176 of 177 people found the following review helpful
I purchased the Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25x70 Binoculars on a whim when they were available for $59.99. I already own several pairs of binoculars including the Celestron 15x70 SkyMasters. The 25x70 SkyMasters are very powerful, and have decent optics. There are several drawbacks though. The 25x70 Skymasters have a very narrow field of view, even compared to the 15x70's. For astronomical use, you're going to need a good tri-pod, as they are very heavy, and next to impossible to hold steady enough by hand. Even with a good tri-pod, the included tri-pod bracket is not very good, and will cause the binoculars to shake with any kind of vibration. The optics on the binoculars are good, but not great. In this price range, the optics are more than satisfactory. If you're on a budget and looking for very powerful binoculars, then I recommend the 25x70's as long as you know the limitations. Personally, I think the Celestron 15x70 SkyMasters are a better choice. They have a much wider field of view, and are a little easier to use without a tri-pod.
Edit: Just to add 1 tip. Regardless if you wear eyeglasses or not, if you roll down the eyecups, you'll get a much wider/better field of view. The eyecups aren't an issue on the 15x70 Skymasters, but rolling them down on the 25x70's makes a great deal of difference.
121 of 127 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2010
I have a lifelong interest and love of astronomy but I am still a novice when it comes to using binoculars and telescopes. After reading several reviews and product comparisons on Amazon I selected the Celestron SkyMaster 25 x 70 Binocular as my first binocular specifically designed for night time skywatching. I am very pleased with this binocular and I recommend it to other beginners. Based on the reviews I have read I think it would also be a good binocular for more advanced users. I recommend purchasing a sturdy tripod designed to hold this type of binocular because it can feel a bit heavy after holding it with your hands for several minutes. Celestron makes one and it is the one that I purchased. I am also pleased with the tripod. It is sturdier than the one I use for a camera and the mount seems sufficient for the size and weight of this particular binocular. The Celestron tripod also has features that allows the user to track the movement of the moon by manually repositioning the binoculars without having to remove the binoculars from the tripod. Both the binocular and tripod are easy to setup and use. During my first and second use, I focused on the moon and I was able to see it clearly and with detail (visible craters, etc.). The light coming into the binocular is sufficient for my "over the age of 50" eyes and eye-sight. The images appear bright and clear. Even as a novice I was able to setup quickly, start viewing night time objects right away, and I even able to take pictures through the lens (which I will try to post on this ad).
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2013
I originally gave these four stars because the focus has play in it. I bumped them up to 5 stars because of the low price and the fantastic astronomical views. They stay in the focus you put them in, but the play occurs only during adjustment. My 16x50 is much better for daytime sight seeing.
1. The eyepiece lens is 23mm, vs 18mm for my Nikon Aculon 16x50, 16mm for my Celestron 10x50, and 13mm for my Tasco 7x35. Despite this, they have the same eye relief as the smaller binoculars, and also a moderately smaller apparent field of view.
2. I followed the exit pupil, drew a triangle, and quickly and accurately measured the apparent field of view of the Celestron 25x70 to be only 57.5 degrees, and that is the maximum no matter where your eye is. My Nikon's are 61 degrees, my Celestron 10x50 is 60 degrees, and my Tascos are 58 degrees. Visual observation confirms these math measurements.
3. They are noticeably heavier than my other binos, but not a lot.
4. They are easy to hand hold very steady in the day time, without resting my elbows on anything. At night it is much better to have something to brace my elbows on.
5. They look like they are good quality, other than the thin strap.
6. They are 10.4 inches long, and 8 inches wide.
7. There depth of focus is less than that of lower powered binoculars, so I really have to adjust them as I aim around at stuff terrestrially at different distances. These are better for astronomy than for birding. My 10x and lower did not need to be adjusted much unless I looked at something really close. My 16x is in between, but still pretty forgiving.
8. The focus is smooth but has a short lag, and requires diopter adjustment of the right eye to compensate for the lag. In cold weather, the focus wheel is tighter than any of my other binos, but still reasonable enough to turn.
9. I am a bit near sighted, so I get a closer near focus at around 50 or 60 feet instead of the advertised 75 ft. My nikons near focus at 18 ft, not their advertised 28 ft.
As many other reviewers already said, the eyepiece barrels seem too big around, and pinch my nose if I try to get closer to the eyepiece. However, if I carefully measure the interpupilary distance, I can place them so I see the full field of view without the pinch. It just does not come as naturally as with my 10x50. I separated them to see if getting one eye closer would give a bigger field of view, but it did not. I guess how close I get is close enough. It just feels weird them being that far out on my nose and making that third point of contact like that. Edit: next day: I'm getting used to the new feeling.
The correct place to hold these binoculars is by the barrels in front of the prisms. That is how to get steadier views. Better yet, slouch down in a chair and put your elbows on the arm rests. Then all you'll see is your heart beat.
I looked at a distant light, and compared its size to the Nikon's 16x. I find it very believable the Celestrons are 25x.
The field of view is not as wide as advertised. The apparent field of view is 57.4 degrees, not 61. The belt of Orion just barely fits in the view. The moon is 30% of the view. The true field of view is 2.4 degrees, not the advertised 2.7 degrees.
The arms of the eyepiece adjuster also have some wiggle in them causing a 1/4 inch delay when turning the adjuster wheel. I have had to re-adjust the right diopter even when I did not touch the center wheel, indicating it might be moving a bit. But it does not take long to get back into focus. There is also a flare visible off to the side of the exit pupil, though I don't see it during astronomy.
Despite these flaws, I can't subtract a star at only $70 shipped. These binoculars are a league above my 10x50 for astronomical viewing, at least in terms of looking at individual targets. A telescope has many advantages, but these are grab and go. However, to see the phase of Venus, you need to stop down the aperture and sit down to brace your view.
I easily saw the correct shape of the Orion nebula on a half moon when my 10x50 could see nothing.
I could see the dark side of the half moon, whereas my 10x50 could only see the bright side. My 16x50 also saw the dark side.
Jupiter looks much bigger in the 25x70, but I may need to reduce the aperture to see the stripes. I can see bands on Jupiter 114mm f8 Newtonian telescope at 28x, but I can't see bands at 25x in the binoculars.
The Pleiades look much better in the 25x70 than in the telescope or my other binoculars.
The double cluster in Perseus is clearly visible in the 25x70, and looks tiny with an almost stellar core in my 10x50.
Andromeda, M31, looks better, with M32 and M110 noticeable by it, and very hard to see in my 10x50.
I can see a tiny ring around Saturn at 28x in my telescope, but at 25x, I sometimes see a ring around Saturn and sometimes I don't. On the day that I could see a ring, my 16x50 detected ears.
I can see M13 and other globular clusters as small fuzzy balls. I could find them in my 16x, but smaller. In my 10x, I can locate most of them, but they look like stars. Maybe I can detect a little fuzz on M13. In my 7x, I can't locate most of them, but I can see M13 and maybe a few others, though I don't remember.
All of my observing was hand held, unbraced.
I could point them at whatever I wanted and hit my targets just fine. I had trouble hitting Andromeda right away because I could not see it naked eye.
M82 and M81 are easy to identify in my 25x70 as I sweep over them. I can see the cigar shape of M82 in my 16x50 too, though I can't find either one in my 10x50.
I can see a mountain range on the moon in the 25x70 when my elbows are braced. I've not yet found it in my 16x50.
Airplanes look bigger but take longer to find in my 25x70.
At 25x, you can't tell where you are in the sky from the star orientations. You just have to point and look, and you know where you are when you see the object you are looking for. At 16x, I can pan around from bright star to bright star and figure out where I am by memory. At 10x, I can see some bright stars in the same field of view, but have to pan for others. And at 7x, you can easily see where you are.
I actually think my view of M31 was more enjoyable in a 15x70 than in these 25x70, though I know the Orion nebula is better at 25x. It keeps getter better even at 60x.
M33 can be located at lower power, but the 25x70 gave the best view, giving maybe a hint of spiral structure.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2015
I bought these to replace my old hunting binoculars. I have not had the chance to take them hunting but when I do I will update this review.
I have used them to observe the moon and Jupiter. I was blown away to see the 4 moons of Jupiter. I also pointed them at my across the street neighbors air conditioner and was able to read the information on a small sticker.
I initially had trouble getting a single clear picture everything I looked at had 2 images. I contacted tech support and they were ready to send me out a new set. I found them to be prompt and friendly. Oh and they are based in AMERICA! The problem however was user error and an exchange was not necessary.
The 25x70 DO come with a tripod mount, but as many people point out it's not good enough to keep the binoculars stable. I fixed this with 2 rubber washers (cost 80 cents). Its not a prefect solution but its good enough.
I read where someone said a mono pod would work to stabilize the binoculars... NOPE, not even with the washers. You really need a tripod for these.
I bought a snapzoom thought it would make it easier for my kids to see objects. The snapzoom doesn't really fit due to the center focus-er. You have to set it up using the single lens configuration. even then its not good. This is more a reflection of the snapzoom not the binoculars. Save your money, and get a nice tripod.
The lens rubber protesters are nice. The black "deluxe" case it comes in is a step up from a plastic bag you get from the grousers.
Over all these are really nice. I'm really happy with them, and would recommend with to anyone. I would buy these again. In fact I'm so pleased with them I'm looking at other Celestron optics. Their 15x70 look cool, and they have several award winning telescopes that wont break the bank.
Enjoy I hoped this helps
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2011
I have had these for 7 months. I use them mostly for terrestrial (land and water) viewing. They need a tripod; but, I because of there weight and good balance I have been able to view low flying vintage planes or fast moving boats with them. When properly focused the optics are very sharp and very good. Objects over the water come in clear depending on the weather from 4 or more miles away.
On the minus side, the focuser is weak. The left and right side eye pieces often do not move evenly. The focus adjustment for the left eye is easily pushed out of adjustment by a slight pressure on the eye piece or when refocusing from close to farther way.
Also, The tripod adapter is a not good enough to hold the binoculars firmly, you need to hold them with both hands with the tripod to get a good view.
Given the price paid and what seems to be very good quality coated lenses these are very good binoculars.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2014
I was attracted to these binoculars because they were 25x and inexpensive. I also had a good experience with Celestron's 15x70s.
The binoculars arrived with the prisms badly aligned, and hence next to useless. While I didn't spend a lot of time evaluating the optics, I noticed blurring away from the center of the field of view.
The jiggle was terrible, but that is inherent in all big binoculars, that is 15 power or greater. The higher the magnification, the greater the jiggle. Like all big binoculars, these require a sturdy tripod, a tripod that will likely cost one about the same as the cost of the binoculars if not more. I already had one, and didn't intend to hand hold the 25x70s.
The field of view was quite small, but that is also inherent in big binoculars. The higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view. When I use my 15x and 20x binoculars, I must have a 10x pair to orient me in the night sky. That saves a lot of frustration
For astronomy use, these 25x70s must have a sturdy tripod, but that assuming the binoculars are properly manufactured. Frankly, at their low price, one can suspect manufacturing shortcuts have been made.
My 15x70s had less but still significant jiggle, and were barely useable when hand held. They were far better used with a sturdy tripod.
For the beginner in amateur astronomy, a quality pair of 10x50 pair of binoculars is strongly suggested.