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Celestron Drops Original "FASTAR 8" Telescope, but not the concept announcing the 8" f1.95 and new 14" f2.1 Optics Sets!

In January 1998 Celestron announced the discontinuation of the "FASTAR 8" Telescope. Introduced in March of 1997 this was the first multiple focal length telescope design, and the first focal ratio change offered by Celestron since the original C-8 (f10) telescope was introduced in 1970. The Fastar concept evolved to meet the needs of those interested in performing CCD imaging while also retaining very good observing and film astrophotography characteristics.

This telescope incorporated an 8" (203mm) aperture Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope (SCT) optical system with a nominal focal length of 2032mm resulting in an f10 system. Externally the telescope appeared similar to the conventional f10 Celestron C-8. The Fastar 8 telescope could be employed for visual or photographic applications with an optional f6.3 focal reducer/corrector lens at 1290mm. However, when an auxiliary lens set (included) was used in place of the standard secondary mirror and housing, the system is changed and corrected to result in an ultra-fast f1.95 focal ratio! This means the telescope operates as about a 396mm focal length lens at f1.95 for CCD imaging; this is incredibly fast, resulting in breath taking wide sky performance when mated to the proven CCD imaging cameras such as our Celestron Pixcel 237, or our some of our Santa Barbara Instruments Group (SBIG) CCD cameras.

Company Seven began to notice that the worm gear driven Celestron 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes which we received recently began to incorporate the same, removable secondary mirror and housing as was furnished with the "Fastar 8" telescopes. And now it has been confirmed by Celestron that this will continue for the time being, and it is planned to offer the "Fastar 8" f1.95 optics set (our Part No. 94180) as an optional upgrade to existing C-8 telescopes.

Additionally the recent and future production Celestron C-14 will now incorporated a similar removable secondary mirror and housing as was furnished with the "Fastar 8" telescopes. It has been confirmed by Celestron that it is planned to offer the "Fastar 14" f2.1 optics set (our Part No. 94181) as an optional upgrade to recent production Celestron C-14 telescopes.

Those who are interested in either of these retrofit optical upgrade kits should contact Company Seven.

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