Mid-magnification solar eclipse binoculars that can be hand-held or used on a tripod
If you’re looking for the best solar eclipse binoculars and you want a decent close-up while still having the option to hold them in your hand then the Celestron EclipSmart 20×50 Porro solar binoculars could be for you.
Many stargazers grapple with binoculars that crank up the magnification to ten times or more because the extra weight required in the build makes them hard to hold steady. That’s the case here, but only just. With 12x magnification, they tend to wobble a bit when you try to keep them steady, but it’s something you can get around.
These ones weigh 31.1 oz / 883g and it’s not just the shake factor; their view is also on the narrower side, which adds a layer of challenge when it comes to locating the sun in the black-looking sky. But here’s the twist: this Porro prism binocular is hiding something nifty – there’s a spot for a tripod right between its barrels. If you pair this with an L-shaped adaptor and a camera tripod you’ve essentially got yourself a mini-telescope that’s way easier to haul around. However, you could also consider a lawn chair; sit down when using the Celestron EclipSmart 12×50 and you’ll get a steadier view. Ditto resting them on an upturned broom, though that’s going to make you look pretty silly.
Either way, the Celestron EclipSmart 12×50 delivers amazing close-ups of sunspots dotting the sun’s surface, all with a cool bluish-white tint, albeit it with traces of blue and yellow lines around the limb of the sun that appears to affect most solar eclipse binoculars.
Just like its buddies in the EclipSmart lineup, these binoculars sport convenient thumb pads under the barrels and plenty of room for your eyes. The lens caps have a tendency to do their own thing and go missing, the neck strap is a bit on the skinny side, and the shoulder case is nothing fancy. But still, if you’re all about getting up close and personal with the sun’s surface anytime, the Celestron EclipSmart 12×50 Porro solar binoculars are hard to top – as long as you’re good with either using a lawn chair or popping them on a tripod.
Objective diameter: 50mm
Eye relief: 0.3”/8mm
Weight: 31.1 oz/883g
Dimensions: 199 x 65 x 186mm / 7.8 x 2.6 x 7.3”