Celestron Edge-HD 8” - Best 1 Telescope Solution For The Rest Of Your Life?
By: Vlad Fedosov
It’s January 2022 and it’s been cloudy for what seems like years here in the NW so it got me thinking! What scope would I choose if I could only own 1 OTA for the rest of my life??? Thankfully this is not a requirement for most of us but it’s still an interesting topic and I think can help those folks that are looking for one scope to do it all! I have been in the hobby for about 25 years and have had my fair share of scopes(over 100… lol). I’m mostly a visual observer but do enjoy astrophotography AND EAA! Before I really put some thought into this I always kind of assumed that I’d choose my FSQ-106 and it fits a lot of niches well such as: grab-and-go, astrophotography, wide-field visual, planetary, EAA…
The more I thought about it the more I came to realize that there are limits to a 4” scope that I don’t know that I’d want to live with for life. After quite a bit of consideration, the scope that I would choose if limited to 1 OTA for life is the C8 Edge-HD! Here is why:
-I have owned 2 examples of these and they both had excellent optics that provided refractor-like views once cooled.
-8” of aperture is enough to visually see a good amount of detail on DSO. The only thing I would really miss about the 4” APO is the hype-wide FOV’s to fit the largest objects like the North American nebula, Vail, m31…
-Good scope for any kind of imaging from planetary to EAA to AP. With the Hyperstar you have the option to go from the ultra-fast/wide f/2 to a narrow f/10+ for planetary!
-About as portable as a 4” APO and I actually used one a few years ago as my grab-and-go scope on an LXD-75 mount for a few years. It’s just a very manageable size!
-Very good aftermarket accessories support since there have been thousands and thousands of these scopes sold!
Overall I think that it checks all the checkmarks besides the visual hyper-wide FOV’s! I do have a YouTube video on this topic: https://youtu.be/eSd_UUplIR8
Now a bit more info to add for those looking for more of a review of the Optical Tube Assembly(OTA). The OTA weighs in at a mear 14lb! As stated above for an 8” telescope the c8 is incredibly compact and lightweight. I think it is this combo of a relatively large aperture, small size, and lightweight that has made the c8 such a popular scope over the years!
Moving onto the optical aspect of the scope. The OTA operates natively at f/10 and 2000mm. This is a pretty good focal length for visual use as it allows you to get to higher power(2000mm/10mm=200x as an example with a 10mm ey
epiece) while staying with eyepieces that have a comfortable eye-relief. For astrophotography, you have a huge amount of options at the focal length you can operate at! You can easily do planetary at f/20 @4000mm with a 2x Barlow. You can do electronically assisted astronomy(EAA) at f/10 of small planetary nebulas or galaxies. You can use a reducer to drop down to f/7 @1400mm and get a great image scale of most Misser objects. You can get a Hyperstar and do astrophotography at a crazy fast f/2 @400mm and get a similar image scale to an 80mm APO!
Next up is the mechanics. The stock focuser in the Edge-HD is a fairly smooth unit and has little image shift in the two examples that I have owned. What is also very amazing is that you do have the mirror lock built-in to where you can get a rough focus with the built-in focuser, lock down the mirror, and use an external focuser to get a fine focus eliminating most of the issues with mirror flop that SCT’s are infamous for…
So in conclusion I really do not have too many negative things to say about the Edge-HD 8” scope. It is just a very fine all-around performer! Is it the best at any one task? Nop. But it is good enough at most!
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