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Compare Celestron NexStar SE and SLT

Beginner Celestron Equipment
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#1 JohnCOS

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Posted 30 November 2022 - 12:36 PM

I am looking to buy my first "real" telescope. I am comparing the Celestron NexStar 4SE to the 130ST. The 130SLT has a larger aperture and is $155 less. They are both fully automated computerized goto scopes. What does the 4SE have that is worth the extra money? For reference the 4SE is $599 and the 130SLT is $444. Thanks!


Edited by JohnCOS, 30 November 2022 - 12:37 PM.


#2 Minuam

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Posted 30 November 2022 - 01:35 PM

I am looking to buy my first "real" telescope. I am comparing the Celestron NexStar 4SE to the 130ST. The 130SLT has a larger aperture and is $155 less. They are both fully automated computerized goto scopes. What does the 4SE have that is worth the extra money? For reference the 4SE is $599 and the 130SLT is $444. Thanks!

I do not have both so can not say.

4SE is 10.4 kgs and 130SLT is 5.91 kgs. So I would say that heavier would be better.
4SE has 40000+ database of objects while for for 130SLT, it is not mentioned. It is something to check about though it will net matter much because both are planetary scopes but both should be able to show you M31 and M42.
My 127SLT shows be both.
I would say 4SE seems more sturdy in terms of vibrations but for planetary use, but both should to be OK. But 4SE would be my choice. Even the tripod looks better.
With my 5SLT, I am able to track Jupiter’s moon shadows on Jupiter and I think 4SE should be able to do that as well but I Can not say for sure.
Other cloudy folks can clear that.
4SE is MAK which means it’s almost maintenance free. You can just start using it and you won’t be needing collimation much.
I would say that 4SE would be better for tracking and it is very important when you are looking at the moon for long time.


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#3 mlord

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Posted 30 November 2022 - 02:45 PM

The object database is a feature of the hand-controller, not the mount.  Both mounts have the same hand-controller, so both will have the same number of objects, 80% of which are probably too dim to see with either product.  :)


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#4 dcamp

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Posted 02 December 2022 - 08:41 PM

I am looking to buy my first "real" telescope. I am comparing the Celestron NexStar 4SE to the 130ST. The 130SLT has a larger aperture and is $155 less. They are both fully automated computerized goto scopes. What does the 4SE have that is worth the extra money? For reference the 4SE is $599 and the 130SLT is $444. Thanks!

Hi John,

 

I have the 130SLT and have had it for a few years and am pretty happy with it but if I'm honest, I wish I had held out and bought an 8SE.  I get budget constraints so I woun't try to talk you into the 8SE but I would seriously consider the 4SE over the 130 SLT.  Don't get me wrong, I like my 130SLT and it is a good starter scope.  The latest 4SE comes with one really great feature that I haven't heard many people talk about and newbs like myself wouldn't even have known that it would be important.  In the base of the standard mount, it has a built in equitorial wedge.  If you stick with this hobby for any length of time you are going to want to use an equitorial mount and with the 4SE, you will be ready to dip your toes in the water without any additional investment.


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#5 whizbang

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 01:30 PM

The SE4 is a four inch Mak.  It does a great job on the moon and planets.  It is pretty gutless on DSO's, especially under light pollution (your signature doesn't state where you live).

 

I have tons of experience with the Celestron SE and Evolution mounts.  And no experience with the SLT's.

 

It is my understanding that the SLT was the first one introduced.  It was followed by the SE, the the EVO.  Each mount was improvement on the earlier one.  I would be skeptical of purchasing a SLT.

 

The best starter scope is probably the EVO6 --- an awesome mount with a great general purpose OTA.  Alas, it's a budget buster.

 

At a bare minimum, consider a SE5.  The SE mount is a step up and the 5 inch SCT is a better overall OTA than the 4 inch Mak .  The 5 uses a standard visual back and diagonal and the 5 enough light grasp for DSO's.

 

I am just not a fan of the Celestron SE4 optical tube.  It is gutless for DSO's.  So, you are limited to planets and the moon.  Instead of visual back threads, the 4 has a Micky Mouse built in flip mirror so you can use it straight thru or at 90 degrees.  I think the tube looks clunky.  And good luck cleaning the mirror when it gets dirty/dusty.

 

I don't mean to bad mouth the SLT 4.  Heck, one can do a lot more observing with one than without one.  But, just keep in mind that it is an economical starter scope with engineering and cost tradeoffs.


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#6 brlasy1

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Posted 06 December 2022 - 09:20 PM

The SLT is a decent mount for the money AND you can adapt a lightweight ED refractor to it without worrying about tube strikes at high angles because of the "outside" mounting of the OTA versus the "inside" mounting of the 4SE.

 

FWIW, I have a GT mount (same style as SLT, which I've also owned, but cheaper), a 4SE/mount (which I also use for my 114mm reflector EAA setup), and a 6SE on an Evo mount.  

 

Good luck.


Edited by brlasy1, 06 December 2022 - 09:21 PM.

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#7 JohnCOS

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Posted 07 December 2022 - 05:06 PM

Thanks for all the feedback (Minuam, mlord, dcamp, whizbang, brlasy1). 



#8 chaz_001

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Posted 15 August 2023 - 03:49 PM

I do not have both so can not say.

4SE is 10.4 kgs and 130SLT is 5.91 kgs. So I would say that heavier would be better.
4SE has 40000+ database of objects while for for 130SLT, it is not mentioned. It is something to check about though it will net matter much because both are planetary scopes but both should be able to show you M31 and M42.
My 127SLT shows be both.
I would say 4SE seems more sturdy in terms of vibrations but for planetary use, but both should to be OK. But 4SE would be my choice. Even the tripod looks better.
With my 5SLT, I am able to track Jupiter’s moon shadows on Jupiter and I think 4SE should be able to do that as well but I Can not say for sure.
Other cloudy folks can clear that.
4SE is MAK which means it’s almost maintenance free. You can just start using it and you won’t be needing collimation much.
I would say that 4SE would be better for tracking and it is very important when you are looking at the moon for long time.

I am thinking of getting the 5SLT, how have you found the telescope? Especially curious with how good viewing deep sky objects is? It seems like the optical tube is very similar to the 5SE but the tripod isn't as good as the 5SE has more features.

 

Interesting that the 5SLT doesn't seem to have nearly as many reviews.



#9 Frisk

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Posted 15 August 2023 - 08:03 PM

+1 what wizbang said.

 

Compare OTAs to one another and the mounts to one another.

 

A C5 is a C5 regardless of the mount. 

 

The SE mount that comes with the 5 is the same mount that comes with the 4SE. It is more robust than the SLT. However the 4/5SE mount is less so than the 6/8SE mount.

 

Have you considered the 6SE? 

 

A C5 Is a nice sized SCT. But a C8 is probably the sweet spot. Not so big that itbis a pain to take out but not too small. With a focal reducer you get a wider field of view equivalent to the C5 without a FR. Both 4/5SE and SLT mounts can handle a small refractor.

 

The 6SE would support a C8 later if you wanted a bigger scope. Might be a nice compromise and only a little more money thsn the 5SE.

 

You say "first real telescope". What not real telescopes do you have experience with?

 

What are your observing goals?

 

Where will you be observing? Do you have dark skies or urban light pollution? 

 

How important is being able to grab and go versus being able to set up outside and wait until the tube acclimates to the outside temperature?

 

And can you get to an astronomy club star party and look through a variety of scopes and ask questions?

 

Further have you considered anything besides Celestron?


Edited by Frisk, 15 August 2023 - 08:43 PM.

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#10 chaz_001

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Posted 16 August 2023 - 06:02 AM

+1 what wizbang said.

 

Compare OTAs to one another and the mounts to one another.

 

A C5 is a C5 regardless of the mount. 

 

The SE mount that comes with the 5 is the same mount that comes with the 4SE. It is more robust than the SLT. However the 4/5SE mount is less so than the 6/8SE mount.

 

Have you considered the 6SE? 

 

A C5 Is a nice sized SCT. But a C8 is probably the sweet spot. Not so big that itbis a pain to take out but not too small. With a focal reducer you get a wider field of view equivalent to the C5 without a FR. Both 4/5SE and SLT mounts can handle a small refractor.

 

The 6SE would support a C8 later if you wanted a bigger scope. Might be a nice compromise and only a little more money thsn the 5SE.

 

You say "first real telescope". What not real telescopes do you have experience with?

 

What are your observing goals?

 

Where will you be observing? Do you have dark skies or urban light pollution? 

 

How important is being able to grab and go versus being able to set up outside and wait until the tube acclimates to the outside temperature?

 

And can you get to an astronomy club star party and look through a variety of scopes and ask questions?

 

Further have you considered anything besides Celestron?

Thanks Frisk. I thought the only difference between the 5SLT and 5SE was the mount but the SLT comes with more accessories. However the mount is better in many ways for the 5SE not least because you can do polar alignment which is a big thing for astrophotography plus it seems to be a lot more stable. The price difference though is is the SE is around £400 more but the mount isn't just the better addition the extras such as software seem to be better.

On the Celestron website they list all the accessories for the 5SE but nothing for the 5SLT which is odd but would assume you can use things like the 2" star diagonal and the 6.3 focal reducer/corrextor for the 5SLT?



#11 Frisk

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Posted 16 August 2023 - 07:58 AM

With all due respect to the built-in wedge, it's the mount, it's the mount, it's the mount when it comes to astrophotography.

While you can do low end imaging with just about anything don't be fooled into thinking that a bundled accessory or even a port that comes standard implies that the accessory or port (eg., autoguide port) is actually useful for the mount. It is marketing.

That said... Low end imaging can be fun if you enjoy learning and have time to blow. It really can. It depends on how you are built.

But most people don't begin with realistic expectations and find themselves frustrated. This either leads to giving up or the rapid expenditure of more money.

So if you are truly on a budget don't think about imaging. Think about visual astronomy and getting your feet wet. Consider an 8" dob. Or save up and get a mid-range GOTO.

Get thee to an astronomy club. Look through a bunch of OTAs and discuss the pluses and minuses of their mounts.

And be realistic about the capabilities of the gear.

There was a time when a little Nexstar or a Meade ETX was the best entry level GOTO but now there are lots of other options that are light and flexible. Again not talking for serious imaging. But ALTAZ for visual and very casual imaging - lucky track and stack or planetary.

Do not rush into a purchase.

When you decide consider going used.

#12 Frisk

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Posted 16 August 2023 - 08:11 AM

Your questions about accessories tell me you don't yet understand equipment yet. As I said, a C5 is a C5. They will both come with a diagonal and an eyepiece and a 1.25" visual back.

You really have no need to go 2" on the C5.

Research Schmidt-Cassegrains, Maksutavs, Newtonians and refractors to understand what each can do.

Learn about light gathering (aperture) and focal ratio.

Then learn about field of view so you can understand what you can see with a particular eyepiece or camera paired with a particular scope.

Then learn about barlows and focal reducers to learn how you can alter the FOV.

https://astronomy.to.../field_of_view/

Almost forgot to mention bortle rating to determine what your limiting magnitude is for your skies and understanding how magnitude works for stars versus extended objects like galaxies and nebulae.

I don't know if people still recommend the book Nightwatch but it provides a really good intro to gear.

If in the end you can't wait and just dive in, that's fine too. Just be at peace with your decision and enjoy the heck out of what you buy.

It is a great hobby.

Edited by Frisk, 16 August 2023 - 08:15 AM.


#13 chaz_001

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Posted 16 August 2023 - 10:03 AM

I get the C5 is just a C5 and the mount is really important as well.Partly the reason for asking the questions is that Ito get the right scope.
I already have an 8" DOB and it is really good but it is just too big in the house! Something less space consuming and portable is what I want next with the ability to do visual and basic astrophotography.
Thanks for your answers as it will in the end refine my choice and not feel like I have wasted money.

#14 Frisk

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Posted 16 August 2023 - 06:55 PM

If you go backward in aperture you may very well find yourself let down.  This is a tough situation. If you want to do EAA to make up for the reduction factor in the price of the imaging gear. 

 

I guess your sky conditions would determine how impactful a smaller scope will be for visual.



#15 chaz_001

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Posted 18 August 2023 - 06:42 AM

Yeah that's fine but the DOB is too big and I have gone for Nexstar 5SE. After reading many reviews and talking with people in the know they say it is a good beginner scope.
The scope offers good visuals and will be capable of basic astrophotography. I will gradually buy accessories that will add to the capability but getting a beginner scope to do everything just isn't possible because of focal length and aperture being important factors in delivering results and importantly it needs to be portable and stow away somewhere without taking up too much space.

#16 Minuam

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Posted 18 August 2023 - 11:10 AM

 

Yeah that's fine but the DOB is too big and I have gone for Nexstar 5SE. After reading many reviews and talking with people in the know they say it is a good beginner scope.

Congratulations for your 5SE and Welcome,

 

It would be quite portable and will give you very good views of the planets and Moon. My 5" MAK gives amazing views and shown moon transits, shadows as well as moons.

I hope that you have wonderful time with it. I would like to point out that the tracking may become compromised in the longer run if the scope is used for photography. I have no basis to say this but I just feel it.

 

You would need power adapter or power tank. Many times, it has been mentioned here that batteries are behind bad alignment and bad slewing. For observing planets, moon > One star align or planets align(via Solar System Align) is more than enough. It is not accurate but for planets, accuracy is not needed.

After aligning the planets in the Center, the scope will track well.

 

Regards


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