Home Comparisons Meade vs Celestron – Which reigns supreme?

Meade vs Celestron – Which reigns supreme?

by Rizka Amir

Being two of the most sought-after, popular and well-trusted manufactures of optic equipment, Meade and Celestron will surely pop up in your quest of buying the telescope of your dreams. Who is reigning supreme?

In the world of business, it is obvious that feedback and suggestions from your customers is what keep you afloat and helps you grow and expand. In another view, these same commentaries are the best source of real information based on a product of your consideration. Coming across tons of customer testimonials about that product increases your desire to buy it and assures you of your money’s worth. For a company to attain and manage that status of integrity, they must be doing something right. Here’s a look into what these two brands have going on.

What are the differences between Meade and Celestron?

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

Meade Vs. Celestron – A look at how they differ


For over 50 years now, these two brands have been producing quality and futuristic telescope designs that have continued to inspire and transform the world of science. Meade is the largest telescope manufacturer globally and has a great reputation and an even bigger customer base due to this deep history. Celetron is well known and loved for its sleek and colorful orange tube that definitely revolutionized the telescope design world. Both these brands have refractor models, reflectors, Schmidt-Cassegrain, Netwonian Dobsonians and Maksutovs in their product catalogue. They both are great producers of top-notch optical equipment in very niche areas like spotting gear, microscopes and others. They have also done well in the inclusion of technology by introducing computerized mounts and celestial software that brings the astral viewings to your phone or tablet.


Even in the end-result, these two telescope brands are head-to-head in their output. Meade’s most wanted telescope is the ETX 80mm which is due to its high image quality and also because it has a computerized mount operating on the GoTo system. This system is compatible with most Android or Apple products and can be used to ease the object finding process. By simply tapping on the object on a projected screen, the scope will automatically slew towards that objects angle and will focus on the target within seconds. This feature draws in a lot of beginners as it reduces the hassle of getting the telescope to work optimally. Celestron’s most famous selection has to be the 4SE that is in the NexStar Series that have been the world’s favorite since they were launched. Their innovation of the Scmidt-Cassegrain back in 1970 paved the way for even better models like the Ritchey-Chretien With these two brands, views of the moon and its terrain, the planet, galaxies, nebulas and most deep-sky objects will be within your line of sight and will be giving clear imagery. This is possible because these two brands have invested heavily on build and construction and the accessories they provide all work towards a great experience.

Meade- Overview

Starting out as a distributor of refractor, telescopes and other optic accessories for a Japanese company back in 1972, John Diebel founded Maede. Soon after in 1976, they started manufacturing their own telescopes and Towa Optical took a back seat. They made a go for the reflecting telescopes that were lacking in their brand and successfully made 6 and 8-inched scopes. It’s interesting to note that there was a time Meade was a subject of Celestron. Back in 1980 when they went into production of the Schmidt-Cassegrain. They created ACF optics that basically required a change in the Schmidt-Cassegrain design by replacing the secondary mirror with a hyperbolic one. ACF stands for Advance-Coma-Free optics meaning clear and crisp imagery with no false colors or chromatic aberration. Meade is quite the success story with production even moving as far as Mexico at one time. Meade finally found its footing when they partnered with Ningbo Sunny Electronics who are now their management and major manufacturer. At the time of writing this post, Meade was in November 2019, found guilty of price-fixing in order to maliciously finish Celestrons market share and they lost the case and were charged to pay Celestron $16.8 million.


Designed for young astronomers and experts as well, it has a very simple and easy assembly process. With a 90mm lens and 900mm focal length, it gives us a focal ratio of f/10 which is good for slow object tracking in the night skies and also gives good eye-relief. Included is the AutoAlign GPS system that will help you point out and find up to 30,000 celestial objects. It is a GoTo computerized single arm mounted telescope with a sturdy tripod stand and accessory tray. The AudioStar hand controller contains over 30,000 celestial objects that are sure to keep you and your family busy for hours trying to identify and understand the celestial objects. Meade provides 2 MA eyepieces of 26mm and 9mm measures, a red dot finder and a bubble compass to track objects with accuracy. The Dovetail arm mount can receive up to two optical tubes which will increase the number of telescopes that can be used at one time. It Is powered by 8 AA batteries that you would have to purchase separately. You have the option to use external power source like an AC/DC adapter for longer uninterrupted observing. It is a perfect scope for large groups, going for weekend getaways to dark-spots as it is easily detachable and light in weight. Great for all levels of experienced astronomers.

Polaris 127

This Newtonian reflector telescope has a 127mm aperture and 1000mm focal length giving it a focal ratio of f/7.9. It is a slow-motion equatorial mounted telescope which means it can be controlled by hand by the side handle provided allowing it to move in all ways; left, right, up and down. It comes with 3 sets of eyepieces giving us low, medium and high levels of magnification. It also has a Barlow lens 2x which will double the power of any eyepiece you may be using. With DVD of the astronomical landscape with over 10,000 celestial objects, searching and tracking is a breeze and add to the ease of the set-up which requires no extra tools. For object focus here is a red-dot finder and for convenience, an accessory tray is provided. Polaris 127’s focal ratio and lens with coated eyepieces makes for great imagery of the stars, galaxies, the moon’s terrain and even some deep-sky objects. Due to its manual operation system, this Meade reflector is ideal for intermediaries, experts and very ambitious beginners.

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This is the largest Maksutov-Cassegrain in the Meade catalogue. The lens is 150mm in diameter held by a 1800mm long glossy blue tube giving us a focal ratio of f/12 which allows for slower object tracking and observation. The optical tube rests on an alt-azimuth mount with a handle built-in for easier portability and manipulation of the scope. It has Dovetail kind of design and this allows for two tubes to be held at once. It comes with 26mm Plossl eyepiece which is fully coated further optimizing your optics performance on this scope. The LX65 is capable of handling high magnifications and can show you the nebulae, moon and planets in really crisp images that are free of any aberration. It can be disassembled into three parts making it ideal for travel, camping and picnics. The LX65 comes with an AudioStar software and GoTo capabilities that will enrich your viewing experience.

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. It’s overall design and color is a brilliant glossy orange tube and with these kinds of specifications, there is no reason not to grab one and go camping every ever so often.

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

Polaris 127
PowerSeeker 127EQ
Newtonian Reflector
Netwonian Reflector
Focal length
Focal ratio
EQ Mount
German EQ Mounted Scope
User Level
Intermediate, Expert
Beginner, Intermediate, Expert
AutoStar Suite Astronomer Software
Starry Night Software


Both these companies have telescopes that cater to the higher end market and the general masses. They also cover the beginners, intermediaries and experts. Their customer service, based on customer reviews, it is definitely working and appreciated. They both also make a great effort to accessorize their telescopes and to be very consideration in this aspect. Optics and performance being the most important factors to consider in a telescope, we can comfortably conclude that both Meade and Celestron have been consistent and pioneering in new innovations. In the battle of supremacy, our hats are off for Meade but if current circumstances are anything to go by, it might not be so for much longer.



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