Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope Review: Nothing Impressive
PowerSeeker 70EQ is an average refractor that comes with dreadful accessories.
Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ is the only model in the PowerSeeker line that we actually recommend. It is a decent telescope that is almost worth its price tag.
But it has a slight problem. There is another model that is almost half the price and comes with better accessories, Meade Infinity 70. It has the exact same optical design and is on a simpler, altazimuth mount.
We strongly recommend you check out that model before you decide to buy a telescope. Especially if you are a beginner since a simpler mount will be better for you.
PowerSeeker 70EQ is a 70mm refractor with a 700mm optical tube. This design is widely preferred since the long optical tube greatly reduces optical defects and provides a much better image.
The planetary detail you get with this telescope is pretty good. You can easily get images of Jupiter’s Clouds and Moons, Rings of Saturn, and with an expensive eyepiece polar ice caps on Mars. At this price range, this will probably be the most amount of detail you are able to get with any telescope, but this is enough to mesmerize most beginners.
The Moon looks amazing with most telescopes, and this one is no different. Mountain ranges and craters look bright and detailed.
Deep space performance is OK. Its aperture is pretty narrow, so the amount of light gathered is low. This makes it harder to see dimmer deep space objects. But you can still get good images of brighter ones such as Pleiades Star Cluster, Andromeda Galaxy, and Orion Nebula.
Overall we would say the optical performance of the telescope is pretty good for the price.
The mount is an equatorial type. It is not the simplest of mount types with a slight learning curve. If you are buying a telescope for your kid, you should consider an altazimuth mount, which is much simpler. If you are OK with spending a little time learning how to use the mount, it will pay off.
The stability and sturdiness of the mount is pretty adequate. The optical tube is lightweight, and the magnification range you are going to use this telescope is not that high. So you don’t have to worry about the mount.
PowerSeeker telescopes come with the cheapest accessories possible to increase profit. The only usable accessory is the 25mm eyepiece, which gives 35x magnification.
3x Barlow and the 4mm eyepiece are completely useless.
If you are getting this telescope, be ready to spend 30-40$ on proper accessories.
The accessory set gives me physical pain to look at.
This is a proper telescope for the price. It is pretty useful as a grab-and-go and a good beginner telescope. If you are willing to change the accessories with better ones, it might become a device you will use for years to come.
In-Depth Review and Technical Specifications
A 70mm refractor is one of the best optical designs possible for a beginner. The reason is that it provides a great price for the experience you get when stargazing. It is also easy to use, doesn’t bring up technical problems, and simply convenient.
Saturn and the Lunar Surface with a 2x Barlow, images look better in real life.
PowerSeeker 70 has an f/10 optical ratio. A refractor above f/7-8 is pretty good since, as you increase the focal ratio with refractors, chromatic aberrations decrease. f/10 is well above this limit and gives great color accuracy. Image defects are not completely gone, but they are so mild a beginner wouldn’t even notice them.
Planetary detail, which is the area refractors are built for, is pretty solid for a 100$ telescope. Rings of Saturn are easily distinguishable from the planet, 4 Galilean Moon’s of Jupiter, and it’s cloud bending are detailed with contrast. You can also get an image of the Great Red Spot. With expensive eyepieces, you can get views of Venus or Mars, but they are in the range of “difficult to see” objects.
The Moon is magical to view with most telescopes. With this one, it is no different. The surface looks sharp and bright.
You can get images of brighter Messier objects and popular deep space objects such as the Andromeda Galaxy, Orion Nebula, or Hercules Star Cluster. As long as the object you are trying to see is pretty bright, you are going to get a good view.
The widely popular “70mm refractor” optical design is properly done in this telescope.
We usually don’t recommend PowerSeeker’s mainly because of the mount. The EQ-1 mount is the cheapest equatorial mount in the market. Although it is a legitimate mount, it has a hard time carrying mid-range telescopes.
But the PowerSeeker’s optical tube is pretty lightweight. The aluminum tripod is pretty solid, and the equatorial mount provides just enough stability for high-magnifications.
As we’ve said before, the equatorial mount has a learning curve. Usually, within 1-2 weeks, most beginners figure it out and have no problem using it. Also, if you add Celestron’s motor to the mount is gets pretty fun to view celestials. You don’t even have to touch the mount.
But for youngsters, this may cause a problem. Most kids don’t want to bother with any complication with stargazing, and that is completely understandable. It is also better for parents since they don’t have to pay higher prices for equatorials.
If you want a simpler mount, Meade Infinity 70 should be your go-to. It comes with better accessories and has the same exact optical tube. It also almost half the price.
The accessories are so frustrating I can’t describe it in words. Most of them are marketing scams, provided so that Celestron can write a higher magnification number on the box.
For example, the 4mm Ramsden eyepiece is said to provide 250x magnification. What they don’t tell you is it dims and ruins the image so much it is impossible to use. Adding to that, the eye-relief is so short anyone with glasses wouldn’t be able to even look through it.
The 3x Barlow is also a marketing scam. It doesn’t provide any kind of decent image with any of the eyepieces. It is also an accessory added so that Celestron can write a higher magnification number on the box.
The erect-prism is also another accessory that ruins the image. But it is at least usable for terrestrial viewing.
The 5×24 finder is frustrating to use. A red dot finder would be much better.
The focuser and the 25mm eyepiece are the only “legit” accessories. The 25mm eyepiece provides a decent image, and the focuser, although it is mostly plastic, provides smooth motion with enough sturdiness.
The accessories ruin this great telescope. If the accessories were legitimate, we would recommend this telescope to anyone, easily. But they are not.
We only recommend this telescope because it comes with a proper mount and a pretty good optical tube. These are the two pillars of a good telescope model, and they are done well.
The accessories are a huge problem. You can’t use a telescope without an eyepiece or a finder. You should definitely change them with better ones, but this will cost you 30-40$ at least.
You should only get this telescope if you somehow can’t get the other options we recommend. But don’t worry too much since the optical design and the mount is decent.