Don’t buy Celestron NexStar 8SE without watching this video first

The main advantage of an 8 inch telescope over a 5 inch one is when you take long exposure photographs. The NexStar mount isn’t good enough for exposures longer than around 30 seconds. The planets and the Moon will look the same in both telescopes unless you live in the desert away from city lights. Otherwise the maximum power is less than 300 due to the sky conditions and both telescopes can give you that.

Polar alignment is often needed for astrophotography. The NexStar 5SE has a built in wedge in the tripod which allows you to easily align the 5SE with the Earth’s axis of rotation. The 8SE does not have this option. If you want to make a time-lapse movie of Jupiter spinning around on it’s axis the 5SE is the better telescope. This video goes into more detail.

This telescope sold on eBay in August of 2011.

Here is Thunderf00t’s movie of Jupiter:
You can skip the first two minutes to get to the Jupiter animation.

Here is another YouTube video that shows why you want to be polar aligned for Jupiter animations:!

Learn about the different firmware versions:

Here are links to some of the accessories you can buy for your telescope:

Case for NexStar 8SE

Case for NexStar 5SE

12 volt PowerTank

Celestron NexImage 5 webcam for telescopes

Nice quality eyepieces

Visit Cloudy Nights. They have a very active NexStar forum where you can get answers to any NexStar question, usually within just a few hours.


Kevin Groce says:

thanks for your review I’m new to this and glad you made a video lol i get a 5 first thanks

Derek Goh says:

“There will be times when the 8se is better than the 5se”
You could have said that in one word: “Always”

paulkazjack says:

My 12″ Meade sct blows my Celestron 8se away!!

martin psi says:

Its only your opinion my friend 😉 5SE is grad

Randy McTurnan says:

Kinda skeptical about any of them since they are made in China. Meade’s scopes are made in Mexico. I’ve had bad experiences with anything made in Mexico.

raghul sachi says:

8se vs 6se please help me.

Steve Fritts says:

I just bought the 8 inch and love it!

Robert Luna says:

I’m interested in a telescope but have no idea where to start. I’d like something that can view the moon and planets easily . What should I be looking at ?

Wolfie6020 says:

Thank you I really appreciate this video and it helped me choose my telescope, I ended up going with a third model altogether but your video made me look at other options to the 8SE.

jake bob says:

My advice to anyone getting into astronomy for the first time is to buy a scope with no less than an 8 inch mirror if you can afford it.  I have an 8 inch and eventually plan on getting a 10 inch or even larger scope in the future.

Sonya Morrell says:

is it suitable for timelapse?

liledelareunion says:

Thanks for this very good advise…. !

PC_Rules says:

WTF? It looks like you’re drunk filming this. 8 inch has a much better light gathering.

daniel buttons says:

What about 6SE? The difference between the 5SE bundle and 6SE bundle is only 95$ on amazon. Would you recommend 6SE over 5SE? Is 6SE also easy to transport ?


errr. bigger is always better

moussaemad says:

I’m actually sure you understand the dynamics of telescope size, contrast, focal length…etc.

Classifier_66 says:

What does that stand whih the numbers do?

Glyn Goold says:

This is bollocks

Tom Stock says:

C8 beats c5 every time. C5 has shorter focal length but c8 kills it in resolution and deep sky.. would never recommend a c5 over a c8!

Ape man Commeth says:

I doubt he’s using that to look at the stars ✨ at least not the ones in the sky

Kopp203 says:

This is flawed on so many levels, but the primary fail here is completely disregarding what the light gathering capacity of a scope means for end-user experience. especially if you want to do visual planetary, or DSO work. APERTURE APERTURE APERTURE! If you want grab-and-go astronomy, invest in the best pair of binoculars you can afford. If you want to get the best viewing experience possible, buy the biggest quality optics refractor, or primary mirror size scope you can afford and reap the benefits. SCT’s are fantastic all-rounders, but if imaging is what floats your boat, you may be better off with a refractor, or an appropriate newt reflector.

John Batchler says:

yeah u can say that but it has limits on what u can see for derp sky objects u forget they already came out new scopes that replace these

DiMoraDiamond says:

8SE Gathers 256% more light vs. 5SE. Total weight difference is only 6.4 pounds (17.6 vs.24). Focal length 1250MM vs. 2032MM. Buying the 8SE is a no brainer (if you have the means) vs. the 5SE.

Bend Em says:

What’s nebula look like a a rain cloud or brilliant colors?

Smood47 says:

You’re a fucking retard. Bigger aperture is a huge advantage. stfu

Felix Canari says:

This was a good vid and you make a compelling case my friend

jake bob says:

What he didn’t mention is that the 5 se has much much less light gathering capability than the 8se.  Light gathering is everything in a telescope, not power, but light gathering, which enables you to see external galaxies and other deep space objects much better and more clearly.  I have 4.5 inch reflector and a 6 inch reflector.  Both leave me wanting.

Josh Freedman says: this person plagiarized your video

Nathan says:

Sorry but thats just wrong! and the point you make are weak at best!

Greg Beaton says:

I like your videos. Could you do one on using the nexstar 5se for DSO astrophotography? Do you have some tricks on getting an alignment that will work for 1 to 2 minute exposures?

ticarot says:

I mostly agree with you. I’m old enough to be on Medicare yet I can pretty easily haul my new 5SE around with one hand. I’m not getting younger, so I don’t intend to go much heavier.

juli miler says:

Celestron NexImage 5 webcam for telescopes:

TheOmanJam says:

I am looking at the 6SE. I like the idea of a 6″ scope – Patrick Moore always said buy a 6″ reflector minimum. 6SE comes at a decent price these days. What do you think? I like the idea of the 6SE because it his still compact. I like the points in the review. A small telescope to start with and a complex instrument as you get more experienced with photography, etc, if you can afford it!

Butch Dye says:

It would really be nice if individuals making these telescope videos would back up a bit and show the complete telescope and tripod combination so one could get a better idea of how big it is. Thank you.

CountCarbsNotCals says:

Sorry views thru 5″ vs. 8″ can’t be same quality.

Will Nettles says:

Great. Excellent information. I know enough to understand what you’re saying. I looked for information, on Amazon. It’s all noise. I’ve saved my money, there’s a Full Solar Eclipse coming… it would be great to get the full two minutes of totality high resolution…. (with the appropriate filter of course) I was looking at the 8SE because of deep sky objects, nebula, galaxies… I know that I’ll see more of the nebulae in Orion with the 8″ over the 5″ … BUT I also know that a ten second exposure will capture more color and more detail than my eye looking through any telescope in the world (I might be exaggerating…a bit, but I don’t think the Keck is open to star parties.) The Wedge and clock drive issue is really important, and your’s is the first source of this information. Thank you.

Flightguy69 says:

Great video but we live in a new era of time! 🙂 Celestron has upgraded the 8SE and most places who sell this now comes with the eyepiece kit, The battery tank and a few other things well worth over the cost of just the 5SE alone.

Secondly in comparison to the moon and planets they are the same? You do realize the terms : Aperture, Focal Length and Focal Ratio? Not everyone is just interested in the moon and planets and want to see more deep space objects that a 5″ just won’t be able to see! I will explain why 8 is better than 5 because the wider the aperture; the more light that can come in which = better imaging and quality. 🙂 This same principal goes for camera lenses! I personally think you were feeding people this bullshit because you want them to buy your extra 5SE from eBay. 🙂

Lets compare them both side by side:
5″ 8″
1250mm 2032mm
f/10 f/10
295X Useful Mag 480X Useful Mag

I can see you comparing the 5SE with the 6SE but not the 8SE. As for cases?? Not everyone takes their scopes places and if they choose too, there are alternatives to the expensive cases that most places charge! I use this one myself.

Now as to photography and that sort of stuff. I would recommend that people use a real camera when doing Astro-photography and not those crappy 5.2MP Webcams. I recommend at least a Canon t4i or something along those lines. I have never had any issues with lines.

Anyhow, there is a massive difference in the two and yes one is more money than the other. The good thing about it is that for 1200.00 most companies now give you over 500.00 worth of accessories so you do not really lose with opting for the 8SE.

In closing I will say if someone wants to spend 699.00 for a 5SE, They’re better off going with a Zhumell Z8 1200mm F/5.9 Donsonian Telescope. This sells for only 399.00 and comes with some nice added incentives. I personally own both the Celestron 8Se and the Zhumell Z8.

Lukas Ekers says:

Considering I actually do live in a desert and away from city lights, would the 8inch model be worth it?

HajkK says:

Can anyone give me advice regarding the 10″ LX200 from Meade? I’m looking for something that will be decent for DSO and perhaps allow for entry level dso ap. Note: costs 4.900 euro’s in Europe and just only 3000 usd wich is total bullshit imho :/

Tyler Dipietro says:

Tommorow it will be 5 years since this video was made.

Mars Aspen-Murray says:

Sorry, but buying a second 5se and then selling it makes your judgement extremely questionable. I would be very wary of taking your advice.

Kevin Brunner says:

He should have not sold the second 5se and made a pair of binoculars. LOL!

 Write a comment


Do you like our videos?
Do you want to see more like that?

Please click below to support us on Facebook!