Best Catadioptric Telescopes

Review of 5 Models for 2021


A catadioptric optical system is one that employs both lenses and mirrors to focus the image.  Perhaps the most popular catadioptric among amateur astronomers, the Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope (or SCT) uses a combination of spherical primary and secondary mirrors, along with a corrector plate (lens) that helps correct for aberrations.  You’ll spend a little more money on this design because it’s more complex to build than a reflector, but the combo of aperture and transportability is hard to resist.

As a solid option for a beginner telescope, catadioptric telescopes have been popular with amateur astronomers for a long time. There are several different optical designs which fall into the catadioptric category, but they all have similar performance benefits. They may provide better aberration correction than other all-lens (refractor) or all-mirror (Newtonian reflector) telescopes over a wider aberration-free field of view. Read our catadioptric telescope buying guide below to learn some of the pros and cons of choosing this type.

THE PROS OF CATADIOPTRIC TELESCOPES
  • Catadioptric telescopes use a folded-path optical system and thus can be shorter than their focal length would imply.
  • They are lighter and more compact when compared to telescopes of the same aperture, as is the mount that holds them.
  • Catadioptric telescopes are convenient to transport due to their mechanical size and reduced weight.
  • Their ability to use mirrors with purely spherical figures and easily reproduced refractive elements, usually called corrector lenses, results in lower manufacturing costs. The manufacturer can thus lower the purchase price for consumers.
THE CONS OF CATADIOPTRIC TELESCOPES
  • Catadioptric telescopes become heavier rather quickly as they increase in aperture.
  • They may require more frequent optical alignment when compared to refractors.
  • A catadioptric telescope’s moving parts are more complex than those found in refractor or reflector telescope.
  • Catadioptric telescopes have an inherent optical performance limitation based on the central obscuration of their aperture caused by their own secondary mirror. However, classical Cassegrain and Newtonian reflecting telescopes share this problem. The “limitation” is very subtle, so most amateur astronomers do not even notice or care about this detail.
THERE IS NO PERFECT TELESCOPE DESIGN

There is a fundamental truth about optics that has been quoted by opticians and optical engineers for a long time, almost as if it were a mantra:

“Every optical design is always a compromise!”

To help you find the perfect catadioptric telescope, we continuously put forth the effort to update and expand our list of recommendable catadioptric telescopes. Our team collects, edits and publishes new information, in order to present it to you in an accurate, significant and neatly arranged way.


Our Best Catadioptric Telescopes

Celestron NexStar 4SE

Best Telescopes for Kids

  • Mirror with StarBright XLT coating
  • GoTo tracking system with nearly 40,000 objects
  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for astrophotography

Orion StarSeeker IV 150mm


  • Easy manual adjustments
  • 78x and 180x eyepieces
  • Weighs under 30 pounds

Celestron NexStar 6SE


  • Easy to setup
  • GoTo tracking of objects
  • Ideal for astrophotography
  • Big database of celestial bodies

Meade Instruments LX600-ACF 12-Inch


  • 2438-millimeter focal length
  • Crayford focuser
  • 145000-object database

Celestron CPC Deluxe 1100 HD


  • 11-inch objective lens
  • Top-tier light transmission
  • Sturdy dual fork tripod


Best Catadioptric Telescopes – Full Reviews


Cheapest: Celestron NexStar 4SE

TypeApertureFocal LengthMountOther Sizes
Maksutov-Cassegrain4.02″/102mm1325mm f/13Computerized
Altitude-Azimuth
5″/6″/8″

For decades, Celestron has been one of the most famous and well-known names in hobbyist telescopes, with its roots going back to the 1950s, when its creator Tom Johnson was hired to manufacture electronic parts and components for the US military. At the time, the American engineer was still searching for a child-friendly telescope for his two sons to use, but after failing to find one, he decided to create his own.

Compound & Compact Telescope

The Celestron NexStar 4 SE is a compact telescope with a 4 inch aperture and a 13-inch optical tube length, but because it uses a catadioptric design its small size still produces a focal length of 52 inches. . This kind of telescope is known as a Maksutov-Cassegrain, which is a hybrid that uses both mirrors and lenses to combine the advantages of a low-cost refractor and a high-quality reflector. This also results in a sleek, compact telescope that can be set up easily, ensuring a smooth and beautiful experience every time. You can also use a compound telescope during the day, something you can’t do with Newton/reflector scopes.

Computerized Control

The Celestron NexStar 4 SE is a fully computerized and motorized telescope. The Celestron NexStar 4 SE’s technology has been put to the test and has undergone many upgrades over the years which allow it to be a very reliable telescope. For the better results, use the position tracker’s latitude and longitude settings rather than the zip code option to show your location using this technology.

Because it is computerized and motorized, finding its over 40,000 cataloged objects is a breeze, particularly with GOTO tracking, and aligning your telescope with a planet or star is as simple as pressing a few buttons on the controller. This makes astronomy hobbies more attractive to people who aren’t as familiar with telescopes so they can spend less time looking for stars and more time admiring the landscape by merely pointing the telescope and letting it calibrate itself. It is recommended that the user uses NiMH rechargeable batteries as this motor will only run for a few hours at a time.

What Can You See With Celestron NexStar 4SE

The 4SE’s 102mm aperture isn’t huge, but the portability of this rig far outweighs any size limitation. And Celestron’s nicely coated optics make the most of every photon fetched. The 4SE’s four-inch primary mirror packs enough light-gathering ability to observe the best that the solar system has to offer: Saturn’s rings, the cloud bands on Jupiter, and geographic features on the surface of the Moon. When it comes to deep sky objects, take your 4SE to a dark-sky site and you’ll see hundreds of pinpoint stars in the Hercules Globular Cluster, the spiral arms of the Whirlpool Galaxy, and more.

Astrophotography Capabilities

The 4SE does well at lunar and planetary astrophotography – we’ve attached a few images that has been made with 4SE and a cheap 640×480 webcam, and attached a 1.25” nosepiece and 2x Barlow lens to. Forget deep-sky, however – the 4SE’s f/13 focal ratio, mediocre tracking capabilities, and the alt-az nature of the mount do not allow for good long exposure photos.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jupiter.png
Jupiter, 640×480 webcam, no Barlow
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is MOON-1024x513.png
Moon, 640×480 webcam, mosaic of 3 images, no Barlow

Verdict

The Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope delivers a state of the art stargazing experience, along with incredible magnification, and a motorized computer technology system that will make your astronomical hobby easier than ever before. Fair price and great option for a first telescope!

Pros

  • User-friendly software and technology
  • High-end materials and craftsmanship
  • A lot of features for a very moderate price
  • Great beginner telescope and secondary scope for intermediate users
  • Very sharp optics
  • Quality mount with acceptable gearing
  • Acceptable aperture
  • Very stable
  • Good included low-power eyepiece
  • No collimation required

Cons

  • Will need an external power supply or large amount of rechargeable batteries
  • Small aperture that dims the view unless in an ideal environment

Buy on Amazon


Affordable: Orion StarSeeker IV

TypeApertureFocal LengthMountOther Sizes
Maksutov-Cassegrain5.9″/150mm1800mm f/12.0Computerized
Altitude-Azimuth
n/a

At an affordable price, the Orion StarSeeker IV GoTo telescope combines motorized object-location technology with high-power optical performance. On any clear night, this smart GoTo telescope will take you and your family on a guided tour of the stars thanks to its computerized database of over 42,000 celestial objects ready to be discovered.

Computerized Control

The SynScan GoTo hand controller that comes with the Orion StarSeeker IV 150mm telescope has a database of over 42,000 stars and deep sky objects that you can explore with just a few presses of a button. It’s not necessary to be familiar with the night sky! To visit a range of the evening’s best objects, choose from intuitive object menus or try the “Deep Sky Tour” mode. The internal motors of the StarSeeker IV mount automatically monitor a desired target once it is pinpointed, keeping it focused in the eyepiece.

Furthermore, the StarSeeker IV mount is now Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to control it using your smartphone or tablet rather than the cabled hand controller! To enjoy wireless GoTo power, simply download the FREE SynScan Pro software to your iOS or Android device. No internet connection is needed in the field because the app creates a local Wi-Fi network between your phone and the mount. Hey, you use your phone for everything else — why not use it to explore the night sky with your telescope, too?

What you can see with Orion StarSeeker IV?

The StarSeeker IV collects a ton of light with its big 5.9″ objective lens, thanks to its lightweight and large-aperture Maksutov-Cassegrain optical tube with an extra-long 1800mm focal length and f/12 focal ratio. The included 23mm wide-field eyepiece provides 78x magnification, and the 10mm ocular yields a very high-magnification, 180x view through the telescope for close-up inspections of starry skies. Each included eyepiece has a wide, 60° apparent field-of-view to show you more of the target object and its surroundings.This telescope produces super-sharp resolution at high magnifications thanks to its combination of large aperture and long focal length, making it a perfect instrument for high-power views of objects in the night sky. You’ll be amazed by the exceptional amount of detail this telescope delivers when observing the Moon’s cratered surface, and by its ability to reveal subtle features on planets like Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Deep-sky objects such as nebulas, star clusters, and brighter galaxies are also well within range of this compact power-performer.

Mount

The slanted, single-arm altazimuth design of the StarSeeker IV GoTo mount allows attached telescopes to switch 360° azimuth and 90° altitude for horizon-to-zenith pointing. Adding the telescope is simple thanks to a quick-release narrow dovetail saddle. The StarSeeker IV 150mm comes with an improved stainless steel tripod with a cylindrical leg that is much sturdier than previous versions and adjusts in height for easy use. Tripod stability is further enhanced with the included dual-purpose spreader plate/accessory holder, which keeps the tripod rigid and provides a handy area for stowing idle eyepieces and accessories. The entire telescope setup weighs 26.1 lbs. for convenient transportability.

Astrophotography

Since the StarSeeker IV 150mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope’s motorized GoTo system can locate and track celestial objects, you can use it with a camera or smartphone to take amazing pictures of the night sky. Capture stunning snapshots of the Moon, planets and more by attaching a dedicated astrophotography camera, or a combination of an Orion SteadyPix accessory and your own point-and-shoot camera or smartphone to the StarSeeker IV 150mm Mak-Cass to explore the rewarding hobby of astrophotography.

Verdict

This is a telescope that is perfect for a beginner astronomer who doesn’t need every feature under the sun to be satisfied with their telescope setup. The Telescope can still deliver amazing views and includes the handy automatic star finding features that you will want to show off. It’s very affordable and fun to use. It will show you almost everything in the night sky. If this is the first telescope that you are considering to buy, go for it. It is the cheapest computerized telescope with an aperture big enough to satisfy any hobbyist astronomer out there.

Pros

  • User-friendly software and technology
  • High-end materials and craftsmanship
  • A lot of features for a very moderate price
  • Great beginner telescope and secondary scope for intermediate users
  • Very sharp optics
  • Quality mount with acceptable gearing
  • Acceptable aperture
  • Very stable
  • Good included low-power eyepiece
  • No collimation required

Cons

  • Will need an external power supply or large amount of rechargeable batteries
  • Small aperture that dims the view unless in an ideal environment

Buy on Amazon


Hi-Tech: Celestron NexStar 6SE

Best Beginner Telescope
TypeApertureFocal LengthMountOther Sizes
Compound6″ / 150mm1500mm, f/10Guided AltAz4″5″8″

Celestron’s signature orange-tube telescope combines advanced features and excellent optics in one easy-to-use system, the NexStar 6SE. It’s the perfect choice for your first telescope, offering striking views at an economical price.

What You Can See With Celestron NexStar 6SE?

The 6SE’s six-inch primary mirror packs enough light-gathering ability to observe the best that the solar system has to offer: Cassini’s Division in Saturn’s rings, the cloud bands on Jupiter, and geographic features on the surface of the Moon. When it comes to deep sky objects, take your 6SE to a dark-sky site and you’ll see hundreds of pinpoint stars in the Hercules Globular Cluster, the spiral arms of the Whirlpool Galaxy, and more.

Best Beginner Telescope

It’s one of the best starter telescopes for anyone who just wants to enjoy viewing celestial objects without the hassle of trying to find them to begin with. The motorized goto and tracking mount is easy to setup and, when it is, will quickly find and track any of the 42,000 objects stored in its database. Aligning the telescope is simple and painless, too, thanks to SkyAlign. This process makes alignment as easy as 1-2-3: just need to center three bright objects in the eyepiece.

We know the best telescope is the one you will use most often, this is why stable tripod mount  it’s important. The one at 6SE is exactly like that! It’s perfectly portable and makes setup quick and easy. What’s more, the NexStar 6SE breaks down into several lightweight and compact pieces, making it easy to transport, even in small vehicles. You’ll have no problem getting the NexStar 6SE to your favorite observing site, or setting it up quickly in your backyard.

The one notable downside of the NexStar range is they need a decent source of power to sustain them; batteries alone won’t see you through a long night of stargazing. Other than power, the 6SE is a computerized telescope that provides everything that a new astronomer – especially one who only wants to spend time looking at objects, rather than finding them – needs: a decent sized aperture, sturdy mount, accomplished locating and tracking of over 40,000 night sky objects and all for a reasonable price.

Verdict

The NexStar 6SE is a great representation of Celestron’s iconic telescope range. Given its capabilities and revolutionary technology, the price tag is reasonable, but the package does lack a good selection of eyepieces that would provide an even greater variety of views. The setup offers a lifetime of observations provided it is treated with care and little-to-no maintenance is carried out on the optics and computerized mount. That’s why this is a best selling beginner scope.

Pros

  • Decent Eyepiece – The 25 mm 1.25″ Celestron NexStar 6SE eyepiece has a 60x magnification power, which covers the most basic need.
  • Lightweight and Portable – Both the tripod and the tube are lightweight with only 30lbs and can fit comfortably in your car.
  • Sturdy Tripod – The steel tripod provides additional stability to balance your telescope against sudden gusts of wind.
  • Easy Assembly – The mounting process is quite easy and only takes a few minutes.

Cons

  • Relatively Expensive – If you compare the product to similar products like the Newtonian telescope, the Celestron NexStar 6SE could@supprice range is relatively higher.
  • Batteries – The Celestron NexStar 6SE runs on an 8AA battery that drains quickly. An additional power backup, such as the Celestron Power Tank, will be necessary for longer observation length.
  • Celestron NexStar 6SE Manual – You may find some of the instructions in the manual on the advanced functions quite complicated.

Buy on Amazon


Big Aperture: Meade Instruments LX200-ACF 12-Inch

TypeApertureFocal LengthMountOther Sizes
Schmidt-Cassegrain12″ / 305mm3048mm, f/10Dual Fork Mountn/a

The world’s most widely used research telescope now has the most advanced optical system available. The LX200-ACF from Meade puts Advanced Coma-Free (ACF) optics within reach of all aspiring astronomers. Nearly every observatory reflector in the world, including NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, uses an aplanatic (coma-free) optical system like the Ritchey-Chrétien (RC). You can now own optics that are similar to those used by professionals. GPS, Primary Mirror Lock, Oversized Primary Mirror, SmartDriveTM, Smart MountTM, AutoStar® II, and other field-proven features are included in the LX200-ACF. The LX200-ACF includes all the field-proven features of the LX200, including GPS, Primary Mirror Lock, Oversized Primary Mirror, SmartDrive™, Smart Mount™, AutoStar® II, and more. Plus, the LX200-ACF comes with observatory-class optics and a Series 4000 26mm Super Plössl eyepiece. The new LX200-ACF:  It’s the biggest news in astronomy since, well, the LX200.

The “Advanced” in Advanced Coma-Free

Traditionally, Ritchey-Chretien (RC) optics were required to deliver a coma-free, flat field of view in astronomical telescopes. Because the mirrors in these telescopes have always been very expensive to make, few amateur astronomers could enjoy them. Fortunately, Meade engineers developed a radical new Advanced Coma-Free design by combining a hyperbolic secondary mirror with a corrector lens and spherical-primary-mirror combination that performs as one hyperbolic element. This ACF design produces a coma-free, flat field of view that rivals traditional RC telescopes, at a fraction of the cost. The design even eliminates diffraction spikes and improves astigmatism. The Meade Advanced Coma-Free optics are Coma killers. What is coma? It’s an optical aberration which causes a distorted star image, in which the image of the star cannot be focused to a point, but takes on the shape of a comet.

What You Can See With Meade LX200-ACF

Building from a classic RC design, Meade has created a new design which is the perfect platform for the demanding researcher and imaging enthusiast, with telescopes available in various apertures. This telescope has an aperture of 12″.

This 12″ LX200-ACF has 12″ diameter f/10 ACF optics (focal length 3048mm) and Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC) for maximum image brightness and contrast. Features the advanced LX200 AutoStar II computer system with 145,000 object library, multiple guided tours, High Precision Pointing capability with sub arc-minute pointing accuracy, and Meade SmartDrive with Permanent Periodic Error Correction.

Telescopes with Meade’s new AutoAlign are smart scopes that know the night sky right out of the box. AutoAlign picks two alignment stars for you and places them right in your viewfinder. Just center to fine tune your alignment and the wonders of the universe are at your fingertips. A Sony GPS Receiver Sensor automatically inputs precise time, date, and geographical location to help quickly and precisely align the telescope.

The AutoStar II controller features “Hot Keys” for quick access to a 145,000 celestial object database. AutoStar II can be updated with the latest software upgrades, guided tours, and timely objects like comets, for free via the internet.

Meade Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC) increases total light transmission and image brightness by nearly 20% over Meade’s standard coatings. Objects such as stars, galaxies, and nebulae will appear significantly brighter. An optional Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser (ordered separately) will allow you to obtain precise image focus with no image movement. Perfect for astro-imaging or during planetary observation. Focus is controlled thru the AutoStar II hand box.

Mount

LX200-ACF models feature the DC-servo driven super heavy duty double fork mount, the strongest and most rigid mount in its class. Fast slew speeds are from 1 to 8 degrees per second, and can be user selected at .1 degree per second increments, while fine slewing and photographic guiding speeds can be adjusted from .01x to 1x sidereal in one one-hundredth increments. The mount and all electronics are internally powered by 8 (user supplied) C-cell batteries which will typically operate the telescope for around 20 hours (optional Meade Universal AC adapter also available). The mount additionally has mechanical locks and slow motion manual controls in both axis if for some reason you found yourself without power.

The 12″ LX200-ACF comes fully equipped with a heavy duty height adjustable Meade Giant Field Tripod, 1.25″ diagonal prism, Series 4000 26mm Plossl eyepiece, 8×50 viewfinder with quick release bracket and Meade AutoStar Suite Astronomer Edition Software for PC. Scope weight is 75 pounds with 50 pound tripod. Ships in 2 boxes.

Verdict

Delivering crystal clear optics, a sturdy and capable mount with a unique DC-servo driven super heavy duty double fork mount, and GoTo functionality, the Meade LX200-ACF is one of the most popular scopes for a reason.

If you want a great telescope for visual observation that slews to any object of your choice at the touch of a button, the Meade LX200-ACF is well worth the price.

Pros

  • Primary Mirror Lock – Locks the mirror in place preventing movement during long-exposure astrophotography.
  • Smart Drive – Provides permanent periodic error correction (PPEC) on both axes by learning and averaging error over the course of one or more training periods, thereby minimizing guiding corrections during long-exposure photographs.   PPEC is available on both axes and functions in both polar and altazimuth modes.
  • Sony GPS Receiver Sensor – automatically inputs precise time, date, and geographical location to help quickly and precisely align the telescope.
  • AutoStar II Controller – features “Hot Keys” for quick access to a 145,000 celestial object database.  AutoStar II can be updated with the latest software upgrades, guided tours and timely objects like comets free at meade.com

Cons

  • You will need to spend more on power supply
  • Very heavy

Buy on Amazon


Professional: Celestron 11 Inch CPC Deluxe 1100 HD Telescope 

TypeApertureFocal LengthMountOther Sizes
Schmidt-Cassegrain11″ / 279.4mm2800mm, f/10Computerized Dual Forkn/a

When you’re ready for the best of the best, step up to the CPC Deluxe 1100HD. Celestron’s flagship altazimuth telescope system, the CPC and CPC Deluxe HD families have been the choice of the world’s most acclaimed astronomers. Prof. Stephen Hawking uses a CPC Deluxe 1100HD, while NASA scientists selected the CPC 9.25 to capture images of the Earth from aboard the ISS.

With the CPC Deluxe HD, there’s simply no compromise. You get all of Celestron’s patented and award-winning technologies built right in. You won’t find a better combination of features, performance, and value.

Optical Performance 

This telescope can pull in tons of light thanks to its massive 11″ aperture. In fact, this model collects nearly twice as much light as an 8′′ telescope, resulting in images that are bright and high contrast.

Celestron’s optical engineers devised the EdgeHD optical system in response to today’s large format CCD sensors and wide field eyepieces. The aplanatic Schmit optical design corrects for the visual defects of coma and field curvature, delivering pinpoint stars from edge to edge. Each unit must pass a photographic test to ensure crisp, round stars across the entire sensor. Furthermore, all optical surfaces receive Celestron’s high-transmission StarBright XLT optical coatings.

Your CPC Deluxe HD comes with a 23mm Luminos eyepiece, the ideal complement to your HD optics. You’ll immediately notice the EdgeHD difference with its 82-degree apparent field of view.

Celestron’s Starbright XLT coatings are used on each optical surface, reducing light loss from reflections inside the scope while increasing the amount of light transmitted into the optical tube.

You’ll be able to enjoy incredible views of a variety of objects thanks to the 1100HD’s clear and completely flat field of view. You’ll see the solar system in detail like you’ve never seen it before, and distant galaxies and nebulae will have an ethereal glow to them, giving you a new perspective that’s incredibly bright and detailed.

Perfect for any application 

Representing the pinnacle of both optical and mechanical performance, the CPC Deluxe HD is the only telescope you’ll ever need to buy. The best part of owning a CPC Deluxe HD is that you can customize your setup to just about any situation.

With its extremely advanced (and, at 65 lbs or 29.5 kg, quite heavy) optical tube, the 1100HD demands a rugged mount that’s able to handle the weight of the optical tube while still providing smooth and reliable tracking and operation. Thankfully, Celestron does not disappoint!

The 19 lbs (8.6 kg) mount consists of a heavy-duty alt azimuth base on 2″ stainless steel legs with dual fork arms. These support the telescope and provide the stability you need as you slew through the sky to discover new objects. 

For a star party or casual observing with friends, the sturdy dual fork arm mount sets up in minutes. Once you turn the telescope on, an internal GPS calculates the exact time, date, and location of your observing site for precise alignment. Select the Sky Align procedure and center any three bright objects in the telescope’s eyepiece. From there, your telescope is ready to locate more than 40,000 objects or take you on a Sky Tour. The quality of the telescope limits what you can see with more affordable (i.e. smaller) scopes equipped with GoTo. The 1100HD allows you to view all 40,000 objects in a dark sky, making it an excellent telescope for deep space objects.

You can add Celestron’s StarSense AutoAlign alignment accessory for even faster setup or the SkyPortal WiFi Module to allow friends to control the telescope via their smartphone.

What You Can See with CPC Deluxe 1100HD

All of these bells and whistles, however, are useless if you can’t enjoy what you see through your telescope eyepiece. Thankfully, all of the features we’ve discussed with the 1100HD make it simple to enjoy virtually anything you see in the sky.

The images of our moon, planets, stars, and double stars will be extremely detailed, with an impressive level of sharpness and clarity. But it’s for deep sky and faint deep-sky viewing that this scope really shines. Smaller telescopes struggle to see the DSOs that the 1100HD can show in great detail.

Ready for Astrophotography

If you want to capture some of the incredible sights you’ll see through this telescope, the 1100HD is an excellent choice. This scope is every bit as capable as an imaging instrument as it is for visual observation, provided you make one addition.

For serious astroimaging—from planetary to deep sky—just connect your camera, laptop, and accessories. Choose from three focal ratios for imaging: f/10 at prime focus, f/7 with an EdgeHD focal reducer, or f/2.2 for wide field imaging with Hyperstar. The CPC Deluxe mount is equipped with a reengineered drive train, 6” brass gear, and stainless steel worm gear for picture-perfect tracking up to 30 seconds.

For longer exposures, add the HD Pro Wedge so you can polar align your telescope. Celestron’s All Star Polar Alignment procedure helps you accurately align to the celestial pole in minutes—even if you have an obstructed view of Polaris. 

If you keep your CPC Deluxe in an observatory, the Hibernate function enables you to save your alignment and reuse it night after night.

Verdict

With its 40,000 item database – all of which are in reach of this telescope’s 11 inches under a dark sky – the Celestron CPC 1100 is a great choice for the backyard astronomer with a big budget who wants a massive aperture, amazing optics, ease of use and relatively simple setup. Whether you’re looking to elevate your visual observations to the next level, or you’re looking for a top-quality scope for astrophotography, this impressive SCT is one you’ll want to take a closer look at.

Pros

  • Celestron’s best altazimuth telescope system; the same telescope used by Stephen Hawking
  • 11” EdgeHD optics with StarBright XLT coatings for detailed images free of coma and field curvature
  • Internal GPS, NexStar+ hand control with 40,000 object database
  • Reegineered drive train with 6” brass gear, stainless steel worm, and steel & nylon ball bearings for excellent pointing and tracking accuracy
  • Simple SkyAlign setup process plus All Star Polar Alignment for astrophotography when used with the HD Pro Wedge

Cons

  • Needs additional power
  • Complete Weight – 93 lbs.

Buy on Amazon


2021 Best Selling Catadioptric Telescopes by Amazon

Bestseller No. 1
Celestron - PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope - Manual German Equatorial...
6,035 Reviews
Celestron - PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope - Manual German Equatorial...
  • Perfect entry-level telescope: The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ is an easy-to-use and powerful telescope. The PowerSeeker series is designed to give the new telescope user the perfect combination of quality, value, features, and power
  • Manual German equatorial mount: Navigate the sky with our Newtonian Reflector telescope. It features a German Equatorial mount with a slow-motion altitude rod for smooth and accurate pointing. Adjust rod to desired position, then easily secure by tightening cross knob
  • Compact and portable: This telescope for adults and kids to be used together is compact, lightweight, and portable. Take the telescope to your favorite campsite or dark sky observing site, or simply the backyard. Optical Coatings: Aluminum
  • Multiple accessories: The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope comes with 2 eyepieces (20mm and 4mm), plus a 3x Barlow lens to triple the power of each. Users can also download BONUS Starry Night Astronomy Software Package
  • Unbeatable and customer support: Buy with confidence from the telescope brand, based in California since 1960. You’ll also receive a 2-year and unlimited access to technical support from our team of US-based experts
Bestseller No. 2
Sky-Watcher Skymax 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain - Large Aperture...
68 Reviews
Sky-Watcher Skymax 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain - Large Aperture...
  • EXPERTLY MATCHED OPTICS: The Skymax series of Maksutov-Cassegrain optical tubes features matched primary and secondary mirrors with an expertly coated corrector plate that delivers contrast-rich views with charcoal-black skies.
  • 94% REFLECTIVITY MIRROR COATINGS: Using a borosilicate primary mirror with an aluminum coating and a quartz overcoat, Sky-Watcher Maksutov-Cassegrains produce a 94% reflectivity rating that delivers crisp, sharp detail.
  • VIXEN-STYLE DOVETAIL: An industry standard, the Vixen-style dovetail is the most commonly used dovetail plate for astronomy. In addition to this, all Maksutov-Cassegrains come with a ¼-20 tripod thread under each dovetail bar, allowing users to mount to most photographic tripods.
  • FULLY BAFFLED TUBE: Utilizing a fully-baffled tube, Sky-Watcher Maksutovs prevent stray light from interfering with your viewing experience.
  • EVERYTHING YOU NEED: The 127mm Skymax Maksutov-Cassegrain comes equipped with everything you need to get started, including: a 28mm 2-inch eyepiece, 2-inch 90-degree star diagonal, and a 6x30 straight-through finderscope.
Bestseller No. 3
Celestron - NexStar Evolution 8 WiFi Enabled Computerized Telescope - 8”...
112 Reviews
Celestron - NexStar Evolution 8 WiFi Enabled Computerized Telescope - 8”...
  • COMPUTERIZED TELESCOPE WITH WIFI FUNCTIONALITY: Explore the Universe and control your telescope with the free Celestron SkyPortal app for iOS and Android! Select any object from the app’s database and the telescope locates and tracks it automatically.
  • CELESTRON’S LEGENDARY 8” SCHMIDT-CASSEGRAIN OPTICAL TUBE: See the difference! Compact, portable 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube with StarBright XLT optical coatings provides stunning views.
  • SUPERIOR TRACKING ACCURACY: This computerized GoTo mount with high-performance brass worm gears and motors tracks objects smoothly as they appear to drift across the night sky. Ideal for star parties and astroimaging.
  • BUILT-IN 10-HOUR LITHIUM IRON PHOSPHATE BATTERY: Forget about buying an external power supply. Celestron’s LiFePO4 battery is built right in for the safest, most reliable power anywhere.
  • EASY TO USE IN THE FIELD: Enjoy the improved industrial design with manual clutches and integrated carry handles, plus the added convenience of two accessory trays and a USB charge port for your phone.
Bestseller No. 4
Sarblue Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope, Mak60 Telescopes for Kids Adults...
18 Reviews
Sarblue Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope, Mak60 Telescopes for Kids Adults...
  • 【Might Mak】Mak-cass design brings several benefits which distinguishes the telescope from others. Foremost, it largely reduces aberrations and renders crisp and clear views. Plus its quality fully multi-coated optical components. Make terrestrial objects look more vivid and vibrant, and celestial objects magnificent.
  • 【Portable Travel Telescope】 Maksutov features a folded way of light which make it more powerful than a traditional telescope of similar size, which keeping it in a small tube. Mak60 telescope has 750mm focal length, but the tube length is only 200mm. It's easy to pack the compact and lightweight telescope in any backpack and take it for travel.
  • 【Great for Education】 Do you wonder how a telescope works? This beginner telescope will show you the secrets. It has a detachable lid on the top of the telescope tube which reveals its internal structure, and with the help of some tools, you could even see how light travels inside!
  • 【Accessories】 This telescope is upgraded from the first version mak60 with a full-size tripod and finderscope. It also comes with 20mm quality eyepiece which brings 37.5X magnification, a universal phone mount to attach your phone and do simple astrophotography. Despite the plastic tube, the optics are high quality.
  • 【Satisfaction】 The maksutov telescope is sure to impress with its lovely look and great viewing capacity for any beginners. It's easy to set up with no tools needed. And we offer one-year hassel free warranty and 24 hour in time customer service & professional technical support.
Bestseller No. 5
Celestron - AstroMaster 130EQ Newtonian Telescope - Reflector Telescope for...
2,088 Reviews
Celestron - AstroMaster 130EQ Newtonian Telescope - Reflector Telescope for...
  • Powerful reflector telescope: The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ telescope is a powerful reflector telescope for astronomy beginners. It features fully-coated glass optics, a sturdy and lightweight frame, 2 eyepieces, a StarPointer red dot finderscope and an adjustable tripod.
  • High-quality 130mm optics: The heart of the system is a 130mm glass optic objective lens. The AstroMaster mount features 2 slow-motion control knobs that allow you to make precision adjustments. Resolution (Rayleigh)- 1.07 arc seconds.Optical Tube:Aluminum
  • Quick setup & lightweight frame: This telescope for kids and adults to be used together features a lightweight frame manual German Equatorial mount for smooth and accurate pointing. Setup is quick and easy, with no tools required for assembly.
  • Included accessories: We’ve included 2 eyepieces (20mm and 10mm), a travel tripod, and a StarPointer red dot finderscope. Accessories also include a FREE download of one of the top consumer rated astronomy software programs.

Astronomy Guide & Events Calendar 2021-2022 – Best Things to See in the Night Sky

By TelescopeGuide.org

8 Responses

  • Wow, what an awesome review on the Celestron NEXSTAR 4SE.

    My wife and I have been considering buying a telescope for some time now and finally getting into astronomy.

    This looks like a great telescope that is within our budget.

    Thanks so much for the recommendation and we look forward to using it!

    • Yes, It’s pretty amazing telescope. I have the same but 6 inches – NEXSTAR 6SE. Once you get it you will never regret! It’s very good choice for first telescope!

      Thanks for comment,

      Cheers

  • Yes I love telescopes in general, because anything that enables me to get closer to the stars is something that I just enjoy alot.

    I really think the Celestron NEXSTAR 4SE is great, it gives great quality and range while also running on AA batteries which mean it won’t drain loads of energy.

    Thanks for letting me know about this as I’m definitely considering getting one 🙂

    • Hello Marley 🙂

      Yeah, the Telescopes are amazing toys! Yesterday I spend more than a hour looking in the craters on the Moon. It is experience that the words can’t describe and only Telescope can provide.

      I have Celestron Nexstar for more than 7 years and it is steel one o the best telescopes on the market today. So if you are going to buy, this one is very good choice.

      Thanks for the comment and if you have some questions about it – I’m here to help!

      Cheers!

  • I would like to get into astronomy but I really need a telescope. This one is super cute and adorable but do have one question. I don’t mean to sound ignorant because I am just starting out my search, but shouldn’t it be longer or does that not really matter?

    • Hi Adriana, and thanks for the comment.

      You don’t sound ignorant, I was thinking like you when I got mine NexStar – isn’t too short? But this is a Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope and that kind of optical system allows the tube to be short and at the same time very very powerful. I use the same word – cute. Definitely the Catadioptric Telescopes are the cutest one from all!

      Cheers!

  • Wow this telescope looks great. Sure does beat the giant thing my dad and I would look through when I was a kid. I can’t believe there are go to functions that will actually find celestial bodies for you. I have been wanting to get more into astronomy and this telescope would be a great start. Its really helpful and good to know that Celestron offers a website with videos and downloads.

    • Hi Katie and thank you for the comment.

      I have this Telescope at home but the 6 inches one, and I’m telling you – it’s a great machine! I love it! Has a special place in my heart already.

      The function Sky Align is amazing. I wouldn’t see so much of the night sky without it. It works so simple: you just set the time, date and the location, then you just point 3 bright objects in the sky and that’s it it’s. All done. The telescope will find everything for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *