Celestron CGE-1400


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Brand and Model:Celestron CGE-1400
Price ($USD):$5799.95
Type:Schmidt-Cassegrain
Attributes: checked Go-To checked PEC
Aperture:14" (3556mm)
f Ratio:f/10
Focal Length:3556
Finder:9x50
Electric Power:Car Batt. (12VDC Servo)
Mount:CGE Computerized (CI-700)
Tripod:Extendable Braced Steel Tripod
Weight (lbs):
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:Portability and Stability In A Complete System. All CGEs can be quickly disassembled into easy to handle transportable components even the CGE 1400! Recognized for superior stability, German Equatorial mounts eliminate the tuning fork like vibration associated with fork mounted telescopes. The new CGEs are ideal for viewing objects in every part of the sky even in the North where fork mounts have difficulty pointing.
Celestron CGE Series Telescopes

Vote Highlights Vote
Celestron CGE-1400
My astronomy club bought this scope last spring (2008). Heres my impressions after using it a few months.


OPTICS - VISUAL PERFORMANCE

The improvement over the old C11 is really bigger than anyone expected, and some of us expected a lot.

The views are contrasty with pinpoint stars across the field. Defocused stars exhibits smooth, circular diffraction patterns (unlike the fuzzy, unsymmetrical blobs in the old C11).

At f/11 it's not excactly a wide field scope. We bought a 2" 40mm Pentax eyepiece to get about the biggest field and excit pupil possible with this scope. The true FOV is about 40', witch is bigger than the full moon, and just enough to frame M81/M82.

The Veil Nebula looks complex and spectacular with this big scope. The spiral arms of M51 are readily visible on average nights (rarely visible through the C11 from our site). M27 looks like an american football rather than a dumbbell because of faint neblousity that smaller scopes would miss.

OPTICS - PHOTOGRAPHIC PERFORMANCE

The scope is very well suited for high resolution imaging of planets and deep sky objects due to the large aperture, quality optics and nearly 4 meters of focal length. The drawback is the small field.

At f/11, the stars look good across a 22.5 x 15mm image chip (APS-C size). I am aware there is some coma and field curvature inherent in the design but this is not apparent on the images. I *guess* coma could be more problematic with a full frame (36mm x 24mm) chip, so it could be a better idea to use a smaller chip with a reducer/corrector.

With a Celestron 0.63x focal reducer installed, the stars remain tight pinpoint across the 22.5 x 15mm image chip, but there is some vignetting (corner shading). The light falloff is 18% at the top/bottom edges, 40% at the sides and about 60% in the extreme corners. While vignetting can be corrected with a flatframe, I dont think it would make sense to use bigger chips than 22.5x15mm.

MOUNT - VISUAL PERFORMANCE

We have mounted the CGE mount on a concrete pillar. Our setup is stable enough for visual observation at all magnifications. The mount is sturdier than is looks.

The pointing accuracy is not great,but good enough to place any object within the FOV of a medium power eyepiece, provided that the alignement is correct.

MOUNT PHOTOGRAPHIC PERFORMANCE

My impression so far is that the mount is suitable for imaging. The periodic error of our unit is a smooth +/-11". Vibration is really not a problem with our setup. Most unguided 10-30 second exposures at f=3910 turn out well. I have not tried autoguiding yet, but I see no reason why it should not work.

I could use better pointing accuracy for imaging. The GOTO will usually fail to place an object on a small CCD chip (meade DSI II PRO) in prime focus.

USER FRIENDLYNESS

It has been frustrating to learn how to use the scope from time to time. Sometimes we wondered if there was something wrong with the hand control, but it turns out the problem is that the manual is incomplete and inaccurate. For example, we discovered that we must perform different calibration routines after *every* alignment. Otherwise the pointing accuracy will be horrible, missing the target by halv a degree or more.

Once these things are sorted out, the scope is very easy to use.

CONCLUSION
The CGE 1400 is a fantastic setup for visual observations, combining GOTO with large, quality optics.

It is also fantastic for lunar and planetary imaging.

It works fine for deep sky imaging too, even though there will allways be some people who would prefer a dedicated astrograph on a big mount, and an even bigger price tag.

Erlend L

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:9 Mount:8 Ease of Use:4 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.197.162)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=580995


Celestron CGE-1400
This is f/11, not f/10 as in the summary, so focal length is 3912mm. Outstanding optics. Good tracking, good pointing, quiet. The mount cables create some issues, possibly due to choosing to use the shell as a conductor. German equatorial mounts are more complicated than alt-az, and the CGE is no exception. It's fine if you actually read the manual. This scope/mount is not for a beginner. Permanent pier installation is much better for this OTA/mount combination than using the field tripod. Astrophotography on a one-night setup with the field tripod would be trying. (One night, as in drive somewhere, set up, collect images, take down and return home). Overall, I'm ecstatic with this scope after 1 year of "portable" and permanent installation usage.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Mount:8 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.95.195)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=578163


Celestron CGE-1400
The C-14 optics are unreproachable, the best mass produced
SCT in the business. The CGE mount, after Celestron works out it's firmware problems will be OK, suitable for the Visual use of the average Amature, may not be the Imaging platform that Celestron hoped for. Overall value, it's a 10, cant beat it for the $ 6K price tag, the Meade LX 200 14" package isn't even close.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:8 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.62.252)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=323942


Celestron CGE-1400
Great optics, but the mount and tripod are to small for the scope. Which is very hard to take Astro photogrphy.

Overall Rating: 7
Optics:10 Mount:4 Ease of Use:8 Value:7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.66.47)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=266664

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