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I was really dissappointed with this item. National geographic is a well known brand, that seems to have been stamped onto a piece of chinese made tat! I got it as a present for my younger sister, and it cost around £10 (not expensive, but there are a lot of other gifts you can get for someone around a tenner, that is so much better than this). I got it from the entertainer, a shop were I have bought another thing from that also turned out to be terrible.
I wasn't expecting a high quality fully functional telescope, but a telescope good enough to just see stars say a bit bigger (it has written on it how it is capable at star gazing).
Well.. basically, this telescope is appalling. Some of the screws and nuts and the like that hold in various lens and the like keep falling out (and not because they are screwed loose, because they has lost their "contact" with the plastic telescope.
The tripod it comes with is not very stable either. And the telescope itself... well lets put it this way, I have never managed to get a half decent view with it of anything. Let alone looking at stars (which is why I got it). The best you can see are "colours" but you can never make out any shapes or anything like that.
As for the "multiple magnification" lenses... completely pointless, in no magnification can you work out what you are looking at.
Basically, this is a toy, not a telescope, it doesn't function at all, and after about a combined 3 hours of just trying to see anything through it, I have given up. A very poor showing. I would give it 0/5 if I could.
The celestial objects have always been one of my passions in my free time. I began this interest watching documentaries about this amazingly beautiful science ever since I was a kid. However I had a time when I forgot about it a bit and concentrated my attention on other things. Just recently I wanted to take up some astronomical observation by my own means. That is why I thought buying this economic telescope was the best to start over aiming at the stars and planets near the earth. I bought it for just under £20 on Amazon.
The National Geographic 30x telescope is a very portable one which includes a tall enough tripod to enjoy a clear night sky, I would say, more as a hobby rather than for serious purposes. I also have a nephew who I look after a lot and since this is marketed more for children and teens I figured I could watch stars together and I could see if I used it enough to warrant buying a better one if need be. Its yellow colour looks great and it even makes your room look geeky but still cool due to its modernity.
The best of this telescope is its portability which allows you to take it everywhere, especially if you are going camping, since being far from the cities pollution makes it perfect to spot new corpuses and constellations in the vast universe. Nevertheless, I have to say it is not the best telescope in the market, and you can infer that from its price. That is because the 30x is not as potent when you want to look for further planets or look at stars in more detail. I kn ow that other uses it may have, would be for viewing wild life or actually to spy on people around you, even if I have not used it to do so. I think it would work better for doing these kind of observations.The issue with this use is that I guess a pair of binoculars would serve this purpose better, being smaller which means even better portability.
I think the National Geographic is more suited for younger people who rather want a educational toy. That is why I was not completely satisfied by this product. At least it was not expensive and that is another plus if you want to give it to someone you reckon might appreciate toys of this kind. I still would recommend it but it is definitely not for adults who demand more and get really into things more seriously.
Regarding its quality, I have to say it is just fine for its price. Having plastic parts, it sometimes feel fragile. Summarising, I cannot complain much about the product because I think for its price is the best you could get.
My son had decided he wanted a telescope to look up at the stars last year and so I had a look online and saw a national geographic endorsed one selling on play.com for a few pence under ten pounds from memory. I thought that the price sounded reasonable as well as the fact that it was endorsed by national geographic too and so I ordered it for him.
When the telescope arrived it was packaged nicely in a cardboard box which showed a picture of the telescope on the front, the national geographic name and logo and from memory a nights sky too. My son was eager to get the telescope out of the box and have a play with it so I allowed him to open it straight away. The telescope itself is yellow with a black end and black eye piece. It has the national geographic logo on the actual telescope too. I was quite pleased with the look of the telescope to be honest as it seemed pretty sturdy but looked nice too. The telescope comes with a small tripod too which to be honest isn't wonderful but for the money it was nice to have one included.
Now, our problems started pretty much straight away with the telescope because despite reading the instructions it took quite a long time to get any focus whilst looking through the telescope. The next issue which we had was simply that my son couldn't see anything in the sky with the telescope! Now somewhat naively I had presumed that my son would be able to have at least an average look up in to the sky using this telescope but he just couldn't see anything apart from our neighbour's houses! I must have looked like some psycho stalker as I peered out of his bedroom window with the telescope to my eye trying to get some reasonable view for my son! The telescope has a 30mm optical lens and up to thirty times magnification which I guess isn't much at all but I was just expecting a bit more despite the low price....I should have thought a bit more really.
My son hasn't really bothered with the telescope at all since the first week or so that he had it because he can't use it for its intended purpose however sometimes when his friends come round and they play role play type games he will get it out and use it as they pretend to be pirates or what not! The telescope looks quite nice on his window sill in his bedroom but in all honesty it was a waste of money really and I certainly wouldn't advise buying this telescope if you are serious about seeing what is in the sky (though I am sure anyone who is serious about that is reading this and laughing at my naivety anyway!)
I think I was probably swayed by the fact that the national geographic people endorsed this product which is a shame to be honest because it has been a waste of money which will no doubt end up in the bin before long. I would certainly say save your money and don't buy this telescope.
Thank you for reading my review!
My daughter turned six in June and one of the gifts she particularly wanted was a telescope of her own so that she could look at the stars. When looking at available options I was very aware of the fact that not only is she a little clumsy, but she has a two year old brother who is interested in and into everything in her room. So when I saw this telescope on sale for just £7 (RRP is £14-18) I bought it and put it aside for her birthday.
This telescope is much smaller and lighter than I was expecting and it did come as an initial shock to me just how light it is, but it is a telescope designed for children and is a bargain price so really I shouldn't have been surprised. It does feel a little flimsier than I was expecting from the brand, I don't think it the eyepiece in particular would last too long in unsupervised hands without chipping and breaking. The telescope extends and collapses to enable you to focus it to look at things closer (birds in the trees) or further away (the stars). Amazon and the instruction leaflet tell me that the magnification is 30x which is pretty weak as telescopes go, but is supposedly just right for budding astronomers of 8 years or older. It comes with a dust cap to cover the end and protect it from ..well...dust. This cap is also very cheap plastic and it bends very easily. I gave it to my daughter to hold for a few minutes and she fiddled with it and managed to warp it so it no longer fits comfortably on the end, which is annoying.
The telescope comes with a small aluminium tripod which allows you to rest the telescope at the right angle and stare at the stars without making your hand or arm ache. The telescope easily slides and clips into place and my 6 year old found it very easy to do it by herself. It has the same cheap flimsy plastic for the fittings and a piece has already come loose despite it only having been used two or three times under supervision. In addition the height of the tripod at approximately 30 centimetres from the ground makes it pretty inconvenient to use. We placed it on a table to attempt to look at the stars but the angle required meant that the eyepiece was virtually inaccessible. If you wanted to spy on your neighbours all day and night it would be perfect, or if you lived in a very high tower on the top of a mountain it would work very well, but it hasn't been of much use to us- other than displaying the telescope in a way which means it is less likely to roll off a flat surface onto the floor. It does fold and unfold easily though which I suppose is a bonus, there are no irritating clips and levers to yank.
The instructions were disappointingly limited for something aimed at children. An A4 piece of paper folded in half, with some very sketchy diagrams. It was quite tricky for me to work out exactly what I was doing and how to make the telescope work. Another recent purchase was a cheap glow-in-the dark planet set and even though it was obviously cheap it included several booklets and information on the planets and stars. The telescope came with nothing other than this flimsy piece of paper and it would have been nice to have something introducing the owner to basic star patterns and what they might be likely to see and where.
So after all that, how good is it? Well, its not really very good at all. The view from the telescope remained almost resolutely blurry during the day no matter how much I fiddled with the telescope and I only got a clear picture when I pointed it at the floor. I tried every possible permutation and so did my husband when he got home, he is a physicist so very much at home with lenses and light and even he couldn't get much more than I could. Its very difficult to adjust the focus when its against your eye as the tube is so stiff and delicate adjustments are out of the question. So the 'Land' bit of the 'Land and Sky' title was utterly disappointing so I decided to try the 'Sky' bit during the day and night. Both times I got the same blurry image through the lens.
We have got binoculars from the pound shop that give a better image than this telescope and looking at Amazon and other sites I can see that I am not alone in my disappointment with this item. The telescope has now been downgraded to a toy and both of my children have enjoyed being pirates with it. I certainly wouldn't recommend it for children of any age. This is not our first disappointment with National Geographic products and we won't be wasting our money on any more. I can however recommend Natural History Museum products instead which have pleasantly exceeded our expectations rather than left us disappointed. You can get starter telescopes for £20-£30 upwards and in this case its better to spend the extra.
I became interested in astronomy a few years ago, having always been fascinated by the night sky. My enthusiasm didn't extend to wanting to splash out on a load of expensive gear, however, and I certainly wasn't passionate enough to invest in a proper telescope. But this little National Geographic one caught my eye in Sainsburys a couple of years ago, and, at just £10, I couldn't resist buying it. For the price, I wasn't expecting miracles, just to see the night sky in a little more detail than I could with the naked eye.
This little telescope measures just 38cm in length when extended, and has a 30mm objective lens. It is extremely light- perfect for carrying around with you. It comes with a small, collapsible tripod, also very portable, which can be easily set on a tabletop for more stable viewing. The telescope slots neatly onto the tripod, from which point it can be swivelled round 360 degrees, and also pivoted forwards and backwards. All in all, it's a very simple setup, which would be perfect for children to use. The box states that the telescope is suitable for ages 8 plus, and I think it would make a great present for a curious child! It looks good too, and not overtly kiddy- the telescope is an attractive yellow colour, which contrasts nicely with the black trimmings around its ends, and the silver of the tripod.
Focusing the telescope is very simple- the eyepiece at the end can be pulled in or out, depending on the distance of the object you're looking at. Again, this would be easy enough for even a young child to do by themselves. However, I found that the focus wasn't very sharp at all, making it difficult to see things in detail by day or night. This is a 30x magnification telescope, so it should, in theory, reveal more than your average pair of binoculars. But I found this wasn't the case, largely due to the focusing problems. Looking at the night sky through this did reveal a fair few stars I wasn't able to see with the naked eye, but even with the tripod to steady the image, it still didn't provide the clarity I was hoping for.
Despite obviously being designed as a scientific toy for older children, I had been expecting a little more from this telescope. While it's well presented, durable and very easy to use, it doesn't reveal as much as I'd expected from its 30x magnification- you could get a much clearer image with a pair of binoculars. That said, I think that for the price (currently £14.95 on Amazon), it would make an interesting present for a budding young astronomer (with the added advantage that you can pretend you're a pirate while using it!).