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Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
|Price:||$69.99 & FREE Shipping. Details|
|You Save:||$19.96 (22%)|
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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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|Exit Pupil Diameter||4.7 mm|
|Field Of View||5 centimeters|
|Item Dimensions||11 x 4 x 8.5 inches|
|Item Display Weight||4.3 pounds|
|Item Weight||3.28 pounds|
|Objective Lens Diameter||70|
|Shipping Weight||4.89 pounds|
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|Objective Lens Diameter||70||35||50 mm||70|
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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
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great value! We are enjoying watching wild-life in our area. Good quality at a very good price.Published 1 day ago by MrsDoc
We took two of these on an Alaska cruise and they were invaluable.Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
It functions like it is supposed to. Only drawback is little too big and too heavy. I want a powerful binocular so it should be big and heavy, so I have no negative things to... Read morePublished 4 days ago by VW Owner
Let me say this, I have looked through over 13 binoculars by the big optics manufactures and several midgrade telescopes...forget the $600 telescope or $200 binoculars. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Frugal Nerd
I believe optics is one of those areas where you really get what you pay for, so I was really surprised how good these are. Read morePublished 6 days ago by S. Mika