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The Echelon Has Arrived!


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I see FLO have added this new Celestron range to their catalogue.....

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-binoculars/celestron-echelon-16x70-binoculars.html

If these are as good as their price tag suggest's (across the pond), they may well be very nice indeed....

http://www.adorama.com/CN1070EC.html

It'll be interesting to hear how it stacks up against the Fujinon FMT-SX, it's direct competion at that price point.

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I see FLO have added this new Celestron range to their catalogue..... http://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-binoculars/celestron-echelon-16x70-binoculars.html If these are as good as their price

I have been trying to pin Celestron down for a price and ETA but I am not getting very far. They were keen to stress the Japanese optics, aluminium construction and assembled in America but wouldn't b

They have to be Fujinon-like in performance, and even then it would be hard to justify the outlay compared to the BA-8s like the Helios Apollo

I would agree with that Michael. Towards the end of last summer, my father in law imported the Fujinon from the USA, and I've had the opportunity to compare it with my Apollo on a few occasions. There's no doubting its optical quality, but the Apollo does run it pretty close at less than half the price. For me though, and although (iirc) on paper the usable eye relief is similar, I find the Fujinon feels tighter and I really have to have my eyes shoved right in there to take in the whole fov. I actually had first refusal on this instrument just before Christmas, but didn't bite for this reason. If the Celestron is competing at the same level optically & mechanically, & the stated 18.6mm of eye relief is accurate, they could have a real winner. Time will tell I suppose?

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I have been trying to pin Celestron down for a price and ETA but I am not getting very far. They were keen to stress the Japanese optics, aluminium construction and assembled in America but wouldn't be drawn on a price or ETA. My gut feeling is it'll be several weeks at least before we see them and they will be pitched at a significantly higher price than the Helios Apollo series. 

HTH, 
Steve 
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Interesting the specs concentrate more on the coatings than the glass itself - no giddy claims therefore of ED or "apo" quality. So I suspect the perfomance will turn out to be very similar to the FMT-SX, i.e. very sharp, good light throughput, but poor CA - (not that it matters too much for deep sky).

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Thanks Steve, looking forward to the impending reviews and inevitable comparisons with the Fujinon FMT-SX, should be interesting :smiley:

Also to the UO BA8s. Be interesting to see what you get for ca. 3x the price...

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Has nobody here got their hands on these yet? Surely they (Celestron) would lend you a pair to evaluate Steve?

Not a peep about these on any of the forums, I guess no one is willing to take the chance and be the guinea pig!

I'll see what I can arrange :smiley: 

Steve 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Steve....anything to report on the Celestron Echelon binos?

I'm mostly intetested in the 16x70 and how it compares to the fujinon fmt-sx 16x70.

Did you get a chance to test them out? Any info would be greatly appreciated

Thanks,

Steve

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Hi Steve....anything to report on the Celestron Echelon binos?

I'm mostly intetested in the 16x70 and how it compares to the fujinon fmt-sx 16x70.

Did you get a chance to test them out? Any info would be greatly appreciated

Welcome to SGL :smiley:

We tried all three Echelon binoculars at the SWAF. We are not a Fujinon dealer so were unable to compare the FMT-SX 16x70 but we did compare the Celestron Echelon 16x70 with the Opticron 16x80 WP Observation. The Opticron won, without difficulty. 

HTH, 

Steve 

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Thanks for the welcome and fast reply!

That Opticron looks a lot like the Vixen Giant ARK 16x80...do you know if they are essentially the same binocular? I was considering the Vixen as well. If it is the same then I would know it is better than the Celestron. Can you elaborate on where it outperformed the Celestron...on axis sharpness, off axis sharpness etc...

Thanks,

Steve

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Thanks for the welcome and fast reply!

That Opticron looks a lot like the Vixen Giant ARK 16x80...do you know if they are essentially the same binocular? I was considering the Vixen as well. If it is the same then I would know it is better than the Celestron. Can you elaborate on where it outperformed the Celestron...on axis sharpness, off axis sharpness etc...

I cannot say for sure if the Opticron is the 'same' as the Vixen but I think I am safe saying it comes from the same stable. 

And I cannot say precisely why it was better than the Celestron because it was about three months ago, we were looking through a lot of binoculars and I don't want to rely on my memory. But it wasn't only me who noticed. In particular we let a customer take them both outside the marquee on tripods and spend some time alone comparing them. He purchased the Opticron. I might be a little biased towards Opticron, I have liked the company and their products throughout my working life and my own binocular is an Opticron Imagic (I am not directly familiar with Fujinon but they have an excellent reputation). 

HTH, 

Steve

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I am pretty sure  the Opticron is the same design and build as the Vixen ARK. The specs (including the surprisingly low weight) and look are too close for this to be a coincidence. There may of course be variations in coatings, or perhaps glass type, but they look identical. I compared 20x80 ARKs to my Helios 15x70 Apollo HD, and they were very close indeed. Echelons have to be VERY good to justify the extra outlay.

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