Celestron NexStar 5SE

  (3 Reviews)
✓ 2 year warranty


1x in stock shipped 1-2 working days

About this product

Model:  C5se
Part Number:  11036-CGL

Featuring high-quality Schmidt-Cassegrain optics, the NexStar 5SE is an ideal telescope for observing and photographing the wonders of space. With a total weight of 28 lbs including the tripod, the ultra portable 5SE features a precision optical system with 1,250 mm focal length (f/10) standard with our premium StarBright XLT coatings and offers 56% more light gathering power than a 4" model.

Includes a camera control feature that allows you to remotely take a series of timed exposures using your digital SLR camera. Plus the tripod featuring a built-in wedge helps make short-exposure astrophotography a heavenly experience.

Has all the same features as Celestron’s most advanced computerized GoTo telescopes, including our revolutionary SkyAlign™ alignment technology, a sky tour feature, a database of nearly 40,000 celestial objects and easy to use hand control.

Plug the optional CN-16 GPS Accessory into NexStar’s auxiliary port and download data from orbiting GPS satellites for truly quick and easy alignments. The universe may be full of mysteries, but using the NexStar 5SE isn’t one of them.

In the tradition of Celestron's famous orange optical tubes, the new NexStar SE Family combines the classic heritage of the original orange tube telescopes with state-of-the-art features including a fully computerized operating system, flash upgradeable hand control, our superior StarBright XLT coatings, our revolutionary SkyAlign™ telescope alignment software and much more.

Whether you are a seasoned astronomer looking for a portable scope with advanced features, or just starting your astronomy adventure and looking for an easy way to enjoy the night sky, a NexStar SE will help you take a closer look.


  • 5" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope
  • SE combines the classic heritage of the original orange tube telescopes with the latest state-of-the-art features
  • StarBright XLT high transmission coatings come standard
  • StarPointer finderscope to help with alignment and accurately locating objects
  • Quick release fork arm mount, optical tube and accessory tray for no-tool setup
  • Sturdy computerized Altazimuth mount
  • Internal battery compartment to prevent cord wrap during use
  • Ultra sturdy steel tripod features built-in wedge which allows 5 SE to be used for astrophotography


  • Proven NexStar computer control technology
  • Nearly 40,000 object database with 200 user-definable objects and expanded information on over 200 objects
  • SkyAlign allows you to align on any three bright celestial objects, making for a fast and easy alignment process
  • Flash upgradeable hand control software and motor control units for downloading product updates over the Internet
  • Includes a camera control feature and shutter release cable that allows you to remotely take a series of exposures using your digital SLR camera
  • Custom database lists of all the most famous deep-sky objects by name and catalog number; the most beautiful double, triple and quadruple stars; variable stars; solar system objects and asterisms
  • DC Servo motors with encoders on both axes
  • Double line, 16-character Liquid Crystal Display Hand Control with backlit LED buttons for easy operation of goto features
  • RS-232 cable included for advanced control of your telescope via computer
  • GPS-compatible with optional SkySync GPS Accessory (93969)

Product Videos

What's in the box

  • Telescope OTA
  • SE Mount, Tripod & Handset
  • StarPointer Finderscope
  • 25mm E-Lux Eyepiece


OPTICAL DESIGN:Schmidt-Cassegrain
APERTURE:125 mm (4.92 in)
FOCAL LENGTH:1250 mm (49.21 in)
MOUNT:Single Fork Arm Altazimuth
EYEPIECE 1:25 mm (0.98 in)
OTHER EQUIPMENT:Camera Shutter Cable
CD ROM:NexRemote V1.6.14 & The Sky L1
TRIPOD:Steel w/ built-in wedge
POWER SUPPLY:8-AA batteries (not included)
RESOLUTION:1.1 arc seconds
RESOLVING POWER:0.91 arc seconds
LINEAR FIELD OF VIEW (@1000 YDS):52.5 ft (16 m)
OPTICAL TUBE LENGTH:13 in (330.2 mm)
TELESCOPE WEIGHT:17.6 lb (7.98 kg)
MOTOR DRIVE:Integrated D.C. Electronics
COMPUTER HAND CONTROL:Double line, 16 character Liquid Crystal Display w/ 19 fiber optic backlit LED buttons
SLEW SPEEDS:Nine slew speeds

Downloads / Manuals

The following manuals and downloads are available for this product:


Celestron NexStar 5 SE Manual (PDF)


Motor Control Firmware Updates v.2.2.5 (ZIP)

NexRemote v. 1.7.22 (ZIP)

Hand Control Firmware Updates v.1.1.14 (ZIP)

Celestron Firmware Manager (CFM) (ZIP)

Customer reviews

Average Rating (3 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Rating (max 5):  
Highly recommended!
22 December 2012  | 

I purchased my 5SE from First Light Optics and, after a month of use, feel that I’m able to give a fair assessment of it. Firstly, I’d like to mention how impressed I was with their service and I can’t recommend them highly enough; they’re friendly, helpful and genuine enthusiasts.

My thoughts: This is my first telescope, so I can’t compare it to anything else, but I’m very impressed. I had debated several other models before finally settling on this one; it seemed a good compromise between price, build quality, performance & portability. On opening the box I was pleased to find that it was beautifully packaged and was supplied with everything you need to get up & running apart from 8 x AA batteries, or a powertank. The instructions are clear and well written, and I had no problems in setting everything up.

It’s well constructed; everything feels like it has been built to last (apart from the red-dot finder which, in fairness, works well but just doesn’t match the quality of everything else). The tripod and mount both feel solid and robust, without being too heavy or awkward to transport. The hand controller is easy to use and has a nice red-backlight, so it doesn’t wreck your night vision! I had been slightly concerned that the ‘GoTo’ would be complicated to use, but after a couple of sessions it’s become second-nature and is an excellent feature. Just remember to input the date in an American format (mm/dd/yy) and you can’t go wrong, especially if you use Google ‘Skymap’ to identify the alignment stars as well!

I found the following tips, which I found via a couple of forums, really helped with the accuracy of the ‘GoTo’: Firstly enter your precise lat & long co-ordinates, rather than using the nearest city (you can find this from Google Earth). Always position the telescope facing North before you start and carefully level the telescope using the supplied bubble-type level. Next, the ‘Auto Two Star’ alignment method is best; always select Polaris first & then another bright star within about 90° of it, and between 30-70° in altitude. When doing the final adjustments for each target, start from the bottom-left, so your final adjustments are vertical and right. It’s best to take each star completely out of focus, so it looks like a large ‘doughnut’, before you do the final tweaks to precisely centre it in the eye-piece, as this method makes it far easier to do accurately. It’s also important to balance the tube when you have a DSLR attached to it, to compensate for the additional weight, and to adjust the ‘anti-backlash’ settings which will help to improve tracking accuracy.

Optics: My main reason for purchasing a telescope was to dabble in astrophotography. Connection to my EOS 550d was straightforward; I removed the ‘star diagonal’ and attached the camera directly to the back of the telescope via a T-ring & a Celestron T-adapter. I’m no expert, and still have a lot to learn, but I’ve already achieved far better results than I had hoped for. I’ve taken some great photos of the moon, but my best image to date is a 15 second exposure of the Orion Nebula, which is beautiful. This had absolutely no hint of any star trails, which demonstrates the potential accuracy of the tracking. I’ve only done a limited amount of observing using the standard 25mm eyepiece, but the moon is very impressive, lots of detail and a very sharp image. Jupiter is small at this magnification so don’t expect too much, but it’s possible to see the two main bands & four moons. Using 8 x 2450mAh rechargeable batteries it will happily track for a couple of hours, although if you want to view a lot of different objects I can see that a powertank would be a good investment.

Minor issues: Apart from the red-dot mentioned previously, my only other significant criticism is that the design of the holder for the hand controller is less than ideal. The bracket & two little ‘pins’ that it slots into are too small & difficult to locate in the dark, especially as you need to thread the cable behind the controller as well! I appreciate that it’s a very minor niggle, but when the rest of the product is so well designed it’s a bit of a let-down. Also, as mentioned in another review, the lens cover seems a bit of an after-thought and would benefit from having a screw-thread.

Conclusion: I have absolutely no regrets about buying my 5SE, and am confident that with reasonably careful handling it will last for years. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants a compact, computerised, quality product at a very reasonable cost.

Rating (max 5):  
First Light with a Nexstar 5SE
13 May 2012  | 

Wanted something with similar magnification to the Dob, but more portable, am not (yet) proficient at star hopping, so GoTo was a must. I also assist on Public Open evenings with my local Astro Society, so the tracking facility is highly useful as you can talk to the visitors without constantly having to nudge the scope back into position.

It’s very easy to assemble the tripod and mount, attaching the mount to the top of the tripod takes a little practice to find the “sweet spot” in the dusk, but easily done.
Attaching the eyepiece tray which also braces the tripod legs is a bit of a faff; some Celestron images show the spring above the tray, but the instructions suggest fitting the spring (with steel washer) underneath the tray – which is how I assembled it.

Once set up, Venus was very bright in the sky and the only object visible, so powered up the scope and used solar align to put Venus in the centre of the supplied 25mm Plossi. Have never really seen Venus at a decent magnification, but was able to clearly view the crescent phase – unlike my refractor, there was no false colour.

Swapped eyepieces with the 8mm Celestron so at 156 times magnification, the image was perhaps a little “mushy” but great to view.
Once it had darkened enough to see Mars, I used the GoTo function, selected Mars and found the scope out by quite a bit once it had slewed. Think here that the Solar Align will be great for tracking one object on those evening when we start earlier and have just the one object visible until skies darken, but would not use it for anything else.

Once the skies had darkened sufficiently I used the Sky Align and chose Regulus, Procyon and Capella – this time the GoTo worked perfectly and I spent a few minutes going to various objects and getting acquainted with the handset menu options.
Once I could see Saturn above the roofline, I spent most of the rest of the evening with the 8mm eyepiece admiring the view, even at 156 x magnification, the system kept Saturn centred even whilst I went indoors to make a cup of tea and feed the cat!

Ease of set up, accuracy of GoTo and the magnification provided, portability.

Like less
The lens cap – it falls off too easily and leaves the front glass exposed – should bayonet or screw on perhaps.
The brace bolt / spring / washer - I can just see at the end of a long cold evening me undoing the bolt and hearing the spring ping off never to be seen again – tempted to paint it a bright yellow – what have other Nexstar users done?

Very pleased, great views, no colour fringing, decent sized objects in the eyepiece, am going to enjoy looking at the Globular Clusters with this from a darker site. This though I think is an ideal "garden scope" in that is easy to set up and use with great views.
Ordered from FLO on a Friday before a bank holiday and was delivered on the following Tuesday - thanks guys!

Rating (max 5):  
Very good in parts
08 April 2012  | 

I bought this as a second hand model and it's the first scope I have ever owned. My reasons for getting this one were portability, goto and optics.
portability- I can carry the whole package in a large backpack it's not easy but it's possible.
Goto- It works, once aligned it will put my target inside a 25mm eyepiece.
optics- this is where the 5 really sings. The moon and planets are lovely even from very light polluted areas brighter m numbers and double stars are great so there is plenty to see from an urban landscape, however take it to a dark site to really get the best out of this scope this would make an excellent scope for caravanners.
I would like to mention photography as celestron make such a big deal of it. It can be used successfully with a dslr on the moon and on planets with a webcam but dso's are not it's forte, The mount even with the wedge is not up to tracking accurately enough for long exposure and the f10 focal ratio means it needs very long exposure subs. On a good day You might be able to get 10-20sec subs on most days however I would guess 5-10secs would be the norm.
I will try and pull this thing together.
This in my opinion is the second best 5" ota around a 5"apo will beat it visually but it's as good visually as a mak or a newtonian. It's more portable than the newt and better on planets. It cools quicker than the mak and gives slightly wider/ nicer views of dso's than the mak it is however a more expensive ota than either which is why I have marked it down a star. it gives better views than a nexstar 4 and the 127mak by skywatcher and celestron but it isn't that much better it's nearly twice the price of the nexstar 4 and the 5" maks I don't think it's twice as good. it is however a good scope on a good mount. I like my nexstar 5 it has good optics is fairly portable a good and reliable goto. I read somewhere that the ota was rated as the best spotting scope under a grand flo sell it for £365 and the mount separately for £478 the whole nexstar 5se package is £100 less if it was a £100 less than that. I would say buy this little gem however at the price it is offered everywhere all I can say is you will not be disappointed if you do. I forgot to add you will need a dew shield, a power tank a power lead and bob's knobs are a useful extra.


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