Helios are not one of the most well known brands within the astronomy scene, but their binoculars are actually pretty highly recommended. They have a few different versions, but the most popular are the Helios Apollo 15×70 binoculars, which typically retail around the $400 mark. This is a little more than a budget buyer may want to pay, but the truth is that it’s actually pretty reasonable. We’re going to take a look at why they’ve got themselves a pretty good reputation.
Helios Apollo 15×70 binoculars review
The Helios Apollo binoculars are some of the best you can find right now when it comes to value. They importantly enable you to get a clear view of the night sky, which is the main thing to think about when picking up a pair of binoculars.
The tough part with a set of 15×70 binoculars like these is that they’re right on the limit between using them with and without a tripod. They’re actually pretty heavy, so you’re definitely not going to want to be holding them up for 20 or 30 minutes with no break. However, you probably can get away with using them for 5-10 minute spells in-between using your telescope.
For most people I’d recommend that you pick up a good tripod to use with them though. They’re at a high enough magnification that the extra stability is going to be necessary if you want to see things clearly and well defined. But they can be used in short spurts with a telescope depending on how comfortable your arms feel holding them!
Pros and Cons
- This set of binoculars manages to offer a really clear view of the night sky, with a more magnified view of the night sky than you’d get with your standard 8 or 10x pair. Of course, you’re going to get a more narrow view of the sky when you’re using them, but it can be worth the sacrifice if you want increased detail.
- When it comes to build quality, this is the best you’re going to find at this sort of price range. Although they’re made in China, which many people associate with cheapness, they’re definitely built to last you a good while.
- Not only are binoculars themselves are well made, and they come in a really useful carry case. This helps you to ensure that they stay secure and undamaged when you’re transporting them, which is obviously important if you want to keep them in top condition.
- For a set of binoculars, they’re very large and heavy, and actually might end up being more difficult to transport than a cheaper telescope or spotting scope at least. This is pretty typical of any set of binoculars with a higher magnification though, and it’s something you need to weigh up when buying a pair.
- Though I don’t think these binoculars are particularly bad when it comes to eye relief, there are definitely options out there that offer more eye relief than these (the Lightquest 16×70 being an example).
- If you are going to go with this pair of binoculars, then you’re definitely going to want to pick up a mount to use with them. Otherwise, you’re going to struggle when trying to use them for any extended period of time.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend that you check out the Helios Apollo 15×70 binoculars if you’re looking to make the step up from a cheaper set like the Celestron Skymasters. They’re a bit better in quality, and you’ll immediately be able to see the difference between the two. Whilst they’re not perfect, they’re one of the best value pairs of binoculars you can find on the current market.