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Mini Review Celestron 15 X 70 Skymasters

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#1 werewolf6977

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 07:10 PM

Firstly, let me stress that I have no official connection to Celestron, except as a satisfied customer.

I purchased a pair of Celestron Skymaster 15X70 Binoculars from Focus Camera several months ago. When I ordered them, I was told it would up to a week for them to arrive. Oh no, not another Adorama I thought. Imagine my surprise when they arrived 2 days later. Of course, shipping box went flying like gift paper at Christmas. I digress.

The binoculars themselves weight 3 lbs 2 oz, I believe. Just on the heavy side for hand holding, never mind the magnification. Upon inspection, several points come to mind. 1/ the objectives are coated in a substance that gives a green reflection. 2/ the oculars are also coated in what appear to be stock coatings as you might find on other binoculars, or a rifle scope. 3/ the exit pupils are circular indicating BAK-4 prisms. 4/ I do not believe that the prisms themselves are coated. 5/ when I look down the barrels of the binos, there is no noticeable baffling. The inside of the barrels are "threaded", and painted black. 6/ the eyecups are of the "pop-up" variety. 7/ the single ep cover is about useless, as I've seen mentioned about several other brands on this forum.

Observing notes: Wow!! For someone who was used to 12 X50's (Bushnell's at that), the light gathering power increase was phenomenal! The mag increase necessitates the us of some sort of mount, or camera tripod. I have a department store "heavy duty" tripod that barely handles the Skymasters. The FOV is great! Quite close to the I believe 5.4 deg. The eye relief is 18mm I believe, more than enough for those of us who have astigmatism, and must wear our glasses. I mainly used them for bright DSO's, and open clusters, and just old fashioned panning and drooling.
Flatness of field seems to be adequate. I haven't done any testing of focus close to the edge of FOV because it's been too cloudy since I read about that test.

The negatives I have inferred, and observed are that the prisms, are not coated. Also the "threading" of the barrels has a negligible effect. When I use them for day-time terrestrial viewing, there is a brght "ring" around the fov. This can be eliminated by leaving the eyecups at the middle position however. Some FOV is given up, but it does not seem to be a large amount.

Conclusions: If you have the money for Obies, or Orions, go ahed and get'em. However, if you're like me, and on a limited budget, the SkyMasters are a good bino FOR THE MONEY
(my favorite caveat). They will give someone a case of the "Giant Bino" syndrome. My next Giant Binos are going to be a pair of Apogee 25 X100's. If I hadn't bought the SkyMasters, I would not have gotten the Giant Bino bug. After I get the Apogee's, I'll keep the Celestrons so I have TWO pair of giant binos. Clear Dark Skies to you all Pete

#2 KennyJ

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 01:29 AM

Pete,

Good report.

BUT --are you SURE the TFOV is 5.4 degrees ? ! !

This would give AFOV of (15 x 5.4) = 81 degrees.

Not impossible by any means -- but if true it's a statistic that I've never been aware of before with this or any other 15 x 70 model.

Regards , Kenny.

#3 werewolf6977

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 08:19 AM

Kenny, I'm pretty sure that is NOT the TFOV. It must be the AFOV. Sorry. Newbie at this and all that. Pete BTW, explain the diff to me. That way I'll know.

#4 edcannon

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 10:37 PM

True FOV is 4.4 degrees nominal; they're multicoated:

http://www.celestron...o/skymaster.htm

When I looked through this model, it seemed to me that the interpupillary distance would not quite open wide enough for me, but I'm no expert and may have misjudged it.

Ed Cannon - Austin, Texas, USA

#5 werewolf6977

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Posted 22 May 2004 - 05:38 AM

Yeah, they are 4.4 deg. I got smart, and read the back of the binos. Ed, you must have some wide-set eyes there, I have no prob setting my ipd, except the binos being a bit stiff. Pete


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