Jump to content


First Light with Celestron D70 Travel Scope

Recommended Posts

Seeing as my SW 200P & EQ5 Goto is a bit of a lump for those quick sessions or when you can't park up right where you will be observing from, a couple of weeks ago I took the opportunity to buy the Celestron D70. Normally priced at about £60, this will come with a case, diagonal, two eyepieces and camera tripod, but since the carrying bag was slightly damaged the seller decided to sell just the main 'scope and bag for the princely sum of £25, with a diagonal at the cut-down price of £5. I already own a very good tripod plus too many eyepieces so not having the rest of the gear was no problem. Apparently the tripod that normally comes with this 'scope is flimsy anyway, so would have been stuffed in a cupboard somewhere and never used....

On Monday night I went to one of the local astro-club meetings and had my first real chance to see how this thing performs. Using eyepieces ranging from 5mm up to 32mm, the views are nothing short of amazing given the price. First object to look at was the Moon with the 32mm. After locating it in the finderscope, it was not in vision through the eyepiece - the finderscope is,  to be honest, barely adequate and will soon be replaced by a regular mounting plate so I can fit a decent finderscope, red dot finder or my favourite, the Celestron Starpointer Pro. When I finally located the moon, the view was stunning. The craters, especially along the terminator, were well defined and sharp across the entire field, very good for an achromatic setup. Changing to the 5mm eyepiece, the view remained pin-sharp with one crater in particular standing out. Not sure which crater it was, maybe Purbach, was placed right on the terminator with the floor dimly lit, however a tall spike on the crater rim was casting a long shadow across the floor, something that was pointed out by a couple of the group members.

Next was the Great Nebula in Orion, one of my favourite objects and a true test for a 'scope. Starting with the 32mm eyepiece, the nebula became a nice compact object in the centre of view, just crying out for more magnification, so that's what I did next. With the 5mm eyepiece I was just able to split the Trapezium, the rest of the nebula glowing nicely around it.

Finally, I pointed the 'scope at Jupiter, just showing above some nearby houses. Being so low down, the viewing was far from ideal but I could still make out two of the main bands and three of the moons (the fourth being hidden behind the planet). It was only when I pointed at Jupiter that CA showed itself, but surprisingly for such an inexpensive 'scope it was kept well in check and hardly noticeable, it definitely does not detract from the viewing experience.

Then, with frosticles on our noses and eyelids threatening to freeze onto our eyes, we decided to call time and start packing up. Given the amount of cloudy nights we have had this year, I don't know when I'll next be able to take the 'scope out, but I'm looking forward to it already. Obviously, it does not perform as well as my SW 200P, but as a small travelscope it punches way higher than its price would suggest. If you are looking for a cheap and cheerful grab-and-go 'scope, you will not be disappointed with this one. Just dump the normal tripod that comes with it and replace it with something more sturdy.


Things to do - replace that finderscope. Replace the ball & socket tripod head with a pan & tilt version. Take a flask of tea when I anticipate an evenings viewing at an astro club, there's enough room in the telescope bag to hold one.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention that the mounting plate for the 'scope has three holes for the tripod so you can easily find the best balanced position, and is also wedge-shaped to fit regular mounts. When I get into astro-photography I could even use this one as a guide-scope or even use it for taking photo's through. The focussing tube looks long enough for you not to need a diagonal, will try that out when it stops raining.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.