If you’re looking for a scope that’s beginner friendly without being geared toward children, the Orion Observer II is a great option. It’s budget-friendly, easy to use, and comes with a range of accessories to get you started. It’s not as powerful as other scopes, but with a long focal depth, it still provides excellent viewing of objects within the solar system and beyond. The Orion Observer II 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope is perfect as an introductory scope without too many bells and whistles; you can learn more about its features and performance in this review.
What Is the Orion Observer II 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope?
The Orion Observer II is a refractor scope, meaning it uses lenses rather than mirrors to gather light. This classic design is perfect for beginners because it doesn’t require maintenance procedures to bring it into focus—it’s ready to use right out of the box. This scope also comes with all the accessories you’ll need to get started, including two eyepieces and a Barlow lens, which further increases the magnification of your eyepieces.
Though not powerful enough for detailed views of deep space objects, this scope provides plenty of power to take a tour of the solar system from your own backyard, and to enjoy views of brighter deep-space objects.
|64 x 32 x 64 inches||11 lbs. (including tripod)||1 Lithium Metal battery required (powers included red-light mini-flashlight)||70mm||700mm||N/A|
Pros & Cons to Using the Orion Observer II 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope
- Easy to use
- Extensive accessory pack
- Long focal depth for detailed magnification
- Suitable for basic astrophotography
- Decent price for an entry-level telescope
- Small aperture makes deep-space viewing tricky
- Narrower field of view
- Manual slow motion not suitable for detailed astrophotography
Where to Find the Orion Observer II 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope
This telescope is available on plenty of online retailing websites, including Amazon. You can also order it directly from Orion, as they offer a more extensive accessory package along with the telescope itself. It’s slightly more expensive, but it provides you with plenty of extras, including a Shorty Barlow lens, which will further increase your magnification.
When it comes to performance, this scope is solid. There’s not much to complain about, for a beginners’ scope, as it offers some features that are fun to play with, such as slow-motion control, as well as all the basics you’ll need to master before upgrading to a more powerful telescope. Start with relatively nearby objects, like the moon and other planets, before moving to viewing more distant objects like bright galaxies.
You may have trouble viewing deep space objects if the sky is not particularly clear; with a narrow aperture, this scope will have a hard time collecting the faint light of these objects. For best results, head to an area with little light pollution and make your observations on a clear, dry night.
If you’re new to home astronomy and opt to buy your scope directly from Orion, be sure to take advantage of their free lifetime tech support. They can help you set up your new telescope and troubleshoot any issues you may be having.
The three enemies of refractor telescopes are water, dirt, and temperature extremes. Since the interior workings of a scope are carefully calibrated and shouldn’t be handled except by experts, your best bet is to avoid these issues rather than try to resolve them.
Keep your telescope dry by only using it when weather conditions permit. Using your telescope on a cold night and bringing it indoors will often cause condensation to form on the cold metal. This is all right as long as you allow the scope to completely dry out before putting it away. You can wipe the exterior of the scope with a soft, lint-free cloth, but wait until it’s returned to room temperature before storing it to ensure no water builds up inside it.
Dust issues are easy to prevent by storing your telescope in a case or making sure it’s covered with a dust sheet when you’re done using it. A case is a handy investment as it also protects your scope when traveling.
Be sure to store your telescope away from extremes of heat and cold. An unheated attic or garage, or the overheated trunk of your car, can cause the internal workings of your scope to warp, leading to misalignments and problems with focus.
- Red dot finder scope
- 10mm and 25mm Kellner eyepieces
- 2x Shorty Barlow Lens
- 90-degree star diagonal
- Orion Telescope Observer’s Guidebook
- Moon Map
- Red light mini LED flashlight
- Star Target Planisphere
- Motorized slow motion control
- A variety of carrying and storage cases
- Additional eyepieces and filters
Warranty and Guarantee Information
Orion provides three customer satisfaction features for its telescopes. Each one comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, as well as a 1-year limited warranty, certifying that the telescope and accessories will be free of defects in materials or workmanship. If your issue seems to be user error, talk to their tech support crew—it’s free and available for life.
Though the narrow aperture means that deep space objects won’t be revealed in their full glory, the Orion Observer II 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope is still an excellent scope for its intended use and for the price. With a relatively long focal length, you’ll be able to get clarity and magnification smaller scopes won’t offer, and you’ll have the opportunity to experiment with the range of features on offer.
Though this scope doesn’t have all the features you may eventually want, it’s got room to grow. Experiment with rudimentary astrophotography, and practice using the red dot finder scope to star-hop your way around the sky. When you’re ready to try something more advanced, you’ll already have the skills you need.
What do you think of the Orion Observer II 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Recommended Read: Orion Observer 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope Review