BARSKA StarWatcher 400x70mm Refractor Telescope Review: Thrash
There is not a single part of BARSKA StarWatcher 400×70 that is worth praise.
BARSKA StarWatcher 400x70mm Refractor Telescope represents all things that are wrong with the Amazon algorithm. This is not a real telescope. It is a useless toy being sold at the price of a real telescope, and it shouldn’t be bought in any case by anyone.
The reason it has a high rating on Amazon is that its buyers are complete beginners. Sadly, they are not aware of the much better models being sold at the same price, and they give a good rating because they see some detail on the Moon.
Of course, this is not the customers’ fault. Amazon should find a way to stop recommending high rated, low-quality products.
There are vastly better telescopes being sold for the same price.
If you want to enter into the astronomy world in a serious way, you should get a tabletop Dobsonian. Zhumell Z100 and Orion SkyScanner 100 are two of the best beginner tabletop telescopes.
If the tripod is a must, you should check out the Infinity 60 and 70. These are the lowest-priced, buyable telescopes with tripods.
Please don’t buy the BARSKA StarWatcher 400×70. It will only discourage you and your loved ones from stargazing.
I don’t have anything positive to say about StarWatcher 400×70’s optics.
First of all, even if its done well, a short refractor is not preferable. Due to the short optical tube, severe color inaccuracies appear around the image and lowers the image quality by a huge amount. This is called chromatic aberration.
The lenses are not coated properly.
The image quality is one of the lowest I’ve ever seen with a telescope.
Chromatic aberration is a big enough problem that should discourage most first-time buyers. And it is a bigger problem with BARSKA StarWatcher 70. The reason is the low-quality coating of the primary lens. I’m not sure if it is coated at all. The image quality is even lower than it should be with a telescope this size.
The optical tube is plastic on BARSKA StarWatcher. For 20-30$ more, Meade Adventure Scope comes with a metal optical tube. Real, shiny, unbreakable metal. I wouldn’t compare the two even though they cost the same.
The base is not a legitimate telescope base. There is not a single drop of sturdiness or smoothness. The altazimuth mount is terribly wobbly, and the tripod would be unstable even for a camera.
The mount is plastic in the shape of a mount.
A tabletop tripod is already an absurd idea. Most refractors at this price range come with steel tripods that are at normal heights. This one is particularly annoying with its cheap-plastic legs and low height.
Tabletop Dobsonians are rock-solid and smooth, and any steel-tripod refractor would be vastly more sturdy than this telescope.
The accessories are even worse than the optical tube and the mount, which is quite an achievement by BARSKA.
The eyepieces that come with the telescope have 20mm and 4mm apertures, which give 20x and 100x power. The 20mm eyepiece is not junk, it is able to provide a below-average image. But the 4mm eyepiece is completely useless. Its lens is too small, the image is too dim, and it simply provides too much power for such a small telescope.
The 5×24 finder is one of the worst accessories I’ve ever seen on a telescope. The tube is too small, and the lenses used on it is not proper finder lenses. It would be more useful as a pirate scope for a kid.
The carrying case and the 20mm eyepiece are the only legitimate accessories.
The 3x Barlow Lens is a marketing scam to give the impression that this telescope is a powerhouse. When beginners see that there is a 300x label, they are convinced that this telescope is able to achieve such powers. But in reality, BARSKA StarWatcher 400×70 won’t provide a decent image at magnifications higher than 100x. It is impossible with even the best eyepieces in the market, including the ones that cost more than this telescope.
The 45-degree diagonal that comes with the telescope is not bad for viewing Earth in the day-time. It is not usable for astronomy.
The carrying case is worth more than the telescope itself. It actually is able to do what it is supposed to do.
Here we go:
The optical design is a short refractor, which is far from ideal. The lenses have the worst coatings I’ve ever seen on a telescope. The optical tube, mount, and tripod are all completely plastic.
The 4mm eyepiece, the Barlow lens, and the finder are useless. They belong to thrash. This is without exaggeration.
Just don’t buy this telescope. Your hard-earned money deserves to be spent on much better products. Hard-working, legitimate companies like Meade, Zhumell, and Orion have vastly better beginner telescopes. Any beginner telescope you buy from these companies will be a better choice. You can start by checking out Meade Infinity 70, Zhumell Z100, and Orion SkyScanner 100.