High-quality telescopes can be very expensive. But for beginners, buying a cheaper, entry-level telescope is probably a safer option. This is where brands like BARSKA enter the picture. They make affordable optics with acceptable levels of performance. Regarding overall quality, they cannot compete with brands like Leupold or Carl Zeiss. But products like the BARSKA 70060 Starwatcher Refractor Telescope offer beginners an affordable entry into the world of telescopes. This in-depth review will look at the pros and cons of this telescope.
What Is The BARSKA 70060 Starwatcher Refractor Telescope?
This is a beginner-friendly refractor telescope from BARSKA. If you want to learn the basics of astronomy and using a telescope, this is the type of model you would be looking at. The lens aperture is adequate, at 60mm. And they combine it with a focal length of 700mm, which is quite decent for a telescope of this kind. When it comes to magnification, the claimed maximum power is 231x.
All the lens used in the telescope has been given a glass coated finish for improved durability and performance. And speaking about the optics system, the telescope comes with multiple interchangeable eyepieces. There are two of those in the package that also includes a 3x Barlow lens for additional viewing power.
The telescope is mounted on a simple, two-axis altazimuth mount, which is ideal for newbies. One can change the viewing angles along horizontal or vertical lines with this mount. BARSKA has also provided a smooth and slow moving adjustment cable system for maximum stability while stargazing. For outdoor usage, you get a sturdy aluminum tripod stand and a carrying case.
|4 x 31 x 3.5 in.||
||60 mm||700 mm||Deepsky Astronomy Software|
Pros & Cons To Using The BARSKA 70060 Starwatcher Refractor Telescope
- One of the lowest-priced entry-level telescopes.
- Two extra eyepieces and additional Barlow lens increase versatility.
- Aluminum stand is sturdy and stable for great outdoor usage.
- Simple refractor telescope design is perfect for beginners.
- Comes with a very convenient carry case for improved durability and mobility.
- You can use it to view objects on earth as well, with the 90 degrees erecting eyepiece.
- It is made of plastic, and the build quality is average.
- Lens aperture is the lowest you can find.
- Not something an experienced astronomy enthusiast would want.
- Some users had stability issues with the tripod and mount combo.
- Nonremovable diagonal severely limits the viewing angles.
- Performance is highly varied with the different eyepieces.
Where To Find The BARSKA 70060 Starwatcher Refractor Telescope?
Amazon has some of the best deals on this telescope. You might also find it at other retailers like Sears, Home Depot, eBay, and Walmart.
This telescope is firmly rooted in the sub-$100 segment. You should be able to pick it up for anywhere between $65-99, or even lower with discounts.
Try to find a deal less than $70 for the BARSKA 70060 Starwatcher Refractor Telescope. That would be the ideal price, according to our review experience. Paying anything above $90 is not advised for this particular product. And try to buy this one new, since this model has durability issues.
This BARSKA model combines above average viewing performance with some poor quality design elements. The stock lens and eyepiece are surprisingly good at the price point. You can watch all the major objects in the solar system, like the moon, and other planets like Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn
When it comes to distant star clusters, the optics is let down by the wobbly mount and tripod and iffy controls. Stability is poor, and it affects the proper viewing of very distant stars. But for viewing things on earth, the diagonal and 90-degree eyepiece offer excellent performance.
In short, keep expectation on the lower side, and you will be pleasantly surprised by what this telescope can deliver. But do not expect it show you distant galaxies or stars clearly without a lot of tinkering and constant adjustments.
The stated max magnification of the telescope is 231x. But that may not be of much use in actuality. Extreme magnification only gets really blurry images beyond a point. With a 60mm aperture lens, a realistic estimate of a usable magnification would be 120-180x. The calculation is based on lens aperture, multiplied by a factor of 2.5-3.
And for that same reason, the 3x Barlow lens is quite useless with this telescope. You will get very blurry images under high magnification. But on the plus side, you do get an excellent quality Barlow lens. You can easily pair it with the more powerful telescopes you may buy in future.
As for the two interchangeable eyepieces, they are a mixed bag. On the plus side, they are an improved “Kelner” (K) design, which is better than the usual H, R and SR variants. These provide good eye relief and a wider field of view. But on the downside, they don’t work well with glasses. Expect having to do some DIY modifications on this telescope if you wear glasses.
Clean telescope optics only as a last resort. Frequent cleaning can harm the lens. Never use plain tap water to clean the glass. Use distilled water if dirt and grime have accumulated on the optics. If at all possible, buy a cleaning solution of the type recommended by manufacturers.
Safely secure and store away the telescope and all the eyepieces and lens in appropriate cases and containers. Temperature is not safe for the components of the telescope, so do not leave it out in the sun for too long. Do not touch the lens with your bare hands while cleaning.
The BARSKA 70060 Starwatcher Refractor Telescope comes with the following accessories:
- A 3x Barlow Lens;
- Aluminum tripod;
- K9, K25 Eyepieces;
- Moon filter;
- Astronomy Software;
Warranty And Guarantee Information
When you buy BARSKA products, you get a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.
The BARSKA 70060 Starwatcher Refractor Telescope is best suited for beginners, families, and kids. Only buy this if you want to start learning about astronomy and telescopes. It is affordable, and the 60mm optics is good for watching the moon and planets.
We feel that this will make a great gift for your kids, or if you want an entry level telescope for some stargazing while camping. It’s a good choice for a beginner who wants to learn telescopes 101. Thank you for visiting this page, and feel free to share any thoughts/comments below.