on 18 April 2010
"The best telescope is the one you use the most" so they say. I have searched the internet, read hundreds of articles, read magazines, toyed with the idea of getting a 'proper' telescope (such as the Celestron Astromaster 114 reflector or the refractor 70AZ) but had a moment of clarity: apart from the first few weeks, when am I REALLY likely to go to the effort of setting up a big scope? I mean they're really big and unless you keep it by the back door it means lugging it down stairs, plonking it in the yard and wrestling with the various knobs and bits to, finally, get a view of the moon or a nebula. Sure, they'll look good but to be honest, like my rice-cooker or the sandwich toaster it'll sit there gathering dust and eventually end up broken or in the loft...
Now, I thought of binoculars but, I have some of those and they're 10x mag. They're fine if you like to see streaks of light as the stars zip about your vision like fireworks. Get a tripod? Well, for the money, big (I say big when actually the biggest are only 15x) binos are not all that great and like someone on already said Amazon saide you'll need to be Data from Star Trek if you plan on holding them - forget it. No really, forget it - bins are a big disappointment for the stars. Only German soldiers in my WW2 picture books and bird watchers have them.
The Celestron travel scope is like one half of a MASSIVE pair of binos. From 20 to 40x mag they walk all over binos in terms of brightness and magnification.
I have packed it in its little bag (very useful believe me) and carry it up the Malvern Hills. Try doing that with a reflector.. In the perfect 360 view up their I've seen the heavens explode into life. I can get it outside, set up and marvelling at the moon or a nebula in 2 mins. Gaze and Go. Every night I have a quick scan at the heavens then get back to putting bath sealant around taps or whatever grown-ups do at night. Great.
Build quality is absolutely great. Sure, you have to be delicate with the controls and not heavy-handed but it's a telescope - what did you expect? If you're too rough to handle it then take up judo instead. I am careful with my lovely little scope and it opens up the skys for me and my little daughter every clear night. I can't believe how brilliant it is. My daughter saw a hot air balloon in the sky today - so small it was barely visible. In 45seconds we'd found it on the Travelscope and could count the occupants in the basket and watch the flames light up the red envelope - completely perfect.
Maybe you could get a better stargazer... maybe you could get a better bird watcher... but could you get a lovely little instrument that could do both for 70 quid? (2 million US dollars)if I drop it and smash it I'll be sad but get onto Amazon and get another. It should be 160 quid (85 million dollars).. but don't let Celestron know they've mis-priced it!
Want a cheap but perfectly useable scope for looking at the moon and birds and ships at sea? Want to use it every day? Are you not a Wall Street banker? Get this little beauty. If you really get hooked with astronomy then in a year get a reflector. You'll still only use the travel scope mind you!
Hope my review gets you looking up and going "Wow!" as our beautiful skys are wont to do...
on 21 August 2014
An excellent package for the price.This is not a plastic toy.Metal telescope body, quality eye pieces an acceptable stand and a very good storage bag for protection and transporting the telescope, it's nice and compact. I am very pleased with this scope and easy to set up.I noticed that a minority of customers are not to happy with the purchase. Well for starters the three eye pieces with the Barlow lens and travel pack would cost the best part of £50 and you have a decent quality scope plus the stand and disc soft ware. I'll tell you something this is a bargain, and an excellent starter package. Delivery was one day earlier than stated and well packaged.All contents were present as advertised and it's a lot better than expected for the price and a joy to use. So any beginners out there go for it, you will not find better value. By the way I am not related to this company in any way, it's just a very good piece of kit. Thankyou.
on 12 July 2013
Bought this to watch shipping so cant comment on celestial viewing. It does exactly what I was looking for and at a fair price. I have had no problems with the tripod and was nearly put off buying this because of adverse reviews regarding this being flimsy. I am glad I took a chance and purchased this item.
on 16 April 2010
Not for the serious stargazer, but a quality little scope nonetheless. It comes packaged in a rucksack, which makes it very portable and ideal for carrying on hikes or on camping trips. Its size and magnification also mean that it is useful for viewing wildlife ect. As a lightweight, portable and inexpensive product I cannot praise it enough. Would also make a good starter scope for a child.
on 26 January 2012
When reviewing this 'scope you have to bear in mind what you are paying for it. At £53 you aren't going to get a Meade but you do get a servciceable 70mm compact refractor, a tripod, eyepieces,barlow lens, software and a back pack to keep it all in. Back in my youth I had a "proper" 3" astronomical refractor and I think this scope is comparable to it in terms of magnification, focus, image sharpness etc. The main problem you'll have with this scope is that its on a camera tripod (a rather flimsy one at that but more on that later) and its a fairly jerky transport system if you're used to an equitorial mount or even an altazimuth. That said I managed to lock on to Jupiter (not seen its moons for 30 years till tonight), Betelgeuse and a binary star (no moon tonight).
The tripod supplied is a bit rickety and on full extension and the bottom legs extension are quite thin and bendy but you can't expect miracles - I'd rather have a reasonable scope and a rubbish tripod as that's easily remedied - you can get a sturdier tripod fairly cheaply (although it might not fit in the pack).
The kit had expanded from that described on Celestron's website to include a X3 Barlow Lens and a 4mm eyepiece (X100) in addition to the 20mm (X20) and 10mm (X40) giving you magnification options of between x20 and x300 (although I wouldn't push it that far - it would be impossible to hold the image).
You might move on to bigger and better things but that's the beauty of this scope - it will always have a use because it packs away so small - great to take camping, on walks, on holiday etc (you're not going to lug around an 8" reflector!).
For the money you get a decent scope and lots of extras. If you look for the "firstscope accessory kit" you can pick up a moon filter, 6 and 12mm eyepieces (for more magnification options) and a spare spotting scope for about a tenner (only a few quid more than getting a moon filter on its own).
on 27 November 2012
OK, let's get this straight; this is not an astronomical telescope per se, yet you can do some astronomical observations with it with care. But if you are after a purely astronomical telescope then you had better look at Celestron's other more dedicated astronomical telescopes rather than this one. This is a scope that is intended that you can sling over your back, use as a spotting scope for bird watching, terrestrial scenic views & some night time astronomical use. So if it is a multi-use scope that you require then this is more for you. And for the price you pay for this then even with the rather poor tripod that comes with it that makes night time astronomy a little tricky, you still get a great versatile scope that will cope with most daylight viewing well, and with some care also night time viewing too.
So, let's get down to brass tacks; the weakness of this scope lies in the tripod. As it has to be small & light to fit into the supplied backpack then I knew when I bought this scope that for my nocturnal astronomical forays that it wasn't going to cut the mustard much. Hence, when I use it for observing any of the planets or the moon I use a more robust camera tripod that I used to use for my old (now defunct) SLR camera. This makes moving the scope around a much smoother operation, and more sturdy too. The supplied tripod will work OK'ish, but you have to be a little more careful & precise when aligning it up to a planet, star or satellite. For day time viewing the supplied tripod would suffice for most occasions as you could keep the tripod as low as possible to the ground & sit on the ground or a small chair to use it. The fixing to use any other tripod with the scope is the standard camera fitting, so fitting the scope on any other tripod is simple. You could of course buy an equatorial mount to fix the scope too if you wanted the best mount for it for astronomical use, but this would set you back quite a bit & also makes the system less portable. Equatorial mounts take some setting up, and to be honest if you were going to pay the price for a mount like that you would most likely also go for a dedicated astronomical telescope too.
The lenses supplied with the scope (4mm,10mm & 20mm) give good magnification. As I mostly use this scope for astronomical purposes this gives me good views of the moon, most of the planets (the gas giants Uranus, Neptune & demoted ex-planet Pluto are out of range really with this small scope). Saturn looks great as ever through the scope, especially with the rings open wide; Jupiter & its Galilean moons are a jewel; Mars at closest approach to Earth is good; Venus really doesn't show too much except its phases & the same with Mercury too accept smaller & harder to spot closer in to the sun. The 45 degree viewing prism makes observation with the lenses easy, except when trying to view anything close to zenith. This is always a hard thing to do with the kind of tripod used, even with a sturdier camera tripod as well. The 3 x Barlow lens is a little too much for this scope; a 2 x Barlow lens I think would suit it better, especially for astronomy. For daylight viewing it is more suited, but remember the higher up the viewing magnification you go the less bright the view through the scope is going to be, so that is why unless you use it to view the moon then you are not going to see much with it at night time; coupled with the fact that the tripod (whether the supplied one or a camera one) will not give you the fine control that you need to zoom in on these high magnifications on any objects you are trying to view. The finder scope is a little tricky to set up, so if you intend to do any night time viewing then it is best (if possible) to set this up in the daytime on a stationary distant object, rather than trying to do it at night on a slow moving star or planet.
The quality of the scope itself is good, given the price range. I can view M31 quite easily through it on a clear night in the city, so if you have great dark skies where you live then it & a few other galaxies should be quite easy to spot too with this scope. I can pick out quite a few globular & open star clusters with the scope, & of course Orion's nebula is wonderful to view as well through the scope. The view through the scope is normal as we see it, so remember that that if you do decide to go for a dedicated astronomical telescope this may not always be so, hence making terrestrial use of any astronomical telescope annoying in the fact that the view may be inverted.
I have had this scope now for nearly six months. I have owned much more expensive & more technical telescopes than this, yet strangely I get more reward & fun out of using this scope for things rather than the more expensive ones. Unless you intend to spend some serious time on astronomy (when the weather permits in the UK at least) then like me you may find that this small scope is all you need. Even at the low price you pay for this scope you still get a large amount of satisfaction from any views from it. And if the worst should happen & you drop or damage it, then you haven't lost too much money on it. Now could you say the same for any serious astronomical telescope? Methinks not!
You wouldn't imagine a scope so cheap could be worth it, but this scope isn't only good, it's damned good, and seems very well built. Firstly, it is so light that fully packed in its strong rucksac I can hold up the whole caboodle with only my little finger. The supplied lenses are also excellent and give a nice sharp view of the Orion Nebula, I can also see some of Jupiter's moons. As for our moon I can zoom in to clearly view individual craters, though the supplied Barlow lens is dreadful, and so well worth buying a better one. I also take the scope out on my mobility scooter for very clear views of boats far out at sea, it's also great for bird watching as the field of view is wider than expected. Another great feature is the free astronomy software. I'm just an occasional amateur but the program is so easy to use and prints out a very nice, and yet fully customizable localized star map for any date of the year. I also highly recommend searching for the free download intro version of Stellarium. I knocked off one star because others are right, the supplied tripod is rather unsteady, I experience much better use of the scope with a proper camera tripod.
on 8 January 2011
I just bought this telescope a week ago, as a beginner in astronomy. I chose it after looking at very many different options, as it fitted my needs: A beginner's scope, easy to move with, and has adequate guides to help me navigate through the skies. So far, it has performed according to expectation.
As a beginner, who is not yet sure whether the fascination with the stars will grow, it is very well priced.
Delivery time was quite impressive, and the packaging and bag are really handy for the traveller. It is difficult to convince people you have a telescope in your little bag you carry around
The size of the telescope itself was amazing; much smaller than id even imagined. This was a strong plus for me
So far, the views of the skies it has been able to show me have really strengthened my fascination with astronomy. The moon looks quite amazing, and the planets seen so far are breathtaking.
I am sure i will be back in the market scouting for a stronger scope soon, to seek out the deeper heavens. But, this little bundle of joy has been a worthwhile investment for me, as im sure my fascination of the skies is here to stay. I would recommend it to the beginner, who would like to move abit with their telescope.
on 17 June 2012
I can not recommend this telescope enough. It is my favorite scope. I have one other astronomical telescope, a 6" reflector which is good and gives me some wonderful views of the planets but it is very heavy and hard to transport with out a car. The Celestron travel scope 70 is designed with traveling in mind while offering exceptional value and performance. The Travel Scope is made of the highest quality materials to ensure durability. All this adds up to a telescope that gives you a lifetime of pleasure with a minimal amount of maintenance. Featuring a compact and portable design with ample optical performance, the Travel Scope is ideal for terrestrial as well as astronomical observation.The eyepieces that come with this scope are very good to. I have had some stunning views of the moon, Jupiter and its moons, two at least, and Saturn and in the day some great views of wildlife. I can not rate this telescope enough, it is Brill! A good telescope is one that you use the most and I use this scope almost everyday. I rate it for value and performance and give this scope 100%
Another thing that I would recommend is a moon filter, these are small filters that screw onto the standard eyepiece to reduce the brightness of the moon.
on 2 February 2015
For the money this is an excellent little telescope. As someone new to astronomy I wanted a low cost, value for money telescope so I can see if this is a hobby I want to pursue or whether it will end up packed away in the cupboard collecting dust before I spend the hundreds or even thousands you easily can on more dedicated astronomy telescopes.
With this scope you can get good visible detail on the moon, and we even could make out some of the moons around Jupiter. However, other than the moon, we haven't been able to get any detail on any of the other space objects so far. That said, we haven't tried it outside of the city yet and so this may be effected by the light pollution but ultimately, this is never intended as a telescope to give you amazing views of far away planets.
If you want to use it for moon gazing or test the waters in astronomy then for the money, I don't think you'll find a better option anywhere else.
For negatives there is the flimsy tripod as others have mentioned. I'm using my DSLR tripod instead which works much better.
Another negative is that the erect image diagonal (the bit on the telescope you connect the lenses to) has a plastic casing. This means that when I over-tightened the screw to grip the eyepiece it has destroyed the thread a little which means my eyepieces are no longer well secured. So, be very careful not to over-tighten the screws! Incidentally a replacement part for this in metal instead would be the same cost as the entire telescope and so for now I'm taking my chances with eyepieces falling out!
I've attached a photo of the moon I was able to get with this telescope and the relevant adaptor (you'll need a t-ring for your brand of camera). It's my first ever attempt so it's not perfect but gives you an idea the kind of image you can get with this telescope.