Celestron NexStar 8 SE Follow-Up Review

The Celestron NexStar 8 SE has proven itself a reliable, durable and enjoyable telescope these past 4 years. I don’t think an amateur astronomer can find a better bang for their buck when it comes to a computerized, 8″ Schmidt-Cassegrain, that will last for years. The upgrade potential for this telescope is also enormous, so with each passing year you can make it better and better. It is one telescope I will always have in my collection as it is great for observing all objects in the night sky, and easy for anyone to use. Did I mention reliable?

List of recommended upgrades from most important to least (in my opinion):

1. Celestron f/6.3 Focal Reducer
2. Orion Schmidt-Cassegrain Finderscope base (and a good finder scope)
3. Celestron XLT 2″ Diagonal
4. Celestron, Meade or Orion Powertank
5. Celestron or Astrozap Dew Shield (or make your own)
6. 2″ eyepieces
7. Orion 13% Transmission Moon Filter
8. Celestron Vibration Suppression Pads (or make your own)
9. Explore Scientific CLS Nebula Filter
10. Celestron SkySync GPS
11. Celestron SkyPortal WiFi Module (Fun to control the telescope on your phone)
12. A new focuser

Serious Astrophotography upgrades:

1. Celestron Equatorial Wedge for NexStar Evolution and 6/8 SE Telescopes
2. Celestron f/6.3 Focal Reducer
3. Orion Magnificent Mini Autoguider Package (If you have #2)
4. Modified Canon EOS DSLR (Full Spectrum or UV/IR cut)
5. Astronomik CLS-CCD Filter for EOS
6. Astronomik H-alpha 12nm Filter

Even without any of the upgrades I listed, this telescope still delivers. It is reliable, durable and a great telescope for the whole family. I highly recommend the Celestron NexStar 8 SE


Guy Fawkes Mulder says:

I was considering taking Amazon credit out to get this until I saw how much more it’d demand. Seeing planets costs wayyyyy too much.

Marzan says:

I love mine also.
It was quite an emotional feeling seeing Saturn’s rings for the first time with my own eyes.
Have had mine the same amount of time and no problems.
Thanks for posting.

Nick Humphrey says:

Hey Slymin, I just wanted to say thanks so much for the astronomy videos you post. I’m looking to buy the Celestron 8SE and found your reviews very helpful in making my decisions, not just for the scope but additional accessories to help improve the experience. Keep up the good work pal!

Dave Stapchuck says:

Your reviews are the best. I’ve been watching for a while and used your opinions in purchasing my first real telescope a Nexstar 6se. Thank you ! I purchased a 8 to 24 mm Celestron zoom eyepiece. With good viewing conditions do you think 8 mm will give me clear Saturn and Jupiter views or will they be blurred ?

CountCarbsNotCals says:

Great review, a little hard to hear, but very well done.

The Sky Pod says:

What about hooking up a dslr camera to this telescope? Any issues? All I see are reviews about telescopes and astrophotography , but no one gives the info on how to hook up their camera or what kind of camera . And also no results from photos taken with the unit?

Alur Lyrx says:

Just adding my 2 cents. If you want the best bang for your buck, buy the Celestron 8 SE. It’ll last for a lifetime. Over a 5 year period, you’re spending $17 a month. Over a 20 year period, you’re spending $4 a month. Unfortunately, I waited a lifetime before I got my first telescope, but it was the Celestron 8 SE. I love it.

Jeff Lucas says:

huh your adv vx newt, oh you won’t need ladder for 8se.. my 8se should arrive next week, nice review.

News from Geldermalsen says:

To anyone struggling with their red dot finder, you can cut a piece of beer can to size and slide it between back of the finder’s mount to and the optical tube, tighten the screws and you’ll be able to line the scope up. You may need two or more shims depending on how far out of alignment the finder is in relation to the optical tube, but it is a cheap and permanent fix.

AstroSkyGuy69 says:

Why do you need an auto guider if the telescope already tracks the objects in the sky? Is the goto and tracker not accurate or something when taking astro photos?

Chin Sown says:

Hi, I saw in youtube that someone use the 8se to capture video of the ISS space station. It is tracked perfectly at the centre of video. May I ask if your 8se capable of tracking object that you chose? Thanks in advance..

Gunnar Jensen says:

Do you think deep sky imaging is possible if one uses a wedge with any of these mounts ?

Raymond Martens says:

I don’t have the money for an 8 what’s your opinion on the 4or6?

911 Tech says:

Who has RS-232 ports on their machines anymore? Serial ports are a thing of the past. Celestron needs to get with the times or ship a Serial to USB converter with the scope. Like the review however.

Joseph Eadus says:

Great follow up review. I am saving up for the evolution 8 and want to upgrade the eyepieces but want to know who makes the best eyepieces. Could you give me some recommendations.

Ahmad Zaigham says:

which eyepieces do you recommend with this telescope? name them please? I have a 2″ diagonal too. I have 0.50x focal reducer too.

Eddie CJ says:

Nice scope for sure! if you liked M42 in your 8 then id love to show you M42 in my 16, insane!

Alur Lyrx says:

Thanks for your information. I just bought a Nexstar 8se and needed a prioritized list of upgrades. I started with buying Celestron 8 to 24mm 1.25″ Zoom Eyepiece and Celestron’s 2X Barlow. I haven’t invested too much to change to 2″ eyepieces. Your review/information is excellent for me. Again, thanks.

David Cocklin says:

I have no idear when using a GPS on this sometimes it thinks I am in the USA and at 41% when I am in the UK at at 51%. After some use it has started to sound as well not so smooth clunky.

orangevst says:

Question on the star diagonal. I have the 8se and the guy at the local store said you don’t get much for putting at 2″ start diagonal on an 8″ telescope. He said it would be better for 9.25 and higher. Any truth behind that? now, what about the size of the diagonal for that telescope in terms of weight.

Bernard Putersznit says:

Most obliged – I just purchased one and I was wondering about some the points you raised

jmreales57 says:

Great idea Slymin,
I have a nexstar 6 and I like your idea of putting a guidescope
What is the most suitable backlash configuration?
Guide programs like phdguiding contemplate the possibility of guiding in azimuth?
I suppose once calibrated for an object, when you change object will have to recalibrate, is it?
Thank you

Zwcky101 says:

I’m having an issue with mine. most of the time after aligning the telescope tracking is off. whatever I look at seem to move out of view within a matter of a minute or two and if I press enter again it will realign with the object but will drift off the FOV again. sometimes it tracks perfectly after not tracking properly. Do you have any tips on how to fix this?

Miki Fin says:

I was thinking about upgrading to the Celestron Nextstar Evolution wi fi *the 9.25*, but talking to an *experienced astronomer* he said the scope I have (flogging on fleabay atm is better because of the higher quality lenses)? Anyone know if this would be the case?
Long story short its a Moonraker (galaxy class) with “JAPANESE VIXEN Optics sealed MgF2 coated achromatic lens”
This is the scope
Said that although my image is smaller its sharper? Anyone know if this is true or I am being sold a fat one?
Sorry if this seems a stupid question, I study sport and exercise so not particularly versed in this field.
Cheers miki.

Nadeem Mohammed says:

Great review….but my budget was small so I have the nexstar 5se coming in this week….can all the accessories you pointed out also working on the nexstar 5se? Also will the focal 6.3 reducer work better than a barlow lens? Am still in the learning process and you have me bit bumped about the red dot finder lol

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