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Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
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- Multi-coated optics
- Large aperture perfect for low light conditions and stargazing
- Tripod adapter. 13 mm (0.51 inch) long eye relief ideal for eyeglass wearers
- Diopter adjustment for fine focusing
- Large 70 mm objective lens offers maximum image brightness in low-light and long-range conditions
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From the manufacturer
SkyMaster 15x70 mm Porro Binocular
Celestron’s most popular, high magnification sky and land binocular!
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Large Objective Lens
Large 70 mm objective lens offers maximum image brightness in low-light conditions.
15x magnification is great for both astronomical and terrestrial viewing.
Can be mounted on a tripod for steady, hands-free viewing.
Quick & Easy Focusing
The large center focus dial makes sharp focusing quick and easy.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Comfortable & Eyeglass Friendly
Soft, rubber eyecups are comfortable to use and can be folded down for use with eyeglasses.
Durable and Armored
The rugged, armored exterior provides protection as well as a secure gripping surface.
Multiple Accessories Included
Objective lens cap, rain guard, tripod adapter, carrying case, neck strap, lens cloth, and instruction manual all included.
|Field of View (degrees)||4.4°||2.7°||3.7°||5.3°|
|Field of View (feet @ 1000yds)||230||141||195||278|
|Diopter Range||-4 to +8||-4 to +8||-4 to +8||-4 to +8|
|Close Focus Distance (feet)||52.5||102.5||106.3||47.2|
|Eye Relief (mm)||18||13||18||17|
|Environmental Protection||Water Resistant||Water Resistant||Water Resistant||Water Resistant|
Compare to similar items
|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Bfull||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||6ave||Tri State Camera|
|Item Dimensions||4 x 8.5 x 11 in||7.5 x 3 x 6.8 in||7 x 12 x 16 in||14 x 11 x 6 in||8 x 11 x 5 in||3.15 x 7.6 x 5.94 in|
|Item Weight||3.28 lbs||1.75 lbs||5.86 lbs||6 lbs||2.6 lbs||1.35 lbs|
|Objective Lens Diameter||72 millimeters||50 millimeters||80 millimeters||70||50 millimeters||42|
Celestron and ;s SkyMaster Series of large aperture binoculars are a phenomenal value for high performance binoculars ideal for astronomical viewing or for terrestrial (land) use - especially over long distances. Each SkyMaster model features high quality BAK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics for enhanced contrast. Celestron has designed and engineered the larger SkyMaster models to meet the special demands of extended astronomical or terrestrial viewing sessions. The 15x70 version is one of the most popular models in the series. It offers serious large aperture light gathering in an affordable and reasonably lightweight configuration.
Binoculars come in a wide range of shapes and sizes these days, and an even wider range of prices. It's easy to spend less than $100 or more than $500 for what may appear to be, at least outwardly, comparable models. While they may look the same, they are probably quite different on the inside.
Recently, the binocular market has seen a flood of giant binoculars at prices that were unheard of just a few years ago. In general, giant binoculars are defined as those that magnify the view 10 times or more and have 70-mm or larger front (objective) lenses. It used to be that the least expensive giant binoculars cost in excess of $150, even $200. All that changed not long ago, when the bottom fell out of the price cellar. Now, several companies import giant binoculars that sell for half that, or less.
Celestron's 15x70 SkyMaster binoculars are one of the leaders in the low-price giant binocular arena. They certainly sound good on paper. The SkyMasters include multicoated optics and BaK-4 internal prisms, two features that promise brighter, better images, and key points to look for when judging a pair of binoculars. They also come with an adapter for attaching them to a photo tripod, which is a must to use them to their fullest, and a soft carrying case. But just because they are cheap doesn't always mean they are worth the price. Would it be better to save up for a more expensive pair?
To find the answer, I had an opportunity recently to judge the SkyMasters against a pair of Fujinon 16x70 FMT-SX binoculars , one of the finest pairs of giant binoculars sold today. Like the SkyMasters, the Fujinons feature BaK-4 prisms, but also have fully multicoated optics. As a general rule, superior coatings mean superior image sharpness and contrast. But then, that should be expected, given that the Fujinons cost many times more than the Celestrons.
While the Fujinons were clearly the better performer, the Celestron SkyMasters held up admirably. Image brightness, quality, and contrast were all remarkable considering their bargain price. Although images were a little soft across the outer 25% of the Celestron's field, the overall view was impressive nonetheless.
Some inexpensive binoculars have very sloppy focusing, causing the eyepieces to tilt and shift. Not so with the SkyMasters. I found that their center-focusing mechanism worked smoothly, with no apparently backlash or wobble. Eye relief (the distance you hold your eyes away from the eyepieces to see the full field) is stated to be 18 mm, a good distance for higher power binoculars and an important consideration if you must wear glasses when viewing. The SkyMasters are also light enough to support by hand for short periods of time, although buyers would be well advised to mount them on a sturdy photo tripod.
The bottom line is, if you are considering a pair of giant binoculars, whether for bird watching, stargazing, or another recreational use, and have a limited budget, Celestron's giant 15x70 SkyMasters represent an excellent value. --Phil Harrington, author of Star Ware and Star Watch
- Exceptional value for the price
- Light enough to support by hand
- BaK-4 prisms
- Multicoated optics
- Outer 25% of the field is soft and a little blurry
- Requires a tripod to use for extended periods
Top customer reviews
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This is a great product overall. You will see spectacular views of the moon and larger deep sky objects like the Andromeda galaxy and the Orion nebula. These are a better entry to the world of astronomy than a telescope due to their portability and ease of use.
First, these binoculars are meant for astronomy.
These are heavy, and due to the 15x magnification need to be mounted on a monopod or tripod. I can't overemphasize that.
The focus is slow and stiff.
If sports, hunting, or birding is your primary use, look elsewhere at smaller, lighter binoculars.
If astronomy is you primary use, you may be able to live with these for occasional terrestrial viewing.
These binoculars are not a telescope. Sounds kind of simplistic,I know, but if you are seeking to see the bands on Jupiter or detail in Satrun's rings, these won't do that for you. But you will be able to see Jupiter's moons and the rings on Saturn - enough that you can tell what you're looking at.
The "very good":
Optically these binoculars are very good. The field is bright and flat and they focus sharp to the edges. False color (Chromatic aberration) is visible as red/blue fringing around bright objects. It is not at all severe, but it is there and visible on bright celestial and high contrast terrestrial objects. It is worse at the edges of the field than in the center. Views of large deep sky objects like the Orion nebula are really beautiful. The contrast is very good.
The "just ok"
Mechanically the focus is a little hard to adjust. There is some play in the mechanism that has to be accounted for, but it is very easy to focus out, then back in to the point of perfect focus. Once focused they stay that way for a long time.
The "totally unacceptable"
The plastic tripod adapter is totally and completely useless. The binoculars just rotate back and forth and it takes forever for them to settle down after you move them. That's a shame because at 15x magnification these need to be mounted on a sturdy tripod. Even in light wind the tripod adapter just causes the binoculars to wiggle back and forth.
I have ordered the Celestron 93524 Binocular Tripod Adapter and will see if it is good enough. Even with that adapter, the center of graviry of the binoculars won't be at the tripod's pivot point, so you have to keep the friction on and that makes it harder to move them. A better balanced tripod mounting scheme would be killer.
An incredible value. Good optics, decent mechanics, and an unusable tripod adapter.
Throw a decent tripod adapter that is sturdy and fit for the purpose. Extra credit for centering the CG at the the tripod attachment point. Lose the useless strap, and raise the price
There are youtube videos out that walk you through adjusting the double vision yourself, and also more than a few that advise against it if you want professional results.
And so, why a two star rating and not a one star rating? Because these binos feel substantially good in the hand. There is also too much purple fringing going on so the images are not going to be super great, but at that magnification and at that price, it's a pretty marvelous toy and that ain't bad.
They are heavy, and longish. I can hold them steady enough to see buildings on the horizon I never knew were there before. And I can see planes on a runway I didn’t know I could see before. But, trying to follow a moving object in the sky or focus in any kind of a steady way over time, forget it. I do have a tripod and I did spend the extra for a good mount.
Although I am really wondering about just sending them in and saving a bit to get some binos that don't have the purple fringing and don't come with double vision. Good enough at $50 if you accept no warrantee and if your are handy, you can make them work. Close enough to good enough and yet, and yet .. your mileage may vary.
Works best with a sturdy tripod that features manoeuvrable lever handles left-right and up-down. Can be handheld for short burts of time but once fatigue sets in it will be hard to hold a steady image. Especially, when celestial viewing and you need to achieve a high overhead angle. Makes me giddy if I overdo trying to get an image. Otherwise no issues with getting the binos in focus out of box.
The small tripod stand binos come with is plastic and a little filmy. However it does its job. What I do is to mount the small plastic tripod stand on the tripod proper, and then screw the binos on to the small plastic tripod stand. Recommend to have The neck strap on while doing this.
The neck strap and case that comes with the binos is of low quality but again it does its job. I replaced the neck strap with a quality DSLR camera neck strap. I would wish to get a better case if I am traveling with the binos.