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Celestron PowerSeeker 114EQ Review: Not Recommended

Celestron’s PowerSeeker 114EQ, like all of its siblings in the PowerSeeker line, are unusable scopes which I don’t recommend to beginners. However, the 114EQ is a little better than the other PowerSeekers.
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When you read one of my reviews at TelescopicWatch, you can trust that not only have I gotten to use the product, but I’ve compared it to numerous others and tinkered with it down to the literal nuts and bolts. When I'm not writing reviews, I'm out under the night sky with my own homemade or modified telescopes, with over 7 years of hands-on experience in astronomy, having owned 430 telescopes myself, of which 20 I built entirely.

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Score Breakdown

Optics: 5/5

Focuser: 3/5

Mount: 1/5

Moon & Planets: 2/5

Rich Field: 1/5

Accessories: 1/5

Ease of use: 2/5

Portability: 4/5

Value: 1/5

Read our scoring methodology here

Celestron’s PowerSeeker 114EQ is actually a great telescope, but the devil is in the details. It’s paired with a mount that cannot possibly hold it and accessories that are little more than decorations due to their absurdly low quality. I was hard-pressed to get this telescope aimed at anything, let alone see anything with it. However, once I replaced all the accessories and stuck it on a Dobsonian mount, I had a surprisingly decent instrument with great views.

Celestron Powerseeker 114EQ

How It Stacks Up

Ranks #31 of 39 ~$150 telescopes





Celestron PowerSeeker 114EQ


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Best Similar Featured Alternative: Orion StarBlast II 4.5 EQ Reflector is the most value for money 114mm tripod-mounted reflector though more popular, but inferior options such as the PowerSeeker 114EQ, Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ, Meade Polaris 114 EQ exists.

What We Like

  • Good optics
  • Mount works well at low power

What We Don't Like

  • Mount is shaky at high magnifications
  • More expensive than tabletop Dobsonians and nowhere near as usable out of the box
  • Included eyepieces, Barlow, and finderscope are bad
Not Recommended Telescope

The Celestron PowerSeeker 114EQ provides a tube for a good telescope but isn’t one in itself. So stay far, far away from buying one new. 

Primary Optics: Spherical, But Still Great

The Celestron PowerSeeker 114EQ is a standard 114mm f/8 Newtonian with a spherical primary mirror, not the superior parabolic mirror. But at this aperture and focal length, a spherical mirror provides images that are well within the tolerances of a typical parabolic mirror while being extremely easy and cheap to manufacture.

These scopes have been around for decades and provide great images with little in the way of the coma that plagues faster focal ratio telescopes.

Other Aspects of Optical Tube

114EQ's powerseeker optical tube's focuser, tube ring and collimation screws
The 114EQ has a 1.25” rack-and-pinion focuser and comes with a pair of tube rings for attaching it to the mount, which allows us to slide and rotate the tube as needed for balance as well as put the eyepiece in a convenient and comfortable location.

Thanks to the long focal ratio of the telescope, collimating it is quite easy, if not bordering on trivial.

The Bad Set of Accessories

The accessories included with the Celestron PowerSeeker 114EQ are, like all PowerSeeker accessories, atrocious. I’m warning you: not one of these has anything resembling quality.

3x barlow lens, finderscope, 20mm eyepiece and 4mm eyepiece
We get a 20mm eyepiece, a 4mm eyepiece, a 3x Barlow lens, and a 5×24 finderscope.

The included 20mm eyepiece, providing 45x with the Celestron PowerSeeker 114EQ, is supposedly a Kellner. But it has an erecting prism in it to flip the image right-side up so that we can view birds with this massive and wobbly Newtonian reflector on an equatorial mount. I see that this is actually why Celestron includes it—to market it as usable for terrestrial applications. As a side effect, this prism massively reduces sharpness, sucks up a good portion of the light entering the eyepiece, and reduces the apparent field of view to around 30 degrees, which makes using it feel like I’m looking through a soda straw.

The PowerSeeker 4mm Ramsden eyepiece also has the soda straw experience, with the bonus of providing too much magnification to be actually useful (225x) and also requiring jamming my eyeball up to the tiny lens to see anything through it (which isn’t much, trust me).

The 3x Barlow included with all PowerSeeker telescopes is made out of plastic, completely useless, and exists purely so that Celestron can advertise the telescopes as capable of over 600x magnification. It serves as a purely marketing bogus. No telescope is capable of such high magnification powers on a consistent basis, especially not a small and wobbly beginner instrument. You can use it as a spare lens cap or throw it in the garbage, like I did.

Lastly, the PowerSeekers come with a plastic 5×24 finderscope to aim the telescope. Not only does this finder have poor optics and a slide-tube focusing mechanism that is almost impossible to adjust correctly, but it doesn’t fit in the bracket well and basically doesn’t ever stay aligned with the telescope. You would be best off unscrewing the lenses from the finder and sighting through the empty tube. Seriously.

The Shaky EQ1 Mount

EQ1 mount and the tripod legs
The PowerSeeker EQ scopes all come with the same EQ1 equatorial mount.

The EQ1 isn’t actually terrible. The EQ1 is made out of a mix of aluminum and plastic and does just fine holding a small telescope or a DSLR and lens.

However, the 114EQ optical tube is not exactly small and therefore the tube can’t be balanced properly on the mount.

Whenever I use it, I’m constantly fumbling with the telescope crashing into the mount, it moving on its own accord the instant I let go of it, or even literally toppling over to the ground.

Coupled with the insanely bad finderscope and the unusable eyepieces provided with the telescope, I’d advise you against having high hopes of seeing anything with this telescope. Getting it pointed at the Moon would be a massive success.

Should I buy a Used Celestron PowerSeeker 114EQ?

If you’re willing to do some DIY and find a PowerSeeker 114EQ for under $50 or so, you could build a Dobsonian mount for it, equip it with a good finder and eyepieces, and be rewarded with some surprisingly good views. Otherwise, don’t bother.

Alternative Recommendations

Pretty much any telescope with good optics, a stable mounting, and useful accessories would be an upgrade over the PowerSeeker line, but here are a few of our top picks in its price range:

  • The Zhumell Z114 offers the same aperture as the 114EQ, but with a wider field of view, better eyepieces, and a rock-solid and easy-to-use tabletop Dobsonian mount to boot.
  • For a bit less money, the Zhumell Z100 and Orion SkyScanner 100 have a bit less aperture than the PowerSeeker 114EQ, but are a lot easier to use and have decent accessories provided.
Zane Landers

An amateur astronomer and telescope maker from Connecticut who has been featured on TIME magazineNational GeographicLa Vanguardia, and Clarin, The Guardian, The Arizona Daily Star, and Astronomy Technology Today and had won the Stellafane 1st and 3rd place Junior Awards in the 2018 Convention. Zane has owned over 425 telescopes, of which around 400 he has actually gotten to take out under the stars. These range from the stuff we review on TelescopicWatch to homemade or antique telescopes; the oldest he has owned or worked on so far was an Emil Busch refractor made shortly before the outbreak of World War I. Many of these are telescopes that he repaired or built.

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