Convenient Design: The binocular design provides additional weight with a wider body that allows for a sturdier two-hand grip. The design also helps keep the hands stable so that users are more likely to correctly range the target with the first attempt. This is also helpful for getting readings at higher magnifications, and this is especially true when compared to vertical rangefinders.
Binoculars are not required for birding, of course. Audubon’s Eric Lind recommends going out with a group of birders and trying their binoculars before you make a purchasing decision. The social aspects of birding, the sharing a sense of wonder and discovery, and the life-long learning experience is what makes birding so popular. There is no better way to cultivate that aspect of birding than through sharing the view of a bird through a friend’s binoculars or by handing your favorite pair to a family member to let them share in the experience.

The Razor HD is argon-filled and sealed with O-rings to ensure reliable and durable protection against dust, debris, fog and water. It is rubber armored for non-slip and durable protection, and is equipped with a large focusing knob that is easy to use even while wearing gloves. Naturally contoured to perfectly fit your hands, promoting comfort and eliminating user-fatigue Vortex has once again created a winning combination of features.
Both of our Best Buy winners, the Vortex Diamondback 8x28 and the Celestra Nature DX 8x42 earned a 7 out of 10 for their clarity performance. While they do sacrifice a bit of the sharpness or the top models and do get some blurring around the edges, they were still able to produce clear images that allowed us to pick out the subtle features of small birds.
The Fury’s rangefinder reticle is similar to the one you’ll find in a normal rangefinder. Like the Laser Force and Fusion, these binos utilize a laser to acquire distance. If your target is at an odd angle away from you, the Fury employs the Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) to compensate for those angles and ensure you are getting precise distances.
Binoculars get beat up and dusty, and cheap ones go out of alignment in a few weeks or with a good knock, resulting in double vision or blurry patches. For the record, I accidentally dropped the Athlon Midas ED binoculars onto a dirt road in Mexico (right onto the focus knob!), brushed them off and found they worked just fine. Nearly all companies I was able to reach offer a full, transferable, lifetime warranty of the “you can drive over it with a truck” type, but I recommend researching warranties before buying any model, because their details may change in the future.
When we’re discussing physical characteristics, the binoculars are on the heavy end. At more or less 31 ounces, you might find them a bit too heavy for your liking. Something like the Nikon LaserForce mentioned below is a lot better in that regard however, with all the tech and quality materials, you shouldn’t really be complaining. You’re getting a great pair of laser rangefinder binoculars that will do the job exceptionally well and that are robust.
Let’s talk about performance and features for a moment. In one sentence, performance is stellar, and the features are what you’d expect from a pair of binoculars at this price range and in this category. The binoculars have a 7 times magnification and a 50 mm lens. At 1000 meters, the field of view is 132 meters. This translates to 396 feet at 1000 yards. What this should tell you is that they’re great for any sports that require basic optics and magnification. The individual eyepiece focus system lets you focus when you’re viewing objects at both medium and long distances.
There is not much of a need for an astronomy binocular to be waterproof, water resistant is enough as using them at night can expose a binocular to dew and moisture, which can cause a non-waterproof model to mist up inside the mechanism. I would just like to say though that in general, better quality binoculars tend to be sealed and fully waterproof as well as fogproof and so this is one indicator to look out for if you want to make sure that the binoculars you are getting are of a good quality. (importance 2/10)
Pros: Testers noted that the Vanguard Endeavor ED were easy to operate and to focus. A wider objective lens of 42mm brings in a good amount light for better viewing in low-lit situations, and a close minimum distance of 2.5m allows you to see fine details in birds, plants and insects. A weight of nearly 24oz is average, and these binoculars are tripod compatible as well.

Birders demand a lot from their binoculars. Birding binoculars must be light enough to carry all day long and sturdy enough to survive years of heavy use. They must be easy to hold steady. They must resolve delicate details and reveal subtle colors with accuracy. They must focus quickly and up close and work well in dim light. They must be sealed from dust and moisture. And they must show the whole picture even for birders wearing eyeglasses.


My use is 50/50 day/night celestial/terrestrial. I have found in the past when using a 10×50 I’ve always wanted some more distance/zoom. I have never used a larger power than this and am happy with the reviews of the Meade. portability is not an issue and neither is the weight, i will be using them hand held. budget is the driver and the most bang for buck. Given the above would you recommend the Meade 15×70?
Cabela’s has produced a little gem of a binocular that would be at home in a turkey vest or a treestand. It’s a true pocket optic, with double hinges that fold the bino into the size of a deck of cards but expand to offer good purchase for your hands and an image that seems large, thanks to premium HD glass. The eyecups are a little fussy, but that’s a small ding for a bargain optic.
Back in the clarity section, we talked about how alignment can affect the detail you see through a pair of binoculars. Some alignment issues can be hard to diagnose. Small alignment issues can only show up with specially calibrated equipment. One can look at the overall construction quality and hope that if they follow tight tolerances on the rest of the production, then optics should follow suit.

Harnesses For most of us, the neck strap that comes with most binoculars is fine. For those who require more, there are numerous options for you. Some are designed to redistribute the weight of the binocular from the neck to the back and shoulders. Others provide a stabilizing function to allow you to hold the optic in your hand while virtually eliminating hand shake or other movements. For those who do activities and want to keep their optic at the ready, some harnesses hold the binocular close to the body and greatly reduce swinging or swaying while running, climbing, or skiing.
3. First, view the moon with binoculars. When you start to stargaze, you’ll want to watch the phase of the moon carefully. If you want to see deep-sky objects inside our Milky Way galaxy – or outside the galaxy – you’ll want to avoid the moon. But the moon itself is a perfect target for beginning astronomers, armed with binoculars. Hint: the best time to observe the moon is in twilight. Then the glare of the moon is not so great, and you’ll see more detail.
If you’re looking at the best possible pair of rangefinder binoculars, you’ve got them. This is hands down one of the best pairs you can get, and the value they give is also amazing. In ideal conditions, the Fusion 1-Mile ARC can give you the range on targets that are up to 1 mile out. You will find that the ranging performance can easily beat some competitors that cost even twice as much. Being somewhat of a successor to the Bushnell Fusion 1600, you will find that Bushnell actually made some significant improvements in the ranging capabilities.
For most binoculars with 80mm or 100mm objective lenses, however, a tripod as typically used for light cameras for instance, will not be strong enough to hold a binocular weighing between 5 and 10 or more pounds (2.25 to 4.5+ kg). We're the kind of folks who figure we're likely to get an even heavier instrument later on, so we'll get a good, heavy-duty tripod to start with. That's just us, though, and you certainly don't NEED to get anything above and beyond what will serve your immediate needs! Just be sure the tripod you use for your giant astronomy binoculars won't collapse with resultant damage to your instrument!
The main advantage these have over handheld models, is that they are far more stable. This means you can easily go for a bino with 25×70 or even larger, since the tripod will be keeping your bino stable for a much closer look at the celestial bodies. I would go so far as to say that you shouldn’t even consider getting a 15x-20x without a tripod. The magnification is simply too large to be held steady in your hands.
I'd like to get a binocular for my wife who is legally blind and has also some degree of night blindness. We travel extensively and she loves watching nature (animals on safaris; mountains; etc.). I was thinking that a binocular with a large aperture and wide field might be a good choice, such as the Steiner 8x56 ShadowQuest Binocular. I like the good performance during dawn, becasue of my wife's impaired ability to see in low-light environments. What do you think? Any other types I should consider?
Generally the better the anti-reflective coatings, the better the resulting image and the better the binoculars will perform across a wide range of lighting conditions. The best performing coatings are expensive to produce and difficult to apply, and typically add considerably to the cost of the finished binocular. These coatings are perhaps the main differentiating factor between premium or “alpha” class binoculars and other models.
The first and one of the most important is your budget. If you know your budget or can set your budget prior to your purchase, it will help you research in a much better way. Make sure you set a realistic budget. Because there is no need to spend more than you can or spend way less than you can afford. The idea is to not make the purchase of rangefinder binocular a burden. Once you have decided on the budget, it is easy for you to eliminate the rangefinder binoculars which are both above or below your affordability. You can then select the best binocular rangefinders from the affordable range and research on them. It makes the choices narrower and suitable to your need.

To find the best binoculars, we had a professional ornithologist spend over 100 hours field-testing 17 pairs against his own $2,500 Leica Ultravids. After using our test pairs in the mountains and hills of Southern California, then on a research trip to the rain forests of southern Mexico, he found that the Athlon Optics Midas ED 8×42 pair was the best of the group, offering performance comparable to his Leicas for a fraction of the price and the widest field of view out of all the binoculars tested. This means you’ll see more, and it will look better.


The second thing you'll want to do is to focus on a bright star. Ideal astronomy binoculars will show it as a well-defined pinpoint of light with two or three concentric rings of light. In a binocular of average quality, it will not be sharply defined. To say it differently, it will be a bit fuzzy. A binocular of poor quality will show it as a fuzzy-edged pyramid or other odd shape. There are not many binoculars which achieve the ideal!

The ability to quickly and accurately focus on an object can be the difference between seeing that rare bird and hearing about it. Can you maintain accurate focus or will you accidentally offset the diopter, giving you a blurry image? For the ease of adjustment category, we looked at the following items: how quickly one can focus from one spectrum to the other, how easy it is to focus on an object to get the most detail, and how easy it was to adjust the diopter and did the diopter lock. We also evaluated the interpupillary distance adjustment. Except for the locking diopter, the criteria was a subjective and based solely on several testers' opinions.
The other important thing is the features you are expecting from the rangefinder binocular. No matter what others say, it is up to you to choose a particular rangefinder binocular. One feature which someone else finds useful might not be as useful for you. So, it depends on your perspective and requirement whether it will suit you or not. So, the thing you can do is note down the features you need from the rangefinder binocular. It will not only depend on your comfort, but also on the place and the occasions you use it for. It calls for a careful study of yourself and your needs. Getting to know your budget and knowing your requirements will get half the work done for you.
Putting a binocular on a tripod or mount pushes the binocular into the telescope realm as far as operation goes, but it is the only way to handle magnifications over 15-20x effectively. A dedicated and specifically designed astronomy binocular with magnifications of 15x to 30x will show more detail and resolve more stars, though it still won't turn your binocular into a telescope. Still, there is nothing like the view in a 25x100mm binocular to take your breath away on a dark, clear night.

The main advantage these have over handheld models, is that they are far more stable. This means you can easily go for a bino with 25×70 or even larger, since the tripod will be keeping your bino stable for a much closer look at the celestial bodies. I would go so far as to say that you shouldn’t even consider getting a 15x-20x without a tripod. The magnification is simply too large to be held steady in your hands.


For a premium experience while hunting or birdwatching, the Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars are the pair for you. Their massive 50mm objective lenses offer high-end performance with a full-size feel and edge-to-edge clarity. The binoculars also magnify at an impressive 12x, with a field of view of 288 feet at 1,000 yards. They're also built with lifetime fog and waterproofing performance with ultra-hard scratch resistant armortek protection.
Yet another reason binoculars are excellent for beginning astronomers is that using two eyes is quite simply better than using one. Not only does it help when finding objects, but using two eyes with Porro prism binoculars will provide a stunningly beautiful three-dimensional effect that is much more interesting and, yes, exciting than the flat, one-dimensional view typically seen through a telescope. Not only is the depth of the view noteworthy, but the width as well. You can find astronomy binoculars with 5-6° field of view while most telescopes are limited to a 1° view even at their lowest magnification.
The Carson RD 8 x 26 waterproof, Levenhuk Karma Pro 8 x 25, Maven C.2 10 x 28, and Minox 8 x 25 are part of a slew of “new compact” binoculars that resemble shrunken-down versions of the full-size 8 x 42 models, but were about two-thirds the size and weight. At this size, though, they’re too large to slip into most pockets, unless you have a huge coat on, taking away the very portability that we were looking for. I also found the quality lacking across the board—eyepieces that wouldn’t stop spinning (Maven), eyecups that didn’t sit flush with the eye (Levenhuk, Minox), and distortion of distant objects (Carson).
I initially thought these would only benefit prairie land outfitters, or those who guide hunts out in the vast open. If you think about it, the guide can monitor the range on the targeted animal while not having to take his eyes off of it. There would be no need to constantly switch between a rangefinder and a pair of binoculars, therefore a combo would be ideal for that type of situation.
Below our midrange (roughly $150 to $350), the quality differences become apparent. Above our range’s higher end, you don’t necessarily get much, if any, performance advantage. Most brands we investigated tend to offer at least a couple different models of full-size (versus compact) binoculars, claim their models are waterproof (or at least water-resistant), and offer many models with a no-questions-asked lifetime and transferable return policy. Combine this with continuing improvements in glass and optical coating (or at least, a drop in manufacturing cost to the point where higher-quality lenses are now widely affordable), and we appear to be living in something of a golden age of binoculars—one birding website alone offers more than 150 models at our midrange prices.
The ultimate in efficiency, the Fusion melds the best of Bushnell binoculars with world-leading laser range finding capabilities. Every detail is magnified with rich contrast and stunning clarity from edge to edge using premium fully multi-coated optics and BaK-4 prisms. At the push of a button, it displays exact distance to your target from 10 to 1,760 yards.
Astronomy is done in the dark, so you really want big aperture: big front lenses. These collect lots of light so you can see fainter things. This doesn't matter so much in the daytime, when there's plenty of light and you can get by with small front lenses — allowing daytime binoculars to be smaller, lighter, and less expensive. But for binoculars for astronomy, the bigger the aperture the better.
×