20 X 80mm SkyMaster


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Celestron's SkyMaster 20 x 80mm binocular is a surprising astronomical performer for such a reasonably priced instrument, with a wide field light-gathering capacity equal to two 3.1" rich field telescopes, one for each eye . . .
Our Product #: C2080
Celestron Product #: 71018

Product Description

Celestron's SkyMaster 20 x 80mm binocular is a surprising performer for such a reasonably-priced instrument. It is waterproof, something rarely found in a binocular in this aperture and price range. That means you don't have to worry about damaging the binocular if you set it down in dew-soaked grass after observing. Waterproof or not, however, we don't think we'd recommend fully submerging it in a puddle, or trying to use it in the rain. That might be tempting fate just a little too much. The Celestron 20 x 80 is covered in a light rubber armor that both provides a good grip when the binocular is damp from dew, and a comfortable grip when the weather turns chilly.

A reinforcing bar runs from the prism housings to the objective lenses. In addition to providing structural rigidity that keeps the optics firmly collimated, it provides a sturdy support for the integrated photo tripod adapter. The tripod adapter can slide along the bar to balance the binocular on a tripod, no matter what part of the sky you are viewing.

Once you find the correct balance, a large thumbscrew locks the adapter in place. Using the binocular on a tripod is virtually mandatory, as few people will have the wrist strength needed to hold them steady enough for extended hand held use. The supplied lightly padded neck strap is acceptable for occasional use. However, adding a wide heavily padded neck strap such as the one listed below would be a comfortable addition if the binocular must be carried extended distances to an observing site. A lightly padded nylon carrying/storage case is standard equipment, as are protective eyepiece and lens caps.

The SkyMaster uses high light transmission BaK-4 prisms and multicoated optics for bright images of faint deep space objects. It offers the equivalent light gathering capacity of two 3.1" rich field refractor telescopes - one for each eye. Using two eyes to observe increases the resolution of small details by as much as 40% over the resolution visible when using only one eye, as you do when looking through the single barrel of a telescope or spotting scope. It offers admirable astronomical viewing on its own, as well as serving as a good wide-field observing complement to the narrower field of a telescope.

With a good 3.7° field of view, it excels at sweeping the star clouds of Sagittarius, searching out the Great Galaxy in Andromeda, taking in open clusters like the Beehive and the Wild Duck, and more. There is some barrel distortion (straight lines at the edge of the field are curved), and some visible astigmatism and chromatic aberration at the edges of the field. However, these flaws are minor considering the SkyMaster's aperture and are unobtrusive for all but the most critical and nitpicky of observers.

Eye relief is specified at a very long 18mm. While this is technically correct, the actual usable eye relief typically measures a few mm less due to the recessing of the eyepieces when the eyecups are rolled down for eyeglass use. A shorter eye relief than specified is typical of all binoculars. There will be some minor vignetting of the field for those who must wear eyeglasses while observing.

Soft roll-down eyecups shield the unaided eye from stray light when rolled up, and cushion eyeglass lenses when rolled down. The SkyMaster is designed strictly as a long-distance observing tool from a tripod-mounted fixed location. With a close focus of 108 feet, it is not a general-purpose binocular. That said, the SkyMaster is a good choice for long distance terrestrial viewing under low light conditions. Nesting eagles or ducks across a lake at dusk are prime candidates for this big binocular. As a first serious astronomical observing tool, as a long distance nature study instrument, or as a highly useful companion to take into the field with your telescope at night, the Celestron 20 x 80mm SkyMaster is a very worthwhile balance of performance versus price.

Tech Details

Weight 75 oz.
Warranty Limited Lifetime


Review by:
Bought these for sky watching in the mountains where we go often. Also use these to watch the ships coming in to the Golden Gate. Really enjoy using these for both. You DEFINITELY need a sturdy mount for these to really enjoy them. Definitely recommend these. (Posted on 10/23/2019)
Review by:
Bought these for my dads birthday he loves them he does have to have them on a small tripod if he is using them for long periods i tried them now i have a pair like having 2 telescopes at once great buy (Posted on 12/1/2018)
Review by:
Excellent views and great contrast! I use these almost every night when the sky is clear! If I lost this pair; I would buy another the very same day! Bumped and dropped a few times...still perfectly collimated! (Posted on 11/1/2018)
Review by:
80mm Objectives on a budget, these BINS fit the bill. Mine came collimated, but there are others who've made this purchase and were not so lucky getting a collimated BIN. I use mine for Astro only. Good views, good sharpness, decent contrast but tons of CA; I knew this going in. Best views come with these BINS mounted to a sturdy tripod.

3.5 Stars from me...

(Posted on 10/16/2018)
Review by:
I purchased these to take on a trip out west when I couldn't bring my telescope. They are great for viewing the night sky. Dual 80mm lenses really bring in the light and allow you to see much more than a smaller aperture binos. I now use them at home also when I don't feel like setting up my telescope. They are heavy to hold for a long time and hard to keep steady without a mount of some type (tripod or parallelogram mount), however I find them perfect when reclining on a chaise lounge in my backyard when braced with my arms against the armrests of the lounge. (Posted on 10/6/2018)
Review by:
I purchased a pair for myself, and for two of my daughters. We've been very pleased with them. I created solar filters for them and my wife watched the 2012 Annular Eclipe and Transit of Venus with them. They are the best binoculars that I own and we use them for both terrestrial and astronomical viewing. The near focus limit is probably about 100 feet, so don't plan on using them to watch the goldfinches on the window bird feeder. They are on the heavy side, so plan on using a good tripod or laying on your back. I'd like to try one of the mounting arms that will allow moving the binoculars higher and lower without changing their target. I would recommend them. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
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