Best Binoculars for Astronomy (UK) 14

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When it comes to looking at the night skies, binoculars can work better than telescopes in some ways. They are more portable, intuitive to use and offer a wider field of view. If you like astronomy, you should have a decent pair of binoculars. Even if you already own a telescope or two, you should still have a minimum of one good pair of binoculars. If you are a beginning astronomer, or if you love to look up at the stars, then you will most likely use your binoculars even more than your telescope. The following is a quick guide on choosing astronomy binoculars. We’ve also listed our Top 3 Astronomy Binoculars for 2018.

astronomy binoculars

 

The Basics of Choosing Astronomical Binoculars

Like every set of binoculars, astronomy binoculars will have two main features: magnification and the objective lens size. So for example, if the binoculars are 10×50 it means they have 10x magnification and 50mm objective lenses. The secret to choosing the perfect night time binoculars is getting the right balance between magnification and lens size that will result in a clear, bright and stable image.

Ideal Magnification for Astronomical Binoculars

As the moon, stars and galaxies are so distant you will obviously want to choose high magnification binoculars for astronomy. But bigger magnification also means an unstable image – this is because every small hand movement is also magnified 10x 15x or 20x times. To avoid image shakiness you will need to either purchase lower magnification binoculars (10x is recommended) or use your binoculars with a tripod.

Note that most 15x, 20x or 25x binoculars can still be used without a tripod for short periods of time. A tripod is recommended if you want to use them for longer periods of time or if you choose to buy the larger and heavier models. Remember that high magnification will allow you to see further and in more detail. The downside is that with higher magnification usually comes a narrower field of view and a less stable image.

moon with astronomy binoculars

Field of View / Angle of View

The field of view relates to the width of your image. For astronomers, this means the amount of sky you can capture when aiming your binoculars to the stars. The wider the field of view the more sky you can cover. Powerful, high magnification, binoculars will often have a narrower field of view and vice versa. Good astronomy binoculars will have both – a good magnification and a wide field of view.

Objective Lens Size

As mentioned before, this is the second number when describing binoculars. Along with magnification, this is the most important feature for astronomical binoculars. The larger the lens is, the more light that gets in, the brighter your image will be. Binoculars for stargazing should be at least 50mm and preferably even 70mm and above. Larger lenses of 50mm to 100mm are very common in astronomy binoculars simply because they can gather more light.

night binoculars image

Conclusion

Think about how you will use your binoculars. If you are using them for the occasional stargazing but also want to take them along for trips and events, then you’ll be better off with lighter, more portable models. 10×50 Binoculars are great for watching the stars yet still easily carried around and used without a tripod. You will not have any issues with achieving a stable image. These will also be handy for general viewing, travel, bird watching, hunting, sports etc.

On the other hand, if you are happy to keep your binoculars fixed in one location and used mainly for astronomy and long distance viewing then go with a larger and more powerful model. Remember that the larger the lenses are, the better your binoculars will be for astronomy – as simple as that! It is no surprise that most astronomy binoculars are also referred to as “Giant Binoculars.” Big lenses mean brighter images.

 

Our Top 3 Night / Astronomy Binoculars for 2018

Here at Procular, we stock over 400 different binoculars. We are also passionate about testing, studying and reviewing every single one of them! Below is a list of our top pick binoculars for stargazing and astronomy:

** Note: All 3 binoculars recommended below are suitable for eyeglasses users **

 

Olympus 10X50 DPS I Binoculars

Current Price: £155

Olympus-10X50-Zoom-DPS-I

Some would argue that 10×50 binoculars are not really good enough for astronomy – but after carefully examining the Olympus 10×50 DPS binoculars we believe otherwise!

The main reason why these are perfectly fine for astronomy is that they have mid-level or perhaps even high-level multicoated 50mm lenses. Unlike other low-priced models these truly deliver the brightness and sharpness you need when stargazing at night. The optics are simply remarkable for this price range. There is no distortion on the sides of the image and the focusing mechanism operates smoothly every time.

Another strong feature of the Olympus 10×50 DPS is their wide 6.5 degrees field of view. This wider view allows you to capture a larger part of the skies. For a low-priced 10x binoculars this is a superb quality.

The Olympus 10×50 are also durable and very comfortable to hold and stabilise for extended periods of time. The folding eyecups allow you to use them with or without glasses. They do not require a tripod. If you need strong binoculars for both stargazing and general use then these are an excellent choice.

 

Celestron SkyMaster 25×70 Binoculars

Current Price: £195

Celestron SkyMaster 25x70 Binoculars

The Celestron SkyMaster 25×70 is a powerful pair of binoculars and a perfect choice for astronomy. These are our best selling astronomical binoculars due to their high quality optics and very affordable price. They are fine to use handheld although a tripod is still recommended for stargazing with this model. The Celestron Skymaster 25×70 are built for night viewing and feature large 70mm lenses. They provide a bright image across the whole field of view, nice vivid colours, solid design and an impressive 25x magnification. The binoculars come with a tripod adapter included and can be used with nearly any standard photographic tripod. They weigh 3.3 pounds so are not difficult to handle at all. They are also very suitable for daytime viewing, especially for long distances where their impressive magnification comes in handy.

The Celestron SkyMaster 25×70 binoculars are currently discounted and available here on Procular for only £195.

 

Celestron SkyMaster 25×100 Binoculars

Current Price: £499 (Special offer)

Celestron SkyMaster 25x100 Binoculars

With astronomical binoculars bigger is definitely better and the Celestron SkyMaster 25×100 binoculars are indeed a big player. This is Celestron’s flagship astronomy model and features outstanding optical quality. The oversized 100mm lenses allow for the clearest and brightest night views one can imagine.

The Celestron SkyMaster 25×100 are highly suitable for long-range terrestrial or astronomical viewing. Note that these weigh nearly 10 pounds so should be mounted on a very strong tripod. The recommended tripod for this model is the Avalon Universal PRO Tripod which is also available here on Procular.

In our opinion the SkyMaster 25×100 binoculars are easily comparable with the world’s best astronomy binoculars – But for about half of the price! The Celestron Skymaster 25×100 are available for a discounted price of £499 including free delivery.

 
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14 Comments

  1. Hi, I’m looking to buy my adult son a pair of binoculars this Christmas for star gazing , so please can you advise as to which make/ type/ model etc I should go for? In the past he has used a telescope on a tripod but unfortunately had this stolen. However he has said recently that he believes binoculars would be just as good. I want to give him a surprise so I don’t really want to question him any further! It would be great to receive your input on this matter, and I look forward to hearing your response. I have read all the questions and answers here but as I know absolutely nothing in relation to such equipment I feel I ought to ask for advice in the hope you can reply in a way that is simplified for me personally! THANKYOU in anticipation!

    1. Hi Lesley,

      If the main use for the binoculars will be star gazing then you should opt for astronomy binoculars. These basically have larger lenses which take in more light and achieve brighter images when viewing the night skies. Many users rate them much better and easier to use than telescopes! Being quite bulky and powerful it is ideally best to mount them on a tripod. As a good all-around astronomy binoculars, we suggest getting him the Celestron 25×70 binoculars below: https://procular.co.uk/celestron-25×70-skymaster-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  2. I am an insomiac and love to sit on the edge of my bed gazing at the stars on clear nights! As my hands are arthritic could you recommend binoculars or a monocular to suit please. I sometimes have a good sleep after a gaze!!!
    Thanks

    1. Hi Mari,

      We can can recommend the Olympus 10×50 binoculars reviewed in the post above. They are quite easy to hold still and produce excellent views of the moon and planets (on clear nights). You can hold them while learning your elbows on the bed to achieve a more stable views and eliminate the shakiness of your hands. You can read more about the Olympus binoculars here: https://procular.co.uk/olympus-10×50-zoom-dps-i-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  3. Hi I’m interested in some astronomy binoculars but am looking for light weight as want to take them on holiday thank u.

    1. Hi Jan,

      Unfortunately with astronomy binoculars it is essential that the lenses are large enough to take-in and enhance light at night. So compact models simply do not work. The smallest pair we can recommend would be the Olympus 10×50 binoculars reviewed above.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  4. Sir/Madam, Does the Celestron 25X70 SkyMaster come with fitted tripod connector (i.e. what is the difference between and “adaptor” and a connector? Many Thanks.

    1. Hi David,

      Yes, the Celestron 25×70 binoculars come with an included tripod adapter in the box. It is a small part that can be mounted on any tripod plate and used to screw the Celestron binoculars to it. Details of the Celeston 25×70 (with the tripod adapter included) below:

      https://procular.co.uk/celestron-25×70-skymaster-binoculars/

      These are very powerful and bright binoculars so perfect for long distance viewing both daytime and night time (star gazing / astronomy).

      Adam Murray, Procular
  5. hello i would like to buy binoculars that are strong i am 52 and decabeld and don t go out ihave been looking out off window at birds and sky i have a 10×50 but not strong anoth for me what do you sagest

    1. Hi Diane,

      We have a good guide on choosing high powered binoculars for general viewing. It also lists the most recommended models. Have a read here: https://procular.co.uk/choosing-high-powered-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  6. Hello can you assist me, l have a pair of Bushnell 12×60 fullycoated power/binoculars ( correct size) are they good for the night sky star gazing etc,someone suggested to me 10×50,s,but I thought I go up to 12x as I have a tripod to them steady as I have byfocals and I have to have fold down rubbers. Any info would be appreciated we do a lot of camping and love stargazing and moon shots are they good for that,need an honest opinion I hope I can use them for this purpose.thanks for your help. They are 12×60.s,376ft at1000yards,are they good for astronomy. I have a tripod stand to keep them steady ,having to wear glasses. Sorry to put you on the spot my apologies can you give me your opinion on my chioceand would they work,I think _10x was the limit for hand held,12x would have to be maximum wouldn’t? many thanks for time and patience,I am a novice to astronomy.I read books and video,s on it,but when it comes to binoculars I am at a lost.telescopes are not for me refractors or the other, thanks for your input.

    1. It sounds like your binoculars would be suitable for astronomy thanks to their large 60mm objective lenses. Basically the larger the lenses the better for astronomy as you want to increase light intake and show faint stars at night. The 12x magnification is good also – some can stable that kind of power hand held while others require a tripod. So basically – yes. they are just as good as 10×50 if not better..

      The numbers and specs are good so now the main question is their quality and therefore actual brightness. This depends on the brand, model and most of all price. For example you mentioned that your binoculars are “fully coated”. The higher end binoculars are “fully multicoated” i.e. their lenses go through a more intensive coating process that increases their light intake capability. When it comes to optics the more you pay the better image you get! But this is something you will only notice when using your binoculars and comparing to other brands of binoculars. That said there are still some good deals to be found if you know which model to go for. Our customers for example like the Olympus 10×50 as entry level astronomy binoculars:

      https://procular.co.uk/olympus-10×50-zoom-dps-i-binoculars/

      But proper astronomy binoculars would have larger lenses (70mm). for example the Celestron 15×70 or 25×70:

      https://procular.co.uk/celestron-15×70-skymaster-binoculars/
      https://procular.co.uk/celestron-25×70-skymaster-binoculars/

      We understand what you mean about telescopes – MANY people share the same opinion as you. Binoculars are a-lot more “user friendly” and can offer a good wide view of the night sky. They are also a-lot more portable so perfect for camping trips.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  7. Hi,

    I’m interested in astronomy binoculars and I’m considering buying either the Celestron SkyMaster 25×70 or the Celestron 20-100x (zoom) x70.

    Could you please let me know if you have any of those ready for delivery? I think your website doesn’t mention the one with zoom option. Would you be able to get that model as well?

    Also, could you please let me know what guarantees I can have that the order won’t arrive damaged due to transportation?

    1. Hi Alex,

      We have a few Celestron binoculars good for astronomy including the 15×70, 25×70 and the variable zoom 20-100×70. Details for these binoculars below:

      https://procular.co.uk/celestron-15×70-skymaster-binoculars/
      https://procular.co.uk/celestron-25×70-skymaster-binoculars/
      https://procular.co.uk/celestron-20-100×70-skymaster-binoculars/

      The 15×70 and 25×70 models are in stock. The 20-100×70 and other Celestron models are on backorder but will be arriving in 7 days.

      Our best model for astronomy is the Celestron 25×100 as its very large lenses let you see stars that are not visible otherwise. This model is though much larger and heavier:

      https://procular.co.uk/celestron-25×100-skymaster-binoculars/

      Note that the fixed magnification models (15×70, 25×70, 25×100 etc.) are optically better than the variable zoom Celestron 20-100×70. Variable zoom binoculars, although sounding appealing, provide a significantly inferior image quality. They are therefor not popular and we hardly sell them any longer. If you are using your binoculars for astronomy then the most important feature is actually the size of the objective lenses (70mm in this case). Along with the 25x magnification you pretty much have the strongest binoculars possible. Unless you of course choose the 25×100 or move into the telescope range.

      We hope this information assists in understanding the specifications of our Celestron binoculars.

      Regarding warranty, we have a 60 days “dead on arrival” warranty that covers any damage relating to transportation. So if anything happened to the item due to bad handling please let us know asap and we will accept the return/exchange/refund according to this policy.

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