Captures more light for brighter images and greater detail Includes two 1.25; eyepieces: SP9.7mm 103X; and SP26 mm 38X; for superior eye relief and wide visual field Includes Red-dot projection viewfinder for easy acquisition of guide stars while star-hopping for celestial targets Amazing planetarium software and Instructional Video teaches you the night sky and how to use your telescope 52Hx36Wx30.38D Telescope Features: Crayford Style Focuser, Red Dot Viewfinder, Open Metal Truss Design Magnification: 0. Recommended Use: Astronomy Focal Length: 700.0 mm. Objective Lens Size: 0. mm. Eyepiece Type:SP 9.7mm, SP 26mm Mount Type: Altazimuth Includes: Tabletop Tripod, Tripod, Autostar Suite Astronomical Software Material: Plastic Power Source: Manual Optical Tube Dimensions: Diameter: 0. Length: 0. Warranty Description: 1 Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty, 100% Parts and Labor, Up to $200 Replacement
Meade 20218 NG-70SM 70mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope Meade's value priced NG-70SM Altazimuth Refractor is an affordable entry level telescope that features an easy to use Altazimuth mount with slow motion controls for precise tracking. The complete package includes a sturdy metal tripod, a red dot viewfinder, two 1.25 inch eyepieces and a star diagonal, and a software DVD with instructional video.
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
Pros: Light and easy to use Altazimuth mount includes slow motion knobs Easy to add better eyepieces Instructional DVD included; Cons: MH eyepieces have narrow field of view Vibrates while focusing at high power