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4.3 out of 5 stars
Celestron Skymaster 20 X 80 Binoculars
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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2011
My wife and I bought a pair of these recently and we are well impressed. These 20x80 binoculars are great! Faint objects are really prominent due to the immense light gathering power of the 80mm lenses.

The 20x magnification meant that we recently got splendid views of the moon and Jupiter with them. It was quite amazing that Jupiter's shape and also it's four brightest moons were easily visible. And I have to add that the sky wasn't all that clear at the time either (it was a little bit hazy) so we're really keen to see what they'll do when we start getting proper winter clear skies!

The instrument feels well built and the optics are well aligned.

Be aware though that these binoculars are heavy so you'll need some sort of tripod in order to keep them steady.

We went for 20x80 binoculars after reading about different types for astronomy in "Stargazing with binoculars" (published by Firefly), which we'd bought from Amazon some weeks before. We decided to go for something more powerful than the usual 10x50 binoculars as we wanted to get better views of dimmer objects, the moon and the planets. If you don't want to pay this sort of money though, note that Celestron also do cheaper (and lighter) 15x70 and 25x70 models for around half the price. However, if you want even more light gathering power, there is also a 25x100 model but that is around twice the price of these 20x80 binoculars.

Overall, these binoculars have performed well and we don't regret the purchase.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2012
My Celestron Skymaster 20x80 binoculars were received a few weeks before Christmas, but as they were a Christmas present bought for me I didn't get any chance to test them out before they were all wrapped up ready for the big day! So now I've had chance and these are my findings after using them for about four or five hours solid.

Firstly, I can confirm that mine were NOT out of collimation. I'd been reading all about collimation as a number of people on the net had reported this problem with various Celestron binoculars (and others) so I did absolutely loads of research on the net in case mine needed collimating. In a nutshell, collimation means that the prisms are slightly misaligned causing a sort of slight doubling of the image. Apparently, the manufacturers of Celestron binoculars in China don't have the best quality control system in place and it seems that unfortunately some of these models ship already out of collimation. If you don't know what to look out for chances are you'll just put up with it as it can be barely noticeable, but it can cause eye strain and headaches as your eyes try to 'correct' the image. So, I've been lucky with mine as they are certainly not out of collimation. The image through the 20x80s is great, nice and bright and I found they snapped to a good focus. Focusing on a dark vertical post against a bright sky background revealed a little color fringing, certainly not enough to be a problem, but this will be present in just about any binocular optics anyway unless you go very expensive. All movable mechanisms like the focus wheel and the dioptre (right eye piece) adjustment are nice and smooth with no sign of stiffness thoughout it's range.

Finally I thought I'd mention the weight issue as a lot of people mention this. They are pretty heavy yes. unfortunately this is a trade off for the large 80mm objective lenses. If your only using them to grab and use for just a minute or two before putting them down again then you really shouldn't have too much of a problem, but then I'd have to wonder why you would go for something of this size and weight if you never plan to use a tripod. Mounting them on a tripod is without doubt where you will appreciate them most, especially as this is what this model is designed for with the built in tripod adapter. Had a good look at the stars during a brief break in the clouds and it was great. Now looking forward to clearer skies and getting away from all this light pollution. I hope this helps a little. I'm really pleased with mine and wouldn't change them.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 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.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2011
excellent night sky views from these bino's. I was a little skeptical when buying but was pleasantly surprised. These are quite bright and with good sharpness from the centre to soft ish at outer edges of focus.contrast is middling to good . For the money these are a great bargain but they aint too strong and some tender loving care is advised and what ever you do dont drop them.
you can just make out the shape of saturn, ring is visible
the moon looks amazingly big and sharp with some tight colour fringing on the outside edge
stars seem a little warmer in colour but resolve to pin points of light
As the seeing at this time of the year varies from crap to really crap I cant comment on any deep sky stuff.

if you want super contrasty super sharp binos go elsewhere and add another 1000 or 2 or as far as you want to go, to your budget.
I would recommend these binoculars to someone to start off with in astronomy as they will see so much more with these compared to the rubbish telescopes that most people start of with.
you also need a good tripod as they are quite heavy to hold still.
The pair i received seem to have good collimation but from the reports i have read it is a bit of a lucky bag in this respect.I was lucky ...........so far.......... ENJOY

Sharpness 7/10
contrast 7/10
focus 7/10
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2011
After having priced a few binoculars,i decided to give these a go- and am delighed with my
purchase.For someone who wants to take up astronomy for the first time..they are great.

One important factor...a tripod is a must as these are HEAVY .thanks
I WOULD NOW LIKE TO ADD A BIT MORE TO MY REVIEW AS I HAVE BEEN USING THESE BINOS FOR A
FEW WEEKS NOW AND AM MORE THAN IMPRESSED AT HOW WELL THEY PREFORM.I BOUGHT THEM MAINLY
FOR THE SKY AT NIGHT AND THEY ARE BRILLIANT..EASY TO SET UP AND FOCUS.I HAVE NOW STARTED
TO USE THEM DURING THE DAYTIME AND WHAT A VIEW ,SO AGAIN I CAN ONLY GIVE THE HIGHEST
PRAISE FOR BOTH QUALITY AND PRICE.(I HAVE TRIED OUT A SIMILAR PAIR BY ANOTHER COMPANY
WHICH COST A LOT MORE AND MUCH PREFERE THESE ONES..THANKS
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2014
Read the reviews - these seemed to be ideal as a grab and go for Astronomy. I have the standard 10x50 but just wanted something with a bit more collecting power and magnification. I have a C6 telescope so had some comfort in the celestron name.

I do not want to write a long rambling report so have summarize the reasons why I returned these bins.

1,
Fringes (Green and Red) around the rim of the moon. \did not expect that - and should not have to accept it at this price

2,
Could not get a comfortable fit by adjusting the distance between eye pieces - not been a problem with other bins I have owned. Could have been a quality issue.

3,
Tripod mount just not up to the job. I have a very sturdy tripod which I have used with a few spotting scopes in the past. The Celestron bins just had two small contact with the base of the tripod head to provide a firm attachment. Was better off hand holding them.
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