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Celestron Skymaster 15x70

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I'm looking at buying these binoculars and wondered if anyone has anything to report about their performance. They seem like a good value for money set to use for general night sky viewing. I'm looking for good lunar definition, some basic planetary views (are they likely to show say a general outline of Saturn's rings?) and a wide field of view for making out some of the brighter DSO's.

I think they would be on the heavy side to expect to hand hold for more than a few minutes, so can someone recommend a specific tripod to use with them - one that is sufficient, but not overly expensive. Total budget is around £150 - £180 for binoculars & tripod.

Happy also to hear if anyone would recommend altnernative bins/tripod within this price range.

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Yes, I would definitely recommend them. You get a very nice view of the moon and easily see the larger craters with them. Jupiter is visible as a small disc and it's enjoyable seeing the four main Jovian moons change configuration every day. If you can hold them steady, it's possible to just make out the rings on Saturn, but they appear more as "ears" attached to a tiny disc. As, for DSO's they are great for viewing the brighter ones from my light polluted location: M31, M42, M44, M45 look fantastic. From a dark sky site they'll give any similarly apertured achro refractor a run for their money.

I actually bought a Giottos Monopod and a Manfrotto ball head as a compromise between a steady mount and something that I can throw in a rucksack for travelling (total cost around £80). The monopod isn't as good as a tripod, but gives a stable enough view. I actually hold the bins in my hands most of the time as they are pretty light in weight and I've not found them that tiring to use for short 30-60 min sessions. The monopod is handy for a steady view of the moon and planets.

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Thanks for the advice. Perhaps a daft question, but would I need anything else to attach the bins to the monopod (or a tripod if I opted for one of those) other than the ball head?

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