I believe the Omni XLT 150 is the only Newtonian reflector in the series, so if you’re looking for a refractor, you should check out the Omni XLT 120 instead.
With the reflector, I feel you get a better price, excellent views of the sky, and you’ll have plenty to explore without running out of targets any time soon.
The XLT 150 has the largest aperture in the series and is often weighed against a 6” Dobsonian.
While the tube may be on par for comparability, I believe the mounting systems are different.
Here’s I take a look into the Omni XLT 150 telescope.
Celestron Omni XLT 150 Telescope Review
✔️ Best Feature: Wide FOV
❌ Worst Feature: Accessory Lacking
👌 Ideal For: Celestial Viewing, Stargazing, Lunar & Planetary Observation, DSO Viewing, Astrophotography, Intermediates
- Optical Design: Reflector
- Aperture: 150 mm (5.91”)
- Focal Length: 750 mm (30”)
- Focal Ratio: f/5
- Eyepieces Included: 25 mm
My Verdict: In my opinion the Celestron Omni XLT 150 is a performer and a sort of jack-of-all-trades. It provides excellent resolution to observe targets, both near and far, and has astrophotography capabilities. With all features and benefits combined for its price point, I believe the XLT 150 has great value.
Who is the Celestron Omni XLT 150 Best Suited to?
I think the Omni XLT 150 would make an excellent “grow-with” telescope for any beginner. There will be a learning curve since it does have a German equatorial mount which takes some getting used to if you’ve never used one before.
Intermediates will feel right at home with the Omni XLT 150, and I am confident they will feel satisfied that it has plenty to offer without feeling like they’ve grown out of it too soon.
If you’re accustomed to traveling with your telescope, you’ll have no issues with this model. The combined weight is in the 30 lb (approx.) range, and the optical tube is only 26.5” long.
How Does the Celestron Omni XLT 150 Perform?
With a large aperture, this Omni lets in a ton more light than the smaller Omnis, and with it you can expand your horizons and set your sights further. As a wide-viewing, low power telescope, I think it’s an excellent telescope for stargazing and picking up dim and faint targets. What about our solar system? Excellent and detailed views of the moon and planets are expected.
Since the XLT 150 is so adaptable, it allows for various modifications that can improve performance and mechanics. Want to throw on a motor drive in the future? Not a problem. Want to take photos? You can do that too.
Features & Benefits
Wide FOV (Field of View)
The XLT 150 is what you would call a fast telescope. It has a short focal length of 750 mm and a fast focal ratio of f/5. What does this mean? A wide FOV and low magnification that makes a great recipe for stargazing, wide-field observation, and deep-space photography. I think the only downside of this fast telescope is coma when using it with a wide field eyepiece. That will limit viewing and imaging quality somewhat, but it won’t stop you from using the telescope and you can correct this with a coma corrector.
With the 25 mm eyepiece, the FOV is 1.67° or 88 feet (at 1000 yards). Of course, you can switch out eyepieces and the lowest useful magnification will be 21x and will obviously provide the widest FOV that you can acquire. The highest useful magnification will be 354x but think 75% of that if you don’t want to compromise on viewing quality.
As a reflector and fast telescope, the need for it to be collimated is vital. And, as a reflector scope should be, both the primary and secondary mirrors are collimatable. While no collimation tools are included in the package, you can purchase or make your own.
I think part of what makes for an excellent viewing experience is the focuser and fortunately, a 2” Crayford all-metal focuser is included with a 1.25” adapter. With this focuser, there shouldn’t be any creeping with heavy loads required for astrophotography and there should be little to no shaking when trying to max out power.
But, what can you see? When it comes to lunar viewing, you’ll see more than you may have thought. Beyond craterlets, you’ll see mountains, valleys, ridges, and more. Our planets will show their ice cap, rings, Red Spot, cloudbands, the Cassini Division, and multiple moons. You’ll even be able to spot Uranus and Neptune. Outside, clusters, double stars, nebulae, globular clusters, planetary nebulae, and galaxies are visible. The optics can keep up with many, many hours you wish to put into finding targets near or far.
The CG-4 is an upgraded version of the older ones that you used to see back in the day with telescope packages from Celestron. With zero electronics, it’s completely set up to provide a solid foundation and quality that you can rely on.
The Omni XLT 150 comes with an equatorial mount that obviously allows for manual tracking. Interestingly, there are no cables in this setup for slow-motion, but rather instead, there are slow-motion adjustment knobs. This may take some getting used to, but it’s not really a disadvantage, just something different. To keep motions smooth and fluid, the CG-4 has ball bearings in both axes.
The tripod legs are 1.75” and come up slightly shorter than older models. This may prove to be somewhat of a disadvantage, but I’m sure you can get creative in coming up with ways to lift the tripod to get a bit of extra height. Perhaps a pier or tripod extension?
The XLT 150 is absolutely capable of astrophotography, although as-is, you’ll likely be limited to short exposure photography. You can use a point-and-shoot camera like a smartphone or webcam-style CCD camera for lunar and planetary work. To increase magnification for imaging that would render viewing purposes useless and to increase the focal length for DSLR cameras, you’ll need a Barlow lens.
To track targets, I think you’ll also need to equip the telescope with a dual-axis motor drive that provides automatic tracking and timed exposures with the best imaging sharpness and resolution. You’ll likely need a few other accessories for serious astrophotography, but keep in mind the tripod weight payload capacity and how much strain you’ll be putting on the mount.
While the 2” Crayford focuser is certainly a nice touch and the 25 mm Plossl eyepiece is adequate and provides 30x magnification, the 6×30 finder is “meh.” I feel it will need an upgrade if you value comfort and ease of use.
You’ll want to increase your eyepiece set, and you can use both 2” and 1.25” eyepieces thanks to the Crayford. You’ll also want a Barlow lens for sure and other accessories if you’re leaning towards astrophotography. To make collimation easier, a cap or laser will get it done, but it will be at your own cost.
Other Telescopes to Consider
If you are looking at the XLT 150 specifically for stargazing then another worthy telescope worth looking at in my opinion would be the Celestron StarSense Explorer DX102 AZ.
While the XLT 150 offers more “scope,” a larger aperture than the 120, it’s a reflector telescope. Generally, a refractor telescope will cost more than a reflector scope because the type of glass and grinding, polishing, finishing, and coating processes required for optics cost more than mirrors. Refractors use glass and reflectors use mirrors. Although the XLT 120 only has a 120 mm aperture and the XLT 150 has 30 mm more and so is larger and offers more light-grasping capability, the two optical designs are different.
The XLT 150 is a Newtonian reflector that produces inverted images, so looking at terrestrial objects would provide an upside down view. This is inconsequential when viewing into the sky, but it makes it unsuitable for terrestrial viewing. For a Celestron Omni XLT model with the capability to be used for terrestrial viewing, check out the XLT 120.
While a tripod and equatorial mount is included with the purchase of the XLT 150 optical tube, a motor drive is not. You can purchase the dual-axis motor drive separately for motorized tracking of targets for astrophotography.
No. While shipping varies between retailers and vendors, it’s generally expected to split the components for shipping. The tube is tightly packaged into one box and the mount is shipped in another box. While there are two boxes sent out for delivery, they are part of one purchase and one order.
Celestron provides a 2-year manufacturer warranty on the Omni XLT 150. To make a claim under the warranty, you must provide proof of purchase and claim responsibility for prepaid shipping and insurance costs to and from the manufacturer for repairs or replacements. Celestron aims to provide repairs or replacements within 30 days of receipt of an approved claim, but if it takes over 30 days to address, they will notify the customer accordingly.
In my opinion the Celestron Omni XLT 150 is a great buy.
I think it’s a very versatile telescope that can be used on any mount, upgraded with motorized tracking, has astrophotography capability, and comes with a new and improved mounting system.
With its features and at its price point, it’s a buy I’ll recommend every time.
I am confident it is a great long-time telescope that a beginner can advance with and more than satisfactory for an intermediate user looking to expand their observation of various targets and imaging goals.