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Olivier Biot
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Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review
      #4214634 - 11/28/10 09:25 AM

Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review

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mwedel
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Reged: 12/16/07

Loc: Claremont, CA
Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Olivier Biot]
      #4215388 - 11/28/10 04:58 PM

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

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Starsareus
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Reged: 07/27/08

Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: mwedel]
      #4216454 - 11/29/10 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?

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mwedel
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Starsareus]
      #4217330 - 11/29/10 04:28 PM

Quote:

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.


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Ed D
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: mwedel]
      #4219678 - 11/30/10 06:55 PM

Quote:

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


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Ed D
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Starsareus]
      #4219693 - 11/30/10 07:05 PM

Quote:

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


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astroneil
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Ed D]
      #4219775 - 11/30/10 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.



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thesubwaypusher
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Reged: 07/08/04

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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Olivier Biot]
      #4223726 - 12/02/10 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


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Digital Don
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Olivier Biot]
      #4224377 - 12/02/10 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


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Ed D
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Digital Don]
      #4226298 - 12/03/10 06:07 PM

Quote:

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




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

Thanks,
Ed D


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Digital Don
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Ed D]
      #4226481 - 12/03/10 07:26 PM

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

Don


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CollinofAlabama
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Loc: Lubbock, Texas, USA
Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Olivier Biot]
      #4231262 - 12/06/10 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.


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Ed D
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #4233582 - 12/07/10 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


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frugalfredy
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Reged: 10/06/09

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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Ed D]
      #4257429 - 12/18/10 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


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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Ed D]
      #4260045 - 12/20/10 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


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caheaton
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #4260226 - 12/20/10 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...)

Edited by caheaton (12/20/10 12:01 PM)


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Ed D
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: caheaton]
      #4260511 - 12/20/10 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


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caheaton
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Ed D]
      #4260557 - 12/20/10 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


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Evaristvs
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: 9° 39' N, 68° 36' W
Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: caheaton]
      #4775928 - 08/29/11 02:08 PM

Anyone has attached a DSRL to this scope?

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Ed D
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Evaristvs]
      #4785101 - 09/02/11 06:56 PM Attachment (356 downloads)

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


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Tim C
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Ed D]
      #4788961 - 09/04/11 05:58 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.

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Ed D
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Tim C]
      #4791048 - 09/05/11 06:51 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


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Tim C
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Ed D]
      #4795117 - 09/07/11 06:52 PM

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

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shivaram
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Ed D]
      #4911901 - 11/12/11 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?


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spongebob@55
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Reged: 12/26/11

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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: shivaram]
      #6001355 - 08/01/13 11:51 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


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johnthomas
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Reged: 10/18/11

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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6001470 - 08/01/13 02:51 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

I use one of these for a finder on my Newt. I love it.

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spongebob@55
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: johnthomas]
      #6001484 - 08/01/13 02:58 PM

Thanks johnthomas,
could you give me the OD of the main OTA is? I want to know if I have any rings I could use.


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johnthomas
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6001570 - 08/01/13 03:56 PM

76mm is what a quick check with some calipers show. I could be off a mm or so since my calipers were a little small to reach all the way down... I had some rings I had bought for this scope (105mm, $20 on amazon), but when figuring in a quick release bracket/shoe, I ended up buying the one shown from Astronomics. It cost way more than the scope. I paid about $45 for the whole travel scope "kit" on amazon about 1.5 years ago... (higher now) & the bracket/shoe/rings cost about $100.

There's a guy on ebay who's buying these kits & parting them out... I think he's asking about $45 for the scope by itself. I bought a 50mm version for my 114mm newt. ($25). The difference between the 50 & 70's light gathering ability is amazing. I use a 40mm eyepiece for a nice wide fov.

Edited by johnthomas (08/01/13 04:11 PM)


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spongebob@55
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: johnthomas]
      #6002192 - 08/01/13 09:51 PM

Quote:

76mm is what a quick check with some calipers show. I could be off a mm or so since my calipers were a little small to reach all the way down... I had some rings I had bought for this scope (105mm, $20 on amazon), but when figuring in a quick release bracket/shoe, I ended up buying the one shown from Astronomics. It cost way more than the scope. I paid about $45 for the whole travel scope "kit" on amazon about 1.5 years ago... (higher now) & the bracket/shoe/rings cost about $100.

There's a guy on ebay who's buying these kits & parting them out... I think he's asking about $45 for the scope by itself. I bought a 50mm version for my 114mm newt. ($25). The difference between the 50 & 70's light gathering ability is amazing. I use a 40mm eyepiece for a nice wide fov.




JonThomas- Thanks so much for the picture! It really shows the reality of the situation. I have a set of 96mm ID rings, but will need the right shoe.
That guy selling the OTA only is just what I'm looking for. I have diagonal and a 40mm to use too.
Do you ever look at brighter objects with it? The CA got to be pretty bad, huh?
Is the tube metal? The focuser is plastic, right? And the lens is what?
Thanks again.
Bob


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johnthomas
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6002782 - 08/02/13 08:45 AM

Quote:



JonThomas- Thanks so much for the picture! It really shows the reality of the situation. I have a set of 96mm ID rings, but will need the right shoe.
That guy selling the OTA only is just what I'm looking for. I have diagonal and a 40mm to use too.
Do you ever look at brighter objects with it? The CA got to be pretty bad, huh?
Is the tube metal? The focuser is plastic, right? And the lens is what?
Thanks again.
Bob




I'm really happy with quick release bracket I got from astronomics. Even though it was pretty pricey in comparison to the scope... it's super nice to be able to release it & put it back on & KNOW that it's going to be very, very close to it's adjusted alignment (objects centered on finder still centered vis-a-vis the "main" scope). Check with Astronomics on current pricing if your interested... might show them that photo.. I'm sure you know they own/sponsor cloudy nights.

The OTA's tube is metal, the focuser is plastic.. but it's solid enough, really. Re: CA. I notice it if looking at a full moon, but then again, I rarely look at a full moon since its soooo bright.. also, since I'm only using it as a finder I'm looking thru it for 10sec-45seconds at a time mostly. The lens is an air-spaced duplet. I had to take mine out one time for cleaning after leaving it out after observing & getting caught by surprise rain shower. (ouch!)

If you've ever used a 50mm finder, you will really be happy with this one in comparison. I look thru the 50mm finder one my little newt & feel like someone turned the lights off on the stars.

Here's the whole setup with tripod & bag for $60

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Celestron-Travel-Scope-70-Portable-Refractor-Telescop...

Here's the guy I was talking about who part's 'em out. OTA only for $45:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Celestron-70mm-Rich-Field-Refractor-OTA-Short-Compact...


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spongebob@55
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: johnthomas]
      #6019653 - 08/11/13 08:20 PM

I purchased and received the scope. But the objective cell retaining ring had vibrated loose in shipment, and the glass fell out,bounced around and in the process, was chipped and scratched. I'm now awaiting a replacement. I noted that the glass edges were not blackened, so I'll be doing that once the replacement arrives. Plus, I have some leftover focuser strip teflon and tube flocking, so I'll do this too. (I love messin' with scopes). Ordered a mounting foot from Stellarvue so that should enable me to mount on my 180mm Mak and use as a super finder/RFT.
Thanks for all the input.
Bob


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spongebob@55
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6046637 - 08/26/13 09:48 AM

Has anyone been able to star test your 70mm to see how the collimation is? I tried last night under very bad conditions, and wasn't able to see more than the outside 2 concentric rings.... There was a small bit of flaring on brighter stars, but the dimmer stars were fine. Saturn was not visible from my back yard b/c of trees. All in all, keeping it in perspective, its a $44 shipped mostly plastic beginners scope.....

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Mister T.
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Reged: 09/15/09

Loc: Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Ed D]
      #6047421 - 08/26/13 05:48 PM

One more version of the Travel Scope 70 finder...



PICT0028 by Gavno The Ugly, on Flickr


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Sarkikos
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Mister T.]
      #6047548 - 08/26/13 07:15 PM

I have a National Geographic branded version of the Celestron 70mm Travel Scope. I bought it about five years ago from Ollie's for about $25 with a cheapie mount. Unfortunately, the focuser was for 0.965" eyepieces. I found an inexpensive 1.25" focuser to swap into it. I also bought rings to mount it, and an Orion Illuminated eyepiece. I already had a true RACI prism diagonal. I prefer a completely natural orientation for finders. I can't stand a reversed image when I'm star hopping.

I've been using this little scope as a great optical finder on my 10" Dob. It also serves as a very nice rich field telescope in tandem with the 10".

Mike


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Sarkikos
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: shivaram]
      #6047558 - 08/26/13 07:22 PM

Quote:

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?




That would be a very long list...

Mike


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charonpr
newbie


Reged: 11/09/08

Loc: Plymouth, UK
Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6058597 - 09/02/13 01:42 AM

Ive recently bought this and I'm really keen for optimising it as much as possible, but as cheaply as possible Im a mature student on a very restrictive budget. Is it worth purchasing barrow and diagonal lenses for this scope? Or are the improvements so marginal as to make them fairly worthless.
Also, I have a pain condition with my neck/back, and find looking through this scope when its at vertical a nightmare! Is there an attachment to enable a more side on viewing (if that makes sense?)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks

Paul


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charonpr
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Reged: 11/09/08

Loc: Plymouth, UK
Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: charonpr]
      #6058605 - 09/02/13 01:56 AM

Nevermind the second question - just read up on the 90 degree diagonal, and this looks like it will really help with my neck issues.

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Sarkikos
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Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: charonpr]
      #6058724 - 09/02/13 05:56 AM

If you want to star hop in order to find star clusters and other objects with this refractor, it would be easier for you if you get an Amici prism diagonal. That will save your neck, and also give the image a natural orientation, not upside down or reversed. A natural view makes it much easier - for ME at least - to star hop using a star atlas or chart. A regular diagonal will make the image rightside up, but will reverse right to left.

On the other hand, an Amici prism diagonal is not so good if you want to try to push the magnification on the 70mm scope. It will not give as sharp an image at higher power as a good standard diagonal. But this isn't the type of scope that is best for high power viewing. It is best for lower power, wide field views.

Mike


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charonpr
newbie


Reged: 11/09/08

Loc: Plymouth, UK
Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #6061012 - 09/03/13 12:58 PM

Thanks for the advice Mike. I'll look into Amici prism diagonal.

Cheers :-)


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*skyguy*
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: charonpr]
      #6061052 - 09/03/13 01:31 PM

I also own this scope ... great value for the money! If you're looking to save money ... buy the Meade Deluxe Economy Mirror Diagonal from Telescope Warehouse on eBay for $7.95 + $3.50 shipping ... he does ship to the UK:

Meade deluxe economy 90 1.25" telescope star diagonal

For a very inexpensive diagonal the overall quality is surprisingly very good ... I bought one for my 70mm Travel Scope. I tested it and found the collimation was near perfect. I also tried it at over 200X on another refractor and the image in this scope was virtually identical when compared to the one when used with a much more expensive diagonal!


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charonpr
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Reged: 11/09/08

Loc: Plymouth, UK
Re: Celestron 70mm Travel Scope Review new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #6062058 - 09/04/13 02:11 AM

That's a great heads-up Skyguy! Thank you!

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