top of page
  • Writer's pictureAndrew Garner

Best Telescopes & Binoculars For Stargazing At 2023!

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

Stargazing is an activity that has captivated people for centuries. It’s a beautiful and awe-inspiring activity that allows me to explore the night sky and admire celestial objects from the comfort of my balcony. While telescopes are typically used for stargazing, I found out that binoculars also offer a unique way of exploring the night sky. So I decided to share my pro tips and knowledge I gained over the years, you might find it useful!

How To Use Binoculars for Stargazing

Stargazing with binoculars is an exciting way to explore the night sky and admire celestial objects from afar without needing a large telescope or specialized equipment. Using lower magnifications can provide you with a wider field of view while using tripods and monopods can help keep your image steady so that you can focus easily on any celestial objects in the night sky. Here are a few key terms to help you learn how to use your binoculars.


Understanding Your Magnification Options

Binoculars come with magnification levels ranging from 7X, 10X, 12X, 15X and beyond. For most stargazing purposes, it is best to use binoculars with lower magnifications because higher magnifications require a longer focal length which can limit your field of view. Lower magnifications provide a wider field of view which is more practical when you are looking at stars in the night sky. Generally, it’s best to opt for binoculars with 7x or 10x magnification.


Using Tripods

When using binoculars for stargazing it’s important to use a tripod or monopod to ensure that your image remains stable while you look through them. This will help you reduce any shaking or movement which can make it difficult to focus on distant objects in the night sky such as constellations or planets. It also helps reduce eye strain as you don’t have to hold up the binoculars against your eyes for long periods of time.


Focusing Your Binoculars

The key to using binoculars successfully for stargazing is getting them properly focused on whatever object you are trying to observe in the night sky. Start by adjusting the eyecups until they fit comfortably around your eyes and then adjust the center wheel until everything appears sharp and clear. If you have trouble focusing on an object in the night sky, try moving around or changing your elevation slightly – this can help bring it into focus better than if you were standing still in one spot.


FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.

A pictures of the moon through Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars

Credit: Amazon

If you're looking for a pair of binoculars that will allow you to see the stars in all their glory, then the Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars are a great option. These binoculars have a large aperture of 70mm, which allows them to gather a lot of light. This makes them ideal for stargazing, as you'll be able to see more stars and planets than you would with a smaller pair of binoculars. Additionally, the 15x magnification will allow you to see objects in great detail.

Helpful review: "I've been an amateur astronomer for about 23 years. I have a broad amount of experience with the kind of optics that are used for astronomy. I have used most every type of instrument and have visited some of the great professional telescopes. I have hand built my own newtonian telescope including machining the german equatorial mount. Soon after completing this instrument I took it to a star party and ended up on my back with a pair of Fujinon SX binoculars. To make a long story short, I preferred the binos to the view in my telescope. Telescopes are expensive, they are big, heavy, hard to move, hard to store, complicated to set up correctly, and the view through the eyepiece can be crowded and dissapointing. For the casual observer binoculars are the superior choice. They are everything that a telescope is not...relatively cheap, light, easy use. And because they are so easy to use, you will end up using them much more often than you would a cumbersome telescope. That aspect of binoculars alone will make them show you much more than a telescope ever would. The Celestron 15X70 Skymasters are by far and away the best amateur astronomy instrument for the money on the market right now. They are truly and incredible value. You could spend $600+ on Fujinon SX binoculars and have a very fine instrument, but after using these, that would be a hard argument to make. Most everyone's eyes are not able to discern the fine differences between the two instuments. Mind you, I am not telling you that these are as good as the Fujinons, but at about a 10th of the price...well you get the idea. My experience with Celestron is that they are a first class operation. And now with their lifetime no-fault warranty, the best in the industry, you can purchase products from them knowing that if anything ever goes wrong for whatever reason, they will always stand behind their product. If you are looking to get started in astronomy or looking for an excuse to leave your telescope in the closet, these binoculars are a great value and with proper care will last a lifetime and show you more wonders than you will ever see frustrating yourself with a high magnification-small field telescope. Get them, take them outside at night with your kids and wonder why..." - D. J. deJong

Get it from Amazon now: $85.99-$119 & FREE Returns


Trending review: "Love these binoculars. They are longer than a standard 10x50 (ofcourse), but I don't find them heavy. The "strap" it comes with is not as pictured, and very thin. I would not use it. I used a neoprene camera strap instead. These were easy to focus and find my IDP. No glasses needed for presbyopia, but the eyecups do accommodate them. I would recommend the Celestron brand and purchase again. No eye fatigue, just a clear picture!." - TF

Get it from Amazon now: $85.99-$119 & FREE Returns


Reassuring review: "We love these Binoculars. WE took a cross country trip with them and it was perfect. So much easier than lugging around a telescope. Only downside is you really need a good tripod to keep them steady for distant objects like Saturn and Jupiter. But for moon gazing and checking out Andromeda and other sky gazing, it's perfect. Great quality too.." - Tig Carson

Get it from Amazon now: $85.99-$119 & FREE Returns


Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binoculars


A Man holds Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binoculars in his hand

Credit: Amazon

Here is a summary of the key points from the reviews:

  • Quality: Reviewers consistently mention the high-quality optics of these binoculars, with many praising the clear, sharp viewing experience. The Bushnell brand is well-regarded for its quality, and these binoculars live up to that reputation.

  • Durability: These binoculars are reported to be durable and weatherproof, making them ideal for outdoor use in various conditions. They are waterproof and fog-proof, which is a significant advantage for users who need binoculars for outdoor adventures.

  • Ease of Use: The binoculars are compact, lightweight, and easy to use according to many users. They are comfortable to hold and provide clear, sharp viewing. Some users have mentioned that the focus adjustment can be a bit stiff, but this seems to be a minor issue.

  • Value for Money: Many reviewers feel that these binoculars offer great value for the price. They provide the quality and features of more expensive binoculars at a more affordable price point.

  • Versatility: These binoculars are suitable for a variety of uses, including bird watching, hunting, and general outdoor use. They provide clear, sharp images in both bright and low light conditions.

Bottom Line: If you're looking for a pair of durable, high-quality binoculars that offer excellent value for money, the Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular is a great choice. They are versatile, easy to use, and provide a clear, sharp viewing experience in various conditions.


Helpful review: "I researched a number of binoculars, read a lot of reviews and settled on the Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Binoculars. For my purposes, they're just what I need. I use them to look out my window at the wildlife around the lake and on my kayak and jon boat. Now all I have to do is figure out how to keep them from sinking should they fall overboard.I'm impressed with the quality in how they're made and how well they work. It's very easy to grab them and focus quickly, unlike other binoculars I've owned. They come in a box (see my photos) with a case and a strap. There are four rubber end caps to protect the lenses. The front caps attach securely with a small "rubber band" and the caps near your eyes attach to the strap so you don't lose them. In the pictures, you'll notice the neck strap that comes with them (black). It's decent, but I had purchased the red strap (pictured) because I didn't realize they come fully equipped with strap. I'm using the red strap because it's more cushioned. I'm very pleased with my purchase, and the price was right." - L. Hayward

Get it from Amazon now: $79.99 & FREE Returns


Trending review: "These are great. I have had a pair on the boat for years and this is a new pair I got for the truck. Optics are great (great twilight/night performance), eye relief is great, and viewing angle is excellent. Really solid build and durable. I have dropped them more times than I can remember. On a boat or a moving vehicle if you got something with more magnification (thus less viewing angle) it will be unusable as the image will be too shaky (because a boat rolls on the waves and on a dirt road you can figure out that one). This is the perfect ratio of magnification / viewing angle you can get for under $1200 (which would get you a gyro stabilized unit). They are also ideal for surveillance work where you need to see a wide angle because you may not know exactly which car in the parking lot someone is hiding behind. There are two versions of this the 10X and the 8X - I have both and really can't tell much of a difference so don't beat yourself up on which version to get." - Ezra

Get it from Amazon now: $79.99 & FREE Returns


Reassuring review: "Very nice glasses! I have an older set of binoculars that are designed for glasses "only", these are adjustable for with or without glasses, a very nice feature. They are light, have a wonderful field of view, bright, water and fog proof, easy to focus, and VERY sharp, They come with a nice feature, the lens cap on the end has a nice ring that stays on the glasses, so you just pop off the cap and it dangles off the glasses and doesn't get lost, I appreciate that. The other cap is a one piece device that has a flexible bar between the two caps, so that they stay together. Also nice and it gives them enough size to fit into a pocket and be found, but remains small and light enough to remain very convenient. All these thing make me very pleased that in the end I choose these glasses over the others in it's field. It is small enough to carry with me, at all times and yet it actually exceeds the expectations for a pair of binoculars to carry when traveling and sight seeing. I feel comfortable in thinking that I will probably even use these during my hunting, they seem to be that good" - Netartsdave

Get it from Amazon now: $79.99 & FREE Returns



Nikon 8252 Aculon A211 10-22x50 Zoom Binocular (Black)

A man holds Nikon 8252 Aculon A211 10-22x50 Zoom Binocular

Credit: Amazon


Here is a summary of the key points from the reviews:

  • Quality: Reviewers consistently mention the high-quality optics of these binoculars, with many praising the clear, crisp viewing experience. The Nikon brand is well-regarded for its quality, and these binoculars live up to that reputation.

  • Zoom: The 10-22x zoom feature is a standout aspect of these binoculars. Users appreciate the smooth zoom function and the ability to easily adjust the magnification.

  • Ease of Use: The quick zoom lever is conveniently located for thumb placement, making it easy to use. The binoculars also accommodate for astigmatism and nearsightedness, making them versatile for different users.

  • Durability: These binoculars are reported to be durable, with one user even mentioning that they survived a drop on cement.

  • Value for Money: Many reviewers feel that these binoculars offer great value for the price, especially when compared to cheaper brands. The image quality and features offered by these binoculars justify the cost for most users.

Bottom Line: If you're looking for a pair of binoculars that offer excellent image quality, a smooth and powerful zoom feature, and a durable build, the Nikon 8252 Aculon A211 10-22x50 Zoom Binocular is a great choice. It's worth the investment if you're serious about your viewing experience.


Helpful review: "If you have narrow interpupilary distance these binoculars might be good for you. These close just enough that you can see through them without having double images. Clear, crisp viewing. Zoom is smooth. I tried few other less expensive brands and nothing like these. Yes they are a little pricy when you compare them to other brands, but with these you are getting a lot better image quality." - Wilbert Pierluissi

Get it from Amazon now: $126.21 & FREE Returns


A man holds Nikon 8252 Aculon A211 10-22x50 Zoom Binocular

Credit: Amazon


Trending review: "We purchased this binocular recently. We have the Nikon Action EX 8 x 40, which we absolutely love for birding and nature activities. The minimum focusing distance on this binocular, the Acculon A211, is 49.2 feet. It will be used, along with a tripod, for stargazing and mountain viewing. The weather has not cooperated very much for stargazing, but from what we have been able to see, the images are sharp, the stars are pinpoint and we will update after viewing the moon and planets. We expect to be able to see the moons of Jupiter and possibly some semblance of the rings around Saturn. The view of our moon from our smaller Nikon binocular, allows us to see the craters on the leading edge, almost as good as a small telescope. We have higher expectations for this larger pair of binoculars, particularly when zoomed in. The binoculars are not particularly heavy, the grip is nice and they are water resistant, although I think not waterproof. I did want to mention that there is a trick to using the eyepiece cap. TURN DOWN THE RUBBER ON THE EYEPIECES, as is instructed if you wear glasses. The single unit eyepiece cap will fit perfectly if you do this. A tripod is a necessity for viewing objects at higher magnification. The daytime views appear to be sharp and there are adjustments for central focus, diopter and a 10-22x zoom lever.The Interpupillary Distance is 56-72 mm. The tripod adapter is included with the binocular. Overall, this seems to be a decent unit and will update the review in the future." - Radio Man

Get it from Amazon now: $126.21 & FREE Returns


Reassuring review: "I had read one very good review where they had stated that they were not binocular experts, but went on to say that they had bought several pairs of binoculars over the years, that didn't have the clarity that they had expected, until they bought these. Their review compelled me to write my review!! I agree with them 100% these binoculars are of very good quality, you feel it in the weight at a solid but fairly light 33 oz. ( or roughly 2 lbs. 1 oz.) and rubber armored! I have had several pairs of binoculars myself, and when you zoom in and refocus you just can't get them to come in clear unless you back off the zoom a bit then they will become clear. So what good is zoom if they're not going to be clear when zoomed in all the way. Well good news for the folks that bought these, because these are crystal clear while zoomed all the way in!!! Also if you focus these in while zoomed in all the way, as you back the zoom off they will stay focused! Also what is not mentioned is these binoculars come with a neck strap, a padded case that has a belt loop, so you can ware it on a belt up to 2.5 inches wide, and lens covers, along with the tripod adapter that is mentioned.I would definitely recommend these to anyone!!" - Myan

Get it from Amazon now: $126.21 & FREE Returns



Choosing the Right Binoculars for Stargazing

In order to get the most out of your BEST night sky adventures, you need to make sure you have the right binoculars for you. With so many different types and models available, it can be hard to know which ones are best for stargazing. I created this guide with the hope to help you find the right binoculars for exploring the amazing endless night sky.


Size and Weight

When choosing binoculars for stargazing, size and weight should be your primary concern. Heavy binoculars can be cumbersome and difficult to use, while lightweight ones may not offer enough power or clarity. Generally speaking, 10x50 or 12x50 binoculars are a good choice for stargazers; they provide enough magnification to see stars and other celestial objects without being too heavy or unwieldy.


Quality of Optics

The quality of your optics is also important when it comes to stargazing. Look for binoculars with high-quality lenses that will provide you with clear images even in low light conditions. You'll also want to make sure that your lenses are coated with anti-reflective coatings so that you don't waste any precious starlight on reflection or glare. Finally, check that the eyepieces on your binoculars provide a wide field of view so that you can take in as much of the night sky as possible.


Range

Finally, consider how far away you plan on viewing stars with your binoculars. If you're planning on doing some casual backyard stargazing, then a pair of 10x50 or 12x50 binoculars should suit your needs perfectly. However, if you're planning on doing some serious astronomy work then you'll want to invest in higher magnification such as 15x70 or 20x80 binoculars with greater zoom capabilities and larger objective lenses.

No matter what type of stargazer you are, there's a perfect pair of binoculars out there just waiting for you! With this guide, you'll be able to find just what you need for an amazing night gazing experience!


To Sums It All Up

Whether it’s casual backyard gazing or serious astronomy work, finding the right pair of binoculars is essential for optimum viewing pleasure when taking in all the wonders our universe has to offer! Be sure to take into account size & weight; quality optics; lens quality; range & magnification capabilities – these considerations will help ensure a successful night under the stars! Wishing you a happy and clear stargazing nigh!



39 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page