Sunday, July 6, 2014

Review of Celestron Travel Scope 70 Portable Telescope

The Celestron Travel Scope 70 is a compact and cheap 70mm refractor telescope focused on portability. I ordered this telescope for two reasons: 1) i don't have telescope in my new home and i wanted something small and inexpensive. 2) All the reviews (look here and here) are commenting on good price/quality ration. After sometime i decided to order it from Amazon. The only bad thing when ordering from Amazon is the arbitrary time of package arriving. Unfortunately, this time Amazon used the iparcel company for the transfer that caused an extra delay of 10 days.

The package


What the telescope included.
The package of the Celestron travel scope.

Eyepieces and barlow lens of the travel scope.
Eyepieces and barlow lens of the travel scope.
The package includes a telescope tube with a focal length of 400mm and aperture of 70mm, providing a focal ratio of f/5.7. The telescope uses mostly plastic components to keep the cost and weight down, including a plastic focuser and plastic lens shade. The glass lenses seems good quality and provide beautiful views during daytime and nighttime. Rather than that, the package includes three eyepieces: 4mm, 10mm, and 20mm. From these eyepieces, i prefer only the 20mm for the night. The 10mm seems lower quality and the 4mm is used only for day time observation. Moreover, there is also a 3x Barlow Lens, but i will never use it in night, maybe only with the 20mm eyepiece. The package also included a aluminium Tripod, that is really shaky. I would suggest to buy a new one. You can find for less than 100 Euro tripods that you can also use them for your camera. The backpack is acceptable quality, but nothing important.

The worst part of the Celestron Travel Scope package: the prism. Replace it as soon as possible.
The worst part of the Celestron Travel Scope package: the prism. Replace it as soon as possible.

The worst piece of the package is the diagonal prism. It a simple 45* prism, but the quality is so bad, that i would suggest to replace it as soon as possible. Moreover, i would suggest a 90* for night observation because it will be hard to observe some stars.

How to improve the views


In general the glass of lenses is good, but you will have to blacken the edges as me and other bloggers  suggested. The process is easy, but you have to remember to put back all the pieces and, of course, the order of lenses. 

Blackening edges of lenses of Celestron Travel Scope.
Blackening edges of lenses of Celestron Travel Scope.

You can also blacken the 20mm eyepiece that comes with the Travel Scope.
You can also blacken the 20mm eyepiece that comes with the Travel Scope.
Another tip is is that you can use the barlow to extend the tube and then use the prism. It will be a bit strange, but after you get used it, the views with the 20mm are better. Finally, a blogger suggested removing the ludicrously short dovetail (LSD) from the tube. Unfortunately, i was not able to test it as i didn't have time to order rings and the rings i can buy from local store are expensive.

Overall


What i liked more:
  • Good cost/quality ration. A lot of stuff for a very low price.
  • Good lenses quality.
  • The tube cap has two parts, allowing easier daytime observation.
  • Best for wide star gazing.
What is average:
  • Eyepieces: i would suggest using something more advanced. The 20mm seems ok for stargazing, but you will have to replace others.
  • Zoom up to 60x practically. With better parts you can push it up to 90x, but you have to pay more. It is short tube anyway.
  • You can replace/remove the ludicrously short dovetail. It adds reflections inside the tube and decreases the contrast of objects.
What i should suggest replacing as soon as possible:
  • Tripod: very basic, reminds me the first tripod i got for my camera many years ago. It really cheap.
  • Diagonal prism: just replace it with a 90*.
It is a really beautiful and cheap short telescope for stargazing. With proper modifications this telescope can provide nice views.


You can also check how to mount the telescope with T2 Mount and a Nikon Camera, how to improve the image quality, and how to see the sun using your telescope.