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Thread: Are Celestron binoculars any good?

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    Default Re: Are Celestron binoculars any good?



    I have their 10X50 cheapo ones and they are optically fine to me. No way are they the best binos in the world. But for $70 they are good for grab and spot. They are not on a tripod. I use them just for grab and quick view of something out the front door. Also use them for terrestrial viewing.

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    Default Re: Are Celestron binoculars any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tube Screamer View Post
    By this, do you mean that Opticron are not very good, or that not too many people own them?

    Thanks

    Russ
    Hello Russ,

    the Opticrons are widespread (U.K.) birding binoculars Opticron - Binoculars Menu , as such on the birding job certainly not bad. Regarding the small binoculars, the so called 'hunters', optimized for viewing at dusk or dawn, like the Zeiss Victory Fl T* 8x56, 10x56, or the Zeiss HT (high transmissivity) binoculars are the best choice. The T* coatings and the König prisms redesigned by Zeiss make the difference. The Zeiss (or Hensoldt in Wetzlar) Dialyt belong to the most frequently cloned design of the hunting binoculars. In spite of their tunnel view, I have liked the 9x63 I used to have.

    The Opticron WP series, Opticron - WP Observation , looks the same as Vixen Ark Vixen Optics- Astro Binoculars - Giant ARK Binoculars , and it is possibly also coming from the same factory.
    Should you be looking for 20x80, then the WP may be a better alternative to their cheap 20x80 astronomy brothers. However, for less money spent you can get the 22x85 from the BA8 series. The only advantage I can see with the 20x80 WP Opticron (Vixen Ark) is the center focus for terrestrial viewing. As I am using the nebular filters on the binoculars, the large EP barells with the optional 1.25" filter threads in the BA8 series are for me the way to go.

    The choice of the binoculars is a very personal issue. The best way is to try them out, first. When I go shopping (or just playing with the binoculars), I take enough time, go in a restaurant in between, then return to play again, and mostly buy just nothing.

    Best,

    JG
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    Default

    From a purely bang for buck perspective, you might consider a Dobsonian mounted reflecter. Much cheaper than a quality pair of large aperture binoculars and better views.

    I would highly doubt you would see much, if any, improvement with the cheaper 50mm sets on the market. Bigger aperture from quality manicures would of course yield better results but the price is not insignificant.

    I had considered a pair of 70 or 80mm binoculars but for me I decided they really wouldn't be much less trouble to set up and use than the dob. In the end I stuck with my canon 10x42 is and the dob.

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    Default Re: Are Celestron binoculars any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by j.gardavsky View Post
    Hello Russ,

    the list of the binoculars not made in China, or elsewhere in the Far East with Chineese parts inside, is short:
    Leica, Meopta, Minox, Optolyth, Steiner, Swarovski, and Zeiss. All other manufacturers put inside something made in China, most typically the prism assemblies.

    A very good performance in astronomy offer the BA8 binoculars fro United Optics in China, Giant Binoculars BA8 Series , distributed in the U.K. under the brand name Helios,r as I know. You can find them also at Teleskop Express as the MX Marine series Teleskop-Express: Astro-Shop + Fotografie + Naturbeobachtung , or as the jumells Kepler MS Deluxe Jumelles Kepler MS

    Best,

    JG
    I believe that Garrett® Signature 10.5x70/15x70 HD-WP Binoculars and Orion Resolux 10.5x70 and 15x70 Waterproof Astronomy Binoculars are also BA8 from United.
    ~Rob~
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    Default Re: Are Celestron binoculars any good?

    I started off this hobby with a pair of Celestron 10x50 binoculars. They were great value for money then, and I still use them frequently. Highly recommended.
    Celestron Omni XLT 102 refractor, Celestron UpClose 10x50 binoculars.

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    Default Re: Are Celestron binoculars any good?

    Russ, I've been toying with the idea of picking up a pair of the Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars. The price can't be beat and apparently there are a lot of satisfied owners. I'm sure there's a lemon to be found once in a while but isn't there in everything? Here is a thread that you may or may not have read through...some conversation and reviews on the 15x70's... 15x70's a hit at last nights New Year's eve party...!

    Best wishes,
    Ed
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    Default Re: Are Celestron binoculars any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cladinator View Post
    I have Celestron 20x80 SkyMaster binos and I really like them. I mount them on a camera tripod.
    I ditto that. You just can't ignore the Celestron binos for the excellent value. I have the 20x80 too and am by no means an expert but I was very impressed with the views.

    The main issue is a stable mount. I got the parts for a pipe mount but have a feeling it is too bulky. John's idea of using a Swiffer is not bad at all, I tried it a few times, the only issue is the height adjustment. I should make a parallel mount or buy one. In fact it is the mount that matters more than the quality of the optics (even though the Celestron seems to be very good quality). It is obviously much more expensive than my binos unless I make it myself.

    Another thing you might consider is the Canon binos. They have a kind with image stabilization. Just press the button and wooofff... you can see stable. I suppose it works like the image stabilization in my SX40, if you use the setting for stabilization always it is as if the image sticks to the screen as if it were attached with a rubber band. It gets around the mount issue (supposedly).

    Henk
    ... Henk. Telescopes: 6" Mak-Newt (Comet Hunter), ES ED127CF, ES ED80, Zhumell Z12, Coulter Odyssey 10, AT6RC, Venture RX-7, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S, AVX, LXD55, Tiltall, Cameras: Fuji X-a1, Canon SX40, Xt, XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: Dob and camera barndoor trackers, afocal adapter, Dob with foldable base and Az/Alt setting circles, Accessories: SSAG, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: DSS, ImageMagick, PHD, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK

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    Default Re: Are Celestron binoculars any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by CamelHat View Post
    I ditto that. You just can't ignore the Celestron binos for the excellent value. I have the 20x80 too and am by no means an expert but I was very impressed with the views.

    The main issue is a stable mount. I got the parts for a pipe mount but have a feeling it is too bulky. John's idea of using a Swiffer is not bad at all, I tried it a few times, the only issue is the height adjustment. I should make a parallel mount or buy one. In fact it is the mount that matters more than the quality of the optics (even though the Celestron seems to be very good quality). It is obviously much more expensive than my binos unless I make it myself.

    Another thing you might consider is the Canon binos. They have a kind with image stabilization. Just press the button and wooofff... you can see stable. I suppose it works like the image stabilization in my SX40, if you use the setting for stabilization always it is as if the image sticks to the screen as if it were attached with a rubber band. It gets around the mount issue (supposedly).

    Henk
    Bino's rock for grab and go.....A heavy duty video tripod could work...I see them in the thrift stores and pawn shops frequently for almost nothing.....I have the Zhumell tripod for the Tachyons, and although well made and sturdy, the engineering of the center extension is not as handy to use as a gear driven one would be... the head isn't much to write home about either.....but it works....

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    Default Re: Are Celestron binoculars any good?

    I am very happy with mine. I have 20x80, 15x70. Not as good as my uncle's $1500 Swarovskis, but more aperture so probably I can see more than I could through those. The 15x70's are quite sharp, I don't feel I need more.
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    Default Re: Are Celestron binoculars any good?

    Hi Russ,

    I have come in late on this discussion, but I wanted to comment on your original post. You said you wanted something "more suited to astronomical purposes than the pair I am already using (an old 1980's pair of Zeiss 10x40's)".

    I suspect you will be disappointed with the overall views from (say) Celestron 15x70's compared to your Zeiss, because these are premium binos. The Celestrons will have a smaller field of view, and be only marginally brighter as their exit pupils are around 4.5mm vs 4mm for your Zeiss- although with the higher power and bigger aperture you will see more detail in some objects. However, they will not be as sharp to the edges, and will probably have more false colour than the Zeiss.

    You mentioned wanting them for planets, Andromeda etc. For planets they wont do much: the magnification of binos simply isn't high enough to give detail on any of the planets (except Earth!). You will be able to see the phases of Venus, maybe the brightest bands on Jupiter (definitely the 4 moons), a bit of elongation on Saturn, but that is about it. If you want detailed views you will need a telescope.

    Binos shine for wide-field, larger nebulae (like Andromeda), globular clusters, lunar viewing, etc: but don't expect a quantum jump from your excellent 10x40's!

    The beauty of the cheaper large aperture binos like the Celestrons is that they will give you a pretty good idea of what you can see in general. You could then decide to go more up-market when you really know what you want - and you wont lose much or break the bank if you purchase them. It seems from all the posts I have seen that quality control is a problem, so if you get a pair it would be good to try before you buy.

    If you really want to go the bigger bino route, and you don't want to be disappointed with the views vs your Zeiss, then I would suggest you look at the BA8 types that a number of people have suggested, and 15x70's or above. They will give clearer, brighter, sharper, views than the cheaper models- and you can use your Zeiss for "grab-and-go" viewing.

    I always advise people to have a look before they commit to buying- so check out your local astronomy club and see if anyone has some big binos that you look through.

    Have fun!

    - Dean

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