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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars640
4.3 out of 5 stars
Style Name: SkyMaster 15 x 70 Porro Prism|Change
Price:£61.40+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 26 November 2012
5/5

I bought these binoculars a month ago and am delighted with them. Here's why:

Firstly, you're paying a very low price for a very good piece of equipment. Just as good during daytime use, these are becoming the standard for astronomical viewing and if you're paying hundreds and hundreds for optics of the same magnification then you're a fool. Celestron now pretty much has the market covered in terms of good optics at a knock-down price. These are the binos I see at just about every astronomy gathering I attend. People love them.

Secondly, they're not heavy to transport at all... unless you're five years old or generally given to moaning. I regularly trek out with these plus the Hama tripod on my back without any problems whatsoever. Granted, the bag is not thick enough but with a little bit of common sense you can pad it out with cheap foam lining as I did.

Thirdly, I cannot tell you how many times I've knocked these things against a wall or chair and found they're in perfect order; they're solid, reliable, and pleasant to hold.

My tips would be these:
1) Buy the tripod with them (it'll be down in the "Others bought these with it" thing lower down the page), you'll need it for steady viewing.
2) Don't bother with the 25x100 version unless you're going to buy an expensive liquid head tripod.
3) Do NOT be tempted to use anything other than a special optics cloth to wipe the lenses.
4) If you're going to be out in the garden at night a lot don't forget to leave these outside to cool down for quite some time prior - if you don't, they'll gather condensation on a cold night just like any piece of optical equipment.

Through these binos I've managed with ease the following:

Seen binary stars in clear separation, taken a lovely look at the Orion Nebula, been blown away by full and clear views of the Pleiades and the Hyades, seen four of Jupiter's moons AND the red bands on Jupiter, sat for an hour just staring up at the Andromeda Galaxy, seen dozens of star clusters in perfect clarity, and had the most jaw-droppingly brilliant views of our own moon in all its glory.

Drawbacks? Criticisms? None other than that the bag is too thin.
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on 23 November 2011
For a little over £100 it is very difficult to find fault with these binos.
These binos can be quickly set up on a tripod, and given the wide field of view and the 'straight through' nature of binocular viewing (as opposed to the 90 or 45 degree viewpoint of a telescope, they are quick to align to whatever object you are looking at. You do need a heavy duty robust tripod however, and I would highly recommend getting a fluid head type as used for video cameras, as this gives a smooth resistive movement and avoids the motion sickness that jerky movements will give you when viewing at x20 magnification.
Viewing stars through binos is a lot less tiring than using one eye through a telescope, and the view is more 3 dimensional, this is especially true if you are able to get away from light pollution. What you loose in magnification compared to a scope, you gain in magnificent wide views of starfields. I had lovely views of Jupiter and four of it's moons on a recent clear night, although I could not make out surface detail.
These binos have a rubberised coating that allows a good grip, and a large focus wheel that is easy to turn with gloves on...important when it is cold on winter nights. Good firm lens caps at the big end actually stay on very well, and the whole kit has a canvas carry bag, which is not padded but what do you expect for the money?..it can store the caps when you are using the binos.
The only area I would mark it down is the tripod mount. It is a metal locking nut which slides along a bar which runs the length of the spine of the binos. the base of this nut screws into a standard 1/4 inch tripod or adaptor plate. The trouble is that the base of the nut is only around 1 inch in diameter so does not provide a very wide solid foot to mount the binos on. The silk finish of the metal bar does not provide a good grip when you screw the knurled nut hard down, which does mean that the binos can slip a little around their axis. This is not too much of a problem if you do not hold the binos whilst on the tripod...just a light touch on the focus wheel and avoid pushing your eyes against the eyecups!
I have used these binos for daytime observation from an old hillfort on the Mendips. The view was nice and bright, but the 80mm objective lenses magnified the effects of heat haze on that summer day, which affected their performance. A recent trip to the same spot last week gave a good clear view right across the Bristol Channel some 30 miles away through the crisp autumn air, so I would give a cautious endorsement to daytime terrestrial use.
It is just about possible to hand hold these binos if you hold them as close to the end of the lenses as possible, but whilst they are not really heavy...you would not want to be doing it for long...these are definately not for casual wildlife viewing! They are big too...so make sure you have enough cupboard space to store them.
33 comments|67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 December 2012
I was looking around the internet for a decent pair of binoculars to use for astronomy. I found the Celestron Skymaster series but I wasn't sure on which binoculars to buy(they all looked really good). But in the end I decided to purchase the 20x80 bins. and I have to say that they are very good quality for your money. I have only had chance to see Jupiter and pleiades but what I have seen so far is brilliant! The binoculars comes with a strap for carrying and a cleaning cloth, and both of them are decent enough. If you are thinking of getting a good pair of binoculars then look no further. These are much better than the other binoculars in the 15x70 and 25x70 binoculars. But I would recommend that you buy the Hama Star tripod with these binoculars as they are too heavy for long time holding. Overall a really good pair of binoculars and I am really pleased with the buy.
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on 15 October 2009
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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on 25 October 2013
A note to spectacle wearers.
My prescription is +6.75 (Long sighted) Have found with these binoculars that the closest I can focus onto while not wearing glasses is about 200m with the focus travel at maximum setting. Bought them mainly to Astronomy so can focus on Moon etc.
However if eyecups are folded down the eyepieces have excellent eye relief (distance from eyepiece to eye) and you can easily wear glasses and still see good field of view.
Also, while using handheld it's best to support the binoculars at the objectives for a steadier view.
Overall I've very pleased with these binoculars and for the price they are a bargin with good manufacture and optical performance.
Highly reccomemded.
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on 6 February 2009
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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on 20 May 2010
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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on 13 December 2012
Ever heard the word collimation, well I had not until these binoculars arrived. After a bit of on-line research I found out the term for miss-allingment (collimation) of the lenses and how to fix them. So I will give it a go to fix them. My advice is if you can pay a bit more and get a pair that work out of the box, then do so.

UPDATE - having googled how to resolve it, I have fixed the problem, so I now have a functioning pair of binoculars, and now fixed work well. To fix them there is a grub screw which can be adjusted quite easily(see [...]). Bottom line here is I do not expect to have to repair a new pair of binoculars.

UPDATE 2 - Used them to look at Jupiter, and you can see the four moons, but they are not strong enough to make out any details on the planet as it is not magnified enough. Having said that I found them more useful for general star gazing than my telescope. I guess having got over my irritation over the collimation, these are worth the money you pay for them.
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on 8 January 2013
I'm a complete beginner when it comes to amateur astronomy and whilst developing my knowledge I felt a pair of binoculars would be better suited and more practical than a telescope.

As luck would have it, on the day they were delivered there was a full moon and clear night sky.

The binoculars were perfectly collimated out of the box (or at least to my eyes they were), and using the supplied tripod mount, attached them to my tripod and pointed at the moon. Wow, you can look at all the pictures on the internet and in books you want, but there's nothing quite like seeing it live and close up right in front of you. I was also able to make out the 5 moons of Jupiter and feel they paid for themselves instantly.

It's amazing being able to point these at the sky and see stars that are simply not visible with the naked eye, and really makes you think "just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there".

For anyone looking to justify the cost, I can easily spend the money on filling my car up and getting 500 miles from it - for the same price you can see stars and planets and millions of miles away AND should last you a lifetime! Go buy you won't be disappointed.
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on 15 August 2013
Me and my dad went half on these and we bought them because we are both keen 'sky watchers' and these are brilliant additions to our hobby. They arrived about 3-4 days after order which was very impressive.

Pros:
Everything; I don't quite know what else to say, you can get good clear close up views of distant objects, one thing that really took me was the fact that you could see thousands if not millions more stars in the night sky than you can with your own eyes, it is really unbelievable. You can get a great view of the moon and its craters and some people have said you can even see other planets and their moons but we are yet to confirm this as the number of clear nights we get here is very limited.

Cons:
Well there is only one and that is that they are quite heavy and strain your arms and neck after prolonged holding, I imagine looking up at the sky for prolonged periods also has a impact on your neck too.

If you love watching the sky, looking at the stars and other astronomical bodies, bird watching or anything which requires long distance viewing, then these are perfect but they are heavy due to the size of them so I would recommend getting a tripod. One other thing is that it comes with a carry case and neck strap which is a big bonus as it means you don't need to buy them separately and makes them much more portable.
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