Celestron PowerSeeker 50AZ Telescope Review: Depressing
Celestron PowerSeeker is one of the cheapest, “real” telescopes in the market. But unfortunately, this telescope is not buyable in any circumstance.
Although the mount and the low-powered optics could have been acceptable because of the cheap price, the accessories that come with PowerSeeker 50AZ are so bad it is impossible to recommend this telescope to anyone.
If a tripod is an absolute necessity, get the Infinity 60. It has a larger aperture and better accessories.
There are three major problems with this the PowerSeeker 50AZ. The first one is the unusually narrow aperture.
50mm aperture is too narrow for even the smallest of telescopes.
At this price range, the smallest increase in the aperture makes a huge difference. For example, PowerSeeker 70AZ, which cost only 20$ more, have TWO times more light gathering ability than the PowerSeeker 50AZ. Simply put, the images you get with the PowerSeeker 70AZ are two times better. Imagine the difference between a 1080p video and a 480p video. That is the difference between these models.
I completely understand if you are unable to stretch your budget, but it would definitely be worth it.
That being said, the optics of PowerSeeker 50AZ aren’t low-quality. The lenses are properly coated high-quality glass. The unusually long optical tube reduces image defects quite a bit.
PowerSeeker 50AZ is a Moon performer at its core. You can also get a view of 4 Galilean Moon’s of Jupiter, and Rings of Saturn on ideal atmospheric conditions with low light pollution. You can’t get any detail from Mars, Venus, or any other planet with PowerSeeker 50AZ.
Deep space performance of PowerSeeker 50AZ is one of the worsts in its price range. Deep space is an area that requires the most aperture possible so that the optics can provide some detail. A 50mm aperture is not enough for decent images of galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters. You can get a little detail from exceptionally bright star clusters such as the Pleiades, but unfortunately, that is about it.
The second major problem is the low-quality mount.
The mount of PowerSeeker would be considered weak for a digital camera. It is nowhere near usable for a long refractor like the PowerSeeker 50AZ that is supposed to provide high-magnification performance. There is not a single drop of smoothness in the motions. The vertical axis has a knob built-in for locking the telescope and adjusting the friction. But the horizontal movement is horrible, and the base overall is too shaky.
Although the tripod is made of aluminium, it is frustratingly wobbly and feels cheap.
The mount overall is not suitable for decent astronomy. This is the exact reason why I strongly recommend tabletop telescopes. Since they stand on wooden plates, they are rock-solid and butter-smooth in all directions, no matter the price
The base as a whole is frustrating.
The third major problem is the accessories that come with the PowerSeeker 50AZ. None of the accessories that come with the PowerSeeker 50AZ are usable. I wouldn’t mind it if Celestron included only one, usable, budget eyepiece. But instead, they chose to fill up the package with plastic, low-quality accessories so that it looks like you are getting high-value from this telescope on the product page.
The worst, and also the most important accessories, are the eyepieces. None of them have high-quality coatings or decent curvatures. The optics of this telescope are high-quality, but the eyepieces are so bad they pull the whole telescope down. All the eyepieces are 0.96″, while the focuser on the telescope is 1.25″. The eyepieces can’t be used with the telescope without an adapter, which will only lower the image quality even more. This reason alone is enough for not buying this telescope.
The 5×24 finder is not a “real” finder. It is a toy. A cheap red dot finder would be a much better choice, but it doesn’t look as good, right?
The 3x Barlow is a marketing-scam. A real, useful 3x Barlow is incredibly hard to manufacture. The one that comes with the PowerSeeker 50AZ merely blurs the image.
The diagonal for the 0.96″ eyepieces, in other words, the adapter, is the same as the other accessories. Its optical quality is as low as it can be.
The accessories are there to look good. They are not real astronomical equipment.
The focuser is of acceptable quality, especially considering the low power optics of PowerSeeker 50AZ.
The wobbly mount would be acceptable if the accessories that come with the telescope were honest, but they are not. The mount and the accessories pull this telescope to the useless junk realm that is underneath the Earth instead of the stars.
The low price of PowerSeeker 50AZ couldn’t become the hero in this story. If you are buying a cheap telescope, be careful with the accessories included. If there are too many, they are not real astronomy accessories. This is the case with the PowerSeeker 50AZ.