Celestron binoculars may not be as well-known as Celestron telescopes, but they do make dozens of binoculars models. Just over nine years ago, I reviewed the monster Celestron SkyMaster 25×100 binoculars. That model is still in their lineup today, and SkyMaster is in many ways Celestron’s main line.
Since there are far too many (82, by my count) individual models of Celestron binoculars to cover in detail in one review, I’m going to present them to you in groups based on features. I’ll proceed roughly from the cheapest models to the most expensive and from those with the fewest number of features to the most. There will be exceptions noted along the way.
The main lines of Celestron binoculars are these.
- UpClose G2
- Outland X
- Nature DX
- Echelon (an enigma, as you’ll see)
- 1 Celestron Binoculars Features Covered
- 2 Celestron LandScout Binoculars
- 3 Celestron UpClose G2 Binoculars – Better Lens Coating and Prism Glass
- 4 Celestron SkyMaster Binoculars – Better Prism Glass
- 5 Celestron Outland X Binoculars – True Waterproofing
- 6 Celestron Ultima and SkyMaster Pro – Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
- 7 Celestron Nature DX, DX ED, and SkyMaster Pro ED – Phase Coating and ED Glass
- 8 Celestron TrailSeeker, Regal, and Echelon – Home at Last?
Celestron Binoculars Features Covered
As we move up the line in quality, you’ll see the following features being added from one group to the next. Again, there will be exceptions.
- Multi-coated and Fully multi-coated lenses
- BK7 and Bak-4 prism glass
- Waterproofing and nitrogen purged tubes
- Phase coated prisms
- ED objective lenses
- Dielectric coated prisms
As you might have guessed, only a handful of models have all of those features. But I’m getting ahead of myself….
Celestron LandScout Binoculars
Along with the single Celestron Kids 4×30 model, the Celestron LandScout line contains the least expensive models and includes none of the features in the list above.
Celestron doesn’t even make (what I would call) the most popular sizes of binoculars – 8×42 and 10×42 – in this line. (For that matter, the UpClose G2 line below doesn’t have them either.) Besides the 8×40 shown, there is the LandScout 8×21 and LandScout 10×50.
As is true of most Celestron binoculars models – remembering they’re widely known for their telescopes – the 8×40 and 10×50 models include a tripod adapter. Many other manufacturers only include an adapter for the heaviest of their products. Celestron tends to include it for even their mid-sized models.
LandScout binoculars do have “coated” lenses, are water “resistant”, and have K9 prism glass. If you get one of these, you’ll probably need to treat them extra carefully to keep them clean and dry. K9 prism glass is reportedly very similar to BK7, but it makes you wonder why Celestron only uses it in their cheapest models.
Celestron UpClose G2 Binoculars – Better Lens Coating and Prism Glass
If “G2” means “2nd Generation”, I missed the first generation. Probably not a big loss, since the UpClose line is nothing to write home about. True, you do get slightly better lens coatings – now “multi-coated” instead of just “coated” – and you get the possibly-slightly-better BK7 prism glass, but that’s about it.
Three of the models – 8×21, 10×25, and 16×32 – come in both regular and “clamshell” styles. Clamshell simply means that the interpupillary distance is changed with one hinge in the center – like the movement of a clamshell. Celestron charges a few cents more for this feature. (I think there may be a pricing error on their site for the 16×32 model.)
The UpClose line also includes a sub-$75 zoom model, the UpClose 10-30×50. Other sizes in this line that I haven’t presented yet are the following: 8×40, 10×50, and 20×50.
The Celestron Cometron 7×50 falls into the same price range as the UpClose models. It feels like it should join ranks with the pricier Oceana 7×50, but I don’t think it’s intended for use on the water. The Oceana includes a compass, reticle, and calculator.
Celestron SkyMaster Binoculars – Better Prism Glass
I have divided the SkyMaster line into 3 sub-groups because it is so expansive. This first group (and all subsequent groups) is where you first see Bak-4 prism glass, which has better reflectivity. However, this SkyMaster sub-group still only has multi-coated lenses and is water resistant.
Somewhat surprisingly this includes the large SkyMaster 25×100.
You can tell from the name of the line – SkyMaster – that these Celestron binoculars are intended for skygazing. The sizes of the objective lenses corroborates this conjecture. Other model sizes are 9×60, 12×60, 15×70, 25×70, 20×80, and two zooms of 15-35×70 and 18-40×80.
Celestron adds a cell phone adapter and Bluetooth remote to the 9×60 model and calls it a Popular Science package. (More of those below.)
Note too that every model from here to the end of the review includes a tripod adapter.
Celestron Outland X Binoculars – True Waterproofing
I’m not sure what the “X” in “Outland X” refers to. Maybe it means these Celestron binoculars will keep out the water and the fog. These are the first models in my list that Celestron says are actually waterproof and have nitrogen purged tubes, which then should also make them fogproof.
Outland X binoculars come in 8 different sizes. Three of them include the Popular Science phone adapter and remote, similar to the one mentioned above for the SkyMaster 9×60. This is also the first line to include the popular 8×42 and 10×42 model sizes.
- 10×32 Popular Science
- 9×60 Popular Science
- 12×42 Popular Science
Celestron Ultima and SkyMaster Pro – Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
Finally, we get to what is almost standard fare for many other binoculars manufacturers – fully multi-coated lenses. Celestron denotes this coating as “XLT” for the SkyMaster Pro (and later the SkyMaster Pro ED and Echelon models) binoculars. I don’t know if this is different from “regular” fully multi-coatings or if Celestron puts “XLT” on all such lenses without specifying the same on their website. In any case, all lenses in this group and those to follow will have these coatings.
The Ultima line comes in what I consider to be standard sizes: 8×32, 8×42, 10×42, and 10×50. There’s not much else to say about these. The Ultima binoculars should be good quality for under $200.
The SkyMaster Pro sub-group includes a 15×70 and a 20×80 model. The 20×80 has an RSR rail. RSR means Reflex Sight Ready. You can easily attach a reflex scope to them to help in sighting your target.
Celestron Nature DX, DX ED, and SkyMaster Pro ED – Phase Coating and ED Glass
Here things get just a little messy. Nature DX (dunno what DX means) models all have phase coated prisms. About half of them also have ED glass. The SkyMaster Pro ED sub-group does have ED glass but not phase coated prisms. Here’s how it all shakes out. (And yes, I could have split this up differently.)
|Model||Phase Coated?||ED Glass?|
|Nature DX 8×32||Yes||No|
|Nature DX 8×42||Yes||No|
|Nature DX 10×42||Yes||No|
|Nature DX 10×50||Yes||No|
|Nature DX 12×50||Yes||No|
|Nature DX ED 8×42||Yes||Yes|
|Nature DX ED 10×42||Yes||Yes|
|Nature DX ED 10×50||Yes||Yes|
|Nature DX ED 12×50||Yes||Yes|
|SkyMaster Pro ED 7×50||No||Yes|
|SkyMaster Pro ED 15×70||No||Yes|
|SkyMaster Pro ED 20×80||No||Yes|
Note that, if you click the Amazon button just below, the listing page will show you more than just the 8×42 size.
So at this point in our journey, the Nature DX ED models have almost everything you could want in a pair of binoculars. But wait! There’s more!
Celestron TrailSeeker, Regal, and Echelon – Home at Last?
Finally we get to the cream of the Celestron crop. All TrailSeeker and Regal models have dielectric prism coatings, making them the best available today.
The TrailSeeker line comes in “plain” and “ED” models of the following sizes: 8×32, 10×32, 8×42, and 10×42. Standard stuff. The Regal only comes in 8×42 and 10×42 and both have ED glass.
The ED TrailSeeker and Regal 8×42 and 10×42 models have identical features, yet Celestron’s MSRP for the Regals is $10 more than the respective TrailSeekers. The only differences I can see is that the Regals have slightly better eye relief and close focus than the TrailSeekers. Is this worth the extra cost? Maybe. Then again, at this price point in the neighborhood of $400, do you care about $10 either way? Probably not.
And then there’s the Echelon 20×70 binoculars, which cost about twice as much as anything you’ve seen above.
They are enigmatic in that, although they do have XLT fully multi-coated, Bak-4 lenses and are waterproof, I can’t see that they have ED glass or that the prisms have any coatings. So what makes them worth so much?
I dunno. Do you?
If Celestron doesn’t seem to have what you’re really looking for, maybe give Bushnell a shot.