Celstron OMNI XLT or Skywatcher Explorer

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Celstron OMNI XLT or Skywatcher Explorer

Postby Kurt1961 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:15 pm

I have been looking for months to buy my first telescope and have narrowed it down to Celestron Omni XLT 150 Reflector or Skywatcher Explorer 200P. Both are similar price so am edging towards the Explorer because of the extra aperture and ability to upgrade to goto in future. Any more experienced views would be welcome.
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Re: Celstron OMNI XLT or Skywatcher Explorer

Postby Gfamily2 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:35 am

Hi Kurt
If you can get a larger aperture and what looks like a better mount for similar amounts of money (at least according to the Wex Photographic website), then it seems a no-brainer to go for the Skywatcher. Both Celestron and Skywatcher are reputable makes, so there's no need to select on that basis. The only possible downside is the fact that it's going to be physically larger of course, so will be heavier and take up more space for storage and transport - but as people generally say 'aperture wins'. It'll only be a problem if you find yourself not using the Skywatcher because it's too big.

You say this will be your first scope - have you been able to try out an equatorial mount for yourself? Some people find them a bit daunting to start with, but the learning curve isn't too steep, and once you have it mastered, it's generally easier to use.

Do you have a local astronomy society, you could visit? It's worth finding one, as it means you can pick the minds of other members and possibly try out add-ons you're interested in.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
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Re: Celstron OMNI XLT or Skywatcher Explorer

Postby Kurt1961 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:55 am

Thanks for your reply. I think I will go for the Skywatcher. i haven't used an equatorial but having read up I think this is going to give me a better experience and I am willing to persevere. Sorry it has taken so long to respond(hopefully this one goes through) but have had difficulty as I kept being told my response was spam?
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Re: Celstron OMNI XLT or Skywatcher Explorer

Postby Supercooper » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:20 am

Hi,

Although SkyWatcher and Celestron are reputable makes, Celestron uses a much lower quality of manufacturer in China. Consequently they are trading on their old reputation (and doing rather well). Recently I had cause to test a 70mm f12.9 SkyWatcher 709 refractor against an 80mm f10 Celestron 'PowerSeeker'. The Celestron was extremely difficult to get a good focus, and the chromatic abberation was awful at any maginfication.

The SkyWatcher, although of smaller diameter, in this case, gave much more detailed, pin-sharp images. This is not a simgular experience either. Celestron reflectors have a figure that approximates the parabolic at best, in my experience. SkyWatcher optics are, in the main, superb (For some reason they still manufacture spherically figured mirrors) so it is important to check that your specification is P. ie Parabolic. This is available in sizes right down to their 114mm f5 Newtonians.

Their 150mmP Newtonian is a superb instrument and their 150mm Refractor (I have one) is a beautiful piece of equipment. In Celestron's defense, I would just add that their OMNI XLT telescopes have hand figured optics (Both mirror and lens) that offer a perfect image. Just steer clear of their small reflectors and refractors - It seems they're trying to maximise their profit by not taking time to finish the figure properly.

Hope this helps. Barry
Attachments
CelestronP80 (18a).JPG
The Celestron PowerSeeker80
CelestronP80 (18a).JPG (169.56 KiB) Viewed 1927 times
SkyWatcher709 (12b).JPG
The SkyWatcher 709
SkyWatcher709 (12b).JPG (185.91 KiB) Viewed 1927 times
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Using fab Helios f8 150mm Achromatic Refractor on SkyWatcher EQ5 - enjoing the views!
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Re: Celstron OMNI XLT or Skywatcher Explorer

Postby dave.b » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:32 pm

I was under the impression they were all made in China by Synta who, AFAIAA, own both brands. The Powerseeker range is quite clearly, ah-hem, built for low cost and your test results for one are of no surprise. But you can't tar all of the Celestron product ranges with the same brush.
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