29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Great Value, a real gem of a starter Telescope! NG-70SM,
This review is from: Meade 20218 NG-70SM 70mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope (Electronics)
I purchased this telescope & a mini R/C helicopter while on a 'get-away weekend' with my partner. Of course, these items were for BOTH the 4 children we share & me! Sadly, the helicopter (like all R/C toys & young children) only lasted a few charges before it wobbled & stopped flying- however- the telescope has been a great addition to our family!
Overall, assembly was intuitive & simple- the balance of the refracting tube on the tripod is perfect for using the azimuth slow motion knobs to get & keep objects in view. The optical lenses, mirrors & eyepieces are of amazingly high quality and the level of visual detail is incredibly sharp, especially when considering the low price for this 'beginner' telescope. Although many parts are plastic, the fit & finish is outstanding, controls are well placed & user friendly and the red dot viewfinder is easy to use. Everything aligned well right out the box & everyone from the age of 7 to 70 was impressed with the visual clarity, ease of use & stability of the telescope on the tripod. Because the whole assembly is lightweight, my 7 year old was dragging it around the driveway & parking area to get the 'perfect view' of many stars!
Bad news/Good News! There were multiple items missing/broken when opened. A quick call to the Meade Customer Service line (800)626-3233 created an Order#, the representative verified that all of the missing/broken items were available & offered to ship them out immediately. Keep a copy of your purchase receipt- I'm still not sure if they'll be willing to ship my parts without it! My bad- don't let it be yours too!
More Good News! [...] is a veritable cornucopia of interesting sites & products. Although I found the website moderately annoying to navigate (I ended up with over 8 'open' pages, not to mention countless tabs on each page) I was able to locate everything I was looking for. As a novice, I want to learn all about our new 'family' telescope- there's lots of great information available. I wanted to know if there were additional products that would enahnce our 'little, beginner' - yes, there are several excellent & reasonably priced- products that really add value & functionality to this high precision instrument! There are astromony 'clubs'/forums to join, articles to read, etc...
Downside? NONE! However, I do dream of a 'bundle pack' for the newbie (like me & my family!). 4 really useful items, packaged together at a price lower than the initial investment of the telescope would be fantastic. Not a negative, just one man's opinion who wants MORE good stuff to use with this outstanding instrument.
The NG-70SM has exceeded all of my expectations: assembly, fit & finish, user controls, balance, stability, ruggedness, magnification & visual clarity & detail.