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Meade Instruments20218 NG-70SM 70mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope

4.2 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews
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  • Refracting Telescope Perfect For Land Or Sky Viewing
  • slow Motion Controls On Both Axes
  • find & Track Objects With Precision Controls
  • Includes A Red Dot Projection Viewfinder
  • heavy-Duty Steel Tube Tripod Provides A Rock Solid Platform
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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

Meade NG70-SM Altazimuth Refractor Aperture: 70mm(2.8in.). Focal Length: 700mm. Focal Ratio: f/10. Altazimuth Mount w/Slow Motion Controls. Steel Tripod w/ Accy Tray. Red Dot Viewfinder. Diagonal Mirror. Two MH Eyepieces (9mm. 25mm). Astronomical Software & Instructional DVD.


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


  • 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

  • Product Information

    Product Dimensions 29 x 11.8 x 5 inches
    Item Weight 9.8 pounds
    Shipping Weight 12.5 pounds
    ASIN B001WMC9K4
    Item model number 20218
    Customer Reviews
    4.2 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

    4.2 out of 5 stars
    Best Sellers Rank #91 in Camera & Photo > Binoculars & Scopes > Telescopes > Refractors
    Date first available at Amazon.com January 24, 2004

    Warranty & Support

    Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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    Customer Questions & Answers

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Robert on January 18, 2011
    Verified Purchase
    I must say this is a big improvement over my last telescope. I was eager to put it together. After I got the box open and the stand together, I mounted the scope. the azimuth mount feels more like an equatorial mount with out the weights and cables. The dials are easy to use and they provide slow precise movement for tracking objects. I noticed the lenses (they are not cheep) inside nice protective cases along with a nice lens accessory tray between the legs of the stand. I can't wait until the weather clears so I can take this outside.

    70 MM aperture, steel leg tripod with accessory tray, azimuth mount for ease of control, and a great pair of lenses plus software for finding those stars.

    what else could you ask for besides a starry night.

    please remember lenses make the telescope, better lenses make the telescope better.
    Comment 73 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    More than a year ago, I received this telescope as an appreciation gift. I had several options to select from, but I have always wanted to have a telescope since I was a child. It doesn't get better than free!

    This telescope arrived in a large box. One screw was broken, but otherwise it was delivered in good condition. Fortunately, I didn't miss the screw. Once I put this telescope together, I was able to appreciate it's quality. This telescope is of a good size. The tripod that it is installed on is very stable, and swivels smoothly side to side and up and down.

    I gave it a try that night, and for the first time in my life I was able to watch many details of the moon at my own time. The moon filled up most of the view in the 25mm piece. Then I tried the 9mm. The level of details was amazing, but at that magnification level I could not see the whole moon.

    I tried a few stars later, but they were no more than bright spots. Without using a star map, or software I was lost. I did not have time to try the software, and after a while I put the telescope away.

    Just a few days I ago, I noticed a bright star at night which I thought must be a planet. I tried Google Sky on my phone, and soon I realized I was looking at Jupiter. The next night, I set my telescope in the dining room and from a window I spotted Jupiter again. I looked through the telescope, and there it was a bright small disk. I couldn't spot any features, but I noticed one or two bright spots which I took for its moons.

    The only negative about this telescope is that it may leave you wanting for more. This telescope is perfect to watch the moon and its details, and adequate to look at some planets.
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    4 Comments 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Verified Purchase
    The Meade 20218 NG-70SM 70MM Altazimuth Refractor Telescope is a telescope for beginners and this is why I bought it. First for me to learn how to use a telescope and then how to apply it for sky watching, that would be learning the basic in astromony, reading basic star charts, learning the basic vocabulary of star gazing etc.. Second it is for my grand son who is five years old.

    The Scope was very easy to assemble (there was a delay explained below). For the money it is a very good looking telescope. The stand or tri-pod is sturdy. Controlling the motion of up and down and side to side is easy, but does take some practice. Using the view finder is straight forward.

    Once assembled it was easy to point it at the moon and view it, first time for me, up close. I have only used the least powerful lens and it was amazing. My grand son took a look and he said it was a planet. I am sure he is still digesting the information gotten from using the telescope.

    The telescope came with an instructional dvd, and other basic software on it, a Autostar Suite, and a Moon chart. I found it very useful, for instance it showed me how to install the view finder and calibrate it.

    The one item that delayed me in using the scope was the view finder that came with the on and off switch broken, I called the Meade service number and it was replaced within the week, really about three days. The Meade serive desk was Very professional and helpful.
    Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    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.
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