Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ Telescope Review: Better Than Most
PowerSeeker is an 80mm refractor with a 900mm optical tube, which will give you great planetary detail. It is able to provide images of Jupiter’s Clouds and its 4 Galilean Moons, Rings of Saturn and with a good eyepiece, polar ice caps on Mars. The Moon looks spectacular with most telescopes, and with this one it is no different.
Deep space performance is not that good. This because of the low aperture. A Dobsonian would be much better at this area. It still provides good images of Pleiades Star Cluster, Andromeda Galaxy, and Orion Nebula; but there are better choices for that at this price.
The mount is an equatorial, which means it has a learning curve. Adding to that, it is mostly plastic.
At this price range, there are no refractors with incredibly solid mounts. So if you are sure that a refractor is your choice, the mount is not that bad. But expect some wobbling at high magnifications.
The slow-motion knobs are surprisingly good. If you can learn how to use them properly, they may become your best friend for planetary viewing.
The eyepieces that come with the telescope are adequate for the beginning, except the 4mm model. It is almost impossible to use because of the short eye-relief.
The 3x Barlow is completely unnecessary. It triples the magnification with any eyepiece, and it is simply too much power for such a small telescope.
The corrector-prism is usable for terrestrial viewing. It doesn’t bring up any complaints.
The 5×24 finder scope is a mood-killer. A red dot finder would be better for this telescope.
The biggest drawback is the price. You can get a Meade Polaris 80 for almost 50$ lower, which comes with better accessories and better build quality.
The second drawback is the wobbly mount, but you can’t expect anything else at this price range. As we’ve said before, only Dobsonian’s can provide optimal stability for this price.
This video should give you an idea about what you can see with this telescope. Although it is overpriced, the Lunar detail it provides is pretty good.
Also remember the image would look much better in real life.
In-Depth Review and Technical Specifications
PowerSeeker 80 is an overpriced, decent, entry-level telescope. If companies like Meade, Zhumell or SkyWatcher don’t ship to your country, it is purchasable. But know that there exist better models for the same price.
An 80mm refractor with a 900mm optical tube creates an f/11.3 optical ratio. As with most of the refractors, this provides great planetary detail but low deep-space performance.
Jupiter’s moons and clouds are visible. Rings of Saturn and polar ice caps on Mars are also great sights with the PowerSeeker 80.
Some deep space objects still look great, but the low aperture decreases the amount of detail you get drastically. Brighter Messier Objects, Pleiades Star Cluster, Hercules Star Cluster and the Andromeda Galaxy still look decent.
The mount is mostly plastic, which should give you an idea about its stability. At high magnifications, it definitely creates a little frustration. The only solution is to prevent yourself from touching the mount and only use it with the slow-motion knobs.
Keep in mind that if you are getting a refractor at this price range, all the models have plastic mounts. You should also be ready to deal with a slight learning curve with an equatorial model.
Slow-Motion knobs are the life jacket for the PowerSeeker 80. They are surprisingly smooth and sturdy, which creates a nice viewing experience if used properly.
The 20mm eyepiece is a good model for the beginning. It provides 45x magnification, which should prove enough for a good amount of planetary and lunar detail.
The 4mm eyepiece belongs to garbage. Its eye relief is too short and provides too much power.
The 3x Barlow is useless. You simply can’t get quality images at such high powers with a small refractor. Adding to that, the mount doesn’t provide enough stability for that magnification range.
The 5×24 finder scope is another frustration. It is tiring to use. A red dot finder without any magnification would be simpler and easier to use. Especially for beginners.
Around 200$, there are better choices.
Most of the accessories are unnecessary or useless.
The mount is wobbly at high magnifications.
The decent optics, unfortunately, cannot save the PowerSeeker 80. It is simply a marketing scam. If it was cheaper, we would consider it as a decent entry-level telescope. But it is not. Just save your money and get the Polaris 80 or try to find it for lower prices.
The only other instance where you should get this telescope is if it is your only choice for the country you are in. Then, it is purchasable thanks to the optical quality. Just replace the accessories with better ones, and you will have yourself a good refractor that will last you for years.