Celestron Nature DX Review: The Best BUDGET Binoculars on Planet Earth
The Celestron Nature DX binocular gets my vote for the BEST binocular if you are on a tight budget.
And there is really no other competition among binoculars under $200.
Celestron Nature DX Review:
Table of Contents
In this Celestron Nature DX review, you will see how this binocular satisfies all the minimum requirements for nature observation and bird watching AND does it at an EXTREMELY affordable price.
Normally priced around $130, it’s the only binocular that I recommend that is priced below $250.
I think that says a lot about the quality and value that is packed into the Celestron Nature DX.
But like all binoculars, there is a certain niche for each model.
The 8 Best Bird Watching Binoculars of 2017: From Cheap to Expensive
- Nikon Monarch 5 Binocular Review: For a little more money, consider upgrading from the Celestron Nature DX to the Nikon Monarch 5 and enjoy Extra-low dispersion glass!
4 People The Nature DX Is Perfect For:
First, I have determined that there are 4 situations where the Celestron Nature DX seems to be a perfect fit.
1. The Beginning Bird Watcher:
One of the most important tips that I give to new birders is to get your hands on a decent set of binoculars.
So you head to Wal-Mart to find the least expensive ones you can find. You end up in the outdoor section and see some for $20 and think this is a really cheap way to test if bird watching is for you.
Unfortunately, those $20 binoculars are going to be so bad and frustrating to use that it may actually dissuade you from ever bird watching again! Instead of seeing birds you may just see blurry and foggy objects flying all over.Check Today's Price
The Nature DX binoculars are not dirt cheap, but they won’t break the bank either at around $125. It’s a lot better than spending $500, $1,000 or even $2,500 on some of the higher priced binoculars just to find out that you are never going to use the product.
2. You Have An Extremely Tight Budget:
But so is quality.
The Celestron Nature DX binoculars are a good combination of a cheap price and pretty good quality.
As stated above, if you buy the cheapest binoculars at Wal-Mart, it’s the same as buying a paperweight because you will never use them again.
The Celestron Nature DX represents the minimum investment you can make into optics and not be frustrated with the experience.
3. You Need a Quality Binocular For Kids:
These make a great birthday present and are good enough to make your child feel “Official”.
Also, they are relatively light and should be easy for them to hold and wear around their neck.
When my daughter is a few years older, she will be receiving these as her first binocular. ☺
4. You Are A Teacher or Educator:
A common problem for many educators that teach group birding or an ornithology class is having quality binoculars.
Let’s be honest. I don’t know many schools that are loaded with extra money to spend on better optics.
The Celestron Nature DX could be the perfect solution for a teacher, professor or educator. They are affordable and will allow each student to see the birds clearly.
Why Purchase the Celestron Nature DX? (5 Reasons!)
So we have already established that this is a very affordable and inexpensive binocular.
Next, I want to focus this Celestron Nature DX Review on the features that make this a quality and effective binocular for watching birds and nature.
Reason #1: The BEST Image Among Entry Level Binoculars
FACT: Most budget binoculars (under $150) do not perform well. The images leave a lot to be desired and many actually discourage you from using them. Unfortunately, most are just a giant waste of money.
Not the Celestron Nature DX.
There is a reason they are consistently ranked among the BEST budget binoculars year after year.
It’s all about the image!
Quality Prisms and Multi-Coated Lenses:
First, Celestron puts in phase-coated BaK-4 Prisms into the Nature DX. This is a high quality prism and not found in many (if any) low-priced binoculars.
Why are these features important?
To ensure a bright and clear image, it’s important that as much light as possible makes it through the binocular and reaches your eye.
Every step of the way, light is lost due to reflection, bouncing etc. Binocular manufacturers, such as Celestron, develop different coatings to apply to the prism, lenses and glass that help the loss of light.
More light = A better quality image, specifically the resolution, contrast and brightness.
Reason #2: Tough Enough for Mother Nature
They are waterproofed to protect against the occasional rainstorm or drop in the river.
Then nitrogen purged, which helps prevent fogging on your humid jungle adventure.
Last, the entire body is covered in a nice rubber armoring which helps absorb the impact for the inevitable drop.
Reason #3: Specifications That Are Made for Nature Observation
This next section of the review is geared for a Celestron Nature DX 8×42. (8x magnification, 42mm objective lens diameter) This is the size binocular that I prefer for watching nature and animals.
Celestron Nature DX comes in other sizes too. Most notably, many people prefer a 10×42 binocular, which gives better magnification but a lower field of view.
Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Technical Data (and what it means to you!)
Close Focus: 6.5 ft / 2 m
This is very good, especially for such a cheap binocular. A low Close Focus ensures that you can get very close to your subject, such as birds or butterflies.
Field of View: 388ft / 129m
Field of View is VERY important for watching nature. As you can imagine, animals normally don’t stay still very long or can be hard to locate. A wide field of view gives more viewable area when looking through the lens.
Once again, the field of view on the Celestron Nature DX is better than many higher priced binoculars.
Weight: 22.2 oz (629 g)
Remember: You may be carrying binoculars for multiple hours at a time. You don’t want your optics straining your neck down as you walk.
At only 22.2 oz, this is one of the lightest binoculars that I recommend.
Dimensions (L x W x H) : 5.3″ x 4.9″ x 2″ / 135 mm x 126 mm x 52 mm
In my opinion, any binocular that has a length under 6 inches is considered compact. The Nature DX fits nicely in my hand and is easy to hold.
Do you wear glasses?
- Eye Relief: 17.5 mm
- The Nature DX has eyecups that twist up with multiple stops. This helps find the right positioning for your eyes.
Reason #4: Celestron Specializes in Low Cost But Effective Optics
Every company has their niche.
Some companies, like Zeiss, Leica and Nikon dominate the market for high-end but expensive binoculars.
When it comes to offering a quality product at low prices, it doesn’t seem like any other company does it better.
The Nature DX is a great example.
For more proof, check out my spotting scope article. I have included two Celestron products and they are both very affordable options.
It’s nice to see a company that makes quality products accessible to so many people!
Reason #5: Limited Lifetime Warranty
This covers manufacture defects on the inside optical system.
Think about that for a moment. For a product that costs less than $150, they guarantee the product for the rest of your life! View Today's Price
Just think of the crummy warranty that your appliance or TV comes with? Normally you have to pay extra just to get ONE YEAR of protection.
I can’t say this enough:
Manufacturer defects are covered for LIFE and that’s included in the purchase of the Celestron Nature DX.
It’s important to note that Celestron does not cover any accidental damage or damage caused by normal wear and tear.
To read the full details of Celestron’s Warranty, click here and then scroll down to Limited Lifetime Warranty.
- Also, make sure to keep your original receipt!
Nature DX Conclusion: The Best CHEAP Binocular You Can Buy
Let’s wrap up this Celestron Nature DX review with a few final thoughts:
The Celestron Nature DX binocular does NOT have the:
- Cheapest price.
- Best image.
- Best glass and prisms.
- Widest Field of View or lowest Close Focus
- Lightest weight or best warranty.
It is a great combination of everything you see above for under $200. It is far and away the BEST cheap binocular for watching nature and birds. View Today's Price
Once again, if you are trying to spend the least amount of money as possible but still want a binocular that won’t be frustrating to use, the Celestron Nature DX is the perfect choice.
Next Steps: Please do 1 of the following 2 things!
1. Buy the Celestron Nature DX from one of these three places:
I have done a lot of research to find the best places to buy this binocular.
- Amazon: Celestron Nature DX (8×42)
- Normally priced around $125. I love their customer service, fast shipping and amazing prices.
- View Price
- CLICK above to also see prices for 10×42 model.
- B&H Photo Video: Celestron Nature DX (8×42)
- Experts at anything optics, photo or video. Prices are very comparable to Amazon, sometimes better with free 2 day shipping.
- Support a local business!
- Find a local Celestron dealer and purchase in person. It will probably be a bit more expensive but you will receive the expertise of a local professional.
BONUS: Upon purchase, the Celestron Nature DX binocular also comes with a neck strap, objective lens caps, rain guard, carrying case, lens cloth and instruction manual.
2. Keep Researching!
Not convinced the Celestron Nature DX is the best choice for you?
I completely understand. Buying binoculars is a big decision and it’s best to take your time and do your research!
I recommend checking out one of the following resources:
- This should give some ideas of other binoculars that would be a great choice for bird watching. Includes optics across all different price ranges. (From $125 to $2,600)
- Includes a helpful comparison chart of the top binoculars: View Chart
- For a little more money, consider upgrading from the Celestron Nature DX to the Nikon Monarch 5 and enjoy Extra-low dispersion glass! Read Now
One Last Thing….
I have a serious question for you and I want honest feedback.
How can I improve this review of the Celestron Nature DX?
Please tell the truth. What questions didn’t I answer? What are you still looking for as you search the Internet? I want this review to be as useful as possible.
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Thanks again. Happy birding!
If you end up purchasing a binocular, please use one of the links provided on this page. At no cost to you, the providers may give a small part of the sale to me. I would really appreciate that as it helps keep this site running and lets me know that this content is valuable! 🙂
And if you made it this far, might as well check out this short video about the Celestron Nature DX.