Celestron C102-HD


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Celestron C102-HD

Very good images on planets. False color on the brightest
objects. Tack sharp on the moon. Very good contrast. I live
in light polluted skies, and this scope outperforms my 8"
reflector in bright skies. Very portable. I leave it assembled
my garage, take it outside and I'm observing in minutes. I'm
out on most clear nights even if it's just for less than an hour.
Not as sharp as some apos I've seen or the older Vixen models.
But I only paid $550.00 for it. At that price I don't think
you can beat it.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.164.22)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38812


Celestron C102-HD
Great Scope for the price !!. Star test is good but not perfect (I dont know if it reasonable to expect perfect star test in this price range) In focus star images are pinpoints. Splended views of open clusters, nebulas and galaxies - and these from mag 4.5 skies !! Was even able to get a look at the crab nebula under mag 4.5 - 5.0 skies, though it was only a smudge. Some false color in bright objects (moon, sirius, venus). Impressed by the optics overall and the CG-4 mount is excellent. Finder could be better. Paid 650 for the whole settup (new) and I dont know if I could have done better in this price range.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.87.18)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38813


Celestron C102-HD
The optics have proven to be quite good on this scope, but perhaps not perfect. A star test shows the defraction rings more or less the same inside or out of focus. The outer ring may be just a bit brighter outside of focus,
indicating a tiny bit of spherical aberration. I'm not an expert at reading star tests so take my evaluation with a grain of salt. One cannot expect perfect optics on a scope in this price range. If there is a flaw, it is relatively minor, however, because the images of the moon and planets have been VERY sharp and crisp. I've held magnifications of over 300X with a barlow and the images
have been very good. Stars are tiny points right to the edge of the field. My views of Saturn have been absolutely stunning in this scope and some of the fine detail in Jupiter's Belts have been spectacular during brief moments of steady seeing. There is some false color with this scope but it's very unobtrusive. You have to look for it. A dark-violet halo around Venus, the moon displays a thin violet halo at the edge at high power, and to a lesser extent, a thin dark-violet ring around Jupiter. Many observers don't even notice anything until you tell them where to look. All refractors display some false color, unless you are fortunate enough to own an APO, which costs 4 times as much. The C102HD does an excellent job of displaying very difficult images with a high degree of contrast. High powered views of the moon and planets are sharp and crisp. This scope exceeds its expected performance for a 4" refractor with equatorial mount in this price range. http://www.globaldialog.com/~webnik/C102HDRefractor.htm

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.21.214)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38815


Celestron C102-HD

Surprising good optics for such a low price. Does throw up false color
on brighter objects. Vibration dampening could be a bit better.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.62.55)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38816


Celestron C102-HD
This is a magnificent scope for only $500. With above average seeing, this scope shows Cassini`s division in Saturn`s rings as well as a couple of cloud bands and the shadow of the rings on the planet, etc. It also shows several cloud bands on Jupiter and two cloud belts often times with a reddish color. The 4 Galilean moons are easily seen and the great red spot is sometimes visible. The moon shows a considerable amount of detail especially at high powers including many craters of nearly all sizes, small craters inside much larger ones, lunar mountains on the edge of big craters, maria, etc. Many times, the observer gets the feeling that they`re in low lunar orbit or actually standing on the moon. This scope also easily shows Mercury, the phases of Venus, considerable detail on Mars especially at opposition, 100`s of deep space objects, etc. For ex., the Orion Nebula, (M42), is a spectacular sight through this scope and often times has a greenish color to it. Most images are extremely clear, sharp, and bright with virtually no chromatic abberation even on very bright objects at high powers. One has to usually look for spurious color in this scope and even then, it`s sometimes difficult to detect. The mount is stable enough as far as I`m concerned. Considering all of this along with it`s extremely low price tag, I think this scope deserves a 10.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.11.237)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38817


Celestron C102-HD
This scope almost qualifies as a semi-apo.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.11.237)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38818


Celestron C102-HD
Just picked this scope up and in one word I am IMPRESSED. The star test showed slight undercorrection, no astigmatism, and perfect collimation with a chesire eyepiece. The views of Jupiter at 150X are spectacular, at least 5 bands were seen, the great red spot inside the red spot hallow was quite evident. The moons appear as disks. On Saturn the Cassini division was easily observed around the planet. Also shading was seen between Cassini div and outer ring. Banding and shading on the planet is quite evident. The double double was easily split at 76X. Stars are beautiful pinpoints. The mount is quite usable for this configuration, even though it is no Great Polaris. The motion in both axis are quite smooth. For the price this scope is a 10+, I find it hard to believe you can obtain such a fine instrument at such a low price. Highly recommended. bob

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.224.89)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38820


Celestron C102-HD
I have to add to my previous post. The more I use this scope the more impressed I am. Last night with a very transparent atmosphere, With a 7.5mm plossl I saw the six stars of the Trapezium. The sixth star came and went with turbulance affecting the seeing. This shows how much contrast this little scope delivers. I was totally stunned by the feat. Also the Crepe division in Saturn's rings was detected, along with 4 of its moons. If the quality control on these scopes are somewhat consistent, then you can't beat the performance obtained with this model, more bang for the buck! Bob Midiri

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.115.32)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38821


Celestron C102-HD
The star test did fairly well. There was average color correction but what I expected considering what I paid. Brightness was fair to good. I only had the single motor. It tracked in RA fairly well. I could go away and come back an hour later and things would be centered in the field of view. This was a good starter scope for the price. But it does not compare to my other scopes that I have upgraded to.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.79.22)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38822


Celestron C102-HD
My 102HD is a surprisingly good telescope. Diffraction rings are almost the same insicde and outside of focus. Contrast and brightness are quite good. The motor tracks accurately and the G-4 EQ head can handle the weight. The tripod is barely adequate for the job. The aluminum legs twist and do not dampen out vibrations well.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.16.16)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38823


Celestron C102-HD
My 102HD is a surprisingly good telescope. Diffraction rings are almost the same insicde and outside of focus. Contrast and brightness are quite good. The motor tracks accurately and the G-4 EQ head can handle the weight. The tripod is barely adequate for the job. The aluminum legs twist and do not dampen out vibrations well.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.16.16)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38824


Celestron C102-HD
I would consider this scope an excellent value. It performed very well on star tests. Stars resolve to points across the field of view. Some false color on very bright objects - not a major problem though. Working from a light polluted sight, the performance of the refractor, side-by-side with my 8" f6 reflector, was far better. It consistently delivers high contrast images. On the Orion Nebula, the reflector image was very slightly brighter near the center, but the refractor showed the same details against a darker sky background, making the image more viewable. The supplied mount is adequate for most purposes to which this scope would be applied. The system can be broken down and set up quickly - very convenient to use. I will probably get the polar alignment scope, RA motor drive, digital setting circles and attempt some lunar and planetary photography. This scope is fun and easy to use and delivers surprising optical quality for the price range (I paid $599).

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.75.136)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38825


Celestron C102-HD
Fair in the star test( lots of color inside of focus ), lots of false color on the moon and planets at 150-200X, good under 100X, poor QC had to go thru 2 before I got a good objective lens and staedy mount, the plastic lens cell gives a taste of cheapness, eratic and droopy focusing shaft and poor Customer Service from Celestron!

Overall Rating: 5
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.93.59)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38826


Celestron C102-HD
Just adding additional comment to previous rating.

I've heard reports that this model sometimes appears with a plastic lens cell, plastic dew cap and 1.25" focuser. Mine has a metal cell and cap and a 2+" focuser, plus a 2" visual back with 2"-1.25" adapter included. Perhaps there are manufacturing variations? I'm now using the scope on a CG-5 mount rather than the original CG-4 mount included. Stability is greatly enhanced. The CG-4 mount is marginal even for visual use.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.66.1)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38827


Celestron C102-HD
Very impressive scope for the money. High contrast images. Handles high power well. Very well color corrected, some purple visible on Jupiter, more on Venus. Good planetary details, 4 to 5 bands on Jupiter.

Mount is very solid, tripod is very shaky. I am replacing the aluminum tripod legs with wooden legs. Mount is adjustable, was able to figure out how to reduce backlash on Dec gear.

Tracking motor is very accurate, excellent for visual observing. Guiding suffers from backlash in motor. Probably wouldn't buy the dual axis drive if able to do it again.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.192.9)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38828


Celestron C102-HD
Good Scope.Excellent lunar and planetary images. Mount isn't that smooth. The tripod was good once I filled the legs with sand. All in all everything excellent except mount but even that, for the price of the package, is pretty darn good.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.240.17)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38830


Celestron C102-HD
I bought this scope with the Alt-Az mount, figuring for the price the telescope was essentially free. I wasn't expecting much for the price in other words. The mount turned out to be junk (I sincerely hope the design engineers are out of work - they obviously didn't know what they were doing), but the optics have been a very pleasant surprise. Not Tak-102 level optics, but awfully darn good for the price! I plan to keep this one, even though it'll ride on my GP-DX rather than the Alt-Az. It does a spectacular job on the moon, and turns in a very credible performance on Jupiter and Saturn. Tricked out with a quality 2" diagonal, and quality eyepieces (I favor the Radians), it's a very nice package. My experience with this one has me looking very favorably towards the 150, although OTA appears the way to go with that one! Highly recommended!

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.144.27)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38831


Celestron C102-HD
Like the Celestron 150HD, the Konuscopes, Hoons and the Orion Skywatcher 120, this scope comes from the Synta Technology factory in China. (I have the 120, but a friend has the 102). The OTAs to all these scopes are excellent for the price, with good coated optics. Depending on what brand you get, because the OTA is so cheap and such good value, it is worthwhile spending a little extra money for:
1. The beefier EQ4 mount (the same as the Celestron CG5 mount) rather than the EQ3 mount supplied (the same as the Celestron CG4 mount);
2. A 2" focuser, which is more robust and has a lovely action;
3. Metal parts such as dew shields and element assemblies (not plastic).
These extras will ensure many hours of happy viewing for what is still a very cheap scope. I agree with all the previous comments about the quality of the optics; good sharp images with some degree of colour, particularly in or out of focus. It is not an AP or Takahashi, but in Australia the OTAs of these scopes cost about ten times the cost of the Synta OTA, which makes it one of the great astronomy bargains!

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.250.98)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38832


Celestron C102-HD
Hi, I bought my C102AZ used for $300 in June 2000. The Alt-AZ head is pure junk. The aluminum they used to cast the parts must have been recycled pop cans. The tripod legs are surprisingly good, however, and I am making a Televue Gibralter style head for the legs this cloudy weekend. The optics on mine were about 1/6 wave at first, but the spherical correction on these scopes is adjustable, by increasing or decreasing the airspace in between the two lens elements. I think I may nail 1/10 wave pretty soon; I have my third set of (thicker) airspace shims in right now. The star test is perfectly round and smooth rings, and as I have it now, very symmetrical in/out of focus. I used my 4.7 UWA on my Klee 2.8x barlow for ~575x on Mizar in Ursa Major last weekend. The airy discs and first rings were very crisp and round. The verdict: The scope has tremendous potential. The lenses and optical tube alone are worth $300. You can make the focuser completely backlash-free and solid as a rock. It is an excellent scope. I see myself still owning this one years from now. Erfles and Konigs work really well, too, at the f/9.8 ratio of this scope. False color is there but does not bother me. I am used to fuzzy stars through cheap dob reflectors, and the crispness of this refractor is very refreshing to me. Jeff Quinn

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.209.31)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38833


Celestron C102-HD
To the above post: Jeff, I am intrigued by what you said about adjusting the airspace on the objective to correct for spherical aberration. Please e-mail me with more info on how you did it. Thanks, Tony. scopewiz@aol.com

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.197.169)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=38838

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