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NEW Sky Prodigy scopes by Celestron


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Just read about the New Skyprodigy series of scopes by Celestron. These look very interesting offering almost the same Light Switch technology as the Meade LS series, but much cheaper. Has anyone seen one of these scopes up close or used one? Maybe you've got one, what do you think of them? Any good?

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It a gimmick. Essentially it is a automated SLT mount that will perform the initial alignment. The 3 stars alignment is already easy and accurate enough. It may be a nice feature if it cost £20 more than a regular SLT, but certainly not worth the premium they are charging.

The SLT mount is barely capable of holding a 127 mak, so the C6 Sky Prodigy is a joke.

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Just read about the New Skyprodigy series of scopes by Celestron. These look very interesting offering almost the same Light Switch technology as the Meade LS series, but much cheaper. Has anyone seen one of these scopes up close or used one? Maybe you've got one, what do you think of them? Any good?

The SLT scopes are decent enough (Skywatcher also sell them under the "AZ GOTO" name). We see quite a few of them at our starparties. Clearly some people don't think much of them, but it depends what you want the scope for.

The "light switch" stuff is clever, but perhaps not worth paying an extra £300-400 for - although I can understand why people would want it. It's still an emerging technology at this level, which explains the price.

As far as I know, the only two Sky Prodigy scopes are a 90mm Maksutov (~£650) and a 130mm reflector (~£700). For that sort of money, you could buy an 8inch reflector on either a GOTO Dobsonian mount or an EQ5 GOTO mount - more bang for your buck.

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SLT mounts are useless for a Mak unless its diddy. I have the 127 Slt and it suffered from that much instability I had no option but to get shot of the mount altogether. The viewings were atrocious and it was purely down to the mount, nothing wrong with the optics on an EQ. I'd stay well clear of the sky prodigy especially at the price Celestron are asking for it. Its a lot of money to spend only to find that the mount isnt capable of carrying the weight. Saying that though, I havent tried one so I base my opinion on what Ive used already!!

Chris

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The new Sky Prodigy scopes seem to be the basic SLT with a few gimmicks, that might save you a bit of time, but are costing you a great deal. Compare the model against the same SLT model - a big difference that you could be spending on a better scope in the first place.

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The new Sky Prodigy scopes seem to be the basic SLT with a few gimmicks, that might save you a bit of time, but are costing you a great deal. Compare the model against the same SLT model - a big difference that you could be spending on a better scope in the first place.

Most definately agree...For what it costs you could get a rather nice set up with an EQ mount. Alternatively give a dobsonian some consideration. For what you would spend on the sky prodigy you could get a dob the size of a dustbin!!!

Chris :)

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As far as I know, the only two Sky Prodigy scopes are a 90mm Maksutov (~£650) and a 130mm reflector (~£700). For that sort of money, you could buy an 8inch reflector on either a GOTO Dobsonian mount or an EQ5 GOTO mount - more bang for your buck.

The Skyprodigy series has 5 scopes. 70, 102 achromat, 90 mak, 130 refractor and 6" SCT. The C6 version cost £1150, which is over £300 more than the 6SE. :)

You will have to be nuts to buy that scope. Celestron won't offer the C6 on the lighter 4/5SE mount, so there's no chance it will work well on the even lighter Skyprodigy which is based on the SLT.

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Most definately agree...For what it costs you could get a rather nice set up with an EQ mount. Alternatively give a dobsonian some consideration. For what you would spend on the sky prodigy you could get a dob the size of a dustbin!!!

Chris :)

What he said!:)

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The Skyprodigy series has 5 scopes. 70, 102 achromat, 90 mak, 130 refractor and 6" SCT. The C6 version cost £1150, which is over £300 more than the 6SE. :)

You will have to be nuts to buy that scope. Celestron won't offer the C6 on the lighter 4/5SE mount, so there's no chance it will work well on the even lighter Skyprodigy which is based on the SLT.

They're doing a C6 as well?

That does seem a bit crazy.

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Was struck by the cost of this new product, as said before it seems pricey when you compare with other stuff on the market. I dont think the alignment process puts me off enough to spend 100's extra on something to do it for me. The question will also be to what degree is the accuracy of the alignment, you would expect pretty much close to perfect automation on the alignment and no manual adjustments at this kind of price but I suspect that may not be the case..

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Hmmm, thought I'd found something then.....maybe not .....I have been considering a Dob, but the size and weight is putting me off really. What about the Nexstar 8? What are they like?

I'm not sure about the 8SE, but I have the 6SE and the shipping box for that will fit nicely inside an IKEA bag. In terms of size and weight, the 6SE is hard to beat. Three star sky align always work for me and always put the target into the FOV of a 25mm plossl.

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  • 4 months later...

It a gimmick. Essentially it is a automated SLT mount that will perform the initial alignment. The 3 stars alignment is already easy and accurate enough. It may be a nice feature if it cost £20 more than a regular SLT, but certainly not worth the premium they are charging.

The SLT mount is barely capable of holding a 127 mak, so the C6 Sky Prodigy is a joke.

Well I am curious where you found your data or report justifying this horrible review?, I own a sky prodigy 6 and a meade et-125, a 12" lightbridge and a etx-90. all are great telescopes and can bring many good hours searching the night sky.

The only draw back is aligning can be troublesome some evenings,and the dob takes a lot of time finding faint object's.

My experience with the sky prodigy 6 is amazing, no alignment, no alignment stars, no pointing at polaris nothing!, just turn it on and let it do it's thing. and it is very accurate also. so where did you use a sky prodigy scope and what did it do that made you hostile towards it?. my guess is you have not used one yet, but if you do you probably will write a new review and a positive one at that. seeya john

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Well I am curious where you found your data or report justifying this horrible review?, I own a sky prodigy 6 and a meade et-125, a 12" lightbridge and a etx-90. all are great telescopes and can bring many good hours searching the night sky.

The only draw back is aligning can be troublesome some evenings,and the dob takes a lot of time finding faint object's.

My experience with the sky prodigy 6 is amazing, no alignment, no alignment stars, no pointing at polaris nothing!, just turn it on and let it do it's thing. and it is very accurate also. so where did you use a sky prodigy scope and what did it do that made you hostile towards it?. my guess is you have not used one yet, but if you do you probably will write a new review and a positive one at that. seeya john

Indeed I have not use a Skyprodigy 6, but I do own a C6 SE and have access to a 127 SLT. Weight handling and stability is an issue with the 127 SLT which has much more vibration than a C6 on a SE mount. C6 is a heavier OTA with a longer FL, so any instability will be magnified on the lighter mount. I've performed 3 stars alignment with the SE hundreds of time and it only failed once, as such I consider the Skyprodigy's auto alignment unnecessary and cannot justify the additional cost and stability penalty over the 6SE. The Skyprodigy 6 cost £1100, while a C6 SE cost £760, The price difference is over £340 for a mount that is much worse.

Unless Celestron have significantly strengthen the internal mechanics of the SLT mount for the Skyprodigy series, I will continue to have my doubts. If you have use an C6 SE and still thinks the Skyprodigy is better, than I will reconsider my opinion.

Edited by E621Keith
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Hi Keith,very good descriptions, All i can say is that it works, And if it does not there are the manual star alignment as a alternative, well I dont think it's on a

SE mount?

but it seems stable enough (yes more weight on the tripod would be better) But we all like and dislike different thing's, for the price of a decent eye piece the new auto alignment system was worth the price. All i can say after using it is, Yes i would buy another. and there is no gimmick's either it is similar to some military types of guidance systems. I hope you get a chance to use one at a star party or telescope store and i would really like to hear your review afterwords. have a great day! john

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I just wanted to stop by, to say that the SLT is a very solid mount for visual use. Many I know use 6inch SCT's, a guy even used it for a C8 (meticulously balanced) and the mount handled the scopes very decently without tracking error for the duration of many nights I spent observing with them. (Yes I agree C8 is crazy on the SLT, but with a CG5 tripod, it handled it perfectly, how it will work in the long run is anybodies guess.) There is also a mod on another astronomy forum with similar experience.

The problem with the "mount" as supplied by SW and Celestron is the tripod, which is an abomination. Try mounting the SLT on a CG5 tripod or anything heavy duty and you will quickly see it can handle much more that one would think.

A very nice trick to enhance accuracy of the mount with the stock tripod, is to epoxy the leg joint connection on the upper legs., which are source of most error (twist) it will also help a bit with vibration (but don't expect a miracle).

What is comes down to, is that the SLT is actually a very decent mount, with a severely lacking tripod, take the weak link out of the equation...you would be surprised what it could handle.

As far as the SkyProdigy seems gimmicky to me as well...I mean, if someone can't locate and identify 2 (or 3) stars on the his night sky and center them in the simple setup procedure...perhaps astronomy is not for them?

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I agree the weakest part of the SLT is it's tripod, but I think the SE mounts are still more solid, particularly the 6/8 model.

Personally I don't have anything against the auto alignemnt technology apart from price, but I think Celestron should have modified a SE mount for the Skyprodigy C6 rather than putting the C6 on a modified SLT mount.

May be the next iteration of the Nexstar SE will have the auto alignment feature of the Skyprodigy, but I'm not getting my hopes up, because it will be too similar to Meade Lightswitch and may results in a patent dispute like the telescope with integrated GPS dispute a few years ago. Celestron lose that court case but now gets round the problem by selling GPS as a optional upgrade. May be they will do the same for the auto alignment system and makes it compatible with all Celestron GOTO scopes.

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I agree the weakest part of the SLT is it's tripod, but I think the SE mounts are still more solid, particularly the 6/8 model.

Personally I don't have anything against the auto alignemnt technology apart from price, but I think Celestron should have modified a SE mount for the Skyprodigy C6 rather than putting the C6 on a modified SLT mount.

May be the next iteration of the Nexstar SE will have the auto alignment feature of the Skyprodigy, but I'm not getting my hopes up, because it will be too similar to Meade Lightswitch and may results in a patent dispute like the telescope with integrated GPS dispute a few years ago. Celestron lose that court case but now gets round the problem by selling GPS as a optional upgrade. May be they will do the same for the auto alignment system and makes it compatible with all Celestron GOTO scopes.

Yes indeed, for the price they are charging they definitely should have used the SE mounts as a base, agreed.

The SLT is a great and capable budget mount (minus tripod), but the SE mounts are definitely superior.

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  • 1 year later...

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