Friday, May 8, 2009

Review, "Celestron FirstScope"


Well, Celestron has gone and done it, made the heavens available to the average person on the street with their inexpensive, easy to use, well built scope.

Got mine yesterday, at just $49.99 US or $62.49 CAD, you just can't go wrong.

Look at the family on the box, they are frigging thrilled, probably because when they pulled the scope out of the box it was already assembled.

Just had to put the eyepiece in the eyepiece holder, total time 2 minutes, and that's with me popping nearly all the bubbles in the bubble wrap.

So what do you get for your money? You get the scope and 2 eyepieces giving you 15x and 75x magnification and you get to show people you have over for casual events to your humble abode awesome views of the Moon, Saturn, Mars, Venus as well as bright deep sky objects like star clusters from your light polluted backyard, who do you know that can say that?

Very portable, and as far as storage, store it in plain sight, you can see from above image how cute, yet professional it looks, you'll be the talk of your friends, family and neighbors. So it is inexpensive, comes assembled, can store it anywhere, looks cute, but what's it got under the hood?..... well nothing......it's not a car....duh. But what is does have is the ability to grab'n'go, no fancy set up time required, hey that makes a big difference, could be the difference between using it or not, and this is coming from someone, moi, that has had literally a gazillion scopes... well maybe not literally, but have had lots. I unpacked, assembled and was outside with the scope on my car trunk looking at the Moon, and...and imaging with my wife's little camera pointed at the eyepiece,(image below) total elapsed time, around 4 minutes!!

FirstScope First Image, 15x

FirstScope Second Image 75x

FirstScope and Canon 40D


I have not been approached by Celestron to do a review, all me, I thought I should tell anyone and everyone I can about this little guy, if you are looking for your first scope but don't want to spend a lot of money, this is the scope for you, I was very happy with the quality of the views of various heavenly bodies I pointed the scope at, including Saturn (which by the way is worth the price of admission alone). Astro-Nuts was with me trying it out as well, he liked it so much he went and ordered one.


Also available for this scope is an accessory kit which comes with 2 more eyepieces giving you 24x and 50x, a Moon filter, which allows for better imaging and viewing during a Full Moon, could have used that last night, a carrying case for your scope, a 5x24 finder scope and a CD ROM filling you in on the basics of astronomy, familiarizing you with stars, planets and constellations and gives you the ability to print off star charts, for only $24.94 CAD. Even though I still have a gazillion scopes, I chose this one for a quick Photon Phix and to take it with me in the car when going out of town, again grab'n'go, very cool, definitely 5 out of 5 stars.

I'll leave you with a little video of the FirstScope.

97 comments:

koe whitton-williams said...

Thanks for posting this. . . I had been looking for something just like this for the kids and I to enjoy. It looks perfect.

Phyl said...

After reading this, if I could spare the money right now I'd be rushing out to get this scope! You really whetted my appetite.

betchai said...

wow, you are very correct, this is an amazing starting scope, it is great that heavens would now be available for viewing to average persons.

Stephanie B said...

Muy cool. Looks like a good Christmas present for the hubby. Ooh or father's day.

Swubird said...

Bob:

A very well done review. Like you said, Celestron should have called you for a product review.

Now about that picture of the moon, although it looked nice and clear, it really didn't show all that much detail. Was this on the lowest power? I certainly hope that when it's pointed at Mars, or Saturn, there is a lot more to see in the image. But I get it, it's a starter scope.

Great post.

Happy trails.

kRiZ cPEc said...

get images! thanks for sharing.

The Uneasy Supplicant said...

WOW Bob ... every time I turn around you seem to have a new toy. Want to adopt me? LOL Love the part about the bubbles.
BTW I'm back...but slowly. Lots to do this summer but will try to post now and then. I did send out a friend request but someone seems to be ignoring me :-)
~JD

Ruth said...

This does look perfect, Bob. We should get one before the wedding, so wedding guests can star gaze after the reception.

Those images are fantastic! Can't believe they're through the scope.

I hope the China plans are shaping up without any glitches.

TatianaV said...

Thanks Bob for a great review, and I will buy it if and when they sell it here. The photos of the Moon came out so well, love it :)

Bob Johnson said...

That's great koe, it is quite the deal for a starter scope, especially for kids cause of it's size. I know you get some fun times out of it.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Phyl, I'm sure it will be around for a long time, maybe one day when you have some spare cash, you won't regret it.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks betchai, hey it would be great for hikers like yourself, on the back roads of San Diego at night I bet you have dark skies there.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Stephanie, Fathers day telescope, it would probably blow him away.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi swubird, it's all about contrast. When the Moon is full it is hard to image so bright plus I couldn't adjust the ISO settings on my wife's camera. So what I did is took shot with my Canon 40D, I could adjust the ISO settings on it to give you a better idea the detail you get, just as good as my most expensive scope.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks kRiZ cPEc!\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Great to see you back again JD, haven't got any invites yet, you should email your address to me, thanks for dropping by and speak to you soon.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ruth, what a great idea, you could have an little area off to the side and look and the heavens, how cool would that be.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks Tatiana, I know you'll do great with it, and you have an awesome camera.\m/\m/

flit said...

well they SHOULD be providing you with their products for review, if y'ask me

flit said...

I'm thinking Father's Day too ... if I can get it for a reasonable price here in Canada

joefox said...

That Moon shot looks great. Now I'm really anxious to get my FirstScope. I'm guessing it will be here next week. Hopefully the weather will start cooperating a bit more. Anyway, good shot and talk to you soon.

joefox said...

Sorry, I missed Flit's comment about buying in Canada. It is available from www.celestron.com for $62.49 CAD and from www.khanscope.com for $69.00. The shipping is less from Khan though.

Raymond said...

I have to order one.

Sherer said...

Bob,

Nice scope for the price! I think its unforunately many go for the cool looking refractors with unstable mounts. That Dobsonian (spelling?) is pretty amazing for $49 big ones! Thanks for sharing.

Jesse

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks and hi flit, like joefox said in his comment, you can get them here locally in Canada for only $69.00 from www.khanscope.com.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Colin for answering flits concern. I was pretty excited when using the 3x barlow I was able to prime focus my Canon , the Moon looks cool through the scope and camera, opens up numerous possibilities for people with cameras, effectively giving you a 900mm lens for cheap.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Raymond, you'll love the little scope.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Jesse, I hear you about people looking for cool scopes as opposed to scopes that don't really look like ones, but hey once you look through the little scopes eyepiece, you'll be hooked, especially since it only took a couple minutes to set up!!\m/\m/

Kimmi said...

Hello..dropping in, have a nice day. would you like to x-change link with me??

Don said...

that looks like a good investment. i may have to get me one of those. no neighbors to spy on tho...

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Kimmi for dropping by, I will take a look at your site as well.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Don, it would be a good idea to get one with your upcoming wedding and dark skies, very cool.\m/\m/

Hannah said...

Those images are seriously cool!

Bob Johnson said...

Seriously thanks Hannah.\m/\m/

Mike said...

Excellent!!! Very nice write up on this little scope. I will pass this information on to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discover Center science store - I am sure they would love to add this scope to their new store - they may even get a few to have on hand for public observation nights when they open the main observatory - then if the public uses them and enjoys them, send them to the store to buy their own to take home. Thanks for sharing

Max said...

Hey Lord of the Astropics,

LOL Your scope is so cute (with that green alien on top of it)! So, have you tried it?

"Look at the family on the box, they are frigging thrilled, probably because when they pulled the scope out of the box it was already assembled" - LOL LOL LOL LOL yeah, that was probably it LOL...

You really know how to sell, let me tell you...you even got me thinking "hey, I should buy one for the kids!" then I remembered that I have no kids yet LOL...you are effective.

Wow...Celestron helped you taking awesome pics (although you always take awesome pics, but you know what I mean)!!

Excellent article, Bob, just excellent: thanks!!

Have a blessed week, man!

Cheers

Ivanhoe said...

I guess it's time to order me one since you gave it 5 out of 5 stars :o)
I like that pic you took through the scope. That would be something I would want to be able to do.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Mike, good idea about getting the little scope for the Discover Center Science Store, great price point for the average person.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Max,lol good thing you remembered about not having kids yet, It is a great little scope, very easy to use and excellent quality.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ivanhoe, when using the scope you have to get an adapter so you can what they call prime focus and attach your scope into where the eyepiece goes, need any help just email me.\m/\m/

Marvin the Martian said...

Now THAT is cool! Very nice! Thanks for writing about it, Bob!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Marvin, have used it quite a bit, quite the scope.\m/\m/

Dr. Lauren said...

All that magnitude for such a little price. I need to look into that. I had an old Jason telescope I was using for years, but it broke last year.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Bob, THANK YOU for this post!!! Great photos and I am VERY interested in the Celestron FirstScope!!!!

Had surgery yesterday and am recuperating while listening to a 17 lecture CD on astronomy. :D

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Dr. Lauren, too bad about your Jason scope, they are very cool, too bad you couldn't get it fixed.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, hope your recovery goes well, cool you are learning about astronomy.\m/\m/

Peter said...

Hi! It would have made a great Mother's Day present for me but alas I will have to wait until next year!

Take Care,
Peter

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Peter, how bout a cool Father's Day Present,lol.\m/\m/

Anna said...

Hey Bob I will definitely keep the Celestron FirstScope in mind. I would love to have one of those at my home too and gaze at the stars and the moon especially. Thanks for the review, it really helps from someone who had many scopes [how many if you don't mind asking]. Anna :)

Dr. Lauren said...

Hi Bob,

Actually, my husky chewed it to pieces. I was so mad I could killed him, but he's still a pup so I just had to take a deep breath and just remember that it can be replaced.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Anna, I think you would get some good use of of it. I have 5 scopes now, my workhorse being my Meade 200lxr Schmidt Cassegrain, I also have a Solar Hydrogen Alpha scope to view flares and prominences on the Sun.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Dr.Lauren, puppies will do that, I have a cat, the worst she does to my scopes is get hair all over them,lol.\m/\m/

Roger said...

Hey Bob I have some 10 foot PVC telescopes in the back yard I will sell you. Of course there will be some extras you will have to acquire yourself such as lenses brackets tripod mounts... you know stuff like that lol. JK Bob!

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks Roger.\m/\m/

Daniel said...

Hi there bob. I've got a firstscope to and like it very much.
I'm very impressed with the pictures you made trough the firstscope. I'd like to know how you attached your canon SLR to it.. To put it differently: What do I need to make pictures trough the firstscope! (b.t.w. I have a nikon slr)

Anonymous said...

I just got this today at the Big 5 store down the street. I tested its daytime terestial capeabilities impressed me greatly. I am now waiting impatiently for the sun to go down so that i can look at the moon and the stars tonight. I am also a storm chaser durring the summer and i find this very compact and convieniant to take on my chases and get close up views of storm structure and to verify possible tornadoes. This is an awesome telescope.

BG said...

I just wanted to say thank you as well for the review. I found it helpful. I was lucky enough to get a USD$15.00 discount code from Amazon, who sell it for 45.00 to start with, so the final price for me was 30 bucks, with free shipping. I haven't started looking for the info yet, but I too wonder how you take pictures through it as I am sure I'll want to do that.

Mike said...

Nice scope for a nice price - I liked the Galileoscope that was also featured on this site with a nice write up by Bob. It was a fun scope to assemble and to use.

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Sheldon said...

Nice range is a good price - I like that also in this same write Bob a very good site features Galileoscope. This is an interesting area to assemble and use.
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Anonymous said...

Thanks for this thread. It was very helpful in deciding on the Celestron FirstScope, as my first telescope. Just want to let folks know that they selling for as little as $32.29 thru amazon with free shipping. I find it hard to believe they've not sold out at that price...yet?! Very happy with mine.

uruha said...

get to show people you have over for casual events to your humbletinggi badan
abode awesome views of the Moon, Saturn, Mars, Venus

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for that great review. I'm very new to this hobby but based on this review I'm going to buy my first scope, this one, at www.bhphotovideo.com - great price.

Sam.Pierce said...

Celestron FirstScope is just in $49.99 that's really good to know.

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Blackholes and astrostuff..!! My favorite blog and my my favorite astrostuff. I like that.

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amazing images,thanks for sharing this post.

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Andrew Australia said...

I strongly disagree with this review.

I purchased the scope last year and was very disappointed.

For starters, look at the other side of the box it came in. A nice big close up picture of Jupiter. In reality, you see a tiny white disk for Jupiter and points of light for its moons. Sure, I didn't expect a Hubble-like image of Jupiter but it's that kind of false advertising that should have made me suspicious.

It's a pretty pointless scope because it's only really good for looking at the moon, but you can do that with a good pair of binoculars for the same price- plus you can also use the binos for looking at terrestrial things. Oh, sure, Celestron has an owl on the box too suggesting that the scope is useful for terrestrial viewing, but being a RELFECTOR it's UPSIDE down, plus slow and unwieldy to lock on to a target.

If you want a telescope keep saving your money to buy a better one.

Raven said...

Hi! How did you take an image using a Canon 40D through the firstscope? Thanks!

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Since gallelio had invent the first telescop it has been one of the important matchine for those who are working with the other planets,stars etc..Celestron firstscope is the latest edition of telescope.will look after for some more updates..

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