the telescope itself.
The 114mm aperture is serviceable and gives you enough light gathering capability to do some solid night sky watching. With a magnification ceiling of 225x, it has chops enough to do solar system viewing and some casual deep space scanning as well.
The only thing that stood out in terms of the telescope itself was its very low focal ratio. The low focal ratio of 3.95/f is great for getting some excellent views of wide angle sights in the night sky. Under the right conditions, you can get some great views of distant galaxies and bright star fields.
The reflector is simple, it works really well, and has enough in the tank to give a user many, many nights of solid and unique fun looking at the night sky. If that’s all there was to it, I would chalk it up as yet another good but not great reflector, give it a lukewarm review and move on. But there is something more to it that surprised me.
A New Altazimuth Design
Fair warning, I am partial to altazimuth mounts over other kinds of telescope bases. I really enjoy the freedom and fluid nature of the altazimuth design over something like an equatorial mount. I know that there are advanced astronomers out there who swear that being able to align and lock your telescope is the only way to go when it comes to mounts but I just don’t find it as fun.
Celestron’s new mount that they have added to the Celestron 22151 Omni XLT AZ 114mm Newtonian Telescope is simply fantastic. It takes the fluid freedom of a traditional altazimuth mount, enhances it, and adds in slow motion tracking capability.
Now, you can get the excellent slow motion control that you normally find in an equatorial mount with the unhindered fluidity of an altazimuth mount. It is super easy, smooth, and fun to use.
The difference here is the addition of modern worm gears to the standard formula. These worm gears work slightly differently and allow for super slow, smooth transitions that allow for slow motion tracking.
Older altazimuth mounts can be hard to use for tracking. Too much force, or the slightest jerk, can really misalign the whole thing and ruin the view. That is greatly reduced with this new mount and as I said, it works great. It pairs everything I love about altazimuth mounts with the features I like about equatorial mounts without the headaches.
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What’s In The Box?
The Celestron 22151 Omni XLT AZ 114mm Newtonian ships with a 25mm Pl”ssl (1.25″) / 18x eyepiece. It obviously ships with the telescope tube itself which comes in a pleasing blue color and fully coated optics. It comes with an aluminum tripod with a maximum height of 49”. Also, it also includes an intuitive and useful StarPointer™ Pro finderscope, an accessory tray, and access to Celestron’s SkyPortal app.
Everything here is of good or great quality, especially the finderscope. Instead of a simple red dot sight, this is an upgraded view pointer with multiple settings including a ring, dual ring, and simple dot. This allows you more freedom over the pointer than you get with a cheap single dot finderscope that some manufacturers just throw into their kits. The StarPointer™ Pro finderscope is really nice.
The thing that everyone seems to have a problem with is the aluminum tripod. It is not super sturdy and even on what you think is solid ground, it wobbles and shakes. This can be quite annoying, especially when you are trying to use the slow motion tracking to its maximum effect. The telescope has never felt in danger of pitching over but the small vibrations and wobbles from the base are very offputting.
This is a good reflector telescope that can offer a lot of miles in terms of views and fun but there is nothing super distinctive about it. It has nice upgraded accessories and a sharp blue finish and all in all is a good package. The most redeeming factor about it is the upgraded altazimuth mount which makes exploring the night sky a true joy.
If you are looking for a general purpose reflector for a decent price, you could do much worse than the Celestron 22151 Omni XLT AZ 114mm Newtonian. It’s not flashy or exciting but it works well and comes with everything you need. For me, that is enough and I really can’t get enough of this awesome mount.