The PowerSeeker 114EQ telescope is a great way to open up the Wonders of the universe to the aspiring astronomer! it is designed to give the first-time buyer a great combination of quality, value, features, and power. Set up is quick and easy with no tools necessary. View the stars with slow motion controls for smooth tracking. Erect image optics are excellent for terrestrial and astronomical use. Fully coated glass optical components are covered with high transmission coatings for enhanced image brightness and clarity while the 3x Barlow lens triples the magnifying power of each eyepiece. An accessory tray is provided for easy storage of your accessories. I love bargains, so I was eager to try out Celestron's new Powerseeker 114 Newtonian reflector telescope. With its 4.5-inch mirror, Celestron's Powerseeker 114 gathers three times more starlight than popular 60mm refractors. The Powerseeker package includes two eyepieces (K20 and SR4), a plastic 3x barlow, and a lightweight equatorial mount.
Optically, the Powerseeker 114 holds its own when compared with my Celestron Firstscope 114EQ. Using the K20 eyepiece included as standard equipment, about 45x magnification, it's easy to see the Andromeda Galaxy and its smaller satellite galaxy M32. When compared to 60mm refractors, the Powerseeker 114 brings out much more detail in the Orion Nebula, reveals many more stars in Perseus' Double Cluster and even brings out a few individual stars in globular clusters like M13. Saturn looks quite small at 45x with the K20 eyepiece, but using my own 7.5mm eyepiece (120x) I can easily detect the shadow cast by the planet on the rings, and even glimpse the ring's Cassini Division. When the mirrors are properly lined up or "collimated," the images are reasonably sharp up to magnifications of 225x. I find a collimation tool helps get this fine tuning just right.
As good as the optics are, however, the effect of cost-cutting shows up in the mechanical components. The focuser is plastic, the finder scope is plastic, the rings that attach the telescope to the tripod are plastic. Even when the tripod legs are clamped at their shortest setting, the telescope wobbles when I try to focus at higher magnifications. Celestron's instruction manual correctly recommends that most viewing be done in the range of 40x to 130x. So what about that 675x magnification proclaimed on the box? I'd say it's not worth the trouble.
Overall, the Celestron Powerseeker 114 is a budget priced telescope with good optical performance, especially when using the low power K20 eyepiece. If you're willing to spend a little more money, either Orion's SkyQuest XT4.5 or Celestron's Firstscope 114EQ will give you a sturdier mount, an improved finder scope, and better eyepieces. Also, for about the price of the Powerseeker 114, I like the dependable refractor design of Celestron's Firstscope 70EQ. --Jeff Phillips
- Low cost
- Good optics
- Serviceable K20 eyepiece
- Wobbly mount
- Difficult to collimate
- Plastic finder and focuser