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Powerseeker 70AZ vs Astromaster 70AZ

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#1 megacoupe

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:01 PM

I'm looking to dip my toes into some casual night sky viewing on a very limited budget. I've been keeping an eye out for a used Astromaster 70AZ on craigslist (in the $50-$60 range).

However, I can get a brand new Powerseeker 70AZ for $40 right now.

The biggest consideration for me is that I live in Forest Hills, NY, about 10 miles from light-polluted Manhattan. I've limited my search to refractors because I've read they will give me the best views considering my proximity to the city (maybe even better than a 6" reflector, which I can't afford anyways!).

The main differences I see between the Powerseeker and the Astromaster are:

1. Focal length: 700mm vs 900mm
2. Focal ratio: f/10 vs f/13
3. Mount/tripod: aluminum vs steel
4. Included lenses: (4mm vs 10mm, Barlow vs none)

Which of these scopes will give me the best view of the very limited planets and stars that are visible in my area?

If it's the Astromaster, is it really worth the extra $20 to get a used one?

#2 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:29 PM

Hi:

A few thoughts and comments:

I bought a Powerseeker 70 a few years ago for $40, mostly to get a idea of what was possible with it. If you are willing to do some handy work, you get a pretty decent scop for your $40...

This is the story of my Powerseeker 70..

A short summary:

- As is usual, the mount is a problem, shaky and prone to vibration. For a few dollars and a little handiwork, new tripod legs can be fabricated and this makes for a much more solid mount.

- The eyepieces are Huygenians, the work but they the field of view is narrow. They are 1.25 inch which is good.

- The diagonal has an undersized prism, it will affect the field of view as well as the image sharpness at higher magnifications. I suspect that both the Powerseeker and Astromaster use the same diagonal and eyepieces.

- The finder is actually quite good.

- The telescope itself is quite reasonable, it probably shows more chromatic aberration than it might..

Since you are willing to purchase used, I suggest expanding your horizons, with a careful eye and enough time, something better than either the Astromast or the Powerseeker is likely to show up in your price range...

Jon

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#3 Louietheflyisme

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:30 PM

If $60 is your limit, then you could almost certainly find a better refractor or even reflector here on the Classifieds. I don't own either of those telescopes, but I have the Astromaster 130 (Reflector) and have been happy with it, though I don't know how similar it is to the 70.

#4 esd726

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:40 PM

I'd go with the Astromaster. I don't like the mounts on the Powerseeker very much.






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