f1telescopes is dedicated to providing the amateur astronomer quality advice and excellent service at the most competitive prices available on the UK internet.

Suite 127,
St. George's Business Park,
Castle Road,
Sittingbourne
Kent ME10 3TB
Celebrating 15 years

Contact us now
0845 260 2622
info@f1telescopes.co.uk

The Best Astronomy Binoculars for Beginners

Anyone taking their first steps into the world of astronomy may not realise that a great pair of binoculars can be just as good, if not more practical that splashing out on an expensive telescope. The great thing about binoculars is they are extremely portal and are ready to go right away. Telescopes on the other hand, need time to adjust snd set up and for someone just starting out on their stargazing journey, this may not be the ideal introduction. So, if you want to be able to glare up at the surface of the moon, observe the constellations or even deep sky objects, they’re ideal.

A good pair of binoculars suitable for the novice stargazer can be purchased for a little as £50 to £75. For hand held use, we’d would recommend apertures of 50 to 70mm and magnifications of 7x to 12x, maybe even 15x if you have a steady hand or are going to rest them on a suitable support.

What can I see with binoculars?

The first thing you will notice compared to the naked eye, is a big increase in the number of stars that are visible! Stars will not get any bigger as they are too distant however, the number of dimly lit stars you can see will increase very noticeably, especially when viewing densely populated parts of the sky like the milky way.

Many other objects are visible too. It’s very possible to spot planets in the solar system but the view will not be like a telescope. For example, with good eyesight you should be able to locate the position of the moons around Jupiter. Closer to home, our moon will reveal lots of detail on nights where it is not too bright (full moons), making it a great target to observe.

Binoculars really come into their own when searching for DSO’s (Deep Sky Objects) found outside of our solar system. The Pleiades nebula, also known as Seven Sisters (Messier 45) in Taurus and many other famous objects in the Messier catalog can be found in good clear skies with a decent pair of binoculars.

For those who want to take binocular observations more seriously there are many other types and sizes to consider.

Low-Range Budget (£100 & Under)

It is unlikely that you will find a telescope of reasonable quality around this price point that is sufficiently well made to be able to show you planets or the moon in good detail. But a good pair of binoculars will show you many more stars than can be seen with the naked eye and you will be able to find many fascinating objects such as galaxies, nebulae star clusters and learn to navigate the skies. Some good examples:

Celestron Cometron 12×70 – From £75.00

Buy Now

Providing a magnification of 12X and having a lens diameter of 70mm, these binoculars will allow you to see a wealth of detail in the night sky. The amount of stars visible will be many times that of the naked eye and will also allow you to locate most of the messier catalog items for example.

Although physically larger and heavier than 40-50mm binoculars, they can still be hand held especially when seated. Whilst many other binoculars of this size have 15x or even 20X magnifications, this is unhelpful in the night sky, as it reduces brightness and makes the binocular much more sensitive to vibration, making use on a tripod essential.

Visually there is almost no difference in appearance of night sky objects at 12X v 15X magnification but the image will be brighter and steadier allowing you to use them handheld.

Great for

  • Beginners on a Budget
  • General Astronomy
  • Finding the bright deep sky objects light nebulae galaxies and clusters
  • A great compliment to a telescope

Downsides

  • A little bulking for an evening stroll
  • Tripod or mono pod useful to reduce fatigue during long observing sessions

Helios Fieldmaster 10×50 – From £54.99

Buy Now

Ease of use makes these 10 x 50 size binoculars very popular for astronomy.

They can be used hand-held to provide sharp clear views of the heavens without problem and are compact enough to be carried around your neck whilst taking an evening stroll.

For those starting out and looking for binoculars to help learn to navigate, this size is ideal providing a wider field of view than the 12 X 70 size. Also an excellent choice as a compliment to a telescope, they can be used for casual observations to check the night sky quality before setting up your telescope.

Great for

  • Beginners on a Budget
  • General Astronomical use
  • Easy to carry around and get sharp hand held views

Downsides

  • Less light gathering compared to 70mm binoculars
  • Less detail in deep sky objects

Mid-Range Budget (£100-200)

If you have a little more to splash out on binoculars, a slightly more expensive pair will offer clearer images, better field of view and more robust designs. Here’s some of our picks to look out for:

Opticron Adventurer WP Roof Prism Binoculars 10×50 – From £99.00

Buy Now

These offer a compact high quality optic at a sensible price. They are nitrogen purged to avoid internal condensation and offer a good field of view at a magnification which most can hand-hold with ease.

Great for

  • Superior optics compared to entry level models making DSO observation easier
  • Nitrogen purged – condensation cannot get inside the optics

Downsides

  • None

Opticron Discovery WP PC Roof Prism Binoculars 8×50 – From £179.00

Buy Now

These are one of our favourites. A slightly less common size but perfect for astronomy! With 50mm objective lenses for good light gathering at 8X magnification, they offer a brighter image that helps find more difficult targets, provides a wider field of view and are easier to hold steady than the more common 10X50 sizes.

Great for

  • Easy to hold steady
  • Brighter view than higher magnification versions making it easier to find faint objects
  • High contrast optics
  • Nitrogen purged

Downsides

  • More expensive than other entry level models

Upper-Range Budget (£250+)

For those wanting to go even further with binoculars, you’ll need to consider larger apertures – typically up to 100mm

Because these instruments are large, they have to be tripod mounted. It’s simply not possible to use these as hand held binoculars. Many also feature interchangeable eyepieces fitted at 45 or 90 degrees to the main body to allow easy observation when observing objects high in the sky. Interchangeable eyepieces also allow you to change magnification, so these larger binoculars are effectively two telescopes mounted side by side!

Altair 100mm 90° Giant Observation Binoculars with 1.25″ Eyepiece Holders – From £1299.00

Buy Now

altair-100mm-90-giant-observation-binoculars

For large binoculars, the Altair 100mm are excellent! The large apertures on offer are ideal for those who enjoy searching out the fainter DSO’s (Deep Sky Objects). Optically excellent and with 90 degree prisms are ideally suited to observing objects high in the sky comfortably. They are not supplied with any mounting so a heavy duty tripod will be required  – a good example being the FOTOMATE VT-990-222R Super Heavy-Duty Professional 2-Way Tripod.

Great for

  • Superb performance on DSO’s due to large aperture
  • Angled eyepieces for comfort
  • High contrast optics

Downsides

  • No dedicated tripod
  • Bulky

Vixen BT81S-A Astronomical Binoculars with HF2 Mount and Tripod Package – From £1599.00

Buy Now

Vixen BT81S-A Binoculars

Optically these binoculars are excellent. They come with a specially designed mount and tripod making them easy and enjoyable to use. A superb choice for the serious binocular user and for some observers these can take the place of a telescope.

Great for

  • Superb optical quality
  • Large aperture makes many more DSO’s visible
  • Excellent dedicated tripod and mounting
  • Angled eyepieces greatly improve observation comfort

Downsides

  • Not as portable as hand held binoculars
Latest News
Celestron CGX and CGEM II expected delivery dates for the UK
CGEM II EQ Mount & Tripod  -  End February 2017 CGEM II EQ Mount, Tripod and OTA packages...
New Celestron Inspire Series Telescope Preview
Sneak peak at Celestron's new Inspire range Celestron's new ‘Inspire’ series of telescopes...
Celestron’s Starsense for Skywatcher mounts due to arrive this week 12/07/16
StarSense technology was originated by Celestron’s engineers, allowing a Celestron computerized...
Celestron Update to Fix AVX Mount Compatibility Issues
Celestron can confirm that the latest CFM update (7.11.5056 or higher) will now fix the issue of...
Celestron SkySync GPS Unit Compatibility Issue
Celestron UK have today informed us that it has come to their attention that the latest version of...
Celestron announce wireless update now available Via CFM
Celestron have announced that Wireless updates are now officially available via CFM for some...
Latest Events
Monkton Stargazers Star Party on Friday 31 March 2017
Monkton Stargazers would like to invite you to a Star Party on Friday 31 March. This will follow 3...
Battle 950 Astronomy and space event October 9th 2016
Come an see us at the Battle Astronomy and Space event this Sunday in Battle East Sussex. See...
Mercury 9th of May 2016 Solar Transition
On the 9th of May 2016 Mercury will transition across the Sun for the first time since 2006. It...
Perseids AstroCamp Saturday 8th to Saturday 15th August 2015
Join the Mid-Kent Astronomical Society (MKAS) for a relaxing week of camping under darker skies to...
Solar Observing at Kent County Show Sunday 12th July 2015
f1telescopes will be attending the Kent County Show alongside Mid-Kent Astronomical Society and...
Solar Observing at Monkton Nature Reserve Open Day Sunday 24th May 2015
f1telescopes will be attending the Open Day at the Monkton Nature Reserve on Sunday 24th May...
Latest help & tips
Choosing your first telescope for astrophotography
What is astrophotography? Astrophotography is the technical term used for taking photographs of...
Beginner’s Guide to Astrophotography with a Telescope
It's very common for a large number of amateur astronomers to eventually want to take...
The Best Astronomy Binoculars for Beginners
Anyone taking their first steps into the world of astronomy may not realise that a great pair of...
Useful calculations for all telescope owners
How to calculate your telescopes magnification (power) The magnification produced by a telescope...
The Best Telescopes for Beginners
If you are just setting out on your journey to stargazing and observing celestial objects, buying...
Using Altair GPCAM as Digital Finder Scope
You can use your Altair GPCAM as a digital finder scope with the latest version of AltairCapture....
BBC Stargazing Live Star Map 2013
Using this informative star guide will give readers an insight into what to look out for in our...
Collimating a Newtonian Reflector
Correct optical alignment is fundamental to a Newtonian’s performance. All the mirrors and lenses...

Lost your password?

Register for this site

A password will be e-mailed to you.


Lost your password?

Please enter your username or email address.You will receive a link to create a new password via email.