If you’re looking for a new set of binoculars, it can get pretty confusing knowing what the best brands are for your needs. Fortunately, things don’t need to be that difficult and it really isn’t that hard to make a decision. Celestron Skymaster’s are some of the best entry level binoculars around. But what’s the difference between the 15×70’s and the 25×70’s, and which would be best for your needs?
The difference between the 15×70’s and the 25×70’s is the magnification of each set of binoculars. If you want to avoid using a tripod, then you’ll want to go for the 15×70’s. But if you want to get a more in depth view of the moon and planets, then you’re better off going for the 25x70s; but you’ll need to get a tripod.
This is a simple analysis of the two sets of binoculars, but there is a bit more to it than that. The Skymaster Series are considered to be some of the most affordable astronomy binoculars around, and as well as these two models there are other models that they offer. But the better the binoculars, the more that they cost. So, let’s have a look at the Skymaster series and what they offer.
Celestron Skymaster Series – 15×70 vs 25×70
The Celestron Skymaster Series are usually one of the first advised binoculars for entry level astronomers. There’s a few reasons for this. Of course, the primary reason that these binoculars come so highly recommended is that they’re relatively cheap. Not only is the cost a factor, but that quality that you’re getting for the cost is generally considered to be decent.
Now, don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of other, better binoculars out there (have a look at the list of my favorite binoculars). The Canon 18×50 binoculars spring to mind. But on average, they cost anywhere from 15 to 20 times the cost of the Skymasters. So, it’s very easy to see why these are the go to for new astronomers. Both the 15x70s and the 25x70s are a good choice for the right person.
As I’ve said, the 15x stands for 15x magnification and the 25x stands for 25x magnification. In my opinion, 15x is about as much as you’re going to get away with using without having to invest in a tripod. The 15x70s are ideal for convenience and usability, but you aren’t going to get a good view of anything too distant. However if you’re using the 25x70s, you will tend to get a slightly grainier view due to the high level of magnification.
You don’t need to get an expensive tripod for these types of binoculars. You can pick up a cheap one on Amazon that will do the job well. The binoculars will come with a tripod adapter, as of course Celestron are aware that they need to be stabilized.
Why they’re great for beginners
Celestron Skymaster 15×70 are some of the most powerful binoculars Celestron made in the 1970’s. I have a Celestron Skymaster 15×70 set that was originally given to me by my father. It has stood the test of time and has been used for countless hours watching birds, boat races, boating and other activities on the water, not to mention driving at night or viewing sports events!
Celestron Skymaster 15×70 were designed with big objectives in mind… BIG OBJECTS! Celestron says that Celestron Skymaster 15×70 are ideal for looking at aircraft flying overhead and ships out on the horizon but it would be flimsy marketing to say they can’t be enjoyed just as much looking at birds, butterflies and flowers in your back garden or local park.
If you’re just starting out with astronomy, then you’ll want to consider either of these two options (there’s no need to get both).
- Price – Of course, the price is the most important aspect for the majority of beginners. No one wants to spend hundreds, sometimes thousands of pounds on a hobby that they’re just not going to stick to.
- Porro Prisms – All of the Skymaster Series use a porro prism design as opposed to roof prisms. Per cost, it’s generally accepted that porro prisms are a better option (you’d never get roof prisms at this price, anyway). The higher end binoculars you’ll find out there are usually roof prisms, as they provide a better experience. Though for beginners, porro prisms are going to be used more frequently.
- Water resistant – Although not a necessity for night sky equipment, being waterproof does make them a good option. If you’re going hiking and you think it might be a late one, then packing a pair of Skymasters can be a good idea.
- Eye relief – Seeing as the 15×70 glasses have an 18mm eye relief, this makes them ideal for users who wear glasses too. The 25x70s have a 13mm, which is about the limit if you want to wear glasses at the same time.
- Light – For beginners, it’s important to try and get something portable. Binoculars are designed to be carried around, so the fact that they are relatively light is another bonus.
These are just some of the reasons why these binoculars are likely to be a good choice. Not only that, but binoculars in general can be a really good place for people new to astronomy to start. This is because you’re on your own – no go to system. When you’re using binoculars, you really need to invest some time to explore the sky you’re watching.
With binoculars, you have to be realistic with what exactly it is you’re going to be able to see through them. They are not a replacement for a telescope, and you’re not going to be able to see the intricate details of deep sky objects.
They are however, extremely handy for casual viewing. You should be able to see the moons of Jupiter and the rings around Saturn relatively easily with a pair of 25x70s, though not in any great details. With the 15x70s, you’re going to have the ability to get some awesome landscape views as well as some pretty clear images of closer objects, like the moon and the Orion Nebula.
Depending on what it is you need, each of these binoculars will prove a greater asset for different things. If you want something to accompany a good telescope, then it’s definitely worth checking out the 15x70s for short range viewing. But if you want something that you can use alone with a tripod, then the 25×70 Skymasters can make an awesome accompaniment for any hiking trip.