Celestron Travel Scope 50 50mm backpack refractor and tripod


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The Celestron Travel Scope 50 is a small, but very flexible and very affordable 50mm refractor and altazimuth mount in a backpack for traveling and backyard use that you can take anywhere and use any time.

Our Product #: CTS50
Celestron Product #: 21038
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Product Description

The Celestron 50mm Travel Scope is an inexpensive little refractor for which you will probably find multiple uses: spur-of-the-moment backyard observing; a toss-in-the-trunk-of-the-car take-along for vacations and day trips; a great scope to start the kids on astronomy; a neat little scope for backyard birding and nature studies; a scope to sit on the porch of the home with a view to while away the evenings; and more. Its tripod even makes a nifty light-weight photo tripod for your camera.

You get an awful lot for not a lot of money with the compact Celestron 50mm Travel Scope: fully-coated achromatic optics, two eyepieces, finderscope, erect image diagonal, adjustable height tripod/altazimuth mount, backpack carrying/storage case, and TheSky X- First Light Edition planetarium/star charting software on CD-ROM. And it weighs only 2.2 pounds, so it's easy to take with you anywhere you go.

The erect image diagonal gives you eyepiece views that are oriented the same as they are to your bare eye. This lets you easily follow moving wildlife and vehicles without the annoying image reversal you find with a conventional diagonal. Plus, printing (the name and home port on a distant boat, for example) is completely readable, instead of being backwards. Close focus is a mere 15', letting you get up close and personal with the nature in your own back yard.

While not a powerhouse of an astronomical scope, the Celestron Travel Scope 50 might surprise you with its capabilities outside our atmosphere.

You will find a lot of uses for the respectable optics of the Celestron 50mm Travel Scope, and a lot of times and places to use them, day or night. For the price, it's hard to beat this nifty little refractor.

This Telescope's Optical System . . .

Achromatic refractor: 50mm aperture, 360mm focal length, f/7.2. All-glass crown and flint doublet refractor with built-in lens shade to improve contrast. Fully antireflection coated on all air-to-glass surfaces for good light transmission and contrast.

Finderscope: 2x20mm straight-through refractor.

Focuser: 0.965" rack and pinion.

Star diagonal: 0.965" to 1.25" 45° erect image/right reading prism type.

Two 1.25" eyepieces: The first is a 20mm providing 18x. The eyepiece field of view is 1.77° across, more than three times the diameter of the full Moon for expansive views of the Moon, the brighter large-scale deep space objects, and terrestrial observing. The second is an 8mm providing 45x for close-up views of the Moon, nature, and more. Additional optional 1.25" eyepieces can expand the magnification range.

This Telescope's Mount . . .

Altazimuth mount: The Travel Scope 50 comes with a preassembled adjustable height photo tripod that serves as an altazimuth mount for astronomical and terrestrial observing. A no-tool mounting foot on the optical tube connects the 12" long scope to the tripod by means of a single hand-tighten 1/4"-20 thread bolt for fast set-up and take-down. The four-section legs and rising center post let you adjust the tripod height from about 16" to 49". A lock knob adjusts the friction and smoothness of travel in azimuth (side to side) while the twist-to-lock pan handle does the same for motion in altitude (up and down). The pan handle lets you manually aim the scope and track moving objects with precision.

Carry case: The scope comes with a soft backpack-type carrying/storage case that holds scope, tripod, and eyepieces, inviting you to toss the Travel Scope 50 in the trunk of your car to take it with you wherever and whenever you go.

Two-year warranty: All Celestron telescopes have a two-year warranty, double that of competitive scopes.

Tech Details

Aperture 2"
Binary and Star Cluster Observation No
Focal Length 360mm
Focal Ratio f/7.2
Galaxy and Nebula Observation No
Lunar Observation No
Weight 2.2 lbs.
Planetary Observation No
Resolution 2.32 arc seconds
Telescope Type Refractor
Visual Limiting Magnitude 11.0
Warranty 2 years


Review by:
I have the Celestron Travel Scope 50. It might be OK as a child's toy but other than that it is of really poor quality and performance. They built it ot hit a price point and that price point is too low. I have used it as a daytime spotting scope for bird watching and as a night time scope for astronomy. It fails at both.

The included Ramsden and Huygens eyepieces work but produce really poor images other than the center 40% and they are dim. This may be partially due to the prism/mirror in the diagonal. Switching to my Plossl and ES 82 eyepieces improves the image but not by enough to make the sope worthwhile.

The tripod is adequate to the weight of the scope and the backpack is cute for a child. But for other than a young child's first scope, pass this one by. (Posted on 11/1/2019)
Review by:
My right eye is problematic and the spotting scope is for right eyes only. I wish it was relocatable. (Posted on 10/6/2018)
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Supplied Accessories

  • 50mm fully coated achromatic refractor optics
  • Pre-assembled adjustable height tripod
  • 2 x 20mm finderscope
  • 0.965" rack and pinion focuser
  • 0.965" to 1.25" 45° viewing image-erecting prism-type star diagonal
  • 1.25" 20mm eyepiece (18x)
  • 1.25" 8mm eyepiece (45x)
  • TheSky X CD-ROM star-charting software
  • Backpack carrying case
  • Dust covers.