It is often said that binoculars are the best “first telescopes”. They really are simply two small telescopes side by side, with a little extra optics magic to make the eyepieces close enough so you can comfortably look through both scopes at the same time. Binoculars are easy and intuitive to us, unlike larger telescope that can be overly complicated and frustrating for beginners, were as binoculars produce a rightside-up image and provide a large viewing field which make it easy locate objects in the night sky, it also require no aligning, you can simply grab your favourite pair, head out side and point them to the stars. Binoculars are especially useful for seeing large craters on the Moon, the moons of Jupiter, the if you’re lucky enough the occasional comet. You find often than not it will be a pair of binoculars that you will grabbing first to scope out the night before grabbing your trusty telescope.
We complied a list of the best binoculars for stargazing Astronomy.
|Binoculars||Magnification||Prism Material||Eye Relief (mm)||Weight||Best for||Bad for|
|Celestron 15×70 Skymaster||x15||BaK4||18mm||2.28lbs||Best Price to Value Ratio, Shorter Scoping Sessions||Eye Strain for users
|Celestron SkyMaster 25X100 ASTRO||x25||BaK4||15mm||8.75 lbs||Viewing planets|
Short to medium
|Bushnell Falcon 10x50||x10||Bak4||9mm||1.6 lbs||Price and compact||Easily damaged|
|Swarovski EL 10×50||x12||BaK4||19mm||2.1 lbs||Eye strain|
Longer scoping sessions
|Orion Gaint View 25×100 Astronomy||x25||Baka||18mm||10.1 lbs||Viewing Plants||Very Heavy
Not Very Portable
Another sky master on the list and with good reason The Giant Celestron 15×70 Skymaster Binoculars offer, phenomenal performance at an incredible price. Designed for astronomical viewing, SkyMaster binoculars will not leave you disappointed with the quality they offer at the price. What is also fantastic about this Celestron binocular is its versatility as they can also be used for other uses, including bird watching and wildlife viewing or any other terrestrial use that requires long distance observation.
The 15×70 Skymaster Binoculars also feature high quality BAK-4 prisms and have multi-coatings for enhanced contrast to transfer the maximum amount of light to your eyes in dark-sky environments, even objects like galaxies and nebulae are within reach of a Celestron SkyMaster Binocular, although next to the 25×100 they do fall short in the crispness of the images viewable.
The Celestron SkyMaster 15×70 binocular is water-resistant and has an adaptor allowing it to be fitted to a standard tripod fitting. Other features include a protective rubber covering for ultra-firm grip, a large center focus dial for easy focusing, long eye relief ideal for eyeglass.
Overall this SkyMaster 15×70 binocular offers serious large aperture light gathering binoculars at an affordable price and reasonably lightweight configuration.
The Skymaster range of binoculars are one of the most highly regarded astronomy binoculars available on the market, they offer a unique optical design that makes for an exceptionally flat field of view, which translates amazingly well to low light situations and making it an excellent choice for astronomy as the field of view is expansive and image quality crisp and clear resulting in excellent performance at a great price.
The larger SkyMaster models (100mm) have been designed by Celestron to meet the unique demands of longer terrestrial viewing sessions, including features such an enhanced structural reinforcement to the main body of the binoculars making them a very durable piece of equipment, a built in tripod adapter to enable easy attachment to tripods and other fixing devices, the SkyMaster model features high quality BAK-4 glass on their porro prisms and multi-coated optics giving an enhanced bright contrast at low light setting .
Celestron did an amazing job keeping stargazers in mind when designing the SkyMaster 25×100. The caters of the moon, jupiter and its four moons, along with Saturn’s rings are all viewable with the 25×100 giving you a spectacular and unique peek at the universe in very portable and egomaniac way.
At a unbeatable price and compact design the Bushnell 10×50 are a great choice for users not wanting to break the bank, a versatile pair of bins, that are ideal for being used on the go, from stadium sports, bird watching and of course giving the powerful magnification there are well suited for astronomy, the porro prism coated lens give good sharp feedback and you can not be disappointed with the optics at the price point of these, another nice feature is the clever fold-down eye cups the protects glasses from getting scratched.
Giving the low price point, there a few draw backs mainly the question of durability, having dropped these once or twice they do scratch up quite easily, although the optics are very good for the price and are more then sufficient especially for getting you into astronomy, they don’t quite have the same optics as more premium models, but then again those models also cost twice, four and five times the amount of the Bushnell.
NO binocular review would be complete without the granddaddy of them all at whopping $2k these are one pricey pair for bins, are they best yes, are the best value no, I personally wouldn’t buy these as I would just rather spend it on a good telescope but these are on the list as they are exceptional and if you got the cash why the hell not!
If you ever held a pair of good binoculars you’ll notice how bulky and heavy they really are, ergonomics are not the strongest suit in the binoculars world, but the Swarovski’s entry is a bit different with ergonomics in mind the Swarovski just feels right not to bulky and not too heavy combine this with the renowned quality of Swarovski’s image capabilities giving bright and sharp images almost right to the edge of the field; and a field of view that is steady and expansive, even the close focus distance is also superb for a 12X (~3m), and the focus knob moves smoothly and quickly between objects very close and those much more at a distant, making these one most exceptional pair of bins on the market today for astro viewing.
Even after extended use in the field, I experienced no eye fatigue looking through these binocular, which is a god send as lately eye fatigue has been a huge torn in my side, there was also no obvious chromatic aberration or distortion; the view appeared as balanced and flat as you’d expect although I did notice that it exhibits same greenish and yellowish tint (a common feature of Swarovski, some prefer others don’t)
The binoculars are one of the most eyeglass-friendly binoculars available, personally I do not wear glasses but most of my colleagues do and we all agreed that eye relief was ample, and the eyecup design was among the best of any of the binoculars we’ve tested.
The drawbacks there aren’t many although for me personally they feel much lighter than other pairs I’ve tested after a long night you may start feeling the effects of the weight and of course the other down side is the price these are one of the most expensive pair on the market today, But they are an unquestionably solid product.
The biggest and brightest astro-binocular from Orionm featuring 100mm objective lenses and strong 25x magnification, Fully multi-coated optics, high quality BAK-4 prisms and internal baffling ensure sharp images and pleasing contrast with maximum light throughput, the barrels are cross-reinforced for maximum structural rigidity and an unflinching optical alignment, Long 18mm eye relief lets eyeglass wearers see an unrestricted field of view without removing their corrective lenses, Jupiter’s satellites are also well resolved and the Moon details you’ll get to see are simply amazing with the Orions.
On the down side the Orio’sn Weigh in at 10.1 lbs for which a tripod is recommended for comfortable viewing, there is some chromatic aberration and comma towards the outer field of view little disappointing given the price point and are not waterproof, which although not many stargazer are out in the pouring rain, but at the price would have a nice to have.