Binoculars, sometimes known as field glasses or binocular telescopes, are the world’s most used optical device after eyeglasses. Be it hunting, bird watching, or boating, a binocular is a must-have item, with a lot of different uses. When you decide to dive into the exciting (even if complicated) world of optics, you may face some obvious challenges that every buyer has faced at a certain point in time.
Facing a hard time figuring out how binoculars work or choosing the right ones for yourself is, in fact, a common phenomenon. Generally, people find the numbers that abound in product descriptions to be relatively abstruse, resulting in more confusion.
So the first step towards success in buying the best binoculars for your purpose is going to be familiarizing yourself with the technical terms. This part is even more important because getting acquainted with the technical terms will enable you to better interpret the binocular reviews and understand the nitty-gritty of their features. Gathering more knowledge about the specifications and optical performance becomes easier for anyone once they are well-versed in the technical aspects. Moreover, understanding when, where, and how often you opt to use your binocular will help you in selecting the right combination of features that are essential for you.
With this definitive guide on your hands, you will get a thorough idea of what to expect while selecting and buying binoculars. We’ll also cover some of the best binoculars – both by price category and by application.
Do you really need a binocular?
Before anything else, it is critical to understand whether you really need binoculars or not. With them, one can see distant objects much better than bare human eyes can resolve otherwise. The applications for binoculars are vast — ranging from military operations to simple leisure activities. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common uses for binoculars in our everyday life:
Tourism: travel, hiking, backpacking
Binoculars are widely used in tourism, starting from observing distant sceneries to relishing in the pageantry of birds. For instance, you can use binos to explore wondrous places like Grand Canyon or Yosemite park. In many tourist spots around the globe, tourists are provided with binoculars beforehand for a breathtaking experience that the local nature has to offer. However, these shared binos will usually be cheap and worn out. Plus, there are many locations that are impossible to reach on foot, calling for the use of optics.
Binoculars can be a game-changing device when it comes to sports (pun intended). Watching your favorite sports on TV will definitely give you the very best view, however at the cost of the unbeatable atmosphere. Actually being at the arena lets you taste the moment in full. However, the problem with going to the stadium is that you’ll often merely see some tiny dots running around the ground.
Getting a good pair of sports binoculars can let you have the best of both worlds: take the action much closer to you just like on television without compromising the incredible atmosphere of a stadium. From football to bow hunting to archery and golf, there’s extensive use for them.
Birding and Wildlife Watching
Birding is probably the biggest field of use for binos and also the biggest binocular-based hobby. Generally, you cannot get yourself close to birds as they tend to flee from humans. However, getting a closer look at different species of exotic birds is what birding is all about, and of course, binoculars come to the rescue. You need to carefully balance power and lens against weight and size when choosing binoculars for birding.
Boating and Marine
Typical marine binos are different from general purpose ones. Binoculars help to navigate, spot vehicles, landmarks, fish, wind, weather, and even enjoy the scenery. Since you cannot expect a boat to remain stable, look for binoculars that don’t offer large magnification but instead offer superior optical quality. Such binoculars have a rugged construction and are absolutely fog and waterproof. As the marine environment throws some specific challenges at sailors, these binoculars are made to withstand such adverse conditions. You’re more likely to find special features like image stabilization, rangefinders, and compasses on these products.
Possibly the best way to take a spacewalk without leaving this beautiful earth is to observe the stupendous night sky with binoculars right from your cozy reclining lounge chair. Though telescopes can give you much larger image, they are more expensive and difficult to use and let you only look through one eyepiece. In that sense, binoculars will give you closer-to-the-reality experience when stargazing. They are also small and lightweight, leaving you more freedom in terms of portability. However, choose binoculars that are specifically made for astronomy for the best viewing experience.
Buying guide: Behind the mysterious numbers and terminology
Deciding on the perfect binocular for you is often difficult, and the cryptic numbers are always there with every product to make your job tougher. Don’t worry. Just taking a brief look at this comprehensive guide will enlighten you and give you the necessary tools to unveil all the mysteries behind buying the best binocular.
First off, start by asking yourself a very simple question—why do you use binoculars? The answer, which is not hard to anticipate, after all, is to magnify stuff. Hence, it’s a no-brainer, magnification is the main cause for which people want to have these extremely useful optical devices.
Binoculars are often identified with two distinct numbers that are separated by an ‘x’. For example 12X50, 8X42.
The first number indicates the magnification level or power of a binocular. Usually, magnification levels are between 6x and 10x; a binocular labeled with 8x magnification will bring the object eight times closer once you set your eyes behind the lens as opposed to observing the object with your naked eye.
Next question, how much magnification do you need? That’s a very subjective question and depends on your specific requirements. For birding, hunting, and most similar situations, a bino with 7x – 10x magnification level will just work best.
Theatergoers will be happy with even less magnification: a range of 3-5x is pretty good depending on the viewing distance. Sports fans will remain content with a 7x model. However, for big-game hunters and stargazers, binoculars with a magnification level of 10x or higher are required because these activities require long-range observation. In fact, you may even consider going for a spotting scope, a compact telescope modified for terrestrial observation and activities that are just beyond the usual viewing range of a typical bino. Spotting scopes enter the game where the binoculars quit. So, if you need great magnification power in a compact device, you can check them out.
Contrary to popular belief, higher magnification doesn’t always yield higher optical quality. In fact, binoculars with higher magnification are not simply better than those which are low. Higher magnification will undoubtedly make images look bigger, but you will lose significant fields of view. A useful rule of thumb is that the higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view. So, with a low or moderate magnification, you will get wider fields of view, which is great to track fast-moving targets.
Another critical issue is that you cannot hold a binocular with more than 10x magnification steady for a long time without the help of a tripod. Binoculars with large power factors and oversized objective lens are often bulkier. And, as you magnify higher, every little movement of your hands will result into magnified movement, so you will often get blurred vision. Thus, do a little research and know your specific needs to make a perfect decision about buying binoculars with the right magnification.
Objective or Front Lens
The second number of the pair is the diameter of the objective or front lens, which is measured in millimeters. So, if the product name says “10×42”, the size of the front lens will be 42 mm. The main function of an objective lens is to gather light through its aperture. With a large oversized aperture, you can gather much light, and it will deliver you better image clarity, relatively brighter images, and superior viewing experience, especially in low light. However, the objective lens is the largest element of the optical system, and the larger the objective lens, the heavier and bulkier the whole gadget. If you are looking for a binocular which is convenient to pack, hold, carry, and use, be ready to consider specific compromises and tradeoffs. When portability is the primary concern, you need to go with a smaller sized objective lens.
This refers to the size of the focused light beam that is visible through the eyepiece. When you hold your binos 8-10 inches away from your face, you can notice tiny dots of light in the middle of the eyepieces. It’s better to have the exit pupil diameter of binoculars larger than the pupil of the human eye, otherwise, you will feel like looking through a peephole. As a person ages, his or her eyes tend to dilate less. So, it’s important to consider the exit pupil issue very carefully before choosing your right pair.
If you divide the diameter of the objective lens by the magnification, you can find the diameter of the exit pupil: an 8×42 binocular has an exit pupil of 5.25 mm, which is generous for every user. Generally, the human pupil ranges from 1.5 mm in bright light to about 7 mm in dark conditions. Don’t choose a binocular whose exit pupil is less than average pupil dilation of human eyes, and they are really hard to see through. To play safe—you should keep your magnification level at 8x or below and get objectives of 42 mm or more to get a generously wide exit pupil. Hunters, boaters, birders, and astronomers should always consider this fact to minimize disorientation while looking through the lens.
Field of View
FOV is generally defined by the width of the visible area in feet at 1000 yards. This is actually the visible area that you can observe without moving your binoculars. People often find these calculations to be intimidating, but what you really need to know is that the larger the field of view, the better. If you have two binos with the same magnification, then the one with the larger FOV will let you see more stuff, you’ll have less of a “tunnel vision”. Generally, the lower the magnification and larger the objective, the wider the field of view.
Angle of View
“Angle of view” and “field of view” talk about the same thing but in different terms. Angle of view describes the width of your view in degrees, as opposed to feet at 1,000 yards. There is another term to express viewing angle: Apparent Angle of View (AAoV). You can roughly calculate the apparent angle of view by multiplying the angle of view by the magnification level. Long story short, if you find any unlabeled degree specification while shopping for binoculars, look at the numbers carefully. If it’s a smaller number (e.g. 6.3, 7.8), this is going to be the actual angle of view at the objective lens. However, if the number is significantly higher (e.g. 58, 60), this will be the apparent angle of view.
All you need to know for making a well-informed decision is that 1 degree = 52.5 feet at 1000 yards. So, for a 10×42 binocular with a field of view of 315’, the angle of view is 6 degrees (315 ÷ 52.5) and the apparent angle of view is 60 degrees (6 × 10).
If this is all too complicated, don’t worry, just make sure you give preference to binos with a larger FOV.
Roof vs Porro Prisms
You’ll notice that some binoculars are very streamlined – just two straight tubes – and others are chunkier. The main reason behind such different physical construction is the type of prism used in the binocular. The prisms are crucial to your viewing experience. If binoculars were made without prisms, they would show inverted (upside down) images. Prisms are used to correct the orientation in both horizontal and vertical axes, resulting in a natural view that we humans are used to.
In a roof-prismed binocular, the glass elements are in line with each other, making the whole device more compact, streamlined, and easier to hold.
However, in Porro prism binoculars, the glass elements are offset from one another, making the design chunkier. They might not be as small and ergonomic, but in fact, Porro prism designs will give you a greater depth of field and often a wider field of view. It used to be that Porro prisms resulted in brighter images, but technology has improved greatly in the last decades, so the jury is out on that.
Eye Relief and Eyecups
The optical distance at which the bino’s eyepieces can be held away from your eyes without compromising the full field of view is termed “eye relief”. In short, eye relief is the distance between the eyepiece and your eyes. Generally, manufacturers will use eyecups on the eyepieces so that you can place your eyes on them. However, a problem arises when the users wear glasses. Eyeglasses will force you to keep your eyes further from the eyepiece, and as a result of this, the overall image quality, view and focusing are affected negatively.
If you’re going to use your binos while wearing glasses (that includes sunglasses), make sure they have generous eye relief – go for at least 17mm.
Alternatively, many eyeglass wearers prefer to use binoculars without glasses. In that case, go for binoculars with diopter adjustment on one of the eyepieces, so that you can fine-tune your focus anytime according to your needs without wearing glasses. In fact, the main goal of using diopter adjustment is to atone for the differences, if there is any, in your eyes.
If you have to share your binoculars often, don’t worry as the eyecups are easily adjustable on most modern optical devices. Eye cups come in several forms: twist-up, pop-up, or soft rubber fold-down. Twist-up ones are easiest and quickest to use and are also most reliable. The fold-down ones may wear out and crack over time, but they often provide additional cover for the side of your eyes to minimize distracting light.
Binoculars with longer eye relief generally come with a smaller field of view in the same price range. If you want both of features at the same time, be willing to spend some extra bucks as they are specially engineered for professional users.
If you are an avid birder, hunter, or astronomer, premium optical quality will be the most sought-after feature for you. The quality and type of the glass that is used for lenses and prisms do really matter.
You may find cheaper binoculars that are made with plastic “glasses”, and they will cost peanuts. However, you have to be ready for disastrous performance – good as a toy for the kids, but not much more than that.
The cliche “you get what you pay for” very much applies when it comes to optics. You cannot, and shouldn’t either, compromise on the price if you expect professional grade performance. Even generic optical glass will have imperfections, and you will notice color fringing, blurred vision, distortion at the edges, skewed color, and poor focusing.
However, as you go up the ladder and choose specially prepared glass like low dispersion, extra-low-dispersion (ED glass), and multi-coated lenses, you will experience significant improvement in image quality. They will give you an immersive experience with clear, bright, and brilliant images along with exceptional color fidelity.
Prism Glass Type: BK7, BAK4, SK15
BK7 is the most commonly used crown glass for prisms, it has a low refractive index and low dispersion. Though the quality of a BK7 optical instrument will not match that of BAK4, they are still superior crown glasses meaning excellent light transmission and a very few internal imperfections. However, BAK4 or Barium Crown glass is often considered as the industry standard and produce the best in class optical quality. In fact, for a prism, no other glass equals the superiority of BAK4. You won’t lose a significant amount of light due to internal reflection, leaving you with an amazing view.
The easiest way to figure out what type of prism-material is used in your binocular is to hold it 6-8 inches away from you and observe the shape of the exit pupil. If you notice it has squared-off sides, the binoculars have BK7 prisms. BAK4 prisms on the other hand have a truly round exit pupil, meaning better light transmission and clarity.
The SK15 glass is somewhere in the middle of BK7 and BAK4. Though you can achieve a higher refractive index with this glass, the dispersion will fall anywhere between BK7 and BAK4. Still, images produced by the SK15 glass is clear and have sharp contrast.
To minimize glare and reflections and to increase light transmission and contrast, special types of films or lens coatings are applied to the lens surfaces. Once light is reflected, it will never reach the user’s eye, reducing the image clarity and brightness.
However, coatings will not be of any use if they are of poor quality and just to show off. You may have seen binos with a creepy orange coating on the front lenses, but it doesn’t provide any improvement in optical performance.
You can find binoculars labeled as coated, multi-coated, fully multi-coated (FMC). These are, needless to say, an indication of layers of optical coatings that are used on different lens surfaces of the binoculars (modern binos have many lenses on the inside!).
Coated lenses are the most widely used and the cheapest of all, meaning at least one lens surface has a single layer of coating. In fully coated lenses, all air-to-glass surfaces have a single layer over them. The multi-coated lens type has multiple layers on at least one lens surface. Finally, if you see a fully multi-coated lens designation, you will know that these binos will have multiple layers of coatings on all lens surfaces, both inner and outer.
Only the fully multi-coated lens will ensure the highest level of light transmission, usually up to 95%. That means 95% of the total captured light by the objective lens will reach your eye, delivering you exceptional brightness, clarity, and color rendition. Fully multi-coated lens binoculars are versatile and will perform reliably across a broad spectrum of wavelengths.
Prism coatings are complementary to lens coatings and improve brightness, clarity and increase light transmission through the prism. For the lower echelon of binoculars, manufacturers will generally use standard reflective coatings. However, top-of-the-line products will often come with dielectric coatings that allow almost 100% of the light through the prism, ensuring a clear and ultra-bright image.
There is a special type of coating that is only used with roof prism designed binoculars. Since these prisms gather and reflect light differently than the Porro prisms, they experience a “phase shift”, which can negatively affect the color balance. This problem is solved by using a phase correcting coating, thereby improving color, contrast, and clarity.
Weather Resistant, Waterproof, and Fog Proof
Depending on your requirements you will likely want binoculars that are weather resistant, waterproof or fog proof. Some binoculars may come without any rating at all. If you use a bino with no weatherproofing at sea or in rain, moisture can get inside the optics. If water gets inside the optical tubes, it may condense internally (known as “fogging”) and will cause internal corrosion and rust. Sometimes, the manufacturer will employ some type of seal, an O-ring or gasket, to keep the usual moisture away from your optical device. However, these measures are only effective against a light mist or general humidity. Don’t use them on a rainy day – this may damage your binocular.
Waterproof binoculars are sealed with O-rings but, depending on the quality the construction, they can still fog up on you. There are many standards of waterproofing, so check them before buying. In normal condition, fogging occurs when the air inside the optical tube is moisturized. To prevent this, fog proof binoculars are sealed with inert gases like nitrogen or argon at high pressure. As a result, the gasket or O-rings are bolstered in place. Remember that not all waterproof binoculars are fog proof.
The weight of the binoculars depends greatly on the construction and chassis materials.
- Aluminum: One of the most popular metals on the market, aluminum or aluminum alloy is light and strong. It’s inexpensive but will increase the weight.
- Magnesium: Comparatively lighter considering the exceptional strength. Magnesium stands up well to abuse and is corrosion resistant.
- Polycarbonate: Super easy to work with and cheaper. One of the greatest perks of using polycarbonate, unlike metals, is that it’s temperature resistant. So, over the lifespan of your product, you don’t have to worry about the optics being pulled out of collimation.
So, as you shop around consider the issue of portability. Lightweight binoculars are great if you intend to carry them around for a long time. However, high-end optical instruments are often heavier than the inferior ones.
Price vs Quality
Notice how low-end and high-end binos are often described using the same terms. Both a $40 bino and a $2000 bino will offer, according to their description, “superior performance”, “fast focus”, “amazing brightness and contrast”, “waterproof construction” etc.
Of course, this is just advertising. They may hype themselves in similar ways, but they’re not the same. A budget binocular will not offer anywhere near the optical performance, brightness, color fidelity, build quality or resistance to elements are a multi-thousand dollar one.
In optics, you get what you pay for. You will see professionals using very expensive gear and this is not to show off: they use gear that gives them the needed results.
Most people will be served well by a solid mid-range products, somewhere in the $200-$500 range. They’re not the same as really high-end models, but they come reasonably close unless you’re very serious about your optics.
If you are a professional hunter or an avid birder, you will certainly be looking for edge-to-edge optical performance. However, don’t be fooled by advertisements. There is no shortcut other than spending some extra bucks if you look for best-in-class material. No way will you get a top-notch binocular in a budget-friendly package.
Best General Purpose Binoculars on the Market by Price Range
Now that you’re armed with all this knowledge, let’s have a look at some of the best binoculars out there to consider purchasing. We’ll start by selecting the top products in their price category and later we’ll look at some models by their specific use.
Note: Prices may changed and the products below may not be in the specified price range at the time of reading. To be sure, click on the products to check current price.
Best High-End Bino
The Swarovski EL is the perfect device to meet all your professional demands, period. The EL series is specifically built to satiate even the most meticulous veterans. You will get optimized coatings (Swarobright, Swarotop, and Swarodur) which guarantee excellent color fidelity and outstanding clarity. Field flattener lenses give you ultimate freedom with unbelievable picture sharpness. With a 10x magnification and a 42 mm objective, this binocular will be an excellent general purpose tool for birders, hunters, travelers etc.
The focusing wheel is non-slip and easy to operate. However, aside from the second-to-none optics, the biggest takeaway from this binocular is its exceptional build quality. The next level ergonomic design will ensure the best grip for the user. The submersion tolerance is up to 13 feet, and it comes with a lifetime warranty for the optics. In fact, there is not much to say about this binocular. The images are super sharp, bright, and clear with virtually no color fringing. In short, if you can afford this binocular, don’t look at any other device and waster your valuable time. Don’t let the staggering price tag turn you away from the unbelievable viewing experience.
Best Binoculars under 1000 Dollars
The Razor HD by Vortex Optics is certainly one of the best choices for this budget. Usually you can get a 10X42 model for just below a thousand bucks. The exit pupil (4.2 mm) is generous enough to meet everyday demands. You will get an exemplary performance even at the low light, thanks to the anti-reflective coatings with cutting-edge plasma tech application. Open hinge magnesium chassis ensures unmatched durability when things get rough. You can adjust the multi-position eyecups easily, but you may face problems with eye relief (16.5 mm) if you wear glasses that significantly protrude from your eyes. Argon purged and O-ring sealed, this bino is of course water and fog proof. And it comes with a lifetime warranty. So, if you don’t have such a high budget and still need a versatile performer close to top-of-the-line models, the Vortex Razor is definitely one to have a close look at.
… under 700 USD
Vanguard Endeavor ED II offers a very lucrative optical instrument at a an affordable price compared to high-end products. This is a solid upper mid-range binocular that comes very close in terms of performance to significantly pricier binos. You will get a premium HOYA extra-low dispersion (ED) glass that will eliminate chromatic aberration and transmit true color across the entire wide field of view. Phase corrected BAK4 prism guarantees superior light reflection, high contrast, and great color fidelity. With a magnification of 10x and objective diameter of 42 mm, it provides a 340 feet wide field of view. This binocular is waterproof and fog proof and is ready for use in all environments. Vanguard’s premium lifetime warranty is also a symbol of their confidence in their exceptional craftsmanship.
… under 500 USD
The MONARCH 7 by Nikon is definitely a great choice in this price range. Nikon is one of the top brands in camera optics and their binoculars stand up to the fame. At a fairly affordable cost, with the Monarch 7 you will get dielectric multilayer coatings that are applied to all lenses and prisms to provide best in class images with high contrast and accurate color. The ED glass will produce exceptional brightness and color fidelity. The nitrogen-filled weatherproof housing, along with durable rubber-armored coating, makes your binocular ready for all sorts of outdoors use and adventure. Weighing only 1.3 lbs., this binocular is fairly compact and lightweight to carry anywhere.
… under 300 USD
In this price range, Nikon Monarch 5 is an awesome buy for your money. With a magnification of 8x and an objective of 42 mm, this binocular is built with Nikon’s premium ED glass for bright, sharp, and clear images. The new Monarch 5 is more compact than its predecessor and the fully multi-coated glass ensures better transmission. The body is nitrogen filled and waterproof, so don’t worry about outdoor usage. However, remember not to expect high-end performance from this device considering the price of the product.
… under 200 USD
The Celestron TrailSeeker is a valuable product at an affordable price and built with BAK4 prisms along with phase and dielectric coatings. You can avail of fully multi-coated optics even at this tight budget. They are fully waterproof and fog proof. The main thing about this binocular is affordability. Maybe you will not get premium high-quality optics, but you are still getting all the standard features, and the image quality is still great. So, if you don’t want to break your bank and want a nice birding binocular for less, you can choose the TrailSeeker.
… under 100 USD
Finding a good bino under this price range is really tough as the quality is often compromised to maintain affordability. The Nikon Aculon A211 8×42 is certainly one of the better options here. They have a Porro prism design, so they’re a bit bulkier than all the roof prism ones above, but they still have excellent ergonomics and are made with multi-coated lenses. With a smooth central focus knob, they are quite easy to operate. Even in this price range, you will get a rubber armored coating, making them one piece of instrument you can always rely on to perform.
Best Binos by Application
Now that we’ve looked at some excellent general purpose options that you can use for pretty much anything and divided them into specific budgets, let’s look at the top binoculars to buy for specific applications and uses. We will look only at mid-range products here though – ones that combine excellent features with affordable cost.
Binoculars for Birding and Wildlife Watching
Pragmatically speaking, for birding and wildlife watching, you need a binocular that enables you to spot the birds or animals from a long distance. Good safari binoculars are extremely resilient and produce exceptional clarity. You are more likely to drop your binoculars often, and the binoculars will have to endure pretty rough handling. Though many will argue and vote for a full-sized binocular, it’s always safe to travel with compact instruments. The ideal magnification should be between 8-10x, but don’t forget to consider the field of view.
The Destiny from Wingspan Optics is a great option in this category. The best thing about this binocular is the close focus (2m), which lets you view subjects really up close, and a very wide field of view. Extra-low dispersion glass reduces the chromatic aberration greatly, and generally you will not notice any type of color fringing. With an 8x magnification and 42 mm objective, the multi-coated glass guarantees exceptional clarity and sharp images, which lets you capture every detail and color. Completely waterproof and fog proof, the Wingspan Optics Destiny comes with a lifetime warranty, plus a 30-day money back guarantee.
Binoculars for Hunting
For surveying the terrain, getting a good view of the target, and even for distinguishing the sex of the target, a binocular is the hunter’s best friend. Medium-sized binoculars are a great fit for the hunter. You need a decent level of magnification, yet you need a wide field of view to scan the terrain and capture fast movement.
Maven C1 10X42mm can serve your purpose very well in an affordable package. Extra-low dispersion glass with fully multi-coated optics is employed to deliver exceptionally clear, sharp, and bright image. You will get, including all other standard features like weatherproof construction, unconditional lifetime warranty with this Maven product. Maven’s products are little known, but are highly praised by those who use them, and are often compared to high-end models that cost several times as much.
You probably know about digital cameras that feature image stabilization. In the same manner, binoculars can feature image stabilization to minimize operator movement like vibrations of an aircraft, swaying of the boat, shaking of the hands, or any other movements that prevent the user from getting a steady image. In a stabilized binocular, generally, a gyroscope is used that needs power to provide stability. The main target user group for stabilized binoculars is boaters who often sail in a choppy sea. Aviators and search-and-rescue professionals also widely use these stabilized binoculars. However, they are growing increasingly popular among birders, wildlife enthusiasts and hunters who want to get huge magnification without worrying about a shaky image.
Canon 10×42 L Image Stabilization binoculars are a perfect buy for this category. With a magnification of 10x and objective diameter of 42mm, this binocular may feel heavy in your hands, weighing 2.45 lbs. However, this is common for this special category. Featuring ultra-low dispersion glasses, this bino reduces chromatic aberration greatly. With a large 4.2 mm exit pupil and excellent waterproof construction, these binoculars are meticulously engineered to produce clear, sharp, steady, and shake-free views.
Marine binoculars are specifically made for use at sea, be it yachting, sailing, offshore fishing, going on a cruise and all other types of boating, and they have wider fields of view, lower magnification level to deal with shake and plenty of light-gathering capability to work well in low light. Indeed, full-sized binoculars are more preferable in this category.
Marine binoculars should have a polycarbonate chassis, which is corrosion and temperature resistant, to withstand the saltwater environment. They can even be buoyant, so if these binoculars get dropped overboard, they can be safely retrieved, though of course that would not be practical or safe in every case. Marine binoculars may contain an analog or digital compass. Good marine binos can also be used in search-and-rescue operations.
Steiner Marine 7×50 is one of the best in class marine binos. This waterproof, shockproof binocular comes with a 7x magnification and 50 mm objective lens. Even in low-light conditions, you will get images that are brighter than seen with the naked eye, thanks to the big objectives and up to 90% light transmission. Crafted with a BAK4 prism, fully multi-coated optics and a 20 mm eye relief, this is an instrument that you can rely upon. It’s also affordable even after featuring such great specifications.
Buying binoculars instead of a telescope is often a wise decision for the amateur. Indeed, stargazing binocular is a very cost-friendly option. Even if you have a telescope, an astronomy binocular makes a great companion for scanning the sky or viewing wide angle celestial objects.
You really need a big aperture to gather light since you will be stargazing at night. High-quality optics is a must for this category since you’re looking at such faint objects. A magnification ranging from 7-10x works best for stargazing. There are also large binoculars available for stargazing, but you have to compromise the portability.
The Celestron SkyMaster 25X100 ASTRO binocular will give you a superior 25x optical magnification in a Porro prism body. The large 100 mm aperture of this binocular is necessary to gather enough light at this huge magnification. The focusing is ultra-sharp and eye relief is comfortable even for eyeglass-wearers. Multi-coated glass will ensure an immersive viewing experience for you. You can easily attach the binocular to a tripod with the integrated tripod adapter rod. These binoculars are water resistant and you will get multiple accessories included with the package.
The binocular world is really exciting and vast. Every day you will find a new product on the market offering great features. Whatever your intended job—starting from observing a flock of birds to comet watching— you will certainly find something at every price level. As you dive into this amazing world of binoculars, be cautious with pretentious advertisements. Rather, master the mysterious terminology, and you can decide on the best binoculars for you with less risk of regret. In fact, if you can select the perfect bino for yourself, you can expect to gain unlimited breathtaking experiences.
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- Best Backpacking BinocularsThe best backpacking binoculars are lightweight compact binoculars with high quality optics. We review the best compact binoculars for hiking, camping, birding and backpacking, for a reasonable price. See our buying guide, binocular reviews and top picks.
- How to Buy the Best Binoculars for Use With One Eye OnlyRead our guide and reviews to get yourself the best one-eye binos for your purposes and your budget. We review the options available and discuss some of the top products on the market today.
- Best Binoculars under $200: Review and Buying GuideIf your bino budget is limited to $200, you'll need to make some smart decisions to get the best deal for the money. We look in depth at the most important stuff to consider and show you which exact products best fit the bill.
- A Review of the Top Night Vision Binoculars on the MarketThe market for night vision binos is complex and confusing. This article will help you take the confusion out of the equation and find the best product for your particular needs.
- 7 Tips for Choosing Good Safari BinocularsHow do you go about picking the right binoculars for your wildlife adventure? Read our tips to make the best choice.
- Sports Binoculars: Full Guide and Reviews (2018)Get the best of both worlds: the thrill of watching a live game and the close-up detail you'd get on TV - by getting yourself a pair of binoculars for watching sports. In this guide we review everything you need to know and show you the best products on the market.
- A Detailed Review of the Best Binoculars under 100 USDLet's see how to select binos when you're on a small budget and review some of the top picks for your money. You can get a fairly good binocular under $100 nowadays and this article tells you everything you need to know.
- Why 8x42 Binoculars are a Great Choice for an African SafariWhen selecting binos for your safari trip, 8x42 is one of the best setups to have, for several reasons.
- Top Laser Range Finder Binoculars for Sports, Hunting and Shooting Ranges - 2018 Reviews and GuideLaser rangefinder binoculars are immensely useful for sports, hunting, target shooting etc. Read our review and guide to make sure you buy a product that's actually good.
- 5 Amazing Things You May See on a Safari Only If You Have BinocularsOptics can enhance your safari experience significantly, in fact, it's unthinkable you might go on one without them. Here are just some things you'd otherwise miss.
- What are the Best Binoculars to Take to a Concert, Outdoors or IndoorsGoing to a concert but want to miss any of the action? Get a pair of binoculars - here we look at how to choose the best ones and show you some excellent choices.
- What are the Best Safari Binoculars and How to Choose Them (2018)Bad binoculars on your safari will only cause frustration. Learn how to choose the best bino for your money and find out some of the best models that are highly recommended for safari tours.
- Buying Binoculars with a Wide Field of View: Reviews 2018How do you choose a a good binocular that magnify stuff while maintaining a wide field of view? Read this guide to find out!
- A Guide to the Best All-Around / General Purpose Binoculars in 2018Here we review the best binos for general use, whether it's wildlife watching, hiking, travel, surveillance etc and provide a detailed guide on purchasing great all-around binoculars.
- 5 Brands That Make Good Binos for Low Light SituationsLow light binoculars are useful for watching wildlife or hunting at dusk or dawn. Let's have a look at a few brands that introduced binos with excellent low-light performance.
- 3 Simple Reasons 10-by-42 Binoculars are an Excellent ChoiceYou might be wondering if 10x42's are the right binoculars for you. Let's have a look at what makes the 10x42 such a popular choice.
- Great 8x32 Binoculars and How to Choose ThemAn 8x32 bino is fairly compact but still has a lot of oomph compared to very small models. Let's talk about the things you need to know when making a buying decision.
- The Best Binoculars for Eyeglass Wearers, Reviews for 2018People who wear eyeglasses need to be careful when choosing binoculars. Here we review the most important points and name a few of the best product on the market for you to choose from.
- The Best 10X42 Binoculars: ReviewsNot all binoculars are created equal. Here we review the best 10x42 binocular models on the market, all based on real verified buyer feedback.
- Top-Rated Binoculars for Low Light Conditions Reviewed for 2018Not every binocular works well in low light. Read our buying guide and product reviews to find out about the best binoculars to use in low light conditions!