Celestron C70 Mini Mak Spotting Scope

(15 customer reviews)
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  • Includes tabletop tripod w built-in slow motion controls, built-in zoom eyepiece capable of 25-75x magnification and soft carrying case.
  • Brings portability and versatility to a new level
  • Maksutov-Cassegrain optical design with multi-coated optics
  • Recognized for being compact and easy to use
  • Applicable for both terrestrial (land) and astronomical use



Celestron Mini Maks bring portability and versatility to a new level.

The Maksutov optical design is recognized for being compact, easy to use, and applicable for both terrestrial (land) and astronomical use.

C70 Mini Mak is a small but powerful spotting scope that includes a tabletop tripod which has built-in slow motion controls, a built-in zoom eyepiece capable of 75x magnification, and soft carrying case.

Specification: Celestron C70 Mini Mak Spotting Scope

Weight6 lbs
Dimensions11 × 6 × 16 in






15 reviews for Celestron C70 Mini Mak Spotting Scope

4.1 out of 5
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  1. enoch

    I purchased this scope mainly for spotting 30 ca.hits for hopefully up to 300 yards. Not only can I spot 30 ca holes at 300 yards I can spot hits easily at 500 yards. I haven’t had the opportunity to try out any farther. Once I get a decent tripod for it I plan to use it for spotting in the field. I am very happy that I bought it.

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  2. Paul G.

    This is a very affordable spotting scope. The image is better than other scopes in the sub-$100 category. I did limited amount of viewing in the late afternoon at distances of 50-80 yards and details were clear with precise focusing. Given the illumination conditions, the image was reasonably bright. I have not checked in bright sunlight. As with most variable focus optics, at maximum magnification the image quality is the poorest, so one should back off slightly. The pupil size requires the eye to be very close to the eyepiece, and also to exclude side light–this was particularly evident in low light conditions.The scope weight is manageable with the body size being what it is. It’s heavier than low-cost 60-mm scopes but not to the point of being obnoxious.I like the focusing mechanism which is smooth, with little backlash, and requires low force to turn. This last point is important when viewing at large distances so that you do not disturb the pointing angle too much.The small tripod is not stable enough for long distances.I would also look into an upgrade of the eyepiece if you are looking for a better image–there are several reviewers that have done this for Cassegrain type of scopes and they report significant improvements

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  3. Rick G

    For the price, you can’t beat it. I shoot at a range of 50 yards, 100 yards, and 200 yards. At 50 and 100 I can see .22lr holes CLEAR AS DAY! If you have really good eyesight, and can keep the spotting scope extremely still, you can probably make out holes at 200. Today was my first day using it. I didn’t really shoot at 200, so I cannot give an honest review at the moment. Clarity is great, range is great. There are some videos on youtube that guys are able to see steel hits at 500+yards with this exact model. I would buy it again.

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  4. William S. Perry

    I purchased this as a budget spotting scope, based upon my experience with Celestron binoculars and some video reviews saying best under $100. The scope itself is pretty darn good and did what I needed it to do sighting in two rifles at 100 yards. Liked the compact size which fits in my range bag easily, brightness and clarity were also very good. Disliked the focus adjustment being so sensitive and the eye relief being so small and short. Do not consider the tripod in your purchasing decision as it is worthless, but not an uncommon issue with scopes in this price range. It is so flimsy, that a 10 – 12 mph breeze was buffeting the scope around badly. It would also move way too much when simply thumbing the focus wheel. It will be replaced with something sturdier. That said, I am overall pleased and do recommend, as long as you consider the tripod disposable.

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  5. Mathew J Wedel

    I bought the C70 to serve as a travel telescope for observing the moon and planets. Maksutov-Cassegrain optics, 70mm objective, 700mm focal length (f/10), 2lbs (0.9kg), length 11 in with eyepiece.PROS1. Light and small. I have flown with the C70, tripod, laptop, power cord, digital camera, and several paperbacks in a small carry-on backpack.2. Resolution is good. Saturn was clearly identifiable even at 25x and with the rings almost edge-on. Under clear skies the moon is sharp down to the limit of what my eye can resolve. Atmospheric turbulence has been more limiting than the optics.3. No false color, no image shift during focusing, and no tube currents, even taking the scope outside to observe immediately in freezing temperatures.4. Included zoom eyepiece has good eye relief. I wear glasses and have no problem seeing the entire field. Also, unlike most inexpensive spotting scopes, the C70 includes an adapter to use standard 1.25″ astronomical eyepieces.6. Fitting a workable finder takes less than a minute and costs literally nothing. I made a sight tube from an old ink pen held on by two rubber bands, and the grooves on the rubber armor hold it correctly aligned. I have never spent more than a few seconds getting anything into the field of view.7. Did I mention the rubber armor? It is also water resistant, which is worse than many high-end spotters (waterproof) but better than most high-end astro scopes (no weatherproofing). Put it in the padded soft-case, toss it in a backpack or sling it over a shoulder (strap included) and you’re ready to go. The soft case can be zipped open and left on the scope for use in the cold or damp, which is a nice touch.8. A screw-on metal cap covers the entire eyepiece. The plastic cap for the objective is securely snug but not too tight, and won’t scratch the optics.9. Despite being mostly plastic, the included tripod is surprisingly sturdy. It vibrates when bumped, but the vibrations die out in 2-3 seconds. Happily, it is no less sturdy with the center column extended. Folds to less than a foot long and weighs almost nothing; would be a good tabletop tripod for small cameras, too.CONS1. Views are fairly dim, especially at high powers. It’s a 70mm scope and a Mak, so this is basically unavoidable. That doesn’t really matter for the moon and planets, which are still plenty bright. But it’s not good for nebulae and galaxies (no surprises there).2. The focuser has some slop. Oddly, it is better if I press down while focusing, but that makes the image shake, which makes focusing more difficult. Focuser slop probably varies a lot, so other C70s may be a lot better (and some may be even worse).3. No finder is included, and at f/10 you will want something. Most small scopes either come with no finder, a sight tube, or a finder so tiny as to be useless, so this weakness is not particular to the C70. It is also easily remedied, as described above.4. Included tripod has elevation limits: 45 degrees if the scope is mounted as shown, 60 degrees if you turn it around. You can exceed this by moving one leg inward and tilting the tripod, although this makes the tripod less stable.5. If you stick with the included tripod, you have to get the scope up off the ground. To me, that’s not much of a liability, for two reasons. First, most small scopes come with a table-top tripod or none at all, so out of the box the C70 is equipped as well or better. Second, I would rather set the scope on something than tote around a full-size tripod (your mileage may vary). That the included tripod is actually functional, fairly sturdy, and has working slow-motion controls is entirely positive.The big pros are the small size and light weight. The big cons are the narrow field of view and the dimming at high power. The C70 can’t compete with bigger scopes in terms of image quality (the Ultima 80 described in another review has a third more light-gathering ability [pi*40^2 vs pi*35^2], is 50% longer, weighs _twice_ as much, costs almost twice as much, and does not include a tripod). On the other hand, the C70 is so small and light that you can take it lots of places that you couldn’t or wouldn’t normally take a telescope, so you will see a lot that you wouldn’t otherwise. Here’s an example: one night over the holidays I set up the C70 on the hood of my parents’ car and showed the whole family a young crescent moon. Everyone was mesmerized by the craters. My father had never seen the Great Nebula in Orion so we had a look, and then checked out a binary star. There’s a half hour of enjoying the universe together that we wouldn’t have had without a telescope. That’s what travel telescopes are for, that’s why I got this particular scope, and I’m glad I did.CONCLUSIONBefore you buy any optical equipment, decide what you want to observe and what characteristics are most important. Read everything you can about the models that might meet your needs, and be realistic about the trade-offs inherent in _every_ optical design _regardless_ of cost. Finally, whatever you buy, don’t obsess about its quality, for good or ill. Get outside and let it deepen your experience of nature.

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  6. Tim C

    It’s often quoted that the best telescope for you is the one you’ll use the most, and out of the four I currently own this has definitely seen the most mounted time. It’s a great size and weight, and even after I superglued a red-dot finder base to the exterior it still fits in the supplied case and will stuff into a rucksack with plenty of room to spare. The tripod is a bit flimsy but still good for the bundled kind; the slow motion controls in particular are a nice addition in this price bracket. The view will wobble a lot at the high magnification end if you extend the pier, but if you can use it without doing so it’s actually fairly sturdy.Another nice feature for the price is the ability to use any 1.25′ eyepiece via the adaptor. The included zoom eyepiece is pretty decent, though the picture dims and softens significantly at 75x. It doesn’t render it unuseable – the moon in particular doesn’t suffer, in fact it can actually make it easier to view if it is bright – but the limitations of the scope’s f/ration and apeture do kick in. Between 25 – 50x the views are crisp, bright and contrasty and with only a little colour fringeing on my copy, but your mileage may vary (the factory QC of scopes in this range is notoriously iffy, and if you get a duff one you should attempt at least one return to see if the result improve significantly with another go). Saturn and Jupiter’s sweet spot for me was around 50 – 60x; expect to be able to see Saturn’s rings and make out some basic cloud bands on Jupiter, as well as the Galilean moons. You will be able to see a handful of deep-sky objects with this telescope, but not in any great colour or detail; the Orion Nebula and Andromeda galaxy will be grey smudges, but again, there are limits at this size and focal ratio. It’s a planetary telescope by design, and in those areas it performs admirably for what you pay.I’ve had mine about nine months now, and loan to friends to introduce them to astronomy. It’s an easy to use, easy to store, fun tool that will give you hours of pleasing views on the moon and solar system targets, as well as colourful bright-stars, and the occasional view of something more cosmic. For daytime it’s great for whipping out and getting a look at something interesting that’s visiting the garden. Highly recommended.

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  7. Reg Hill

    I bought this for the main purpose of spotting my archery arrows at 100 yards. This it does very well indeed. It will focus down to about 8 meres approx., so would be very good for birdwatching etc. At full zoom the image is not great, but for my use that does not matter. Nice little tri-pod and protective case. What I particularly like is the eye lens cap sits securely over the lens when not being used, great for a rainy day on the archery shooting line.

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  8. E L Richardson

    Better than expected! Very pleased with this product. Although the reviews for the tripod are quite poor I think the tripod is perfectly adequate. The Telescope gives very clear images of the moon. Also been viewing Jupiter and Galilean Moons. Amazing!

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  9. Thumbelina

    A very good spotter scope for the money. I researched this item thoroughly and read all the Amazon reviews as well other sources.. Amazon offered the best price. For novices or casual bird watchers it really is a good product

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  10. Noname

    When unboxed found chunk of plastic rattling around between mirror and lens, mirror seemed to be covered in moisture. Sent back for refund.

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  11. Amazon Customer

    Very hard to get an image you can actually see…..would not buy this at allGet a pair of binoculars instead

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  12. Helen Koudis

    Didn’t live up to expectations, anything over the smallest zoom is very difficult to see. All in all disappointed and wished I had paid more to get something better.

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  13. nick


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  14. mike

    Wow love it much better than I expected delivery as next day with out being a amazon prime member

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  15. BYRNE

    Reviews were very good, but I was disappointed. For astronomical use, would benefit from simple sighting scope and I found it difficult to obtain a sharp focus on X 50 & X 75. No doubt much better for use terrestrially, eg. bird-watching.

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