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Celestron Nature DX ED 8×42 Binoculars: Our Review

These binoculars provide a good, colorful image and are lightweight. We rated this model a Solid Choice in our review.

At A Glance

Celestron Nature DX 8x42 binoculars
Celestron Nature DX 8×42 binoculars. Image by Hugh Powell.


  • Good, colorful image
  • Good performance at its price point
  • Relatively lightweight


  • Can lose detail and color on backlit images
  • Loose eyecups can slip off their settings


  • Price: $210 MSRP at press time. Prices often fluctuate, so check with retailers
  • Close focus: 6.6 feet (200 cm). In tests, we could focus these binoculars down to about 7.6 feet (231 cm)
  • Field of view: 7.5° (394 feet at 1,000 yards). More about field of view 
  • Weight: 24.2 oz (687 g)—that’s about 1.5 oz (42 g) lighter than the average for 8×42 binoculars in our review
  • Eye relief: 17.5 mm

Viewing Experience: These binoculars provide a good, colorful image with a moderate field of view. In good light they provide great color reproduction, as when we watched a fall Northern Parula and easily picked out the warm yellow throat and subtle contrasts between the olive back, white wingbars, and bluish tinge to the gray wings. However, we had trouble seeing fine detail on a couple of backlit Tennessee Warblers; it wasn’t until the birds ducked in front of a couple of dark leaves that we saw the white undertail and the faint lines over the eyes.

Feel and Build: The Nature DX feels solid in the hand and is slightly lighter than a “typical” 8×42 binocular. Given that feel is a very personal aspect of binoculars, we found the Nature DX to be a bit uncomfortable in daily use. The narrow eyecups felt too hard against our eyes, and the movement was very loose so that it was hard to keep them dialed out to the correct distance. The focus wheel felt sluggish, taking some effort both to get it moving and to stop it at the right moment. Nevertheless, we were able to focus on some birds in flight, such as the sharp head markings of a Black-capped Chickadee some 70 feet in the air. The rubbery black armoring is softer and grippier than many other models, with a slight tacky feel. Presumably related to the low price point, Celestron ships the Nature DX with a basic, non-padded webbing neck strap.

More on Binoculars

Comments From Testers: 

  • Good contrast, good resolution on tree bark and distant geese
  • Feel is rigid and substantial
  • Easy to focus, very sharp, nice colors
  • A bit narrow for my face
  • Eyecups kept collapsing
  • Uncomfortable neck strap
  • Not bad image but trouble with backlighting

This article is one in a series of mini-reviews. To see how these binoculars compare to others we’ve tested, see our full review of affordable 8×42 binoculars.  

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