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Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter

4.1 out of 5 stars 2,027 customer reviews
| 262 answered questions

List Price: $89.95
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  • Multi-coated optics
  • Large aperture perfect for low light conditions and stargazing
  • Tripod adapter
  • 13 mm (0.51 in) long eye relief ideal for eyeglass wearers
  • Diopter adjustment for fine focusing
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This item: Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
Customer Rating 4 out of 5 stars (2027) 4 out of 5 stars (1315) 4 out of 5 stars (923) 4 out of 5 stars (267)
Price $69.99 $22.99 $38.57 $65.67
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Magnification Maximum 10 8 8 16
Objective Lens Diameter 70 35 50 mm 70
Item Weight 3.28 pounds 1.32 pounds 1.68 pounds 3.25 pounds
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Product Description

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

Product Information

Product Packaging:Standard Packaging
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 4 x 11 inches
Item Weight 3.3 pounds
Shipping Weight 4.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Item model number 71009
Customer Reviews
4.1 out of 5 stars 2,027 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #83 in Camera & Photo
#5 in Camera & Photo > Binoculars & Scopes > Binoculars
Date first available at Amazon.com March 19, 2003

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By D. J. deJong on January 11, 2006
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I've been an amateur astronomer for about 23 years. I have a broad amount of experience with the kind of optics that are used for astronomy. I have used most every type of instrument and have visited some of the great professional telescopes. I have hand built my own newtonian telescope including machining the german equatorial mount. Soon after completing this instrument I took it to a star party and ended up on my back with a pair of Fujinon SX binoculars. To make a long story short, I preferred the binos to the view in my telescope. Telescopes are expensive, they are big, heavy, hard to move, hard to store, complicated to set up correctly, and the view through the eyepiece can be crowded and dissapointing. For the casual observer binoculars are the superior choice. They are everything that a telescope is not...relatively cheap, light, easy use. And because they are so easy to use, you will end up using them much more often than you would a cumbersome telescope. That aspect of binoculars alone will make them show you much more than a telescope ever would. The Celestron 15X70 Skymasters are by far and away the best amateur astronomy instrument for the money on the market right now. They are truly and incredible value. You could spend $600+ on Fujinon SX binoculars and have a very fine instrument, but after using these, that would be a hard argument to make. Most everyone's eyes are not able to discern the fine differences between the two instuments. Mind you, I am not telling you that these are as good as the Fujinons, but at about a 10th of the price...well you get the idea. My experience with Celestron is that they are a first class operation.Read more ›
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I purchased the 15x70 Celestron Skymaster Binoculars primarily for casual astronomical viewing. Most of my remarks and observations center around using them for deep sky scans.

First, the basic stats:

Magnification: 15 power (50% greater than 10x50's)

Objective size: 70mm (equivalent light gathering power twice that of a 50mm binocular)

Field of view is 4.4 degrees or 230 ft. at 1000 yards

A surprising near focus of a mere 43 ft.--exceptional for this type of binocular.

Eye Relief: 18mm so one can wear eyeglasses--providing the rubber eyecups are folded down

Exit pupil is 4.67mm (only .33mm less than 10x50's at 5mm)

Other stats: Center focused; BAK-4 prisms, Porro design; Multi coated (but not fully multicoated) optics; Tripod adapter included an extra value (3 ½ inch vertical clearance). Case with strap--the latter the weakest part of the whole package.

During daytime, we used it for scanning distant wildlife and mountain ridges. Excellent performance. Tripod adapter best used when viewing level or slightly above level angles. I found it too tedious and straining to attempt oblique views with a conventional photographic tripod. A tip on holding it steadier by hand: rather than grasping it the normal way, try holding each 70mm objective end with your hands.

For amateur astronomers and novices wondering what you can see and its limitations, here are some notes in viewing familiar objects: Jupiter is readily resolved as a disc but seems too bright to see its bands.
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My first night out under dark skies with these binoculars was a terrific experience. In ninety minutes of observing I had great views of M36, M37, M38, M44, M50, easily saw the Trapizium in Orion's nebula, saw the Andromeda galaxy and it's companions streaching across 75% of my FOV. It had taken me two observing sessions with my 5" reflector to find M33, with the Binoculars I found it in two minutes, M81 and 82 were also easy.

All this and I don't even have a tripod yet. I may well spend more time with the 15 X 70's than I do with my telescope.

They are also great for terrestrial viewing. Contrast and definition are excellent. Best optical value I've ever seen.
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I purchased these binoculars for night sky viewing. I had a pair of 10X50 Bushnell binoculars and I was impressed with what I was able to see through those so I bought these for even more in depth viewing and they have not let me down. They are ideal as supplements to a telescope or if you don't have a telescope, these are great for your first introduction to optics that will open up the night sky to you. They are much easier to use than a telescope and you can see all kinds of neat things. I viewed such things as the Orion Nebula, the Andromeda galaxy, the Pleiades, and double stars such as Mizar and Alcor in Ursa Major with relative ease and they looked stunning. Focus these binoculars in on the Milky Way and you will see tons of stars you wouldn't be able to see otherwise. I was even able to look at Saturn and with some steadying of the binoculars against my chest, could slightly make out the definition of the rings. These binoculars also do a magnificent job of viewing the moon.
I had read some reviews that they are really heavy and bulky, but I found that they were surprisingly light and easy to steady free handed. They are quite large, which means that they will take up more space than a normal binocular, but this is to be expected. Mine did come with a carrying case and a tripod adapter (which I haven't used yet, so I cannot comment on its quality).
Overall, for the price, you can't go wrong. I've used these binoculars in the daytime and they are great--crystal clear optics. They also seem very durable and with some care, will probably last you many many years. If you are new to stargazing and are considering a good pair of binoculars that will show you all kinds of wonderous things, look no further than the Celestron Skymasters--you will not be disappointed.
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