The time has come to finally get your hands on a telescope for the home and I decide it has to be a Newtonian reflector but it also has to be great for beginners and be small enough to stick in an unobtrusive place when it’s not in use. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have some accessories and all come together for an affordable price. If this sounds like I am asking for too much, I’m not.
This is going to be a great telescope for a beginner or anyone who is looking to buy a small affordable reflector telescope on a budget. This telescope probably won’t satisfy intermediate or advanced telescope users and might disappoint someone who can afford to spend more money on a more advanced setup.
For those in the market for an affordable, beginner-friendly reflector the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ Reflector Telescope has you in mind. This is the largest reflector in the widely sold Powerseeker telescope line by Celestron coming in at 127mm for its primary aperture. It comes with a German equatorial mounting system as well as a handful of accessories to help your astronomy hobby along.
- 127mm primary aperture
- f/8 focal ratio
- 300x highest theoretical magnification
The specs are solid especially for the price but they are not groundbreaking. The Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ Reflector Telescope will be able to do everything you want it to as a beginner but will not be able to do anything crazy.Check Latest Price
Features Fit for a Beginner
Out of the box, this telescope is powerful, easy to assemble and allows for general ease of use that Celestron swears is perfect for beginners and families alike. When it comes to reflector telescopes this one offers a decent amount of power for a very affordable price, it is not very complicated and does what it sets out to do.
127mm Of Power
127mm translates to 5” for those who are used to being on the Imperial system of measurement. This is a good size that puts the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ on the higher end in terms of light gathering ability, especially for the price. Many reflectors hover right around 4.5” and 6” is where backyard telescopes begin to be considered large.
What does all this mean?
This means that this telescope offers plenty of light gathering ability which enhances its effective use. This is also boosted by the middle of the road focal ratio that this telescope produces.
The focal ratio is f/8 which is very moderate which is perfect for beginners. A higher focal ratio is best for people who want to do long looks at large objects like the moon or planets while a low focal ratio is best for people who just want to observe deep space scenes with little focus on singular objects. At f/8 this telescope can do a little of both.
This is great for a family or beginner astronomer who wants to explore everything that the night sky has to offer. The Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ will be able to effectively see all of the favorite sights such as the moon, Jupiter and it’s moons as well as Saturn and the rings of Saturn. In addition to all of that, at 5” in diameter, it will also be able to catch some unique glimpses of dim and distant sights beyond the solar system.
This will allow the novice backyard astronomer to get a taste of both the solar system and some deep space sights which will help them specialize in the future. If astronomy ends up being a long term hobby, many people like to get telescopes for specific sights and purposes. The Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ is a jack of all trades which will give good views of everything.
This is a great amount of power for the price and opens up this telescope to doing a bit more than some of the more basic telescopes on the market.
Manual Mount Perfect for Learning
The Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ Reflector Telescope ships with a manual German equatorial mounting system. This is a unique choice that lends itself to learning the ins and outs of an important part of long term astronomy: long term object tracking.
Many telescopes, especially ones targeting beginners, ship with a simple altazimuth mount system which is simply a mount that can be moved up and down and side to side. This is great for someone to just wheel around the sky looking at things that catch their fancy. However, this is not great for someone trying to look at a single object over a long period of time.
If you go outside when the moon is just rising and hang out for a bit, you will see how fast the moon seems to shoot up into the sky. Objects are constantly moving across the sky during the day and at night. If you want to look at an object for more than a couple of minutes, it is going to start to drift away and tracking it can be difficult.
Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ can help…
That is where the German equatorial mount comes into play. This mount is designed to be aligned with the equator which then allows for easy tracking of objects during the night. Once the mount is properly aligned, tracking objects becomes easier because now they will be moving in straight lines as the earth rotates around the equator.
This is made even easier by the control knobs which allows for micro-adjustments and tiny movements of the mount. Once an object is locked in it can be easily followed with a few turns of a knob over a long period of time. This is perfect for someone trying to get a perfect glimpse of the rings of Saturn or who wants to keep a popular star in view.
It can also be used as a great learning tool to cut your teeth on. Electronic go-to mounts are expensive so knowing how to manually align a manual mount and set it up for a long viewing session is a very valuable skill for any astronomer to have. The German equatorial mount is a perfect learning tool for that.
Altazimuth mounts do not have mechanisms to align them properly for long viewing sessions so they cannot offer the skills that this mount can. A little fiddling and practice will teach the beginner how to properly set up their telescope which is a skill that can come in handy for any telescope and even other mounts that require setup and alignment.
Accessories and Warranties
Celestron adds some useful things to this package that boosts its value. This includes two eyepieces, a 3x Barlow lens, access to the Starry Night software and a two-year warranty.
The inclusion of two eyepieces and a Barlow lens is pretty standard fare for telescope setups in this price range. However, Celestron has changed it up a bit by offering a 3x Barlow lens instead of the standard 2x lens. This means that the Barlow will triple any natural magnification level of the included eyepieces.
It also includes access to Starry Night which is a professional astronomy software suite that can be a great tool for people new to telescopes and astronomy. It will be able to help learn the night sky, how objects move and where and when to see specific objects. This will be a great tool for anyone looking to get the most out of their manual equatorial mount as well.
It is a little disappointing that it does not come with a finderscope or any kind of sight to help align the telescope in the sky. It also does not come with any travel-friendly accessories. One of the biggest complaints this scope gets is the lack of a collimator, more on that below.
Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ Overview
Celestron does offer a two-year warranty on this product including technical support. This is a great boon for the beginner. If anything goes wrong you have support in the form of the warranty or help over the phone if you have any questions or concerns. Just in case something were to go wrong. This adds a lot of peace of mind for something that many see as an investment in a high tech piece of equipment.
Overall, the lenses, triple Barlow scope, and high-end software are great starter pieces that can really get a beginner astronomer started. The warranty is a great value that comes free of charge from Celestron.
Overall, there was only one major complaint that kept cropping up when mentioning this particular telescope and it had to do with calibrating the mirrors.
The most common complaint I have seen regarding this telescope is the collimation process.
Being a larger reflector telescope means that every once in awhile the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ is going to need to be collimated. For the uninitiated that collimation is the process of calibrating the reflective surfaces of the telescope to keep the image quality high. Reflectors that get out of focus will produce blurry images and need to be readjusted to come back into focus.
All Newtonian reflectors need to go through this process at some point so saying that collimation is a deal-breaker for beginners is unfair. However, it is good to know that this is something else that will need to be learned if you are going to be using this telescope for the long haul.
Some people have said that it is perfectly doable to collimate this scope by eye without the aid of a collimator. I did not try this as mine is not out of alignment but the size of the mirrors and the way it is put together, I think that this is most likely true.
There are those who only know how to or want to collimate their telescopes using a laser collimator and this model requires some disassembly and tinkering to get it to a point where it can be collimated with a laser. Especially for beginners this process can be frustrating, daunting, and can lead to issues.
So who should not buy this telescope?
This is also why it is not a great telescope to travel with. Without the inclusion of travel safe and travel-ready accessories, moving this reflector can lead to some alignment issues which will require it to be collimated more frequently. If that process already sounds tedious then taking it without is probably going to be out of the question.
If you don’t know what collimation is or if that sounds like a lot to tackle with your first telescope then you will probably want to avoid a reflector telescope altogether for now and stick to the refractor Powerseekers which do not require this level of the realignment of sensitive mirrors.
The Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ Reflector Telescope can be a great teaching and learning telescope for those who are looking for that. The features, accessories, and design will be able to teach the beginner astronomer about aligning amount, how reflectors work, what a Barlow lens is, and how to collimate their reflector. With a little bit of curiosity and willingness to learn this telescope can grow with you and teach you a ton along the way. With this all in mind that’s why we have added it to our Best Telescopes for Kids guide.
In terms of Newtonian reflectors for beginners, this one checks a lot of boxes. It is powerful, has a unique mount and doesn’t require any assembly. All reflectors will require collimation at some point so learning on this unit can only benefit you in the future.
It is a powerful telescope that offers a lot at an affordable price. For the beginner who knows what they want and who is looking to expand their horizons, this telescope can teach you a lot and show you a lot. For the price, it really is a great scope and comes highly recommended.