If you want to buy a starter or beginners telescope and have a budget less than 150$ I will suggest you buy Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope (the one which uses lens). To learn more about refractors click here
First and foremost reason for us to recommend this device is that it comes with a brand name “Celestron” who is in the field of astronomy for the last 50 years. They are a well-known brand name and famous for making a good and durable telescope. But if you are new to the field of astronomy and didn’t hear a name Celestron before don’t worry this telescope comes with 2 years warranty which promises to repair or even replace in case of any problem with the device. That’s the another reason to consider my advice.
So, let us get started with the review:-
Aperture: 70 mm (2.76 in)
Focal Length: 900 mm (35.43 in)
Focal Ratio: 12.86
Eyepiece 1: 20 mm (0.79 in)
Magnification 1: 45 x
Eyepiece 2: 10 mm (0.39 in)
Magnification 2: 90 x
Optical Tube Length: 36 in (914.4 mm)
Our Rating: 8.5/10
For full specification: click here
Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ is a Refractor telescope which uses a lens to form the image and as the name suggest 70AZ it means it has an aperture of 70mm (very good in its price range) and comes with alt-azimuth mount (provides better stability to the device). This telescope comes with an erect image diagonal optics so the resulted image is in an upright position which makes the device very good for celestial viewing as well as terrestrial viewing.
AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor telescope has a highest useful magnification of (2.76in x 50)=140x. It comes with two Plossl eyepiece of 20mm and 10mm which gives a magnification of 45x and 90x respectively and is more than enough for this telescope (i don’t recommend any separate eyepiece for this device).
Near the eyepiece Red dot StarPointer (battery powered) finder scope is permanently mounted, to look at any object we only have to put that object onto red dot of scope. A unique feature which is mainly seen in very high-end telescopes.
It is a Refractor so there is no headache of collimating (aligning) the device.
The device is quick to setup and very easy to use (very good for amateurs/beginners). And it is very portable as you can easily assemble and disassemble the device yourself and carry it from one place to another.
Very good for Terrestrial as well as Celestial viewing due to its erect image optics.
It has an alt-azimuth mount which is very sturdy and provides good stability to the device and allows a better targeting at objects.
Accessories tray is present to keep your lenses organized.
Glass optics is completely coated which improves the way in which light is absorbed into the tube and results in better and clearer picture.
Cons (not much)
One of the main pros of this device has also one problem. The Alt-azimuth mount provided with it has a small height. So the device is good for average height user but it will be difficult to use for a user having more than average height (don’t worry you can use camera tripod as a cheap alternative more on that later).
Like any other Refractor telescopes this telescope is also heat sensitive so I advise you to setup the device away from heat source.
What can we see with this telescope?
With the clearer sky this Astromaster 70AZ telescope is best for both Terrestrial viewing like enjoying the mountains, sea, bird watching and many more thing, as well as it also does very good job for Celestial viewing like observing Moon, Rings of Saturn, Jupiter and it’s four moon, Orion nebula and many more things withing our solar system. Remember it’s a beginners telescope, so don’t get too excited to explore objects outside our solar system.
Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ is a good starter Refractor telescope for an adult pursuing astronomy as a hobby or for children who show interest in this field. Best thing is, you are getting both Binoculars as well as Telescope in a price of one. In a budget less than 150$, it is very far ahead of its competitor due to its solid build quality, for its user friendliness and for the image quality it produces. Overall good value for money product.
If your height is more than 4.5ft we recommend you these two tripods:
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag(price 23.49$approx), for a 60-inch tripod.
AmazonBasics 50-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag (price 13.95$approx), for a 50-inch tripod.
decide according to your height.
I will not suggest any other accessories here because the accessories provided with it are doing more than a good job but there is some great books that can help you a lot in making your astronomy adventure more fascinating. Here is a link to that article, check out “books for beginners” section.
Where to buy?
We always recommend buying a product from Amazon because you get the cheapest price there, you can also read verified customers reviews. There is one more reason, We are amazon affiliate member and if you buy it from our affiliate link we will get some commission from Amazon (a win-win situation for both of us).
Some useful links:-
Guys, If you have any queries or doubt regarding anything please do let me know in the comment section below I will be more than happy to help. 🙂