As your first astronomical gear, every amateur astronomer will recommend you to first get a pair of binoculars. And with Celestron 20X80 Skymaster, you cannot go wrong. These Binoculars are really well built, and if stored/used properly, it will last for a lifetime. Because of their portability and negligible maintenance many amateur astronomers prefer to use Binoculars instead of a huge Dobsonian.
I bought mine 20×80 Skymaster in 2019. So, it’s been two years since then and I think that much time is enough to best judge these huge binoculars. So, here is my review Celestron Skymaster Binoculars-
These astronomical binoculars are literally a pair of two small telescopes. It has a large objective of 80mm which increases your limiting magnitude. That will make a huge difference. You will be able to see most of the messier objects apart from Moon and planets. In India, you cannot get this quality at this price (there might be exception, do your research before buying).
Based on my observations
Saturn’s ring will be visible. It will need a nice focus and patience. Though these binoculars can’t resolve them completely. All four Galilean moons moons of Jupiter will be visible. You can not make out the Great Red spot. Andromeda galaxy will cover your entire field of view on a very dark night. Many deep sky objects around the Sagittarius constellation are visible from these binoculars. The moon looks breathtakingly beautiful. It will appear three dimensional with these astronomical binoculars. Orion Nebula will be visible bright and crisp. Your field of view will be contain just the Orion sword. Neptune and Uranus are visible just like a dot but you can make out their color (depends on viewing conditions). You will be able to see stars as dim as +8 magnitude from a bortle-5 sky. There are many other astronomical objects visible through these binoculars which I haven’t mentioned but these were the prominent ones.
Some important points
- A fluid head tripod is a must (for smooth and precise maneuvering of binoculars).
- Tripod must be heavy (to keep binoculars steady/ 20X magnification is too much).
- The field of view is around 2.6° and not 3.7° as mentioned.
- Bright objects (-2 magnitude or higher) will give chromatic abrasion.
- The object should be at the center of the field of view to avoid chromatic abrasion.
- You can adjust the interpupillary distance. (As any other binoculars have).
- You can adjust the dioptre setting (For both eyes).
- Well built.
- Value for money.
- Fully multi-coated optics
- Best for beginners in Astronomy
- Chromatic Abrasion in bright objects
- Low quality carry bag provided
Astrophotography using Binoculars and Smartphone
If you are willing to do astrophotography using these binoculars then you will need a smartphone that can take images in ‘RAW’ and have manual camera. Along with that a smartphone adapter will also be required that will connect your phone to one of the eyepiece of binoculars.
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis Universal Smartphone Adapter is what I personally use, and would recommend the same for Celestron Skymaster Binoculars. Soon, I will post my own astrophotos taken with these astronomical binoculars.