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389 of 404 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent binoculars which incorporate the most important features for astronomical viewing
This posting begins with a discussion of some core information about binoculars for astronomical viewing that should help potential purchasers make a more informed purchase decision.

If you have other viewing objectives than astronomical objects, or are already familiar with binocular specifications, you may want to stop here or just read the latter part of...
Published on 9 Dec. 2009 by One-Reader

versus
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good cheap binoculars
I had to return the first pair they sent me as they were mis aligned . With a bit of research I found out that these are made in China and are sold by various companies that have the cover modified with their logo . They are heavy and need a tripod, broomstick or shoulders to hold for any length of time. For a starter or a second pair for friends they are fine . Don't...
Published on 19 May 2012 by Rich3z


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389 of 404 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent binoculars which incorporate the most important features for astronomical viewing, 9 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Celestron 71009 15 x 70 Skymaster Porro Prism Binoculars (Electronics)
This posting begins with a discussion of some core information about binoculars for astronomical viewing that should help potential purchasers make a more informed purchase decision.

If you have other viewing objectives than astronomical objects, or are already familiar with binocular specifications, you may want to stop here or just read the latter part of this review before going on to other postings; otherwise, read-on.

There are two main styles of "true" binoculars. Here, binoculars that do not use prisms such as opera glasses, are not discussed further. Most binoculars use one of two type prisms, either roof prisms or Porro prisms. Roof prisms are more modern and have a straight through appearance, i.e., the binocular cylinders form straight tubes. Porro prism binoculars (named after Ignazio Porro) have a tell-tale right angle bend. These usually are manufactured with two prism on each side of the binoculars, i.e., double Porro prisms. Although considerably larger in size, because of their improved optical qualities Porro prism binoculars, such as the model reviewed here, are preferred over roof prism binoculars for astronomical viewing.

Another important aspect of binoculars is the size of their exit pupil. Younger folks have pupils that can open, dilate, to a maximum size of slightly over 7mm. However, as one gets older the size of this window into the eye reduces. Over the age of thirty most folks have a reduction in their dark adapted pupil size of approximately 1mm every 20 years. The exit pupils for a pair of binoculars should ideally approximate the entry pupil of the observer's eye. Although some studies suggest an even smaller exit pupil size, see below. The size of a binoculars' exit pupil is found by dividing aperture by magnification. For example, common 7 x 50 binoculars (7 power by 50mm) have an exit pupil of approximately 7.14mm. In practice, this exit pupil size is larger than many adult's dark-adapted pupil size, particularly when some extraneous light is also present. In most viewing environments such as in or near a city such extraneous "light pollution" is almost always present. In addition, the periphery of the eye's lens exhibits some inherent optical degradation. Thus, an exit pupil size around 5mm may be preferred, although some experimental evidence suggests an exit pupil even less than 4mm may be most appropriate. These 15 x 70mm binoculars have an exit pupil of approximately 4.7mm resulting in more of the light exiting the lenses entering the eye than might occur with e.g., 7 x 50mm binoculars.

One of the most important considerations when choosing binoculars is their light gathering ability. Binoculars are essentially "light buckets". The human eye at its widest has a 7mm plus entry window. The 70mm objective lenses here have over 50 times the light gathering area of the human eye. Another factor affecting the light transmitted by binoculars are the materials used in their lenses and lens coatings. The least expensive binoculars have uncoated lenses or single coated lenses. Multi-coated binocular lenses and BaK-4, barium crown glass prisms, as in these Celestrons, are typically more expensive but improve light transmission resulting in sharper and brighter images.

The best eye relief, i.e., the distance your eyes needs to be behind the exit pupil of a binocular to see the full exit image is probably between 15mm and 20mm. These binoculars provide 18mm and additionally come with rubber eyecups. Thus, I've been able to use these both with and without glasses. I use lightly tinted sunglasses when viewing the moon to see more detail. In this case I leave the eyecups raised. When viewing without glasses I leave the eyecups down.

In use, I've found the images sharp and with adequate contrast to enjoy star clusters, the moon and planets. This pair's primary negative is its size and weight. These binoculars are really big. Owing both to their size and weight and as well as the relatively high magnification they are not comfortable to use hand-held for any but the shortest period of time. Because of their magnification, the slightest shake moves the astronomical object out of the field of view. Fortunately, they come with a tripod adapter. However, for some the need to use a tripod may defeat the value of having a "portable" pair of hand-held binoculars. For these observer's a smaller 50mm binocular is more appropriate. A minor problem is the carrying case, mine arrive with missed stitching on about a 1" section of a vertical seam, letting light through and possibly rain. The case is also a bit tight making it more difficult to easily insert and remove the binoculars, a better degree of quality control for the case, and a slightly larger size would seem more appropriate. Simply holding the case to the light and looking inward will reveal any stitching missed.

However, even recognizing that these binoculars cannot be hand-held for any extended period, they are probably one of the best choices for astronomical observers who need relative portability compared to a probably more cumbersome and expensive telescope. Perhaps surprisingly, they are also an extremely useful adjunct for those who use telescopes.

In summary, these binoculars allow for considerable additional exploration of astronomical objects compared to the naked eye. However, a tripod is required for any extended observations. Highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product - very happy!, 11 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: Celestron 71009 15 x 70 Skymaster Porro Prism Binoculars (Electronics)
Having read conflicting reviews, I cautiously purchased these binos, they arrived and... Brilliant!

Very robust, good quality and well designed, they look good too. I think the price is very good too. Crisp, clear image and no problems with collimation as reported by a few reviews. Easy to perform the initial set-up and the tripod adapter works really well.

Not as heavy as I was expecting, although I brought a monopod in the end which gives me the perfect mix of stability and manouverability with less weight.

What have I seen so far: Lots of clouds (I live in London), The Full Moon with such clear detail of craters and blemishes and all and Jupiter and 4 of its Moons (amazing to see sometinh so far away as almost pea-sized).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars decent bins, limited ability on tripod, 1 Jan. 2011
By 
P. K. Preston (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Celestron 71009 15 x 70 Skymaster Porro Prism Binoculars (Electronics)
OK, so I've had these a few days and have only managed to use them during the day a couple of times to see the other side of town, and once tonight to see Jupiter but scuppered by more cloud cover. The image seems fine but it's seriously hindered by the tripod bracket. It has to be the most inappropriate peice of kit they could've included. I'm wondering if it might have been better to leave it out rather than be criticised for such rubbish.

I am a serious photographer, so I know my tripod is more than up to the job, and I had a closer look at the bracket while doing it's job - or trying to. The flex that is clearly visible means that the bins will wobble with the slightest of nudges, which is any touch when trying to find an object or focus - or if you touch the eyepiece with your glasses for that matter.

I don't have a problem with the binoculars themselves, although I haven't really given them a proper testing. What I would say to anybody thinking of buying them is: get a decent tripod mount or be frustrated by the limitation.

Feel reasonably sturdy and well protected for the price. Probably a useable introduction to astronomy.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Binoculars, 15 Oct. 2009
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Mr. M. J. Kew (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Celestron 71009 15 x 70 Skymaster Porro Prism Binoculars (Electronics)
Excellent binoculars, BUT, very delicate, don't drop them or even knock them as the lenses will go out of line and they are broken for good! I knocked mine on a table just after I got them and they were useless with a double image. I sent them away to be re-aligned but they still aren't right.
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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Celestron 15x70, 6 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Celestron 71009 15 x 70 Skymaster Porro Prism Binoculars (Electronics)
They are nice for the money. I do like mine. Despite what you read dont try 15x70 binocs hand held unless if you are Data from startreck. Yes it can be done, but the vibes mean you lose alot and it aint that comfortable. Tripod mount it. The bracket they supply is a joke though. Plastic and flexes to much. You will need to order a proper one - solid metal - which wont flex.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First proper binoculars, 20 May 2010
By 
Dominic Finn (Scottish Borders) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Celestron 71009 15 x 70 Skymaster Porro Prism Binoculars (Electronics)
I got these so me and my kids could look at the stars and the moon and see all the wonderful things in the galaxy.
They are big, so getting them on a tripod will help, but I managed to use them to watch some crows dive bombing an osprey.
The kids haven't gpt much of a look in yet, but my wife and I spent a good ten minutes just looking at the moon.
I did a bit of research on binoculars for star gazing, and I haven't been disappointed.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Celestron SkyMaster Binoculars, 11 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Celestron 71009 15 x 70 Skymaster Porro Prism Binoculars (Electronics)
After much research, I finally decided to go with the Celestron SkyMaster Binoculars. They are better than I expected, I can see the moon clearly, very close up and my only advice is they are quite heavy so a tripod is recommended. I am not an expert on Binoculars but I am VERY pleased with these. Happy Stargazing.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Value Binoculars - make sure you have a tripod!, 21 Aug. 2010
By 
Mr. George M. Skinner (Poole, Dorset) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Celestron 71009 15 x 70 Skymaster Porro Prism Binoculars (Electronics)
These binoculars are very good value, and I was undecided whether to give the full 5 stars. The weight and the need for a tripod makes it not a piece of equipment that you can take on a leisurely walk. If you are thinking about buying a pair, you should make sure you have a tripod, especially if you are wanting to view something for anything longer than a few seconds. There is an easy fitting included for the tripod. Also, because they are quite big - just under 11 inches from eyepiece to objective lens cover, they are also quite heavy - hence the use of the tripod. They come with a carrying bag, which is soft, not a hard case. Overall, a good product and I would recommend itCelestron SkyMaster Binoculars 15x70.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Celestron Skymaster 15x70, 14 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Celestron 71009 15 x 70 Skymaster Porro Prism Binoculars (Electronics)
First of all I would to inform you that I'm a beginner in astronomy.Friends advised me I should start stargazing with a pair of binoculars.They said it's the easiest and cheapest way.I was very confused and I didn't know what to choose.I didn't have any idea about binoculars.I searched a little bit and I found the "Celestron Skymaster 15x70".I wanted to buy something cheaper,but I was advised to buy that pair.Lucky me!I had my doubts,but in the end I made my decision and I bought the Celestron Skymaster 15x70.I believe that this pair of binoculars is great.Although it would be better to have a tripod if someone wants to stargaze,you can watch the moon clear without any problem.As for terrestrial targets,I found the Celestron Skymaster 15x70 very reliable.

Celestron Skymaster 15x70 is a very good choice for a beginner or not and it's worth its money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Considering a first telescope or pair of binoculars? Look no further, 22 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Celestron 71009 15 x 70 Skymaster Porro Prism Binoculars (Electronics)
I am an amateur Astronomer and chose these over a telescope as my first purchase. WOW these are amazing...

PROS.

-Portable and easy to use without mount if you are reasonably strong, better and less shaky with tripod
-Viewing is excellent without a mount if a little shaky but that obviously depends on the individual
-They come collimated (aligned) as long as they haven't been battered in transit
-EXTREMELY easy to use
-Here's the important bit, WHAT CAN I THROUGH THEM?? During the last three nights I have viewed The Pleiades, Hyades, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, The Moon, Aldabaran, Castor & Pollux, Milky Way, Betelguese, Sirius...... The list goes on.
Planets are visible even they only appear as discs and looking at clusters in phenomenal (you won't believe it till you see it)

* I am waiting for a contact lense fitting so what I have seen so far is without my eyes even being 100%, can't wait to see what awaits.

CON
-The plastic mount that is supplied with the binoculars is garbage and should be replaced with the OPTICRON L MOUNT and twinned with the TAMA STAR 63 MOUNT
- Not 100% sure but I don't think these can be used with glasses sadly :( Update ** You can use glasses with these however I find it easier without

These are the place to start in my opinion, for the price you can't go wrong
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