Binoculars make handy tools for astronomy and stargazing as well. Unlike most telescopes that require prior set up, binoculars don’t require any set up. All you need to do is take them out of the bag and enjoy the views of the celestial objects.
A pair of quality binoculars is generally the best tool for astronomy beginners and astronomers who are always on the go. A powerful set of binoculars that is made with high-quality optics will help you examine the moon, starts, planets and other deep-sky celestial objects at the comfort of your balcony, back yard or any other place for years to come.
If you are a beginner or seasoned astronomer and you are looking for the best budget binoculars for astronomy, you are in the right place. In this post, we will share some of the best budget binoculars for astronomy that are available on the market today and also help you understand the best qualities of binoculars for astronomy. Let’s get started.
What Makes a Great Pair of Binoculars for Astronomy?
If you are buying your first set of binoculars for astronomy, you are probably wondering what model you should get. With plenty of models to pick from, you should go for a model that offers the capability to meet all your needs depending on your skills and experience.
For a beginner, the binoculars should be easy to use. They should have a lightweight design and the focus knob should be centrally located for ease of access. The binoculars should also offer ample eye relief for comfortable observation whether you put on eyeglasses or not.
A great pair of binoculars for astronomy should also have a high magnification but not more than 15x if you want to maintain steadiness. They should have a large objective lens to maximizes light collection and provide a large field of view.
Binoculars for astronomy should also be multi-purpose. With a multi-purpose set of binoculars, you will be able to observe the stars, moon and other celestial objects at night, and use it for other applications like birding, wildlife watching or hiking during the day. Above all, the binoculars should be built to offer dependable performance under any weather.
7 Best Budget Binoculars for Astronomy
Whether you are buying your first pair of binoculars for astronomy or you need to get a newer model, here is our detailed list of some of the top-performing models that are ideal for beginners, professionals and anyone in between. Let’s take a look.
1) Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars
The Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars are arguably one of the best budget binoculars for astronomy out there. They possess a powerful 10x magnification for viewing distant objects and 42mm aperture for better visibility of the stars, moon and other space objects.
The versatility of these binoculars is unmatched. You can use them for hunting, watching wildlife and scenery, hiking and birding during the day, and for astronomy and star gazing at night. Plus, they are built with superior optics to guarantee clarity and brightness in every activity you use them for.
Comfort is another thing that makes these binoculars stand out. They have a lightweight design so they won’t weigh you down. Additionally, the ergonomically correct eyecups make viewing comfortable and natural even for eyeglass wearers by providing an ample amount of eye relief. The binoculars also come with an easy-grip surface for comfortable handling, and a large center focus knob for precision focusing.
Furthermore, the binoculars feature fully multi-coated objective lens which provide admirable optical quality and crispness which is vital for astronomy. Better yet, the high-quality BaK-4 prisms included are phase corrected to provide superior resolution and color contrast no matter the light setting.
Above all, these binoculars come with a shock-absorbing rubber armor which provides a sure grip, and a rainproof and fog proof construction for use under any weather.
- 10x magnification
- Rainproof and shockproof
- Shockproof rubber armor
- Adjustable twist-up eyecups
- Phase corrected BaK-4 prism
- Large center focus knob
- Advanced fully multi-coated objective lens
- 18mm blue film eyepiece
- Compact and lightweight
- Tripod compatible
- Phone adapter that works with most phones
- Solid build
- Smooth focus
- Extremely accurate color reproduction
- Short eye relief
2) Orion Scenix 7×50 Binoculars
The Orion Scenix 7×50 Binoculars are excellent for astronomy and star gazing at night and scenery viewing and hunting during the day. As one of the best budget binoculars for astronomy, it brings to the table a bright 7mm exit pupil that optimizes optical performance in low light settings and a large field of view that lets you observe a large area at a time.
These binoculars weigh 28oz only for easy portability and comfortable hand-held viewing. The 50mm objective lens features multi-layer coatings which increase light transmission and minimize light loss and glare. Moreover, every air to glass surface has anti-reflective lens coatings which guarantee generation of brighter and clearer image views regardless of the lighting condition. The binoculars also possess high-grade BaK-4 optical glass which generates outstanding resolution and color fidelity.
These astronomy binoculars are built to last. They possess a sturdy metal housing which is covered with a protective rubber armor. The rubber armor shields the interior optics from shock and impacts for optimum durability. It also provides a secure, slip-resistant grip even when you are wearing gloves. Furthermore, the binoculars come with an easy to access large center focusing knob for precision focusing.
In addition to everything else, this set of binoculars accepts tripod L-adapter for easy mounting onto a tripod, which is recommended during extended astronomical viewing sessions.
- Sturdy metal housing
- 7x magnification
- High-quality BaK-4 Porro prism
- Large 50mm aperture
- Multi-coated optics
- Large center focusing mechanism
- Superb all-round binoculars for astronomy and other applications
- Lightweight design
- Tripod mountable
- Huge field of view
- Neck strap and lens cap included
- Small focus wheel
- Eye relief not adequate for eyeglass wearers
3) Celestron SkyMaster 15x70mm Porro Prism Binoculars
Celestron has a great reputation of making functional, high-performance optics and the SkyMaster 15x70mm Porro Prism Binoculars are not an exception. This is a high-quality yet cost-effective set of binoculars which is ideal for astronomy and long range terrestrial viewing.
Even in twilight conditions, the binocular provides bright and sharp image views. This is thanks to the multi-coated optics and BaK-4 prisms which provide efficient light transmission. Additionally, the binocular features a large 70mm objective lens which not only optimizes light collection, but also provides the much-needed large viewing angle.
With the high 15x magnification, it can be difficult to hold these binoculars steady. That’s why they come with a tripod adapter for mounting on a tripod. Furthermore, they boast a large center focus knob for smooth focusing, a protective rubber covering which provides a secure, ultra-firm grip and a long eye relief for snug viewing with or without eyeglasses.
Above all, the binoculars have a weather resistant housing for operability even in bad weather conditions.
- Multi-coated optics
- High 15x magnification
- Large center focus knob
- Protective rubber covering
- Large 70mm objective lens
- High-quality BaK-4 prisms
- Water resistant construction
- Long eye relief that is ideal for eyeglass wearers
- Tripod adaptable
- Ultra-sharp focus through the entire field of view
- Ideal for both astronomical and terrestrial viewing
- Lightweight enough to support by hand
- A little blurry
- Needs a tripod for extended use
4) Celestron – Cometron 7×50 Binoculars
The Cometron 7×50 Binoculars are arguably one of the best budget binoculars for astronomy for beginners. They are not just cost-effective, but also very simple to use. They are designed for viewing meteors, comets and other celestial objects, but they perform equally well when viewing land-based objects at distant ranges.
It features 7x magnification and 50mm objective lens. With this large 50mm objective lens comes a massive field of view which reveals a big portion of the night sky at once. The large objective lens also provides tremendous light gathering ability for bright image production.
Furthermore, the Cometron 7×50 Binoculars feature multi-coated optics which increase light transmission for brighter images with greater contrast and resolution. They also bring to the table a large exit pupil which provides bright light when viewing objects at night and in low light sessions.
The binoculars are built to offer unmatched durability. They feature a strong and durable aluminum housing which stands up to rough field use. They also come with a wide neck strap for comfortable carrying in the field and for extra comfort, you can mount them on a tripod during lengthy stargazing sessions.
- Multi-coated optics
- Sturdy and durable aluminum housing
- 50mm objective lens
- 7x magnification
- Rugged rubber armor
- Water resistant construction
- Tripod adaptable
- Large field of view
- Manageable weight
- Large exit pupil
- Not fog proof
5) Orion Mini Giant 9×63 Astronomy Binoculars
Next on our list is the Orion 9×63 Astronomy Binoculars. These mini giant binoculars collect more light than their 50mm counterparts without adding the weight or bulk that comes with giant binoculars. They are also very simple to use and an ideal option for all astronomers regardless of their skills and/or experience.
Unmatched optical crispness awaits you when you get these binoculars. In addition to having a large 63mm aperture, they posses fully multi-coated optics which increase light transmission in low light settings and minimize loss of light through reflection. They also boast BaK-4 prisms that deliver high-resolution and color richness no matter the light or weather conditions.
With the accommodating 26mm eye relief and a wide 5° field of view, you get to see your targets clearly with superior edge to edge sharpness even if you wear eyeglasses. The compact size fits perfectly on the palm of your hands and for extended viewing sessions, you can mount them on the tripod for comfortable, hands-free use.
Another outstanding feature about the binoculars is the ergonomic design. They feature pop-up rubber eye guards for comfortable glassing and a large, knurled center focus wheel for smooth focusing. They are also covered with a smooth rubber armoring which shields the optics from impact and shock, while providing a secure, non-slip grip.
- Moderate 9x magnification
- Glare threaded aluminum barrels
- Smooth rubber armoring
- 5° field of view
- Large, knurled center focus wheel
- Pop-up rubber eye guards
- Threaded socked for mounting on a tripod
- Japanese quality
- Good hand hold-ability
- Excellent performance day and night
- Numerous accessories included
- Lens covers included are less captivating
6) Orion UltraView 10×50 Wide Angle Binoculars
Another pair of best budget binoculars for astronomy on our list is the UltraView 10×50 Wide Angle Binoculars from Orion. These binoculars are the best option for eyeglass wearers. They are designed to offer an ultra-long eye relief for comfortable glassing with or without sunglasses/eyeglasses. They also come with retracting twist-lock eyecups for added eye comfort.
Designed with high-quality BaK-4 glass prisms, these binoculars deliver top-tier image views that are rich in color. The colors generated are pure and images are sharp as razor from one edge to the other. Additionally, all lens and air-to-glass surfaces have multi-layer coatings that offer much higher light transmittance, especially in low light settings for bright and clearer image views.
The UltraView 10×50 binocular comes with threaded socket to accept a tripod adapter. This way, you can free your hands and reduce eye and hand strain during lengthy glassing sessions. It weighs just 32oz for ease of portability, and has a 5mm exit pupil that is bright enough for use in critically low light settings. It also features a rugged cast-metal alloy body which optimizes durability and sturdiness, and a rubber armoring which provides a sure, non-slip grip.
- 10x magnification power
- Rugged cast-metal alloy body
- Retracting twist-lock eyecups
- Shock-absorbing rubber armor
- Multi-coated lens
- High-quality BaK-4 glass prisms
- 5mm exit pupil
- Excels for high power astronomy
- Lightweight design
- Secure, non-slip grip
- Bright, clear and tack sharp image views
- The stiff knob is somewhat stiff
- Not waterproof
7) Orion 15×70 Astronomy Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
These 15×70 Astronomy Binoculars from Orion offer the best value for money. While they are remarkably cost-effective, they don’t cut corners on durability and quality. They offer great views of the moon at night, stars, rings of Jupiter and other deep sky objects.
Light transmission in these binoculars is outstanding for bright image views. Image quality and contrast is optimized by the premium-quality BaK-4 prisms and with the fully multi-coated optics, you are guaranteed of bright, vivid and sharp image views. Furthermore, eyeglass wearers will find these binoculars comfortable to use thanks to the foldable eyecups that provide a generous amount of eye relief.
With the high 15x magnification power, these binoculars bring the distant objects closer for detailed viewing. However, the high magnification can make it difficult to hold the binoculars steady. A L-tripod adapter is included for stabilizing the binoculars. Mounting the binoculars on a tripod is also highly recommended during extended viewing sessions.
Overall, these Orion astronomy binoculars make a handy tool to every astronomy ardent out there.
- BaK-4 Porro prism
- Center focus system
- Large 70mm aperture
- Fully multi-coated optics
- 15x magnification
- Foldable eyecups
- Tripod adapter included
- Bright and high-quality views
- Excellent value for money
- Easy to use
- Stiff hinge between the two barrels
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Binoculars vs Telescopes for Astronomy
For astronomy, many people use either binoculars or telescopes. Each tool has its pros and cons and choosing either of them largely depends on individual needs and preference.
Binoculars are more compact and portable than telescopes. The bigger models are designed to be mounted on a tripod to take the weight of your hands, and they are better suited for seasoned astronomers. Binoculars also give you the flexibility to observe different celestial objects when you are on the go, for instance when you are camping or hiking.
Telescopes on the other hand are less portable and best suited for stargazing and moon watching from a stationary point. Setting up a telescope can be tedious and time consuming especially for beginners, but they have the advantage of offering high power magnification than binoculars. This makes them ideal for observing a wide range of celestial objects.
If what you are after is portability and ease of use, go for a pair of binoculars. However, if you looking to have more detailed view of the deep sky at night, a telescope is the best tool.
Criteria for Choosing Best Budget Binoculars for Astronomy
When shopping for the best budget binoculars for astronomy, here are the factors you do need to consider before you make a purchase.
For astronomy, you need a pair of binoculars that has a high magnification power. It will bring distant objects closer compared to a model that has a lower magnification power.
Magnification in binoculars is represented by the number that ends with an “x”. While high magnification power is essential for bringing distance targets closer, too much magnification makes it difficult to hold the binoculars steady. In such a case, make sure that the binoculars come with a tripod thread for mounting onto a tripod.
The objective lens is also known as aperture. This is the number after “x” in binoculars configuration. The larger the aperture the better for astronomy.
It will gather more light in low light situation and generate brighter image views. Besides, a large objective lens provides a wide field of view that lets you cover a large section at once. This will be very helpful when you are observing moving meteors and comets.
The other important thing to consider is the number of coatings applied on the binocular’s lenses. Proper lens coatings is vital for bright and vivid image production. It enhances light transfer, reduces reflection and improves on image contrast and sharpness.
For optimal performance, try and look for a pair of binoculars that possesses multi-coated lenses. Such a model will offer zero light loss and unparalleled image brightness and color contrast.
Field of View
The best budget binoculars for astronomy are those that offer a wide field of view. This is the area that you can see through the binoculars at once without moving them around. Get a model that offers a field of view of at least 300ft per 1000 yards.
Eye relief is distance from the binoculars eyepiece to your eye. The longer the eye relief, the more accommodating the binoculars are even for the users who put on eyeglasses. If you get a model with a shorter eye relief, you will have a hard time observing targets comfortably. If you put on eyeglasses, you will have to remove your eyeglasses every time you want to use the binoculars.
Don’t forget to check on the weight of the binoculars. If you plan to use the binoculars hand-held, invest in a model that is lightweight. This way, you will be able to hold them in your hands for a lengthy period of time without them weighing you down.
If you choose a model that is heavier, make sure that it comes with a tripod thread. Mounting your binoculars on a tripod will take the heavy weight off your hands and allows for comfortable glassing during longer viewing sessions.
Best Budget Binoculars for Astronomy FAQs
- Can I use binoculars for astronomy?
Absolutely. You can use binoculars for astronomy in place of telescopes. All you need it to get a pair that is designed for astronomy.
- Are 10×50 binoculars good for astronomy?
Yes. 10×50 binoculars make a good option for astronomy. The 10x magnification brings the distant celestial objects closer while the 50mm objective lens maximizes resolution and low light performance.
- Can I see galaxies with binoculars?
Sure. Binoculars for astronomy will help you observe different celestial bodies in great clarity and see different types of star clusters as well. For optimal performance, make sure that the binoculars you are using comes with powerful optics so you will get clear and sharp views.
We hope that this article has given you the insight into the best budget binoculars for stargazing. The best pair should provide crisp clear image views regardless of the lighting condition and be simple to use. All the binoculars listed above are well built to provide crisp clear image views of the stars, moon, planets and other celestial objects in any lighting and weather condition. You can also use them for other outdoor fun activities, not just astronomy.