Home Comparisons Bresser vs Celestron – A tale of two sons

Bresser vs Celestron – A tale of two sons

by Rizka Amir

Have you ever bought or had anything that fit almost all your needs and was always ready when you needed it that you started wondering about who created it? Is it just me?

Hopefully, I’m not the only one who absolutely loves to love my brands. What’s even cooler is digging and finding awesome stories like this tale of two sons on Bresser and Celestron.

Now, this is a special comparison to make because they both are similar in that they are family owned innovations that turned out to be totally successful. That’s not all these two have in common as they are tales of fathers and their sons. Giving us great examples of business opportunities and challenges and how our reactions to them affect our end result. They are also very motivating because against all odds, they both still stand strong and are forces to reckon with in the edge-defying telescope industry.

What are the differences between Bresser and Celestron?

Varied Niche designs
Categorized by design
High end prices
Variation of prices
German distributor
U.S. distributor
Physical and virtual service centers in select countries
Distributors across select continents

Bresser Vs. Celestron – A look at how they differ


Bresser stands out in its production of optics because it has taken consideration of little thought of fields of exploration. Their designs on night vision goggles, their weather stations and their rifle scopes have all made them a unique brand globally. Rolf’s move to sell Bresser in 1999 to Meade was so that he could save it from collapse and this temporary union resulted in a successful launch of the innovative Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope models.

Bresser has computerized scopes that run on their trademark Stellarium Software compatible with android and Apple phones. This allows for hands free operation of your telescope. They do have a range of reflectors and refractors mounted on azimuth or equatorial mounts which makes for a pleasurable and relaxing time of stargazing.

Celestron has a bunch of products that are quite similar to those Bresser markets. They have stocked up on binoculars, telescopes, microscopes and a myriad of other accessories but they are miss the night vision devices, weather stations and rifle scopes known to the Bresser brand. Their much more general approach to product ranges limits a first-timer who is more often than not a little shy to ask questions.

They need to do a better job at their product description because it is a little too vague and technical for interested amateurs and beginners. The type and tone of language they use is more intimidating than welcoming. A visit to their website leaves a novice feeling inadequate and apprehensive. They probably target an intermediate to expert customer segment. Although they have products that they market as for beginners, I wouldn’t be quick to point them in Celestron’s direction.


Bresser is definitely a high ranked telescope manufacturer and distributor based on world standards as they are in constant collaboration with and are heavily endorsed by National Geographic. Their production of unique night vision optics with heat sensors and such other mind-blowing technology has clearly set Bresser way up on the pioneers stand. Their weather stations are great gifts and learning tools for aspiring astronomers and meteorologists.

With over 60 years of experience under their belt, Bresser have no doubt been consistent in their quality and performance delivery with every new invention they make.

Celestron is the pioneer of the Schmidt-Cassegrain models which they did back in 1970 with the introduction of their C8. Their models stood out due to the innovative master block that would work as a corrector plate allowing for a vacuum to reflect off the curved mold. Celestron’s tubes are easy to spot with their eye-catching orange glossy finishes and their equatorial mounts which are single or double-forked.

They too have invested heavily in computerized systems and they have Sky Portal App that enables a user to connect their Apple or Android phone to have control over the telescope electronically. Celestron are well known for their NexRemote hand controller which has also greatly improved observers experience with these smart telescopes. Just like Orion which uses the StarSeeker software that is rich with planetary details of celestial objects and events, Celestron employs the Starry Nights software.

Bresser Vs. Celestron – Overview

Bresser – Overview

Bresser is a German owned and operated optics manufacturer and distributor which was started in 1959 by Josef Bresser. Originally, they were all about importing and distributing these machines. Later in 1999, Rolf Bresser, Josef’s son, sold their company to Meade, a rival optics powerhouse. A decade later, Bresser was back in the founding family’s hands with the help of their operating manager and their partners in manufacturing, Jinghua Optical Electronics. They have expanded into the US with a distribution branch and their Messier models are the go-to scopes for all intermediary level astronomers.

Messier AR-102 Nano

This is an achromatic refractor telescope that is held up and balanced on an azimuth mount. It carries an aperture 102mm wide with a focal length of 600mm which gives us a focal ratio of f/6. It gives impressive depictions of the moon’s surface, the nebulas and many star clusters in the galaxies. An Android and Apple compatible software, Stellarium, comes in the package to keep the user informed and fully interacted in the observation.

Assembly and set-up is fairly easy and this makes it an ideal candidate for young astronomers. It is possible to break it apart into smaller more manageable pieces which makes it a perfect fit for travelling explorers. Bresser gives us a 26mm Super Ploessl (fully multi-coated) lens whose view is perfected through their trademark HEXAFOC focuser. An optimized finder bracket and a diagonal mirror for right angle image correctness are added providing great eye relief.

The AZ mount can be manually operated and manipulated in up, down, left, right directions for easy object tracking. The tripod can also be used interchangeably for a camera and it comes with a convenient accessories tray. A varied number of deep-sky objects will be visible to you with the Messier AR- 102. Like the Milky Way.

Messier 5” Dobson

This is a reflector Newtonian altazimuth-mounted telescope that is perfect for entry level astronomers. The great thing about this telescope is even the experienced crowd can get a really good kick out of this model. Glossed out in a sparkling white shine, this Dobson carries an aperture 130mm wide and a focal length of 650 which gives us a focal ratio of f /5. That’s perfect for night time sky exploration allowing you to see as far past the planets as the clusters and galaxies beyond. It may not be a great scope for daytime landscaping or terrestrial observation, but it will knock your socks off with the great views at night.

The primary mirror of this Messier Dobson is parabolic clarifying to a greater degree the clarity of the night sky. This combined with the large secondary mirror in this telescopes chamber, guarantees you a wider and clearer field of view. The 25mm and 9mm Kellner eyepieces are good enough but could do better with Ploessl types. There is also a moon filter included and a battery powered LED viewfinder with batteries provided!

The whole assembly is complete from factory and you won’t have to do much at set up. You can be ready to shoot on your first night given clear skies. The optics are movable and mountable on other tripod stands like equatorial mounts.

Messier AR102 EXOS-2 EQ5- GOTO

Best for determined professional beginners and already experienced or expert astronomers, this GoTo equatorial mounted telescope definitely stakes its claim in the GoTo category. Sporting a 102mm aperture with a 460mm focal length, the Messier 120 GoTo provides a focal ratio of f/4.6. they also give us 26mm Super Ploessl eyepieces which are perfect and a diagonal mirror which is quite ideal for cluster observations, moon landscapes and terrains, galaxies and more deep-sky celestial objects in the right angle.

This scope promises to astound you with sharp achromatic images of the far-off universe with the touch of a button. The EQ mount used with the Finderscope and GoTo StarTracker software allows you to simply tap on a target object that is within your visible field of view and the scope will shift and align itself towards that object and focus it and keep tracking it for ease of observation. Powered by 8 size D batteries, that you will have to buy separately, the base has ball bearings that help the scope shift with as little noise and backlash as possible. The tripod stands on this set-up are strong and can hold the scope in balance in high magnification tracking.

A manual and moon map is included so assembly and some background research on the night skies will be easier than you may think.


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Celestron – Overview

After successfully making a 6-inch reflector scope for his two sons, Tim Johnson founded Valor Electronics in 1955. Later in 1964, Tim introduced Celstron Pacific which made the 4 to22-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain at high volumes and at much lower costs incentivizing the amateur astronomers. He went on to sell Celestron in 1980 which was bought by Tasco in 1997 and was almost wiped out by financial woes. Until 20015 when it was acquired by Synta Technologies, its 15-year long optics supplier, it was state-owned.

NexStar 4SE

The NexStar 4SE Maksutov-Cassegrain has a 102mm aperture and 1325mm focal length giving it a focal ratio of f/13. It is a GoTo technology enabled telescope which means it can be controlled by a computer connected to the provided NexRemote or hand control. Among Celestron’s NexStar series, it is the smallest and this makes for easy storage and transportation. With a computerized database filled with over 40,000 astral objects, searching and tracking is a breeze and add to the ease of the set-up which requires no extra tools. Celestron provides the user with a 25mm eyepiece with a magnification of x53, a Star Pointer Finderscope, fork arm mount, a flip mirror, a photographic port and an altazimuth base all resting on aluminum tripod stands with rubber grips for maximum stability.

AstroMaster 114 EQ

This Newtonian-Reflector telescope comes with a 114-inch lens and a 1000mm focal length, this telescope provides a focal ratio of f/8.8 mounted on an equatorial German mount fitted with settings balls for fine tuning your focus on a target object. At 4.49 inches, the aperture gives enough light to allow for moon craters clear and detailed views. Setting up is easy to do with no need for use of any extra tools. 10mm and 20mm eyepieces are provide and come fully coated to reduce and eliminate chromatic aberrations in viewing. The mount rests on sturdy and adjustable tripod stands that work great on both flat and uneven surfaces guaranteeing great balance in high magnification tracking. It is important to note that you could increase the stands strength and stability by adding rubber bases at its feet. Also, collimation of the 114EQ is done by caps and this could be frustrating for first-timers. It’s a great telescope for intermediary astronomers.

PowerSeeker 80EQ

A perfect refractor telescope for a beginner boasting a 900mm focal length and a 80mm aperture which gives a f/11 focal ratio guaranteeing us some clear imagery at a very affordable rate. The PowerSeeker 80EQ comes with 20mm eyepiece giving a 45x magnification and a 4mm eyepiece giving 225x magnification power. More to the vision department, there is a diagonal mirror guaranteeing image correctness, a focuser for clear and sharp views and a Barlow lens 3x that can multiply your lenses to three times the power.

It stands majestically on an equatorial mount that helps you find and track targeted celestial objects simultaneously turning to the earths revolution and keeping the object within the field of view for longer observation. It has a rod that you can use to manually point and direct the scope in objects direction and a knob with which to screw the scope in place once the focus is achieved.

You can download a Starry Nights Software for celestial details and updates on astronomical events.


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Now let’s compare these two Bresser and Celestron brand models.

Messier NT130
PowerSeeker 127EQ
Newtonian Reflector
Netwonian Reflector
Focal length
Focal ratio
No mount provided
German EQ Mounted Scope
User Level
Intermediate, Expert
Beginner, Intermediate, Expert
Stellarium Software
Starry Night Software


Maybe because the two companies are big names in the manufacture and distribution of telescopes in Germany and USA respectively, we can clearly see a difference in design and build of their optics. To find two scopes from either brand with similar or matching features and specifications is almost absolutely impossible. The German’s seem to be doing it right with their Equatorial mounts featuring highly in Celestron’s Optic Tube Assemblies. However, Bresser could do better and keep providing the standard Ploessl eyepieces as the Kellner ones are a bit sub-standard. All in all, buying from either of the brands will largely depend on your area code and your budget because either are a quality telescope developer and marketer.



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