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Price: $89.95

(as of 2013-04-18 16:08:36 PST)

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Category: Binoculars, Telescopes & Optics

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (57 votes)

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8 new from $85.95

(as of 2013-04-18 16:08:36 PST)

Meade 20218 NG-70SM 70mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope by Meade

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  • Refracting Telescope Perfect For Land Or Sky Viewing
  • slow Motion Controls On Both Axes
  • find & Track Objects With Precision Controls
  • Includes A Red Dot Projection Viewfinder
  • heavy-Duty Steel Tube Tripod Provides A Rock Solid Platform


The Steadicam Smoothee is specifically designed and engineered to work with your Apple iPhone 4. Based on the same technology as the big $60,000 rigs used in Hollywood, it allows iPhone 4 owners to capture incredible video without the shakes normally associated with hand-held video shot on the go, right out of the box, the very first time. The Steadicam Smoothee is small and agile enough to take on vacations or follow the action at sporting events. The Smoothee let's you “fly” wherever the scene takes you–up and down steps, indoors and outside, through crowds–almost anywhere, with precise, elegant control and ease. Its quick release mount lets you instantly swap camera connections between your Smoothee and any tripod. While designed for the Apple i-Phone 4, the patented quick release removable i-Phone mount also serves as a tabletop stand or can be mounted to any tripod with a standard ¼ x20″ camera mount. The comfortable ergonomic hand-grip folds up securely when not in use. Also included with the Steadicam Smoothee is a quick guide DVD on how to get the best possible shots, along with a carrying strap. The lightweight, compact, agile, and easy to use Steadicam Smoothee features an innovative, patented design built around a durable mono-frame metal structure that requires no complicated instruction to use. With its “go anywhere” compact dimensions, the Steadicam Smoothee is approximately 8″W x 14.5″ H x 2.5″ D (20.3 x 36.8 x 6.4cm) in operating configuration.

Editorial Review

Meade 20218 NG-70SM 70mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope Meade's value priced NG-70SM Altazimuth Refractor is an affordable entry level telescope that features an easy to use Altazimuth mount with slow motion controls for precise tracking. The complete package includes a sturdy metal tripod, a red dot viewfinder, two 1.25 inch eyepieces and a star diagonal, and a software DVD with instructional video.

The NG-70SM Refractor Telescope comes disassembled in a compact box, but the instructional DVD video guides you through all the steps required for assembly. Go ahead and try it out in the daytime, that's the best time to align the red-dot finder scope while looking at a distant tree or telephone pole.

The optics of Meade's NG-70SM produce an image that is right side up but the diagonal mirror reverses the image left-to-right. That's no problem most of the time, but an optional correct image diagonal is available. The low power 25mm eyepiece produces a magnification 28X which is just right for spotting the Moon or the planets, while the 9mm eyepiece (78X magnification) can be used to zoom in for more detail. The MH25 eyepiece at 28X shows a lovely view of the Lunar disk in a dark sky, while the MH9 eyepiece at 78X shows literally hundreds of craters on the Moon and begins to show the rings of Saturn and the cloud bands of Jupiter. For even better views it's easy to add better eyepieces. My best view of Saturn, for example, came with an optional 6.4mm Super Plossl eyepiece, about 110X magnification.

The Altazimuth mount included with Meade's NG-70SM is lighter and easier to use than an Equatorial mount, yet the slow motion knobs make it easy to keep objects in view. The rotation of the Earth causes the Moon or planets to appear to drift out of the eyepiece, but the slow motion knobs make it easy to keep the telescope on target, even with a high power eyepiece. The telescope is sensitive to vibration, however, so a high power eyepiece can be difficult to focus.

Meade's NG-70SM is a good entry level telescope at a very good price. The optics are good, the Altazimuth mount is easy to assemble and easy to use, the instructional DVD includes a nice Lunar Atlas as well as planetarium software, and it's easy to add better eyepieces to improve your view of the planets. –Jeff Phillips


  • Light and easy to use
  • Altazimuth mount includes slow motion knobs
  • Easy to add better eyepieces
  • Instructional DVD included;
  • Cons:
  • MH eyepieces have narrow field of view
  • Vibrates while focusing at high power

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