Celestron NexStar 4SE – Review

Image Credit: Simon Delalande

Celestron has been one of the most popular and familiar names in hobbyist telescopes for decades, with the company’s origins dating back to the 1950s when its founder Tom Johnson was contracted to produce electronic parts and components for the US Military. At that time, the American engineer was also looking to buy a child friendly telescope for his two sons to use, and after finding no such model decided to create one himself.

Johnson’s interest in the field soon developed into a fully fledged business, and although Celestron was acquired by Synta in 2005, these telescopes are still durable and efficient units, the likes of which have been used in famous observatories, such as Jodrell Bank in the UK.

Compound & Compact Telescope

The Celestron NexStar 4 SE is a compact unit that combines a 4 inches wide aperture with an optical tube length of 13 inches, but because it uses a catadioptric design its small size still produces a focal length of 52 inches. The name for this kind of telescope is a Maksutov-Cassegrain, meaning it is a hybrid that uses both mirrors and lenses, thus combining the benefits of a low-cost refractor with that of a high quality reflector. This also results in an elegant, compact telescope that is highly portable and so can be set up immediately, making for a smooth and beautiful experience every time. You can also use a compound telescope during the daytime, which is not something you can do with Newton/reflector scopes.

Computerized Control

The Celestron NexStar 4 SE is completely motorized and computerized. The technology that drives the Celestron NexStar 4 SE has been put through the test and has been given several updates over the years which allow it to be a very reliable telescope. It is better to use the latitude and longitude settings on the location tracker to display your location with this technology rather than the zip code option for best results.

Being computerized and motorized ensures that finding its over 40,000 cataloged objects is extremely simple, especially with its GOTO tracking, and with just a few clicks of the buttons on the controller, your telescope with align with a planet or star. This makes astronomical hobbies more appealing to those who aren’t as experienced with telescopes because one can spend less time hunting out the stars and more time enjoying the views; simply point the telescope and let it calibrate itself. It is recommended that the user uses NiMH rechargeable batteries as this motor will only run for a few hours at a time.

Vivid Imagery

Because it is a compound telescope, you are going to get picture-perfect images and a wide field of view. Of course, the StarBright XLT coating on the Celestron 4 SE helps, as does the inclusion of a 25 millimeter Plossl eyepiece that delivers 53 times magnification, as well as a 12.5 millimeter eyepiece that can be added to give you 100 times magnification. As a result, this worthy beginner telescope will be powerful enough to capture impressive details of many objects in our solar system, including the Moon, Jupiter, Mars and other planets. Deep-sky objects, however, will appear less impressive than with a bigger aperture telescope.

An additional feature of the Celestron NexStar 4SE is that it is enabled for astrophotography as it has a camera control option for your digital SLR camera. This should prove useful mostly for planetary imaging.


Main Features

– Nearly 40,000 computerized object database
– 4″ Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope
– 1,325 mm focal length (f/13)
– 25mm Eyepiece
– StarPointer finder scope
– Sturdy altazimuth mount which can be used for astrophotography, plus camera control cable


– Compact and affordable
– Beautifully magnifying 25 millimeter Plossl eyepiece included
– NexStar technology gives it great ease of use


– Will need an external power supply or large amount of rechargeable batteries

Final Thoughts

The Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope delivers a state of the art stargazing experience, along with incredible magnification, and a motorized computer technology system that will make your astronomical hobby easier than ever before.


Fair price and great option for a first telescope!

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