The Celestron Advanced VX 8-inch EdgeHD is a versatile telescope system for intermediate to advanced amateur astronomers, yet still small and light enough to be easily carried around for observation in the country. The 8-inch aperture is sufficient to view and photograph all types of celestial bodies, and the computerized equatorial mount makes them easy to find and track.
CELESTRON ADVANCED VX 8 EDGE HD KEY FEATURES
Optical design: EdgeHD (Schmidt-Cassegrain enhanced with additional lens elements)
Diaphragm: 203.2 mm (8 inches)
Focal length: 2032 mm (80 inches)
Focus ratio: f/10
Lens focal length: 40mm (50×)
Total tool weight: 61 lb. (27.67 kg) (divided into 3 main components for transport)
Mounting type: German equator, computerized, servo motor
Optically, the EdgeHD system is excellent and compatible with any type of camera with the appropriate accessories. The views of Saturn and Jupiter are dramatic; globular clusters are turned into stars; all Messier Objects are clearly visible; and with a trained eye and a dark country sky, galaxies can be seen from 12th magnitude. A telescope you can’t keep up with.
Since this telescope is geared towards relatively advanced users, we’re reviewing it from that perspective. The author has been using a Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD as his main equipment since 2014 and knows them well. The author, who is a long-time member of the user community, also knows that they are reliable.
Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD: Design
- EdgeHD optical design outperforms Schmidt-Cassegrain
- Lightweight, robust computerized assembly
- Interoperability – other telescopes, other mounts, standard accessories
The EdgeHD optical system, the jewel in Celestron’s crown, is an enhanced Schmidt-Cassegrain with additional lens elements, and although the improvement is primarily intended for photography, we can see it visually through a lens.
The computerized mount combines Celestron’s NexStar firmware with a German-style equatorial mount whose main axis points to the celestial pole. This provides accurately oriented tracking for photography and the ability to use different telescopes in the same montage. For example, our Enhanced VX mount easily carries a camera with a telephoto lens rather than EdgeHD. The current version accepts both Vixen (narrow) and Losmandy (wide) swallows.
Compared to its competitors, the Advanced VX mounting head is both light and relatively robust, not easily damaged or out of tune. The telescope, mounting head and tripod are easily separated for transport.
The mount requires 12-14V DC power, often about 0.5 amps, up to 3 or 4 amps momentarily as you move the telescope rapidly. We use a portable battery pack.
Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD: Performance
- excellent optics
- Reliably locates and tracks celestial bodies
- Serious deep sky photography requires a better montage
All good telescopes in the same size class give similar views, so this isn’t much different from other well-made 6 to 10 inch telescopes. Compared to traditional Schmidt-Cassegrains, we think the EdgeHD is sharper, especially far from the center of the field.
The supplied 40mm lens delivers a power of 50, which appears low but is ideal for star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Celestron assumes you’ll get more eyepieces, so we recommend two more, about 20mm (100x general purpose) and 10mm (200x for moon and planets). In exceptionally stable air, we were able to use a 5mm lens (400x) on close binary stars. High quality eyepieces bring out the best in this beautiful telescope, so don’t miss out.
After proper setup, the mount acceptably locates celestial bodies (good enough to get the subject within a 20mm lens field) and follows them very well. You can select objects on the hand controller, a PC running Celestron’s PWI software, or a number of other sky map packages, such as: Stellarium. Astrophotographers will want to do PEC training as described in the manual for smoother viewing.
However, for long exposures of nebulae and galaxies, by constantly sending corrections to the mount with an autoguide and guide scope, the Advanced VX left me wanting (and eventually moving) a heavier mount with more precise gearing and less recoil. This is only an issue when the Advanced VX carries such a large telescope. It performs very well when carrying a smaller telescope.
Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD: Functionality
- Computer-assisted installation process
- Spectacular views for all types of celestial bodies
- Needs more eyepieces (about 20mm and 10mm)
Because the Advanced VX is an equatorial mount, setup is more than the usual process of centering a few stars that the telescope automatically points to. You should also aim for the polar axis. polar bear, then improve the alignment by seeing the stars and letting the mount’s computer tell you the errors. This process, which Celestron calls ‘All-Star Polar Alignment’, is convenient and impressively accurate, but you need to identify bright stars. If the computer says center Enif and you center Alpheratz, you will get wrong results. This is the main difference between equatorial mounts and those that are more suitable for beginners.
This is a good telescope for viewing all types of celestial objects. You can also add a camera (smart phone, DSLR, copor astro camera) for images of the moon and, with care and skill, planets and deep sky objects. One of the most satisfying things we do is take thousands of video frames of Jupiter, Saturn or Mars with an astronomical video camera, then stack and sharpen them for a much better image than the human eye can get with the same telescope. .
This is an expandable system, takes many standard accessories, and you will immediately want one or two higher power (shorter focal length) eyepieces.
Should I buy the Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD telescope?
If you are a serious amateur astronomer who is developing a deep understanding of both the sky and the telescope, this is an attractive product. The telescope is as good as you wish in the size range. The mount works well for anything but long exposure deep sky photography, and there’s plenty of room to grow with standard accessories and even a heavier mount if needed.
If this product is not for you
If your main interest is long exposure astrophotography, skip the Advanced VX and get the same telescope on a Celestron CGX or Losmandy GM8 mount (for a pretty hefty cost).
If you’re new to astronomy and aren’t good at recognizing stars yet, that might be a bit too much; You can get very similar images with a Celestron 6 or 8 inch NexStar telescope on a fork arm mount that is much easier to transport and set up.