Are the Celestron Nature DX ED 10x42 the best general purpose binoculars?

14 September 2022  |  Admin

Celestron describe the Nature DX ED 10x42 Binoculars as general purpose binoculars with high end BaK-4 glass prisms. They also talk about high quality ED glass, coatings and other stuff. What I say is that these Binoculars fall into the pocket rocket category, a lot of performance in a small package.

On first opening, I was surprised how small the box was. Removing contents, I found a padded binocular carry case (with strap), cleaning cloth, additional strap for the binoculars and of course the Celestron Nature DX ED 10x42 binoculars themselves. The Binoculars are nice and small, even though they provide 10x magnification. They will fit into a lot of coat pockets (not much good in summer, but they do come with a carry pouch with shoulder strap). Not too heavy either - a midge over 700g (according to my kitchen scales)

Optically, I say they are pretty darn good and cannot fault them. The view is sharp, clear, and bright (they work really well in low light). Operation wise, everything works with a really nice smooth, resistive, but fluid feel. The eye cups (with diopter adjustment on RHS) are twist ups that click into position. This apparently means you can use them whether you wear glasses or not, nice feature. The front caps have retaining rings so that you don’t have to remove them entirely to view through (means the caps don’t get lost!). The rear caps have eyelets to feed a strap through, so that they also don’t get lost !! Another great feature.

In terms of construction, the binoculars are covered in, what feels, quite a thick rubber coating. They almost have a ‘ruggedized’ feel about them. I didn’t try a ‘drop’ test (no one would ever want to deliberately drop binoculars!) but the thickness of the rubber suggests these binoculars are well protected and will survive if you do.

As well as the usual predictable test viewing subjects (birds etc), ​I tried them out on the moon, I tried them at dusk. Results were all great. I did try them outside at night, it was difficult to focus (apart from when cars drove past), but they did function. To be fair, these Binoculars weren’t touted to be ‘night vision’ binoculars. They are actually ideal for looking at anything close by, they are ideal as birdwatching binoculars as they can focus down to 6.5 ft.

I also compared these Celestron Nature DX ED binoculars to 2 other pairs of compact binoculars. To be honest, this wasn’t really a fair comparison test. Test subject ‘A’ was a cheap, no name brand that probably cost a little more than £60 about ten years ago. Test subject ‘B’ were from a Japanese camera/optics manufacturer (name may begin with a P !!!) that would have cost over £100. Both of these were of the Porro Prism type (the Celestron’s being of the roof prism type) and higher power than the Celestron, so not necessarily a ‘fair’ comparison. I found that in terms of sharpness & brightness, the Celestron were very much a clear winner. Though the Celestron magnification was not as powerful as the other 2, the quality of the view through, made the price of the Celestron feel that you are getting real value for money (even though they are more expensive) 

Furthermore, you can see that the Celestron Nature DX ED have fully coated optics, whereas my other test subjects did not. I don’t know how much of a difference the coating actually makes, but the view through the Celestron’s was significantly better. As said previously, the Celestron binoculars are relatively small and light, making them ideal as travel binoculars and meaning that you won't wish you had left them at home halfway through a long walk trek. If you are in the great outdoors, you don't need to worry about these binoculars getting wet, they are fully waterproof and apparently filled with dry nitrogen gas to prevent internal fogging of lenses.  

Though the Celestron binoculars retail over the £200 mark, I think they are truly great value as general purpose binoculars. Small, light (relatively) and a great view. If I were looking at buying Binoculars around the £100 mark, and after trying these, I would have to really think long and hard, whether I genuinely could not stretch to purchase the Celestron’s, I think they are great value for general purpose binoculars.

Review by Justin L

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