Review: Celestron Omni XLT 150 EQ Telescope

Author: Luna Gregoria


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The Celestron Omni XLT 150 is a serious instrument, and can be used well in the hands of an intermediate observer. Its shortcomings are inherent to the type of telescope it is, and it’s about the best it could be as an example of this kind of instrument: An equatorial mounted short-tube 6” reflector. Note that this telescope is identical aside from its paint scheme and tripod to the SkyWatcher N 150/750 Explorer BD EQ3-2. This is primarily a visual telescope, but it can be used for rudimentary astrophotography.

Total Score

7/10: Solid with some issues

Score Breakdown (out of 5)

Optics: 4

Focuser: 4

Mount: 4

Moon & Planets: 4

Rich Field: 4

Accessories: 3

Ease of use: 3

Portability: 3

Value: 3

Read our scoring methodology here.


  • Bright, sharp optics.
  • Very sturdy, stable, and smooth CG-4 Equatorial Mount.
  • The gorgeous livery.


  • The ergonomics inherent in an eq-mounted Newtonian.
  • Lacking in accessories.

The Competition

The Celestron Omni XLT150 has a few competitors in a similar price range and niche of short tube six incher on an equatorial mount. The Orion AstroView 6 has recently been reinvented with a new optical tube and mount supplier. While it had previously been practically identical to the XLT150 as it would have had the same suppliers as Celestron, it now has a somewhat smaller mount and tripod. Overseas, the SkyWatcher Explorer 150P EQ3-2 is a nearly identical package, differing only in the included eyepiece and the color of the glossy paint on the OTA.

The real competition is with Dobsonians. Though a Dobsonian reflector can not track the rotation of the Earth using a single axis or a motor, making it incapable of all but the most basic lunar-planetary imaging, you’re not really going to be doing a whole lot of serious astrophotography on a manual equatorial mounted newtonian anyway. A Dobsonian telescope can fit the same or better optical tube onto a cheaper and easier to use mount. For a comparable 6” short-focus optical tube in a Dobsonian format, check out the Orion StarBlast 6 or the SkyWatcher Heritage 150P, which are tabletop Dobsonians. For larger ground-standing Dobs in a similar price range, look for 6” and 8” Dobsonians.

Our Verdict

Because this scope is technically capable of some astrophotography, while also being a very capable visual telescope, I would recommend this to someone interested in visual observing but who would like to be able to get started in astrophotography as well without buying a whole new telescope. As a dedicated visual setup, it’s too complex. As a dedicated astrophoto setup, it’s not complex enough. Jack of all trades, master of none kind of deal.

Due to being quite heavy, expensive, and requiring a complicated polar alignment setup, it is not a good option for a beginner. This is a good second or third telescope, after you’ve learned and intuited the motions of the sky and become familiar with what things look like in a telescope, and how to find objects.

If a manual equatorial-mounted 6” reflector is explicitly what you’re looking for, then this has it all, and it does that job very well and at a good price. But if you’re interested in just visual enjoyment, recording notes and sketches, and finding new objects using star hops, for the same price you can get a significantly larger Dobsonian, one which won’t be much heavier, but will be a lot easier and intuitive to use. In my case, that’s the decision I made. I sold my XLT 150 and bought a 10” Dobsonian instead.

Celestron Omni XLT 150 EQ Telescope

Celestron Omni XLT 150

Rating: 3.5/5