The Celestron Advanced VX 8-inch EdgeHD is a versatile telescope system for intermediate and advanced amateur astronomers, yet is still small and lightweight enough to be easily transported for observation in the country. The 8-inch aperture is sufficient for viewing and photographing all kinds of celestial objects, and the computerized equatorial stabilization is easy to find and track.
CELESTRON ADVANCED VX 8 EDGE HD KEY SPECS
Visual design: EdgeHD (Schmidt-Casegrain improved with additional lens elements)
slot: 203.2 mm (8 in)
Focal Length: 2032 mm (80 in)
focal ratio: f/10
Lens focal length: 40 mm (50 x)
Total weight of the set: 61 lbs. (27.67 kg) (divided into 3 main transportation components)
mount type: German equatorial line, computerized, servo motors
Visually, the EdgeHD system is excellent, and with the right accessories, it pairs well with all types of cameras. The views of Saturn and Jupiter are exciting. Globular clusters decay into stars. All Messier objects are clearly visible; With a trained eye and a dark rural sky, galaxies up to 12 degrees can be seen. It’s a telescope you won’t get rid of.
Since this telescope is intended for relatively advanced users, we are reviewing it from this point of view. The author has been using Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD as their main equipment since 2014 and knows them very well. As a longtime member of the user community, the author is also known to be reliable.
Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD: Design
- EdgeHD optical design outperforms Schmidt-Cassegrain
- Lightweight, Durable and Computer Proven
- Interoperability – other telescopes, other mounts, standard accessories
Jewel in Celestron’s crown, the EdgeHD optical system is an improved Schmidt-Cassegrain lens with additional lens elements, and although the optimization is primarily for photography, we can see it with the naked eye.
The computerized stand combines Celestron’s NexStar firmware with a German-style equatorial stand whose main axis points to the celestial pole. This provides properly oriented tracking for photography and the ability to use different telescopes on the same mount. For example, our advanced VX mount easily holds a camera with a telephoto lens instead of an EdgeHD. The current version accepts both vixen (narrow) and loosmandi (wide).
Compared to competitors, the VX Advanced Stabilizer Head is relatively lightweight and robust, and is not easily damaged or thrown out of tuning. The telescope, mounting head and tripod are easily separated for transportation.
The stand requires 12-14V DC power, about 0.5A most of the time, up to 3 or 4A for moments when moving the telescope quickly. We are using a portable battery pack.
Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD: Performance
- Excellent optics
- Searches for celestial bodies and tracks them reliably
- Serious deep sky photography requires better composition
All good telescopes of the same size offer similar views, so this is not much different from other well-made 6 to 10 inch telescopes. Compared to conventional Schmidt-Cassegrains, though, we think EdgeHD is more pronounced, especially further away from the center of the field.
The 40mm eyepiece delivers a power of 50, which appears low but ideal for star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. Celestron assumes you’ll buy more lenses, and as such, we’d recommend two more lenses, about 20mm (100x for general purpose) and 10mm (200x for the moon and planets). In exceptionally still air, we were able to use a 5mm (400x) lens on the nearby double stars. High-quality lenses bring out the best in this precision telescope, so don’t skimp.
After the correct setup, the mount finds celestial objects acceptably (good enough to fit the subject into the field of a 20mm lens) and tracks them well. You can select objects on a handheld console, a computer running Celestron’s PWI software, or many other sky map packages such as stellarium. Astrophotographers will want to perform PEC training, as described in the manual, for smoother tracking.
However, for long exposures of nebulae and galaxies, with an auto-steering and periscope sending consistent mount corrections, the Advanced VX left me wanting (and eventually moving to) a heavier mount with more precise gearing and less backlash. This is only a problem when the Advanced VX carries a telescope of this size. It works very well with carrying a smaller telescope.
Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD: Functions
- Computer assisted setup process
- Spectacular views of all kinds of celestial bodies
- Needs more lenses (about 20mm and 10mm)
Since the Advanced VX is an equatorial stabilization, the setup is more than a normal process of automatically centering a couple of stars that the telescope points to. You also have to aim for its polar axis Polaris, then improve the alignment by seeing the stars and letting the stand’s computer tell you the errors. This process, which Celestron calls “All-Star Polar Alignment,” is easy to use and impressively accurate, but you have to identify the bright stars. If the computer says to center Enif and you center Alpheratz, you will get incorrect results. This is the main difference between tropical mounts and those most suitable for beginners.
This is a good telescope for viewing all kinds of celestial bodies. You can also attach a camera (smart phoneAnd the DSLRAnd the no mirroror astral) for images of the moon, and carefully and skillfully, the planets and deep sky objects. One of the most satisfying things we’ve done is take thousands of video frames of Jupiter, Saturn or Mars with an astronomical video camera, then stack and sharpen them to get a much better view than the human eye can get with the same telescope.
This is an expandable system, takes many standard accessories, and you’ll need one or two higher power (shorter focal length) lenses right away.
Should I buy a Celestron Advanced VX 8 Edge HD Telescope?
If you are a serious amateur astronomer who has developed a deep understanding of both the sky and the telescope, this is an attractive product. The telescope is as good as you want it to be in its size range. The mount works well for everything except long exposure deep sky photography and there is plenty of room to grow with standard accessories and even, if needed, a heavier mount.
If this product is not suitable 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 (at a significantly higher cost).
If you are new to astronomy and not yet good at recognizing stars, this can be a lot; You can get very similar views with Celestron’s NexStar 6 or 8 inch telescope on a fork-arm mount which is easy to carry and set up.