Combined Unit: Having binoculars and a rangefinder in one tool is very convenient, but it can be considered just as much of a drawback should something go wrong. Should the device end up lost, damaged or stolen, it would be equivalent to having two devices compromised at the same time. It would be best to carry at least one backup device to stay on the safe side.

Field of View is expressed as feet at a thousand yards. This is fine if you are in the artillery, but astronomers use degrees to define the field of view. If you see on your binoculars a field of view 316 feet at a thousand yards, it means the field of view is 316 feet from edge to edge in your binoculars. To convert this to astronomical field of view or degrees divide by 53. In this case 316 divided by 53 equals 5.96 or 6.0 degrees field of view.

Just remember the best pair of binoculars are the ones you use. If they are comfortable and work for what you want them too, then they are the right pair of binoculars. If you are thinking about upgrading your current pair, please consider donating your old pair. The Birders' Exchange supports bird watching programs and research in South America. You can always give your old pair to them. If you are still on the lookout for the best contender, consider reading over our Buying Advice.
Eye relief is the optimal distance from the eyepiece to your eye, or the focal point where the light passes through the ocular lens (eyepiece). Manufacturers install eyecups on the eyepieces to place the user’s eyes at the proper distance from the eyepieces to make using them easy. If you wear glasses, the lenses will position the eyepieces past the eye relief distance, affecting the image quality and your ability to achieve sharp focus. Many binoculars offer dioptric adjustments on one of the eyepieces so that most users can fine-tune the focusing system to their eye prescriptions to use the binocular without their glasses. If your prescription is difficult, or you’re sharing the binocular with other users, the eyecups are often adjustable. Basic eyecups simply fold back to allow you to place your eyeglass lenses closer to the ocular lens. Another type is adjustable eyecups that twist in and out to set the proper distance for the individual user precisely.
There can be a huge range in price between apparently similar pairs of binoculars. For example, B&H sells 10x42 binoculars ranging in price from less than $30 to nearly $3,000. The main reasons for such a large price range are the quality of the optics, the types of coatings applied to the lenses, and other features that might be added, such as the housing material. Additionally, the prism type can be (and often is) a factor in determining price. Because of the physics involved in designing and manufacturing the compact roof prism form factor, you can have a pair of roof and Porro binoculars that seem identical as far as quality and performance, but the roof prism version will often be more expensive. The good news is that if the form factor isn’t an issue, many people find that they can upgrade the quality of their binocular by choosing a Porro-prism without reëvaluating their budget.
Since you're not looking at really far distance, I don't think you need anything more than 6x or 7x...this lower power will bring the subject in close while maintaining a wide field of view. If you need  more power, I wouldn't go any higher than 8x. Also, depending on the objective lens diameter you go with, keeping the power to the 6-7x range you'll also benefit from a wide exit pupil and (generally) longer eye relief.
Now, as far as rangefinders are concerned, the most popular size is 7×50. There are sometimes 10×42, or in Zeiss’ Victory, 10×56. These are all numbers that you could go for. However, less than 7 times magnification won’t do the job. On the other hand, more than 10x, and you won’t be able to get as much light to your eyes, and the image will be darker. As far as the objective lens size goes, if you can’t mount the binoculars on a tripod, you will need something with an objective lens not larger than Zeiss’ 56mm, as it will be heavy and difficult to handle.
Binoculars with rangefinders are undoubtedly one of the most popular pieces of optical equipment today. You can spot more and more of them out in the woods, as well as on the shooting range. Rangefinder binoculars are, actually, so popular, that some industry leaders predict that traditional binoculars, the ones that don’t have any distance information built-in, won’t exist in 15 to 20 years. Why, you may ask? Because binoculars with rangefinders are relatively common and the technology pretty ubiquitous. Now, to be honest, many of us won’t really think that we need binoculars with rangefinders for hunting, or for the shooting range but, the truth is, having one will prove to be useful sooner or later. Let’s take a better look at them.
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.
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.
Select a distant object. Turn the center focus wheel counterclockwise until the eyepieces are all the way out. This is the extreme “plus” position. Now close your right eye or cover the right objective with your hand and slowly focus inward for the left eye until the image is sharp. Stop! Do not focus back and forth. If you do, you will have to start over. Turn the right diopter eyepiece out to the extreme plus position and now close the left eye or cover the left objective with your hand. Now slowly focus inward for the right eye until the image is sharp. Stop! Focusing errors will result if you do, and you will have to start over.
While I'm not familiar with a 60x60 binocular, I can extrapolate some issues you would have with it. First, your exit pupil will be just 1mm, which is prohibitively small - especially if you're observing in challening light like dawn or dusk, or trying to see into heavy brush. For reference, an average person's pupil is dilated to about 2-4mm in bright light, and 4-8mm in the dark. Additionally, your field of view will be quite narrow, so finding and tracking birds and wildlife will be tricky. Finally you will need a rock-solid support system as there is virtually no way to hold something of that magnification and size steady enough to enjoy the view.
The PowerView series offers the largest line of The PowerView series offers the largest line of Bushnell-quality affordable binoculars. These Powerview 10 x 42 Roof Prism Binoculars feature multi-coated optics for superior light transmission and high-magnification full-size viewing ideal for long-range observation. The nonslip rubber armor absorbs shock while providing a firm grip.  More + Product Details Close
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.
Quality construction also lends to a longer life for well cared for products. We judged each pair based on any alignment issue we could visually see, how smooth the hinges for adjusting the interpupillary distance were, we noted if anything was loose or coming apart, and we also took note of our biggest pet peeve: how well the lens caps fit. There is nothing like losing a lens cap to frustrate you on a trip.
Which Monarch are you looking at? There are three models in the series: 7, 5, & 3. The three is the basic model and performs great, it's not really on-par with the Zeiss...for that you'd need to go with the 7/5 as they get upgrades over the 3 with extra low-dispersion glass, and phase-corrected dielectric coated prisms so there won't be any color fringing and the resolutiona and contrast will be greatly improved. The main difference between the 7 & 5 is that the 7 has a wide field of view to present you with a really immersive observational experience.
Quality construction also lends to a longer life for well cared for products. We judged each pair based on any alignment issue we could visually see, how smooth the hinges for adjusting the interpupillary distance were, we noted if anything was loose or coming apart, and we also took note of our biggest pet peeve: how well the lens caps fit. There is nothing like losing a lens cap to frustrate you on a trip.
In general astronomical binoculars should not really be thought of as a substitute for a telescope, rather you should think of them as something to be used along with your scope, especially when you want to get a wider field of view and see more of the sky at once. But to give you an idea of what kind of things you can see, the observations below were made whilst using the great value Celestron SkyMaster 25x70 Binoculars on a night with an almost full moon and a fair amount of light pollution:
NOTE: 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 outside the U.S.A. and Canada is valid only to customers who purchased from a Celestron’s International Distributor or Authorized Celestron Dealer in the specific country. Please contact them for any warranty service.
Constructed to be both shock-proof and waterproof to military standards, the Armasight Binoculars are an excellent buy when it comes to rangefinder binoculars. Discover clear and crisp images thanks to the powerful 8X magnification and 30mm lens diameter, all offered in a very compact case. The universal rangefinder provides very accurate distance measurements while the binoculars offer excellent imagery in all lighting conditions.
One aspect of binoculars often overlooked by birders is minimum focusing distance (or close focus). The binocular brings the distant bird visually closer to the birder for observation and analysis, but the Audubon Society’s Eric Lind is quick to point out that birding can easily involve looking closely at birds and insects that are relatively close to the observer. Having a close minimum focusing distance might give you an amazing close-up view of that feeding hummingbird or majestic butterfly. Binoculars with higher magnification will, in general, have longer minimum focus distances.
Brian Sullivan, Project Leader from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird program, shares his thoughts: “7x42 binoculars are ideal for 'landbirding;' for example, watching spring warblers in dense tangles or trees where magnification is less a factor, but quickly finding birds and staying on them is key. If you have steady hands, or do the kind of birding that requires long-distance viewing (e.g., hawk watching, sea watching), then 10x might be best for you. 8x is a nice compromise! Many binocular manufacturers have settled on 8x as the standard for general birding. This gives you a good field of view with sufficient magnification power for all birding use cases, and, in general, the 8x binoculars are easy to hold steady.”
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).
Barska's Battallion is a set of rangefinding binoculars that are sturdily made, offer fantastic optics, and can be bought at a great price. The rugged magnesium and aluminum frame is covered with a rubber coating for advanced shock resistance and optics protection. Offering an internal rangefinder with built-in compass, the binoculars provide great 8X magnification with a 30mm lens diameter.
Voted as the best binocular of 2016 by Best Binoculars Reviews, it is a device which has lived up to its potential. The EL series from Swarovski has been a mainstay for many years with the brand improving up on the models with the latest technologies. The changes with each version have been small, but the impact it has made on the ease of use and comfort is enormous. Starting with the design, the cutaway portion delivers a great place to hold the binocular securely. They have used magnesium alloy to manufacture the chassis, which is far more expensive than the aluminum or polycarbonate plastic frames. But the robustness the magnesium alloy brings to the table is incomparable.
So, you found the Andromeda galaxy (M31) with your 2-lb.,10x60 binoculars. Now you want to actually see it without all that zigzagging round, turning your stars into lightning bolts. And you also want to show it to your partner. Wouldn't it be nice to just park your binoculars in position on the sky? To do that, you need to be sure your binoculars have a screw mount point for a support system.
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