Jump to content

1564402927_Comet2021Banner.jpg.a8d9e102cd65f969b635e8061096d211.jpg

Affordable astronomical binoculars?


Recommended Posts

Could somebody please point me in the right direction of affordable astronomical binoculars and what to avoid? For ease of use and transport purposes i would like to keep a pair in my car for convenience and oppurtune moments. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're going to have to define 'affordable' for you. These celestrons are popular and are about as big as most can hold without arms turning to jelly after 10 mins!

First Light Optics - Celestron Skymaster 15x70

Lidl occasionally do great value 10x50s made by bresser, try before you buy though as there are quality control issues - get a good pair though and it's a well spent £15....affordable?

I terms of what to avoid, avoid zoom binoculars, especially in the 'affordable' category, it won't work very well and you'll be paying money for that rather than for optics.

Edited by WayBig
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that, they look a decent pair but im after a second hand pair as it makes no difference at all as long as they have been looked after and more of a bargain. Hoping get a pair for under £30 if possible. Been looking on ebay etc but its knowing which have the better optics and what numbers would be applicable for star gazing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with WayBig, they are the bins im getting, every single person i have spoken to have told me they would be fantastic so i am going with them as they know what they're on about. mine are costing £67. to me that is still a fab price as iv seen ones way more expensive that ar'nt half as good x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For £30 (or less) I'd look for a decent pair of 10x50's. Charity shops are also worth scouring - I got a nice pair of 10x50's for £10 in one a couple of years back.

Zoom binoculars or ultra powerful ones (eg: 50x70, 80x100 etc) are not much use for astronomy in reality so avoid those.

The 15x70 Celestron's are nice to use but need a tripod for longer sessions so budget for that if you go for the larger size ones.

Edited by John
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use the Celestron 15x70 and find that their aperture allows me to view Messier objects such as M81 and M82. I have also built a mirror mount that allows me to comfortably use them at a table.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got myself a pair of 7x50s at the car boot today. The vendor also had a pair of 10x50s but they didn't feel as nice to look through and seemed dimmer. £5

Can't wait to try them out on the stars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hey, those of you that have got the 15x70 celestrons, i would like a tripod for them but i havent a clue what to look for. mainly to use on those nights where your so cold you cant stop shaking lol........ any ideas? models? x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use a regular photographic tripod I picked up locally s/h for £20. I put a fine tuning head on it too (£25 from For Sale section) giving limited alt/az control. Does the business just fine for binocular use. :)

Edited by brantuk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The celestron 15x70s are very good but pretty big and heavy for travel and I find them hard to use without a tripod. I like to use my 10x50s for taking around and ease of use and the 15x70s on the tripod.

As for tripods. The horizon tripod on FLO is good but a bit pricey although it's the only one I found that does extend so high that there is no need to crouch down or break your neck or back while looking up lol. It was also recommended by sky at night magazine. Also redsnapperuk.com have a very good tripods at good prices.

Richard

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok so if i look at tripods then what exactly do i need to look for to no they will be compatible? i definately want one as i suffer with bad necks/backs so i want it for comfort, thanks x

You can buy a binocular/tripod adapter. You can get cheap plastic ones on eBay but I personally prefer the L shaped metal ones as they are much more sturdy. I think the fittings are universal but might be worth checking the thread size for the screw hole in your bins. I got the large L one from Firstlightoptics and it fits my celestron 15x70s

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hey, those of you that have got the 15x70 celestrons, i would like a tripod for them but i havent a clue what to look for. mainly to use on those nights where your so cold you cant stop shaking lol........ any ideas? models? x

Slik 700DX and a manfrotto joystick head for me. Lots of extension, solid and a joy to move around the sky. Not so cheap though!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't use the 15X70s at all by hand but agree that they are cracking good kit.

Any photo tripod will do but a budget Manfrotto won't disappoint.

My 15x70s came with a plastic tripod adapter which was quite useless without a simple mod which many other people have hit upon as well. The adapter has 2 channels along its length. Cut some steel bar, or find some thin steel bolts that will lie inside the channels. Mix up a good dob of Araldite and fill the channels with Araldite and a bar or two. Once set the wobbly plastic adapter is as stiff as you like.

For the OP, 10X50 is probabloy the number to look for if hand holding. 8X50 gives an exit pupil of 6.25mm so that should go down younger eyes but may be too large for older ones like mine! 10X50 gives 5mm which is sure to go into your eye.

The best prisms are made of BAK4 glass for which the test is a cynch; hold the bins as if to look through them but too far from your eye. You will then see the light coming from the eyepieces. If the light, the exit pupil, is round they are BAK4 bins. If the exit pupil is polygonal they are not.

Olly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hey, those of you that have got the 15x70 celestrons, i would like a tripod for them but i havent a clue what to look for. mainly to use on those nights where your so cold you cant stop shaking lol........ any ideas? models? x

Maybe a down jacket would be a better way to stop the shaking than a tripod! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

haha maybe but to stop the crick in my neck would be even better. i really need to pick a tripod and get it for the star party in october. tell u what people, if you get board at any point, have a search around for the cheapest ( obviously stable) compatible tripod for the 15x70 celestron. pretty pleaseeee lol, im going to write on a few other threads too. thanks :-))

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I would like to say that I think the Celstron 15x70 are great. I use them handheld some of the time but I have built a mirror mount which allows really steady viewing. I modifed the dimensions from plans in Sky at Night magazine to make the mount take the 15x70 bins. The only draw back with the mount is the inverted view but with an inverted printed out star chart you soon get used to finding objects.

IMG_3309_1.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely recommend the celestron 15x70 skywatchers. Im new to astronomy and bought these yesterday to get me started while i save for a telescope.

Last night is was quite clear, I saw:

Jupiter - very bright, large, no real colour detail but still exceptional. The moons were clearly visible around it.

Pleiades - Very bright and very clear - easy to find. the stars did appear quite blue-ish also.

Andromeda - Couldnt see it with the naked eye as my area is very light polluted but with the binos i located it quite easily, appeared as a smudge. at first i thought maybe it was the lens but as i moved the binos the smudge stayed where it was so i realised it was andromeda.

Although hand held use is very good you I would still most definitely recommend a tripod. After 10 mins my arms were wobbling and it was frustrating becasue i wanted to get a nice stationary look at Jupiter to see what detail i could get out of it.

Still a must buy for any newcomer like me!

Edited by RVanner_
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If buying 15x70's you might be able to avoid the additional cost of a tripod by just using them while sat down in a garden chair. It's what I do and can happilly use them hand held for an hour or two while sat down reclined with elbows wedged in to the arms of the chair.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.