Celestron C70 MiniMak
Celestron C70 Mini Mak is a compact but powerful bestselling spotting scope that includes a tabletop tripod which has built-in slow motion controls, a built-in zoom eyepiece capable of 90x magnification, and a soft carrying case. The Maksutov optical design is recognized for being easy to use and suitable for both terrestrial and astronomical use. It uses mirrors and a lens as the image forming optics, and provides images that are sharp, and free from false colour fringes seen with many cheaper refractor telescopes. The C70 is ideal as a take-anywhere powerful beginner’s astronomical telescope, or a very useful compact and lightweight spotting scope for bird wathing, for example.
The Celestron C70 Mini Mak gives spectacularly clear views for the size and the quality of the main 70mm optics are first rate. The included zoom eyepiece (25x to 75x) provides very clear images of the lunar surface. A real bonus on this scope is the inclusion of an adapter for 1.25" eyepieces which means that it can be used with a range of eyepieces and we would suggest that it's worth buying a couple of these (or a higher quality zoom eyepiece) for really unlocking the quality of the truly excellent objective lens optics.
The included mini tripod is actually quite sturdy, albeit a little cheap looking, but assuming that this will be used outside a lot, it would have made more sense to provide a larger one. The included case is actually a cover with a carry strap so you can actually use the scope without removing the cover. Even without the cover the construction seems to be very robust, which is important for a scope of this type.
For star-gazing though there is a shortcoming - there is no finderscope, so it can take a few moments to have it point, for example, at a bright planet, even at tle lowest magnification of x25.
- Clear view
- Maksutov-Cassegrain optical Design
- 45 degree eyepiece
- 1.25 inch eyepiece adaptor allows usage of any 1.25 inch eyepiece
- Table top tripod with slow motion controls
- Soft carrying case
- No finderscope
- Tripod could be sturdier and better quality
Barr & Stroud Sahara 20-60 x 80
Intended for the outdoor enthusiast and bird watcher on a budget, the new Barr and Stroud Sahara 20-60x80 Spotting Scope is possibly the best value in the market today. With optical performance equal to, or better than any competitor's product line, the Barr & Stroud Sahara is waterproof and features rugged armoured construction for years of performance.
The Barr and Stroud Sahara 20-60x80 Spotting Scope is a bestselling spotting scope, featuring Bak-4 prism and a multi coated, precision ground lens to provide optical performance that is equal to, or better than anything in its class. It is manufactured from lightweight polycarbonate which reduces overall weight and makes it extremely rugged and durable. A rugged rubber armour covering quiets down bumps and protects your Sahara spotting scope from abrasions and damage from regular use.
The Barr & Stroud Sahara 20-60x80 spotting scopes are waterproof, fog proof and nitrogen purged to ensure many years of performance. They feature a sliding sunshade that is built-in to the objective lens of the scope to further reduce glare. All Sahara spotting scopes come with rugged stay on cases.
There are a few compromises or limitations at this budget price point but the advantages are real strengths. At the lower magnifications approximately from 20 to 30, image sharpness and brightness are excellent, very good for the money. Sharpness starts to drop approximately beyond 30 magnification, but still remains respectable in the 30 to 40 range. As best as can be judged, approximately between the magnifications of 40 to 50 you pay the price of compromise for a relatively low priced product, and sharpness notably drops becoming fair. Image sharpness is not good in the 50 to 60 magnification range, but is certainly worth having. Another real strength is that the image remains surprisingly bright at sunset when the light has seriously faded. As the magnification increases into the higher ranges image brightness does decline, but not dramatically and in an acceptable way. The scope also has an excellent and well-made protective stay-on case that doesn't have to be removed to use the scope, giving it further protection. It fits like a glove, is a pleasure to use and can be easily removed or put back on. The scope is also waterproof so you can have peace of mind in wet weather and it is easy to fit a standard tripod mount. In summary, although there are limitations in the higher magnification ranges, for the price this is understandable and this shouldn't distract from the excellent qualities. For beginner bird watchers on a very tight budget, this is an excellent scope to get started with.
- Magnification: 20-60x
- Objective Lens Diameter: 80mm
- Exit Pupil: 4
- Twilight Factor: 40
- Size: Full Size Spotting Scopes
- Weight: 47.97ozs (1360g)
- Prism Type: Roof Prism
- Close Focus Distance: 8.0 ft
- Waterproof: Yes
- Image Stabilization: No
- Auto Focus: No