Jump to content


Photo

Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review

  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 Olivier Biot

Olivier Biot

    Amused

  • *****
  • Posts: 24946
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2005
  • Loc: 51°N (Belgium)

Posted 28 November 2010 - 09:25 AM

Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review

#2 mwedel

mwedel

    Works with Sauropods

  • *****
  • Posts: 849
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Claremont, CA

Posted 28 November 2010 - 04:58 PM

Excellent review, Ed. Very thorough and fair. It's nice to know that such a decent scope is so affordable.

#3 Starsareus

Starsareus

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 30
  • Joined: 27 Jul 2008

Posted 29 November 2010 - 08:49 AM

I just rec'd this scope off an Ebay seller (OTA Only) for $40.00. It had no surprises except the Objective spacers were Very Visable looking in tube from both ends (minus eyepiece). Is this common?

#4 mwedel

mwedel

    Works with Sauropods

  • *****
  • Posts: 849
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Claremont, CA

Posted 29 November 2010 - 04:28 PM

I just rec'd this scope off an Ebay seller (OTA Only) for $40.00. It had no surprises except the Objective spacers were Very Visable looking in tube from both ends (minus eyepiece). Is this common?


I think it's fairly common with inexpensive refractors and older models. Usually the spacers are not noticeable in the in-focus image. There are some very well-regarded classic scopes that have visible spacers, so it's not necessarily a bar to optical quality.

#5 Ed D

Ed D

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3024
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Sunny South Florida

Posted 30 November 2010 - 06:55 PM

Excellent review, Ed. Very thorough and fair. It's nice to know that such a decent scope is so affordable.


Thank you for the compliment. I'm glad you enjoyed reading the review.

Ed D

#6 Ed D

Ed D

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3024
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Sunny South Florida

Posted 30 November 2010 - 07:05 PM

I just rec'd this scope off an Ebay seller (OTA Only) for $40.00. It had no surprises except the Objective spacers were Very Visable looking in tube from both ends (minus eyepiece). Is this common?


This is actually quite common, more so in past years. The spacers do not appear in the in-focus image and do not detract in any way. They are no different than the mirror clips on Newtonian scopes, except that the clips are immensely larger by comparison.

I hope you enjoyed the review, and that you enjoy your new scope as well.

Ed D

#7 astroneil

astroneil

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1806
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2009
  • Loc: res publica caledoniae

Posted 30 November 2010 - 07:50 PM

Nice review ED,

Sounds like the 70mm Celestron is a versatile little scope and a good bargain, considering its modest cost.

With best wishes,

Neil.

;)

#8 thesubwaypusher

thesubwaypusher

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 942
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2004
  • Loc: New York City

Posted 02 December 2010 - 03:46 PM

Great review, Ed. There is nothing like a scope you can take with you anywhere and not have to worry about it very much, and at the same time, get good performance out of it.

Chris

#9 Digital Don

Digital Don

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2151
  • Joined: 20 Jan 2004
  • Loc: Manteno, IL

Posted 02 December 2010 - 08:40 PM

Nice review Ed!

Is the focuser metal or plastic? I'm looking for a small wide-field scope that could be used with my Mallincam. The Mallincam needs a metal focuser to help dissipate heat.

Thanks!

Don :usa:

#10 Ed D

Ed D

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3024
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Sunny South Florida

Posted 03 December 2010 - 06:07 PM

Nice review Ed!

Is the focuser metal or plastic? I'm looking for a small wide-field scope that could be used with my Mallincam. The Mallincam needs a metal focuser to help dissipate heat.

Thanks!

Don :usa:


Don, the focuser is plastic, and I would also be concerned about heat buildup. I'm glad you enjoyed the review.

Thanks,
Ed D

#11 Digital Don

Digital Don

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2151
  • Joined: 20 Jan 2004
  • Loc: Manteno, IL

Posted 03 December 2010 - 07:26 PM

Thanks Ed, that's what I figured. Still sounds like a bargain though!

Don:usa:

#12 CollinofAlabama

CollinofAlabama

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2171
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2003
  • Loc: Lubbock, Texas, USA

Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:23 AM

This scope, with a 90 degree diagonal, would have made me SOOO happy for so long, it's a darned shame they didn't exist in the 80's and 90's when I was a college kid, or just starting out professionally, and either completely cash strapped or unwilling to make a $100+ investment in astronomical gear. It's portability, quick setup, light weight, and easy storage make it a college student's best night time friend. Okay, second best night time friend. My AT80ED keeps me happy these days, but this sure would have been nice for Hale-Bopp.

Can you write about using it with better eyepieces or a 90 degree diagonal? It would be interesting to hear of your experiences with small upgrades.

Thanks for this insight on such a nice market value.

#13 Ed D

Ed D

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3024
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Sunny South Florida

Posted 07 December 2010 - 05:54 AM

Collin, I'm glad you enjoyed the article and that it got you thinking of your college days. I agree that there are a lot of young people out there with more interest in observing than cash, whose options are limited to something along the lines of the Travel Scope.

Last night I was outside playing with the Travel Scope looking at double stars in Cepheus, and a quick look at a few other targets, including the Orion nebula. I was amazed by the good views the little thing can give, especially when mounted on my construction tripod and mount. I was using my prism star diagonal, Plossl eyepiece and Meade 2x barlow, which are all inexpensive items.

I had been considering doing a follow up article on the Travel Scope and I guess last night was the start of the planning stage. Thanks for the positive feedback.

Ed D

#14 frugalfredy

frugalfredy

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Vienna VA

Posted 18 December 2010 - 10:40 PM

Hi Ed,
Enjoyed your review on this scope. I bought just the OTA for this scope for about $35 and outfitted it with a GSO star diagonal and a Stellarvue F1001 red dot finder. I have a Celestron AZ-3 mount that I use it with. For the price, I certainly cannot complain about the scope though I generally agree with your findings especially about the color fringing. I bought the Celestron finder which was a big mistake and I never used it. I like using my Meade 20mm QX70 eyepiece with this scope. After some persistence and a few dark skies in my light-polluted bark yard, I saw a few globular clusters including M3, M15, and M41. I just bought a pair of Celestron Skymaster 15X70 binos and I want to try them out for comparison. Unfortunately, since I bought the binos, the skies have been uncooperative. Best wishes, Vic S

#15 CollinofAlabama

CollinofAlabama

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2171
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2003
  • Loc: Lubbock, Texas, USA

Posted 20 December 2010 - 09:24 AM

Ed,

Yes, a follow up would be nice. The AT High Grade Plossls, currently on sale at Astronomics for a scandalously low price, would be nice, since I find the clones of these, the Sterling Plossls, a very good value, indeed. These are logical, inexpensive upgrades for someone on a budget. I wouldn't begrudge you, however, if you mentioned how a Nagler T6 performed in one, though I recognize the unlikelihood of the combo. Perhaps a Meade 5000 UWA/ES 82 degree model is more fiscally appropriate. Regardless, I think these type scopes are the best for beginners. Many people like me can't use binoculars (highly uneven vision in each eye), and besides, anything on a mount is better than hand held, in this price range (provided your mount is up to snuff). But a follow up would be nice. I am NOT in the low-budget reflector crowd, since collimation is not incidental to ownership. How many people change their own oil in their cars, for example? I agree they offer the most optical bang for the buck, but you've got to have the time and patience to deal with it. What percentage of car owners change their own oil in the USA? 3%? 2%? 1%? 0.5%? 0.25%? I would think 4% a bit too high, but I could be wrong. But I think this question is relevant for telescope owners, and many people just want something fast and fun to observe with. This Celestron 70mm is just the ticket and certainly won't break the bank.

Do you happen to know if this can be purchased as an OTA, without the cheapey mount? That would be an even better value for anyone who already owns a sturdy camera/camcorder tripod.

Thanks again, Ed, for enlightening the unwashed masses (and me)

CDS

#16 caheaton

caheaton

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1567
  • Joined: 26 May 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 20 December 2010 - 11:08 AM

I just purchased one of these scopes for my cousin, who has an interest in astronomy (along with his wife and children...it's a whole family affair). He's still shopping for a more "serious" scope (perhaps a dob or mak...he's still undecided), so I'm hoping this scope will nudge them along and help get them started observing. When they do upgrade, this will still be a fine scope for his children to use or for travel. (Children are around ages 5 and 8). I wish I had a spare mount to give them, as that seems to be this scopes weakest link. I have an inexpensive Meade mirror diagonal which should be an upgrade over the included one for astro use. Plus a 25mm Plossl, which should make a decent finder ep for them.

I'm actually eager to look throught he thing myself...another telescope is the last thing I need but this may be preferable to the ETX80 for when I'm traveling overseas as it's so light and easy to pack. (The ETX80's tripod is a tad bulky, though still light).

Also, what kind of ep are included? I've read conflicting reports as to whether they are Kellners or Huygens. If it's the former they aren't too bad, if it's the latter I may have to add another ep or two to that 25mm Plossl! (Maybe my Meade 9.7mm...)

#17 Ed D

Ed D

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3024
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Sunny South Florida

Posted 20 December 2010 - 02:16 PM

Hi, and thanks for all the positive feedback on the article. I'm almost finished gathering the info I want for a follow-up article on the Travel Scope for astronomy. I will be including my observation results on a variety of double stars, star fields and clusters, and other targets, as well as limited comparison of my diagonals and eyepieces. I'm mainly concentrating on what can be done with the least ammount of investment - 25mm Plossl, 2x barlow and star diagonal. The results surprised even me.

I don't know if the OTA can be purchased separately, but I did see some on eBay not too long ago. Also, I took apart the 10mm eyepiece and they are Kellners. In keeping with the spirit of frugality I used a photo tripod that can be bought new for under $40, although I got mine used for $5.

I will (hopefully) be staying up most of the night observing the lunar eclipse, and the Travel Scope will be set up alongside my Astro Tech. I want to take pictures through the eyepieces using both scopes. I'll post them if they turn out OK.

Ed D

#18 caheaton

caheaton

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1567
  • Joined: 26 May 2009
  • Loc: SW Ohio

Posted 20 December 2010 - 02:45 PM

Thank you for the confirmation on the ep design! Seems they aren't too bad then...in line with the cost of the scope and likely on par with the Meade MA's. I'll probably go ahead and give my cousin the Meade 9.7mm and Sky Watcher 25mm plossls however, just to be sure he has a couple of good planetary ep.
Craig

#19 Evaristvs

Evaristvs

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 03 May 2009
  • Loc: 9° 39' N, 68° 36' W

Posted 29 August 2011 - 01:08 PM

Anyone has attached a DSRL to this scope?

#20 Ed D

Ed D

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3024
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Sunny South Florida

Posted 02 September 2011 - 05:56 PM

Not a DSLR, but I use my pocket camera with an adapter made out of scrap aluminum tube. I would opt for a more substantial scope and mount for a DSLR.

Ed D

Attached Files



#21 Tim C

Tim C

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1085
  • Joined: 11 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Marietta, GA

Posted 04 September 2011 - 04:58 PM

Don't see much about this scope... I had just ordered one from Amazon a couple of days ago for use as a guide scope. I'm using a lightweight SSAG so hoping the focuser is stiff enough to prevent flex problems.

#22 Ed D

Ed D

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3024
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Sunny South Florida

Posted 05 September 2011 - 05:51 PM

The focuser has a couple of allen adjustment screws on the top, along with the chromed thumb screw. I looked up the weight of the SSAG (4oz), and it's the same as my 25mm Sirius Plossl EP. The EP works great, and I believe you won't be using the diagonal with the auto-guider, making it lighter yet.

Ed D

#23 Tim C

Tim C

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1085
  • Joined: 11 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Marietta, GA

Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:52 PM

Received it today. The focuser is plenty stiff enough for the ssag. This should make an excellent lightweight guidescope.

#24 shivaram

shivaram

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 183
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2008
  • Loc: Bangalore, India.

Posted 12 November 2011 - 12:20 PM

Nice review! Very good photos of the Moon through a Digicam!

BTW, I know that this scope is not big enough for faint objects but would it be possible to also list out what all DSO's you could use this scope for?

#25 spongebob@55

spongebob@55

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 881
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey

Posted 01 August 2013 - 10:51 AM

Hi ....interested in this as finder and mini RFT sitting on my 180mm Mak. What's the OD of the main tube and if anyone could wieght the OTA only, no EPs or diagonal, I'd be grateful!
And any follow up on what you've be doing with yours...
Thanks
Bob






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics