With a focal length of 400mm and a focal ratio of f/5.7, the Travel Scope 70 compares surprisingly well with popular f/5 "Short Tube 80" refractors but at a much lower cost. The Travel Scope 70 uses a number of plastic components to keep the cost and weight down, including a plastic focuser and plastic lens shade, but the all glass lenses deliver beautiful views of backyard birds during the daytime and lovely views of the Moon and stars at night.
The Travel Scope 70 offers daytime views that compare with more expensive spotting scopes. The 20mm eyepiece gives 20X magnification and a 2.5 degree field of view, with plenty of crisp detail when I’m looking at backyard birds. The travel Scope 70 is also quick and easy to set up at night. The deep orange glow of the recent Lunar Eclipse was simply gorgeous, and I was even able to take some pictures using the Travel Scope 70 and a PowerShot camera. When I look at Jupiter using the 10mm eyepiece (40X magnification) I can easily see four moons near the planet. And rich field views of the Milky Way are often at their best in a small scope with a wide field of view.
The tripod included with the Travel Scope 70 is described as a “full size photo tripod”, but I like it best as a table-top tripod with the legs kept short. The tripod is designed to be light and compact, but that means the legs are thin and wobbly when fully extended. --Jeff Phillips