If you're after a pair of everyday binoculars but you don't want to break the bank then look no further than Celestron’s UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars. These aren't the best binoculars on the market – if you're after top quality images, long-lasting build quality and refined accessories, you're going to have to look elsewhere, and probably pay a fair bit more, too – but that's not to say we dislike the Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars. In fact, considering the low price and reasonably lightweight build we're pleasantly surprised by the clear and bright images it can produce.
The Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars have just the right mix of specifications to be all-rounders (we've also reviewed the Celestron UpClose G2 16x32 binoculars). They use a Porro prism optical system, just as most super-budget binoculars do, and combine 10x magnification with 50 mm diameter objective lenses. That's the ideal feature set for a pair of binoculars for use in a variety of outdoor scenarios: they'll be a solid hiking companion, and they feature in our best birdwatching binoculars guide as a top budget option too.
In fact, you could even use them for a spot of stargazing – a fact that should come as no surprise given that Celestron features heavily in our best telescope guide, and is also known for making excellent astronomy-centric binoculars.
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Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars review: design
At 27oz/765g and measuring 7.3x3.2x6.3 inches/185x81x160mm, the Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars use a Porro prism optical design that sees large optical innards and protruding barrels make for a rather wide product. There are indents for resting thumbs on the bottom of the prisms, which is also where you’ll find moulded-in hooks to attach a neck strap.
However, a lot of corners have been cut for the Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars to reach its incredibly low price. For starters, they use basic Bk7 glass prisms and the barrels and bridge are made from aluminium. They’re covered in an easy-to-grip rubber coating, but it lacks any kind of standout style. This is basic stuff. Ditto the eyecups, which not only aren’t adjustable, but also seem a little loose and look like they could easily buckle if dropped.
However, almost none of that matters to the target market for the Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars who want something impressive and, above all, affordable.
Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars review: features
Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 specs
Waterproof: water resistant
Objective lens diameter: 50mm
Although these are fairly basic binoculars aimed at undemanding users there are just enough features to keep them interesting. A standard tripod adapter thread is included behind a cover between the objective lens barrels. It’s unlikely to be used by many, but for super-steady views from any pair of binoculars a tripod is always a great idea.
Around the left rubber eyecup is a diopter adjustment wheel. Although ignored by many users, it’s always a good idea to use it to find the ideal focus for your right eye (while closing or covering your left eye), and then to adjust for both eyes using the focuser in the centre. On the Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars the diopter adjuster has just the right balance between ease and stiffness to stay in position while the focuser is large, rigid and possesses a similar subtlety.
Though basic, the rubber eyecups themselves will be fine for most users, though we would prefer to see adjustable eyecups with much more eye relief. These offer just 12mm, which will frustrate anyone who wears spectacles by making it impossible to take advantage of the
Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars’s wide 6.8° field of view (354 ft at 1,000 yds.//118m at 1,000m). They can close focus on objects 23 ft/7m away, which is a lot less than you’ll find on slightly pricier, narrower roof prism binoculars.
Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars review: performance
If you’ve never used a big pair of binoculars before then you’re in for a treat with the Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars. With a 6.8° field of view your eyes will be treated to immersive landscapes and close-up of animals and birds. That field of view is colourful and sharp in the center, but does blur noticeably and also slightly lessen in ultimate brightness towards the edges. We also noticed some optical artefacts within the prisms when we pointed the Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 at bright lights in the dark, which included LED streetlights and a bright Moon. When looking at the Moon there is a slight purple line around it, evidence of some chromatic aberration, which is to be expected at this low price.
However, for most uses the UpClose G2 10x50 behaves reasonably well; they give a great image in their centre, they’re easy to use and simple to adjust.
Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars review: extras
The Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 doesn't come with much in the box. The lens caps for both the eyecups and the objective lenses are as flimsy as it gets, with the latter easily falling off. The same goes for the included carry case, which lacks any kind of padding or pockets, though it does what it needs to. A basic neck-strap and a microfibre cleaning cloth are also supplied.
Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars review: verdict
These Porro prism binoculars are ripe for great views on bright days in a variety of scenarios and will impress anyone on a budget. Easy to set up and use, they’re nevertheless optically limited and neither are we convinced they have the build quality to stick around for a long period. However, take good care of them and the Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 will give you impressive views in a variety of scenarios.
Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars review: alternatives to consider
For an easy upgrade head straight to the Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42, which swap-in premium BaK-4 glass and a roof prism optical system that allows for a sleeker, lighter design. An almost identical choice would be the Nikon Prostaff 3s binoculars, though if you’re after something with similar magnification but a smaller size head for the Olympus 10x25 WP II, which are foldable and compact, reasonably priced and boast a clear, bright image.