Celestron Nature 8x42

  • Open bridge makes for great comfort
  • Bright, natural feel
  • Sharp right to the edges
  • Very precise focusing
  • Terrific build quality at budget price

We were greatly impressed by Celestron’s Regal scope when we tested it last summer, so we were intrigued to see if they could replicate that success when it came to binoculars.

In terms of looks, they have a compact, open-bridge design that sits very comfortably in the hands, and hangs well too. The rubberised armour gives them a chunky, solid feel, and although they might feel a little heavier than some binoculars in the same class they’re well balanced.

The image is every bit as bright and natural as on the afore-mentioned scope, with no discernible colour cast. It feels wide, too, partly thanks to that to-the-edge sharpness. Contrast is excellent, too, as is resolution, with the image staying sharp very close to the edges.

Against strong light, it was possible to make out a hint of yellow-green colour fringing, but it was thin and nothing to worry about.

The focus wheel does move rather stiffly, taking one-and-three-quarter anti-clockwise turns from close focus to infinity, but on the other hand, that stiffness does probably help with finding the very precise focus.

Close focus is an increasingly important consideration for binocular-buyers, too, with many birders wanting to watch insects too, and here it fell somewhere between two and three metres – perfectly respectable, although not as good as some on the market.

The dioptre adjustment is a simple non-calibrated twist-ring on the right barrel, which was easy to set and wasn’t easily moved accidentally.

The rubberised eyepieces are comfortable in extended use, and twist up and down, with 18mm of eye relief in the extended position.

Build quality is generally very good – as I mentioned earlier, they have a solid, robust feel to them that augurs well for general use, and there’s a 10-year warranty for extra reassurance.

There’s a fabric case and strap, both of which are perfectly serviceable, a straightforward but effective rainguard, and good removable tethered objective lens covers.

At a recommended price of £160, it all adds up to an impressive package, well worth looking at if you’re looking for an inexpensive pair of binoculars with good all-round optical performance.


FACTFILE

  • Price: £159
  • Dimensions: 145mm x 125mm x 50mm
  • Weight: 765g
  • Close focus: 2.8m
  • Field of view: 123m@1,000m
  • Distributed: by Hama (UK) Ltd, Unit 4 Cherrywood, Chineham Business Park, Basingstoke, Hants RG24 8WF, tel: 0845 230 4262.
  • Website: www.celestron.co.uk