If you’ve been shopping for binoculars, you will have noticed that some look very streamlined while others look chunkier. This is because the physical appearance and size of a binocular is determined by the type of prism it uses. Prisms are used to correct the orientation of the view horizontally and vertically so the scene looks natural; without a prism, binoculars would make things look upside down and flopped. There are two principal types of prisms: roof and Porro. The glass elements in a roof prism are in line with one another, making roof-prism binoculars more streamlined and easier to hold. Porro prisms have the glass elements offset from one another, and can provide greater depth of field and a wider field of view compared to similar roof prism models. This is accomplished by folding the light path, which shortens the length, spreading the objectives farther apart.
For 80mm binoculars, look for a tripod that lists a capacity of at least 12lb and 15lb or more is better. Another thing to check is the actual weight of the tripod, light tripods will struggle when loaded with a binocular of equal weight or more. Generally because portability is rarely an issue when it comes to tripods for astronomical binoculars, bigger is better. Quick release plates are a convenient feature, to look for, but check to see if they fit very tightly, if they fit loosely in the tripod head, you will get some unwanted sag.

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.
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.

All three of these binos have superb optical quality, and all three earned perfect scores in our clarity in brightness testing. If we really split hairs, we would say that the Swarovski bins are just slightly brighter than the other two, and possibly just a tad clearer as well. However, we're talking about differences of maybe a percentage point or less, the kind of differences you can notice in our very controlled, side-by-side tests, no the kind of difference you'll notice when you throw your bins up to your eyes because you think you might have spotted a Kirtland's warbler. Bottom line, if you're willing to spend $2500+ on a pair of binos, you're going to get top-notch optics regardless of the brand you choose.
Binocular stargazing is an immensely pleasurable and fascinating activity. And Orion Telescopes & Binoculars has been the leading name in astronomy binoculars for three decades. Browse this section for Orion's all-star lineup of big-aperture astronomy binoculars. Any one of them can reveal countless treasures of the night sky. Two-eyed touring with astronomy binoculars is not only comfortable, but provides a more 3D-like depth of field than you get with a telescope, and can be done spur of the moment.
Features: It is super powerful and portable to be taken. Suitable for both indoor  and outdoor using. Durable and protective for long time using. FMC glass lenses deliver the ultimate brightness and resolution. Ergonomic design for comfortable handling. It can apply in  military, travel and more places. Streamlined shape,smooth central focus knob for simple operation.
The Fusion ranges out just a tad less than its competitors, but nevertheless, it’s still a full 1,760 yards – a complete one mile. Bushnell is straight-up with its specs as they disclose that its soft-target ranging is only 500 yards. While that might seem on the low side for a high-powered and expensive optic, we do appreciate the truth of its abilities. However, 500 yards is still pretty, doggone far!
Along with the larger objective lens comes more weight and the need for support - usually a tripod as noted above. You may simply go with what is most convenient to purchase for your first tripod, but wooden ones are typically preferred because they help to dampen vibrations which would otherwise be transmitted to the instrument. Is the type of tripod of tremendous importance? It certainly isn't at first, at least to our way of thinking.

I reviewed 10 pairs of compact binoculars from widely available brands before choosing the Pentax AD as our compact pick. The optics on all the compact binoculars I tested are good (even great) quality; all have retractable eyecups that sort of spin down to be flush with the lenses if you wear glasses; most are armored/rubberized, which means you can bump them around a bit, and (probably) even drop them, and they won’t be knocked out of alignment. Still, when all the compact models rode around in my back seat, I just kept reaching for the Pentax AD rather than the others.


The easiest way to tell if your binocular employs BAK4 or BK7 is to turn it around, hold it 6 to 8" away from you and look down the objective and observe the exit pupil. If you can see a squared-off side to the general roundness of the image, the binoculars have BK7 prisms. BAK4 prisms show a truer round exit pupil, which translates to better light transmission and edge-to-edge sharpness.
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.
I took my initial 17 models to a few of my favorite local Southern California beaches, mountains, and deserts for a couple weeks to get a feel for their handling characteristics and durability, and to get a rough feel for their images’ quality. But I couldn’t get an accurate handle on what actually looked better in such a familiar setting. My brain and its stored knowledge of overfamiliar birds take over, and binoculars are a lot harder to evaluate. That’s because with familiar objects, you know what you’re going to see even before you lift the binoculars.

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.


There are two separate categories that your binocular use can fall into. The first is bird watching and hunting. These activities generally require higher quality binoculars. Recommendations from the Audobon Birding Society call for binoculars that have a magnification of around 6 to 8 times for optimal bird viewing. Any higher, and you will likely have trouble locating animals in the scope, as you’ll lose points of reference when putting the binoculars up to your eyes. The same should be taken into account for hunting – where getting an animal in your binoculars’ viewing range quickly is paramount.
Completely water and weather-proof, the system is purged with nitrogen to provide advanced anti-fogging in any viewing conditions. They are also shock-resistant thanks to the rubber-coated body and are one of the sturdiest range finding binoculars you can buy. For their great construction quality, durability, as well as superior image quality, the USCAMEL HD Binoculars set makes for a powerful optical tool that you will be able to use for years to come.
Obviously, early technology was nowhere near as accurate as modern day technology is (is likely that technology will continue to advance in the future), but you should still be able to get a fantastically accurate reading every single time you bring a pair of rangefinders up to your eyes. There are definitely some limitations to this technology, however.

Whilst both telescopes and astro binoculars are designed to give you a better view of the heavens at night, they both have their unique advantages and disadvantages and thus the best option will vary depending on your requirements at that moment. It is because of this, most people that a very interested in astronomy and practice it a lot, will posses at least one telescope AND a pair of bins.

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.
Its performance starts with the combination of moderate magnification and over-sized objectives. At 56mm the objectives draw in the copious amounts of light required for seeing in low-light, while the 8x power produces both a large exit pupil and wide angle of view. A wide exit pupil ensures that the light leaving the eyepieces completely cover the user's pupils when they are fully dilated in low-light to take full advantage of the wide viewing angle. The optics are fully multi-coated with Steiner's proprietary Diamond Night lens coatings which are engineered to maximize light transmission through the light path. All of these features, when coupled with the traditional Porro prism light path, present the user with an immersive observational experienced defined by bright and clear high-contrast views and accurate color rendition. Winged eyecups conform to the user's face and eye sockets to block stray peripheral light and improve the contrast of the view while limiting distractions.
Celestron shall use reasonable efforts to repair or replace any product covered by this warranty within thirty days of receipt. In the event repair or replacement shall require more than thirty days, Celestron shall notify the customer accordingly. Celestron reserves the right to replace any product which has been discontinued from its product line with a new product of comparable value and function.
There are multiple advantages of binoculars for birders over the other optical options. Binoculars are much more portable and lighter than spotting scopes and large telephoto camera lenses. Also, binoculars afford you a more natural “3D view” of the bird, since you are looking through two optical tubes and, therefore, viewing the birds with both eyes. Human vision is stereoscopic and sighting through two optical devices gives a birder the most natural view. Last, many spotting scopes and telephoto lenses require the use of a tripod or alternative support to ensure a steady view. This requires the birder to carry more gear into the field on expeditions.

Inside, things are more or less what you’d expect from a pair of binoculars like these. The prism is a Hi-index BAK4 prism, which has been proven to give you a sharp and bright image, with plenty of contrast. When you’re looking at an object, you can be sure that you see every little detail of it. The 22 mm lens design won’t cause any eye fatigue, or dizziness, and your view will be a combination of HD and wide angle. The 50 mm objective lens, on the other hand, is large enough to ensure that even in low light conditions, such as at dawn, or at dusk, or even at night, you will receive as much light as possible inside, making the image bright.

Yes, there is a discussion that Leica 10×42 Geovid HD-B is comparatively heavy when the rest of the rangefinder binoculars are taken into account. But that does not mean it is not worth it. The positives do outweigh the negatives of this rangefinder binocular. The model is similar to a laser rangefinder, but it is packed with many improved features which make take a look at it with surprise. With a magnification of 10×42, it has a 20 mm eye relief which places your eye at a comfortable distance. It helps in eliminating any chance of damage to the eyes.

Most compacts have objective lenses of between 25mm to 28mm. A light and compact binocular is much easier to carry around with you all day. Smaller binoculars may also actually let you see more because you're more likely to have them with you when you need them as you never know when a birding opportunity will arise. Compact binoculars are also great for when you're traveling, where you may not always want large high-value optics dangling from your neck and so it's nice to have binoculars that will tuck into a purse or jacket pocket.

Polycarbonate is a polymer resin that comes in many formulas with many different properties. In general, they all share similar characteristics, such as being easy to work with and inexpensive, corrosion proof, and strong. The principal advantage of using polycarbonate is that it is temperature resistant. If you’re using the optic in extreme conditions (especially cold) the chassis will remain at a neutral temperature—unlike metals, which can (and will) get cold, given enough time. More importantly, metal expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations, so over the years that constant movement can pull the optics out of columniation, which will prevent the optic from being able to achieve tack-sharp focus. Since polycarbonates won’t expand and contract, they are not subject to this possibility.
If, as you turn the focus, little rays start growing out of the star in all directions before the rest of the star comes down to focus, you're looking at spherical aberration. This problem too may be in your own eye, even if you're wearing your glasses. If it is, all binoculars with a given size exit pupil will show the same problem. To reduce it, choose higher-power binoculars; these yield a smaller exit pupil for a given aperture. Unfortunately, your eye's spherical aberration cannot be corrected with glasses.

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.
A new company that we just brought into stock is GPO USA. Offered in 8x and 10x they are packed with the performance features you want: ED glass, Phase-corrected BAK4 prisms, Nitrogen-filled, Magnesium chassis, all the bells and whistles. I got a chance to try out the 8.5x50 version and they were incredible during the day, at dusk, and at night. The 42mm and 50mm both fall into your price range.

Another way to express the viewing angle is the Apparent Angle of View (AAoV). This is roughly calculated by taking the AoV and multiplying it by the magnification. So if that 10x42 binocular from the earlier example has a 6.3-degree AoV, its apparent angle of view is 63 degrees. The AAoV is the angle of the magnified field when you look through binoculars; so the larger the apparent field of view is, the wider the field of view you can see even at high magnifications. Generally speaking, an AAoV of more than 60 degrees is considered wide-angle. Nikon engineers developed their own mathematical formula to determine AAoV (see below) more accurately and precisely, which lowers the angle on average, but most of the optics industry continues to use the first formula for consistency and simplicity.
We review the best birding binoculars available on the market and offer you our selection below. Do you have questions on how to choose bird watching binoculars for your specific application? While the typical optics consumer often favors high powered binoculars (16x is quite popular these days!), the more discerning birdwatcher has traditionally preferred relatively low power binocular models (7x, 8x and some 10x). High power certainly has its place in Bird Watching Binoculars, if you need to view small details at a greater than average distance, but lower power optics in your birdwatching binoculars have many advantages. One of these is exit pupil, which translates to binocular brightness. For example, when comparing two similar birding binoculars with the same objective diameter, such as an 8x42 and a 10x42, the lower power unit will have a larger exit pupil (42/8=5.25 vs 42/10=4.2), and therefore deliver more light to your eye. This is an advantage when you are out at dawn or twilight, or looking through binoculars at markings on a bird that is in the shadows of a tree. Lower power birdwatching binoculars typically provide a wider field of view, handy for scanning a large area for subjects of interest or more easily following moving objects, such as a bird in flight. Finally, you may have noticed that an 8 power binocular seems easier to hold steady than a 12 power binocular (we do have spotting scopes and binocular tripods and binocular tripod adapters that will work great with these binoculars!). The higher power, along with the narrower field of vision, makes small movements of your hands and body more noticeable, but larger objective and top quality lens coatings help to keep the view bright enough to be quite usable. Take a look below at our nature/birdwatching binoculars on sale and see what better fits your birdwatching needs. We guarantee you will not be disappointed! Don't forget to read why you should start birdwatching today, 10 Reasons To Start Birdwatching Today.
Next, face well-lit wall and hold the binoculars nearly at arm's length, with the eyepieces pointed at you. You'll see the exit pupils (disks of light) floating just behind the eyepieces, as was illustrated above. You might think that exit pupils would always be perfectly round, but this isn't so. The ones on cheaper binoculars often have a slightly "squared off" look, as if someone shaved off, or dimmed, two or four edges. This is a sign of manufacturer's corner-cutting that will slightly dim all the images you see.

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.
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.
When you’re new to stargazing, the first step seems obvious: buy a new telescope. But what will serve you just as well is a good pair of binoculars for astronomy. Binoculars bring the stars a bit closer to your eyes, with a larger field of view that makes the heavens a bit easier to understand. And even a good pair of binoculars will generally be cheaper than a new telescope. Browse the articles below for some tips on choosing the best binoculars for astronomy. You’ll also find articles that cover binocular basics, introducing you to the terms that you’ll need to know when you buy.
Recommendation: while few people will buy binoculars solely on the strength of a warranty, and hopefully you won’t need to avail of it, a manufacturer’s willingness to stand over their product is obviously a major plus. Focus on features and the overall quality of the binocular first — but do consider the warranty in the “mix” before making your final selection.
The area of space that you can see through binoculars is smaller than expected when compared with what can be seen with the naked eye. For this reason, it is better to find the stars (or constellations) that you want to view with your naked eye first. Keeping your gaze fixed on the same spot, swiftly bring the binoculars up to the level of your eyes and peer through them. Another way is to find a bright star and, using that star as a reference point, gradually move your binoculars’ field of vision in the direction of the galaxy or star cluster that you wish to view.
At Optics4Birding, we’re serious about this hobby, and we’re committed to providing our customers with the best equipment at competitive prices. We’ve built our reputation on our outstanding customer service, and we stand behind every product we sell with a no-hassle return policy and easy online ordering options. We are happy to offer a rock-solid Price Guarantee to our customers, too: We will meet or beat any advertised price from an authorized dealer on the same item. And, most orders ship free!
The Fusion ranges out just a tad less than its competitors, but nevertheless, it’s still a full 1,760 yards – a complete one mile. Bushnell is straight-up with its specs as they disclose that its soft-target ranging is only 500 yards. While that might seem on the low side for a high-powered and expensive optic, we do appreciate the truth of its abilities. However, 500 yards is still pretty, doggone far!
Steadier - As long as they are well balanced a larger heavier pair of optics will resist moving better, so are often easier to hold steady, which can be a consideration if you are using a high magnifications. They are also far easier to use and more comfortable to hold than tiny compact binoculars, especially true if you are using thick gloves in winter.
It’s a whole other galaxy like our own, shining across the vastness of intergalactic space. Light from the Andromeda Galaxy has traveled so far that it’s taken more than 2 million years to reach us. Two smaller companions visible through binoculars on a dark, transparent night are the Andromeda Galaxy’s version of our Milky Way’s Magellanic Clouds. These small, orbiting, irregularly-shaped galaxies that will eventually be torn apart by their parent galaxy’s gravity.
All three of these binos have superb optical quality, and all three earned perfect scores in our clarity in brightness testing. If we really split hairs, we would say that the Swarovski bins are just slightly brighter than the other two, and possibly just a tad clearer as well. However, we're talking about differences of maybe a percentage point or less, the kind of differences you can notice in our very controlled, side-by-side tests, no the kind of difference you'll notice when you throw your bins up to your eyes because you think you might have spotted a Kirtland's warbler. Bottom line, if you're willing to spend $2500+ on a pair of binos, you're going to get top-notch optics regardless of the brand you choose.
Another thing you have to keep in check is the lens coating. A lens coating is films applied to the lens to reduce reflections and glares which might affect your vision of the target. It also enhances light transmission and makes the colors look more vibrant. It might look great to put a blue-tinted coating in the lens, but the idea of applying a coating is to make the image look better. So keep in mind that coating is to make things better and not just to make the device look better.

Sticker shock is common when looking for your first pair of bins. If you're timid about spending multiple hundreds of dollars on a new hobby, the Celestron Nature DX 8x42 is a perfect choice. The image quality of these binoculars, which list for just $140 and often sell for less, is by far the best we've seen in this price range. In fact, it rivals models that cost more than twice as much in that regard. The supple focus knobs and easy eyecup adjustments continue the beginner-friendly trend. We also enjoyed that the 6.5ft focus range let us get a good look at any nearby butterflies or other interesting insects, a big plus for days when the birds just aren't singing.

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?
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.
But, in practice, the radiant is an area at least 10 degrees across. You will spot more meteors with a wider field of view. [Note: You'll probably see the most with your unaided eye.] Higher power does you little good; the greater magnification of those fireballs you do catch will only dazzle your eyes, making it more difficult to see smaller ones immediately afterward.
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