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!
If you found this review helpful and are considering purchasing the product that was discusses please consider purchasing this item on Agena Astro using the link here. I get a small commission from Agena Astro and it really helps to pay for running this site!