Go look at any guide to the night sky and we guarantee you will find dozens of celestial sights best viewed through a pair of binoculars. But how big should your binoculars be? Although the 10×50 and 10×42 sizes are thought of as the minimum sizes for astronomy binoculars, it’s not until you get to 15x models that you enter the realm of astronomy-only binoculars. Unlike a lot of its rivals, these big binoculars are thoroughly affordable, but are they any good? Here’s what you need to know about the Celestron Skymaster 15×70.
Celestron Skymaster 15×70 specifications
Objective diameter: 70mm
Field of view at 1000m: 77 meters / 231 feet
Closest focusing distance: 13m / 43 feet
Eye relief: 18mm / 0.71 ”
Weight: 1.36g / 48oz
Dimensions: 220x110x280mm / 8.7×4.3×11 ”
Almost insanely affordable, we can see these large binoculars being purchased for occasional use, perhaps spending most of the year in a cupboard but being brought outside for special astronomical occasions. ..
With 15 times magnitude and 70mm objective lens diameter, these binoculars are perfect for deep sky observing. Sure, you can get 20×80 models – something Celestron also manufactures – but the Celestron Skymaster 15×70 are far later and can just about be held handheld. What you In the box you’ll also find a L-shaped tripod adapter for mounting these binoculars onto a photographic tripod, don’t get on these binoculars is the waterproofing, nitrogen-purging and proprietary XLT coatings that Celestron uses on their Skymaster Pro lineup. as well as a simple shoulder bag.
Build & handling
Can you hold the Celestron Skymaster 15×70 steady enough for stargazing? Just about. Although we wouldn’t recommend using them for long periods, or even as your main pair of astronomy binoculars, their 1.36g / 48oz bulk is actually remarkably lightweight for a pair of binoculars of this size. Perhaps they’re too too light. Although we cannot report any issues during our review, we don’t fancy their chances if the Celestron Skymaster 15×70 were dropped or bashed. The shoulder bag is just about enough to keep these binoculars away from the elements, but do bear in mind that the binoculars are not waterproof and that the caps on the objective lenses and both flimsy and fall-off too easily.
The Celestron Skymaster 15×70 acts almost as a mini-telescope. There are some parts of the night sky that can only be reached by a good pair of 15×70 binoculars. We pointed the Celestron Skymaster 15×70 at M29 / NGC 6913, an open cluster of stars Ò We then scanned the rich starfields around Cygnus using the Celestron Skymaster 15×70 and got exquisitely close-in views. Pointed north we. Also managed to glimpse the M81 and M82 galaxies, which are just out of range of smaller binoculars. The field of view is mostly sharp throughout with only a tiny drop-off towards the edge. relief, which makes it easier for wearers of glasses to get a reasonably immersive view.
However, such is the close-up you get with the Celestron Skymaster 15×70 that it’s worth already having at least a basic knowledge of the night sky to lessen the chance of getting completely lost.
// VERDICT /
Celestron Skymaster 15×70 verdict
The Celestron Skymaster 15×70 have been on sale for over five years and have become a bit of a classic in the world of astronomy binoculars, though they do require careful owners. Pro binoculars elsewhere in Celestron’s stable – may be a slight worry long-term, though during our review all we got was dependably sharp and impressive views of open clusters, starfields and galaxies. We like the fact that they come with a tripod bracket for mounting that said, if you’re going for a long observing session, consider pairing the Celestron Skymaster 15×70 with a good photographic tripod.
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