Orion Observer 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope is a great entry-level refractor telescope for beginners looking for a quality instrument that will provide great views of the night sky.
If you are taken by astronomy, but don’t know which type of instrument to choose in order to observe the night sky, then we strongly encourage you to read our Orion Observer 70mm review. Compared to other telescopes from the same class, the Orion Observer 70mm might seem like a children’s toy, but, it is in fact so powerful, that you can view Moon’s craters in full detail.
Please join us in our Orion Observer 70mm review to find out more about what it means to spend some quality time in the great outdoors in order to study the stars. Furthermore, throughout this article we are also going to show you a couple of things you should look for when you want to purchase a telescope.
Orion Observer 70mm – Product Description
Thanks to its 70mm aperture, the Orion Observer 70mm entry-level refractor telescope is capable of gathering up to 36 percent more light compared to the 60mm series. Add in an achromatic primary mirror, which has received a multi-coating chemical treatment and a focal length of 700mm, and you’ll get a telescope that’s powerful enough to display astonishing images of Jupiter’s moons and even of the Andromeda galaxy.
To aid you in your night time observations, the Orion Observer 70mm comes equipped with two Kellner eyepieces, which can produce a combined magnification factor of 140x.
The Orion Observer 70mm stands atop a standard altazimuth mount, which can be easily adjusted in any circumstance. To make night observations a delight, the telescope also packs a 90-degrees star diagonal. This accessory can reduce the discomfort associated with prolonged observations, where you would have to bend in uncomfortable positions in order to look at the sky.
Another great thing about this telescope is its incredible weight. Fully assembled, the Orion Observed 70mm weighs only 6.5 lbs. which means that you could carry it by hand to any location.
Because the company is aware of how hard it is to calibrate your first telescope, it has also included an Orion EZ Finder II red-dot sight finder scope. Just point the Finderscope in the direction of a bright start, center the object in your finders scope, and you’re all set up for your first stargazing session.
Other Specs and Features:
- Best used for lunar and planetary observations;
- Optics: air-spaced doublet;
- Glass Material: crown and flint;
- Magnification Factor of First Eyepiece: 28x;
- Magnification Factor of Secondary Eyepiece: 70x;
- Lowest Useful Magnification Factor: 10x;
- Highest Useful Magnification Factor: 140x;
- Highest Theoretical Magnification Factor: 140x;
- Limiting Stellar Magnitude: 11.9;
- Focuser: 1.25-inch with Rack-and-Pinion system;
- Astrophotography ready;
- Adjustable aluminum tripod;
- Altitude fine adjustment system.
Orion Observer 70mm – Additional Accessories
Apart from the accessories included in the telescope’s pack, you may also purchase additional gear in order to enhance the quality of your observations. Note that the Orion Observer 70mm is a versatile piece of equipment, meaning that it can be used for both terrestrial and celestial observations. For this reason, you will need to have the right gear in order to get the most out of your experience.
Here’s a short list of the best accessories you can buy for this refractor telescope. Most of them can be found in any astronomy shop, but you can also purchase them from the Internet.
- Orion 05662 1.25-inch 13 Percent Transmission Moon Filter;
- “NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe” by Terence Dickinson;
- Orion 7216 1.25-inch 45-degree correct image prism telescope diagonal (best used for terrestrial observations);
- “Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky: The Story if the Stars, Planets, and Constellations – and How You Can Find Them in the Sky” by Michael Driscoll and Meredith Hamilton;
- Orion 08711 Shorty 1.25-inch 2x Barlow Lens (Black);
- “50 Things to See with a Small Telescope” by John A. Read;
- Orion 044110 Star Target Planisphere (Black);
- Orion 8787 1.25-inch Correct-Image Star Telescope Diagonal;
- 6mm and 6.3mm Set Orion E-Series Telescope Eyepieces;
- “Guide to the Stars” (map) by Ken Graun.
What’s in the Box?
Here’s what you’ll find in the box once you purchase your first Orion Observer 70mm. Bear in mind that if any of the items listed below are missing from the package, you should immediately contact your shipping company.
- Orion 70mm f/10.0 Refractor Telescope Optical Assembly;
- One 25mm Orion Explorer II eyepiece;
- One 10mm Orion Explorer II eyepiece;
- One 90 Degrees Mirror Star Diagonal;
- Aluminum Tripod;
- Altazimuth yoke mount;
- One EZ Finder II red dot sight finder scope;
- Plastic accessory tray;
- One dust cap;
- Altitude micro-motion control rod and thumbwheel;
- Tripod screws;
- Wing nuts;
- Screws for accessory tray;
- Leg lock knobs;
- Yoke knobs;
- Starry Night SE software.
According to the customer feedback section on Amazon, the Orion Observer 70mm has received a 4.3-star rating, which means that this telescope is far above most entry-level eyepieces. Most of the customers are pleased with this instrument, saying that the Orion Observer 70mm is the perfect eyepiece for a beginner astronomer, especially if you are on a tight budget.
Also, when asked if they are willing to recommend this telescope to a friend or to a family member, all the customers responded that they would. In general, although this telescope is not as powerful as its distant cousins from the Orion family, it still manages to leave a lasting impression on its user.
Where to Get it From
The best place to buy this amazing eyepiece is none other than Amazon. At the moment, the Orion Observer 70mm costs $139.99, and the company will also ship the product to your front door for free.
In case you are reluctant to buy this telescope from Amazon, then here are a couple of alternatives:
- Canadian Telescopes – for $137.64 (the shipping fee is not included in the final price. Additional fees may apply);
- Oceanside Photo & Telescope – for $129.99 (shipping fee is not included in the final price);
- KW Telescope – for $149.99 (can only be pre-ordered);
- Telescope – for $129.99 (shipping fee not included).
Orion Observer 70mm – Pros and Cons
- Excellent for beginners;
- Easy to use and to deploy;
- High-quality optics;
- Crisp images;
- Suitable for both terrestrial and celestial observations.
- No GoTo functions;
- Not suitable for experienced astronomers;
- Rudimentary altazimuth mount;
- Some parts are made from cheap plastic and can easily break.
In order to conclude our Orion Observer 70mm review, we need to add a few more things. First of all, this telescope might be a good choice for entry-level astronomers, but for astronomy aficionados it’s not a good purchase, since it has a limited field of view.
Another thing we’ve forgotten to mention is the telescope’s astrophotography capabilities. Although the Orion Observer 70mm is equipped with a simple lunar photography support, you may have trouble snapping clear pictures of the moon, especially if you have a low-quality camera.
And even with a Universal T-ring adapter, you will have a hard time taking pictures of fast-moving stellar objects since the telescope is not compatible with the GoTo kit.
Still, as a beginner’s telescope the Orion Observer 70mm is a sound choice, especially since it manages to preserve a good balance between quality and price. Furthermore, from our experience with this telescope, we’ve discovered that it is very easy to assemble and to calibrate. The setup took us only 15 minutes and carrying around is a breeze.
Also, if you want to enhance your stargazing experience, we wholeheartedly encourage you to buy one of the astronomical guides mentioned in the additional accessories list. With these parting thoughts, we wish you to have a memorable experience.