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Alyssa A.
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PRODUCT REVIEW

Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars Review

Celestron is known for being a product innovation leader in the optics industry, and it has developed a high-performing entry-level pair of binoculars that is sold at an affordable price— the Celestron Nature DX 8×42.

Though an American company with a history in telescopes, this is a pair of Chinese-produced binoculars that have kept up with the market by punching above their weight when they can. The DX 8×42 is an example of Celestron’s attempt to deliver a decent birding/hunting pair of optics at a cheap price.

Anyone looking to build up their outdoor enthusiasm is often intimidated to start because of the expensive price tags. The Celestron Nature DX-8×42 is worth looking at.

Let’s dive in and discover if it truly has the same capabilities as expensive binoculars!

 

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Reasons to buy

  • Relatively brighter and higher quality images than most entry-level binoculars
  • Natural and accurate color reproduction
  • Dependable low-light performance
  • Compact and lightweight
  • User-friendly focus knob providing the right amount of resistance
  • Generous eye relief

Reasons NOT to buy

  • Polycarbonate chassis may need a little extra care for a long-lasting durability
  • Fairly thin and hard rubber armor coating

Overview

Ideal for beginners who want to gain experience and become serious outdoor enthusiasts, the Celestron Nature DX 8×42 is a budget-friendly pair of binoculars packed with essential features you will usually find in more expensive models. It is a nice tool for bird watching and nature viewing, but is also versatile and can be used for concerts and sporting events in large venue halls.

At 8x zoom, there’s not a huge shakiness factor and the crispness of the image is impressive given their price.

These binoculars come with a BaK-4 roof prism system, which is the best kind of glass in the more compact straight tube design. The prism surfaces have phase-correction coating, facilitating an enhanced light transmission.

Meanwhile, the lenses are fully multi-coated to transmit as much as 95% of light, preventing light loss and delivering excellent low-light performance. As a result, these binoculars offer accurate and natural color reproduction, which is pretty impressive for optics in this price range.

Where one sees the limitations or the lower quality is in what seems like overexposure of highlighted details. For this reason, the DX 8×42 are not going to be as nice around bodies of water in high sun. So not for maritime use, but great in the woods.

The Celestron Nature DX 8×42 is durable enough for a pair of binoculars housed in a polycarbonate body. This chassis is reinforced with rubber armor, resulting in a lightweight yet sturdy profile that can take a beating. Additionally, it is also fogproof and waterproof. You can use it in any terrain without worrying about moisture or water penetrating the optics and damaging it for good.

The focus wheel is user-friendly and can be adjusted easily. Yet, it still offers the right amount of resistance to prevent unwanted movements from compromising a precise focus. On the other hand, the twist-up eyecups, eye relief, and tripod adaptability make these binoculars an ideal option for long hours in the wild.

These are just some of the most interesting features of the Celestron Nature DX 8×42, which we will discuss in-depth as we go. It exceeds expectations for entry-level sports optics at this price.

See the complete list of the best Binoculars here!

Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars Review: Key Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 5.3” x 4.9” x 2”
  • Product Weight: 22.2 oz
  • Angular Field of View: 7.4 degrees
  • Linear Field of View at 1,000 yds.: 388’
  • Exit Pupil: 5.25 mm
  • Eye Relief: 17.5 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 6.5’
  • Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
  • BaK-4 Roof Prism
  • Phase-Correction Coating
  • Twist-Up Eyecups
  • Inclusions: Carrying Case, Lens Cloth, Neck Strap, Objective Lens Caps, Rainguard

Where to Buy:

Image Quality

The Celestron Nature DX 8×42 features BaK-4 roof prisms with phase-correction coating that optimizes contrast and resolution. Together with its fully multi-coated lenses that transmit up to 95% of light, this prism coating delivers an optimal light transmission that you can rely on even in low-light settings. An exit pupil of 5.25 mm also helps with reasonably dependable low-light performance.

A relatively wide field of view of 388’ at 1,000 yds. allows you to lock in your targets and follow them easily. Meanwhile, a close focus distance of 6.5’ lets you observe nearby subjects like insects clearly and without difficulties.

Compared to higher-end models, the Celestron Nature DX 8×42 produces images with less vivid colors. However, the colors remain natural and accurate, which is more than good enough for entry-level binoculars of this price.

celestron nature dx 8x42 image quality

Construction Quality

For an entry-level pair of binoculars, these binoculars are pretty durable. They have a polycarbonate chassis coated with rubber armor, which means they are lightweight yet come with additional protection. A polycarbonate body construction is also what cuts most of the cost, making these binoculars affordable without a compromise in performance.

To ensure long-lasting durability by keeping the optics free from moisture, the Celestron Nature DX 8×42 is purged with nitrogen. This purging means that it is fogproof and waterproof— two capabilities that were once present in higher-end models only but are now common features in most binoculars. These characteristics play an essential role in protecting your binoculars, but more importantly, they guarantee a hassle-free glassing experience. Since it is fogproof and waterproof, you can conveniently use it even when there are sudden temperature changes or when external conditions are far from ideal.

The focus knob of these binoculars has a diameter of 2.9 cm, which is pretty small. Nonetheless, it turns smoothly with the right amount of resistance, letting you adjust it easily and achieve a precise focus. This wheel was designed to resist the slightest, unwanted movements that can disrupt your glassing experience without being too rigid. In fact, you do not need to remove your gloves while turning the focus wheel, no matter how thick they are.

celestron nature dx 8x42 construction quality

Ergonomics and Comfort

The Celestron Nature DX 8×42 has twist-up eyecups with multiple stops, allowing you to achieve the perfect and most comfortable position. Add that feature to an eye relief of 17.5 mm and it is an excellent choice for eyeglass wearers.

Moreover, these binoculars have a pretty generous interpupillary distance (IPD) ranging between 5.6 cm and 7.4 cm. This range accommodates everyone regardless of how far or close their sets of eyes are, keeping every user comfortable.

Another significant addition to the Celestron Nature DX 8×42 is its tripod adaptability. In front of the central hinge is a small circular cap you can easily unscrew to attach a tripod. This adaptability comes in handy whenever you need to keep your binoculars in a stable position that lets you observe wildlife better.

To keep these binoculars safe, you can store them in the carrying case that comes with your purchase. While this case may not be superior in quality, it provides sufficient protection for your binoculars when they are not in use. It has light internal padding, letting your binoculars fit snugly but not too tightly. Furthermore, it has a compartment where you can keep small items, such as a lens cloth. With this carrying case that you can strap around your hip or shoulders, you can conveniently bring your binoculars wherever you go.

celestron nature dx 8 x42ergonomics

The Good

The Celestron Nature DX 8×42 transmits relatively brighter and higher quality images than most entry-level binoculars. Most binoculars in this category have mediocre color reproduction with artificial tints that affect the overall image quality, but it is an exception. While the color reproduction is not as vivid as that of most high-end binoculars, the colors are as natural and as accurate as they could get.

The sharpness of spiderwebs, insects and feathers is impressive, while the depth transition is equally excellent. Focusing on foreground and background are hallmarks of great birding optics.

Moreover, it performs well in low-light conditions, a capability that rarely comes with budget-friendly binoculars. If anything, it exceeds your expectations from a pair of entry-level binoculars in terms of image quality.

Another selling point of these binoculars is that they are compact and lightweight. On paper, they are probably among the lightest pairs of 8×42 binoculars. Apparently, this is thanks to their cutting-edge design that comes with small dimensions and a polycarbonate chassis.

BUT, in fact, they are slightly heavier than their description. While the price makes this false claim forgivable, it’s still a silly trespass (more on this below).

Some enthusiasts might find polycarbonate repulsive since it does not fare anywhere as well as alloy materials, but Celestron has made sure that these binoculars meet just exactly what you need in the wild outdoors. With proper handling and care, they can give you your money’s worth over time.

Sometimes, having a user-friendly focus wheel makes all the difference because not a lot of binoculars have it. The Celestron Nature DX 8×42 has a relatively small focus knob, but it is engineered with a smooth rotation. It rotates so smoothly that you won’t not have difficulties adjusting the focus, even when you are wearing some really thick gloves. However, you need not worry about it suddenly turning with the slightest, unwanted movements. This focus knob has the right amount of resistance that maintains a precise, laser-sharp focus no matter the external challenges you encounter.

These binoculars are especially great for eyeglass wearers, too. They have a generous eye relief of 17.5mm, which exceeds the recommended eye relief (16mm) that ensures the comfort of eyeglass wearers, especially during prolonged hours of use. With twist-up eyecups and exceptional IPD, they’re good for lengthy use.

Of course, the most attractive advantage that the Celestron Nature DX 8×42 has over other binoculars is its price tag. It has all the features you usually find in mid- and high-range binoculars, minus the hurtful price. Birdwatchers, in particular, will find it a practical choice.

What We Didn’t Like

The Celestron Nature DX 8×42 suffers from over transmission spikes. In practical terms, we found that reflections off of water onto rocks make highlights that overexpose them. It means that these are not suited for marine use, nor will they serve well around water with cornucopious amounts of sunshine.

It’s housing also has some issues. It goes without saying that a polycarbonate chassis is not as durable as bodies made with aluminum or magnesium alloys. Alloy materials are known for being more heavy-duty than polycarbonate, so binoculars with metal bodies are generally sturdy and preferable. These Celestron binoculars may need a little extra care to last long. If you have doubts about a polycarbonate chassis, these binoculars may not be suitable for you.

A rubber armor coating helps reinforce the chassis. However, the Celestron Nature DX 8×42’s rubber armor coating is fairly thin and hard, providing little protection if you drop it accidentally. The hardness does not create an ergonomic grip, so handling your binoculars for hours may be quite difficult.

About the Company

Celestron has a rich history of developing and innovating products that helped revolutionize the optics industry. It started with the vision of electronics engineer Tom Johnson in 1960, launching the Astro-Optical division of his company, Valor, to focus on making telescopes. 10 years later, it developed the product that would put its name on the map— the iconic Orange Tube C8.

The company is also credited for developing the first mass-produced, fully integrated, computerized observatory class telescope, CompuStar 14. Over the years, it has introduced many award-winning scopes that play crucial roles in the academe, astronomy, sports, and other fields. Today, Celestron continues to make significant contributions to society. In 2020, it celebrated its 60th anniversary with the NexStar Evolution 60th Anniversary Edition, which is integrated with all of its most advanced technologies.

Its mission, however, goes beyond product innovation. Its partnership with American Park Network and Hands-On Science allows it to help the youth develop a particular interest in the outdoors, and discover microscopic and terrestrial wonders. It also teams up with various science, technology, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives worldwide to promote intellectual curiosity, aiming to produce new generations of engineers, mathematicians, scientists, among others.

Summary

Overall, these binoculars fare far better than most entry-level binoculars. They perform well even in low-light conditions, produce accurate and natural colors, and deliver optimal brightness and contrast. They are lightweight, compact, and relatively durable with a chassis coated with rubber armor.

Moreover, they are easy to carry and can be quickly mounted on a tripod. With fogproof and waterproof technologies, they are built to withstand most challenges. The generous eye relief, twist-up eyecups, and user-friendly focus wheel make these binoculars convenient and comfortable to use in any environment. If you are looking for an affordable companion for bird watching and nature viewing, these binoculars are definitely worth the investment.

If you’re boating and looking for a pair of 8x zoom optics, you should stay away from these as the glare will give you no small amount of issues, in particular when identifying buoys for example. But these cheap binos are great for forested areas where you need to shift focus over a distance.

See the complete list of the best Binoculars here!

What We Like

  • Relatively brighter and higher quality images than most entry-level binoculars
  • Natural and accurate color reproduction
  • Dependable low-light performance
  • Compact and lightweight
  • User-friendly focus knob providing the right amount of resistance
  • Generous eye relief

What We Don’t Like

  • Polycarbonate chassis may need a little extra care for a long-lasting durability
  • Fairly thin and hard rubber armor coating

Where to Buy:

Where to Buy:

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars

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    What is the best, budget-friendly pair of Celestron binoculars for bird watching?

    Celestron is known for making innovative and high-performing optics. However, we do have a favorite pair for bird watching and nature viewing that comes at an affordable price tag— the Celestron Nature DX 8×42. With all its features, it fares as well as most mid- and high-range binoculars. You can learn more about it in this comprehensive review we have created for you

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What is phase-correction coating in roof prism binoculars

    In roof prism binoculars, light reflects off the prism surfaces after traveling through the objective lenses. These reflections cause the light to split into two different out-of-phase beams. To correct this phenomenon and address the interference, phase-correction coating is applied in roof prism binoculars. The result is improved image quality with optimized contrast.

    You can discover more roof prism binoculars in this comprehensive guide we have put together for you.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What is the difference between a magnesium chassis and polycarbonate chassis?

    Various materials are used to make up a pair of binoculars’ chassis, such as magnesium alloy and polycarbonate.

    Many high-end binoculars have magnesium chassis because it has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, which means it is heavy-duty yet lightweight. Given that, it is no surprise that most outdoor enthusiasts prefer binoculars with a magnesium body.

    On the other hand, polycarbonate is less durable than magnesium alloy. It is often used in entry-level binoculars because it is inexpensive. Nonetheless, it is favored for its exceptional resistance to corrosion and temperature.

    If you have the budget and can afford binoculars with a magnesium chassis, the Leupold BX-2 Alpine HD 10×42 is worth considering. You can check out our in-depth review here. However, if you are looking for affordable binoculars that can perform well in low-light settings, you should check out the Celestron Nature DX 8×42. You can read our comprehensive review here.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    How can I remove dust from my binoculars?

    The golden rule you should first remember about cleaning your binoculars is: never use household cleaners, especially those with strong chemicals. Moreover, most binoculars come with a lens cloth, which should be used to clean the lenses instead of rag or tissue. Basically, all you need and are allowed to use are the following materials:

    • Canned air;
    • Lens cleaning pen;
    • Lens cleaning solution or water; and
    • Lens cloth.

    To remove dust from the optics, hold your binoculars in an upside-down position. Loosen light materials with the brights of a lens cleaning pen. Then, blow them off using canned air.

     

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