Celestron Cometron 114AZ Reflector Telescope Review: Excellent Optics, Poor Mount
- •GREAT OPTICS
- •EASY TO USE
- •DEEP SPACE PERFORMER
- •LOW-QUALITY MOUNT
Celestron Cometron 114AZ has an excellent optical tube attached to a poorly made plastic mount. The result is not mesmerizing, but it is quite pleasing considering the low-price tag of the Cometron 114AZ.
The obvious solution to a plastic and wobbly mount would be a TableTop design. But some people need the height and convenience of a tripod. In that case, sacrificing some stability and sturdiness in the name of a tripod telescope is not a nonsensical choice. Especially if the telescope has high-quality optics and a well-built optical tube.
What makes Cometron 114AZ better than most budget telescopes is its short optical design. Polaris 114, for example, has a 1000mm long optical tube compared to Cometron’s 450mm. The problem is you can’t put such a long tube on a weak, plastic mount. The wobbling will be so annoying it will discourage you from stargazing.
Celestron is most possibly aware of this problem, and this is probably the reason why they used such a short optical tube with Cometron 114AZ. The result is much better than the longer 114mm reflectors. The wobbling of the mount is reduced by a lot, and it turns out it is worth sacrificing some optical power for stability.
Celestron did the right thing by using a shorter optical tube.
The optics of this telescope are not that powerful, but they are more than adequate for beginners. A 114mm apertured reflector is able to provide clear images of 4 Galilean Moon’s of Jupiter and with a good eyepiece, the Storm Clouds. You will also be able to see Rings of Saturn separate from the planet and again, with a good eyepiece, Saturn’s largest moon Titan. You can also observe the phases of Venus on ideal atmospheric conditions. Mars will appear as a red dot as it does with most other beginner telescopes. Overall the planetary detail you get from Cometron 114AZ is not bad, but a refractor would be much better at this.
The Moon looks gorgeous with Cometron 114AZ as it does with most other telescopes. It is not a difficult achievement to provide exceptional detail on the Moon.
Cometron 114AZ is a wide-field telescope that is ideal for deep-sky.
Deep Space is the strongest suit of Cometron 114AZ. The short optical tube combined with the relatively wide aperture provides a wide-field view. Brighter star clusters, nebulas, and galaxies are a joy to observe with this telescope. Randomly roaming the deep-sky feels magical and satisfying.
The optics of 114AZ are pretty good. Celestron used an expensive parabolic primary mirror with this model; that’s why it easily passes the optics test for me.
The mount is the weakest part of Cometron 114AZ. Not that it is complete junk or useless, but a slightly sturdier mount would add a lot to the overall experience. Plastic mounts are common at this price range, but Celestron should improve the one that comes with this telescope. The feeling of moving the mount on the axis’ is especially annoying.
The handle built-in creates some amount of consolation for the low-quality mount. It is lockable and is a nice extension for moving the telescope.
In contrast to the mount, the tripod that comes with Cometron 114AZ is made of stainless steel. It is sturdy and feels well-made. There is also a tray in the middle for putting eyepieces. The tripod overall is a solid part of the telescope.
Cometron 114AZ comes with three useful and simple accessories. I really appreciate Celestron for providing real accessories instead of useless Barlow’s, diagonals, and ridiculously small eyepieces.
The eyepieces that come with the telescope are Kellner’s. The 10mm provides 45x, and the 20mm provides 23x power. Although they are below-average eyepieces, they are more than adequate for budget telescopes. They will provide decent images for the beginning.
The red dot finder is a simple device that projects a red dot on a small screen. It is easy to align and use. I would choose this finder over a plastic 5×24 finder every time.
The focuser on Cometron 114AZ is mostly plastic with some amount of metal parts. It is able to provide enough stability for high magnifications with smooth enough motion.
That is it for the accessories. I hope more companies send less but useful accessories rather than trying to fill the box with weird, useless stuff.
The only drawback of Cometron 114AZ is its low-quality mount. At high magnifications, it can really become a problem. But the fact that this telescope is a deep-sky performer slightly makes up for the wobbly mount. In short, you won’t use this telescope for high magnifications most of the time anyway.
Although it has its problems with the mount, Celestron Cometron 114AZ is a strong-buy. The reason for that is its short optical tube and the expensive parabolic mirror inside it. The deep-sky performance of this telescope is one of the bests in its price range.
If a tabletop is not a choice for you, I strongly recommend Cometron 114AZ as a wide-field, grab-and-go telescope.