Celestron Skymaster Pro 20×80 Review [Best For Astronomy?]

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If you are looking for a pair of binoculars for Astronomy, then the Celestron Skymaster Pro 20x80s are going to be in the running.

If you here, chances are you are considering purchasing them and are wondering if they are a good pair of binoculars to invest in. This review will outline the main spec, pros and cons, so you can make a decision as to whether the are the best pair for you.

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Astronomy Scope

The SkyMaster Pro’s are a popular choice when it comes to astronomical binoculars – they are at the higher end of the Celestron Sky Master series, and are in many ways their premium option. They will enable you to closely observe Stars, Galaxies, Nebulae and Planets, just like you can with a Telescope (albeit cheaper, easier to use and more versatile).

Celestron Skymaster Pro 20×80 Review

Specifications

Field of View: 3.2°

Exit Pupil: 4mm (.15″)

Eye Relief: 15.5mm (.61″)

Close Focus: 66.2 ft (20.2 m)

Relative Brightness: 16

Eye Relief: 15.5mm

Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated (XLT Coatings)

Prism Glass (Type): BaK-4

Environmental Protection: Waterproof and Nitrogen Purged

Tripod Adaptable: Yes

Weight: 5 lbs

Carrying Case Included: Yes (Deluxe Nylon)

Included Accessories: Reflex Sight Rail (RSR), Objective lens caps, Interchangeable flared eyecups, Rainguard, Neck strap, Lens cloth, Instruction Manual

Celestron SkyMaster Pro 20x80 Binoculars

Pros

Pros

  • Large 80 mm objective lenses and 20x magnification.  This is ideal spec for light gathering in all light conditions regardless of the time of day. You can expect to see planets, stars, nebulas and galaxies that are crisp and clear.
  • Detachable RSR rail that enables you to attach a Finderscope (or take off the attachment if not needed)
  • Very well constructed with performance in mind. You will noticed improved ergonomics and clarity when observing the night sky.
  • Waterproof and nitrogen purged so they are protected in all weather conditions. The dry nitrogen gas is brilliant for preventing the lenses from fogging in between temperature changes or when using them in cold or wet conditions.
  • A number of additional components are included: Objective Lens Caps, Rainguard, Neck Strap, Lens Cloth and Instruction Manual.
  • 2 Year Warranty.

Cons

Cons

  • May require a Tripod depending on the age of the user or length of time they intend to be used for.
  • Slightly more expensive than the standard 20×80 SkyMaster variant.

Summary

An award winning pair of binoculars, from a reputable astronomy equipment brand, the Celestron Skymaster Pro Binoculars are the premium model in the series (an upgrade on the regular Skymasters).

The SkyMaster Pros come with a whopping 20x Magnification and large 80 mm objective lenses. This ensures excellent light gathering ability, especially in low light conditions which makes them ideal for astronomical viewing.

They weigh less than the other SkyMaster models in the range, at 5 pounds and are 16 inches long, 7 inches wide and 11 inches tall. They have a 168 foot field of view 15.5mm eye relief . The objective lens diameter is 80 mm, while the maximum magnification is 20. Moreover, their BAK-4 prisms, big aperture and multi-coated optics will provide a fine viewing experience, with crisp images to enjoy. The Celestron SkyMaster 20×80 Binoculars are fully resistant to water and are nitrogen purged for extra protection from all weather conditions.

I will now take a closer look at the specifications, before turning to the pros and cons and then my personal experiences and sightings.

SkyMaster Pro Specifications & Features

Compared with other lower-priced large aperture binoculars, the SkyMaster Pro provide you with better, coatings, internal parts and housing materials. They have huge objective lenses, BaK-4 prisms and fully multi-coated optics. At this price, you will not be able to find binoculars that provide as good a view.

Here are the main features that set these aside from other alternatives on the market:

80mm Objective Lenses

80mm is huge when it comes to objective lenses. This enables them to gather a considerable amount of light regardless of the conditions. Whilst this will benefit you at all times, it is aprticuarly useful in darker conditions where the ability to collect light is essential. This makes the SkyMaster Pro binoculars ideal regardless of the time you use them. Be this dusk, dawn or for nighttime astronomical viewing.

Fully Multi-Coated Optics and BaK-4 Prisms

Celestron build their products with quality and the finest component/materials; the SkyMaster Pros are no exception. The air-to-glass surfaces are multi-coated using a proprietary XLT coating. Added to the BaK-4 prisms, you benefit from better light transmission through the optical path. This results in considerable more clarity than cheaper binoculars, ensuring you get crisp, high contrast images with unbelievable resolution.

Built in Tripod Adapter and RSR “Reflex Sight Ready” Rail

Understanding the potential need to use a Tripod, for these are relatively large and heavy binoculars, there is a built in tripod adapter that allows you to fix them to a Tripod. Believe it or not, not every pair of binoculars come with this!

A tripod will provide you with extra stability and focus, and enables you to observe the night sky for longer periods before any tiredness and fatigue sets in. The balance rail and support rod come in handy.

There’s also the ability to add a red-dot finder to the center support rod. This is great for finding objects quickly so is ideal for beginners.

Solid, Durable Construction.

The SkyMaster Pros were designed and built with polycarbonate and aluminum materials. This makes them lighter in weight weight than many other astronomical binoculars but it also improves the durability of them several fold. Plus, protective rubber armor makes them very comfortable to hold and extra durable; ensuring you do not drop them.

I personally love the waterproof housing because it means you can use them in all different weather conditions. The amount of times I have been caught out by the rain; with the SkyMaster Pros I needn’t worry. They are also designed with dry nitrogen gas which is brilliant from preventing the lenses from fogging in between temperature changes or when using them in cold or wet conditions.

Enhanced Magnification

The 20x magnification is great for astronomical binoculars, and enables you to observe celestial objects in a much greater detail that what others can provide.

Additional Accessories

Celestron provide a comprehensive set of accessories as standard with a purchase through Amazon. The following come included in the box:

  • Reflex Sight Rail (RSR),
  • Objective Lens Caps,
  • Interchangeable Flared Eyecups,
  • Rainguard,
  • Neck Strap,
  • Lens Cloth,
  • Instruction Manual; detailing precisely how to use and get the most of them.

My Experiences

These are without doubt a brilliant pair of binoculars.

Having used these binoculars for a couple of years, I have been able to observe some fascinating objects in the sky – including the Orion Nebula, Jupiter’s Moons and Andromeda Galaxy! They are brilliant for comets and some of the more noticeable galaxies like M81 and M82.

Other users report seeing the Plejades, the Beehive cluster and the double cluster in Perseus. As these are some of the most distant objects, it just goes to show how powerful these are.

I actually use these more than my telescope believe it or not; they’re just so much easier to use and carry around. If your just getting into astronomy or do not want to transport your telescope around any longer, these are a great option.

From personal experience, along with countless hours of research and discussion on astronomy forums and community pages, the Celestron Skymaster Pro Binoculars are some of the most powerful binoculars available for the price point. What makes them so useful is that they are equally as effective for beginners, intermediates and pros alike.

One thing to mention is that depending on your preferences, or how long you want to use them for, you may require a Tripod to support them and hold them in place. (The Celestron Regal Premium Tripod is the recommended). Plus, you may want to purchase an aiming device (sold separately) to help you focus on an object faster. The Celestron Star Pointer Finderscope combines brilliantly. Its also relatively inexpensive.

Overall, I am very pleased with the quality and optics of these binoculars and what they have enabled me to see in the night sky. I can only recommend them.

2 Year Warranty Guarantee

Celestron products, including these binoculars, come with a 2 year warranty. So if you notice that they are not working as they  should, you can send it back to get it repaired/brand new pair depending on the issue.

Word of warning: If broken, never try to repair your binoculars by yourself. You will likely lose your warranty and will not be entitled to a repair/new pair. Also consider that if you do need to send them back, the warranty does not cover any modifications that you may have made.

My Recommendation

Without a doubt, these are some of the most widely used, sought after and well-reviewed binoculars for astronomy. Their power, ease of use, portability, durable and sleek design and the range of accessories make this a brilliant pair of binoculars for first time buyers or even if you want to upgrade your current pair.

I highly recommend the SkyMaster Pros and have been thoroughly impressed with my observations since using them, and the general experience that comes with using such equipment.

In summary, they are fantastic value and a great practical alternative to a telescope. Several experienced astronomers typically recommend astronomical binoculars before a telescope.

With no set up, and the ability to use both eyes (which is more comfortable and required no adjusting like the one-eyed view of a telescope) provides two distinct benefits. Using two eyes enables you to see more (and deeper) than you would with one eye alone for the same Aperture.

So if you’re new to astronomy consider the Celestron SkyMaster Pro 20×80 Binoculars – they are an ideal starting place for a fraction of the price.

Pricing and Where to Buy

I bought my Celestron Skymaster Pro 20x80s on Amazon. Click here to check the current price of the product on its Amazon listing.