What are the best kind of binoculars for $110...

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garay002

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I have around $110 that I would like to spend on some binoculars to look at the sky or very distant objects on the ground. Which are the best at the price I listed? I don't know much about brand and quality of binoculars so I thought I'd ask here. I would prefer a telescope, but I don't think there are any good ones at this price range. I want to go with binocs first, then move on to a telescope when I have the money. I've been eyeing the Celestron 15x70 Skymaster...are there any that might be better than these? Thanks!
 
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alpha_taur1

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You should be able to see quite a lot with a pair of 15x 70 binoculars. Certainly 70mm is much better than 50mm in terms of light gathering. 15 x magnification is good, but consider the fact that you'll need a steady hand at that magnification, or a tripod. With that, you should see the four largest moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, the disk of Mars, and a number of nebulae and galaxies, including the Andromeda galaxy. $110 seems like a great deal for 15 x 70s. <br /><br />If you can try them out at night, try focussing on a star, and make sure that you're getting a good 'point' like image rather than a smudged image. Also look out for chromatic aberration, or rainbow like fringes. You'll get that with cheap equipment sometimes. <br /><br />Here is a good overall guide to binoculars:<br /><br />http://www.wwnorton.com/astro21/sandt/choosingbinocs.html
 
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garay002

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Thanks for the reply!<br /><br />I really want a pair of these...but I am debating on wether I should get these now, or save up a bit more and get a decent telescope. I look at telescopes online...I look at their specs and I am completely confused. I don't know what the measurements mean, or what "reflector" or "refractor" is. I guess I have another question:<br /><br />Can you recommend me a decent telescope that'd be well suited for me(beginner)? I think I'll go for the Binoculars, but it'd also be cool to have my own telescope <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> .
 
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bbrock

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Garay002<br /><br />You are actually headed in the right direction. You should acquire binoculars first. A pair of 10 x 50's is excellent for amature astronomy. A pair of 15 x 70's is ideal. The Celestron SkyMaster 15 x 70's can be baught for under $100.<br /><br />The reason you are doing the right thing is that it's important to first learn your way around the sky before investing in a telescope. A pair of 15 x 70's will let you find most of the clusters, some of the nebula and galaxies. Open Clusters are best viewed with binoculars. Then I suggest you start out with a 6" or 8" Dobsonian Reflector Telescope. These are inexpensive for the amount of aperture and are the easiest telescopes to use. A good source of quality telescopes at reasonable prices is Orion Telescopes. www.Telescopes.com<br /><br />Clear Skies<br />Bill
 
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