Celestron Cometron FirstScope Review: Compact and Useful
Celestron Cometron FirstScope is rather low-powered, but it is surprisingly well-built.
Celestron Cometron FirstScope is one of the lowest-power telescopes you can get. But it is so well-built and cheap, I strongly recommend it.
Tabletop mounts are easy to manufacture. They are essentially two wooden plates with some Teflon between them. This simple design is vastly better than plastic mounts that come with tripod telescopes. It is sturdier and butter-smooth on all axis.
Tabletops are ideal for budget prices.
The price is another strong factor that makes this telescope a strong-buy. At the moment it is being sold for lower than 50$. There are budget accessories in the market that cost higher than that. In short, the price is ridiculously low, and the value you will get from this scope is much higher than that.
But naturally, the low-price brings with some cheap design choices. The first and the worst one is the spherical primary mirror.
If you are a beginner, you probably don’t know what a spherical primary mirror is and why that is a bad thing. Let me try to explain it briefly.
The primary mirror is low-quality.
A spherical primary mirror has multiple focal points. As a result, the image will not be as sharp and bright as you want it to be. Also, there will be some color defects around bright images. This is called spherical aberration.
Adding to that, the primary mirror is not adjustable. Therefore if it gets out of alignment, you will have a big problem in your hands. You can only solve it by playing with the screws on the optical tube or sending it to the customer service. Celestron’s customer service is excellent, but only in certain countries. So you have to be careful about that.
For a price lower than 50$, you will be able to see 4 Galilean Moon’s of Jupiter and Rings of Saturn. This is what makes this telescope a high-value product. It is able to show you what a real telescope is and can do. It is a small, convenient gateway to the astronomy world.
The Moon looks gorgeous with Celestron Cometron FirstScope as it does with most other telescopes. Showing some detail on the Moon is not a difficult thing, and FirstScope naturally manages to do that.
The optical power is low, but enough to spark some curiosity.
You will be able to see some of the brighter deep space objects such as the Pleiades Star Cluster and Orion Nebula. Although it is not able to show most details, roaming the deep-sky is relaxing and fun with this scope.
Overall the optical tube is not ideal. But in its humble way, pleasing and fun to use.
The mount is the best part of the whole telescope. It is able to do what it promises really well, and it doesn’t bring up any problems. This is what any product should be like.
The base is rock-solid. Annoying wobbles are not a problem with this scope.
Overall the base is just delightful.
The motions on the vertical and horizontal axis are butter-smooth. You can adjust the tension on the vertical axis with a knob built into the mount.
The telescope as a whole only weighs 2 kgs (4.3 lbs). You can carry the FirstScope around like a laptop.
There is nothing to complain about the base. It just does its job really well.
The eyepieces that come with the telescope are 10mm and 20mm Kellner’s, which probably cost more than half the price of the telescope. The 10mm eyepiece provides 30x, and the 20mm eyepiece provides 15x power, which are suitable amounts of magnification for the FirstScope.
The focuser is mostly plastic, as it is with most budget telescopes. It is more than enough for such a small optical tube. It provides adequate smoothness and sturdiness.
The accessories of Cometron FirstScope are pretty good except the finder.
The finder is, unfortunately, useless. Celestron probably sends these finders so that their telescopes look more like “real” telescopes on the product posters. In reality, you don’t even need a finder for such a small scope. Its can already serve as a finder for itself.
The 5×24 finder is the worst part of the telescope. Celestron shouldn’t include a finder with this scope or send a simple red dot finder.
The spherical primary mirror is cheap and not adjustable, but you shouldn’t expect anything else at this price range. Still, it is a problem that should be mentioned.
Celestron Cometron FirstScope is as low-powered as any telescope can be. If you are OK with this fact, this telescope is an absolute recommendation. Cometron FirstScope is a lovely little device that can show some of the secrets of the Universe.