Celestron Travel Scope 70

UPTC_Oct2015 (24)
Celestron Travel Scope 70 used during a public observation.

The Celestron Travel Scope 70 is a small telescope designed for viewing distant land-based targets (such as birds and trees) and for casual astronomical observations. While many enthusiasts would purchase this telescope perhaps as a grab-and-go telescope, my intention for acquiring one is different since I intend to use it as a guide scope for my autoguider setup (if you want to know more about it, click here).

I have been using this telescope for several months now, and I believe I now have a firm grasp of what it can and cannot do, and its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, I intend to share some of my insights about the Celestron Travel Scope 70, particularly in the context of visual observation and astrophotography.

Upon inspection, you can immediately tell that the Celestron Travel Scope 70 is a small telescope supplied with a rather flimsy tripod (which is expected since the telescope is being sold for a fair price). I have purchased mine from a local telescope shop for 5400 php (about 120 USD). I’d like to think of it as a fully-functional telescope complete with low and high-power eyepieces and a 45-degree star diagonal (with a bonus generic tripod, carrying bag, and other things such as an astronomy software, and a toy finder scope). For its intended use and for the price you pay for the complete package, I believe this is somehow acceptable.

For the telescope to be useful for more than just the casual astronomical observation, some parts must immediately be replaced: tripod and finder scope.

The supplied tripod must be replaced with a larger and more sturdy one. I think the telescope itself is of decent quality, but the supplied tripod was never meant to support a load such as a telescope. If you are willing to upgrade the tripod sometime later (just replace it with the most sturdy tripod that you can find), then the Celestron Travel Scope 70 could very well serve as a beginner’s telescope.

The finder scope must be replaced as well, since the one supplied with the telescope actually looks and feels like a toy.

Celestron Travel Scope 70. Note that the photo shows a Celestron 8×20 finder I purchased separately to replace the supplied finder scope.

The Celestron Travel Scope 70 has a front lens diameter of 70 mm (larger than the front lenses used in a typical pair of binoculars) and a focal length of 400 mm. A telescope with these specifications works well for terrestrials observations, both for daytime and nighttime. Due to its size, however, it has a very limited use for astronomical observation. Also, note that the telescope showed signs of chromatic aberration (i.e., a bluish tint appears to surround the objects being observed), like any other low cost telescopes.

For astrophotography, you can actually expect to capture some decent images, but only for large targets such as the moon and the sun. Note that photography with this telescope is achievable only when the scope is attached to a sturdy mount (which in most cases, more expensive than the telescope).

To take a photo through the telescope, a DSLR can be connected using a metal connector called a T-ring.

Connect a DSLR to a Celestron Travel Scope 70 using a metal adapter called a T-ring. For a closer view of the telescope connectors, click here.
A DSLR attached to a Celestron Travel Scope 70. Note that the added weight of the DSLR will dramatically shift the balance of the telescope. Thus, you need a very good tripod/mount such as this if you were to attempt any photography with it (just use the most sturdy tripod that you have access to).

Below are actual images taken with a Celestron Travel Scope 70 (to produce these images, the telescope was mounted on a Kenko NES):

Jupiter’s four brightest moons taken with a Canon 1100D DSLR mounted on a Celestron Travel Scope 70. To view highest resolution available, click here.
Sunspot 2529 taken with a Canon 1100D DSLR mounted on a Celestron Travel Scope 70, with the help of a solar filter (for safe viewing of the Sun). To view highest resolution available, click here. To view the setup used to capture this image, click here. WARNING: Looking at the Sun without proper solar filters would result to permanent eye damage.
Moon, taken with a Canon 1100D DSLR mounted on a Celestron Travel Scope 70. To view highest resolution available, click here.
A closer view of the moon, taken with a Canon 1100D DSLR with 2X Barlow mounted on a Celestron Travel Scope 70. To view highest resolution available, click here.

What then can you expect with small telescope such as the Celestron Travel Scope 70? After replacing the tripod with a more sturdy one, I was able to:

(1) look at the moon and actually see some craters
(2) observe a solar eclipse with the use of proper solar filters
(3) observe sunspots, again using appropriate solar filters
(4) look at some fuzzy deep-sky objects in the Milky Way region
(5) look at bright deep-sky objects such as the Orion Nebula, Lagoon Nebula, and Omega Centauri
(6) see the four brightest moons of Jupiter (the same moons that Galileo saw!), and
(7) take some photos of the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter’s four brightest moons

WARNING: Looking at the Sun without proper solar filters would result to permanent eye damage.

Perhaps the Celestron Travel Scope 70 is a decent telescope after all, you just have to replace the tripod and the finder scope. Do not expect much though, as the scope is so small that it is only capable of showing very limited astronomical objects.

If you have questions about the Celestron Travel Scope 70, or about telescopes in general, feel free to leave a comment below.

If you would like to know more about amateur astronomy and astrophotography, kindly follow the link: Getting Started.

For featured photos, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

15 thoughts on “Celestron Travel Scope 70

      • I have a Canon EOS 700D and a Celestron Travelscope 70 and I’m new to astrophotography, and I wonder if it’s possible to use a Barlow x2 lens altogether with the scope’s eyepieces for my camera. By the way, ¿would you recommend to buy a Canon 75-300 F/4-5.6iii lens instead of a Barlow x2 lens?
        Thank you for your advice!

      • Hi pandequeso,

        I believe the question is would I recommend buying a Barlow (regardless of whether or not you decide to purchase a Canon 75-300 mm lens). Yes, a Barlow lens will double the focal length of your travel scope (currently at 400 mm, using a 2X Barlow, it will become 800 mm) and will allow you to see a more magnified image of the moon.


      • Hello again Eteny.
        I bought a Celestron accesories kit which has a Barlow x2 lens and a 6mm and 15 mm eyepieces for my Celestron travelscope 70. I tried to focus Mars with the Barlow lens and I hardly could see anything; I found it really difficult and therefore couldn’t take any photo of Mars nor Jupiter and not even could see with the Barlow. ¿Could you please tell me what I’ve been doing wrong? Thank you for your help!

      • Hi! Nothing wrong with what you are doing, Travel Scope 70 is simply not intended for viewing planets (it is simply too short, even if using a barlow). At best, maybe you could see the moons of Jupiter, or a hint of Saturn’s rings :)

      • What specific tripod do you recommend …. seeking minimum weight that is effective…

      • The supplied tripod works well already. Best to visit a camera shop if you are looking for a better tripod for the Travel Scope 70.

  1. Hi Eteny,

    Could you please suggest some suitable areas where I could go and photograph the milky way? I live in San Juan, Metro Manila. I hope that these area are not far from Manila. It has always been my aspiration to be able to experience this.

    Thank you.

    Best Regards and Clear Skies!

    8 May, 2016

    • Hi Richard,
      You can try nearby provinces such as Rizal, Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, Batangas, etc. Unfortunately, you really need to go somewhere far away from Manila: the farther away you go from city lights, the better. Good luck!

  2. Hello.
    So, I just brought this travel scope and I’m looking for a replacement for the finder scope. Where did you buy your new finder scope from? I’m having a hard time finding a replacement.

  3. Did you need to add any extension in order to focus the camera? I understand this is sometimes necesarry with refractive telescopes.

  4. i have a travelscope 70, attached it with t ring, and have a barlow t-ring adaptor. Clear skies but i just cannot get the moon in focus!! any tips please?

  5. Greetings from Bangladesh. I have a travel scope 70, and Canon 60D.Please suggest me the adapter/ T-ring model/size for attaching the both gadgets. Thank You

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