Customer Review

72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great binoculars for the $$, especially if you know how to use them, June 10, 2011
This review is from: Celestron SkyMaster 20x80 Binoculars (Electronics)
I'm a collector of binoculars, mainly military, and I'm very familiar with the capabilities and limitations of various types of binoculars. I bought the Celestron SkyMaster 20x80 binoculars over a year ago and have used them many times. I prefer the 3-D effect that binoculars provide vs. spotting scopes or telescopes and I also wanted to use these for viewing objects on land and for astronomy.

The SkyMaster is great for many types of viewing. They are very good for long distance viewing. The main thing to be aware of with the SkyMaster is that they are heavy and large binoculars--not unlike some WWII navy or antiaircraft binoculars. Holding them steady to view things on land is fine for short periods of time. Once your arms start to fatigue, holding them steady is difficult resulting in unsharp images. Holding them steady for astronomy, other than the moon, is next to impossible, even for short periods of time. So, to get the best quality images from these binoculars you'll need to put them on a tripod using the tripod adapter that comes with the SkyMaster. I use sturdy tripods (Manfrotto) I have for my DSLR cameras. Once on the tripod, the SkyMaster is a joy to use. At home, I have them set on a tripod overlooking the ocean about 1/4 mile away. I can easily see whales spouting, people on boats, seals, and otters. I can clearly focus on birds that are as close as 30 yards away.

Occasionally, I take them on hikes. They fit well in a daypack along with a sturdy traveler-type tripod. I have no problems using the SkyMaster with or without glasses. They are easy to focus given that they are 20x magnification. The images are clear and bright.

The SkyMaster is well built and will hold up to minor abuse. The included fabric case will not protect the binoculars during travel. They're only good for storing the binoculars while indoors. The magnification and light gathering ability of these binoculars, along with good quality lenses, make the SkyMaster 20x80 excellent binoculars, especially for the price and if you use them knowing their limitations--use them on a tripod. You won't get the awesome views you'd get from Swarovski binoculars, but you'll be saving yourself close to $2,000.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 8, 2011 2:29:39 AM PDT
G-Money says:
Thanks for taking the time to share your very well written, detailed, and informative review with all of us folks making that "but which one ('regardless of the ads and hype') should I buy? " decision. Cheers! GW

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2012 8:08:21 AM PDT
Is there a specific tripod I need to purchase? Does it have to be a Celeston brand tripod?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2012 8:25:30 AM PDT
It has a standard tripod socket. Any normal tripod works, although like in photography, the sturdier, the better.
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