Celestron’s SkyMaster series of large aperture binoculars are a phenomenal value for high performance binoculars ideal for astronomical viewing or for terrestrial (land) use – especially over long distances. Each SkyMaster model features high quality BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics for enhanced contrast. Celestron has designed and engineered the larger SkyMaster models to meet the special demands of extended astronomical or terrestrial viewing sessions.
Binoculars come in a wide range of shapes and sizes these days, and an even wider range of prices. It’s easy to spend less than $100 or more than $500 for what may appear to be, at least outwardly, comparable models. While they may look the same, they are probably quite different on the inside.
Recently, the binocular market has seen a flood of giant binoculars at prices that were unheard of just a few years ago. In general, giant binoculars are defined as those that magnify the view 10 times or more and have 70-mm or larger front (objective) lenses. It used to be that the least expensive giant binoculars cost in excess of $150, even $200. All that changed not long ago, when the bottom fell out of the price cellar. Now, several companies import giant binoculars that sell for half that, or less.
Celestron’s 15×70 SkyMaster binoculars are one of the leaders in the low-price giant binocular arena. They certainly sound good on paper. The SkyMasters include multicoated optics and BaK-4 internal prisms, two features that promise brighter, better images, and key points to look for when judging a pair of binoculars. They also come with an adapter for attaching them to a photo tripod, which is a must to use them to their fullest, and a soft carrying case. But just because they are cheap doesn’t always mean they are worth the price. Would it be better to save up for a more expensive pair?
To find the answer, I had an opportunity recently to judge the SkyMasters against a pair of Fujinon 16×70 FMT-SX binoculars , one of the finest pairs of giant binoculars sold today. Like the SkyMasters, the Fujinons feature BaK-4 prisms, but also have fully multicoated optics. As a general rule, superior coatings mean superior image sharpness and contrast. But then, that should be expected, given that the Fujinons cost many times more than the Celestrons.
While the Fujinons were clearly the better performer, the Celestron SkyMasters held up admirably. Image brightness, quality, and contrast were all remarkable considering their bargain price. Although images were a little soft across the outer 25% of the Celestron’s field, the overall view was impressive nonetheless.
Some inexpensive binoculars have very sloppy focusing, causing the eyepieces to tilt and shift. Not so with the SkyMasters. I found that their center-focusing mechanism worked smoothly, with no apparently backlash or wobble. Eye relief (the distance you hold your eyes away from the eyepieces to see the full field) is stated to be 18 mm, a good distance for higher power binoculars and an important consideration if you must wear glasses when viewing. The SkyMasters are also light enough to support by hand for short periods of time, although buyers would be well advised to mount them on a sturdy photo tripod.
The bottom line is, if you are considering a pair of giant binoculars, whether for bird watching, stargazing, or another recreational use, and have a limited budget, Celestron’s giant 15×70 SkyMasters represent an excellent value. —Phil Harrington, author of Star Ware and Star Watch
- Exceptional value for the price
- Light enough to support by hand
- BaK-4 prisms
- Multicoated optics
- Outer 25% of the field is soft and a little blurry
- Requires a tripod to use for extended periods
From the Manufacturer
- 15x magnification porro prism binocular
- Large 70 mm objective lens offers maximum image brightness in low-light and long-range conditions
- Ultra sharp focus across the field of view
- Multi-Coated optics for sharp, clear views
- Suitable for terrestrial or astronomical viewing
- Protective rubber covering for ultra-firm grip
- Large center focus knob for easy focusing
- Tripod adapter included
- Long eye relief ideal for eyeglass wearers
- Carrying case included for travel and safe storage
- No Fault Warranty provides best protection and product support on the market
Celestron’s SkyMaster Series of large aperture binoculars are a phenomenal value for high performance binoculars ideal for astronomical viewing or for terrestrial (land) use – especially over long distances. Each SkyMaster model features high quality BAK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics for enhanced contrast. Celestron has designed and engineered the larger SkyMaster models to meet the special demands of extended astronomical or terrestrial viewing sessions.
The 15×70 version is one of the most popular models in the series. It offers serious large aperture light gathering in an affordable and reasonably lightweight configuration.
- Optical Design: Porro
- Diameter: 70 mm (2.76 in)
- Magnification: 15 x
- Angular Field of View: 4.4 °
- Linear Field of View (@1000 yds): 230 ft (70.1 m)
- Exit Pupil: 4.7 mm (0.19 in)
- Eye Relief: 18 mm (0.71 in)
- IPD Min: 56 mm (2.2 in)
- IPD Max: 72 mm (2.83 in)
- Near Focus (Binoculars): 43 ft (13.11 m)
- Prisms: BAK4
- Optical Coatings: Multi-Coated
- Caps: Yes
- Strap: Yes
- Carrying Case: Nylon
- Weather Proof: Water Resistant
- Tripod Adaptable: Yes
- Weight: 48 oz (1360.78 g)
NO FAULT Binocular Warranty
The No-Fault warranty is applicable to all Celestron binoculars.
(excluding the VistaPix digital camera/binoculars which feature a 2-year warranty)
A. Celestron warrants this binocular to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for its usable lifetime. Celestron will repair or replace such product or part thereof which, upon inspection by Celestron, is found to be defective in materials or workmanship. As a condition to the obligation of Celestron to repair or replace such product, the product must be returned to Celestron prepaid together with proof-of-purchase satisfactory to Celestron. The proper Return Authorization Number must be obtained from Celestron in advance of return. Call Celestron at (310) 803-5955 to receive the number to be displayed on the outside of your shipping container. You can also send an email for this number from the support section of the Celestron website.
B. The NO FAULT provision of this warranty means that regardless of how the binoculars may have been damaged or rendered unusable (fully or partially) by the
Owner of the binocular, Celestron will repair or replace the binocular without any questions being asked.
To take advantage of this provision, enclose a check or money order for $ 25.00 (U.S. dollars) with the binocular to cover inspection, handling, and shipping.
All returns must be accompanied by a written statement setting forth the name, address, and daytime telephone number of the owner, together with a brief description of any claimed defects. Parts or product for which replacement is made shall become the property of Celestron.
Celestron shall use reasonable efforts to repair or replace any binocular covered by this limited warranty within thirty days of receipt. In the event repair or replacement shall require more than thirty days, Celestron shall notify the customer accordingly. Celestron reserves the right to replace any product which has been discontinued from its product line with a new product of comparable value and function.
CELESTRON DISCLAIMS ANY WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, WHETHER OF MERCHANTABILITY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR USE, EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH HEREIN.
THE SOLE OBLIGATION OF CELESTRON UNDER THIS LIMITED WARRANTY SHALL BE TO REPAIR OR REPLACE THE COVERED PRODUCT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS SET FORTH HEREIN. CELESTRON EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY LOST PROFITS, GENERAL, SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES WHICH MAY RESULT FROM BREACH OF ANY WARRANTY, OR ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE ANY CELESTRON PRODUCT. ANY WARRANTIES WHICH ARE IMPLIED AND WHICH CANNOT BE DISCLAIMED SHALL BE LIMITED IN DURATION TO A TERM OF ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF ORIGINAL RETAIL PURCHASE.
Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages or limitation on how long an implied warranty lasts, so the above limitations and exclusions may not apply to you.
This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.
Celestron reserves the right to modify or discontinue, without prior notice to you, any model or style binocular.
If warranty problems arise, or if you need assistance in using your binocular contact:
Customer Service Department
2835 Columbia Street
Torrance, CA 90503 U.S.A.
Tel. (310) 328-9560
Fax. (310) 212-5835
Monday-Friday 8AM-4PM PST
NOTE: This warranty is valid to U.S.A. and Canadian customers who have purchased this product from an Authorized Celestron Dealer in the U.S.A. or Canada. Warranty outside the U.S.A. and Canada is valid only to customers purchased from a Celestron Distributor or Authorized Celestron Dealer in the specific country and please contact them for any warranty service.
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Multi coated optics
Large aperture perfect for low light conditions and stargazing
Tripod adapter 13 millimeter (0.51 inch) long eye relief ideal for eyeglass wearers; Linear Field of View (@1000 yards) / @1000 meter) 231 feet (77 meter)
Diopter adjustment for fine focusing; Angular field of view 4.4 degrees
Large 70 millimeter objective lens offers maximum image brightness in low light and long range conditions