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The newer ED variants of Celestron Trailseekers: hidden gems or merely hyperbole? (1 Viewer)


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I have been looking for a 2nd pair of binoculars, to supplement my excellent 8x42 Kowa Prominars, about which I can't say enough good things. I want something a little longer, and (if possible) a little lighter, and given my pandemic-challenged wallet, something on the more inexpensive side, probably a 10x32. But the Meoptas (and their Cabela's clones) are too pricey more me, as are the Kowa Genesis 10x33's (which are also on the larger side). The longer Opticron Travellers sounded nice but still on the pricey side for my thin bank account. I had pretty much narrowed my possibilities down to either the (generally excellently regarded) Celestron Granite 9x33 (not quite as long as a 10x, but longer than my Kowa's), and its inexpensive cheaper sibling, the Celestron Trailseeker 10x32 (which doesn't have ED glass like the Granite, and which most seem to regard as nice but inferior). Then, to my surprise, a 2-year-old review, on the English birding website, Birdguides dot com, of the newer ED iteration of the inexpensive Trailseekers.

Here's a link to the review: https://www.birdguides.com/reviews/binoculars/celestron-trailseeker-ed-8x42-binocular/

The reviewer, at the time, talked with an English Celestron 'product manager', and the following sentence, in which he quotes the aforementioned manager, jumped out at me: "While the specifications on paper are very similar, there are intangibles involved in the use of field optical instruments that are not always communicable through raw numbers....The image seen through these new models is superior due to a better management of dispersion than even the Granite ED models attained. What is seen is therefore more vivid and free of chromatic aberration, even in the most challenging of viewing conditions."

I know corporate representatives occasionally have a tendency to either over-hype or exaggerate the qualities of products they represent or are trying to sell, and my cynical side is ready to dismiss these nice-sounding words as hyperbole. But the rest of the review - written by Mike Alibone, Birdwatch's Optics Editor, actually reads nicely, and made me wonder (and, at moments, salivate). And they actually are squarely in the limited budget area of things-I-can-almost-afford-without-having-to-rob-any-banks. Long story short: I've ordered a pair of the newer (since these came out back in 2019, they're not really 'new', are they?) ED variant of the 10x32's - and hope to post a follow-up when they arrive. Unlike Mike Alibone (who had previously used, and been impressed by, the Granites), I won't have any other Celestrons to compare them to, and the truth is I'm a relatively ignorant novice at best, so don't hold your breath for optical insights; whatever I have to say will assuredly only be of the subjective, personal variety.
Hello MiguelATF,

The Celestron Trailseeker ED look interesting and I'm sure they'll offer good bang for buck. I've not tested them personally

That said, I wonder if you had a look at these new Sybony ED binos?

I test drove both out of curiosity, and with a big grain of scepticism, but they both turned out to be very impressive performers that certainly won't hurt your budget. The 8 x 32 might fit your needs?

With best wishes,

Had a pair of the 8x32s. They were excellent both optically and build wise. I sold them to a friend because the eyecups were a little short for me. He loved them. They are an exceptional value.
Hey! I’ve been using the Trailseeker ED 8x42s since spring and absolutely love them! They’re my first pair of bins so I don’t have much to compare them to besides the Nikon Prostaff 3s and the Monarch 5s that I tested at a local Best Buy. The Trailseekers blow the Nikons away. The field of view is amazing, and so is the depth of field. I feel like the colors come through very closely to real life. The only time I get a touch of CA is looking at Egrets in the water, they seem to wash out just a little bit. It’s hard to explain, but the Egret kinda gets a little blurry/fuzzy around the edges. Other than that, there’s no noticeable CA that I can speak of. I started this year at 93 lifers and am at 141 today because of these bins. Hope this helps!!
Quick update: have been using my newer generation Celestron Trailseekers (10x32) on a number of hikes and they are meeting and surpassing my expectations. Today, spent half an hour tracking the movements and flight of a red-shouldered hawk who was moving about in the periphery of the rural farmhouse in southern Oregon where I live - and what impresses me the most about them is their clarity - and (this may be my subjective opinion) sharpness.
Awesome! Glad to hear that you’re pleased with them! They’re really wonderful bins and have amazing optical quality for the price. My Trailseekers have been replaced by a pair of Opticron Auroras, but they make a fantastic pair of backup bins now.
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