For beginning stargazers who want a starter telescope capable of providing more oomph, more performance than a traditional 60mm refractor, we present the Orion Observer 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope. Compared to a 60mm refractor, the Observer 70 EQ can reveal an even greater variety of stellar gems and provide greater resolution of old favorites like the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Orion Nebula. The Observer 70 Equatorial Refractor is easy for anyone in the family to operate, and its affordable price makes it a great telescope to start with as you discover the rewarding hobby of amateur astronomy. The Orion Observer 70 EQ Refractor Telescope features a multi-coated, achromatic glass objective lens that's 70mm in diameter, with a focal length of 700mm (f/10). This glass lens takes in 36% more light than a 60mm lens for brighter, clearer views. Bottom line: you'll see more than you would through telescope with a smaller aperture. The refractor telescope optical tube is crafted from black-enameled aluminum and outfitted with a smooth-action, 1.25 inch rack-and-pinion focuser on one end and a dew cap/glare shield on the other. The telescope tube is held in quick-releasing tube rings on the Orion EQ-1 equatorial mount. Also made of aluminum, the EQ-1 mount supports the telescope and mimics the rotational axes of the Earth, which in turn allows you to manually track celestial objects with the Observer 70 refractor using slow-motion controls. For added convenience, an optional EQ-1M electronic drive (sold separately) can be installed to provide automatic, hands-free tracking. The telescope tube and equatorial mount are supported on a sturdy aluminum tripod that adjusts to a comfortable height for virtually any observer. This telescope looks so good; you'll want to keep your Observer 70mm refractor on display when you're not using it!
Orion’s Observer 70 EQ combines the solid optical performance of a classic achromatic refractor with a German style equatorial mount. The Observer 70 features very good optics and 36 percent more light gathering power than 60mm beginner scopes. The complete accessory package includes high and low power eyepieces, a 90 degree star diagonal, a red-dot finder, illustrated instructions, and Orion‘s Starry Night Special Edition astronomy software.
The Observer 70 EQ features very good optical performance. Achromatic refractors have a two piece objective lens, the second lens element compensates for “chromatic aberration”, the false color or blue fringes seen in low cost telescopes. In daylight tests I see very little blue fringing with the standard equipment 10mm eyepiece (70X magnification), and none at all with the 25mm eyepiece (28X). Stars and planets show up very nicely with the Observer 70. The quadruple star in the Orion Nebula known as the Trapezium is cleanly split into four components with the 10mm eyepiece (70X magnification). When I combine the 10mm eyepiece with a 2X Barlow lens for 140X magnification, I’m treated to lovely views of Saturn’s rings and the little orange disk of Mars. My view of the Moon is delightfully crisp and clear; the 25mm eyepiece nicely frames the Lunar disk, and using the 10mm eyepiece I can easily see mountain peaks and terraced walls inside the crater Copernicus.
The Observer 70 EQ also features an aluminum tripod and an EQ-1 equatorial mount. The equatorial mount is a little more complicated to balance and align than the Observer 70 AZ , but the reward is better slow motion control and tracking at magnifications over 100X. Simply point the equatorial axis at Polaris, the North Star, and the telescope tracks celestial objects by turning one slow motion knob. This makes it much easier to use a high power eyepiece while viewing the Moon and Planets. The “EZ Finder II” works by shining a red LED on a small window; just look through the window and line up the red spot with your target. This works OK for bright objects like the Moon and planets but not so well for finding galaxies and deep space objects.
Orion’s Observer 70 EQ is simply a very good entry level telescope for a student or family. The good quality 70mm optics produce an image that is significantly sharper and brighter than 60mm beginner scopes, and the package includes a solid mount, two good eyepieces, and fully illustrated instructions. --Jeff Phillips
- Reliable refractor design
- Good views of the Moon and planets
- Complete accessory package
- Starry Night software included
- Finder only works for bright objects