Finally, how heavy are the lenses? Will you be fatigued holding them up for long periods of time as you view the sky?  A junior astronomer might be better off with an H body type binocular because they are more lightweight and compact. An adult or more “expert” stargazer may prefer the classic look and feel of a Porro prism style body, and can handle the extra bulk.
"I bought these binoculars for an upcoming trip to Alaska. I was a little nervous about getting binoculars from a company I had never heard of... All the other binoculars in this price range would have involved some kind of compromise, either a narrow field of view or a of lack of ED glass or a long minimum focusing distance. These binoculars ticked all the boxes for me, and I stayed within my budget (although it was the high end of my budget)."
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.
The Leica 8X42 Geovid is an all-around excellent range finding binocular that delivers outstanding performance when you need it. In addition to its stunning range of view and excellent optical clarity, the 8X42 offers unparalleled ballistics information at the push of a button thanks to the binoculars' patented advanced ballistics compensation technology which allows you to record and obtain proper rifle ranges. It is perfect for hunting, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
If you aren’t well versed in binoculars and what the terminology means, you might be fooled into buying something that’s absolutely not worth the money. Not all premium binoculars are worth buying, and there are some budget offerings that can absolutely hold their own against competition that’s often a couple times more expensive. You will find a lot of choices, but going for the right one is a challenge in itself. Therefore, below you will find a guide that touches on the basics, what to look out for, and where it’s actually worth investing a few extra dollars.
"These are excellent binoculars. I purchased 3 pair in person before taking a birding friend's advice. These are highly rated for the price, and deserving. I have used these for birding for a year now (twice a week), and I am very pleased. They are well constructed, and I have had 0 problems with them. I highly recommend purchasing these Bushnell Legend L-Series Binoculars for any nature lover, or birder."
I too am shopping for a pair of binoculars for my husband for Christmas. We live in a condominium building overlooking Lake Superior and he likes to look at the cargo ships coming in and out and the different boats on the water. I am thinking something 10x or 10-30x. We would probably just keep it mounted on a tripod if I bought a heavier set, but would prefer something lighter. 

"It's hard to know where to begin, when you decide you want to get more involved in stargazing. The Celestron SkyMaster Binoculars are a fantastic entrance into the world of stargazing, for a low price point! If you're unsure if you'd like to take stargazing up as a professional hobby, these are a fantastic buy, to help you see the stars and to see if you'd like to further explore astronomy!"
Simply stated, binoculars use a series of lenses, elements, and prisms to produce a magnified view of distant people, places, or things. Using two parallel optical tubes allows you to observe with both eyes open, which is more comfortable and natural than using a spotting scope or telescope—which requires you to keep one eye closed. Additionally, having both eyes open maintains your depth of field and provides you with a rich and immersive experience where the scene takes on a more lifelike, 3-D appearance.
The first decision a birder needs to make when buying binoculars is what magnification binoculars to get. When looking at binoculars on the Web (and on the box and the binoculars themselves) you will usually see two prominent numbers. These refer to the magnification and objective diameter. An example is: 8x42. This indicates the magnification of the binoculars is 8x power and the objective (front) lens is 42mm in diameter.
A quick word on monoculars: There is certainly a market for these devices. Basically, the monocular is half of a binocular; one of two optical tubes that are connected to form a binocular. The monocular gives you half the binocular, less than half the weight (there is no bridge), and often a proportional cost savings. The disadvantage is that one-eye viewing is more tiring than viewing with both eyes, and you lose the stereoscopic advantage of the binoculars. However, if your vision is poor in one eye, or nonexistent, the monocular makes a ton of sense.
The world of binoculars is vast and constantly evolving. No matter what you’re using them for—from a night at the opera to hunting on the tundra to comet watching—there is something for everyone at every price. This article has offered a basic introduction to the terms and technologies that will affect your buying decision and the overall performance of the optic. After making your selection, don’t forget about the accessories that can enhance your viewing experience and turn a good view into a great view.

Equinox Z Digital Night Vision from Bushnell offers Equinox Z Digital Night Vision from Bushnell offers outstanding optical clarity ultimate illumination and an unmatched field of view. Features such as zoom image capture video recording and daytime color team with the super-charged digital NV technology. Other bar-setting features include a long battery life tripod-mounting capabilities and glass objectives. ...  More + Product Details Close


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.

dless of whether you’re an expert with an extensive collection of rangefinder binoculars, or someone who’s only getting their first pair, choosing the right ones can be tricky. Making the wrong choice can cost you $90-100, or it could easily go into the thousands if you buy a premium pair of binoculars. When you consider all of the variables, making a wrong choice isn’t that hard. Things such as zoom or fixed, or image stabilization, or even the numbers in the name can be confusing for someone who isn’t well versed in the topic. However, as you saw above, clearing them up isn’t that difficult, and if you do know what you need, getting the right pair isn’t all that difficult either.


Concerning the image stabilized binoculars from Canon, these are excellent binoculars for astronomy and do not require a tripod. They are just expensive. The 15 x 50 is a good choice, because of the wider field and ease of use than the 18 x 50 model. Also even though they do not require a tripod, better to put them on one. The later models do come with a standard threaded hole for a tripod. By using a tripod, you free your hands up to take notes or read a star chart without having to go back and find what you were looking at.
The discussion in the opening paragraphs dealt with the two main types of prism configurations, but beyond that, the materials that the prisms are made of greatly impact image quality. BAK4, or Barium Crown glass, is considered the best type of prism material. It has a high refractive index and lower critical angle than other materials, which means it transmits light better with less light being lost due to internal reflection—such as from internal bubbles trapped during the manufacturing process.
In general, the larger the objectives, the more light is gathered, and the more you’ll see- however, the larger objectives, the heavier the binocular. Magnification should be 12x or lower- any higher and you’ll have a hard time getting a steady view. Low magnification binoculars have the advantage of a big FOV (field of view), which makes navigating the night sky easier. They provide glorious views of star clusters and nebulae, and are wonderful for exploring the Milky Way. On the other hand, don’t expect to see planets with any detail- they are very tiny objects at these magnifications. Click here for more info.
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.
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.
Originally, they were used by military organizations. They wanted their soldiers to have as much real-time mission data as possible, and this technology let them have just that in specific situations. That technology later on trickled down, and we now have it available in the hunting and commercial enterprise world. They’re so common, actually, that people who use a pair of binoculars on a daily basis won’t even take a look at anything else but binoculars with rangefinders for hunting, or for anything else for that matter.
I know that some museums, like the Louvre or Musee d'Orsay, are well lit - while some parts of Versailles, cathedrals and churches like the Sistine Chapel - are a bit dim (almost dark)...so if you can handle a bino larger than a compact (up to 25mm objective lens diameter) you may want to think about upping the size to a 30-40mm to help make the view brighter if you know the rooms will have challenging lighting.
Granted, most of the interesting astronomical objects that binoculars can show will appear very faint in them. But most objects that a telescope will show also appear very faint in it — certainly much fainter than you would like. Moreover, the map-using skills that you'll gain using binoculars to hunt out these dim, distant things in the dark wilds overhead are exactly the skills that you will need in order to put a telescope to good use.
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.

High Reflectivity Coatings on the Prisms - If you plan on choosing a roof prism binocular then you need to look out for what (if any) coatings are on prism to increase light reflectivity. Roof prisms have a number of advantages over porro prisms, but it does have one surface that does not have total internal reflection. It is therefore very important for binoculars' optical performance to raise the reflectivity of this surface. Typically an aluminum mirror coating is used that has a reflectivity of 87% to 93% or a silver mirror coating (reflectivity of 95% to 98%) is used. This light transmission of the prism can be improved by using a dielectric coating rather than a metallic mirror coating. A well-designed dielectric coating can provide a reflectivity of more than 99% across the visible light spectrum. So firstly make sure at least aluminum mirror coatings are used and then depending on your budget you could choose to get higher quality silver or dielectric coatings. Roof prism binocular without high reflectivity coatings on the prisms should be avoided.
Leica is another well-known brand when it comes to high-end optics, and the 10x42 Geovid is an outstanding new entry to the field. The 10X magnification combined with a 42mm lens diameter provides for excellent imaging, especially in low light conditions at dawn or dusk – making it perfect for hunting and all other outdoor activities. The rangefinder display works very well and is effective up to ranges of nearly 1900 yards. Plus, the range finding on these binoculars is fast - often providing accurate distance measurements within seconds.
Convenience. It’s certainly more convenient to have both important devices combined. Imagine the situation where you spotted a prey and you would like to estimate it’s distance from you. When you took out your rangefinder device, it’s gone already. I bet you are going to be pretty frustrated. Furthermore, carrying both devices (that could be combined) during a hunting trip is just not wise.

Telescopes do make objects look larger. But their main job is to gather light. Paradoxically, the more a telescope magnifies an object, the dimmer that object appears. That's a problem when observing deep-sky targets like comets, galaxies and widely diffuse star clusters. It's an issue for everything, really, except the moon — which can be too bright — and a few vivid planets.
×