Are you ready for one very sweet and complete optics package? For anyone who does astronomy outreach work, is interested in practicing binocular astronomy or is just looking for a great teaching tool, I’ve got something you really need to take a look at… the Celestron 10X50 UpClose Binoculars and Green Laser Pointer Optics Kit.
When I first spied the Celestron 10X50 UpClose Binoculars and Green Laser Pointer Optics Kit I was researching for inexpensive binoculars to supply to our guests at the Observatory. It is not uncommon during a public night or an outreach program to have a hundred or more guests and one or two pairs of binoculars doesn’t go very far. My goal was to find something a non-profit organization could afford, priced so that we could get several pairs, and geared towards performance so our guests weren’t disappointed with the view and our binocular astronomy program. Since the introduction of the green laser pointer a few years ago, I quickly learned that even a novice (right down to my four and five year old grandchildren) can follow the visible beam to where you target it, to its end with binoculars. Then the beam is switched off and the object is in the binoculars! With a mind for safety, it’s a simple and fun way to teach anyone to use binoculars for deep sky observing.
But the green laser wasn’t what I was after… It was the binoculars, wasn’t it?
Another aspect of the binocular astronomy classes we give is providing a monthly star chart to our guests that highlights a few objects for them to locate on their own. It’s just a simple handout – one I print out at home before any program and we stand around in the dark and share a red flashlight as I teach them how to read it and point out the marker stars with the green laser. Yep. We share the red flashlight… A simple tool that should be in the hands of every single person that even remotely takes an interest in reading an astronomy chart outside at night… And one that I just don’t happen to have ten extra to pass around.
But the red flashlights wasn’t what I was after… It was the binoculars, wasn’t it?
So, back to basics. I needed multiple pairs of binoculars that could withstand hard use and perform well. After many years, and many pairs of personal binoculars, I’d love to put Nikon, Oberwerk or Fujinons in every one’s hands, but the reality check is not every one’s hands are ready for these types of binoculars. What I needed was something I knew from experience that could withstand being dropped, was water-proofed and provided an excellent view. In that case, experience tells me Celestron and are great all-purpose astronomy binoculars 10×50.
So, here I am… Staring at the Celestron 10X50 UpClose Binoculars and Green Laser Pointer Optics Kit for $59 and then the reality check really comes home. For this price I can order five… And get five pairs of binoculars, five green laser pointers and five red flashlights… All for about what five pairs of binoculars would cost! Click. Ordered.
After they arrived, it was time to put them to the test, eh? And now we’re not just talking the “Tammy Test” we’re talking about the multi-person, multi-use, how long will these kits hold up type of test. Here’s my first group – the Ohio Military Police. There wasn’t just three of them either – there were over three hundred. Needless to say, not one of them had a problem using the binoculars or with focusing them. Out of all of them that I interviewed, no one had issues with astigmatism on any of the binoculars and the lasers pointers and flashlights all performed equally well. These tests were carried out over two days and those binoculars were used hard, folks… No wimpy care, here.
On we go, eh? How about your average scout troop? Now we’re talking young hands… Hands that can’t be trusted on their own with the green lasers, but the leaders can. In this case, we can easily do a presentation where we can point out constellations with the green lasers and responsible adults can also assist in the program by pointing out particular stars or objects for us to name. By having several flashlights available, small groups of kids can work together with charts and adults at the same time to learn constellations on their own. When it’s time to practice astronomy, we use the same “follow the beam” trick, they learn and have a great time!
Still more? Then try thirty plus groups a year that look like this. Wild teens and sometimes sedate adults who come here to learn about astronomy. Telescopes are great and we share those, too. But nothing takes the cake like having your own pair of binoculars in hand – or having a green laser to point at something when you have a question. So, how did the Celestron 10X50 UpClose Binoculars and Green Laser Pointer Optics Kit perform in all of these situations? The binoculars are still going strong, folks. After all that use, not one single pair of them has shown any signs of a problem. The red flashlights are all still working on the original batteries and so are the green lasers. However, the green lasers are not extremely powerful and not very bright during situations like dusk or full Moon. At the same time, compared to other lasers in my possession, they do a fine job and should not be discounted. After all, the laser and flashlight are almost like getting them for free when you buy the binoculars!
In the long run the Celestron 10X50 UpClose Binoculars and Green Laser Pointer Optics Kit is an exceptional bargain at $59 and one I highly recommend. As a matter of a fact, I recommend it so much that OPT is even going to give one to a lucky Universe Today reader to keep so you can test it out yourself! From now until October 7, 2008 at 12:00 pm PDT you can send an email with the title of this review in the subject line and your name in the body of the email and Universe Today will randomly choose a winner to get your own Celestron Green Laser Pointer Optics Kit for free! No matter where you live…
Put ’em to the test and see if you don’t agree. The Celestron 10X50 UpClose Binoculars and Green Laser Pointer Optics Kit is an exceptionally rugged and good performing astronomy binocular and having a red flashlight and green laser is a huge bonus.
The Celestron 10X50 UpClose Binoculars and Green Laser Pointer Optics Kit were purchased for this review from OPT and a free kit will be provided to a randomly chosen winner by Oceanside Photo and Telescope.
Tammy was a professional astronomy author, President Emeritus of Warren Rupp Observatory and retired Astronomical League Executive Secretary. She’s received a vast number of astronomy achievement and observing awards, including the Great Lakes Astronomy Achievement Award, RG Wright Service Award and the first woman astronomer to achieve Comet Hunter’s Gold Status.
(Tammy passed away in early 2015… she will be missed)