Tasco 45-114375 Galaxsee 4.5"

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Tasco 45-114375 Galaxsee 4.5"
I was disillusioned after my Meade DS114EC experience and had given up. The following week I passed through TechAmerica (now RadioShack.com) and I see a short 4.5" reflector made by Tasco. After looking it over and concluding it wasn't just junk I figured I would give it another try especially at the $200.00 demo price. I had this scope for three memorable weeks. Of all the telescopes I have seen now (6)Tasco has the best owners manual. Everything was explained for assembly and was chock full of useful information to properly use the EQ mount, teach sky hopping and the use of setting circles to locate objects. Two somewhat cheezy but useful posters are included, one on the planets and the other a moon map. The software is far better than Meades and was intuitive and educational. In fact this package was the foundation for my astronomy education. This time I knew I wanted an EQ mount because it can track the sky with one control and the Tasco did this well. If you use the same observation point and put the legs in the same places on the ground the owners manual will tell you how to tweak the ALT/AZ for best tracking. After a few nights you will be making few corrections for DEC. They say a good telescope is one that is moved and setup with the least amount of effort and this is that kind of scope. The mount was stable and the setting circles accurate enough to be useful. The fine DEC and RA worked great. One complaint is that you can't rotate the optical tube (change where the eyepiece is located i.e. side, bottom, other side) but you can remove it with quick thumb screws so you can use it the other direction - and you will have to do this sometimes because the EQ mount is not continuous, it has hard stops. The eyepieces are of average quality and the 4mm will be a challenge due it's short eye relief (if you wear glasses figure on another eyepiece down the line). Collimation is a breeze with thumb screws on the primary and (phillips or allen?) screws for the diagonal. Collimation is a sore point for me because manufacturers seem to mention it in passing even though this is the most critical alignment in any optical instrument. At first eyeball it - if you keep the scope buy a collimator from Orion for about $35.00, you'll be glad you did. Even with this alignment off you could make out details on Jupiter and Saturn making the Meade look like a toy. Orions nebulae still showed only 2 stars instead of 4. This is a function of the aperture (4.5" objective size) and the blockage from the diagonal (actually this could be the mirror - what do you want for $300.00). Once collimated, ghosting disappeared but the image detail seemed the same. Conservative power rating is 125X with a technical limit of 225X. I found it useful to about 160X using a Vixen Lanthanum 6mm with a Celestron shorty 2X barlow with the image falling apart quickly beyond that. The Tasco barlow (use this with the 25mm eyepiece only) and finder are of poor quality but the finder was still useful. The 1.25" eyepiece focuser is standard allowing you to upgrade to quality eyepieces (you buy a telescope and then you buy eyepieces - consider this separate, necessary and depending on your taste in eyepieces - expensive) and it will also accept 2" eyepieces but due to aperture it is probably not practical unless you are going for higher power while maintaining your field of view. All in all a very nice beginners telescope package and highly recommended for that purpose. But............

I wanted more power. 125X is rather small for planets and doesn't allow for finer detail. I said useful to 160X - not good. With the atmosphere limit of 300X this is a little over a third of full potential. I wanted those planets and I wanted them bad to 300X. My experience in imaging also left me wanting more. Field of view was also limited by aperture and the newtonian effect (seeing the diagonal shadow in the center of the eyepiece). I figured if I spend $600-800.00 I would get something of higher optical quality (only to find out you just get a bigger mirror - check forthcoming reviews). In the end I found that for me it wasn't worth $200.00 and in mid January I returned it for a full refund. But............

If the best beginners telescope is one that inspires you to become involved at an economical price then buy this one and some 10X50 (10 power, 50mm aperture) binoculars for about $100.00 (a recommendation I have since made to a number of folks). You'll learn astronomy and the package allows you to grow. It's good enough that I'm sure many will consider something even better down the line and you will be better able to appreciate the difference. I did! (see Discovery 8" EQ Reflector for the next installment of my perilous journey)


Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 6 (Veritable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.96.84)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40244

Tasco 45-114375 Galaxsee 4.5"
I recieved this scope as a Christmas present. It is my first scope. I believe i cost around $230. I found the views of the moon, (even without colimnation) to be quite breathtaking to an novice. Then one night pointed the scope at one of the brightest object in the sky and focused on it. I was amazed! I stumbled on the object most feel is the most amazing thing in the sky. My reaction as well as my girlfriend's reaction was exactly the same as my best friend's and his wife's reaction... (Wow?) Saturn seen for the first time, (in person) is something most people find as a rather "deep" experiance. I have also made a solar filter using Bader film and have observed sunspots and hopefully the partial eclipse on Christmas day 2000. After proper colimnation, I believe the optics for a scope this cost to be OK. I comes complete with a decent mount which allows you to track objects using one hand knob. (Assuming you can find the north star, Polaris)
I now have used this scope for almost a year and have found numerous Messier and NGC objects. I've recently spent $500 for an 8" Skyquest and for the occasional astronomer, the 114mm and the 203mm scopes are all you will ever need.

Overall Rating: 7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.33.6)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40246

Tasco 45-114375 Galaxsee 4.5"
I had one of the 4.5" Tasco reflectors since 1989 until recently. Contrary to what many think about Tasco, it was a high quality scope. Images were crisp and bright. I think the images were better than a 90mm ETX when compared side by side using similar magnifications. Yhe only drawback is the .965 focuser and the cheap eyepieces provided. A set of Orion explorers helped this scope out. I was easily able to observe M57, M27, and M1 in suburban skies with this scope. I was never dissapointed with its performance.A very good value at $200 new.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.10.226)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40249

Tasco 45-114375 Galaxsee 4.5"
I bought the tasco about a year ago, and unlike what many believe about tasco, this scope is of good quality.
It is a wide field scope, focal ratio F/4.4, therefore it isn't suited to the planets (but the moon is great).
It is suited to wide field deep sky work and astrophotography.
When I bought the scope, the images of deep space were rather dim and unsharp, and I thought that it was the scope, however it was not.
There is nothing wrong with the scope it was the standard eyepices (20mm and 4mm Hugens) that were the problem.
I replaced them with a 40mm Stellarvue Deluxe Plossl, which is of great quality for the price, which gave the scope 12.5X (high power is NOT required for deep space) and it has a great field of view.
Now, with a quality eyepiece, the scope performs beautifully on deep space, with nebulas, star fields, and clusters sharp and high contrast to the edge of the field of view.
This scope performs wonderfully for what it is intended for use, deep space visual observing and astrophotography.
It is quality built and very attractive looking in midnight blue finnish.
The optics are excellent quality, the mechanics are excellent quality, the 1.25" focusser is good, and the finder does it's job fine.
Get rid of the standard eyepieces, and replace them With quality eyepieces, (Stellarvue 40mm Deluxe Plossl) and (4mm Vixen Lanthanum),and this scope will surprise you on beautifull deep space.
The scope itself is remarkable quality for the low price.
I strongly recommend it for those wanting a high quality but low price wide field deep sky telescope.

Mark Peter Neville.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 6 (Veritable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.200.242)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40250

Tasco 45-114375 Galaxsee 4.5"
I purchased this scope at a local department store that was going out of business for around $150. At the time, I was just getting started in stargazing, and was trying to save my money to get a "good" scope. However, when I saw this one, I decided to disregard everything I had heard about Tasco and take a chance... and I certainly am glad I did!

This scope has a fast ratio, so it is not wonderfully suited for planetary viewing. It does provide good views of the Moon, with decent resolution of craters and mountains. Saturn and Jupiter provide relatively decent views, at higher powers (not too high, though), but do not expect tight, high resolution images, especially not with the included eyepieces.

For what this scope was designed, however, namely low power views of deep-sky objects and star fields, it is amazingly good, considering the size of the objective. Again, the included eyepieces are not up to par, so I recommend investing in higher-quality oculars. Also, the barlow that comes with the scope is useless, apart from making a decent doorstop. But with proper collimation, this little scope provides good views of many nebulae and star clusters. The Orion Nebula, while only showing two stars, appears as a wispy smoke cloud, nearly filling the 25mm eyepiece. Dark skies reveal the Dumbbell Nebula and the Ring Nebula (although the center "hole" is not prominent). Thus far, my most memorable experience has been seeing Omega Centauri on a recent vacation in Texas... the eyepiece was filled with the big ball of stars!

I recommend this scope to beginners who are in need of a portable platform, easy to use, and who are interested primarily in deep-sky viewing. Planetary enthusiasts would do better with a quality refractor or catadiopteric, though. Clear Skies!

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:7 Mount:7 Ease of Use:8 Value:9
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.30.32)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=173804

Tasco 45-114375 Galaxsee 4.5"
well...... bought this reflector at a clearance sale for $79.00
i figured the eq-1 mount was at least worth that. i cant believe some the reviews here. yikes, im a very experienced
telescope user and i pretty much new that i would upgrade the optics on this because i wanted a small rich field scope, grab and go kind of thing. the mirrors on this scope are
horrible. just hold them up to a 60 watt bulb and youll see
what i mean. pinholes everywhere and huge patches of very
very thin coating. sad , very sad. i replaced them with
edmunds astoscan 1/8 wave mirrors , now its a scope.
the eyepieces are kellners ,no good on short focal ratios, you need very good plossls to say the least to start with.
forget about the plastic barlow with the dime size lens , makes me laugh though.
i cant believe some of the prices people have payed for this.
unless you want a scope project and replace all the optics
avoid this scope. really.

Overall Rating: 1
Optics:1 Mount:5 Ease of Use:5 Value:1
Weight: 6 (Veritable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.253.1)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=245088

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