Best Binoculars for Astronomy

Astronomy Binocular Guides

Binocular Reviews Home > Astronomy

Welcome to the BBR Astronomy Binoculars main hub page. From here you will find links to all the main articles, recommendations, in fact everything to do with viewing the sky at night with binoculars and more:

Contents
  1. Buyers Guides: How to select and buy the best instrument for your needs and at your preferred budget
  2. Astronomy Advice: Articles, questions answered and advice in a whole range of subjects to do with astronomy & binoculars
  3. Astronomy Binocular Reviews: Featured astro bins with links to the full reviews
  4. Astronomy Books & Magazines: Recommended Reading - From novices to seasoned astro veterans, these are some of the books an magazines on astronomy that are well worth checking out to further your knowledge and enjoyment of the hobby.
Best Binoculars for Astronomy - Buyers Guide

Best Binoculars for Astronomy

Celestron Echelon 20x70 Astronomy Binoculars

In this complete buyers guide to choosing your perfect astronomy binoculars, I first take you through the main differences between viewing the sky at night with a telescope and a pair of astronomy binoculars.

We then move on to look at all the features and specifications that you need to look out for when choosing the right pair for your needs and budget.

Then lastly I offer up some recommendations on some of the best astro binoculars in a wide selection of prices to suit every budget. Best Binoculars for Astronomy

Best Astronomy Binoculars 2021 - Award Winners

Best Astronomy Binoculars 2019

On this page I highlight all the BBR astronomy award winners for this and some of the past years where the instrument is still on the market.

It is also part of my YouTube series and this page includes a video highlighting this years award winner and is well worth taking a look at if you would like some further information on the winner.

70mm Astronomy Binoculars & Tripod Setup Advice

Celestron Echelon 20x70 Astronomy Binoculars

This guide is actually in response to a question that I received from a reader who was looking for good binoculars to see the night sky as well as look at wildlife from his porch.

I was able to offer him some advice on what he should be looking out for and also what to avoid.

With a healthy budget I explore and compare some really great day and night sky binoculars options and offer up a few of my own recommendations.

Updated: In terms of the tripod setup, article linked to above is quite brief, for some more comprehensive advice, take a look at My Personal Best Tripod for Binoculars (Astro and Terrestrial uses) which includes advice on all the gear I use and why.

Best 7x50 Binoculars for Astronomy

Fujinon Polaris 7x50 Binoculars

Whilst many people will naturally assume that in order to get the best view of our night skies and all the distant stars, star clusters, constellations, galaxies, planets and our moon you need as high a power as possible. However this is not always the case and there are many instances where a much lower magnifications is an advantage.

Best 7x50 Binoculars for Astronomy
In this guide I explain the many reasons why dropping the magnification down to 7x, whilst maintaining a reasonably large, but not giant 50mm objective lens size makes for a great combination, especially for astronomy.

7x50 vs 8x56 Binoculars for Astronomy & Daytime Surveillance
Which is Best? Part of the BBR BinoWars Series, in this article and accompanying video, I take an in-depth look at the main differences between 7x50 and 8x56 binoculars with examples, full reviews and recommendations to help you choose the best binocular for your specific needs.

What you can see with 7x50 Binoculars
Unsure as to what you can expect to see when using 7x50 binoculars for astronomy and what space looks like through binoculars? Take a loom at this guide complete with example photos & video of what you can you see in the night sky with 7x50 binoculars.

Best 10x50 Binoculars for Astronomy

Celestron Echelon 10x70 Binoculars

For those wanting a little more reach into space and a little more detail than a 7x50 can offer, another very popular binocular configuration for astronomy is the 10x50mm.

This 10x power and size of binocular still allow you to hand hold the instrument, but for best results or for long periods of observation, the ideal option is still best to fix the instrument onto a tripod. However, these binoculars can still easily be taken out on camping trips and used during the day as well as night.

These and a number of reasons why combining 50mm objective lenses with a 10x magnification is a popular setup for binocular astronomy. In this article, we take a look at some of the best options available from a variety of different brands.

Ultra Wide Field Astronomy

Vixen SG 2.1x42 Widefield Constellation Binoculars

Vixen SG 2.1x42 Widefield Constellation BinocularsDubbed the "Constellation Binocular", these Japanese-made 2.1 x42 Vixen SG binoculars have been designed specifically with astronomy in mind. However, unlike most astronomy binoculars with their very powerful magnifications, this instrument with its very low power and resulting super wide field of view is designed to offer you a more rounded view of the night sky, allowing you to take in complete views of constellations and the milky way.

The Field Of View
As well as their ability in low light, the main selling point of the Vixen SG 2.1x42 binocular is the incredibly wide field of view which can be especially usefully for astronomy. Advertised as a super wide 25-degree binocular, it means that you are able to take in many star constellations all at once, but with more resolution and image detail than what you see with your naked eyes.

The view of the stars that you are presented with when looking through these is in some ways quite similar to that what you get just with your eyes (in terms of the field of view), but at the same time with a fair bit more detail and reach which in turn exposes many more stars than what you can normally see just with the naked eye.

So for example, Orion spans 19 degrees, and thus when you look through this Vixen, you can enjoy all of it at once without having to pan about. Even the Plough at 25 degrees across is just about visible all at once and you will also notice far more (less bright) stars around the constellation that what you may normally be used to seeing. The Vixen SG also offers views of the Milky Way that far exceed that which you may be used to using just your eyes and is something that really has to be seen to be appreciated.

Important Specs & Features:

  • Mid Level Binoculars - approx $290 / £290 / €280
  • Metallic Chassis & Bridge
  • Individual Eyepiece Focusing
  • Tripod Adaptable
  • Galilean Optical Design
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics
  • 8.4mm of Eye Relief
  • Super Wide FOV: 25°
  • Close Focus Distance: 2m (6.6ft)*
Current Price & Where to Buy: Vixen SG 2.1x42 Binoculars

Lower Cost Alternative

Helios Star Field 2x40 Binoculars

Helios Sart Field 2x40 BinocularsThese Helios binoculars may not quite match the Vixens above in terms of the overall optical quality with slightly smaller lenses and a fraction lower power, but priced at around £95 in the UK (I have not as yet been able to find then in the US), they do possess the same core design features and a field of view that is almost as wide and thus will make a good option should you be shopping on a tighter budget.

Main Specs & Features

  • 2x Magnification / 40mm Lenses
  • Galilean optical system
  • Fully Multi-Coated
  • Individual Eyepiece Focusing
  • CNC machined Aluminium body
  • Angular Field of View: 24°
  • Field of View: 445m@1000m
  • Eye Relief: 10mm
  • Minimum focus: 2m
  • Weight: 189g (238g with case)
Current Price & Where to Buy: Helios Star Field 2x40 Binoculars

More Astronomy Advice:

Astrophotography with a phone and binocularsBelow are some related articles and blog posts on binoculars and astronomy:

My Best Tripod for Binoculars: Astronomy & Terrestrial Surveillance
In this guide, I go over my favorite tripod setups that I use with my binoculars. It includes advice for both land based observation as well as for looking up into the sky for uses like stargazing at night and plane spotting during the day. In it I explain what tripods I use and why as well as tripod adapters and tripod heads.

Astrophotography with Binoculars & a Phone
In this article, I demonstrate that not only is it possible to take photos of the moon, planets and distant galaxies using binoculars and a phone, but with a little bit of know-how, a free mobile app, some free software, and the right equipment is relatively easy to do, cheap to get started and the results will amaze you!

Best Opticron 10x50 Binoculars for Astronomy & General Use - This article is based around my reply and to a readers request for me to help them find the best 10x50 Opticron binoculars for their needs.

10x50 Binoculars & Optical Components Quality - more on this popular configuration for stargazing.

Using Binoculars for Astronomy
Guest post by Philip Pugh. He goes through what he likes to use and what you can expect to see

Viewing the Moon with Binoculars
Second in a series of guest posts by Philip Pugh. Here we explore the ideal binoculars for viewing the moon with and what you can expect to see in the different lunar phases.

Viewing Planets Through Binoculars
Third guide in the binoculars for astronomy series by Philip Pugh. This time he takes a look at what you can expect to see when using different size and powered binoculars to look at the planets in our solar system

Binocular Astronomy – Understanding Brightness & Magnitude
Fourth article in the binocular astronomy series by Philip Pugh. In this guide he helps us to understand the brightness or magnitude of objects like galaxies, stars, planets and their moons in our night sky and why this is important to astronomy in general and binocular astronomy in particular.

Cosmic Distances & Binocular Astronomy
Guide to Cosmic Distances, how it relates to binocular astronomy and which objects you can see in the night sky at different distances when looking through binoculars.

Guide to Viewing the Pleiades with Binoculars
Fifth guide in the astro binoculars series by Philip Pugh. This time he guides us through the star cluster often referred to as the Seven Sisters. Where to find it, why binoculars are a great choice of instrument and which configuration works best.

The Beehive Cluster With Binoculars
Another in-depth guide part of the binocular astronomy series written for BBR. Here we take a look at how to view the Beehive and what are the best binoculars to use with image comparisons to give you an idea of what you should expect to see.

Camping & Astronomy Binoculars

Best Comet Binoculars and what to look out for

Be inspired by the Constellations & Milky Way with Binoculars

Astronomy & Binoculars: Neptune

Perseid Shower 2010 – Meteor Shower Guide

 

Astronomy Binocular Reviews

Below are links to the full astronomy binoculars reviews

 

Kite APC 16x42 Image Stabilised Binoculars Review

With 2 degrees of correction, these 16x42 Kite APC Image Stabilised Binoculars offer a lightweight and compact alternative to a high-powered binocular and tripod combination making them extremely useful in a wide variety of uses.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
 

Bresser Spezial Astro SF 15x70 Binoculars Review

Ideal long-range terrestrial and astronomy binoculars, these 15x70 Bresser Spezial Astro SF binoculars combine a fully multi-coated optical system with quality BaK-4 Porro prisms and a tough water and fog proof aluminum housing that, in turn, deliver a quality of view and user experience that is well above average.

Far from just being good for stargazing, viewing planets, the moon and general astronomy at night-time, I would also highly recommend these to anyone wanting a higher power binocular to mount onto a tripod and look out over the ocean, a lake or onto the mountains during the day.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 75%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Fujinon Polaris 7x50 FMTRC-SX Binoculars Review

Designed to withstand the rigors of the professional marine and fishing industries, these 7x50 Fujinon Polaris binoculars also make excellent wide-field astronomy binoculars.

Highlights include a fully nitrogen purged and water proof all-metal chassis with a rubber coated exterior, a built-in compass and range-finding reticle, extremely wide field of view, field flattener lenses and Fujinon's EBC multi-coatings on every optical surface for a light transmission of more than 95%

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Celestron SkyMaster Pro 15x70 Binoculars Review

From the fully multi-coated optical pathway and the waterproof, nitrogen-purged chassis, to the included all-metal tripod adapter and the side-shield eyecups, there is no doubt that these Celestron SkyMaster Pro binoculars are far superior to most mid level astronomy and long distance viewing binoculars and whilst they are somewhat more expensive than the standard Celestron SkyMaster's, I do feel that they offer excellent value for money and that the improvements they have made are well worth it.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 75%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Bresser Pirsch ED 8x56 Binoculars Review

Not much larger or heavier than many 8x42 binoculars, these 8x56 Pirsch ED Binoculars from the German Optics company Bresser offer a bright image with a superior low light performance.

Image quality is ensured with the use of ED glass lenses, phase corrected and dielectrically coated BaK4 roof prisms, whist the fog and waterproof body also contains features like an all metal focus wheel end eyepiece housing to ensure their durability.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

View >> All Astro Binoculars that I have reviewed

 
 

Astronomy Books & Magazines

Recommended Reading - From novices to seasoned astro veterans, these are some of the magazines and books on astronomy with binoculars and which I feel are well worth exploring to further your knowledge and enjoyment of the hobby.

Perseid Shower 2010 – Meteor Shower Guide

Astronomy Magazine

Contains a monthly Binocular Universe Column