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The NG-70SM Refractor Telescope comes disassembled in a compact box, but the instructional DVD video guides you through all the steps required for assembly. Go ahead and try it out in the daytime, that's the best time to align the red-dot finder scope while looking at a distant tree or telephone pole.
The optics of Meade's NG-70SM produce an image that is right side up but the diagonal mirror reverses the image left-to-right. That's no problem most of the time, but an optional correct image diagonal is available. The low power 25mm eyepiece produces a magnification 28X which is just right for spotting the Moon or the planets, while the 9mm eyepiece (78X magnification) can be used to zoom in for more detail. The MH25 eyepiece at 28X shows a lovely view of the Lunar disk in a dark sky, while the MH9 eyepiece at 78X shows literally hundreds of craters on the Moon and begins to show the rings of Saturn and the cloud bands of Jupiter. For even better views it's easy to add better eyepieces. My best view of Saturn, for example, came with an optional 6.4mm Super Plossl eyepiece, about 110X magnification.
The Altazimuth mount included with Meade's NG-70SM is lighter and easier to use than an Equatorial mount, yet the slow motion knobs make it easy to keep objects in view. The rotation of the Earth causes the Moon or planets to appear to drift out of the eyepiece, but the slow motion knobs make it easy to keep the telescope on target, even with a high power eyepiece. The telescope is sensitive to vibration, however, so a high power eyepiece can be difficult to focus.
Meade's NG-70SM is a good entry level telescope at a very good price. The optics are good, the Altazimuth mount is easy to assemble and easy to use, the instructional DVD includes a nice Lunar Atlas as well as planetarium software, and it's easy to add better eyepieces to improve your view of the planets. –Jeff Phillips
Optically, it is a decent scope. We were able to see Jupiter and its moons with it on a dark, clear night. Moon views are good as well. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Watergrinder
Easy to use and set up - can get pretty good views of the moon. I'm able to see Jupiter and can even make out storm bandsPublished 4 months ago by Capt. Wonderful
I own telescopes that cost $5000 and 12" diameter so I have about 10 years scope time and I own a 12" dob,10"sct,125mm and 90mm maksutov's plus this used beat up meade... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Redlined
We have had precious few nights warm enough and clear enough to use since purchasing but, those that have been have been wonderful. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Michael Beth Edwards
Materials are great and not cheaply made! we need to get a stronger lens but we knew that going into it! Great for the amount of money'Published 11 months ago by Katie Leeth
This is a well built scope. I did see Jupiter's moons and the Orion nebula the first night and it was hazy. Thanks for a great product. only complaint id the view finder. Read morePublished 11 months ago by mike koger