The Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope is an amazingly low priced reflector scope with impressive optics. Particularly for a beginner, it can be very difficult to choose what telescope to buy, even after reading dozens of telescope reviews.
Some optical tools for beginners are cheap and shaky, while some are expensive and well-made, but for the great mass of mid-range telescopes most people will opt for, there are so many differences that it can make things very confusing.
Our Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope review looks at this mid-range scope from Celestron, to tell you all about its features, specs, accessories, performance, and pros, and cons.
What Is the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope?
Enthusiastically marketed as a dual-purpose tool, The Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope is a Newtonian reflector telescope from Celestron’s much-lauded AstroMaster series.
The technical specs are impressive, with a 114mm (4.48 in) aperture, a high useful magnification of 269X, and a sleek-looking design, making use of a German Equatorial mount.
While the optical qualities of the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope itself would place it among the best telescopes for beginners in this price range, the mount and tripod have both received some user complaints.
The tripod is very light, making it a bit shaky even when not extended to its maximum height, but the good part is that you can eventually learn how to handle it better, or you can easily upgrade it when you feel like advancing to an intermediate astronomer level.
Since the quality of the scope itself is amazing, replacing the tripod and mount with more professional ones would still make the Celestron 31045 Astro Master 130 EQ Reflector Telescope worth it.
|35 x 19 x 12 inches||26.5 lbs.||1 Lithium ion battery needed (included)||114mm (4.48”)||1000mm (39.37”)||Starry Night astronomy software|
Pros & Cons to Using the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope
- Very, very good optics. Definitely, the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster Reflector Telescope is not just another cheap telescope bundled together from whatever pieces the producer had laying around, but actually has a pretty impressive scope. Not only is it great for planetary viewing, with the moons of Jupiter and rings of Saturn being star attractions, but being a reflector telescope with a wide aperture, it could be one of the cheapest telescopes on offer that can decently display deep space objects.
- Good price. Its full price is good enough, but since most of the time, you can find it on sale, it can be quite a bargain. The Celestron 31045 AstroMaster producers have probably cut corners on the mount and tripod to reach this price, but it doesn’t matter: The quality of the optics is exceptional.
- The Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ is a great looking telescope, with everything from its professionally-looking shape to its black-and-orange color combination making it one of the best looking Celestron telescopes out there.
- At just 17 lbs total weight and thanks to its compact design, the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ is very portable. You can take it literally everywhere with you, unlike heavier and bulkier telescopes for professional use.
- The mount. Many Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ reviews described the tripod as a bit shaky. The Celestron 31045 130EQ’s mount can be a bit unstable, with small leaps instead of smooth transitions.
- The tripod seems a bit fragile for a 12.5 kg telescope. As with the mount, these inadequacies are made worse by the fact that they only become apparent after you are already in possession of the Celestron telescope. Still, both the mount and the tripod are good enough for beginner astronomers, and you can replace them both easily if you’d like to transition to a more advanced telescope setting in the future.
- Can be difficult to focus until you learn to wield it. Still, once you do learn how to use Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ and get it focused, the images will be crystal clear.
- This scope is not built for astrophotography and you may need to invest in a better lense kit as the provided lense is not powerful enough for deep-space observations.
- Tool setup is a bit difficult as instructions are not clear enough.
Where to Find the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope
The best price you can find the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope for is probably at online retailers such as Amazon, where it can be grabbed for a little over $200. Even with its flaws, the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ price is really good for a reflector telescope with such a high-quality scope and aperture.
Our honest opinion is that the telescope is worth it, and adding some extra accessories in time can continue to improve anything you might not like about it that much, while the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope still remains an incredibly good bargain (even considering some future replacement of telescope parts).
In terms of performance, the Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ telescope is quite impressive. You can use it to observe Jupiter’s moons and Saturn’s rings in detail, as well as capture images of the Moon, star clusters, planets, and more.
Using the Starry Night software, you can learn more about different sky objects, our solar system, and the night sky, as well as what you have to do on your next star-gazing session. The two eyepieces are perfect for both high powered and low powered views, depending on what you want to use the scope for. Also, the 20 mm eyepiece comes with a built-in erect image corrector as well.
Both the tripod and some of the pieces that make up the mount seem quite fragile, and some Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ dual purpose telescope reviews have mentioned that the telescope must be carried gently from one room to another.
Nevertheless, the mount has two slow–motion control knobs, for the perfect fine-tuning, which is a big plus.
Some telescope consumer reports recommend wearing gloves when turning the screws, as they can be uncomfortable for your hands. Under these circumstances, extra care is advised when handling it.
Maybe surprising for Celestron telescopes, the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope doesn’t come with any extra accessories, the package only containing the telescope, the mount, the finderscope, the tripod, the software, and two eyepieces.
Warranty and Guarantee Information
Celestron offers a 2-year limited warranty for the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope that covers any defects in materials and workmanship.
The Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope is an interesting product to recommend for astronomy beginners. On the one hand, its high-quality optics, large aperture for deep sky viewing, and dual purpose nature would make it a great telescope for its price.
On the other hand, even if you sometimes may struggle with the balance of the mount and tripod, the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope makes a great educational telescope for children.
If you’re looking for a good telescope, well-performing enough for complete beginners, but also with the potential to be improved for intermediate and advanced astronomers, then you can buy the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope and then modify it as you go.
With the help of the various telescope accessories on the market (some of them even Celestron accessories), you could modify it enough to turn it into one of the best telescopes you own. Tell us what you think of this Celestron telescope in the comments section below!
What are some basic accessories you would recommend to upgrade? Just bought this as a gift for a beginner.
You say it has a 114mm aperture. This is wrong it is a 130mm aperture, that’s why its a 130ED and not 114EQ