Celestron Nexstar 4


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Brand and Model:Celestron Nexstar 4
Price ($USD):699
Type:Maksutov-Cassegrain
Attributes: checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:102mm (4")
f Ratio:f/13
Focal Length:1325mm
Finder:Star Pointer
Electric Power:8 AA Batt. (12V)
Mount:Alt-Az Arm
Tripod:Table Top
Weight (lbs):11 lbs
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:Multicoated 25mm SMA Eyepiece (53x)
Fast 4 Per Second Go-To Slew Speed
Nine Available Slew Speeds
Flip Mirror Control for Visual and Photographic Use
Threaded Phtographic Port on Rear Cell

Vote Highlights Vote
Celestron Nexstar 4
(Note - I previously voted when I had forgotten to log in, which did not much weight to my vote, hence the reason I am doing this again).

I bought my NexStar 4 in May 2003. I needed a portable GOTO scope because my 6" refractor and 11" SCT were too large and heavy to easily transport.

From a standpoint of appearance and design, this is one of the best on the market. The size proportion of the OTA and the fork mount is just right - on some of the other NexStars, the OTA looks either too big or too small. Plus, unlike the Meade ETX series, you can actually grab the focus knob with fat fingers, and the finder is useable.

Portability and setup is very easy. At a bit over 20lbs with tripod, it's very easy to carry. Setting up for GOTO is also easy - getting the OTA level, and pointing rerasonably close to north results in getting the alignment stars quite close to the center of the star pointer finder. Once aligned, GOTO's are remarkably accurate and consistent, even after hours of use.

Optically, this is a very good instrument. It delivers refractor-quality views, with high contrast and sharp definition. And, unlike an achromat refractor, fasle color is absent. Focusing is precise and smooth. The mount is rock solid - less than 1 second damping time when you strike the OTA.

If this little scope has a weakness, it's in tracking objects in alt-az. First, the motors are a bit noisy when tracking, and it's not a pleasant noise (but eventually you accept it). More troubling is the accuracy - in the 25mm eyepiece, objects will drift out of the FOV in about 10 minutes. I find myself constantly hitting the direction buttons on the hand controller to compensate. I haven't tried tracking in equatorial mode yet - I'm hopeful it will be better. At any rate, I had to give less than a perfect ease of use rating based on the tracking problems.

Otherwise, I am well please with my NexStar 4, and based on it's portability and optical quality, I suspect I may end up using it more than my other scopes.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:9
Weight: 7 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: JKZimm
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=241004


Celestron Nexstar 4
Not a great telescope,I used to own a Meade ETX 90 RA and had better views with that despite the smaller aperture,I wish I'd held on to it now!
Tracking abilities are woeful,it just does it's own thing really and trying to keep anything in the eyepiece for long is a waste of time,I usually end up switching the tracking off and use it manually.
The optics are quite poor really(at least on mine),I have a thirty year old 90mm Newtonian,which takes 0.965" eyepieces and despite this easily outperforms the N4.
If there are any plus points it must be it's ability to locate objects.When it is properly levelled and pointed north,it is quite accurate(particularly in two star alignment mode)and the requested object almost always ends up in the field of view.
Also the optional tubular steel tripod is rock solid,even in quite windy conditions.
I haven't enjoyed my time with this telescope and can't recommend it,buy an ETX instead!

Overall Rating: 4
Optics:5 Mount:5 Ease of Use:4 Value:2
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: shorty39
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=488722


Celestron Nexstar 4
Bought one for a quick setup and go scope an its just that.The views are really nice in this little guy. It does a better job than I thought it would and I'm happy with the
scope controlls, build , and optics. The tripod is a little lite
but still works for my needs. Its just what Celestron wanted
it to be. A good starter scope.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:9 Mount:7 Ease of Use:7 Value:8
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: scopeforme
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=135685


Celestron Nexstar 4
Optically the Nexstar4 is very good,providing sharp Planetary and Lunar views.I've read a number of negative views regarding the pointing and slewing accuracy of the Nexstar mount,I've had few problems with mine and provided the tripod and tube are levelled precisely,objects consistently appear within the field of view of a 40mm eyepiece.
However I have noticed that the slewing tends to decrease in accuracy after prolonged use and will sometimes point in the wrong direction,particularly in cold conditions.This would present problems for the novice,who has purchased one with no prior knowledge of the night sky.I have found that switching the mount off for a short while,usually rectifies this.
Tracking is ok for short periods in AZ mode and is somewhat better equatorially, but not notably so.
Overall this is a good scope,with a few quirks that you soon get used to,a good portable instrument for those such as myself who need to travel to dark sites,although not really suitable for beginners who don't know the constellations.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.109.70)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=403452


Celestron Nexstar 4
I am really impressed with the optics & ease of use with this telescope. You really can't beat it for the price!

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.198.98)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=338083


Celestron Nexstar 4
I recently purchased the "N4" for 399USD*. It came with a five-year warranty and an updated [as of Dec. 2001] go-to hand controller that resolves the bugs reported in earlier reviews.

I've had the scope out on three separate nights. Despite poor atmospheric conditions, and using just the manufacturer-supplied 25mm SMA eyepiece, I was able to view multiple cloud bands on Jupiter, see some detail in the Orion Nebula, and detect differing apparent colors of double stars. And thanks to the go-to capability, I can locate targets that would otherwise be impossible to find here under the heavily light polluted skies of Englewood, CO. Objects are crisp across the FOV--no obvious aberrations, and plenty of contrast for a scope this size.

The single-tine mount does not present any problems, the design being both attractive and, for a scope this small, very practical. Vibrations dampen quickly and only truly gusty winds seem to disturb it.

Set-up and alignment are a snap. The updated hand controller has three different alignment methods, and all are easy to perform. The alignment procedure takes about 2-3 minutes, and if performed with care, results in spot-on (consistent center 1/3 of FOV) targeting capability.

This is an ideal scope for anyone on a limited budget (as I was) living under skies that prevent you from finding many objects with the naked eye (as I am). And now that the hand controller bugs are resolved, I'm convinced it's the best go-to deal in its class. I would give it a rating of ten for its combination of portability, capability, and value, but a minor blemish (a peeling decal) and a less-than-ideal user manual (including a photocopied supplement for the updated HC unit, with at least one mistake) result in a rating of 'only' a very firm nine.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.123.121)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=84278

Where did you find the "N4" for 399?

>I recently purchased the "N4" for 399USD*. It came with a five-year warranty and an updated [as of Dec. 2001] go-to hand controller that resolves the bugs reported in earlier reviews. 
>
>I've had the scope out on three separate nights. Despite poor atmospheric conditions, and using just the manufacturer-supplied 25mm SMA eyepiece, I was able to view multiple cloud bands on Jupiter, see some detail in the Orion Nebula, and detect differing apparent colors of double stars. And thanks to the go-to capability, I can locate targets that would otherwise be impossible to find here under the heavily light polluted skies of Englewood, CO. Objects are crisp across the FOV--no obvious aberrations, and plenty of contrast for a scope this size.
>
>The single-tine mount does not present any problems, the design being both attractive and, for a scope this small, very practical. Vibrations dampen quickly and only truly gusty winds seem to disturb it.
>
>Set-up and alignment are a snap. The updated hand controller has three different alignment methods, and all are easy to perform. The alignment procedure takes about 2-3 minutes, and if performed with care, results in spot-on (consistent center 1/3 of FOV) targeting capability.
> 
>This is an ideal scope for anyone on a limited budget (as I was) living under skies that prevent you from finding many objects with the naked eye (as I am). And now that the hand controller bugs are resolved, I'm convinced it's the best go-to deal in its class. I would give it a rating of ten for its combination of portability, capability, and value, but a minor blemish (a peeling decal) and a less-than-ideal user manual (including a photocopied supplement for the updated HC unit, with at least one mistake) result in a rating of 'only' a very firm nine.

Celestron Nexstar 4
Price and GOTO functions should be attractive for a beginner. OPTICS are first rate. Collimation is difficult and should usually be left alone. I strongly urge anyone buying this scope to read the alignment guide at
http://www.angelfire.com/ns/nexstar/AlignmentFAQ.htm

Also there is a dedicated chat group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nexstar/messages

The controller has quirks for sure that people should learn about. The anglefire site has excellant information regarding that.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.96.163)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41083


Celestron Nexstar 4
My first N4 had awful optics, but the scopes was replaced with no questions asked. The replacement scope has moderately good optics and the star test seems to be OK (I am not an expert). I find the scope a bit dim if you push it up to very high power (180x), but it is excellent at medium powers. The tripod is very stable and nicely finished. The GOTO performance is inconsistent -- when it works the tour function is a wonderful introduction to astronomy. However, I have difficulty about half of the time trying to get the scope aligned. The motors on the scope do make quite a noise, but they do not wake up the neighbors. Overall, I rate the N4 as a good introductory scope, but I am already wanting a larger one.

Overall Rating: 7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.107.54)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41082


Celestron Nexstar 4
The GoTo system slewed to the wrong part of the sky, so polar alignment was'nt possible. I subsequently learned the software is faulty. I never got to evaluate the optics as the plastic tripod leg hinges cracked off in the cold air. I returned it for a refund and will never buy a Celestron again.

Overall Rating: 5
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.122.251)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41081


Celestron Nexstar 4
Group,
Below is a copy of the e-mail setn to celestron concerning my nextstar 4:

Sirs:
Rather than mess with the requirements required for service, I have decided to display my Nextstar 4" at all public and educational events that I attend.(some five or six thousand people a year) Attached to this device will be a sign stating that under no circumstances should a perspective telescope buyer consiter a "dimestore telescope" or a celestron product. This sign will be adjacent to two LX-200's and my dobsonian, that do work. Since I'm out $500 or so for a product that willnot or cannot be made to work, Fair is Fair.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.148.244)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41079

>Group,
>Below is a copy of the e-mail setn to celestron concerning my nextstar 4:
>
>Sirs:
>	Rather than mess with the requirements required for service, I have decided to display my Nextstar 4" at all public and educational events that I attend.(some five or six thousand people a year) Attached to this device will be a sign stating that under no circumstances should a perspective telescope buyer consiter a "dimestore telescope" or a celestron product. This sign will be adjacent to two LX-200's and my dobsonian, that do work. Since I'm out $500 or so for a product that willnot or cannot be made to work, Fair is Fair.

I own a Celestron 9.25 GPS,which is superior in every way to any similarly sized Meade LX-200 that I have seen or used.Do Celestron Cassegrains need mirror locks to prevent them losing focus?....
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