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Celestron 15x70 - First Light

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#26 BillC

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:16 PM


Not all, but most of the folks who testify of the good to great binocular they just bought have very low post counts



Last year I purchased a pair of Brunton compact binoculars via Craigslist at a very good price. I gave them a cursory evaluation, they seemed to work fine. It was only when I got them home that I realized that the right side did not focus, only the left.

I gave them to a my friend Rick who just loves them, best binoculars he has ever owned. Rick is blind in his right eye..

Jon


A win / win if ever I heard of one! Good man!

BillC

#27 eklf

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:35 PM

Wow, all this commotion when all I did was post how happy I was with my new binocs after an extremely short, cold trip outside. I didn't even make this a review or comparison.
Guess I'll just enjoy my new toy.


Funny that, eh?

One doesn't see that in the eyepiece forum. If someone says that they like a cheap plossl, most responses tend be
complimentary. Not so here. I have often noticed that the focus of many replies, rather than being on the *enjoyment* of the original poster, become a scathing
criticism of the instrument of enjoyment. It would certainly be nice if, for a change, there is a warm sense of camaraderie by the responders rather than using the thread as an opportunity for a personal vendetta over a past slight.

I am not at all advocating a suppression of facts. Just that sometimes the focus of some posts is the joy of reaching a destination, and it does nothing at all
to vehemently change the focus to the imperfection of the instrument used to make the journey.

Just my two cents.

#28 hallelujah

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:18 PM

One doesn't see that in the eyepiece forum.
If someone says that they like a cheap plossl, most responses tend be complimentary.
Not so here.

I have often noticed that the focus of many replies, rather than being on the *enjoyment* of the original poster,
become a scathing criticism of the instrument of enjoyment.

It would certainly be nice if, for a change, there is a warm sense of camaraderie by the responders
rather than using the thread as an opportunity for a personal vendetta......

Just that sometimes the focus of some posts is the joy of reaching a destination, and it does nothing at all
to vehemently change the focus to the imperfection of the instrument used to make the journey.


:applause: Thanks for speaking out Kumar. :applause:

Good Luck with a Positive Response. :4

Stan

#29 eklf

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:50 PM

Thanks Stan.

I fully believe that the responders mean well. Just that sometimes its somewhat a case if misplaced good intentions.

#30 BillC

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:32 PM

The following came on the heels of Erix, but should be here:

'Doctor says that many more hugs and it won't EVER heal!

And what you say is EXACTLY what I hope to stand for. I’m not a proponent of some of the “TESTS” so often seen here. However, I don’t think they should all be thrown out with the wash, either. Some people will make a stink over Bino A having an aperture 3mm smaller than advertised, while Bino B is “right on.” Wow! It was quantified! BUT, how much does it matter when Bino A:

1. Has a wider field.
2. Has a flatter field.
3. Has less distortion.
4. Has less chromatic aberration.
5. Has textbook collimation.
6. Etc, Etc, Etc.

We often “strain and gnats and swallow camels!” I would be the first to congratulate Photobud on his acquisition. My first bino was a mis-collimated Bushnell 7x50 that I didn’t know how to fix. Thus, he’s miles ahead of where I was.

Shortly, others chimed in. Unsubstantiated opinions are good; substantiated opinions are better; facts are better still. It is meant to harm no one. But, on CN we’ve long witnessed that those who are new to binocular observing or who have had only one or two cheap binos are HEAVY into opinions and LIGHT into optical technologies and facts.

If that is an indictment, I’m sorry. As Aristotle said, “Accuracy Bites!”

BillC

Photobud said:

“Wow, all this commotion when all I did was post how happy I was with my new binocs after an extremely short, cold trip outside. I didn't even make this a review or comparison. Guess I'll just enjoy my new toy.”

AND THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT!!! AND MIKE SAYS HIS IS ALIGNED GOOD ENOUGH FOR HIMSELF.

That is totally in the realm of how things should be. A bino’s collimation may be as screwed up as a soup sandwich, however, if both telescopes are screwed up by the same amount, to the same coordinates for the user’s IPD . . . life is good for THAT OBSERVER, or anyone at or near the same IPD setting. I have owned many “alphas.” But, my 1963 Jason 7x35 is Conditionally Aligned and I am happy. Could I collimate it? Yes. But, I see no reason to waste the time; no one ever uses it besides me.

Enjoy your “new toy,” and let no one dissuade you, but keep a goodhearted, realistic attitude, that when something goes awry, you can pinpoint the cause through your own experience.

JOAD said:

“I can tell you that there are two subjects that cannot be addressed without peril here:

1. Celestron 15X70 binoculars

and

2. Collimation”

And I am undoubtedly the biggest malefactor. That’s because while some people see CN as a place to go and share opinions — some right and some wrong — I see it as a tool for learning. The more realism in the community, the harder it will be for unscrupulous vendors to populate the marketplace with questionable rhetoric and merchandise. On so many topics, I’m a fool. But, I know about optical instruments and I like to share that information. The battle is renewed with every wave of newbies:

1. No, there are NO US manufacturers of consumer binoculars.
2. No, almost no binocular companies make their own glass.
3. No, the size of the objective lens has nothing to do with field of view.
4. No, field curvature doesn’t mean your field looks curved.
5. No, ZOOM is not a feature—considering all the shortcomings.
6. No, lens coatings are not to protect the glass.
7. No, Center-focus is not BETTER than individual focus.
8. No, BaK4 prisms are not BETTER than Bk7 prisms—and there’s no such glass as the ubiquitous BAK7 . . . except on CN and other sites for the misinformed. It’s not in the Schott catalog.

And, of course, the list could cover many more fallacies. I wonder if I should be still and just keep my mouth shut, leaving faulty doctrine to reign unabated?

I am a weak human. Five posts after Photobud’s first, CuriousOne spoke up with:

“There's magnacraft 15x70 on amazon for even lower price:”

Sadly, that I’m sure is what got me turned on . . . this time. How many times have we gone down the road that insinuates binoculars should be bought based on price. And, from a company I have never even heard of.

I’m sorry; I throw myself on the mercies of all.

But, I have been the one behind the counter with the customer burning my ears discussing the less than sterling bino he just bought (notice I didn’t say junk, again), and refused to handle it long enough to take it to the dumpster!!!

Do that long enough and you’ll have a different perspective on binos, too.

I want everyone to enjoy the bino they have, and not move up until THEY see a reason. I just think CN should be about expanding our understanding.

If my contributions are no longer welcome here, I will pull the plug; just let me know. I have plenty to do. But, not before telling everyone, in no uncertain terms, that I care about the viewing experiences of ALL and would never intentionally offend. If trying to help keep a taste of reality on the table is a sin, then I’m a sinner. I feel that what is thought of me is not nearly as important as what I hope to share . . . POPULAR or not.

Cheers, :jump:

BillC

#31 rdandrea

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:45 PM

Awww Bill, we love you. Just go easy on the rookies, OK?

#32 ScumotheUniverse

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:00 PM

Wow, all this commotion when all I did was post how happy I was with my new binocs after an extremely short, cold trip outside. I didn't even make this a review or comparison.
Guess I'll just enjoy my new toy.


I am sure you will glean much enjoyment with your new toy. You should easily see four Jovian moons with the 15X70. One must have been in eclipse. I see four with my old Celestron 7X50 Novas. My Celestron 15X70s sit next to my 16X70 Fujinon FMT-SX. Though nowhere in the league of the Fujis for the price point they are a wonderful instrument. If I had had these bins a few decades ago I would have gone ga ga. Would it not be more constructive rather than attacking the ignoble Skymaster to educate the binocular novice on how to check the Achilles heel of this binocular? Photobud here is a link on how to check the collimation of your new binocular. http://www.oberwerk....t/collimate.htm If you do find a problem it should not be too late for a return and replacement. May the gods of chance smile on you.

#33 BillC

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:53 PM

Awww Bill, we love you. Just go easy on the rookies, OK?


It’s the rookies I try to help most; because they ARE rookies, most don’t recognize the efforts right away. I started my magazine FOR the rookies. As Telescope Making was in its death throes, a letter to the editor, wherein someone wanted more advanced articles, indicated the subscriber was not too happy with articles on “How to find the sky.” I decided then and there that if there were a way, I would take over from Telescope Making and provide articles for the ROOKIES as well as the seasoned telescope maker. In 10 years of publishing, I lost sleep, health, a son, 3 vintage Rickenbackers and more than $20,000 that would come in handy right about now. And why? For the rookies.

Cheers,

BillC

#34 Erix

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:19 AM

This thread has strayed completely away from PhotoBud's topic, which was him sharing his first light with us all. Lets get it back on track. ;)

Again, congrats on your great session and thanks for sharing it with us!

#35 CuriousOne

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:43 AM

Regarding my post about magnacraft.

In today's market, we often overpay for brand name. The amount of overpayment vares from 20% to 200% in some cases.

Considering my experience with celestron 10-30x50, which I found to be only so so binoculars, and checking visual sides of 15x70s of magnacraft and celestron, It is pretty obivous, that these binoculars may came from same factory, and we're just overpaying for the celestron label. That's all.

#36 BillC

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:51 AM

There are HUNDREDS of brands and models that come from Asia. Yet, they all originate in only a handful of factories. I've seen consumers almost come to blows over who has the BEST binocular, when, in fact, they were made by the same hands in the same factory.

You misunderstood my concern. For example: Zeiss, Celestron, Leica, Burris, Swarovski and others, ALL have reputations to protect. You know where they are and what to expect. How much do you know about the quality or warranty of Magnicraft?

Something to think about.

BillC

#37 nicknacknock

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:55 AM

Bill,

I agree on all your comments bar one: that it's mostly people with low counts in terms of posts that say good things about these binoculars.

I actually checked mine. So did my observing buddy who has the same. It's like star testing your scopes. I do that too. The fact that some of us have a low number of posts is not an indication of lack of knowledge.

But again, I do agree with you... Relatively small-ish bumps do knock them out of collimation and yes, thes binocs have an awful reputation regarding factory collimation. Caveat Emptor.

The OP seems to enjoy his, so power to him I say! Enjoy the views! For the money, if collimation is ok, they are a lot of fun!

#38 BillC

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:10 AM

"a low number of posts is not an indication of lack of knowledge."

Nicos"

Granted! But, you're sharp enough to see my point. It is NOT ALWAY. However, on CN it often IS. Am I on shaky ground?

BillC

#39 CuriousOne

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:20 AM

Actually, zeis and leica are also selling their names (not to mention swarowski, who sells junk optics as jewlerry and makes huge profit on it). and it's hardly believe that these big guys are adding lesser % than Celestron.

Example:

Celerstron end product costs say $50.
product cost: $30, brand cost $20 (40% of total cost)

Leica end product costs say $500.
Product cost: $300, brand cost $200.

Things scale up pretty easilly, but giving away $20 or $200 for occasional hobby entertainment is totally different story I think.

Same on mobile phones, big brands are making huge profit on top-notch smartphones, but chinese brands give us real prices, which are say 2x lower than brandname prices.

Even more, take Apple for example, take any of their product with 16gb memory and 64gb memory. Apple is selling you extra memory for 1000% of it's cost! Just for reference, price difference of 16gb and 64gb nand flash is about $19. Now compare prices of iphone 16gb and 64gb.

Regarding the quality & warranty issues, these magnacrafts are sold on amazon, where returns are easy. And about durability, I hardly believe that either celestron or magnacraft will survive 1 meter fall to paved road.

#40 KennyJ

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:13 AM

The $30 price tag for the Magnacraft 15x70 probably includes an uplift for the Ruby coated lenses,which appears to be the product's main selling point.

Even the mighty Skymasters cannot boast Ruby coated lenses.

If they'd decided to leave out the Ruby coatings, and not bothered with any coatings at all ( surely a couple of drops of food industry colouring could do a similar job- who is to notice,after all?) they could possibly have retailed for around 5 dollars cheaper,at around 25 dollars.

Of course,from the 40% or so standard profit margin,the cost of shipping from China has to be covered too, so the actual cost of production of the instrument,including all parts and labour is probably around 15 dollars.

Now if they could just find a way of reducing those base costs by around 50% and get the RRP down to $20 including tax, shipping and a second cleaning cloth, Skymaster sales could be seriously effected.

Kenny

#41 nicknacknock

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:39 AM

"a low number of posts is not an indication of lack of knowledge."

Nicos"

Granted! But, you're sharp enough to see my point. It is NOT ALWAY. However, on CN it often IS. Am I on shaky ground?

BillC


Bill,

You are right. In my case, I am but an egg, still learning. Was lucky enough to have someone explain the Celestron Skymaster thingie and help me check!

#42 Photobud

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:05 PM

Jupiter and three moons is definitely not wishful thinking with a 15X70 Porro binocular. My 8X42 roof prism binocular shows Jupiter and three moons (the 4th moon is definitely wishful thinking with the 8X42, though I think that I've seen it at least with averted imagination).

Got about 3 minutes tonight before the clouds rolled back in. In addition to a quick look at Orion (slightly hazy view) was able to see all 4 moons of Jupiter. And this time I'm sure, as I observed, then went back into the house to check out if they were really where I thought they were and sumagun, they were! Still no decent tripod, but propped my elbows on the back of my Dodge Caravan for support and got amazingly stable view. Stars were very sharp and I saw single points without straining my eyes into collimation.

I'm HAPPY! :jump:

#43 tomchris

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 04:02 PM

I say they're more than worth the price!! Have fun with them- I have.

#44 moynihan

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:25 AM

Post deleted by moynihan

#45 MrJones

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:34 AM

Grats on an excellent purchase. I love mine too - actually they've blown me and my regular customers (kids) away. Now that I have these the 8x40s sit on shelf. I tried 3 of the Barska X-Trails first and returned them all. So glad I tried one more time with the Celestrons.

p.s. Summer Milky Way soon!

#46 GOLGO13

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:39 AM

I've had these Celestron 15x70s for quite some time now and they are very nice. Surprisingly nice actually. When I got them I didn't know they were cheap (heck, I didn't think they were at $79). I must have got a good pair.

While I like binoculars, I don't feel the need to spend a lot of money on a pair. If I were to spend a lot on binoculars it would be right angle ones...but those are beyond my current bino funding/wants. For now the 15x70s fulfill my needs.

#47 careysub

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:23 PM

“One previously contemplated theory of mine which THAT experience blew right out of the water, was that there must be some kind of mystical force at work whereby somehow, for some unfathomable reason, anyone buying a Skymaster as a first ever 15x binocular, always seemed to get one PERFECTLY collimated, whereas anyone who had ever looked through a considerably more expensive 15x model beforehand, NEVER did. — Kenny”

KennyJ:

And how many times have I pointed that out, only to be followed by someone who swears he’s had his for years and the collimation is “perfect”? There is no doubt that is a possibility. However, what I know to be true makes such claims suspect.

...

Having to return so many from one shipment — and finding similar collimation problems with 20 units from the next — I felt obligated to return the lot. As a retailer, would it be smart business to stop selling such a popular product without good reason? Did I do it because I wanted to be different? Celestron is trying to hit a price point and thousands of consumers a year will never recognize the problem, take the time to return defective products or compare notes as we do here.

...

BillC


Your comments here put to rest for me what has been puzzling about my two pairs of Celestron Skymaster 15x70s.

I liked them when I got my first one, but then after some months I felt that they had gotten out of alignment since I was having some trouble fusing the images part of the time (I could do it better it there were a richer field of objects, but a single star or planet would be doubled).

After discovering the difficulty and/or cost of doing a realignment, I bought another pair instead (planning on converting the first into parts). But after awhile I found the same problem. At first I thought I had switched the binoculars, but after doing some back and forth testing I determined that their collimation problems were the same. Whether I could fuse the images depended on how tired I was, and what I was looking at, but was the same for both.

Evidently they exhibit the marginally out-of-alignment state you find with so many of them.

#48 turtle86

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:23 PM

Got about 3 minutes tonight before the clouds rolled back in. In addition to a quick look at Orion (slightly hazy view) was able to see all 4 moons of Jupiter. And this time I'm sure, as I observed, then went back into the house to check out if they were really where I thought they were and sumagun, they were! Still no decent tripod, but propped my elbows on the back of my Dodge Caravan for support and got amazingly stable view. Stars were very sharp and I saw single points without straining my eyes into collimation.

I'm HAPPY!



I've had mine for about 8 years now and they're still going strong. I never cease to be amazed at how much I can see with them, especially from a dark site. Even from my light-polluted backyard, I have no trouble spotting M33 with them. I sometimes use a tripod, but actually prefer using them while lying on my back in a lawn chair.

I often take them along when I do public outreach, and they are always a big hit.

#49 benboy

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 10:43 AM

Hi Bill, I'm a rookie :) just looking to get my first astro pair of binoculars (currently playing with an inherited pair of 8x40's that I have no idea about the quality of) and I just wanted to say that I really appreciated the information you gave in this thread. It was exactly what I was looking for! So I hope you'll be encouraged that I definitely am using CN as a learning tool and having the info from someone who has been in the business is really valuable to me. I was wondering if you could give your advice on what you would recommend as an alternative to the celestron skymasters that would be less likely to have collimation issues (both on arrival and by getting "knocked" out of collimation later) and also give good overall views. I am budget minded, but feel that it is better to get something I can be sure about than "take the gamble". Also do you think the 15x70 are a good size for most binocular stargazing purposes?

Cheers

Ben

#50 Jean Mario

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:29 AM

Is a taller tripod next on my list !






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