Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope Review

by Daniel Pitts

If you’re looking for a dual-purpose telescope appropriate for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, then the Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ is for you.

With its’ sleek, attractive design, and incredibly easy operating, the Celestron Astromaster 70AZ telescope deserves its’ place as the most popular telescope on Amazon. An affordable price and quality reputation just adds to the appeal.

This is a good first telescope for kids in elementary school. It is one of the best selling Telescopes on the market and has a very sturdy base and easy to use, also it is best gift to your child.  I would highly recommend this as a great all-around family and Best Refractor Telescope.

Feature:

  • Quick and easy no-tool setup
  • Permanently mounted StarPointer
  • Erect image optics – Ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use
  • Quick release dovetail attachment – no tool setup
  • Pan handle Alt-Az control with clutch – for smooth and accurate pointing.
  • Optical Lens Diameter 2.6″ (70mm)

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Reviews

This refractor telescope is of the classic ‘long thin tube’ design, where light comes in at one end, you point the telescope at whatever you want to view, and you look into an eyepiece at the other end. It is the most commonly found telescope design, with ‘reflector’ telescopes coming in a close second, and is probably the easiest design to use, as anyone instantly understands how to use it.

The Celestron Astromaster 70AZ has a couple of neat features that make it stand out from the crowd. It has a permanently fixed ‘Starpointer’ viewfinder, which helps you to line the telescope up with the object you wish to view, and due to it being fixed, you do not need to set it up correctly when you first get the telescope. All you need to do is insert a battery, and line your chosen object up with a red dot in the viewfinder.

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The eyepiece assembly is canted at 90 degrees, so that you do not look directly down the main tube, which makes it much more comfortable to use. It also ensures that images are the correct way up, making this telescope ideal for viewing either the sky, or land – based objects.

Two eyepieces are supplied with this telescope, a 20mm one, with 46x magnification, and a 10mm one with 90x magnification. Together with the lenses in the tube, this gives you a maximum useful magnification of 165x, plenty enough to see the rings of Saturn, or moons of Jupiter.

All lenses are coated to help protect them from scratching, and to provide sharp images. All lenses are fixed in position, so you do not need to adjust, or ‘collimate’ anything. Just change eyepieces when you want, point and view.

A great feature of the Celestron Astromaster 70AZ is the sturdy steel legged tripod. Many of the more affordable telescopes come with lightweight aluminum legs, but this can cause the telescope to be less stable, and you need a very stable platform to keep objects from wobbling. The adjustable steel legs of this telescope help to prevent shaking, and a handy accessory tray also keeps the legs secure.

The telescope itself attached to the tripod with an ‘Altazimuth’ mount. This requires no tools to attach; it’s just an easy dovetail attachment, and a Pan handle, with clutch, moves the telescope up or down, and left or right. The whole mount is of a very high quality, making adjustments smooth and controllable.

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It all comes complete with a copy of ‘The Sky’ software, which is easy to run, and designed with beginners in mind. This software has a database of over 10,000 objects, with instructions on how to find them, and what to look for.

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Pros
  • Very helpfull viewfinder
  • The First light software is very helpful
  • Sturdy design
  • The 90degree prism makes erect images
  • Very nice focal length
Cons
  • Tripod is bad. When you want to buy it, you should need a tripod you can depend on.

In conclusion

From a telescope perspective, this is a very nice investment for a beginner to intermediate astronomers. You will enjoy the fun of it when you see it in refractors.  It’s compact and light enough to transport easily, it has GREAT optics and a VERY macho tripod and Starfinder with a bright reticle which nailed Venus in 1 easy try right out of the box.

You can very clearly see the features of the moon, and we have even been able to see Jupiter!!  Would recommend to any amateur astronomer!

In summary, the Celestron Astromaster 70AZ makes a great telescope for anyone interested in astronomy, and even if you have a larger telescope already, this makes an ideal second telescope when you just want something easily portable, and quick to set up

Daniel Pitts

Hi, Daniel Here! When I'm not busy working at my own startup, you may find me roaming around the Univers and whats beyond our sky, telescope is a must.