The low-cost Pentax AD 8 x 25 WP are ideal for day hikes or airplane travel, where you want good-quality optics in a small package. Everything worked—the eyecups felt solid and comfortable, the hinges weren’t too loose, and focusing was quick and surprisingly accurate at any distance. Of course, this is not the pair for serious birding, stargazing, or anything requiring exceptional detail. But if you want inexpensive, very compact binoculars, this is the pair for you.
I had use of a pair of Mavens customized to these specs while bobbing off a Norwegian glacier in an open boat, trying to pluck a white-tailed eagle out of the storm-laden sky as it wheeled and dipped off a rock face that was the color of slate gray, with cloud cover roughly approximate. It ducked in and out of the shadowed, crenellated cliffs and I tried not to barf. Eventually, I locked onto this magnificent predator with a sharpness that was uncannily vivid. I can still see its fish-hooked, kitchen-yellow beak and almost hear the snap of its wing beat. At a scant 16.5-ounces, the B.3s are some of the lightest premium binoculars on the market, yet at a mid-range price. Baring catastrophe, we’ll be lifelong pals.
As we touched on in the previous section, the greater the magnification capabilities, the lesser the field of view. Since telescopes are generally more high-powered than binoculars, they are notorious for having a very limited field of view. If you know exactly where the celestial objects you plan on viewing will be, this may be less of an issue, but if you need to scan the sky to find planets and stars, this can be very problematic. Seeing more of the night sky at once also gives you a better appreciation of how objects relate to one another in size and distance.
Similarly to the USCAMEL mentioned above, the Hooway are also full of nitrogen, meaning they won’t fog up in subpar conditions. This could be a dealbreaker for many, and it’s good to see that Hooway thought of it. You get a wide field of view, as mentioned above, thanks to the porro prism system. The prism is BAK4, and the optics are fully coated. All of this combined gives you a crisp and bright image you’ll enjoy. And, you also get an illuminated compass that will prove to be useful, as well as an internal rangefinder to help you determine distance and the size of an object.
The down side to long eye relief is that it usually reduces the field of view. Some people wonder if you need to wear glasses at all using binoculars, well If you are near-sighted or far-sighted, you can use your binoculars without wearing glasses and the binoculars focus will compensate, but if you have astigmatism, you will need to use your glasses.
Most rangefinders work based on the laser beam technology basis. Highly energized laser beam will be emitted from the binocular to a targeted object and once the emitted laser beam is reflected back to the binocular, the distance of the object can be calculated by measuring the time of transmission. Don’t worry, I am not going to bore you with tons of formula and scientific theory here. However, if by any chance you would like to learn more about this technology and how it works to calculate distance, check out this article in Wikipedia.
With star factories like the Orion Nebula, we aren’t really seeing the young stars themselves. They are buried deep within the nebula, bathing the gas cloud with ultraviolet radiation and making it glow. In a few tens of thousands of years, stellar winds from these young, energetic stars will blow away their gaseous cocoons to reveal a newly minted star cluster.
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.
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 idea of purchasing a rangefinder binocular is to observe things which are far. So it is ideal to have the maximum range for the rangefinder binocular you purchase. With the increase in magnification, you get an increase in range. Choose the kind of magnification which would suit you the most. If the range you want from your rangefinder binocular is less, then you do not have to go for one with higher magnification. Also, in cases such as bird watching, people need rangefinder binoculars which can have great minimum range. They would be using the binocular for closely watching birds in the nearby tree branches. So the minimum Focus distance has to be less than the distance between the person and the tree. So, keep both these aspects in mind.
This light and bright binocular is built around extra-low-dispersion (ED) glass. We liked the image, especially the clear periphery, and we loved the aggressive open-hinge design that enables one-hand operation. Other nice touches are the oversize focus wheel, the center-hinge locking diopter control, and the lovely nylon carry case. But the focus wheel is spongy, and the eyecups felt flimsy and imprecise. Although the optics are solid, the Vanguard finished in the middle of the field in resolution and low-light performance.
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.
Price. As discussed above, the price of any of these will range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. However, it’s also important to make fair valuations between the various brands in the market so you actually get what you pay for. Also, always ask yourself the degree of accuracy and maximum ranging distance you need as these aspects will highly impact the price of the product.
This light and bright binocular is built around extra-low-dispersion (ED) glass. We liked the image, especially the clear periphery, and we loved the aggressive open-hinge design that enables one-hand operation. Other nice touches are the oversize focus wheel, the center-hinge locking diopter control, and the lovely nylon carry case. But the focus wheel is spongy, and the eyecups felt flimsy and imprecise. Although the optics are solid, the Vanguard finished in the middle of the field in resolution and low-light performance.
Though a bit on the portly side at 23.6 ounces, there’s a simplicity of design and ease of use that’s hugely gratifying in the field. This may sound like small potatoes, but the tethered lens covers and rain guard are far and away the best I’ve ever come across. Most require substantial wrestling, while these slide right on and off. For what it’s worth, I also didn’t have a minor cardiac event while adjusting the neck strap. With a field of view upwards of 340 feet at 1,000 yards, and amped-up magnification for long-range birding, the Ranger EDs feel like a rare triumph of design over wallet slenderness.
Humans have had an interest in astronomy since ancient times. Prominent Greek writers as far back as the 7th century B.C.E. mention identifiable stars and constellations in their work. Homer mentions the constellations Orion and Ursa Major in the Iliad and the Odyssey, along with the star cluster Hyades and Sirus, the dog star. Hesiod writes of the star Arcturus in his poetic calendar Works and Days.

Most full sized optics have objective lenses of between around 42mm. Whist larger and heavier binoculars may be more difficult to carry about, it may be irrelevant if you do most of your bird watching from a fixed location like a hide or in your back garden. Or for some people the benefits of a larger, heavier binocular outweigh the hassle of carrying them about:
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.
Best for City Birding: As bad as it sounds, rising at 5:00 a.m. has its rewards. Even on a murky spring day, the sky can have a surreal spark. Our resident downy woodpecker, an outlier camped among cardinals and chickadees, begins to lope and scamper in the breeze, tracing a parabolic line from trunk to trunk. We also have some nuthatches, goldfinches, titmice, and very occasionally a yellow-bellied sapsucker. We’re up high, third floor, facing east and west, a real hierarchy of light. Sometimes the morning sun is so enormous it’s as if a great fire is swallowing Back Bay, precisely the kind of place that requires a huge field of view, and the Diamondback has the largest of its class: 420 feet at 1,000 yards.

With the built-in ID (Incline/Decline) Technology, you’ll have angled compensated distances to accurately adjust your riflescope for holdovers. You’ll be able to clearly see your readings with the LED display that has a 4-step brightness intensity to adjust for any time of the day. Pleasantly, Nikon doesn’t disappoint, and we say “Welcome to the playing field, Nikon.” We’re super stoked to see the LaserForce make its presence known as they’ve only hit the 2017 market. We’re proud to put both thumbs up to their optic – job well done!
Swarovski’s EL 10×42 is a fantastic  pair of rangefinder binoculars. The specifications only confirm that, but you’re more than likely more interested in how they stack up, rather than numbers. They look very good, with a dark green armor that’s actually very pleasant to hold with it’s texture and warmth. The cutouts on the back make them even more comfortable to hold. It has a Hawk badge embedded, which gives it a very classy look, and Swarovski claim that it’s also hypoallergenic. The bridge area has the same armoring, and all together, this is a very elegant pair of binoculars with rangefinders. The body has an open-bridge design, and it’s a bit longer than the Zeiss Victory we’ll discuss a bit later on. The weight is around 840 grams without the strap or caps, which is a pretty respectable weight for a premium pair of binoculars. The body makes use of magnesium alloys, and it is sealed against water up to 4 meters.
Beginning stargazers often overlook binoculars for astronomy, but experienced observers keep them close at hand. Compared to a telescope, binoculars for astronomy actually have certain advantages. Granted, they're smaller and give lower magnification. But they're lighter, much easier to take outside, use, and put away, and less expensive. They also give a much wider view than a telescope does, making celestial objects easier to find. They let you use both eyes, providing surer, more natural views. Moreover, in binoculars for astronomy everything is right-side up and presented correctly, not upside down and/or mirror-reversed.
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