Orion GoScope 70 Review Cover

Orion GoScope 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope Review: Cheap Portability

Orion GoScope 70 is not a good scope for astronomy, and it is not ideal for daytime observations either.

6.6

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Review

Orion GoScope 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope is not the best telescope you can buy for astronomy. But it comes with a backpack and is incredibly easy to carry around. So it comes down to whether you are serious about astronomy or not, and it is OK to buy something convenient that just works.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not a department store toy. The lenses are high-quality glass, and the optical tube feels solid. But for the same price, there are more powerful models such as Infinity 70, Z100. And at this price range, the smallest improvement in the optics makes a huge difference. Let me explain.

Orion GoScope 70 Review

Optics

Orion GoScope 70 has a 70mm aperture, which is enough for major Solar System details such as Rings of Saturn and moon’s of Jupiter. You can also see some detail on the Moon. And that is about it for the Solar System. Mars, Venus and the Great Red Spot all require more powerful optics. For deep space, you can observe a few brighter star clusters and galaxies.

The flaw with the optical design is not the 70mm lens. It is the 400mm optical tube. It is simply too short and creates color inaccuracies. 

The short optical tube is a problem.

When the light enters the telescope, it gets scattered by the main lens. If the angle is too high, the colors start to change, and a bright halo appears around the image. This is called chromatic aberration. It is a common problem among short refractors. Although coatings on the lens reduce it considerably, it is really hard to eliminate completely.

There are more powerful models for the same price.

That is why the optical design is far from ideal. Meade Infinity 70 for example, has a longer optical tube, therefore better image quality. Zhumell Z100 is another model with much better optics. It is a reflector; therefore, it doesn’t suffer from color inaccuracies. These models are all around the same price as Orion GoScope 70. 

Orion GoScope 70 Review Under

Mount

The mount is the weakest part of the whole telescope, both literally and figuratively. 

The optical tube is attached to the mount with a small connection part. This would be acceptable if the mount was not entirely made of plastic. But plastic is not a solid material and is not preferable with telescope mounts. Especially when the mount is considerably small.

The adjustable-height feature is useful and appreciated. Most telescopes lack such design for the mount.

Orion GoScope 70 Review Tripod

Orion built this model to fit in a backpack. Although I appreciate the effort to innovate, the connections on the tripod should have been more solid. The slightest breeze will shake the whole telescope, and this is especially annoying at high magnifications. 

Multiple connections on the tripod create instability.

This is an acceptable sacrifice if you are going to use this telescope for day-time viewing. Other than that, it is a deal-breaker. A sturdy tripod is vital for any telescope.

Overall the combination of the low-powered optics and the foldable mount of Orion GoScope 70 makes it an ideal day-time telescope. But the same cannot be said for astronomy. 

Orion GoScope 70 Review Optical Tube

Accessories

Although some of the accessories are unnecessary, I think this is the strongest area of Orion GoScope 70. 

The eyepieces that come with the telescope are decent Kellner’s. Although they are budget eyepieces, most companies don’t provide usable eyepieces in the package. 

The 10mm eyepiece will provide 40x, and the 25mm eyepiece will provide 16x magnification. Both will be useful for the start. Keep in mind getting a better, mid-level eyepiece will vastly improve image quality.

By the way Orion sends different eyepieces for different models. For the III. model they send a 9mm and a 20mm eyepiece. The 9mm eyepiece a little too much power, but other than that the image quality will be the same.

Orion GoScope 70 Backpack

The backpack has a surprisingly nice feel to it. It is made for the telescope, but you can use it for carrying other stuff too. 

The correct-image diagonal lowers the image quality quite a bit. It is usable for day-time viewing, not astronomy.

The finder is not a usable accessory. Orion should have used a red dot finder instead of a 5×24 scope. The lens is simply too small. The 25mm eyepiece can be considered a finder for the GoScope 70. 

Drawbacks

There are more powerful models for the same price.

The tripod and mount combination is not sturdy.

The 5×24 finder is useless.

Conclusion

Travel Scope’s, in general, are confusing products. Because they are not good at what they are built for, which is providing sharp and bright images at high magnifications. But on the other hand, they are incredibly easy to carry around and easy to use. That is why the majority of people are happy with these scopes. They are convenient and don’t bring up technical problems.

Optical power is sacrificed for convenience.

Don’t buy this telescope if you are serious about getting into astronomy. Just look for a tabletop dobsonian such as a Zhumell Z100 at this price range.

6.6

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