Celestron 8X56mm SkyMaster DX


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The Celestron 8 x 56mm SkyMaster DX is an ideal tool for astronomical viewing. While it offers bright and sharp celestial views on its own for spur-of-the-moment observing, it also makes a good wide-field observing complement to the narrower field of a telescope . . .
Our Product #: C856SM
Celestron Product #: 72022

Product Description

This Celestron 8 x 56mm SkyMaster DX has a wide 5.8° field and a very bright 7mm exit pupil. These virtues make it ideal for serious wide field astronomical viewing. You can sweep the star clouds of Sagittarius, search out the Great Galaxy M31 in Andromeda and the Pinwheel Galaxy M33 in Triangulum, and revel in globular clusters like M13 and M22. The SkyMaster DX uses high light transmission BaK-4 prisms and fully multicoated optics for bright images of faint deep space objects, particularly from a truly dark sky observing site. While it offers quite nice astronomical viewing on its own, it also makes a good wide-field observing complement to the narrower field of a telescope.

The optical performance is surprisingly good, particularly in view of its large aperture and very sensible price. The optics are fully multicoated on all air-to-glass surfaces for high light transmission. The field of view is respectably flat. Astigmatism, distortion, and chromatic aberration at the edges of the field are well controlled. This makes for clean and expansive views of open clusters like the Beehive and the Wild Duck, with point-like stars to the edges of the field, as well as fascinating sights like the Double Cluster in Perseus.

At 38 ounces, the SkyMaster DX is rather heavy. We recommend using it on a camera tripod for the sharpest images, as few people will have the wrist strength needed to hold it steady for extended hand-held use. A 1/4"-20 thread mounting hole for an optional photo tripod adapter (#1185) is built into the SkyMaster's center hinge, hidden under the removable Celestron logo.

The body is armored in black rubber for a comfortable grip and added protection against unexpected bumps and thumps. Because it is O-ring sealed and nitrogen-purged to be waterproof and internally fogproof, there's no need to worry about putting the binocular down in dew-soaked grass or letting dew bead up on it during an evening's observing session. The large ribbed rubber focusing wheel is easy to adjust, even when wearing gloves. P>Eye relief is specified at a very long 18mm. Unlike many binoculars, whose actual eye relief typically measures less than that specified, the SkyMaster DX truly has a full 18mm of usable eye relief. It's a refreshing change from the overly optimistic figures quoted by many manufacturers. Rubber-rimmed twist-up eyecups shield the unaided eye from stray light when up, and cushion eyeglass lenses when down.

One and a third turns of the large focus knob moves from a not-so-close 25' near focus out to the far reaches of the Universe. With a 25' close focus, this center-focusing Z-body SkyMaster DX is obviously not designed for close-in nature study. That said, its very bright images and good resolution will do a creditable job of revealing small details from what would normally be considered an excessively distant vantage point. It is a good choice for long distance terrestrial viewing under low light conditions. The 8 x 56mm is excellent for revealing underwing field markings of raptors in flight, for observing deer feeding in distant meadows early in the morning, or any other twilight birding or nature study activity where close focus is not required - but bright images are essential. 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 8 x 56mm SkyMaster DX is a very worthwhile balance of performance versus price. The SkyMaster DX comes with a wide and comfortable woven neck strap, a soft vinyl case, an eyepiece rainguard, and objective lens covers.

Tech Details

Armored Yes
Close Focus 25'
Exit Pupil 7mm
Eye Relief 18mm
Field of view 5.8
Field of view 1000 yards 304'
Height 7"
Interpupillary Distance 58-72mm
Relative Brightness 49
Twilight Factor 21.17
Weight 38 oz.
Warranty Limited Lifetime


Review by:
I've had my pair for several years now and had gotten them as an upgrade over my 7x35s. They allow me to see +0.9 magnitude fainter than the 7x35s and the colors in them are just vivid. They feel good in my hands and I can hold them pretty darn steady even though they aren't necessarily light due to their low magnification. So if you want a pair of "enhanced" 7x35s, I'd say get them. (Posted on 10/29/2019)
Review by:
Unfortunately my old Bushnell 8x50's were in my wifes car when it was stolen last summer .. so I was in need of a new pair. Binoculars are an essention tool in the amateur astronomers tool box. I use mine for sweeping the sky at night while my astrophotography telecope rig is doing its thing on its own :) I happend across an article in Sky & Telescope magazine giving these Celestron 8x56 Skymaster DX's high praise .. so I bought a pair and have not been disapointed. They are very rugged and the coated optics are crisp. Highly recommend. (Posted on 12/8/2018)
Review by:
I have owned this product for just over a year. They are a little too heavy for long viewing sessions. I have a tripod and a monopod that I use to help keep the viewing steady. It's nice to have these available on these cold clear nights when you don't want to haul out your scope but still want to take advantage of good viewing. One word of caution. Be gentle with them. I had to replace my first pair due to them falling off a table on to the ground and being knocked out of collimation. Celestron did replace them free of charge since I'd only owned them a short time. (Posted on 12/7/2018)
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Supplied Accessories

  • Neck strap
  • Soft case
  • Eyepiece rainguard
  • Objective lens covers