2,558 Brands 529 Categories All Departments

Best choice for rugged, versatile scope?

Need our opinion on a telescope Optics Planet has on sale, go ahead and ask! Post some hints and tips on various telescope brands and configuration.

Best choice for rugged, versatile scope?

Postby adk guest on Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:31 am


My significant other has decided she would really like a telescope for her birthday to use on the deck as well as take to a few local mountain tops primarily for astronomy but occasionally to view other things. I noted the Astele "LOMO" telescopes noted their ruggedness, as well as the Bushnell "Voyager" talking about viewing via the sidewalk with it's unique carry strap. What are the best options at or under $300?

Thank you for your time.
adk guest

rugged spotting scope

Postby on Fri Sep 03, 2004 5:33 pm

Hello and thank you for your interest in

Finding a telescope or spotting scope that can be used by day and by night for under $300 is not a problem. We have some excellent choices for you here at

The LOMO Astele 70 Zm Zoom Spotting Scope, 40x -120x, is a great place to begin. If you are looking for a scope that can be used by day or by night, the LOMO Astele 70 Zm with its 40x to 120x zoom range is an excellent choice. The LOMO Astele 70 Zm also can use any standard 1 1/4 inch astronomical eyepiece, which makes it even more versatile.

We now offer the very similar Celestron C65 Mini Mak Spotting Scope w / FREE UPS ... scope.html. This little Celestron is slightly smaller with its 65mm aperture than the LOMO Astele 70 Zm, but is priced unbelievably low. It even includes a 30x-90x zoom eyepiece and a table top tripod.

The Bushnell 100x4.5 Voyager Compact Reflector Telescope ... yager.html, would also be a good choice for astronomy. Like the LOMO Astele 70 Zm, it also uses astronomical eyepieces, but the supplied eyepieces give you only a choice between 18x and 100x. To equal the versatility of the LOMO Astele 70 Zm you would have to buy additional eyepieces. In addition, this is a somewhat larger and bulkier scope than the LOMO Astele 70 Zm or the Celestron C65 and will not be quite as rugged. All in all, it is a better scope by night than by day.

My first choice in performance at $300 is the Celestron C90 Mak Spotting Scope w / FREE UPS, ... scope.html This is the same design as the LOMO Astele 70 Zm and the Celestron 65 Mini Mak, but in a larger 90mm version. This gives it considerably more potential for astronomy, yet it is still small and compact for daytime use. It is also waterproof, so it is rugged as well. You will have to buy some additional eyepieces to complement the supplied 37x (perfect for daytime use). By adding a Celestron Omni 20mm eyepiece, ... eries.html and a Celestron Omni Barlow, ... enses.html you would have a setup that would yield 37x, 60x, 74x and 120x which would cover you nicely for day or night use and still be right at $300, not including a tripod.

If you already have a tripod for your camera, you can quickly attach it to any of these spotting scopes, with the exception of the Bushnell Voyager. If you do not have a tripod, you will need a full-size tripod to get the most out of these spotting scopes either by day or night. Some great values would be the Bausch & Lomb Tall Master Heavy Duty Tripod (75"),, or the Nikon Slik Full-Size Tripod ... d-847.html though we have many others.

If you have any questions on these or other products we have here at, please feel free to contact me.
Your personal optics expert
Joanie (Jne) K
Phone: (888) 263-0356
Fax: (847) 574-6820
Site Admin
Posts: 4044
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:18 am
Location: Prospect Heighs, IL