Are the SkyMaster 25×70 binoculars good for imaging and observing, or would you recommend another pair?
Steve says: “The SkyMaster 25x70s are a budget pair of binoculars representing amazing value for money, but there are some caveats to purchasing them.
In common with many binoculars around this price point, they are stopped down at the prisms, so their real aperture is more like 63mm.
There can be collimation issues in some samples too, although that can be improved using the small adjustment screws underneath the rubber armour.
However, binoculars with this magnification have to be mounted or the wobbly views will make observing uncomfortable and unsatisfying.
Staying at the budget end of the market, as you would have to pay considerably more to better them, a pair of 15×70 binoculars would be the better choice, as their brighter views and more manageable magnification make them far more enjoyable to use.
Make sure to check the collimation when you receive them and accept that these too will have been stopped down.
Omicron, Orion and SkyMaster all produce 15x70s that would be suitable options.
Remember, if you are imaging through your binoculars you will need a stable mount for them.”
If you’re new to astronomy, read our list of the top 10 best binoculars for astronomy beginners.
Email Steve your astronomy queries to firstname.lastname@example.org and they could be answered in a future issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.