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Walking on the Moon

Celestron binos for backyard observing

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When Celestron was importing their Japanese Ultimas I obtained a 10x50, which is optically and mechanically excellent. If you're looking at a new purchase, a hassle-free return policy is essential before hitting the "buy" button.

Good luck.



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If going for larger version 70 or 80mm binos then the weight goes from 1.7kg upwards, so unless you pump iron regularly  then you will need either a monopod, mount or dedicated binocular mount to view through them with well for any length of time. For binos less 60mm or less you can normally hold these up quite easily.

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Years back I bought a cheap pair of Celestron 15x70s (BA-1s, cheap and cheerful ones sold under a variety of brand names). They turned out to be faulty, but the seller provided me with an Omegon-branded alternative, which was a lot of fun to use, until the bridge broke (just as a replacement pair of far better 15x70s arrived: Helios Apollo 15x70 HDs). These have since been replaced by Helios LightQuest 16x80s, which are actually a touch lighter than the older Helios Apollo 15x70s. The cheaper 15x70s are usually actually 15x64 or so, and quite light (some 1.5 kg). This light weight is not necessarily a good thing, as I found the Helios Apollo at 2.5 kg easier to hold steady, and likewise for the 2.35 kg LightQuest. I generally use them hand held, but I know many people have issues. My Benro monopod with pistol grip and ball head does improve the views, and isn't too cumbersome to use for quick sessions. I use a p-mount (home made) for outreach only, as it is more of a hassle to set up, but allows you to share the views much more easily.



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