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

MiguelATF

Registered User
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.
 

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