Top astronomy binoculars reviewed – Buying guide & comparison for 2020
Looking for quality binoculars to help you with your astronomy classes? Are you a star gazer but lack the time finding the perfect pair of binoculars for your hobby? Searching for the right pair may seem difficult, especially if you’re with the head in the clouds. Luckily for you, this short paragraph will help you choose the best astronomy binoculars without putting in too much effort. According to our research and top commenters, the Celestron 71198 Cometron are the perfect choice for star gazing because they help you reach a wider portion of the night sky, increase light transmission for brighter, clearer pictures and are best for astronomical use due to their 50mm special objective lenses. If the Celestron 71198 Cometron are not available for purchase, our second best choice would be the Nikon 8248 ACULON.
Our Top Choice
This item will remove the darkness veil out of the night sky, and it will allow you to see every detail, no matter how far. It has a robust and durable aluminum housing and a wide field of view so you won't have to move to snap a shot of the preferred star. It is super ergonomic, and it has 50mm objective lenses.
As a downside, a father mentioned that it could be hard to align the binoculars to the small eyes of a young child.
The conclusion is that the multi-coated optics increase light transmission for bright images with an increase in contrast and even resolution levels. Additionally, its exit pupil provides maximum light during low-light sessions.
If you're looking for something that will help you take your astronomy skills to new heights, this is something worth your money. It features adjustable power multi-coated lenses and the popular 50mm objectives fabricated with Nikon’s brand exclusive lead and arsenic-free Eco-Glass.
A drawback for the intensive user could be the fact that it can be quite hard to focus if you are running or in a moving vehicle.
One last thing to note is that the piece is designed to be as light as possible and to have excellent ergonomics for easy use in rain and wind. The central focus knob makes the binoculars simple to operate and focus.
Olympus created a sturdy piece that will please many consumers. It is especially improved for expert and beginner astronomers, and it features a 5mm exit pupil, making this item an ideal choice for both low-light and daylight viewing. The large lenses produce needle-sharp images of eminent quality.
Some buyers said that the piece could get slippery if you sweat excessively and if you use it with oily hands.
In the end, all you need to know is that it has the Bak-7 lens system and the Porro Prism design that is simpler, lighter, and ultimately, efficient in producing vivid images. Additionally, it offers excellent sharpness.
If you’re short on time but still want to find the best pair of astronomy binoculars, going through countless websites and shopping sites will not help you too much. However, when searching for a new pair of binoculars specifically designed for star gazing you need to take into consideration certain aspects. Want to make sure you did the right choice when you purchased that item? Read below and see if you checked our list with top features and elements your purchase should base on the following details. Check out our binoculars for astronomy buying guide.
Choosing a pair of good binoculars for astronomy should definitely take into consideration the item’s design. Although most binoculars are designed to be sturdy and heavy, they tend to be rather uncomfortable when wearing for a long time. Thus, one of the first aspects you need to look after in a pair of astronomy binoculars is the item’s reliability and dimensions.
Make sure to opt for an item made from lightweight fabrics which will not weigh too much. This way you can enjoy star gazing for a larger period of time without worrying about neck pains or swollen hands.
Before purchasing a pair of astronomy binoculars bear in mind that there are numerous sizes, especially in terms of lenses and objectives. Obviously, the bigger the objective, the larger the sky part you are able to watch without too much effort.
Unfortunately, large objectives do come heavy and are not recommended for using repeatedly and for longer periods of times. In other words, if you don’t want to have neck, back or arm problems, stick to smaller objectives or buy a real telescope with its own supporting system to see deeper into the sky.
Even if you’re in the market for Vixen astronomy binoculars or a pair made by any other manufacturer, you have to make sure that product speaks to your physical attributes.
The magnification power
If you are not really used to tech terms when it comes to telescopes and binoculars, you can easily get lost in numbers and different measurement types. One thing you always need to take into consideration whenever buying a pair of binoculars is the number of times the item will expand the image you see or, in other words, its magnification power.
You can easily pass by all other technical details and be sure you made the right choice right from an item’s main description. You will usually see binoculars marked with two different numbers, for instance, 7×50.
The first number before the “x” shows you the maximum number of times your object will be magnified. In this case, seven times. Obviously, any avid astronomer will look for large telescopes and binoculars to have a maximizing power as big as possible in order to deeper penetrate the skies and even be able to see comets and constellations.
However, regular stargazers may opt for smaller-sized binoculars which are cheaper in price but still maintain a rather high resolution in order to easily see stars and bigger constellations.
Most purchasers tend to forget one important aspect regarding all types of binoculars – their ability to fight against water to maintain a clean and clear image of the magnified object. At times, the sky will be foggy and condense may appear, especially on your lenses.
Sometimes, the sky will be covered in clouds or rain will pour and you don’t want your lenses to be affected. Thus, opting for a waterproof design is the right thing to do to protect your equipment and still be able to watch the skies as you intended.
5 Best Astronomy Binoculars (Reviews) in 2020
To help you make up your mind easier, we have compiled a list of five popular products, all at more than affordable prices. These items are meant to satisfy your wishes to viewing the sky deeper and closer, even discovering a new planet, constellation, asteroid or star. Here are our top choices, all of which have garnered the best astronomy binoculars reviews.
1. Celestron 71198 Cometron Binocular
Our first out of five best astronomy binoculars reviews talks about this Celestron binocular which is advertised as perfect for stargazing and comet watching. However, even though the magnifying power stated by the manufacturer is of seven times bigger than the object, you will have difficulties even seeing the rings of Saturn.
As a result, these so-called astronomy binoculars are rather exceptional for birdwatching or simple stargazing, but not for a detailed map of the Moon or the sky. On the other side, the price is almost half of other astronomy binoculars on the market. Thus it makes for a great addition if you are a moderate sky passionate.
Also, the product works better with a tripod, especially if you want to gaze at the stars, but you will have to buy the device separately. The binoculars do come with a wide neck strap which is comfortable to use and wear, as well as a strong carrying case for security and portability.
Out of the five products reviewed this one has the most advantageous price. You can find something similar or even this exact product for under fifty dollars which, let’s face it, is more than convenient considering that you want some good binoculars for stargazing.
Ideal for astronomical use due to their large, 50mm objective lenses with great light gathering abilities.
Made from a strong and durable aluminum alloy to ensure a long-lasting product even when used in harsh weather conditions.
Achieve amazing, sharp focus with this pair of binoculars which are specifically designed for comet watching and stargazing, even watching the Moon craters.
Useless when stargazing without a tripod. Thus, rest assure you buy one if you want to benefit from all the advertised powers of this product.
Some customers also claimed that, although the product was advertised as for the use of children too, the binoculars didn’t align with a child’s face, thus are rather useless for this purpose.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.95)
2. Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 Binocular
Nikon is a reputed photo camera and tech company specializing in top products with highly professional objectives and lenses. The ACULON A211 is no exception from the rule, displaying a lightweight and durable design made to last through long sessions of stargazing.
The product also comes with three different objective and magnifying capabilities, depending on your personal preferences. Choose the 10x50mm objective lenses for a full display of the star map or stick to the smaller version of 8x42mm if you are a newbie in the field.
No matter the size of the lenses and objective you are choosing, this Nikon product promises to deliver a top quality product, perfect for astronomy uses. Last but not least, bear in mind that this product was designed to last thus it will display a certain durability with all its components. This is only good news especially if you plan a bumpy ride into the wild.
Specifically designed to be as lightweight as possible while still displaying excellent ergonomics. In other words, these binoculars are perfect for those who want to stargaze but don’t want to carry around a tripod too.
It features turn-and-slide rubber eyecups to ensure a comfortable viewing during long sessions of stargazing. You can watch the stars, comets or the Moon craters until the morning without tiring your eyes or hands from holding on to the binoculars.
Simple to operate and really easy to focus due to the central focus knob. These binoculars come with a 50mm lens objective and with a maximizing performance of up to 10 times the size of the viewed object. This makes this particular Nikon pair of binoculars perfect to take into the wild and gaze upon the stars all night long. Again, if you need the astronomy binoculars tripod for an easier use, you will have to pay for it separately.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($96.97)
3. Olympus Binocular DPS-1 Black
One of the best features of this pair of binoculars is the wide-angle field of view allowing you to see an enlarged map of the sky. This means catching in the same time the beauty of narrowing stars as well as the Moon’s craters and other astronomical phenomena that might occur during your stargazing session.
Compared with other binoculars from the same price category, the Olympus ones also feature an anti-reflective lens coating for brighter, enlarged images. Moreover, this item’s performances will allow you to see images bright, clean and without any color distortion.
Although not particularly designed to be a mere pair of astronomical binoculars for sale, this Olympus item does manage to carelessly integrate the UV protection for day use with the large maximizing capabilities for a full sky delightment during the night. In other words, this pair is perfect around the clock, and due to its quite lightweight design, it can be carried around easily.
Affordable price. These are fully professional and come with a classic black design and plenty of available functions. Opt for a pair of binoculars with a 10x magnification rate like this Olympus product and you will able to see almost anything in the sky, from flashy stars to Moon craters, Saturn’s rings and even comets or asteroids (if you are lucky enough).
Opt for a pair of binoculars with a 10x magnification rate like this Olympus product and you will able to see almost anything in the sky, from flashy stars to Moon craters, Saturn’s rings and even comets or asteroids (if you are lucky enough).
UV protection to help you protect from sun’s harmful rays during the day. Now, you may think why should a pair of astronomic binoculars be equipped with UV protection? The answer is simple – you can opt for this product also in the sunlight for birdwatching or performing other wild nature activities involving a magnifying object of such dimensions.
The product requires a certain physical force to be able to hold the objective steady for a long period of time. Although stargazing may sound like fun, wait until your hands start shaking and feeling numb from holding onto a heavy piece of stargazing equipment.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($69)
4. Celestron 71007 SkyMaster Binocular
These astronomy binoculars for sale are a good investment for all sky passionates, no matter the age. Although they are not fully professional tools, the 12 rate magnification makes for all objects to be seen as if you were in front of them. Use these binoculars to watch the Moon or the falling stars and experience what nature has in store for you.
These are perfect for all sky passionates as well as for children to teach them to love nature and experience its miracles. Take these with you anywhere and enjoy a full night of stargazing even when the weather is rainy, foggy or cold.
Due to its waterproof design, this binocular from Celestron will help you see perfectly. Moreover, thanks to the specific design, it is easy to use even by eyeglass wearers which truly makes it a good investment both for your leisure activities as well as for your business trips.
Multi-coated optics for a clear view of the sky
Features a waterproof design which will not allow water to penetrate the main components of the binoculars or cause condensation on the lenses. This way you will have a clear vision of the skyline and the stars no matter the water outside.
Large aperture specifically designed for stargazing and low light conditions. Enjoy a romantic night out watching the stars or manifest your interest towards nature by stargazing the entire night. No matter your desire, you can rest assure these binoculars will help you reach full potential.
Specially designed shape for eyeglass wearers.
You may experience out of collimation and astigmatism with these pair of binoculars. Although the overall reviews for this item have been positive, some customers complained about the poor quality of the binoculars and the fact that the objective tubes were pointing in different directions.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($62.12)
5. Celestron 71009 SkyMaster Binocular
How about a nice pair of astronomy binoculars for telescope use? This pair from Celestron offers great value for the money. People have praised the good quality of the coating, as well as the main technical features and many, prefer using these binoculars instead of a real telescope whenever stargazing.
The product is lightweight enough to be carried in hand without causing fatigue or pains but better work with a tripod. Thus, they are some of the best astronomy binoculars with tripod you can get on the market for a decent price.
Although a comparison between these binoculars and a real telescope is far, they are still extremely well equipped and designed for daily use in the comfort of your own backyard or terrace. They are an improvement from the regular 10x50mm binoculars as they feature a magnifying power of 12 times instead of 10 as well as a larger objective of 70mm to ensure a wider field view.
Large aperture suitable for low light conditions and stargazing, just like the previously reviewed product from the same brand.
Features a tripod adapter to help you transform this tool into a true telescope and see further than you ever dreamt of. Moreover, the tripod allows for an easy using, diminishing fatigue and tired hands.
Similar 13mm long eye relief for better use for eyeglass wearers. With this big pair of binoculars you will get to see the stars, comets and an entire galaxy if you focus on no matter if your regular vision is good or you need glasses to enhance your eyes performance.
After a few uses some customers started getting a double vision even after adjusting the focus settings and the distance settings. Although the product received plenty of positive reviews online, some customers complained about the low quality of the overall product.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($64.95)
How To Choose The Best Binoculars For Astronomy
Some people might tell you that 10×50 binoculars are ideal for sky watching, while others will have a different opinion. What’s important to know is that you should stick to binoculars made for astronomy, and pick a pair that is powerful enough to help you reach the stars and that without leaving the planet Earth.
From specs to accessories, we will focus here on essential information that will help you pick a model that is right up your alley. Even if you are just a novice stargazer, you still need to learn a few things about what makes or breaks a good pair of binoculars for this purpose.
What magnification do you need?
The promise of high magnification often lures people who shop for a pair of binoculars for stargazing for the first time. This term describes how many times an image will be multiplied to bring the object closer to your eyes, and the temptation to choose a model with a lot of magnification is strong. After all, the stars are pretty far away, right.
However, you should know that it’s not practical at all to go for magnification that goes far above 10x. While this value may appear little to you, it is not ideal to hold a large pair of binoculars while you scout the night sky. The thing with high magnification is that it comes with a lot of image shakiness. Trying to hold the binoculars steady is too tricky and will tire your arms.
Of course, some models come with additional image stabilization features, but those are not cheap. The more state-of-the-art features a model has, the higher its cost, and that may not be exactly ideal for you and your budget.
Some people even advocate going as low as 7x or 8x magnification. Others say that 10x models are much better to observe the fine details of the celestial objects in the sky. There are definitely drawbacks to such a choice, as 10x binoculars offer a narrower field of view and more image shakiness.
Don’t overlook the importance of the exit pupil size
While a lot of people focus on the debate regarding magnification, experts say that there is a correlated factor that many don’t even think about. They talk about the size of the exit pupil. That’s not something written clearly in the specs for a pair of binoculars, but you can calculate it by dividing the aperture by the magnification value.
To make things a bit clearer, for 7×50 binoculars, the size of the exit pupil is 7mm. For 10×50 models, this value is 5mm. As you can see, there are some differences to consider. But why is this measurement important?
This size should be a good match with the pupil of your eye. It is true that not everyone’s the same, and your eyes may not open as much as it happens for other people. Stargazers under 30 years of age have their pupils open to 7mm, while after that age, all people tend to lose 1mm of this value with each decade or more of their lives.
That may be an excellent argument to correlate your age with the type of binoculars you can use. The better fit you can obtain, the better, and for activities as demanding as sky watching, such aspects are particularly important.
Here is another thing to remember. If you choose a pair of binocular with high magnification, the exit pupil will be smaller compared to models with low magnification.
What role plays the prism design?
To learn what binoculars are truly a good fit for your needs, you must learn a little bit about optics. Let’s focus a little on the prism design and the role it plays when you shop around for a good pair to use for watching the night sky.
As you look at various models, you will observe a term that repeats for binoculars deemed appropriate for astronomy. That term is Porro prism, and it stands for the optical system inside the model that makes it possible for you to see a clear picture when you’re looking through the lenses of your binoculars.
Two Porro prisms should fit at correct angles so that they can fold and lengthen the light path. This is important for the user to see the correct image of what lies in front of him or her when using binoculars. They are installed a bit wider than the lenses, and they give binoculars that particular bumpy look.
There’s another, maybe unexpected benefit, to Porro prisms, such as the fact that binoculars fit better in your hands. Ergonomic design is a plus, so it’s a good thing that good optics meet comfortable design with so much ease.
You will also learn that there are models that come with roof prisms, and not Porro prisms. These binoculars tend to be more compact due to the particular design of their prisms. They are often preferred for the lightweight design, and also their cheap prices.
However, you should bear in mind that roof prism models can also be pretty expensive, and the chances are that the highest-priced binoculars you can find right now come outfitted with this type of optical design.
Some types of binoculars for astronomy
Even experts may agree that, as long as a pair of binoculars offers excellent performance, it would be a good fit for astronomy. Still, you should never overlook the fact that there are types of binoculars that fit better for such activities. They do come with some shortcomings, but it’s a good idea to learn a few things about them.
For instance, there are giant binoculars that will take your breath away from the first glance. As their name indicates, they are massive, and they may even compete with telescopes in terms of size. With apertures of up to 100mm, they will make an impression, but, as you can easily imagine, hiking them around and holding them can be a task you might not want to be burdened with.
Without a doubt, you should consider getting a tripod for such humongous binoculars. However, if you don’t intend to do a lot of stargazing, you might want to stick with some traditional 10×50 binoculars first.
You can also find binoculars with image stabilization on the market right now. These are pretty neat, and you won’t have to deal with the usual image shakiness that comes with the territory for high-magnification models.
There are not many negative things to say about such binoculars, except that they can be pretty costly. Not everyone can afford, so you may still want to stick with the recommended value from earlier.
Get a waterproof model
While the rule of thumb to keep the cost of a pair of binoculars down would be to forego any features that might hike up the price tag, some features are worth the money. Also, many manufacturers employ them even on low or medium entry models, so they are not that hard to come by.
We’re talking about waterproof models. You don’t have to go whale watching to need such a feature in your binoculars. Even air humidity can condense on the lenses and make it impossible to see clearly. Some models are waterproof, as well as fog proof, so they are the absolute winners.
A tripod adapter
Since you plan on watching the night sky and do so for hours, a tripod adapter is a good idea to have on a pair of binoculars designed for astronomy. Even if the manufacturer might not include the necessary tripod to help you get the best from your binoculars, it is a good idea to have one with an adapter.
Can you use such binoculars for terrestrial viewing?
Some of the models you can see on the market are versatile and can be used for other activities, besides examining the night sky. In case that’s something you want, you should search for features that are more important for terrestrial viewing.
A relatively decent close focus is a must, as models that are made for astronomy do not particularly excel in this field. Should you decide to take your binoculars for a trip to the great outdoors to watch birds, you will need a model with a small close focus.
Another thing is the total weight of the unit. You will surely want a model that won’t be too hard on your hands when you want to hold it for hours.