Celestron Nexstar 4SE Review

The Celestron Nexstar series is one of the most celebrated telescopes in recent years, with the 4SE being the cheapest of the SE models available. But how good is the 4SE, and is it worth your investment?

Well, that really depends on what you’re looking for in a telescope. The 4SE has a lot to offer, and it’s a good choice if you know how to use it properly. Let’s look at this telescope in closer detail to see whether it might be the right option for you.

Celestron Nexstar 4SE Review

Celestron - NexStar 4SE Telescope - Computerized Telescope for Beginners and Advanced Users - Fully-Automated GoTo Mount - SkyAlign Technology - 40,000+ Celestial Objects - 4-Inch Primary Mirror
  • Nexstar computerized telescope: The NexStar 4SE Computerized Telescope features Celestron’s iconic orange tube design with updated technology and the latest features for amazing stargazing for beginners and experienced observers.
  • 4-Inch aperture: The four-inch primary mirror in this Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope for adults and kids to be used together packs enough light-gathering ability to observe the best that our Solar System has to offer, while retaining a compact form factor.
  • Fully-automated go to mount: Featuring a database of more than 40,000 celestial objects, the go to mount built into our telescopes for astronomy beginners automatically locates and tracks objects for you.
  • Bonus free starry night software: The NexStar 4SE Telescope includes a FREE download of one of the top consumer rated astronomy software programs for an interactive sky simulation.
  • Unbeatable warranty and customer support: Buy with confidence from the world’s #1 telescope brand, based in California since 1960. You’ll also receive a two-year warranty and unlimited access to technical support from our team of US-based experts.

The Celestron Nexstar 4SE is one of the most popular telescopes on the current market, and it’s one of Celestron’s bestselling telescopes in previous years. It’s the little brother to the 5SE, 6SE and the 8SE, which are all essentially the same telescope just with greater aperture. Of course, the main benefit of opting for a telescope with a lower aperture is that they’re typically a lot cheaper, and that’s true of the 4SE.

You can buy the NexStar with a whole lot of different accessories!

Let’s break things down into a little more detail and find out more about the 4SE.

Specs

When we’re looking at a telescope, the first thing we want to check out are it’s specs. This way, we can see whether it meets our requirements and we’ll be able to use it for the right objectives.

Design type: Maksutov-Cassegrain | Aperture: 102 mm (4 inches) | Focal Length (FL): 1325 mm | Focal Ratio (FR): f13 | Finderscope: Star Pointer™ | Max useful magnification: 240x | Optical coating type: Starbright XLT | Dovetail: Quick Release Tube Clamp | Mount type: Alt-azimuth | Weight: 11 lb

Main Features

The Nexstar 4SE has a lot to offer and it has many different features. It’s 4 inch aperture is matched by a 1325mm focal length, which gives it a focal ratio of f/13.

Of course, the main feature of the Nexstar 4SE is that it comes with a Go-To mount. This enables you to see more than 40,000 night sky objects easily. By using a simple controller and entering in the right coordinates, you can track pretty much any object in the night sky – this is why it’s so commonly recommended for beginners to start with a telescope like this. It eliminates the need to spend ages working out how to find a specific star.

nexstar-4se-mount
The Go-To mount is what makes the Nexstar what it is!

These Celestron telescopes are known for their orange design and their high build quality. It comes with a good quality Starpoint finderscope, and SkyAlign will allow you to easily align the telescope with 3 bright objects in the night sky. It also will come collimated, so you don’t need to spend a ton of time collimating your telescope when you get it either.

Optics & Build Quality

This telescope is a variant of a Maksutov cassegrain telescope that we generally refer to as a “spot cassegrain”. This means that the light shines through onto the primary mirror, and then onto a corrector plate before it reaches your vision. They’re quite easy to make, which is why they’re the most popular form of Maksutov telescope.

Like the other options in the Nexstar range, it’s built from high quality materials and is made to last. It uses Starbright optical coatings to ensure that your view quality is high and bright enough for you to see clearly. Although it is fairly light, it’s still quite a robust telescope that isn’t going to be broken easily.

Pros

This is pretty much the perfect first telescope for beginners just getting into astronomy properly. Whilst it doesn’t have the power of some other models, it makes up for this in other ways.

The Nexstar 4SE provides a great image, whilst being extremely easy to use for beginners. With the Mount, it makes for one of the best ways to find new objects in the night sky, as it has an index of recorded objects way beyond many others. This makes finding stars, constellations and planets very simple!

The 4SE is heavy enough that it stays stable when you’re using it, but light enough that you can pick it up and move it pretty easily. So overall, there are many good things about this Nexstar telescope.

Cons

The main drawback of the 4SE is that it’s really designed for simple views of the night sky. If you’re trying to get very in depth views of distant planets or objects, then this telescope isn’t going to be powerful enough. If you want something more powerful, then you could consider the 6SE or even the 8SE instead.

It’s also not the best choice if you’re looking for an astrophotography telescope. For this, I typically recommend an APO refractor as the best option. The 4SE has not got a fast focal ratio, which is necessary for astrophotography, to perform well and take long exposure images. It also comes on an alt-az mount, which isn’t good for taking photos (an equatorial mount is the astrophotographers telescope of choice for this).

So all in all, there are some small criticisms of the 4SE, but that’s really only because there are other alternatives better suited to different uses.

Conclusion

All in all, the Celestron 4SE is a great option for both beginner astronomers and intermediates who want a telescope that is really easy and simple to use. Of course, it’s 4 inch aperture mean that it’s not going to be able to see very deep sky objects, however it isn’t really intended for that kind of use. But for the majority of stars and objects in the night sky, then it’s a perfect telescope to get started with.

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