Jump to content


Polaris 114 EQ vs Polaris 130MD EQ

Recommended Posts

I'v been interested in astronomy for a while and i am about to purchase my first telescope and have decided between 2, i'm not very good with the technical side of them so would like some advice on which would be better for me. I have copied the spec of each one from the website which is on currys, i appreciate any feedback.

MEADE Polaris 114 EQ Reflector Telescope - £109.00

Magnification 158 x  
Magnification 2 111 x  
Objective lens diameter 114 mm  
Eyepiece 1 6.3 mm  
Eyepiece 2 9 mm  
Mount Equatorial  
Coated optics Yes  
Waterproof Yes  
Fog proof No  

Box contents  
- 6.3 mm eyepiece  
- 9 mm eyepiece  
- 26 mm eyepiece  
- Barlow Lens x 2  
- Accessory Tray  
- Autostar Suite Astronomy DVD  

MEADE Polaris 130MD EQ Reflector Telescope - £149.99

Magnification 103 x
Magnification 2 72 x
Objective lens diameter 130 mm
Eyepiece 1 6.3 mm
Eyepiece 2 9 mm
Mount Equatorial
Motor drive Yes
Coated optics Yes
Tracking rates Lunar

Box contents
- Meade Polaris 130MD Reflector Telescope
- Eyepiece 6.3 mm x 1
- Eyepiece 9 mm x 1
- Eyepiece 26 mm x 1
- Barlow lens x 2 
- Electronic RA motor drive
- Pre-assembled tripod with accessory tray
- Autostar Suite astronomy DVD

Edited by teessky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

CAnnot see it specified but I half suspect that the 130 is a Bird Jones design. Which generally means a poor final instrument. In defence of Bird and Jones the principal is good but it needs good optics that are matched to the scope and on these the additional barlow is neither good nor matched.

As such therefore the 114 appears the more honest scope.

Ignore the Autostar Astronomy DVD, think I have one lying on the floor, never looked at it and suspect I never will. Not sure what is on it but I guess nothing of real relevance. Suppose it looks good on the advertising.

Neither are great scopes and therein lies the problem.

Check out this: www.astronomyclubs.co.uk

There may be a club you can visit, seeing a scope and looking around is very useful. In Curry's the main aim is to part you from your money. Unfortunately there is as best I know a reasonable retailer near you.

Why the EQ mounts? They tend to be a little less user friendly at first anyway.

What do you intend to view? Within reason.

As it is a 100% certainty to come up would you consider the 150P dobsonian from Skywatcher, think it is around the £150 mark - check as there is a 50/50 chance I am totally wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


is there a reason you need an EQ mount (are you planning on photography)?

which is the better one for you?

= could you tell us what you are hoping to see/what are your interests i.e. Moon, planets, galaxies, nebulae, double stars

what is your budget for a scope?

with these answers, we could start to help but on the face of it, I would not jump into either of these scopes too quickly.

there may be better scopes out there and we can help you see the light :)

Edited by alanjgreen
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I.m.h.o. you would be better off saving your money and wait till you can buy better equipment instead of one of these things.
You will put off of astronomy because of huge disappointments with these kind of  'offers'.
Save a bit untill you can buy a better setup and enjoy your new hobby and be in awe instead of frustrated. In the mean time do as suggested, find an astronomy club, go to their public meetings or become a member, listen and ask what they think about telescopes and ask if you can have a look through their telescopes, so you get a an idea about the differences and plan a good purchase that suites your interest.
Better take more time to prepare for your new hobby with some inside knowledge and have real fun! They will love to rtell you all about it!

If you have a look at marketplace or other 2hand sites, you will find a vast number of these kind of scopes for sale for a little bit... why would that be?  Not because people like that stuff, I can assure you!
its impossible to buy a decent scope plus a motor driven equatorial mount on a tripod that will show you anything but a vey nervous view of the moon for that kind of money.

I cannot understand why a brand like Meade offers this kind of stuff... very disappointing... allthough...

Edited by Waldemar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an owner of a Meade Polaris 130 (purchased from Curry's) I would like to clarify that it not a Bird Jones design, but a regular reflector very similar to a Skywatcher 130P, and possibly with a better tripod. The package is great value and enabled me to get into astrophotography at a low cost. 

I have used it to image the moon with a webcam and DSLR. Also to image DSOs using a DSLR. The tracking motor is very useful for 30 second exposures. Below are a couple of images I have taken. 

To echo the advice above, if you tell the forum what you want a telescope for you will get very good advice. (I knew my aim was astrophotography and the Meade 130 fitted the bill with its short focal length, although needed a mod to shorten the tube.)

I have converted the Meade 130 to dual axis guiding using a Raspberry PI and additional motor (post in DIY Astronomer forum) - can't wait for some clear skies for better imaging!

Good luck with astronomy.





  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...


Firstly, I know its a few months since the previous post, So apologies.

I bought the Meade Polaris 114 a few months ago. It's not a bad scope, given it's price. (Though the EQ2 mount isn't as sturdy as I'd like it to be and doesn't keep the scope steady. A gnats wing beating nearby makes the scope wobble.)

I wanted to astrophotography EVERYTHING. Just with this scope, it's seemingly impossible. 

I currently use a Panasonic G7 and a Sony A6000. (I did have an older Canon 600D but that died beyond repair) Both of these cameras can be attached to the scope via t-mount. (And light though these cameras are they play hell with the balancing of the scope, enough that I needed to add another 1kg to the 2Kg counterweight.)

Now during the day, both cameras work extremely well. I managed to focus on the new rail track that was built a few years ago (Its a monstrosity of a thing and now blocks our view of the Thames) Its a good 800m-1000m from my house. I can take pictures of trains in focus, going by with zero problems. 

The problems is when it comes to night, THE reason i bought the scope.

Whilst I can image the likes of the moon and Jupiter (Though jupiter remains blurry no matter what camera) any attempt to view stars via live view or whatever, is met by blackness. It does not matter what settings I use, the result is the same. Zero stars, nebula etc... Oh Ive tried stacking, dark frames, flats etc... Zero. Zilch. The images are blackness with, depending on the ISO, noise.  In the past 4 nights, a good 12 hours and not one image from wonderful clear skies. 

I would presume that if my scope is in focus with either camera during the day, at around 800m -1000m then that should be fine during the night?

Using the cameras without the scope provided plenty of stars in the live view and good images, even stacked. 

Perhaps I need to persuade the missus in to a: a better scope AND b: another Canon DSLR?! because there's no way the polaris 114 will allow me to take images like the nebula above. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately you have found out the hard way that Astro Photography (AP) isn't that straightforward. The Meade Polaris 114 has a focal length of 1000mm which means it isn't suitable for beginning AP as objects will wobble a lot in the field of view. Plus, at f8.8 it is slow (doesn't deliver a lot of light to the camera) compared to typical shorter focal length scopes.

If the forum had known of the aim of AP, the advice given would have been not to purchase a Meade Polaris 114 EQ.

If you can get the scope to focus on the Moon then it is focused for anything in the sky. Stars won't be visible in live-view as the live-view exposure isn't long enough.

For Deep Sky Object (DSO) imaging some sort of motor drive is essential. As the Meade 114 doesn't have this as standard you won't be able to image anything other than very bright objects such as the Moon and planets (which you have already achieved).

At this time of year there aren't any easy DSOs (such as the Orion nebula) in the sky. Locating objects is part of the challenge, but is easier with a goto scope.

There are many questions to be answered in deciding on a scope for AP - perhaps it would be an idea to familiarise yourself with the questions by getting a copy of 'Making Every Photon Count'. (Available from the sponsors of this site.) There is plenty of time until later in the year when nights will be longer and there will be easier DSOs in the sky (assuming DSOs are what you wish to image).

Hope this helps.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.