Celestron CGEM vs CGEM II 

Good optic is important but a good mounting will also make sure that our optical tube is working at its best. After the telescope, you may want to hunt for some good mount like Celestron CGEM Vs CGEM II as well, to improve the performance of your current device. These equatorial mountains are very similar and almost identical to each other but slightly different. Before deciding to go with either of them, see below about what you can get from the unit.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • What are Telescope Mount Types
  • What are Celestron CGEM and CGEM II
  • What Celestron CGEM and CGEM II Look Like
  • How are the Celestron CGEM and CGEM II Mount 
  • What Features Present in Celestron CGEM and CGEM II
  • How are the Performance of Celestron CGEM and CGEM II
  • Celestron CGEM Vs CGEM II

Telescope Mounts

Telescope is a must have for anyone who is interested in astronomy because this is the device that will let you take a peek of what’s out there outside of our atmosphere. Good telescopes are well-made and ideally what limits them is the aperture or size itself but, what we often forget when buying a telescope is that they will need a reliable mounting so the unit can go well and perform at its best. Most telescopes are packed with their own mounting in the box, but not all are great.

For typical and casual observation, they usually do decently depending on the model and the manufacturer as well but if you are planning to improve or upgrade the experience, choosing a dedicated mounting is much recommended. Here are main mounting types that you may want to consider buying:

  • Alt-Azimuth Mount

This is probably the most popular being used in entry-models as the concept is easier to understand and similar to your common camera mount. This type requires the telescope to be moved in two directions, left-right and up-down to keep the object centered in the eyepiece as it moves. This movement is different from how the object moved since it is keeping straight tracking while the movement of its object is in a curve. The best benefit however, the simplicity and affordability.

They are mostly durable as well so even if the telescope is meant for children, chances are they can last pretty well but the negative part is on the movement itself since with the system you have to adjust it on both sides. In low magnification it is not a problem but with higher eyepiece, the mounting can be quite difficult to use in tracking.

  • Equatorial Mount

This is the favorite of many and the opposite of alt-azimuth type. They are designed to compensate for the Earth’s rotation and are very easy to distinguish because it looks like a couple of pipes arranged together and with one of the pipes carrying a type of weight to counterweight the optical tube. This mount allows you to move the telescope by a simple touch as its mechanism moves the same way as the object which is in a gentle curve.

 Celestron CGEMCelestron CGEM II 
Product Dimensions36 x 19 x 37 inches
9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight86.2 pounds
76.8 pounds
Best offerCheck priceCheck price

While its advantage is the compatible movement following the object, the negative part is it requires a more complicated setup since we need to align it with the true north star or near Polaris or the North Star so if this means for children we may need to give assistance and even for beginner, we have to put more effort before being able to use the whole setup.

About Celestron CGEM and CGEM II

These two are the main type of telescope mounts that you will find abundantly out there and each mounting probably added with certain features or capabilities to increase their user experience, moreover when now technology is also reaching telescopes to offer convenience. This is true with computerized go to mounting which took the steps of finding objects that used to require quite the time now can be done almost in an instance. If you are here, then this technology looks attractive as well.

There are currently various good different brands out there that offer both reliable telescopes and mounting for those who want to upgrade their unit but Celestron is always among the top names. This popular company is one of the best when you are looking for a way to peek at the night sky since they carry lots of beginner friendly to enthusiast models to fit what you need. While they have favorite scopes like Celestron CPC 1100 Vs NexStar 8SE, they also offer the mounting as well.

If you are in for a go to computerized mount due to their convenience, Celestron CGEM and CGEM II will be two ideal options you may want to consider. Both of them are very popular because of the convenience and reliability but since they are close brothers, they do carry so much similarities and in general are the same to each other. These mounts are made ideally for astrophotography and is currently the competitor of Skywatcher yet, some people do prefer this model when it comes to visual observing.

Both of them are generically called as EQ6 or mid-size German Equatorial Mount and also the higher version of the Advanced VX by Celestron but still smaller and more travel friendly than the CGE Pro series. Celestron CGEM and CGEM II are almost like a pair of twins and while the latter is clearly an upgrade of the former, they may not be as much as you wished for yet, we do think some of them do increase the value of the mount.

Celestron CGEM and CGEM II Design

As you can see from the sample picture above, these equatorial mounts are pretty much the same to each other from the external design in a glance but when you check them out closely, there are some details that also caught our attention. First the most prominent is cosmetic changes which makes the CGEM II slightly more colorful in comparison with the addition of silver rings on some of its parts instead of full matte black of the original CGEM.

The built quality itself seems to be the same old robust which is great because you may mount something heavy with these mounts and identically, they are rated to be able to carry up to 40 lbs. weight or 11-inch size telescope. This is also in a set with the tripod and they seem to be the same tripod which is not very heavy but robust and already weighs at 17 lbs. alone. Outside of its cosmetic change, the physical of both siblings are the same including the controller and cable.

Celestron CGEM and CGEM II Mount

Moving further, let’s see what Celestron CGEM and CGEM II can offer and mainly on what’s been upgraded on the latter that makes it an overall better option if you are looking for a modern computerized mount. The important difference is on their dovetail saddle plate which formerly is secured with one pin now is added with another one. The benefit is that it covers from the wider CGE to CG5 or in short you can mount any size without the need to add an adapter.

The original CGEM however, is already a very powerful mount and you can reap the benefit of its convenient mounting but you may have to tweak it a little bit for example if you own the NexStar 8SE, we can improve its one fork arm using this equatorial mount but will require an adapter first to make them stick together as they have different dovetail type.

Celestron CGEM and CGEM II Features

On the additional feature side, Celestron CGEM and CGEM II are also slightly different. First let’s see the unit and here you will find a port which is not present on the original mount and it is a USB port. This port is very convenient when you want to directly connect a PC into the telescope for various purposes such as firmware update without having to look for an adapter. Second, while the tripod is still the same 2-inch thick, there is a new feature here.

In the original model you can adjust the height of the tripod using the small knob that can expose its additional layer of tube inside but this used to be plain steel without any mark which often makes users have to arrange their tripod legs several times to find the perfect balance. Now in CGEM II, the steel tube is marked, circling the leg so users can instantly know how to balance the tripod.

Celestron CGEM and CGEM II Performance

The last part we want to mention is their performance and here both Celestron CGEM and CGEM II are very reliable. There is no difference in performance in practice because they carry the same specs and can sustain the same weight as well as made with the same system but the addition of dual pins on the saddle plate makes it easier to match with your collection of telescopes. We like that these mounts are sturdy and very well made to sustain the movement without noticeable shake.

Celestron CGEM vs CGEM II 

These computerized equatorial mountings are amazing to upgrade your original telescope setup and very ideal for those who want to keep the budget low. They do carry some differences with CGEM II being an overall better version of the original mount with the addition of two pin saddle plate to increase its versatility, an addition of USB port to eliminate the need of adapter, and a marked extending tripod feet to ease the user when adjusting the height.

- Computerized Equatorial with Adjustable Stainless Steel Tripod with Accessory Tray
- Holds a maximum instrument capacity of 40 lbs
- 40,000 object database with over 100 user-definable objects and expanded information on over 200 objects
- Flash upgradeable hand control software and motor control units for downloading product updates over the Internet
- Mount Type: German Equatorial Mount
- Tripod: 2" Steel tripod with graduated markings on lower section
- Dovetail Mount: Directly connects to both CG-5 & CGE dovetail bars
- Payload Capacity: 40 lbs.


Considering the price, we personally don’t think the upgrade can cost quite much but we do recommend choosing which fits you better. If the cost of adapters are cheaper or if you can directly mount your telescope on the saddle, the original CGEM is a wiser option between the two.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *