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Celestron Regal ED 8×42 Binoculars: Our Review

Good field of view and close focus, with a fairly good image. We rated these in the Middle Ground.

At A Glance

Celestron Regal ED 8x42 binoculars.
Celestron Regal ED 8×42 binoculars. Image by Hugh Powell.


  • Top model for close focus
  • Good clarity and minimal distortion
  • Wide field of view


  • Heavy feel in the hand
  • Loose eyecups sometimes drifted out of position
  • Stiff, slow-to-move focus wheel


  • Price: $390 MSRP at press time. Prices often fluctuate, so check with retailers
  • Close focus: 4.9 feet (150 cm)
  • Field of view: 8° (420 feet at 1,000 yards). More about field of view 
  • Weight: 29.9 oz (847 g)—that’s about 4.2 oz (118 g) heavier than the average for 8×42 binoculars in our review
  • Eye relief: 22.5 mm

Viewing Experience: The Celestron Regals provided a good viewing experience, and excelled in the realm of close focus and field of view. In head-to-head tests the image quality was similar or slightly better than the less expensive Celestron Nature DX, but not as bright and crisp as the similarly priced Celestron Trailseeker ED. On a cloudy November day, the Regals seemed to impart a slightly bluish cast, making a dark woodland seem darker still. They worked very well for capturing the teardrop facial markings of female Wood Ducks from about 100 yards away, and the panning was smooth without any discernible distortion. When trying to follow unidentified sparrows at close range in low brush, the stiff focus wheel made it challenging to keep the fast-moving birds in focus.

Feel and Build: The Regals are heavier than most other binoculars in this review, and the stiff focus wheel was difficult to adjust to. The loose eyecups had a tendency to change position while the bins were dangling at rest. The neck strap was comfortable—wide and padded, and the soft black rubber housing made for a good grip, though one tester noted a strong smell “like tires.”

More on Binoculars

Comments From Testers: 

  • Bulky, heavy overall
  • Stiff focus wheel
  • Super loose eyecups
  • Eyecups not tall enough without glasses  
  • I could not make them narrow enough to fit the distance between my eyes

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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