Celestron CG-14


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Celestron CG-14
The original mother of all SCTs. I have one of the first Orange Tube C14s around. Optics are superb, drive is excellent for it's day. Only flaw in my mind is difficulty in using this scope portably. Big and heavy and awkward to place onto fork "saddle". A 2 person deal no matter how you slice it. Unless you want to risk dropping the motherload! I also wish Celestron would come up with a NexStar-style go-to mount for it!

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.197.178)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40438


Celestron CG-14
Excellent star test and very good contrast with Tuthill dew shield. Several people at recent star party thought it compared favorably to 16" and 20" dobs. This is a relatively new scope (March 1999) and seems to be much better than some of the older C-14 scopes I have tested.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.67.5)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40439


Celestron CG-14
The OTA weighs 40 lbs, not 50 as the introductory text states. The 50 lb figure was the older generation black C14s. CG14 refers specifically to the Losmandy G11 + C14 combination. The CM1400 is the C14 on the CI700 mount. The CI700 in my view is inferior to the Losmandy G11, but there are folks who give the CI700 thumbs up over the G11. The CI700's polar scope is screwed on to the side rather than machiend in place. That's an inferior arrangement. Moreover solid shaft of the CI700 (solid because it has no polarscope hole drilled through it is in fact weaker than the G11 shaft. The CI700 mount is lighter weight than the CI700. On internet chat groups the modal position is that the G11 can handle the C14 but not for photography. Nonetheless while researcing I was directed to a number of web sites where successful CCD photography had been done with precisely that combination (G11 + C14). Can't comment on the C14's optics or star test yet as mine is still on order. Back in a few months. Scott Losmandy in email insists that the qualified endorsements of the C14 on the G11 mount date to people who have the 50lb OTAs rather than the new ones. The new C14 OTA is only 10 lbs more weight than the C11. For further research try www.egroups.com: join losmandy_users and sct-users. Note that one uses the underscore and the other the hyphen for reasons mysterious.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.196.174)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40632


Celestron CG-14
poor quality, bad test image

Overall Rating: 4
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.245.18)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40633


Celestron CG-14
I took delivery of mine in April, 2000. The mount-scope combination is outstanding. The Losmandy mount handles the scope very well, and delivers excellent CCD images. I have only recently been able to star test, and the results are outstanding. Overall, an excellent value in a large aperature, truely portable scope.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.184.241)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40634


Celestron CG-14
If you have a smaller scope, and think this is the ultimate scope think again. The optics show images brighter and bigger , but contrast and resolution was that of an 8inch . My 10 inch SCT blows this away. At 500X my ten inch still holds up, but the C14 I had had a definite cliff effect at 250x. I know how to align the optics. It was not that. I am not sure what was its problem but, the extra aperature of the C14 I got was not worth the expense. I was very disappointed with the scope and did not keep it long. Celestron Customer service of not help whatsoever.

Overall Rating: 0
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.74.19)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40635


Celestron CG-14
Its a fairly versatile instrument. We have one of the original orange-tubed
models, and optically, it peformed quite well, doing things like showing the
companion of Sirius when it was near its greatest elongation. Mechanically,
it left a lot to be desired before we had the drive system completely rebuilt
by Byers. Its original drive self-destructed, and the power supply shorted
out once, forcing one of us who is a ham operator to do a quick repair (the
Company wanted WAY too much for the parts). Declination slewing tangent arm
frequently gets jammed against its stop and takes a lot of elbow grease to free
it. It performs about as well as a 12 inch Newtonian optically, but it is very
good for the general public.

Overall Rating: 7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.37.132)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40440


Celestron CG-14
I also have a Celestron 14 vintage early 1999. Optics are excellent with good star images and diffration rings. Certainly much better than older C-14's I've
looked through. At 10,000 ft. observing site with Tuthill NoDu cap it was generally agreed images were more pleasing because of excellent contrast than those in good 22" Dob nearby. The Dob's images were brighter but the sky was more washed out. Also planetary detail was excellent. Celestron has really improved optics the last few years.
Don Colton

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.67.69)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40441


Celestron CG-14
I also have a Celestron 14 vintage early 1999. Optics are excellent with good star images and diffration rings. Certainly much better than older C-14's I've
looked through. At 10,000 ft. observing site with Tuthill NoDu cap it was generally agreed images were more pleasing because of excellent contrast than those in good 22" Dob nearby. The Dob's images were brighter but the sky was more washed out. Also planetary detail was excellent. Celestron has really improved optics the last few years.
Don Colton
Sandy, UT

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.67.69)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40442


Celestron CG-14
I had one of the original orange tubes. It was in excellent condition with the enhanced silver coatings on the secondary and diagonal. It performed very poorly. I don't know what the problem was. Just not sharp and star images were like small balls, not pinpoints. The scope was awkward to set up and very heavy. It was impressive looking...I'll give it that! I sold mine and got a 12" LX200...which is fantastic in comparison.

Overall Rating: 6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.64.125)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40443


Celestron CG-14
I'm pleased with the purchase, I'm also pleased I went through Company 7
and got some quality control. Some of these appear to be better than
others; if you buy company 7 you get a scope that meets or beats specifications, whereas the scopes that fall below par are returned to Celestron and certainly
get funneled through big vendors without any quality checks.

Star test is good, very symmetrical on both sides of focus. But it seems to make very big difference to collimate near zenith. This precaution isn't necessary on the c8 or 9.25, I had taken the habit of colliating on Polaris (about 43 degrees altitude) and that didn't work. Main reason was that in the "GEM hole" you have to go into the weirdest positions to get Polaris centered for the star test. In those weird positions mirror is under maximum duress. That still doesn't seem to matter on the 8 or 9.25, but on the 14 zenith collimatin seems to help find the sweet spot which gives the scope better all-around performance in different parts of the sky. Focus shift is a manageable 1-2 arc minutes. Even though I have extensive experience with a c8 and 9.25 it's taking me some time to get used to operating this thing.

There is a lot of disucssion and worry to about side-to-side mirror flop, a much bigger problem than focus shift. All I can say is that I did dozens of side-to-side flips on Polaris while shimming the OTA to make it paralllel to the RA axis of the mount (I had to shim about .1"), and didnt have any problems. (This process is different from finding polaris while polar aligned, because to do this you actually align purposely dead-on on Polaris, and eventually you end up with Polaris in the center of hte FOV as you move side to side. So you get less need for weird contortions than when trying to view polairs from a polar-aligned position).

A few points:

1. It's not hard to slide onto the G11 saddle. It does force you to slide in from the bottom rather than the top, which is waht I did with the 9.25 and c8 (on an sp mount).

2. It handles fine in the wind on the G11. I used it in 15-20 mph wind and
was doing better than the dobs around me. CCD would be another matter but I'm
not sure one could do ccd with the 14 on any mount in a strong wind, not well anyhow. I would think small ota vibrations would affect imaging even if the mount itself was rigid.

I don't think this OTA ships well. My first one arrived in pieces courtesy
ups. The replacement fared far better. It is wise to use air freight, not ground, to minimize time in the transportation system, and also arrange to have it held at the delivery point for your pickup, don't let someone try to bring it to your door. I also took a camera and a friend to the pickup station and photographed each phase of opening the box and inspected it before signing off and taking it home. Also insure for $5k value this trips extra precautions that the real price of $3.9-4.3k won't do.

Problems in shipping include loosening of the secondary and, potentially, shifting or bending of the baffle tube. It was my secondary which
came off, shattered on primary in transit on the first scope. I strongly
suspect that many of the "bad 14s" have a secondary attachment problem which is
bad enough to impede good performance (if it's a bit loose it'll lose collimation) but not bad enough to result in disaster, as my first one did.

On the sct-user group the 14s get very positive reviews, but there are some
unhappy campers out there in cyberspace (some posting above). After evaluating many pros and cons my response was to pay the $400 price premium to purchase from Company 7. That decision worked out well, and if you're interested in this scope but worried about quality control issues, you shouldn't be trying to save $400 on quality control and $70 by shipping ground instead of air.

I bought the G11 from Pocono and wish I had bought it from company7. Here too area number of quality control issues that you woulnd't need to know about if somneone with knowledge was setting it up and evaluating before shipping. In any case I swapped the nylon clutch pads out for UHMW (available from losmandy for $10 for two), and did the unauthorized but often performed 3rd bearing
addition (search web or join losmandy_users for details). As a result the G11 handles MUCH more smoothly, feels a lot more like a Vixen. It's a good thing, too, because you need extra accuracy to use an f/11 3910 fl scope with dscs, even with teh UO 40mm/70 FOV you have .71 degrees fov to work with while locating.

Mars this year is not a good quality control test where I live, even at its highest it's still too low for excellent seeing, but the 14 pulled in a lot of detail I'd never seen before and outperformed an adjacent 12.5" starsplitter dob. I'm very glad I bought this scope.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.196.137)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40636


Celestron CG-14
If you're lucky and get a good sample, it'll be far better than any Meade. They're always poor quality.
A happy Celestron customer.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.225.77)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40637


Celestron CG-14
i had the opportunity to look thru one of these not to long ago. i must say i was impressed, and i am sure i would have been more impressed had i been under darker skies. i am an apo freak so i like good contrast and the scope as expected fell short in this area. but all things considered very nice views.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.221.138)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40638


Celestron CG-14
I purchased my c14 from Company 7 and very pleased with the results. The losmandt G11 works wonderfull with new version 2 software. Have had wonderfull support from losmandy and wouls go through the same process again.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.117.19)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40639


Celestron CG-14
I posted the long review about the C14 from Company Seven and am back
to say that after five months I'm still happy. I've gotten very good planetary
detail and had a grand time with dsos. I understand there are some unhappy
people out there with C14s that didn't pan out. I've even met some at
star parties, there seem to be some anti-c14 groupies who would sort of like
to deliver the news that you have a dog. But they've gone away scratching
their heads.

My G11 is modified with the famous third bearing (see details on the yahoo
group, losmandy_users; also read procedure at www.astronerd.com) and has done fine. One point: in heavy dew areas the Kendrick system is not enough. This thing can dew up with a kendrick going full blast! You need to have insulation around hte wire to force heat into the corrector plate.

I think Celestron shoots itself in the foot with poor quality control on this scope. I know very happy and very unhappy c14 owners. I'm one of the happy ones, and I encourage purchasers to look into buying through a company that does a basic quality control check before sending it out. I only know of one but there may be others somewhere. I hope the people who've had bad experiences have the chance to meet up some time with a "good" c14.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.196.145)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40640


Celestron CG-14
Good for CCD with Fastar system. I like it!

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.252.11)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40641


Celestron CG-14
Its a great piece of kit. I have had nothing but satisfaction from the day I purchased in 92.

PaulH

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.161.53)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40642


Celestron CG-14
This is a great scope, it can be finicky about collimation.
Stability on the G11 is excellent and I've been able to keep
observing in winds that caused dobs of comparable aperture
to shut down.

I have not felt deprived because of the field of view. A
comparable dob on an equatorial platform will run about $5400,
the G11-C14 will run $600. But the C14 is much more tolerant
of midrange eyepieces than a dob--edge of field will be better--
and an eyepiece minded dob owner could easily erase the price
difference between the two systems by buying eyepieces designed
to correct for dob field of view distortions. The C14 is also
more friendly to 2" filters (as is any long focal length scope)
like the OIII.

There is a lot of consensus that maximum dsc accuracy is about
20-30 arc minutes (diameter) whereas a go-to system like Gemini or Skywalker
will get within 3-4 arc minutes.

Rumors that the G11 is "too small" for this scope are greatly
exaggerated. I don't think anyone who has the money should be
discouraged from buying a massive mount like the HGM 200 or one of
the high end astrophysics. But still the G11 offers comparative
portability and precision in tracking and pointing. Put it this way:
if I could afford the HM200 AND the G11 I think that most nights it's the
G11 that would go into the car. If you're planning
on loading $6k of photographic equipmenmt onto the C14, then
probably the G11 is not the best option.

This scope really grows on you, though. It always attracts attention.
I suppose it's like a Corvette. Sure you can always think of a better
sports car to own, more expensive, or faster, or better cornering. But
a Corvette is still a Corvette. This scope does what an sct ought to
do: large aperture, portability, sealed optics, long focal length (a
plus for geezers with small pupils) good star test, excellent
planetary.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.34.33)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40643


Celestron CG-14
This is one big boy. I throw mine up on a G11 for visual only. I've only looked through one other (RTMC Camp Oakes), so can't comment on variability in optics with this model, but, everyone who has looked through mine says it is excellent. Two factors affect this scope: cool-down time and seeing. Eventually,it will reach ambient(at least where I observe from[So. Calif.]), and produce tremendous views, providing you have good seeing (not often the case, here). This scope does everything very well, deep-sky to planetary. Glad I bought it. Plan on something more portable for quick looks!

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:7 Ease of Use:9 Value:7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.16.39)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=49559


Celestron CG-14
Optically my new C14 is awsome. Compared superbly in head to head with a Tak Mewlon 300 which is a $12k scope. Low point is fact that there were some cosmetic flaws. They are minor but enough to bother me. Looks like some small digs in metal on back of OTA were just painted over. Crackle paint on back is not uniform everywhere. Some places are heavier than others and there are some larger "bumps" that are obvious. Of course this might be petty, but to me it is unacceptable on a $4k+ OTA only. In the end the optics more than make up for the flaws and in the end that is what is important.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.107.31)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=69393

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