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Review: Celestron Travelscope 70 Telescope Kit

Fig 1: Celestron Travelscope 70 (Ref: Amazon)

Celestron Travelscope 70 is another cheaper scope from Celestron brand though most of the users do not want to name this nothing more than a toy. Though it is sold as a terrestrial scope and for astronomical observation also, it does not do well in any of the cases.  According to the specification, this is a refractor on a quality mount and can fit in a backpack and you just have to pay less than 100$ for this. But you will not find anyone who will recommend this even to a beginner astronomer.

Some users find that this scope has similar features to Barska Starwatcher 400×70 though with a tripod and better eyepiece, none of the scope is up to the mark.

What does the name mean?

The Celestron Travelscope 70 is an achromatic refractor and has an aperture of 70 mm with f/5.7 focal ratio. Theoretically, it should have more magnification power, but in practical it struggles to deliver a clear image at only 40x magnification.

Our expectation from this type of telescope

  • We want quality eyepieces as this is crucial for sky observation.
  • It should fit in our backpack so that travelling becomes easy with this.
  • It should work well so that we get satisfied with the views.
  • We do not like plastic things as they are breakable and not good looking either.
  • The mount should be sturdy and strong so that it does not shake while observing.
  • The finderscope should work properly so that tracking is easy.

What the item offers

  • Optics: The Celestron Travelscope 70 has fully coated optics made of glass. It includes an objective lens with 70 mm aperture on a light frame. Large objective lens tries to provide better views than a 50 mm model. Two included eyepieces are of 20 mm and 10 mm aperture. The setup is very easy.
  • Focus: It allows manual focus.
  • Finderscope: Finderscope is of reflex type like the other telescopes in this price range.
  • Weight: The total weight is 3.3 pounds.
  • Dimension: The item is not large and fit in the bag pack as it is only 18 X 7 X 14 inches (LXWXH)
  • Portability: For its incredibly lightweight, it is highly portable.

Optical system

This scope is okay for using terrestrial viewing, but if you want a scope for astronomical observation, this is not ideal. The rings of the saturns are not that much distinguishable with the 20 mm eyepiece. The 10 mm eyepiece has better magnification power though. The moon appears with hazy details. But it is not good if you want to use it for sky observation. Most objects are blurry and not attractive. Besides it creates severe chromatic aberration that makes the views worse. Overall, the optical system is remarkably a failed project.

What can you see through the Celestron Travelscope 70 telescope 

The views of the Celestron Travelscope 70 telescope are not that satisfactory, but you might catch a couple of things from it well. If you use this scope only as a spotting scope, you will find it works pretty well. Within a limited distance it can shoot a much clearer image. The tripod is much stable when you use the scope horizontally, and if you use the low power eyepiece, you will get the image sharp enough. For terrestrial viewing, a picture of a bird on a nearby tree is good enough. Though the picture from a far distance is hazy.

If you want to use the scope for astronomical observation, it will disappoint you. The tripod does not want to stay stable when you point the telescope above the horizon and it tips upward and downward again and again which is really annoying. To stop it you have to make the altitude axis locked. This in turn prevents all kinds of fine pointing. Even with the 10 mm eyepiece at 40 x magnification, the image is blurry.

Here is a list of what you can see through it.

  • The moon appears pretty nice with fuzzy craters and details.
  • Some of Jupiter’s moons are visible like tiny fuzzy balls.
  • You can see the rings of Saturn but not so clearly to distinguish them. 
  • The phases of venus are visible.
  • A few other deep brighter night sky are fine enough and recognizable. 

Accessories inside the box

Fig 2: Celestron Travelscope 70 telescope accessories inside the box (Ref: telescopicwatch)

In the box of Celestron Travelscope 70 telescope, you will get the things as follows.

  • The finder is 5 x 24 and made of plastic. This includes a singlet objective lens that are also made of plastic. The finder is not that useful. It cannot point a target completely.The aperture was supposed to control the aberrations, but it unfortunately can not reduce it. Instead, it makes the image dimmer.
  • The eyepiece provides a field of view like a drinking straw. It is just like a toy pirate telescope in practicality and seems that it is made for kids not astronomers.
  • The given 45 degree erecting diagonal is low in quality and very uncomfortable to use for astronomical purposes. The entire housing and body is made of plastic including even the barrel by which we can insert it to the focuser drawtube. The included prism is also made of plastic.
  • It provides two different Kellner eyepieces, one is 20 mm and other one is 10 mm in diameter. They provide 20x and 40x magnification theoretically. Their quality is not up to the mark especially when compared to a wide field or Plossl eyepieces. The focal lengths are not enough. The 20 mm eyepiece provides more power than it needs while low power sweeping whereas the 10 mm eyepiece gives more magnification than it needs for the poor quality optics.
  • The tripod is  light and made of plastic. It is just like the small poor quality tripod given with small digital cameras. It can not provide enough balance sometimes especially when you point something upward. It is not steady and continuously shaking during observation. If you work hard you can have a fuzzy image of what you are targeting.

Alternative Recommendation

If you invest the same price as the Celestron Travelscope 70 telescope, you may get some other telescopes whom you can have a look before you fix one at the same price range.

  • The Zhumell Z100 is better than the Travelscope 70 in the same price range. It provides more aperture and clearer views. The mount performance is good, steady and easy to aim.
  • Orion Skyscanner is also a good option having similar features like Zhumell Z100
  • Orion Funscope is cheaper than the Travelscope 70 though it also does not provide good quality optics. 

Astrophotography with the Celestron Travelscope 70 telescope

Fig 3: Astrophotography withthe Celestron Travelscope 70 telescope -(Ref: cloudynights)  

Fig 4: Astrophotography with the Celestron Travelscope 70 telescope -the moon (Ref: ytimg)  

Fig 5: Astrophotography with the Celestron Travelscope 70 telescope  (Ref: cloudynights)  

Fig 6: Astrophotography with the Celestron Travelscope 70 telescope – Nebula (Ref: stargazerslounge)  

Best use of the Celestron Travelscope 70 telescope

Though you will find so many negative comments on this telescope and you will find that no website is recommending it to buy, still you can use the scope for different purposes.

  1. Terrestrial Photography: Say you want to take a clear picture of a bird that is sitting on the rooftop of a nearby building. Believe me, you will get a fine picture using this scope. Though you need to work on making the scope steady like you can set this on a steady table. 
  2. Astrophotography: Even if you live in suburban or rural areas where light pollution is relatively low, you can take some amazing pictures of the Milky way, the moon and so on.
  3. Gift: If you want to give your kid a scope as a gift so that it can make him or her busy in sky gazing and your budget is not high, this scope can be a good option. As a first time experience, the kids can love it. 

Review of the Celestron Travelscope 70 telescope from the customers

Most of the users of this telescope do not want to recommend it to buy. Some of them find it of very poor quality and a defame of a well known brand.