When it comes to astronomy binoculars, there’s probably not a more well known set than the Celestron Skymaster. They’re some of the cheapest options on the market, and because of their low price point, they’ve become one of the most popular choices for an amateur astronomer.
They come in all different sizes, but one of the more popular sets are the 20×80 Skymasters (check here for our binocular size guide if you’re not sure what that means). So, we’re going to check out just how well these binoculars perform, and whether you should consider trying them out.
Celestron Skymaster 20×80 Binoculars
The truth is that when it comes to low cost yet powerful binoculars, you’re not going to find anything better than the Celestron Skymaster 20×80. They may not be as high quality as more expensive binculars out there, but they’re excellent value for money and they’re ideal if you’re looking to get your first pair of higher magnification binoculars.
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Something that is nice to have in a cheaper pair of binoculars like this is the fact that they’re waterproof. When you’re stargazing, usually the later in the evening (and even into the night) it is, the better. Unfortunately in many areas of the country, it can get cold and damp at this time of night too. So, a waterproof set of binoculars is perfect for that.
Of course, at 20×80 they’re much too powerful for anyone to use without having some sort of mount or tripod with them. Why? At this sort of magnification, even the slightest jolt or movement will have an effect on your view, which will stop you from seeing objects in the night sky clearly. They’re great if you’re looking for a smaller and more portable alternative to a telescope though – and that’s not all they’re good at.
Pros and Cons
- They’re probably the lowest costing set of 20×80 binoculars that you’ll find available on the current market. They’re ideal if you want something lightweight that will still enable you to see planets and other DSO’s in close detail.
- They manage to give you a good image of the night sky. If you want increased clearness in your view, then you can use them with a filter too. This can help when you’re looking at the moon (I find orange the best color for the moon and closer planets).
- Even though they’re a very cheap pair of binoculars, they actually come with a really well made carry case to use with them. This definitely comes in handy, as carrying a heavy set of binoculars around like this can take its toll on your body.
- For those who are using their first set of binoculars, it’ll take a while for you to collimate and align them up properly. This is pretty typical of cheaper binoculars and telescopes, but it allows you to get more magnification at a cheaper price.
- They have a fairly low build quality in comparison to the rest of the market. They’re covered in a plastic finish, and they’re not going to be as durable as many other brands out there like Oberwerk or Bushnell, which are made for more rugged circumstances.
- You need to bear in mind that as well as the binoculars themselves, you’re also going to need to get yourself a good quality tripod too. This can be an additional expense, although the good thing is that they’re not anywhere near as expensive as the mount you’d need for a telescope.
In conclusion, when talking about budget binoculars, there’s no better option for you to go with than this pair of Celestron Skymasters. You can usually find them at a super cheap price, which means that they’re pretty hard to turn down. Of course, they’re not going to be as good as your more expensive high end binocular (think Zeiss), but for beginners, they’re an ideal choice.
A good set of binoculars with with come with high quality lens coating, and potentially a tripod mount and tripod adapter too. It really depends on what you’re looking for, but a set of Skymasters could be a great place to start.