Jupiter. Now on to the real action!  Jupiter is a great binocular target, even for beginners.   If you are sure to hold your binoculars steadily as you peer at this bright planet,  you should see four bright points of light near it.  These are the Galilean Satellites – four moons gleaned through one of the first telescopes ever made, by the Italian astronomer Galileo. Note how their relative positions change from night to night as each moon moves around Jupiter in its own orbit.
For those that are looking to invest in a quality pair of optics, we've found that the Vortex Viper HD 8x42 offers the best balance of performance and price. These bins provide high-quality glass that created some of the brightest and clearest images we came across in our testing. In fact, the only models that bested the Viper HD in our image quality testing were those that cost more than $2000. These bins are also comfortable in hand, have a nice supple focus knob, boast a 6.5-foot close focus range, and are somewhat on the lighter side for a full-sized pair optics.
Other no-go categories that we won’t be touching anytime soon are zoom binoculars or binoculars that include a digital camera. In the former case, you’ll end up with optics so compromised (less light-gathering ability, lower clarity) that the convenience of multiple levels of magnification would be quickly negated. In the latter, the quality of the cameras found inside these neither-here-nor-there binoculars is about a thousand years behind even the most basic modern smartphone. Stay away.
Orion's telescope and astrophotography accessories will enhance your telescope enjoyment without breaking the bank. Expand your viewing experience with accessories ranging from moon filters to power-boosting Barlow lenses to advanced computerized telescope mounts. Capture breathtaking photos with our affordable astrophotography cameras. And when you're stargazing, Orion's telescope cases and covers, observing gear, red LED flashlights, astronomy books and star charts will make your observing sessions more convenient, comfortable and meaningful.
If you want a pair of binoculars for traveling or for the convenience of having a pair you can slip into your pocket, then a compact pair is for you. However, for distant subjects, or viewing in dim light (like, under the canopy of the rainforest), or for quickly finding fast-moving birds in dense vegetation, you’ll probably want to buy full-size binoculars rather than compacts.
Many people will tell you that $300 is the magic number when it comes to binoculars, and there is some truth to this. $300 is the price range where you first start seeing truly good lowlight performance. If you're willing to spend this much on a pair of bins, we highly recommend the Nikon Monarch 5 8x42. These bins offer the best clarity we've seen in this price range. They also offer a nice, smooth focus knob that lets even beginners lock in a clear image quickly and easily. The cherry on top is the brightness, which allows for a good image even in suboptimal lighting conditions. So if your birding hobby grows into an obsession that finds you setting the alarm for 3:30am just to catch a glance at a migrating Grosbeak, these binoculars will be able to keep up with you.
This warranty is valid to U.S.A. and Canadian customers who have purchased this product from an authorized Celestron dealer in the U.S.A. or Canada. Warranty service outside the U.S.A. and Canada is valid only to customers who purchased from a Celestron Distributor or authorized Dealer in the specific country and please contact them for such service.
Most standard tripods can be used, but because you are looking upwards, it does mean that the eyepieces will be in an awkward position. The best way to get around this is to use a chair and position yourself almost under the tripod. With traditional tripods this can be a little awkward as the legs often get in the way. I recently tested a Vanguard Alta Pro tripod that has an adjustable central column that you can effectively use to position your binoculars away from the center of the tripod (see image below) so you can more easily position yourself under your optics, which I found worked really well for astronomy. For more read my review of the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Tripod.

Binoculars with as wide a field as possible might seem best, but you can go too far and wide field of view binoculars may exhibit distorted or out-of-focus star images at the edges of the field. In simple terms lower magnification often means wider field of view. So what you are looking for is the wider field of view as possible in your chosen magnification. For more on this subject you can take a look at this article on Wide Angle Binoculars. (importance 5/10)
Going back to marine laser rangefinder binoculars, we have the Aomekie 7×50. This is a pair that’s truly made for the marine life. Seven times magnification is actually amazing, you won’t feel the need for anything more. The 50 mm lens, and a 24 mm eye relief, you can be sure that your eyes are protected, regardless of what’s going on. And a great thing about them is that even if you’re wearing spectacle glasses, using this pair of rangefinder binoculars won’t be an issue for you due to the way they’re made. All in all, they’re a great pair of binoculars. Let’s take a look at some of the details.
Last year’s great buy award in the binocular category went to Tract’s freshman Toric. This year’s Tekoa has many of its predecessor’s award-winning attributes: bright glass, premium coatings, precise controls, sweet eyecups, and a best-in-class warranty. The Tekoa, though, is built on a polycarb chassis, so it’s light enough to carry on long, arduous hunts, but stiff enough to be durable. The handsome granite-gray bino finished near the top of this year’s value standings, our benchmark for Great Buy award recognition.

Any good designed binocular, whether the U.S. specification design or the center focus design, will have Bak-4 prisms, fully multi-coated lens, air-spaced objectives, and nitrogen filled tubes sealed with o-rings to water proof the binocular.Bak-4 prisms, fully multi-coated optics, and air-spaced objectives allow for better light transmission, and therefore, a better view. Air-spaced objectives allow for better resolution. The nitrogen filled tubes sealed with o-rings keeps water, whether of the liquid variety or the vapor variety, from entering the binoculars system and causing mold or mildew to grow.
Olaf Soltau, a member of the New York Chapter of the Audubon Society, shared his experiences and opinion: “I use Swarovski EL 10x42s. But it took years before I felt ready to move up from 8x to 10x. For beginners, I always suggest 8x40. Think Goldilocks: not too strong, not too weak, not too heavy, not too flimsy. It's simply the best compromise. Higher magnification makes the image too shaky and the birds too hard to find, especially for beginning birders. Lower magnification simply doesn't bring the birds close enough. There are, of course, exceptions. 10x40s are OK if most birding takes place in wide open spaces like grasslands and coastlines, where the birds are often far away. I used 8x40s for years until my hand had gotten steady enough and my bird-finding-through-binos skills had become good enough for 10x40s. Another exception: People who don't have the physical strength to carry 8x40s around all day long can opt for 8x30s, but that means sacrificing image quality.”
The true renaissance of astronomy began when Nicholaus Copernicus proposed that the sun was at the center of the universe in the 16th century C.E. Less than 100 years later, Johannes Kepler introduced the Three Laws of Planetary Motion. Around the same time, Galileo was beginning his study of celestial beings with the aid of a telescope, leading him to discover Jupiter's four brightest moons. Astronomers have continued to make great strides in our understanding of the universe, discovering the first planets outside of our Solar System as recently as 1991.
Binoculars are generally described with two numbers, separated by an x, such as 8x42. The first number refers to the magnification, or how many times larger the bins will make something appear. The second number refers to the diameter of the objective lens (the big lenses at the front) in millimeters. Larger objective lenses mean more light makes it to your eyes, resulting in a brighter image, but also means a larger size and weight. It's important to know what numbers you should be looking for in a pair of bins, so we broke down the ideal uses for all magnifications and objective lens sizes below.
The white highlands, nestled between the maria, are older terrain pockmarked by thousands of craters that formed over the eons. Some of the larger craters are visible in binoculars. One of them, Tycho, emanates long swatches of white rays for hundreds of miles over the adjacent highlands. This is material kicked out during the Tycho impact 2.5 million years ago.

The only pairs with a locking diopter are the Leica Ultravid BCR and the Vortex Viper. The top pairs in this group with the smoothest adjustments and easiest focus were the Vortex Viper HD 8x42 and the Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 10x42. With all of these models even novices were able to follow birds in flight and keep them in focus without much issue. This is attributable to their smooth focus knobs.


Check the eye relief. Most binoculars have eyecups that retract to accommodate eyeglass wearers or extend to provide shading for those without. Look for durable, multi-adjustable eyecups. If you wear glasses, adjust the eyecups to their minimum position and make sure there’s enough eye relief—you shouldn’t see black rings around the image. Our Eyeglass Friendliness score helps indicate this.

Whilst the size of the objective lens determines to a large degree how much light can enter the binoculars, it does not completely determine how much light enters your eyes, which is far more important. A measurement known as the Exit Pupil gives you the width of the column of light exiting the eye-piece and is calculated by dividing the Objective Lens size by the Magnification of the binoculars.
We’ve already mentioned coatings several times, and they really do transform the performance levels of any binocular. Almost all binoculars on the market today will have some kind of anti-reflective coating applied to at least some of the air-to-glass surfaces to improve light transmission, compensate for the aberrations inherent in any optical design and enhance image resolution, colour fidelity and contrast.
Some people report success holding the end of the left barrel with the right hand, and letting the right barrel rest on the wrist, and then pushing them gently against the head. This creates more rigid mechanics than holding the binoculars for astronomy closer to the eyepieces. I've had limited success with this, so try it yourself and see what you think.
The last marine/military oriented option on our list, we have the SVBONY 7×50. Similarly to the other rangefinder binoculars higher on the list, it’s a budget offering. It may not do as many things as the Bushnell above, or as the Nikon and Zeiss below, but then again, the price is very far from them as well. It costs a fraction of the price, and for someone who needs a new pair of binoculars but doesn’t have a high budget, it will more than just do the job. It’s also ideal for people who spend a lot of time on the water, because of its characteristics, such as the floating, waterproof construction. Let’s take a look at the specs and performance.
Let's take just a moment to consider getting astronomy binoculars with zoom optics at this point. You're probably normal and about now you're thinking that getting zoom optics would be especially intelligent when considering astronomy. Zoom binoculars can seem like an astute purchase due to a perceived greater utility. The popularity of zoom configurations is largely based on the range of magnifications available in on instrument. Unfortunately, the very aspect that makes it seemingly attractive can also work against it optically. You can learn more about the optical considerations in choosing zoom binoculars on the How to Buy Binoculars page (this link takes you directly to the section on zoom optics).
The Meade 15×70 is a powerful pair of binoculars and a perfect choice for astronomy. These are our best selling astronomical binoculars due to their high quality optics and very affordable price. They are fine to use handheld although a tripod is still recommended for stargazing with this model. The Meade 15×70 Astro Binoculars are built for night viewing and feature large 70mm lenses, they provide a bright image across the whole field of view, nice vivid colours, solid design and an impressive 15x magnification.
To find a manageable group of testing finalists, we first eliminated companies that make only one model and that don’t exist outside of their Amazon presence. We also ruled out companies with just one model in our target price range, based on the logic that those binoculars are less likely to be widely available in the future, particularly if they get damaged and you need to return them. This left us with 17 models of 8×42 binoculars, priced mostly under $350:
These binoculars features a large field of view with a 25mm objective lens and 10x magnification. The binos even feature a low light level night vision mode that can capture brilliant images at more than 1,000 yards away without giving up detail or clarity during the day or night. At a very inexpensive price point, you really can’t go wrong with this pick.
A potential issue with this kind of binoculars might be fogging and mold inside the lens. However, the USCAMEL rangefinder binoculars solve that by adding nitrogen gas inside. This counters the effects of conditions such as rainstorms or high humidity in the air, and you won’t notice fogging or mold. The BAK4 prism ensures that the clarity is as good as possible, and you have vivid contrast which helps when you want to see every possible detail of the object you’re looking at.
The 8x42 SLC Binocular from Swarovski combines extra-low dispersion (HD) glass elements and range of proprietary optical coatings with a weather-resistant magnesium alloy housing to create a multi-purpose set of glasses that deliver impressive image quality and durability. This configuration of the SLC displays an immersive 61° apparent viewing angle; a long 18.5mm eye relief and multi-position twist-up eyecups enable a comfortable viewing distance for almost any observer.
Most believe that Canon was the first company to have image stabilized binoculars due to very good marketing and bringing the price down to within reach of the consuming public, even if it's a long reach! Their introduction in 1997 was based on the work they had done for years in stabilizing video camera images. It quickly caught on and image stabilized Canon binoculars have many devotees. While the Canon technology doesn't seem designed to stabilize the larger movements encountered on boats/ships, speeding cars/trucks, and airplanes/helicopters, it does well with hand movements such as those often associated with health and age. The engagement of the stabilization mechanism and electronics is said to often result in a somewhat softer image which lacks the crispness found in Fujinons. We anticipate publishing a review of the Canon image stabilized binoculars.
Fusion 1-Mile uses the latest technology especially when it comes to the glass and lens. It uses the all-new XTR technology to provide the ultimate transmission of light. This, in turn, delivers great clarity and resolution. It has a waterproof coating which protects it from harsh conditions. The multi-coated casing also gives it protection from falls and other impacts. The quality of lenses and the sturdy construction makes it easy for you to carry it into the woods without worrying about damaging the device.
Most believe that Canon was the first company to have image stabilized binoculars due to very good marketing and bringing the price down to within reach of the consuming public, even if it's a long reach! Their introduction in 1997 was based on the work they had done for years in stabilizing video camera images. It quickly caught on and image stabilized Canon binoculars have many devotees. While the Canon technology doesn't seem designed to stabilize the larger movements encountered on boats/ships, speeding cars/trucks, and airplanes/helicopters, it does well with hand movements such as those often associated with health and age. The engagement of the stabilization mechanism and electronics is said to often result in a somewhat softer image which lacks the crispness found in Fujinons. We anticipate publishing a review of the Canon image stabilized binoculars.
Designed specifically for marine usage thanks to integrated o-ring seals to protect the optics from water damage, the Barska outdoor rangefinding binoculars make for a superior product. The Barska Marine is nitrogen-purged to prevent fogging, making it perfect for humid and moist environments such as oceans, lakes, and rivers. These binoculars provide a 7X magnification with an incredible 50mm lens diameter for ultimate light-gathering capabilities.
Another budget offering, with a similar design yet specifications that are a bit different. The design is similar to the USCAMEL that we spoke about earlier. It’s made by military standards, which means that it’s durable, high quality, and comfortable to use and carry. It also means that it will withstand various weather conditions, such as rain, high humidity, or low temperatures. It is completely waterproof, and is made to float on water. Even if you do happen to drop it in water by accident, it won’t sink and make itself impossible to find, which is a great thing not many binoculars can offer. The rubber armor doesn’t slip, and offers a fairly firm grip. You’ll also find a tripod adapter which lets you mount the binoculars on a tripod for days you want movement free viewings.

Bushnell's RealTree Xtreme camouflage 10x42 Trophy Binocular (B&H # BU10X42R) utilize BAK4 prisms and fully multi-coated optics to create a versatile and capable optic that produces bright and clear images with accurate color rendition. Coupled with the optical features are 42mm diameter objectives which give the binocular very competent low-light performance, while setting the magnification at 10x allows you to resolve fine details at distances while maintaining a wide field of view. This combination of magnification, optics, objectives, plus a wide viewing angle make the Trophy ideally suited for most outdoor activities from hunting, to birding, to boating, and sporting events.
Everyone talks about magnifications and there is no doubt that high magnifications yield beautiful views of the Moon, planets and fine detail in some deep sky objects. However, many objects in the sky are too large to fit into the field of view of a high power eyepiece. These objects demand a wide field of view to appreciate their beauty and delicate form.
Designed specifically for marine usage thanks to integrated o-ring seals to protect the optics from water damage, the Barska outdoor rangefinding binoculars make for a superior product. The Barska Marine is nitrogen-purged to prevent fogging, making it perfect for humid and moist environments such as oceans, lakes, and rivers. These binoculars provide a 7X magnification with an incredible 50mm lens diameter for ultimate light-gathering capabilities.
For exquisite ergonomics and handling ability, the Carl Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars offer great rangefinding ability coupled with advanced optics. Featuring a built-in calculator that allows you to compute ballistic trajectories with ease, the laser rangefinder can take accurate measurements almost instantly up to 1,300 yards. The lenses are multi-coated and work exceptionally well in low-light conditions thanks to the 45mm diameter.
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.
Pro Tip: If you plan on sharing your binoculars or using them for a variety of distances, stick with center-focusing models. For astronomy or marine use, individual focus will provide the sharpest views and you won’t have to adjust the focus very often because they will be focused on “infinity” (far-away subjects) where the focus won’t change much.
So as you can see, for astronomy you are looking for an exit pupil of 5 or more, however with higher magnifications this is not always possible as the objective lenses would have to be massive. So whilst many giant binoculars have slightly smaller exit pupils than the ideal, they are still large enough to provide you with a bright enough image - however this is where the amount of transmittance becomes really important (see below).

“These are quality binoculars. They are great for bird watching both in the national parks or open areas, and the mount helps you capture images that you would need an expensive DSLR camera to get a clear shot of so you can revisit the memories you have created. The optics are gorgeous. The image quality is comparable to the expensive brand like Bushnell. Very satisfied with the quality.”
At Orion, we are committed to sharing our knowledge and passion for astronomy and astrophotography with the amateur astronomy community. Visit the Orion Community Center for in-depth information on telescopes, binoculars, and astrophotography. You can find astrophotography "how to" tips and share your best astronomy pictures here. Submit astronomy articles, events, & reviews, and even become a featured Orion customer!
Age is the single most important factor in choosing a pair of binoculars. Although with age a person’s exit pupil tends to get smaller; that is, 5mm after age 50, one should determine his or her exit pupil. This is usually done by trial and error. If you do it in the dark, you cannot see what you are doing when holding up a millimeter ruler to your eye in front of a mirror. You can try a dimly lit room however. Sky Publishing use to sell a device for measuring one’s exit pupil.Another factor affecting your exit pupil is your observing environment. If you observe from the city or the suburbs, light pollution will affect your exit pupil and will not allow it to fully dilate as if you were under a country sky. For instance, if you observe with a 7 x 50 pair of binoculars under a city sky, this is like observing with a pair of 7 x 35 binoculars. Why? Because your pupil is not fully dilated to take advantage of the extra exit pupil or circle of light being projected by the 7 x 50 binoculars. What is the exit pupil of a 7 x 50 binocular? Answer. 7.1mm. Divide 50mm the aperture of the binocular
What makes the Athlon Optics Midas ED binoculars great? For starters, their brightness. A lot of birding and using binoculars in general involves looking out or up at something much brighter, like the sky, or darker, such as into a dense thicket. Just as your autofocus camera can’t figure out how to illuminate something against a bright (or overcast) sky, binoculars may have difficulty mustering the light needed to brighten the distant object you’re trying to identify. Also tough is the inverse of this situation, looking into dark, dense vegetation, a situation in which you need all the light-gathering ability the binoculars can give you. The Athlon Optics Midas ED performed well on both fronts. For example, several other models tested would not allow me to differentiate throat coloration of warblers in treetops early in the morning. With the Athlons, it was almost as if the glaring, whitish background of sky wasn’t there—the colors popped to life.
The Leupold BX-1 Yosemite is a good set of binoculars that produces clear images. These binoculars are lightweight, waterproof and fogproof, so they can handle wet conditions without damage to the optics inside. They’re low powered and have the smallest objective lens of any binoculars we reviewed. Pros: These Leupold binoculars are some of the lightest we reviewed at 17oz. An 8x magnification and 118m field of view make them a good choice for birdwatching and sporting events where things move quickly.
The best part is, even after three years whereby the premium warranty is reverted to limited lifetime warranty, Leica Geovid promises to service/repair your binocular for only $35 irrespective of the actual cost of repairing for your whole life. $35 is pretty reasonable considering the fact that the materials used in Leica Geovid are high quality ones.
The Pentax AD’s weight is feather-light, at 9.6 ounces (less than half the 25-ounce weight of the Athlon Midas 8×42 binoculars, our top full-size pick). All compacts—in particular the high-magnification ones—are prone to “tunnel vision” due to a narrow field of view that makes it hard to find a distant target through the lens. Optically, the Pentax AD compacts have a wider field of view than some of the other compacts we tested, and the colors on birds, flowers, and butterflies appeared just as bright under normal conditions.
Olaf Soltau, a member of the New York Chapter of the Audubon Society, shared his experiences and opinion: “I use Swarovski EL 10x42s. But it took years before I felt ready to move up from 8x to 10x. For beginners, I always suggest 8x40. Think Goldilocks: not too strong, not too weak, not too heavy, not too flimsy. It's simply the best compromise. Higher magnification makes the image too shaky and the birds too hard to find, especially for beginning birders. Lower magnification simply doesn't bring the birds close enough. There are, of course, exceptions. 10x40s are OK if most birding takes place in wide open spaces like grasslands and coastlines, where the birds are often far away. I used 8x40s for years until my hand had gotten steady enough and my bird-finding-through-binos skills had become good enough for 10x40s. Another exception: People who don't have the physical strength to carry 8x40s around all day long can opt for 8x30s, but that means sacrificing image quality.”
Evaluating brightness was a somewhat subjective process and we individually polled each tester. So for our scoring, we relied primarily on human judgment and opinion. Many factors help to determine how bright a pair of binoculars will be: the size of the objective lens, the glass material, the coatings used and on what surfaces these coatings are used, and the magnification.
That isn't to say that any of the bins we tested were poorly constructed. We didn't find any bargain basement bins that could make the cut for inclusion in our review, so all have a dcent base level of construction quality. Sure, minor things like the more plasticky rubber coating of the Celestron Nature DX or the stiff hinge of the Ahtlon Midas makes them feel a bit less engineered than other models, they can still certainly stand up to some rigorous use.
There are a number of binoculars with large eye relief, that are ideal for those who wear glasses. If you have used a bin without decent eye relief in the past, you know what a pain it can be. My recommendation for glasses wearers, are either the Swarovski EL (premium price, 20mm relief) or the Vanguard Endeavour ED II 8×42 (affordable price, 19.5mm relief), depending on your budget.
Review additional features and warranties. Pay attention to field of view and close focus, two measures that affect how much you’ll see. See our report on field of view and close focus to understand how these factor into your choice. Also pay attention to durability, waterproofing, and warranty—many major optics companies now offer excellent warranties. Check our full review spreadsheet for these details.
Continuing the trend of good options for the budget-minded individuals, we have the BARSKA Deep Sea 7×50 binoculars. Similar in style to the previous two offerings, this pair is excellent for water lovers and boating enthusiasts. They offer a similar set of functionalities as the previous two binoculars with rangefinders on our list, but their style and color choice is a bit different. They don’t have that green, military style, but instead come in a black and blue color combination. Nevertheless, they look pretty good.
Hopefully you found the information included above to be useful. You can use all of the information to streamline your decision-making process as to whether or not you want to purchase rangefinder binoculars, and also use it to better educate yourself about this technology – as well as others. They are definitely incredible tools, but may or may not be useful in your specific circumstance or situation.
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 lightweight housing is nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed, enabling it to withstand use in wet and snowy weather without fogging when going from extreme temperature changes, and the rubberized armor offers protection from impacts while providing a slip-resistant grip. The Atrek's single-hinge closed-bridge design facilitates easy one-handed use, while the center focus wheel enables fast focusing. Twist-up eyecups makes it comfortable to use with or without eyewear.
Dielectric high-reflective multilayer prism coating: I thought it was important to mention this type of coating precisely because it’s found on Roof style binoculars on the prism and is a great coating to have. It can achieve light reflectance that exceeds 99%, which means better and brighter images! Normally this coating is found on higher end binoculars.
Next when purchasing a binocular you must consider the purpose or what are you buying the binocular to observe-star gazing, sports, and birding. What? Binoculars are great for doing a variety of things such as an accessory to the telescope to star hop to those deep sky objects you want to find or an asteroid. Also binoculars are great for learning the constellations, following sunspots across the sun(DANGER-BE SURE TO USE THE PROPER SOLAR FILTERS), the motion of the planets among the constellations, the phases of the moon, sky conditions, comets, variable stars, and nova.For astronomy the 7 x 50 and the 10 x 50 have been the traditional choice. For your first pair of binoculars, get this standard size over the giant binoculars. The 7 x 50 or 10 x 50 is good for general purpose viewing and portable. The 7 x 50 is good for dark country skies. The 10 x 50 is good for the city or the suburbs due to its smaller exit pupil. The 10 x 50 though can be hard to hold for some and may require a tripod due to its 10x magnification. Even the 7 x 50 view improves with the use of a tripod. There are several tripod setups on the market, which allow steady viewing, overhead viewing, and easy scanning of the sky without neck cramps. In fact, for certain types of viewing like variable star, comet, and asteroid observing, binoculars on a tripod is essential to give a steady view of the field, take notes, and use star charts. Also more detail can be seen when observing the moon or star clusters.
The 8x42 SLC Binocular from Swarovski combines extra-low dispersion (HD) glass elements and range of proprietary optical coatings with a weather-resistant magnesium alloy housing to create a multi-purpose set of glasses that deliver impressive image quality and durability. This configuration of the SLC displays an immersive 61° apparent viewing angle; a long 18.5mm eye relief and multi-position twist-up eyecups enable a comfortable viewing distance for almost any observer.

First, pick up several binoculars and look at their objective (front) lenses. Do this with a bright white light coming over your shoulder from behind. You'll notice right away that in some objective lenses, the reflection of the light will be brighter than in others. Pick the models with the reflections that look darkest (and no doubt deeply colored); this is a sign of quality lens coatings. Good coatings increase the transmission of light through the glass and reduce the amount of scattered light hazing the view.
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