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Celestron TrailSeeker ED 8x42 Binocular Review

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Old Thursday 4th July 2019, 12:57   #1
Daveg22152
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Celestron TrailSeeker ED 8x42 Binocular Review

I don’t have much in the way of expertise to write a product review, but I wanted to share my experience with my recently acquired Celestron 8x42 ED TrailSeeker binoculars.

I was looking for a good set of general use binoculars in the $250-300 price range, and had considered the Nikon Monarch 5, the Opticron Discovery, and the Vortex Diamondback. I came across a local shop that carried all of these plus the Celestrons, so I was able to give them all a try at the same location and in different lighting situations.

The Trailseeker ED is built with Extra-Low Dispersion Glass Elements, phase-corrected BAK4 roof prisms, and fully multi-coated lens surfaces. The housing is made from magnesium alloy as opposed to polycarbonate, and is built with multi-positon twist-up eye cups. The binoculars are nitrogen filled and are water and fogproof. The eye relief is 17.2 mm, which is sufficient for eye glass wearers such as myself. The TrailSeeker comes with a case, a padded neck strap, and a shoulder harness (more on these below)

The field of view is impressive at 426 feet at 1,000 yards (some of the widest in its class) and has a very respectable close-in focus of 6.5 feet. For me, the wide FOV is what set these binoculars apart from the others, especially compared with the Nikon Monarch which specs at 360 ft @ 1,000 yards.

I have found that images are bright, clear and crisp well off center with just slight blurring and chromatic aberration at the extreme edges of view. Again, the Trailseeker EDs exhibited far less CA than the Nikon, Vortex, and Opticron glasses. I did not notice any of the dreaded “roller ball” effect. They are very comfortable to hold and images snap into focus nicely. The case is simple, but functional.

On the down-side, they are a bit heavier due to the magnesium alloy construction. My only real complaint is with the included neck strap and shoulder harness. The neck strap is nicely padded and comfortable, but I had to cinch the neck strap all the way up to get it positioned properly on my chest. The shoulder harness is fine, but it is fastened with quick-release “dog clips”, which would be ok except the neck strap is not, so you have to undo the nylon straps on one in order to swap out the other, which defeats the whole purpose of the clips. But all-in-all I consider this an annoyance that I can live with.

So, without any dig on the Nikon, Vortex, or Opticron models (or their happy users), I can strongly recommend considering the Celestron TrailSeeker ED when choosing a pair of general purpose binoculars.
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 14:17   #2
b3rd
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I've had these for a while, and they are optically fine, even pretty good. But the focus mechanism is prone to rusting up and becoming difficult to operate over time. They have a strong warranty, so getting them replaced is possible. The company isn't particularly interested in selling replacement parts or repairing the binocular--I think they'd rather just send a new one.
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 18:46   #3
Daveg22152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b3rd View Post
I've had these for a while, and they are optically fine, even pretty good. But the focus mechanism is prone to rusting up and becoming difficult to operate over time. They have a strong warranty, so getting them replaced is possible. The company isn't particularly interested in selling replacement parts or repairing the binocular--I think they'd rather just send a new one.
Probably more economical for them to salvage the parts and send the customer a new one. I would have figured they’d used stainless in the builds, so I’m a little surprised to hear about a rusting issue

Just curious, was your pair the ED glass version, or the previous issue HD? I ask, because I understood the ED version that I purchased to be relatively new on the market, hence the lack of reviews

Dave G.
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 21:49   #4
typo
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Dave,

Thanks for your post. It sounds like it's had a significant revamp over the model I would have tried a couple of years ago. I rather liked the old one for it's sharpness, compared to the more expensive Granites, but there were one or two obvious compromises. I look forward to checking the new one out for myself.

Cheers,

David
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