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Gskyer 130mm EQ Telescope Review – Recommended Scope

The Gskyer 130mm EQ Reflector provides decent value for the money and an overall pleasant observing experience. But I don’t love the choice of the equatorial mount and slender tripod - especially for beginners.
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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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Gskyer, a company that I believe straddles the line between a legitimate company and a mere generic brand name, sells the Gskyer 130mm EQ Reflector.

To me, most of Gskyer’s other offerings are not worth considering, as they are cheap refractors with erecting prisms and pan-tilt tripod heads. They are not terrible, but for the price, they provide shoddy views and are annoying to use. I also believe that their reviews are boosted by people who have never owned a telescope and are just happy to see recognizable details on the Moon and so forth.

However, Gskyer’s 130mm f/5 EQ model—the only reflector under the brand name—has surprised me with the number of nice features that seem to have been designed with a good user experience in mind. It features the same quality optics as the 130mm reflectors I otherwise recommend and the scope isn’t too expensive to not justify purchasing.

You might also be interested in knowing that the Gskyer 130mm EQ is essentially a generic clone of the “new” Orion SpaceProbe 130ST, though its focuser is better than that of the 130ST and the price is lower.

Gskyer 130mm EQ Telescope

How It Stacks Up

Ranks #12 of 44 ~$350 telescopes





Gskyer 130EQ Reflector


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Best Similar Featured Alternative: Orion SpaceProbe 130ST EQ Reflector

What We Like

  • Good optics
  • Included eyepieces provide decent range of magnifications
  • Nice Crayford focuser
  • Fairly wide field of view

What We Don't Like

  • Equatorial mount is not the steadiest
  • Not very easy to aim
  • Poor to nonexistent customer service
Recommended Product Badge

I would recommend a tabletop Dobsonian over the Gskyer 130mm EQ, but if you must have a telescope on an equatorial mount/tripod, you could do a lot worse for the price.

The Optical Tube

The Gskyer 130mm EQ is a 130mm (5.1”) f/5 Newtonian reflector with a focal length of 650mm. This is the same as the optics in telescopes like the Sky-Watcher Heritage 130P and Zhumell Z130, all of which I recommend.

Some people might worry that the Gskyer 130mm EQ has the same bad spherical primary mirror as the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ, which can’t make a sharp image at high magnifications. Thankfully, this does not seem to be the case with the units I have tried. All of those scopes have good parabolic primary optics.

The primary mirror can be collimated without the use of tools, which is fairly important at a fast f/ratio of f/5. The secondary mirror requires a hex key for adjustment. As with most telescopes, a collimation tool is not provided; check out my collimation guide for info on collimation, tools, and how you can make a simple collimation cap yourself.

The Gskyer 130mm reflector optical tube is attached to its mount by two tube rings that are bolted to a Vixen-style dovetail. In theory, I could put it on any mount that works with it.

One of the tube rings has a ¼ 20 screw attachment to piggyback a DSLR or similar camera for astrophotography with a lens if I install motorized tracking on the telescope’s manual equatorial mount.

A Nice Crayford Focuser

I personally think that the 1.25″ Crayford focuser is one of the best things about the Gskyer 130mm EQ.

The focuser is all metal and free of the cheap plastic housing and the molded plastic gear teeth or threads often seen on smaller telescopes’ focusers. It’s easy to adjust the focuser for tension as well as lock it in place, and it securely grips our eyepieces with two thumb screws.

The focuser also has T-threads to attach a DSLR camera and T-ring, though the 130mm EQ’s mount is insufficient for long-exposure astrophotography and a dedicated planetary camera is better for planetary imaging than a DSLR.

Pretty Decent Set of Eyepieces

The Gsyker 130mm EQ comes with an impressive (at least for the price) set of three 1.25” eyepieces. They are claimed to be Plossls but I came to realize that they are actually of the Kellner design. You get a 25mm (26x), a 10mm (65x), and a 5mm (130x).

From my observations, these eyepieces are pretty sharp, especially considering that the body and internal housing of each are entirely plastic. But the apparent field of view is less than 50 degrees in all three oculars, which I felt to be a bit narrow.

The set of three focal lengths is enough for you to start off with. Apart from perhaps a wider-angle eyepiece for low-power viewing, you really don’t need more oculars or a Barlow lens right away. 

The dome-shaped tops of each Gskyer eyepiece housing are designed to fit into an eyepiece-to-smartphone adapter that is also included. A remote shutter button to use with your smartphone is also provided.

A Fair Finderscope

For a finder, Gskyer provides a simple 6×30 unit. This finder has a field of view of about 7 degrees, similar to that of a pair of 7×50 binoculars. It shows slightly fainter stars than I can see with my eyes alone, along with some of the brighter deep-sky objects if I’m under good skies.

The view is upside down, just like when I look through the main Newtonian telescope tube.

A red dot sight would have been a little easier to use, but the provided 6×30 is just fine for what it is. It attaches to the telescope with a standard Synta-style finder shoe, making it easy to swap to a larger magnifying finder or red dot sight if you wish.


The Gskyer 130mm EQ comes with an EQ-3 class equatorial mount. This mount is entirely metal and features slow-motion controls for fine adjustment in both directions (right ascension and declination).

It’s pretty simple to use if you already have experience using equatorial mounts. Just assemble and balance the mount, roughly polar align, unlock the clutches to aim, lock them when you’re close to your target, and then use the provided slow-motion cables to make fine adjustments and track the sky along the right ascension axis.

The Gskyer EQ-3 tripod is made of steel, though the legs, in my estimation, are a bit on the thin side. It’s stable enough when the legs are fully extended. But when I touch it, it takes longer for it to stop moving compared to a good Dobsonian telescope or a more rigid alt-azimuth mount and tripod, like some of the computerized ones that Celestron and others sell.

There’s also an accessory tray that twist-locks into place. Placing heavy objects on the tray to lower the telescope’s center of gravity is something I do, which helps significantly with stability.

The EQ-3 mount has provisions to attach a standard motor drive for the right ascension axis if you wish to have automatic tracking of objects, though the machining accuracy of the mount and lack of provisions for a polar scope mean that long-exposure astrophotography through the 130EQ telescope is out of the realm of possibility.

Should I buy a Used Gskyer 130mm EQ?

A “used” Gskyer 130mm EQ is actually something I’d recommend you avoid unless it’s from an individual seller. I’ve seen firsthand how many Gskyer 130EQs offered for sale by third parties on websites like Facebook Marketplace or eBay are actually returns or quality-control rejects that have damaged components or compromised optics. If you are buying from a private seller in person, you should be in the clear.

Just be sure to check that the mirrors’ coatings are in good condition and for any obvious damage to the tube/mount, and prepare to pay less if any accessories are missing.

Alternative Recommendations

The Gskyer 130mm EQ isn’t our first pick if you’re okay with a tabletop Dobsonian instead. Here are some of our other picks, sorted by price.

Under $275

  • The Zhumell Z114 and the nearly identical Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro are a little smaller than the Gskyer 130mm EQ, but their simple and compact tabletop Dobsonian mounts make them extremely portable and fast to set up.
  • The Orion StarBlast II 4.5 EQ uses the same optics as the standard StarBlast/Z114 but is attached to a spindly equatorial mount and tripod. Like the Gskyer 130mm EQ, it’s a little less sturdy than an equivalent tabletop Dobsonian telescope, but does the job.


  • The Sky-Watcher Heritage 150P offers slightly more aperture and thus better performance than the Gskyer 130mm EQ, with a simple and stable tabletop Dobsonian mount and a pair of high-quality Super Konig eyepieces included. The tube collapses for transport, too.
  • The Sky-Watcher Heritage 130P uses the same optics as the Gskyer 130mm EQ, but atop a tabletop Dobsonian mount and with a collapsible tube for maximum portability.
  • The Popular Science Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 100AZ Refractor has a similar amount of light-gathering ability to the Gskyer 130mm EQ and the same focal length, but its refractor optics have some chromatic aberration on bright targets. However, its alt-azimuth mount and tripod are rock-steady and easy to aim, especially with the aid of Celestron’s StarSense Explorer technology.

Aftermarket Accessory Recommendations

The Gskyer 130mm EQ includes a pretty ample set of accessories to start out, but the included 26mm Kellner eyepiece’s field of view is rather narrow. I’d recommend an Agena 25mm Starguider (26x) to replace it. It’ll give you a true field of 2.4 degrees with the 130mm EQ, versus the 1.8-degree field provided by the stock 26mm eyepiece, as well as being sharper and more comfortable to look through.

A 15mm SWA or redline eyepiece (43x) fills the gap between your 26mm and 10mm eyepieces and provides a good medium magnification appropriate for viewing many deep-sky objects with the 130mm EQ. If you’re keen on using very high magnification, a 3.2mm planetary eyepiece will provide 203x magnification, pushing to near the limits of the telescope for viewing the Moon, planets, and double stars on a crisp and steady night.

The Gskyer 130mm EQ’s mount can be motorized for hands-free tracking capability. The Celestron Logic Drive is cheap and attaches easily to your mount, giving you automatic tracking and adjustable drive rates for the Moon. It’s accurate enough for simple lunar and planetary astrophotography, too.

Lastly, a UHC (ultra high contrast) nebula filter like the Orion 1.25” UltraBlock filter greatly enhances viewing contrast on nebulae like the Orion Nebula and brings out previously-invisible objects like the Veil Nebula supernova remnant under good skies. It simply screws onto the threads at the bottom of any of your eyepieces.

What can you see with Gskyer 130mm EQ?

The Gskyer 130mm EQ’s short focal length and resultingly wide field of view make it great for viewing large deep-sky objects like open star clusters.

Open star clusters are bright enough that many can be viewed from fairly light-polluted skies in cities and suburbs without too much difficulty, and many feature hundreds of colorful stars within. Examples include the Double Cluster in Cassiopeia, M35 in Gemini, M11 in Scutum, the famous Pleiades (M45) in Taurus, and many more. 

The Gskyer 130mm EQ can also resolve the brightest globular star clusters, such as M13 or M15, into individual stars at high magnification, provided I’m not under extremely light-polluted skies. Dimmer ones will remain fuzzy at any power, however, and I don’t expect to see any colors.

Galaxies are visible in the Gskyer 130mm EQ, though in fewer numbers under light-polluted skies than dark ones. Most remain featureless, but a few, such as M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, or M82, the Cigar Galaxy, show dust lanes. I can also see galaxy groups like the Leo Triplet or the huge Virgo Cluster of galaxies, which contain dozens of members visible with the Gskyer 130mm EQ or a similarly sized telescope under decent viewing conditions.

A few planetary nebulae can also be seen, such as the Ring Nebula (M57).

The Gskyer 130mm EQ also shows the bright emission nebulae in the sky, like the Orion Nebula (M42) or the Lagoon (M8). A UHC nebula filter enhances these objects regardless of our overall sky conditions. A UHC filter will also allow me to see the Veil Nebula supernova remnant, which spans several degrees across, or the North America Nebula (both in Cygnus).

The Gskyer 130mm EQ is also great for viewing Solar System objects.

I’m able to see the phases of Venus and Mercury easily, as well as thousands of craters, mountains, and ridges on the Moon, some just a few miles across.

The Gskyer 130mm EQ also shows me the polar ice caps and any ongoing dust storms on Mars; high magnification reveals a few dark markings on the planet when conditions are favorable and it is at its closest to Earth.

I can see the moons of Jupiter even in the 6×30 finderscope; higher magnification and steady seeing reveal their disks and shadows when they transit in front of the planet. The cloud belts on Jupiter are colorful and full of constantly changing festoons and storms, while the Great Red Spot can also be seen on a clear night.

A 5” telescope like the Gskyer 130mm EQ not only shows Saturn’s rings but also the Cassini Division within them. I can also see some dull beige and brown stripes on Saturn itself, along with a handful of moons next to the planet.

Uranus’ disk can be resolved at high magnification with the Gskyer 130mm EQ, but its moons are too faint to see with a small telescope.

Neptune’s disk can prove hard to resolve, but Triton is just barely visible next to the planet on a clear night under at least semi-dark skies.

Pluto is simply too dim to see with a telescope under 8–10 inches in aperture.

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.

4 thoughts on “Gskyer 130mm EQ Telescope Review – Recommended Scope”

  1. Cuál me recomiendas comprar
    El orion space probé 130st
    O el gskyer 130eq
    No pienso comprar oculares pero tengo una lente de barlow

  2. From your review, it is not clear to me as to whether the Geskyer 130 has a parabolic mirror or a flat spherical mirror. I really let it bother me that the reviewers who take on scopes similar to this one rarely if not never, use the parabolic vs spherical mirror as a seriously important selling point. I foolishly bought a Celestron Astro Master 130mm Bird Jones telescope. Even after removing the corrector lens so that you can actually collimate the telescope, the image through the eyepiece was very disappointing. I use a Vixen R130Sf now. Put it on the Astromaster’s EQ1 mount. The scopes with the flat spherical mirrors being sold by these major companies is making a bad name in amateur astronomy. I will not stop warning people about this trash being sold by reputable companies. Does this scope have a parabolic mirror?


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