After you've had a chance to enjoy your beginning astronomy binoculars and decided you'd like to see even deeper into the nighttime heavens surrounding our globe, it's time to think about how your second binocular can best serve your interests. The next best binoculars for astronomy will be ones which will allow you to see objects further away from our planet.
Saturn. Although a small telescope is needed to see Saturn’s rings, you can use your binoculars to see Saturn’s beautiful golden color. Experienced observers sometimes glimpse Saturn’s largest moon Titan with binoculars. Also, good-quality high-powered binoculars – mounted on a tripod – will show you that Saturn is not round. The rings give it an elliptical shape.
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.
This complete kit includes everything you need to become familiar with night sky wonders. Even the most inexperienced "newbie" stargazers will soon be able to point out constellations, distinguish planets from stars and see craters on the Moon with the help of the 10x50 Binocular Stargazing Kit. Binoculars provide a great hands-on introduction to astronomy, and the 10x50 pair in this value-packed kit will wow the whole family with 10x power views of the Moon's cratered surface, as well as celestial showpieces like the Andromeda Galaxy, glittering star clusters, and so much more. Their convenient portability make binoculars ideal instruments for exploring night sky curiosities while on road trips, family campouts, and even during casual walks on clear evenings. Of course, the 10x50 binoculars can also be used during daylight hours for high-power terrestrial views of birds, wildlife and scenery. They're great for getting closer views of sporting events from bleacher seats too! The Orion 10x50 Binocular Stargazing Kit is filled with other useful astronomy goodies too. The included Orion Star Target Planisphere is an easy-to-use star chart wheel you can use year-round to see what stars and constellations will be visible. The Star Target will show you where stars and such can be found in the night sky from hour-to-hour, so you can easily plan when to go outside to observe your favorite constellations. You can read the StarTarget planisphere at night without disrupting dark-adapted vision with the included RedBeam Mini LED flashlight, which emits red light. Unlike standard white light flashlights, the red light from the RedBeam Mini LED won't degrade your ability to detect details in the dark. A perfect gift for beginning astronomers, the complete Orion 10x50 Binocular Stargazing Kit can provide night after night of family fun under the stars.
I have had several brand of laser rangefinders and I have the original Burris laser rangefinder / binocular combo which I have used for years, but recently decided to upgrade. I checked many brands out at retail stored like Cabelas and other sporting good stores including some that retail $3K or more. However for the money I think the Nikon can't be beat. It has a crisp clarity that the very expensive models have as far as using for binoculars but where it really shines is the laser rangefinder functionality. Other brands including some very expensive models seem to take many seconds to return a range reading. I'm sure it is not long but when you are sitting there trying to hold steady on a target 1500 yards plus away it seems like an eternity. The Nikon however is instantaneous on returning readings on anything under 1000 yards and maybe 1 sec on anything up to 1700 yards plus. Very impressed!
With binoculars the old adage “you get what you pay for” still hold true to a significant degree. Precision optical instruments demand exacting standards in their production… and still comes at a price. Binoculars you pick up on offer at your local supermarket for €50 may be OK for occasionally watching ships sail by on a sunny day at the beach, but they will fall far short of ideal when trying to pick out subtle plumage detail on a small brown bird in a shady hedgerow, or spot the tell-tale signs of distant whales blowing offshore.
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.
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.
In the mid 19th century, an Italian named Porro designed a telescope with two prisms set at right angles to each other between the objective lens and the eyepiece. This arrangement not only erected and reversed the image, but also folded the light path, resulting in a shorter, more manageable instrument. In 1894, the Zeiss Optical Works created the first "Hunting Glasses," incorporating the Porro prism design, and modern prismatic binoculars were born.
That being said, I feel like I can give you some places to start looking. If you want to see that level of detail, and you're looking at roof prisms, make sure the prisms are phase corrected. This will improve contrast, clarity, and resolution. Also, consider non-standard magnification like 8.5x that will boost the image size without drastically limiting the field of view or exit pupil like a 10x might.
Built-in ARC Bow Mode delivers the "shoots-like" horizontal distance, while ARC Rifle Mode provides precise bullet-drop and holdover information. Our new Matrix Display Technology, RainGuard® HD anti-fog coating and a fully waterproof design ensure reliability and clarity in all conditions. It's the best of all worlds Bushnell, in your hands and at your command.
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.
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.
The Razor HD is argon-filled and sealed with O-rings to ensure reliable and durable protection against dust, debris, fog and water. It is rubber armored for non-slip and durable protection, and is equipped with a large focusing knob that is easy to use even while wearing gloves. Naturally contoured to perfectly fit your hands, promoting comfort and eliminating user-fatigue Vortex has once again created a winning combination of features.
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?
The second thing you'll want to do is to focus on a bright star. Ideal astronomy binoculars will show it as a well-defined pinpoint of light with two or three concentric rings of light. In a binocular of average quality, it will not be sharply defined. To say it differently, it will be a bit fuzzy. A binocular of poor quality will show it as a fuzzy-edged pyramid or other odd shape. There are not many binoculars which achieve the ideal!
Zeiss is in no way a new player in the field of optics. They’re synonymous with extremely high quality, if you can afford them, and with the Victory 10×56, they live up to their name. Let’s kick things off with the build quality. Even if you’re a person who doesn’t really take a lot of care about their things, you’ll be good to go with these. They’re built to be sturdy and maintain their performance even if you do drop them once or twice. This build quality also extends to waterproofing, which is always appreciated. They’re also nitrogen filled, which, as mentioned a few times above, won’t let your lenses fog up on the inside. Cleaning the lenses is a breeze, which is in most part thanks to a coating that Zeiss put on their lenses.
Inside the lustrous black chassis of the Noctivid is a ton of sophisticated optical technology, including high-transmission Schott glass and plasma-coated lenses. The fluid precision of the mechanical parts of the Leica—the positive, locking eyecups; the smooth and exacting focus wheel; and the locking center-dial diopter control—made this the favorite of the test team.
Both of our Best Buy winners, the Vortex Diamondback 8x28 and the Celestra Nature DX 8x42 earned a 7 out of 10 for their clarity performance. While they do sacrifice a bit of the sharpness or the top models and do get some blurring around the edges, they were still able to produce clear images that allowed us to pick out the subtle features of small birds.
Uranus and Neptune. Some planets are squarely binocular and telescope targets. If you’re armed with a finder chart, two of them, Uranus and Neptune, are easy to spot in binoculars. Uranus might even look greenish, thanks to methane in the planet’s atmosphere. Once a year, Uranus is barely bright enough to glimpse with the unaided eye . . . use binoculars to find it first. Distant Neptune will always look like a star, even though it has an atmosphere practically identical to Uranus.
Often, but not always, the optic will employ some type of seal—an O-ring or gasket—to keep moisture, such as from general humidity or a light mist, from getting into the optical tubes. You can take a weather-resistant binocular out in moist conditions without causing damage. The air inside the optical tube will probably be just ambient air from the factory where they were assembled, and due to air conditioning and other factors, will usually have an extremely low moisture content. What this means is that under most normal conditions, a binocular right out of the box shouldn’t have fogging issues, even if it is O-ring or gasket sealed.
Incidentally, one odd problem with the Nikon Monarch 5 (our pick in our previous binoculars guide) was a loud, rubber-on-rubber squeaking sound the focusing wheel often made when coming into contact with the rubber housing. I would have thought this was a random, fixable issue, but judging from online reviews, others complained about this too. The problem seems limited to individual pairs, so send yours back if they start doing this.
Basically, a rangefinder binocular is a combined device of both a binocular and a rangefinder. The binocular will provide clear, distant vision while the rangefinder will calculate and show you the approximate distance of a targeted object from the point you are viewing. Due to the fact that both of these devices complement each other to provide a better hunting experience, rangefinder binoculars have been getting serious attention among the hunting tribes.
Now, it’s no secret that there are plenty of choices. From cheap, sub-par quality pairs of binoculars with rangefinders, to high-end, premium options from reputable manufacturers which have supreme build quality and optics, the market is fairly saturated. This means that there is something for everyone. Whether you’re after an entry-level option that’s great for only a few things that you really need, or a premium binocular from the likes of Carl Zeiss and Swarovski that have everything you need, and more, as well as some added benefits in terms of quality and optics, you can get something that’s right for you.
Oculus packs a number of premium features in this compact, hand-filling 42mm binocular, including a tripod adapter, thumb detents on the underside of the barrels, a very precise clicking diopter control, and a cushioned nylon case. The optics, delivered through “ultra high-definition” glass inside the magnesium-alloy chassis, are solid, finishing in the middle of our full-size field. Our quibble is with the controls. The closed center hinge is so stiff it takes some serious work to spread the barrels, and the focus wheel is spongy.
Binoculars are much easier to learn to use than a telescope. It's a little like comparing a point-and-shoot camera to the type used by professional photographers. You intuitively "point" the binoculars at what you wish to see and look through them. This intuitive "pointing" makes it significantly easier to find objects and subsequently move from one celestial object to the next. It's easier, using binoculars, to learn the locations of planets, constellations, galaxys, and clusters and observe their orderly movements — thus establishing the foundation for greater understanding.
With binoculars at this level they are offering as much as top-quality telescopes and will bring galaxies and deep-sky objects into view. They have BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics as well as individual eyepiece focus to ensure optimal focus position. The body of these Celestron binoculars is water-resistant and they come in a padded carrying case for travel and safe storage.
Moving on with our list, we have the USCAMEL 10×50 binoculars. Compared to the Bushnell above, you will find that these are significantly cheaper however, you shouldn’t let the price deter you. They’re a great pair of binoculars, and they’ve proven to work wonders in quite a few situations. Their price only indicates that they’re actually a good choice if they’re your first pair, or if you need a new pair but can’t really afford a high-end one. You may not be able to compare them to high-end pairs with their performance, but as mentioned, the price is also not really comparable. They’re often found in reviews because they do have quite a bit to offer.
Any binocular over 12x that is used for astronomy really should be mounted in order to obtain a steady view. With the proper mount, there is no limit to magnification, objective size, and binocular weight. The key phrase is “proper mount”. Be aware that some of these binoculars will require a mount that costs as much or more than the binocular. Some models, such as the BT-100-45, come complete with mount. The BT Series, with their comfortable 45° viewing and inter-changeable eyepieces, are capable of very high magnification (up to 90x), and are a viable alternative to a single-eyepiece telescope. Click here for more info.
Hunting binoculars make it easy to spot prey at long distances so you can clearly detect and perfect your shot. We feature binoculars with 12x and higher magnifications for long-range viewing and hunting purposes, as well as options with scratch-resistant coatings, secure lenses and comfortable eyecups for long periods of use. Choose between our different durable and reliable roof prism binoculars and porro prism binoculars to find the best match for your specific hunting needs. Just remember that while you're on the hunt, be sure you're carrying the best binoculars that Academy can offer.
Orion offers telescopes for every level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert. From our entry level beginner telescopes for amateur astronomers to our Dobsonian telescopes to our most advanced Cassegrain telescopes and accessories, you can find the best telescope for you. Because we sell direct, we can offer you tremendous value at a great price. Not sure how to choose a telescope? Orion's Telescope Buyer's Guide is a great place to start.
If your main interest in astronomy is exploring the fine details on planets or showing structure in distant galaxies, you will probably also eventually want to get a telescope as binoculars just don't have enough magnification. However, binoculars have their advantages over telescopes for astronomy and a wide field of view is one of them. If are new to astronomy or if you thrive on large open star clusters and big, extended nebulae, binoculars can actually work better for you than a telescope. It is often said that binoculars are the best "first telescopes" you can buy and even an experienced astronomer usually keeps one with them at all times.
It uses high quality ED lens which are of HD (High Definition) quality and phase corrected BAK-4 prisms. Not to mention, all air to glass surfaces are fully multi coated providing you the best image quality ever. For some reasons (maybe due to the way it’s manufactured) it produces brighter and sharper image compared to other binoculars that use the same materials.
Choosing the right binoculars with rangefinder function will depend upon each user’s circumstances. Some users value certain aspects more than others. The ability to view distant targets may be a top priority, so a unit with great optics may be most important. Other users need extremely accurate distances to targets and game, so the rangefinder aspect will be paramount.
Because the human pupil is about the same size as the binoculars' exit pupil, the emergent light at the eyepiece then fills the eye's pupil, meaning no loss of brightness in low light conditions due to using these binoculars (assuming perfect transmission). Thus the result is that you will perceive the image as being as bright as if you were to see it with the naked eyes.
It is 10 times harder to make a good roof prism binocular than a standard porro prism one. A roof prism binocular can equal, but never exceed an excellent quality porro prism binocular. A roof prism binocular is also much more expensive than a porro prism binocular due to the special prism and phase shift coatings used for this design. Of course, it does not mean a well made roof prism binocular is not good for astronomy. It is just more expensive due to the high standards required to make one.
More rugged and robust: roof prisms are less susceptible to mis-alignment through shock damage from impact with hard objects or surfaces. They are also easier to waterproof — and are typically nitrogen or argon purged, making them impervious to dust and water, and preventing internal fogging in extreme conditions. When the going gets tough a good pair of roof prisms will typically keep performing long after a porro-prism binocular has given up.
Cometron 7×50 binoculars from Celestron is an ideal pair of binoculars for amateur or beginner users. With 50mm aperture, it gathers enough light to provide a bright and sharp image of stars, comets, and craters of the moon. Cometron also provides 6.8-degree wide field of view that helps to locate objects in the sky without constantly moving the binoculars.
Our runner-up, the Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42s, have rugged, armored construction and were among the lightest binoculars we tested, at 23 ounces (the Athlons weigh two ounces more). Celestron has been making high-quality consumer telescopes since the 1960s, but also offers a huge line of binoculars (over 14 lines, and more than 30 different models).
Tripod Adapters As mentioned before, binoculars with magnifications of 10x and higher are hard to hold steady, especially if they have large objectives. Large binoculars sometimes have a built-in tripod mount that makes it easy to mount them on a tripod. Sometimes a tripod adapter is required. Typically, full-sized binoculars have a plug that unscrews from the front of center hinge. The adapter screws into its place and mounts on most quick-release plates or tripods. Some tripod mounts are simply a small platform on which to lay the binocular and hold it in place with an adjustable strap.
"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)."
Beginning stargazers often find that an ordinary pair of binoculars – available from any discount store – can give them the experience they’re looking for. After all, in astronomy, magnification and light-gathering power let you see more of what’s up there. Even a moderate form of power, like those provided by a pair of 7×50 binoculars, reveals 7 times as much information as the unaided eye can see.
Bought these items for a family member for hunting. First impressions are wow these things are great. They feel good in the hand a little heavy but expected that from a cheap pair of binoculars. Then started to use and found out they are great products. My brother and I used them over the weekend for hunting coyotes in western Utah. During the hunt the weather went from rain to snow to sun, and I can say that these had no issues at all. The lenses stayed clear and focusing was almost as good as my vortex binos that I paid 5x more for. carying case is a little hokey but nothing that a good bino holster cant fix. All in all I am glad that my brother was happy with his present and we were able to test them in 3 types of weather. I hope they stand up to the test of time. Worth the investment of 32.99.
Younger and smaller skywatchers need smaller binoculars to fit their hands and faces. These Big View binoculars by Learning Resources are perfect for the youngest stargazers and bird-watchers. Designed for kids age 3 to 12, these binoculars are safe and easy to use. The binoculars come in a durable, plastic frame with plastic lenses, so parents don't need to worry about the hazards of broken glass or other broken parts. Rubber eyepieces make these comfortable to use, and a breakaway lanyard ensures that kids won't get tangled or hurt. A plastic focus knob allows the user to manually focus the view. Compared to more-expensive binoculars for adults, these have a relatively low power of magnification (6x). However, for the price, these binoculars are an excellent choice for kids. [The Best Space Gifts for Kids 2017]