Space Gear

10 Great Astronomy Binoculars Under $500 (2022)

While telescopes get a lot more attention when it comes to stargazing equipment, there’s something really nice about binoculars. What is it….? A bifocal view of the wonders of space, of course!

For that reason, I’ve always been a big proponent of binoculars and telescopes here on this site; I think everyone has their own preference and it’s important to let people choose the equipment they feel comfortable with and which meets their astronomy needs.

In this post, I’ll cover your mid-range options for astronomy binoculars; these are the best binoculars under $500. They aren’t as budget-friendly nor will they break the bank – they’re all a great option if you’re looking to upgrade from starter astronomy binoculars but aren’t yet ready (or don’t have the funds) to buy something much more expensive.

Short on time?
The best astronomy binoculars under $500 is the Athlon Optics Midas Binoculars.

No matter which ones you choose, all of these binoculars under $500 will help you further unlock the wonders of space from the comfort of your backyard, local park, or favorite stargazing spot. You can’t really go wrong – other than to choose a pair that doesn’t meet your needs or you can’t properly use. (Luckily, binoculars are much easier to use than telescopes, which is another reason I love promoting them for astronomy use!)

Note: Lens and binocular prices have been very volatile in the past two years due to supply chain issues. Note that prices might vary widely from the prices I reported when this post was last updated in January 2022.

The Best Binoculars Under $500 (Ranked)

When it comes to choosing astronomy binoculars, you want to keep a number of factors in mind, including price, (magnification) power, binocular style, and quality. This can be hard to compare on your own, so I put together a ranked list. To come up with this ranking, I considered price, popularity, and review scores from Here’s the list I came up with, using updated data for 2022.

1Athlon Optics Midas Binoculars~$300Link
2Nikon MONARCH 5 10×42 Binocular~$400Link
3Nikon Monarch 7 10×42 Binoculars~$450Link
4Celestron 20×80 SkyMaster Pro Astronomy Binoculars~$320Link
5Vortex Optics Vulture HD Binoculars~$400Link
6Celestron Skymaster 25×100 Astronomy Binoculars~$400Link
7Vortex Optics Viper HD Binoculars~$500Link
8Celestron Granite 10×50 Binoculars~$450Link
9Maven C3 ED Binoculars~$500Link
10Orion Giant View 25×100 Binoculars~$400Link

If these all sound interesting, you can read on to discover more of the details about each one and choose the pair of binoculars under $500 that’s best for you.

1. Athlon Optics Midas Binoculars

  • Type: Roof Prism
  • Price: ~$300

A favorite of keen birders, the Athlon Optics Midas Binoculars are also among the best astronomy binoculars under $500 in part thanks to their great price. The ergonomics on this product are also fantastic. The binoculars feature a lightweight magnesium chassis, preserving the strength of a metal chassis while reducing the weight by as much as 35%.

Thanks to the ED Glass and ESP Dielectric Coating, Midas provides unbelievable clarity and brightness of image – the stars pop into view with ease. The ED glass prevents chromatic fringe and minimizes glare and ghost images. The ESP Dielectric Coating reflects over 99% of the light to your eyes, bringing you a bright image that displays accurate color reproduction.

​2. Nikon MONARCH 5 10×42 Binocular

  • Type: Porro Prism
  • Price: ~$400

With superior quality, these Nikon Monarchs are close to being the best binoculars under $500. The binoculars feature conventional Schmidt-Pechan prisms with phase coatings for crisp and clear views, especially in low light at dawn or dusk. They also incorporate the ED Glass to correct chromatic aberration.

The construction is sturdy and very durable, with built-in lens covers that stargazers can flip off during use. Designed with the typical Monarch look, the binoculars have rubber armor and a high-quality composite interior. The black armor is grippy and makes them very secure in your hands, whereas the composite body makes them compact and lightweight.

3. Nikon Monarch 7 10×42 Binoculars

  • Type: Porro Prism
  • Price: ~$450

The Nikon Monarch 7 10×42 Binoculars is another of the best binoculars under $500 in the astronomy market. They feature Nikon’s classic design in old black plus a durable rubber-armored coating, making them comfortable to hold and rugged enough to stand up to any conditions.

Their optic system uses Nikon’s premium ED glass, proprietary lens, and prism coatings to help chromatic aberration. Its close focus distance is 8.2 ft, making the binoculars suitable for observing smaller objects. Contrary to the Maven binocular, the MONARCH 7 10×42 provides a vast field of view at 1000 yds 351 ft.

4. Celestron 20×80 SkyMaster Pro Astronomy Binoculars

  • Type: Porro Prism
  • Price: ~$320

The SkyMaster Pro from Celestron is one of the best binoculars if you’re an amateur astronomer and your budget is around the $300 mark. Their large 80mm objective lenses have an excellent light gathering in low light conditions, delivering superior low light performance, even in the dimmest conditions.

The SkyMaster’s anti-reflective coatings and well-designed light baffles also help provide crystal clear views during astronomical observing. Their build quality is excellent with a sturdy design. The housing comes with protective rubber armor, which is extremely rugged and durable.

While they feature lightweight construction, you might want to get a tripod for a more comfortable stargazing session. The interchangeable eyecups are an excellent feature of these binoculars, offering two options: normal or winged.

5. Vortex Optics Vulture HD Binoculars

  • Type: Roof Prism
  • Price: ~$400

The Vortex Optics Vulture HD Binoculars are popular among hunters, but stargazers can benefit from their excellent optic quality; this is why they make my list of great astronomy binoculars under $500. They feature HD (High Density) extra-low dispersion glass and dielectric multilayer prism coatings, which deliver impressive resolution and color fidelity.

They operate just as well in low light conditions and manage to pick up details in fog that other binoculars wouldn’t be able to pick up. The edge-to-edge clarity is outstanding in these binoculars, and there’s minimal chromatic aberration. They have a good field of view of 328 feet/1000 yards and a close focus at 9.8 feet.

6. Celestron Skymaster 25×100 Astronomy Binoculars

  • Type: Porro Prism
  • Price: ~$400

The Celestron Skymaster 25×100 is one of the best astronomy binoculars. This powerful binocular makes celestial bodies appear roughly twenty-five times larger than your eye alone would see. It comes with giant 100mm objective lenses that make images brighter in low-light and long-range conditions – like while stargazing!

The Celestron Skymaster is also designed with a built-in tripod adapter rod for easy hand-free use and portability that comes in handy in longer viewing sessions. 

7. Vortex Optics Viper HD Binoculars

  • Type: Roof Prism
  • Price: ~$500

The Vortex Optics Viper HD Binoculars ticks all the boxes: perfect size, excellent performance, and excellent price for mid-range binoculars. They come with an 18-power roof prism and 42mm objective lenses, plus an advanced high-density optical system with enhanced anti-reflective lens coating for stunning image quality and top-tier light transmission.

These binoculars provide bright and clear images thanks to their multi-layer prism coatings. They have a decent field of view of 319 ft/ 1000 yd and close focus at 5.1 ft – although it’s less than the Nikon’s Monarch 5 model. The body features a compact, rubber-armored chassis, and armortek coating to protect it against any impact. 

8. Celestron Granite 10×50 Binoculars

  • Type: Roof Prism
  • Price: ~$450

Celestron is a well-established brand in the telescope and binocular industry. Their Granite 10×50 Binoculars are among the best binoculars under $500 in the market, being the 2013 Winner for Best Safari & Travel Binoculars.

Considering they cost $449.00, these binoculars feature stunning optics. They have BaK-4 Prisms with High Reflectivity Coatings, which increase light transmission for brighter and sharper images. They also feature Low Dispersion ED Glass to correct chromatic aberration.

Their magnesium body is ergonomic and lightweight, making them easy to handle and relatively smaller than expected for a pair of 10×50 binoculars. Its open-frame design provides an excellent grip and a comfortable handle.

9. Maven C3 ED Binoculars

  • Type: Roof Prism
  • Price: ~$500

“Amazing value” is all I can say when I think about the Maven C3 ED Binoculars. Like most people, their build and optical quality will impress you, especially for the money.

For $500, you get 10 power magnification, 50 mmm objective lenses, and outstanding low light performance. They have a dielectric coated Schmidt-Pechan prism system and extra-low dispersion (ED lenses). There’s almost no chromatic aberration and 2.5 meters of close focus distance regarding image quality.

The only downside of these stargazing binoculars under $500 is their narrow field of view. It is only 86 meters, considering the 10x magnification is relatively narrower than many other 10×50 binoculars.

10. Orion Giant View 25×100 Binoculars

  • Type: Porro Prism 
  • Price: ~$400

If you’re looking for one of the best binoculars for stargazing, you should consider the Orion Giant View 25×100. This big Astro-binocular features large-aperture, fully multi-coated optics that provide exceptional light gathering for a perfect stargazing experience.

It also provides generous magnifying power that allows stargazers to appreciate the most subtle details of the celestial bodies. Since this binocular weighs 10.1 lbs. (the word “giant” is in their name for a reason), getting a tripod is necessary to use it comfortably.   

Have any questions about these great binoculars under $500 for astronomy and stargazing? Let me know in the comments.

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Valerie is the founder and editor of Space Tourism Guide. She grew up in Alaska, has lived across the U.S., and traveled around the world to enjoy the night sky from many different perspectives. Join her on this journey to explore space right here on earth.

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