The Celestron Advanced VX 8-inch EdgeHD is a versatile telescope system for intermediate to advanced amateur astronomers, yet still small and light enough to easily transport for observing around the country. The 8-inch aperture is ample for viewing and photographing all types of celestial objects, and the computerized equatorial mount makes it easy to find and track them.
CELESTRON ADVANCED VX 8 EDGE HD KEY SPECS
Optical design: EdgeHD (enhanced Schmidt-Cassegrain with additional lenses)
Opening: 203.2 mm (8 in)
Focal distance: 2032 mm (80 in)
Focal report: f/10
Eyepiece focal length: 40mm (50×)
Total kit weight: 61 pounds. (27.67 kg) (breaks down into 3 main components for transportation)
Type of mounting: German equatorial, computerized, with servo motors
Optically, the EdgeHD system is excellent, and with the right accessories, it pairs with all types of cameras. Views of Saturn and Jupiter are spectacular; globular clusters are resolved into stars; all Messier objects are clearly visible; and with a trained eye and dark country skies, galaxies are visible down to 12th magnitude. It’s a telescope you won’t outgrow.
Since this telescope is aimed at relatively advanced users, we’re reviewing it from that perspective. The author has been using a Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD as his primary gear since 2014 and is familiar with them. As a longtime member of the user community, the author also knows that they are reliable.
Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD: Design
- EdgeHD optical design outperforms Schmidt-Cassegrain
- Light and robust computer support
- Interoperability — other telescopes, other mounts, standard accessories
The EdgeHD optical system is the crown jewel of Celestron, an improved Schmidt-Cassegrain with additional lens elements, and while the improvement is primarily for photography, we can see it visually with an eyepiece.
The computerized mount combines Celestron’s NexStar firmware with a German-style equatorial mount whose major axis points toward the celestial pole. This gives properly oriented tracking for photography and the ability to use different telescopes on the same mount. For example, our Advanced VX mount easily carries a camera with a telephoto lens instead of EdgeHD. The current version accepts Vixen (narrow) and Losmandy (wide) dovetails.
Compared with competitors, the Advanced VX mount head is both lightweight and relatively sturdy, not easily damaged or misfitted. The telescope, mounting head and tripod easily separate for transport.
The mount requires 12-14V DC power, about 0.5A most of the time, up to 3-4A momentarily when moving the telescope fast. We use a portable battery.
Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD: performance
- Excellent optics
- Reliably finds and tracks celestial objects
- Serious deep-sky photography needs a better mount
All good telescopes in the same size class give similar views, so this one isn’t much different from other well-made 6-10 inch telescopes. Compared to conventional Schmidt-Cassegrains, however, we think the EdgeHD is sharper, especially away from the center of the field.
The supplied 40mm eyepiece gives a power of 50, which seems low but ideal for star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Celestron assumes you will be buying more eyepieces and as such we recommend two more, around 20mm (100x for general purpose) and 10mm (200x for the moon and planets). In unusually stable air, we were able to use a 5mm (400x) eyepiece on nearby double stars. High-quality eyepieces bring out the best in this slim telescope, so don’t skimp.
After proper setup, the mount finds celestial objects acceptably (good enough to place the object in the field of a 20mm eyepiece) and tracks them very well. You can select objects on the hand controller, a PC running Celestron’s PWI software, or many other sky map packages such as Stellarium. Astrophotographers will want to perform PEC training, as described in the manual, for even smoother tracking.
However, for long exposures of nebulae and galaxies, with an autoguider and guidescope sending constant corrections to the mount, the Advanced VX left me wanting (and ultimately switching to) a heavier mount with more precise gearing. and less backlash. This is only a problem when the Advanced VX carries a telescope of this size. It works great with a smaller telescope.
Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD: Feature
- Computer-assisted setup process
- Great views of all types of celestial objects
- Requires more eyepieces (about 20mm and 10mm)
Because the Advanced VX is an equatorial mount, the setup is more than the usual process of centering a few stars that the telescope automatically points to. You should also aim for its polar axis on Polaris, then fine-tune the alignment by seeing the stars and letting the mount’s computer tell you about errors. This process, which Celestron calls “All-Star Polar Alignment,” is convenient and impressively accurate, but you need to identify bright stars. If the computer says to center Enif and you center Alpheratz, you will get incorrect results. This is the main difference between equatorial mounts and those that are more suitable for beginners.
It is an excellent telescope for observing all types of celestial objects. You can also attach a camera (smartphone, DSLR, mirrorless or astrocamera) for images of the moon and, with care and skill, planets and deep sky objects. One of the most satisfying things we’ve done is take thousands of video images of Jupiter, Saturn, or Mars with an astronomical video camera, then stack and fine-tune them for a much better view human eye could get with the same telescope. .
This is an expandable system, taking many standard accessories, and you will need one or two higher power (shorter focal length) eyepieces immediately.
Should I buy the Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD telescope?
If you are a serious amateur astronomer developing a deep understanding of the sky and the telescope then this is an attractive product. The telescope is as good as you could want in its size range. The mount works well for everything but long exposure deep sky photography and there is plenty of room for growth with standard accessories and even a heavier mount if needed.
If this product is not for you
If your main interest is long exposure astrophotography, skip the Advanced VX and get the same telescope on a Celestron CGX or Losmandy GM8 mount (at a significantly higher cost).
If you’re new to astronomy and aren’t yet good at recognizing stars, this may be a bit too much; you can get very similar views with a NexStar Celestron 6 or 8 inch telescope on a fork arm mount which is much easier to transport and set up.
#Celestron #Advanced #Edge #Telescope #Full #Review