Are you in the market for the perfect telescope for a beginner? Do you want a telescope that can actually see things but want to spend less than a hundred bucks? Do you want your telescope to look like a telescope? Then you could be in the market for the Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Refractor Telescope.
This classic refractor telescope by Celestron is a great mix of affordability, usability, and aesthetics. Its sleek has plenty of appealing knobs and arms sticking off of it and best of all it can see objects in the solar system. For a first time purchase, you could do worse.
- Refractor design
- 70mm objective lens
- f/10 focal ratio
- 165x highest theoretical magnification
- 14lbs assembled weight
The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Refractor Telescope is a classic refractor which means it is both versatile and durable. It can be packed up and taken on adventures or presented nicely in a nook or alcove. It will be able to show you the best parts of the solar system and can even be used on land.
This telescope does not offer much to the intermediate astronomer or those who prefer reflectors over refractors but for the beginner it is great. Unless you want a cheap, portable telescope that you can ding and scratch without feeling guilty. It is great for that too.Check Latest Price
Pleasing To The Eye
The more telescopes that I review, the more I have noticed the overall aesthetic of the telescopes. I know that telescopes are primarily tools and that optics are its primary function but when they’re not being used, a lot of the time they are left out as conversation pieces in people’s homes.
I really like the look of this telescope. It is sleek and monochromatic which makes it look professional. But what I really love about it is the perfect proportion paired with the German equatorial mount.
The perfect length of the scope along with the 70mm objective lens atop the pleasantly spindly mount makes it cut a perfect silhouette that just screams telescope. If you want to set this thing up in your house somewhere just so you can look at it and say that’s my telescope then this one will fit that look perfectly.
Now onto the more important parts.
Functional If Not Powerful
The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Refractor Telescope is not a particularly powerful telescope. It will not be able to stare into the heart of the galaxy for you but it will be able to show you all of the sights you can think of within the solar system.
Polar ice caps on Mars? Check.
Saturn’s rings? Check.
Jupiter’s cloud bands? Check.
The seas on the moon? Check.
Surprisingly enough, the f/10 focal ratio is middling enough that it will even be able to do some casual bright object deep space viewing as well. Refractors are known for their visual and functional versatility and the middle of the road power and focal ratio are prime examples of that.
The size of the objective lens is big enough to possibly pick out some nearby galaxies or nebula on a clear night. This scope can do a little bit of everything, which is great for a beginner or the dabbler.
The truth is, not everyone is going to scour the night sky every night for new and wonderous things. Some of us just want to take a peek at Mars when there is a particularly clear and cool evening. This telescope is great for that.
Portable and Durable
Not to alienate those astronomy buffs out there, this telescope could also be a great fit for someone who wants to take their telescope on the road with them. Some more serious astronomers out there have a home telescope and a portable telescope. Some locales have better dark skies and viewing conditions but moving your crown jewel mammoth Dobsonian from its perch in your foyer is not for the faint of heart.
Enter the Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Refractor Telescope which can travel without worry.
Unlike their reflector cousins, refractors are far more durable. There are no fragile mirrors or finicky collimation processes involved with a refractor. They have solid glass lenses that are only in jeopardy of being scratched. If you don’t scratch your favorite pair of glasses on a regular basis you probably won’t scratch the lenses on this telescope either.
The truth is, taking your telescope out into the world comes with some inherent risks. This telescope is cheap enough and durable enough that you will never worry about it if you want to try your hand at some late-night stargazing from your favorite certified dark sky park.
It helps too that the whole thing easily breaks down and travels without much in the way of assembly. Simply remove the tube from the tripod and take off the eyepiece and you are ready to roll. The lightweight nature of the setup helps in this department.
The combination of the 28” focal length and the 14lbs total weight means that this telescope will easily fit into the backseat or trunk of almost any vehicle.
Powerseeker EQ Series Video Overview
Manual Equatorial Mount
This telescope comes equipped with a manual German equatorial mount which offers the best of both worlds in terms of mounts. Some people prefer a simple altazimuth mount for their refractors but that makes it hard to keep anything in view for very long. The manual German mount offers the ability to track objects across the night sky for long periods of time but also gives you some general freedom of movement as well.
Even if you are a complete beginner, it won’t take you long to be able to locate objects in the sky and get a good focus on them. As soon as this becomes easy for you to do, you are going to be able to look at the object for longer and longer periods of time. Then you are going to quickly learn about the spin of the Earth.
Objects drift out of view rather quickly during the evening. The equatorial mount eliminates this problem by allowing you to align your sights with the equator so that the objects in the sky will be moving in an easy to track vector. This mount includes handy and smooth micro-adjustment knobs that allow you to keep that stunning image of Mars in sight for as long as you want by simply turning the knob slightly every time it begins to drift out of view.
Learning the ins and outs of alignment mounts is also a vital skill for anyone who wants to pursue astronomy long term. That means that this telescope does have the ability to grow with you as you mature as a stargazer, at least for a little while.
Refractor telescopes have been around since the beginning and have been everywhere from the deck of a ship at sea, to the battlefield, and by the first astronomers. They are ancient and versatile in design. That means that after centuries of fine-tuning, there have been a plethora of accessories designed and produced for a refractor telescope of this size and shape.
The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Refractor Telescope comes with a decent haul of accessories, especially when you consider the affordable price point that it comes with. This telescope includes two eyepieces (20mm & 4mm), a 3x Barlow lens, an erect image diagonal, an accessory tray, a finderscope, and a copy of Starry Night.
This is a great group of accessories that gives you everything you need to comfortably use this telescope without having to buy anything additional until you know if there are any niche upgrades you might want to make.
The 3x Barlow lens magnifies the included eyepieces by three which effectively doubles the number of included eyepieces from two to four with the use of the Barlow lens.
The image diagonal means that images will appear right-side-up during use which means that you could use this telescope for terrestrial viewing as well which boosts its usefulness as a portable outdoor telescope.
The software, tray, and finderscope are all standard upgrades but are useful in their own ways. The tray is nice because it can help sort any additional accessories in addition to the ones included here and the software can be helpful for complete beginners.
The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Refractor Telescope is not going to blow anyone’s socks off in terms of power or handy features but it is supremely functional. It looks great, it works great and comes in at a price that most people can afford without thinking twice.
It would be a perfect gift for a child or sibling who wants to get into astronomy, it would be perfect telescope for the beginner or someone who wants to take their astronomy hobby onto the road and into the night.
There are not really any huge drawbacks to this model other than the limitations of its power but if you can get over that you will find yourself in possession of a fantastic little refractor that can do a lot for a little.