Taking full advantage of the many years of research and models, the Edge HD comes in various incarnations and is a high priced option for the most serious of astronomers. The styles vary in price which is a big reason why this unit is so popular, and with careful research you can save a lot of money by choosing the style that best fits your needs. Built from the ground up to be durable yet flexible enough that it can be used by intermediate users, this telescope will do wonders if you become familiar with even its most basic of features.
There are 5 distinct styles to this model with varying prices, but all within the high priced market. The styles available are 11 inch EdgeHD CGE, 14 inch EdgeHD CGE, 8 inch EdgeHD CG5, 8 inch EdgeHD CGE and 9.25 inch EdgeHD CGE. The most notable of the group is the 8 inch CG5 which offers the best balance between cost and functionality. The overall look of the models are professional but nothing out of the ordinary. Celestron didn’t break the bank with trying to design something that is overly pretty and instead put their focus on it being powerful.
It would be pretty easy to make a sweeping generalization that this is for experts only, but in the right intermediate hands it also has a home. Most intermediate users may be overwhelmed with the setup as the EdgeHD doesn’t hold your hand in any way. So users that are below intermediate level may want to find someone to help them with the initial setup to avoid any confusion. In its current form it is an extremely powerful telescope that in the right hands can do just about anything you need, but in the wrong hands is just another expensive toy. This isn’t the regular bargain bin telescope, so the price of admission is a little bit of knowledge.
The construction is solid, most notably on the knobs and switches that don’t feel flimsy to the touch. Looking at the innards of the telescope buyers will be happy to know that the mirrors are protected with the inclusion of cooling vents on the rear. These vents work well in keeping hot air from building up inside the tube and eventually damaging the mirrors over time. This is a heavy telescope, and tips the scale at 78 pounds. That’s a good thing for durability sake, but bad thing if you wanted something that was ultra-portable to take on trips.
Using the well-known aplanatic Schmidt-Cassegrain technology means that you can get the best astrograph quality photos in the business. There is a big gap in quality between buying this product and another of lesser value. The field will be an exact image 1:1 thanks to the EdgeHD coma-free optics. Even all the way to the edge of the field you’ll get the perfect image thanks to the best parts money can buy. Image shift is reduced with the flexible tension clutch, even when you’re constantly rotating. It is built on a system of efficiency, and the optical tubes are Fastar compatible with optional accessories.
The same accessories that would have made this a deal of the year are optional, and not included. Like the scope, they are a little more than others on the market. The markup is due to better parts, but if you want a couple of them, it can easily add up. This is not an entry level scope, so even with documentation it can be a little confusing if you haven’t handled a lot of scopes. The best bargain is the 8 inch CG5, so the higher styles may seem like you are losing more than you are gaining in the long run.
This is one Celestron product that isn’t going to wow you with accessories, especially since the best ones aren’t even included with the original packaging. Where the meat and potatoes of this product comes in is with the removable second mirror and dovetail rail. These two items alone pay for the entire price of the product, and if you’re the careful type then having the removable mirror may make the portable process easier on you. With calibration issues galore with constantly moving telescopes with mirrors, this provides a nice option to keep things in check when you reassemble.
The entire value of the product is great, even with the high price. But where the balance gets a little strange is for buyers that purchase the 8 inch CG5. This is far and away the best deal of all the styles and stands out a lot. There is a slight step down when looking at the other styles compared to the 8 inch CG5. That isn’t saying that it is a bad deal, but you’ll definitely get the best balance of price and usefulness out of that particular style. All styles are built to take a beating and last, and with the removable mirror they will even last longer than other reflecting telescopes.
Since this product already starts out at the expert level, it has unlimited lasting appeal. At the very least, talented intermediate users can start off with this telescope and it can easily last them into a professional career. This is the cream of the crop when it comes to telescopes, and if you purchase the optional accessories you’ll have exactly what you need for decades to go stargazing. In the right hands this technologically superior telescope can really conquer any task that is thrown at it. It will function just fine as the main telescope in your arsenal, and upgrading is something that will be the last thing on your mind since it is such a complete solution. The only reason to even consider a companion scope for this product is if you wanted something lighter and portable, possibly a Dobsonian. But for the price, its advanced features and stability it’s hard to beat as a $1 solution to your astronomy arsenal.
Featuring a lot of styles and a high price point, the Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain 2800mm Telescope is the more technologically advanced option, but is not as powerful as the EdgeHD. It is a formidable option since its user level allows beginners to get ahold of it. With a wider user base that spans from beginners to experts, some say the wise decision would be to consider it. The only issue is that the EdgeHD series has a particular buyer base and has a longer lasting appeal, holding its value over the years 2x more than the StarBright XLT.
The multiple styles may throw some users off, but it does have benefits worth considering. Even if the best deal of the lot is the 8 inch CG5, the EdgeHD has powerful expert features that leaves other models of the same quality in the dust. There are few scopes on the market that will be this good for astrophotography, with this being on a very short list. No matter which styling you settle on, this will be money well spent.