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Binoculars - Celestron SkyMaster 20x80mm


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#1 Captain Tweaky

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:58 PM

Does anyone have any experience of these binoculars and if so, would you recommend them? Failing that, are there any other binoculars in the budget price range that anyone might recommend?

 

On one well known forum someone (the name is that of the robot in the Confused.com advert!! :) ) said that except for the Takahashi 22x60, "everything else is awful, perhaps apart from the Kowa Highlanders". OK - if we get past that particular type of absurd comment, I'm looking at something that represents value for money at the other end of the financial spectrum!!  :rolleyes:

 

Yours aye - Cap'n


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Captain Tweaky

 

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon; And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too; I'll see you on The Dark Side of the Moon
 
My Flickr site for all my astro images - and other stuff, if you'd care to take a look!

#2 Neil

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:27 PM

Whats your budget Cap'n?

 

I have a pair of Pentax 10x50 binoculars for the past 10/15 years that are great! I don't think that I paid more than 50-70Pounds for them... Its a long time ago now.

 

Their even the rubberized weather proof ones if that's important to you at all. At least they feel nice in your hands. :P

 

Just checked, they are 189$ now in today's money. http://www.binocular...0x50pcfwpii.cfm

 

However, today, right now, I might spend a little more on these, straight through design with no prism. http://www.binocular...sbinoculars.cfm

 

If you stick to the major manufacturers, such as Canon, Nikon, Pentax and even Vixen, look for a special offer, I don't believe that you can go wrong.

 

If however, your looking for some specialized astronomy binocular, then we have to start all over again. You can even get a 20x60 in the Pentax binoculars. Unfortunately, I have no experience of the Celestron binoculars that you mention but the 15x70 look to be a better quality to me? : http://www.binocular... 4295133279.cfm

 

Clear Skies

 

 

Neil.



#3 Neil

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:54 PM

Is it Marvin the paranoid android?

 

Marvin-the-Paranoid-Android.jpg

 

The answer to your cryptic question?



#4 WarriorsDrink

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 03:50 PM

they seem a popular binocular and get generally favourable reviews, they might need tripod mounting to get the best from them though


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#5 Captain Tweaky

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:09 PM

Is it Marvin the paranoid android?

 

The cryptic comment would only be understood by someone in the UK I now realise!! 

 

"I am Confused.Com the fastest insurance comparison robot in the World - but you can call me Brian!" - it really is that bad!!  :rolleyes:

 

Yours aye - with head held low - Cap'n


Captain Tweaky

 

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon; And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too; I'll see you on The Dark Side of the Moon
 
My Flickr site for all my astro images - and other stuff, if you'd care to take a look!

#6 Captain Tweaky

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:23 PM

they seem a popular binocular and get generally favourable reviews, they might need tripod mounting to get the best from them though

 

I do have an EQ2 mount I was thinking of using. The idea is to do some viewing whilst the other gubbins is doing its imaging thing and I figured a reasonable pair of binoculars would be a good option.

 

Neil - thank you for your suggestions - the Celestron 20x80's appealed because as they are supplied by Celestron with astro in mind, you'd hope they wouldn't be too dreadful The 80mm also seemed like a decent sized aperture for light capture. I know you tend to get what you pay for, but occasionally there is a good offering in the lower price brackets and I wondered if this was one of them!  :huh:

 

Yours aye - Cap'n


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Captain Tweaky

 

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon; And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too; I'll see you on The Dark Side of the Moon
 
My Flickr site for all my astro images - and other stuff, if you'd care to take a look!

#7 Neil

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 07:35 AM

Then the answer is easy,

 

Buy them and let us know how you get on with them. The human eye is an amazing instrument and can compensate for a lot of minor optical aberations whereas a camera will just faithfully record all of them for you to enjoy later. :)

 

I face this issue all the time in my professional marketing life! Its called the "law of deminishing returns": http://images.search...z35&fr2=piv-web

 

I could setup the best binocular factory in the world making the highest quality, aberation free colour correct binoculars but they would cost 2,000$ each and maybe I can find 10,000 customers worldwide! Or I can make binoculars to a lower standard where 80% of the FOV will be aberation free, the colour will look natural and they will cost 200$ each and I can find 1,000,000 customers worldwide.

 

If you set your expectations correctly, you will not be disappointed.

 

And yes this is coming from the guy with the TAK's. :D I fully recognised that when I bought them I was buying "convenience" and being frank, there are telescopes out there of a lesser quality that can produce nearly the same results, you just have to work that little bit hard to get them, that's all.

 

I hope this helps you to make your decision Cap'n

 

Clear Skies

 

 

Neil.



#8 Captain Tweaky

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:29 AM

Neil - many thanks for your considered response. I really don't expect premium quality for £100 but what I really dodn't want is a lemon. I bought some Russian binos at a 'bargain' price and learnt a salutory lesson - they weren't a bargain!! :angry:  Whilst, in astronomy terms, £100 is very little money, in the real world there's no point in throwing it away. The reviews of the Celestron binos have been reasonably encouraging - but whatever way you look at it, they are still very cheap. What sort of telescope would you get for £50 - hmmmm! Plastic lenses to start with!

 

I may well have talked myself out of these binos - back to the drawing board I think! :)

 

Yours aye - Cap'n


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Captain Tweaky

 

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon; And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too; I'll see you on The Dark Side of the Moon
 
My Flickr site for all my astro images - and other stuff, if you'd care to take a look!

#9 WarriorsDrink

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:32 AM

i'm not sure how much you had found the skymasters for but by all accounts the revelation binoculars come out the same factory (United Optics, Kunming) and this seems a good price http://www.telescope...Binoculars.html there might be slight differences in coatings or eyepiece type etc but when it comes down to it the performance will be very similar i'd imagine

 

maybe buy both do a side by side comparisson and return the ones you don't want


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#10 Neil

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 04:30 PM

Wow... Telescope House have a sense of humour! Sir Patrick is still recommending them for the gave, now that's an endorsment - going the extra mile... :D :lol: :o



#11 Captain Tweaky

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 12:06 AM

Well I received my Revelation 20x80 binoculars from Telescope House this evening and took them out to look at the Moon and stuff. Be jiggered if I could focus them properly so took them indoors to find they were broken!!!  So I've repaired them with a very much stronger fixing than the original and can now focus both eyes!!!!!
 
Chromatic Aberation is rife - but what can one expect from a pair of binoculars for £68. Jupiter was clear enough with its moons and the Moon itself was beautiful, but the CA does take the edge off things a bit!! But the Pleiades were magnificent and I've never seen them so clearly - worth the money for them alone.
 
For £142 including a really useful tripod it's hard to complain - but the quality control is very dubious - which is why I repaired them myself rather than sending them back for replacement/repair. But I shall now read Mr Tonkin's article in the S@N with a little more interest!!! 
 
Yours aye - Cap'n

Captain Tweaky

 

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon; And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too; I'll see you on The Dark Side of the Moon
 
My Flickr site for all my astro images - and other stuff, if you'd care to take a look!

#12 binocularsreviews

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 07:44 AM

Great binoculars, perfect for multiple uses.

Good Points:
- Great value for the money.
- good quality, great alignment
- easy to use, much more portable than a telescope (and you get to use both eyes too).
- 20x power really brings things in close.
- work great for daytime observing as well as astronomical use.

Watch out for:
- as with any high powered binocular, these really magnify your motions making things appear jittery. You need to be steady or lean against something to get a clear view.
- you will want a tripod for most critical uses
- they are heavy, so if you hand-hold them, your arms will get tired fast.


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