Celestron continues its good run of form in the telescope space with another solid iteration of the PowerSeeker line. Celestron has made a name for itself by making telescopes geared towards the beginner astronomer. These scopes are affordable, offer decent views, and are easy to use for people of all skill levels.
The Celestron PowerSeeker 80 EQ Refractor Telescope is an 80mm objective lens scope. It is lightweight, versatile, and durable. It offers decent specs at a fair price and is a well-rounded telescope.
- Refractor design
- 80mm objective lens
- f/11 focal ratio
- 189x highest theoretical magnification
- 16lbs assembled weight
Celestron’s refractors have great potential for accessories, they are easy to take with you on trips or outdoors, and the equatorial mount and tripod make it easy to find your favorite objects in the night sky. The 80mm variant of the PowerSeeker offers enough power to keep you entertained for a while and this telescope as enough features to grow with you from beginner status to an intermediate level of familiarity with astronomy.Check Latest Price
Celestron once again has made a great scope that is perfect for the traveling stargazer and the beginner.
80mm = 3.15 inches of Lens
While 80mm is not the biggest lens size available on the market, for a telescope of this price and quality it is decent. It is bigger than the also common 60mm and 70mm variants. As the size of lenses increases, the light gathering potential of the telescope increases exponentially. That means the 80mm is significantly better at gathering the all-important light from the stars than the smaller models for a similar price.
All that to say, this is not a bad scope in terms of power. With a highest theoretical magnification of 189x and a focal ratio of f/11, it provides excellent imaging for everyone’s favorite sights in the sky.
This is a great telescope for beginners because it will be able to hone in and see things such as the details on the surface of the moon, the rings of Saturn, and the polar ice caps on Mars. The details are clear if not the sharpest and are more than adequate in providing excellent views.
The focal ratio of f/11 makes it so this telescope is the best at focusing on brighter, detailed objects. That is why it is great at finding and imaging the planets, the moon, and other similar objects. The focal ratio hits a sweet spot that makes this refractor excellent at getting all of the views you want out of it without any hassle.
The contrast is high enough that you can even see the moons orbiting around Jupiter if the conditions are right.
The image quality is good but all refractors are subject to a little bit of chromatic aberration so there will be a fuzzy halo around some of the brighter objects out there. That is just a factor of the design. This can be corrected by getting filters, one of the many kinds of accessories that will fit seamlessly onto this telescope.
The Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ Refractor Telescope comes with fully coated glass on every piece of their scope which also acts to cut down on aberrations of image quality. The coated glass works to enhance all of the light coming into the telescope and prevents light from being wasted or distorted during the magnification process. It is a nice upgrade that adds value.
Mount and Base
The Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ Refractor Telescope comes with a German equatorial mount and standard tripod base. This is a good combination that allows for a lot of flexibility and long term viewing. It is one of the best combinations for a beginner that will both give you a long term option to grow with.
The German style equatorial mount allows you to align the telescope with the equator which makes it easy to keep objects in the eyepiece for hours, even all night if you want to. Getting the telescope aligned takes a little bit of practice but it is a great skill to have. Once it is properly aligned, keeping something such as Saturn in view just takes a small twitch of a knob to make micro adjustments and you will be able to view your favorite objects all night.
The mount is sturdy and responsive. The knobs are smooth and fluid to use. The whole setup looks sharp and works as intended. It fits on the tripod perfectly and gives you a responsive and versatile way to control the telescope.
Accessories & Versatility
Refractor telescopes have the widest array of possible accessories that they can utilize compared to other telescope designs. The PowerSeeker is no different. Celestron has included a few accessories to get you started but the benefit lies in the nearly unlimited potential for aftermarket tweaks and upgrades.
Celestron has included two eyepieces, a Barlow lens, an erect image diagonal, and a red dot finderscope. These accessories are more than enough to get you off the ground when starting your telescope outfit.
The Barlow lens is a 3x magnifier. This means, when attached to the eyepieces, you will triple the magnification potential of each. This effectively doubles the number of included eyepieces from two to four.
The erect image diagonal makes it so that this telescope can be used as a terrestrial viewer as well as a sky viewer. This dual functionality really allows you to do a lot with this telescope. With a low power eyepiece, you can use this scope to survey beautiful natural outdoor scenes. This could be used to see fine details in national parks, the beach, and more as a terrestrial scope.
Powerseeker EQ Series Video Overview
This highlights the versatility of this kind of refractor telescope. It can be used in a bunch of different ways. Pair this will the accessory potential and you have the ability to turn this telescope into whatever kind of scope you want.
The glass in this scope is high quality, coated glass, and does not break easily. That means that this tube is durable in ways that reflectors are not. It can be safely taken along in the car to your favorite dark sky destinations without having to worry about it getting dinged, or misaligned.
With the right setup, you could make a perfect night sky or a daytime telescope. You can put on filters, different eyepieces, different finderscopes, or anything you can think of and then take the telescope to different places to try out your modifications.
A telescope you take on hikes and use on land and at night. A filtered telescope to look at each planet differently. That is what makes it great for beginners who don’t know much yet, great for intermediates who want to customize a telescope to their living or great for the outdoorsy stargazer who enjoys dark skies.
The possibilities are endless and that is one of the biggest upsides to this telescope.
Won’t Satisfy Everyone
As great as this telescope is, especially for the new or casual astronomer it will not satisfy everyone. There are a few limitations to this set up that will cause some more advanced astronomers to find it lacking.
First, the power of this telescope, while decent, is not fantastic. This telescope will do fine surveying the solar system and other nearby objects but will struggle to gather enough light to effectively do solid deep space viewing.
The ease of use and the design might also bore some more advanced telescope users. While it does have the potential to host a lot of accessories it does not have the ability to utilize some more technological or feature focused upgrades that some beefier telescopes now come with.
This doesn’t detract from what this telescope is, a portable, versatile scope that covers all of the beginner bases, but this scope lacks the chops to really grow with you past a certain point.
For the price and what it offers, this is one of the best beginner telescopes on the market. It is easy to use, doesn’t need collimation, won’t get out of alignment or damaged easily. It can be outfitted with your favorite modifications or accessories to be used in a variety of different ways.
The Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ Refractor Telescope offers good image quality. It looks sharp and travels well.
The only real drawback is that it can’t do everything. If you are serious about getting deep into astronomy, you will probably outgrow this telescope. It will teach you a lot along the way, give some awesome views of the solar system but at the end of the day, you are eventually going to find yourself wanting more.
For a portable telescope to take camping or for a first telescope, this PowerSeeker model checks all of the boxes and would be a great purchase.