There is a lot of talk about the Celestron 12×60 SkyMaster binoculars (opens in a new tab) making it a great choice for anyone looking for high-quality binoculars without breaking the bank.
Large 60mm lenses gather more light for viewing in low light conditions. They boast high-quality optics with multi-coated lenses and BaK-4 glass prisms to provide clear and bright views. The 12x magnification provides detail, especially with a tripod that can be attached to the adapter (Celestron 93524 Roof and Porro Binocular Tripod Adapter purchased separately. (opens in a new tab)).
Celestron SkyMaster 12×60 binoculars: Key features
Objective lens weight: 60 mm
Angular viewport: 5.4 degrees
Eye relief: 17mm/0.6 inch
Weight: 39.2 oz / 1111 g
The binoculars are water and fog resistant, making them perfect for outdoor and nighttime use. They come with 17mm of eye relief, providing excellent viewing for all users, including those wearing glasses. We’ve been testing them for a few weeks and think they’re a great choice for astronomy, bird watching and nature viewing.
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Celestron SkyMaster 12×60 binoculars: Design
- Good build quality
- Porro prism design
- Pimpled rubber for extra grip
The Celestron SkyMaster 12×60 uses a Porro prism design. Porro prism binoculars have objective lens tubes removed from the eyepieces, allowing more light to enter, thus providing clearer views. A prism helps to flip the image so that it appears correctly to your eyes. Without the prism, the image would appear upside down (like most telescopes).
Porro prism binoculars tend to be larger than the binoculars (you’ll notice that the eyepieces are closer together while the objective lenses are further apart). In roof prism binoculars, the tubes are straight, which creates a small shape. The small size is attractive to tourists and hikers, although Porro prism binoculars are relatively inexpensive, although the images are often of high quality.
Carrying a bag
Objective lens cups
A cover for both eyes
Hold the bag
Lens cleaning cloth
This is true of the Celestron SkyMaster 12×60 binoculars. They are very inexpensive, no specifications are provided, and they allow enough light for stargazing and astronomy, but they can take up a lot of space in your daypack.
The build quality of the telescope is very good, and the entire body is protected by a black rubber strap with the usual Celestron-orange logo. The rubber coating makes them waterproof and easy to wipe down, but also gives you an excellent non-slip grip enhanced by the tiny rubber bumps where you grab the binoculars. They feel very secure in the hand.
The SkyMaster 12×60 telescope, like all of Celestron’s SkyMaster models, uses BaK-4 glass. This high-quality glass offers much better optical quality than the less desirable BK-7 glass often found in premium models, providing better low-light performance.
Celestron SkyMaster 12×60 binoculars: Performance
- Bright and colorful pictures
- The tripod is flexible
- 17mm eye relief
For the low price of $100, we are very impressed with the quality of views with these binoculars, during the day, after sunset and at night.
Because 12x is a high magnification, it’s best to lean the binoculars on something or sit in a chair with your eyebrows against your body to steady your hand. In addition, and manually, these binoculars can be adjusted to three positions. You can get an inexpensive tripod adapter (tripod adapter sold separately (opens in a new tab)) will greatly enhance your stargazing experience.
They are comfortable to hold for users with a steady hand, but we found them to be more comfortable when attached to a steady tripod. This would be the case for beginners or younger viewers, where hand shaking would be too much to bear.
On a clear night mounted on a tripod, we could easily make out Jupiter and the four Galilean moons: Io; Europe; Ganymede and Callisto. Although you can’t get up close to each person, you definitely see more than you can with your eyes. The Pleiades (Seven Sisters) were also interesting to look at and the field of view is wide enough to find such celestial objects easily.
The focus knob is easy to adjust, even with gloves. It’s sensitive enough, but not so much that you’ll move it out of place once it’s focused.
Although it’s not as pure nitrogen as the higher-end models, even though we regularly took it between temperatures of 68°F/20°C (indoors) and 24.8°F/-4°C (outdoors ), we still didn’t have any experience with the SkyMaster 12×60 breaking down, which means we can watch it live.
We took these binoculars out during the day and were able to use them – to help find a lost dog. The long-term focus is sharp enough to see details in bushes and distant fields, and the field of view is wide enough to cover a large area at a time. Good news – the dog has been found!
We noticed some chromatic aberration but were also surprised that there was only a small amount, given the low price of these telescopes. The colors seemed accurate with no noticeable warranty to speak of. The center of focus is sharp, but there is a noticeable drop in sharpness as you approach the edges of the frame. This is expected but can be confusing, especially when using a tripod where you may not want to keep your focus.
Celestron SkyMaster 12×60 binoculars: Working
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Long rest of the eyes
- Diopter range
Diopters adjust the difference between the two barrels of the binoculars, which allows for compensation for differences in eye power. Not only does this result in a clearer picture for the user but it also reduces the chance of eye strain and headaches. Most binoculars have a diopter range of -4 to +4, but the Celestron 12×60 range offers a generous -4 to +8, allowing for more dynamic adjustments. for weak eyes.
The long eyepiece (17mm) enables spectacle wearers to see the entire field of view. The rubber eyecups are foldable (so your glasses take the place of eye relief instead of eye cups). They fold up quickly and easily and stay folded, unlike other low-profile binoculars.
The material provided is a bit lacking – it’s too thin and won’t be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. We were also disappointed with the lens caps. There are two covers for the eyepieces and one for each objective lens. They are very loose and tend to fall off. Well (if annoying) during the day, but in the dark, we found a few times where they fell off without us noticing, and we needed to use headlamp to find them. Since it is thin rubber, you don’t feel it when it falls either.
It is possible to attach a pair of eyepiece covers (to provide your equipment) but not lens caps. Not a gimmick if you’re careful with your binoculars, but something to be aware of if you plan to take them in and out of your bag where they might be registered.
Should you buy Celestron SkyMaster 12×60 binoculars?
For the price, you get access to many of the specs you’ll find in more advanced, expensive models. We are happy to recommend them as quality binoculars for first time buyers or an extra pair to keep in your car or home for viewing and stargazing. They are also very useful for long-term observation of the world, great for bird watching and nature viewing to give space in your daypack is limitless.
The 12x magnification and large 60mm lens are excellent in low light, and great for tripod-mounted stargazing. The optics are multi-coated, high quality, long eyepieces and good build quality. Included is a Limited Lifetime Warranty that protects against defects and material defects.
If the Celestron SkyMaster 12×60 binoculars aren’t for you
For a compact pair of general-purpose binoculars, consider the Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 we reviewed. They are some of the best prism binoculars on the market. They have the same basic specifications but also the bonus of nitrogen purification and waterproofing. As we mentioned earlier, they are roof prisms, which are naturally more compact than the Porro pair in this review.
We consider the Canon 10x42L IS WP binoculars to be some of the best astronomical binoculars money can buy, which is why they sit at the top of our binoculars buying guide The best, but they come at a very high price. For an affordable option, consider the Opticon Adventurer II WP 10×50 binoculars, also in our best binoculars. They are in the same price bracket as the Celestron SkyMaster 12×60 but have fully coated optics. It is a roof prism design, small and very light. They don’t have the same premium quality finish as the Celestron ones here, but if you’re not too concerned about aesthetics, they can be a good alternative.