What kind of dovetail does my telescope have? Can I use it with other mounts?

For the most part Celestron telescopes will come with either a CG-5 style (1.75''), or CGE style (3'') Dovetail bar. The most common dovetail bar size in the telescope market is the CG-5-style bar. Larger mounts are made to carry larger optical tubes and payloads and use the second most common size, the Losmandy or CGE-width.

If your telescope has either of these dovetail bars then that telescope would be interchangeable with other mounts who have the identical saddle.

Celestron mounts and what dovetail saddles they have:

Vixen (or CG-5) Saddle mounts: LCM, NexStar SLT, NexStar SE, NexStar Evolution, Advanced GT, AstroMaster, SkyProdigy, Omni XLT, Omni XLT AZ

CGE Saddle mounts: CGE, CGEM, CGEM DX, CGE PRO, and all EdgeHD optical tubes

Dual saddle plates (CG-5 and CGE saddle): CGEM II, CGX, Advanced VX, and CGX-L.


For example, if you have a Nexstar 8SE, then the telescope will come with the CG-5 style dovetail bar. With that bar you can also use the same optical tube on an NexStar Evolution mount. While this means that the telescopes are interchangeable, you should make sure that the mount would be able to handle the payload capacity of your mount.

In addition, dovetail bars can be used either atop or underneath OTAs to mount accessories like guidescopes and counterweights. Dovetail bars vary considerably depending on the size and weight of the optical tube. Adapters are available in the aftermarket to allow fitting a CG-5 dovetail bar to a mount's CGE-width dovetail clamp and also a CGE dovetail bar to a mount's CG-5 width dovetail clamp.

Note: As designed and normally used, the NexStar SLT optical tube is mounted so the mount arm is to the right of the tube as seen from behind. The dovetail bar on the scope is thus on its right side and it is considered "right-handed." Though the tube's dovetail bar will fit many other mounts, the tube may not have this right-handed relationship to the mount. Your finderscope and focusing knob may not be optimally placed for observing convenience with other mounts.


A quick list of our current left-handed and right-handed scopes

Computerized Alt-Azimuth Mounts



NexStar Evolution


NexStar SE



NexStar SLT