Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ Review – A good first telescope?

If you’re looking to get your first telescope, then the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ comes pretty highly recommended. When you’re just getting started with astronomy, it is important that you have a telescope that is reasonably price but still powerful enough to see some deep sky objects.

Celestron’s 127 EQ from the PowerSeeker series is definitely one of the most rewarding low-end telescopes – it packs a good aperture, premium quality features, and it’s built like a wall of bricks. Due to its massive popularity, we’ve decided to take it for a spin and see the extent of advantages it has over similarly priced telescopes, so let’s begin.

Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ – At first glance

People who have an idea about astrophotography and its terminology could understand the gist of 127 EQ telescope through this simple definition – it’s a reflector telescope with an equatorial mount equipped with a 39.4 FL lens. It has a wide field of view, and it is the perfect telescope if you’re just trying out astronomy for the first time.

Whilst often confused for a Newtonian telescope, the Powerseeker 127EQ isn’t actually technically a Newtonian. Instead, it’s a Jones-Bird reflector. This means that it has an additional corrector lens between the spherical mirrors that help it to reduce any potential blurring you may experience.

Now, if you don’t know anything about telescopes and have simply heard that this is a great cheap telescope for beginners, it most certainly is. It offers quite a lot in terms of performance and quality of features, and you can tell that just by looking at it; it packs a highly adjustable mount, relatively short tubing, superb optics, and a variety of gratis accessories.  

I’m not going to sit here and say that it’s the best telescope ever, because it’s not. It’s a budget reflector telescope that is excellent value for the price, as is often the case with these cheaper reflectors. It’s obviously not going to match more expensive telescopes when it comes to its optical components, but it’s ideal if you’re looking for a beginner scope to practice with.

Manufacturer specs

This section covers every tiny detail about the Power Seeker 127EQ and aims to help intermediate-level astrophotographers and experienced sky-gazers understand its mode of operation, its performance, and at the end of the day, is it valuable for the money or not. Celestron’s Power Seeker 127EQ specs are:

As with any reflector, it manages to gather a good amount of light by using a parabolic mirror as its primary mirror. This primary mirror then reflects the light onto a smaller secondary mirror, which then shows us an image.

Design type: Newtonian Reflector Telescope | Aperture: 127 mm/5 inches | Focal Length (FL): 1000 mm/39 inches | Focal Ratio (FR):f/7.87 | Main eyepiece: 20mm with 50x magnification | Complementary eyepieces: 4mm with 250x magnification and three Barlow lenses | Finder scope: 5×24 | Mount type: German Equatorial | Mount material: aluminium alloy | Tube length: 508 mm/20 inches | Actual dimensions 33 inches by 17 inches by 11 inches | Weight when assembled: 21.38 pounds 

Main features

First and foremost, the spotlight of the primary feature of the Power Seeker 127 EQ is its 127 millimeter aperture. Basically, perhaps only a handful of entry level and mid-priced telescopes are outfitted with a scope as big as this and you’d typically need to upgrade the one your model initially came supplied with. 

What really makes this feature so special is not only its sheer size, but the clarity it is able to provide as well. Basically, the 127mm aperture allows you to spot distant stars, clusters, planets, satellites, and nebulas with pristine, vivid clarity. This is important with any beginner telescope.

The second most notable feature of Celestron’s Power Seeker 127 EQ is its tubing. One of the reasons why this telescope is so compact and portable is because its tube is slightly smaller (and lighter) than average. Although this isn’t anything new or revolutionary for Newtonian reflector telescopes, most models are far less transportable.

In terms of optics, it’s not too surprising to hear that this telescope uses a tiny spherical mirror. What most experienced astrophotographers know about this particular type of mirrors is that it greatly suffers from the phenomenon called ‘chromatic aberration’.

Of course, it doesn’t lower the quality of the telescope overall, but it does mean that you’ll need to put a little more effort in finding your way around this issue (recalibration or via special attachments). Lastly, this telescope also sports a German Equatorial mount made of top-shelf aluminium; it’s robust and was obviously to last decades with proper maintenance and use.

Optics quality

The quality of optics Power Seeker 127 EQ has to offer is great; even superb for the money. The entirety of the optical elements sport fully coated glass that provides exceptional levels of clarity, contrast, and brightness. 

With its highest magnification level being 250x and lowest 18x, we can safely conclude that it’s absolutely perfect for planet watching, star observation, or gazing at the moon and a good chunk of the stars closest to earth.

It’s not, so great for deep space observation, which shouldn’t really be an issue since reflector telescopes weren’t even designed for that particular use. 

The main eyepiece mounted on this telescope features a 20 millimeter lens while the complementary 4 millimeter lens is what makes it a bit more versatile. Furthermore, you’ll also receive three Barlow lenses to further amplify the maximum magnification you can achieve with the Power Seeker 127. 

Pros

  • Even though there are numerous great things that Power Seeker 127 EQ can boast about, the biggest benefit it can offer you is in the realm of optics. It’s packed with a massive aperture (127 millimters), which is extremely rare for a telescope in this price point category.
  • It’s true that large aperture scopes can be pretty useless without quality mirrors and lenses, but 127 EQ excels in this particular area of performance as well. All optical elements are manufactured from top-quality glass and are coated with high-transmission aluminium that provides additional image clarity.
  • What’s even more surprising is that a telescope of this quality maybe shouldn’t be so cheap and readily available. It belongs to the lower bracket of the middle price point category, bordering with the budget ‘entry level’. 

Cons

  • Optical aberration is to be expected when gazing at the starry skies through a telescope equipped with a spherical mirror, and such is the case with Celestron’s 127 EQ. This basically means that some of the images you ‘capture’ will be followed with minor distortion or coma-tails riding on the stars you are watching. 
  • Luckily, there are numerous ways to combat this issue, such as recalibrating your telescope or by purchasing coma-correcting attachments. This involves a bit more cash and effort, so it’s obviously a disadvantage of sorts. 

Conclusion

Is Celestron’s Power Seeker 127 EQ the best telescope on the market? Arguably, it might be one of the finest models in the budget price category, especially due to the fact that it comes supplied with top-shelf features and most of its flaws can be bypassed and corrected. 

Beginners and first-timers adore its user-friendly and easy-to-use design while a bit more experienced astrophotographers like it for its high-quality optics. In a nutshell, this is a great telescope that has certainly earned all the attention it has garnered.