Rock solid tripod and mount. Very nice 2" eypiece but heavy. Pretty easy to set up. For the money they could do better than a "trial" on the NexRemote! Red light in hand controller needs to be brighter. During alignment you should add as many extra alignment stars as you can for a almost perfect alignment. (took me awhile to figure that one out). If you are looking at this to buy I don't think you will be disappointed; it is a beautiful scope and fun to use. I'm finally going to be able to finish my "M" list!!!! (Posted on 7/21/12)
Excellent scope, beats my 8" meade easily. great photography. set up was easier than I anticipated. Here is a hint, add as many alignment stars as you can (5) and you won't regret it! Need to be able to adjust the red light in the hand contreoller to make it brighter as my eyes are not what they used to be. I love this 9.25 and wish I had bought it before I wasted my money on the Meade LS. (Posted on 7/21/12)
I've had a Dobsonian for more than two decades and have used the 8" Celestron scopes that we had for labs that I taught in grad school. I now teach astronomy and wanted a scope that could produce wide-field images I could use in my lecture, as well as give me enough practice as an astrophotographer to be comfortable teaching a course on it. When I compared all my options with the personal budget that I had available, this was the model I got. I've shot images at f/2.3 with Hyperstar all the way through f/30 with a 3x Barlow. The optics are very good. Even after removing and replacing the secondary a couple dozen times, I still get nice, round stars when I use the scope visually. The polar alignment routine that is built into the CGEM works very well. Shooting at f/2.3 and with no guiding (just polar alignment), I can take exposures of 150 to 180 seconds before noticing the stars going out of round a bit -- that's with no PEC activated. The mount is heavy enough that I can still image with a breeze blowing. That stability was necessary when I was shooting from the Eastern Sierras, and I think my image of the Orion Nebula from that session demonstrates this feature well. Portability was another concern for me. I have a compact car, but am able to get the scope, mount, tripod, guidescope, etc. to fit in the trunk and back seat, and still have room for tent camping. The next upgrade I am considering is not the scope or mount, but a larger chip camera to take advantage of the large, flat field the Edge HD optics provide. With Hyperstar and my 1/3" chip camera, I was able to find asteroid 2005 YU55 when it passed by, and the mount allowed me to keep it in view for two hours to share with my students.
I agree with the other reviewer that a USB connection to the hand controller would be a good addition. Also, some teflon bearings between the mount and the tripod would make polar alignment much smoother.
Overall, this has been a terrific set-up for getting a working understanding of astrophotography. I look forward to many more clear nights of imaging with it. (Posted on 3/29/12)
I had a Celestron NexStar 80GTL for 5+ years... one day, I realized, it's time to step up... choosing Celestron as my next telescope was not hard, but find right model with right budget is hard... Initially, I was thinking to get AS GT, but CGEM caught my eyes... It looks good in both design and specs. Since, I do some photography, EdgeHD is nice idea, but adding some burden to my budget. Otherwise I will go for a 1100 instead of 925 model. However, after a long research, there are only a hair of difference between 925 and 1100. So that eases up my budget to get EdgeHD. However, I was seriously thinking about getting a 800... After I compare the specs, it seems 800 having a 1.25" eyepiece but 925 will step up to 2". Thinking about this will last me for a long time; I better get something I won't regret.
- Great image (compare to the 6", that I used at school lab...)
- Sturdy design
- Not "too" heavy for myself to move around and setup (but it is heavy!)
- Motorized drives are quiet
- 2" to 1.25 adaptor for my old 1.25" eyepieces and star diagonal
- Firmware upgradable for Hand Control and Motor Control
- Serial cable is included! (I have to build one for my old 80GTL last time...)
- One 2" 23mm eyepiece.... it's huge and heavy....
- HyperStar compatible.....
- A great toy to show off to your friends....
- Not a cheap toy...
- Manual needs some updates
- No filter include (either solar filter or light-pollution filter will be nice...)
- No Lens Shade (not expensive, but why not make it free....)
- No GPS or can’t use any 3rd party’s (cell phone, Bluetooth GPS , USB GPS…. etc.)
- No serial to USB (it's getting harder and harder to find the adaptor in local store...)
- Firmware update need some work, the verify function for MC v6.17 can't verify...
- NexRemote 30 days trial? (since it says "trial", I didn't bother to install it... So, I use Stellarium)
- no T-adaptor (with EdgeHD, one might think this is for taking astro photo....)
- maybe a coupon for HyperStar will be nice...
Personally, the "cons" are not really issue... either can be "fix" or spend more budget to upgrade accessories. (Posted on 12/24/11)
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