For high magnification binoculars and those with an effective objective lens diameter over 50mm, we recommend the use of a tripod to stabilize the binoculars for viewing, as they may cause unstable image and uncomfortable viewing due to shaking by hand movement. This is also a convenient method for steadying your field of vision for extended viewing.
The 8x42 SLC Binocular from Swarovski combines extra-low dispersion (HD) glass elements and range of proprietary optical coatings with a weather-resistant magnesium alloy housing to create a multi-purpose set of glasses that deliver impressive image quality and durability. This configuration of the SLC displays an immersive 61° apparent viewing angle; a long 18.5mm eye relief and multi-position twist-up eyecups enable a comfortable viewing distance for almost any observer.
Review additional features and warranties. Pay attention to field of view and close focus, two measures that affect how much you’ll see. See our report on field of view and close focus to understand how these factor into your choice. Also pay attention to durability, waterproofing, and warranty—many major optics companies now offer excellent warranties. Check our full review spreadsheet for these details.
The terms “angle of view” and “field of view” are complementary. Both terms describe the amount of scenery, measured horizontally, that is visible when looking through a binocular. Imagine standing in the middle of a giant pizza pie; binoculars with a 6.3-degree angle of view would show the viewer a 6.3-degree “slice” of the 360-degree pie, looking outward.
Scan along the Milky Way to see still more sights that hint at our home galaxy’s complexity. First, there’s the Milky Way glow itself; just a casual glance through binoculars will reveal that it is still more stars we can’t resolve with our eyes . . . hundreds of thousands of them. Periodically, while scanning, you might sweep past what appears to be blob-like, black voids in the stellar sheen. These are dark, non-glowing pockets of gas and dust that we see silhouetted against the stellar backdrop. This is the stuff of future star and solar systems, just waiting around to coalesce into new suns.
I work part time as an IT security consultant. Luckily I can work from anywhere so I go back and forth between Colorado and Florida. I get my fix of skiing, hiking and camping in Colorado in the Dillion area, and when I am in Florida you can usually find me on the water either paddleboarding or kayaking. My recent passion is scuba diving, I got certified a few years ago and "get wet" as frequently as I can.
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For outdoor activities like bird-watching, hunting or even viewing a sports game from a high-up stadium seat, these binoculars provide an excellent view. Top Ten Reviews lauds these binoculars for their durability and ease of use. "Add this to its unparalleled viewing experience, and you have the best binoculars we reviewed," Top Ten Reviews states. While these binoculars do provide an impressive view, with12x magnification, they're also heavier than average, weighing in at 36.2 ounces (1 kilogram). Eyeglass wearers won't have a problem using these binoculars; you can adjust the eye-relief distance to make these fit with or without glasses on. These binoculars are fog-proof, waterproof and super-durable, so you don't have to worry about damaging them with outdoor use. And according to Top Ten Reviews, these binoculars work great in low-light situations, so you can use them for nighttime skywatching as well as daytime sport.
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.
Having said that the gap between the leading tier of €1,000 plus binoculars and some of their more affordable competition is closing. Optical technologies, techniques and components pioneered by premium European manufacturers have become more widely available and affordable, and production standards in the far east have improved to the point where manufacturers are mass-producing some remarkably good optics.
When we’re discussing physical characteristics, the binoculars are on the heavy end. At more or less 31 ounces, you might find them a bit too heavy for your liking. Something like the Nikon LaserForce mentioned below is a lot better in that regard however, with all the tech and quality materials, you shouldn’t really be complaining. You’re getting a great pair of laser rangefinder binoculars that will do the job exceptionally well and that are robust.
It is for this reason and a few others that many professional birdwatchers tend to choose binoculars with a lower magnification and a wider field of view, rather than the other way round. 8x magnification binoculars tend to be the most popular, although if you are often going to be looking at birds at far distances, water birds on a lake for example, you may also think of using 10x magnification, just keep in mind the field of view.
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.
"Multi-Coated" means that at least some surfaces (again, usually the first and the last) have multiple layers of antireflection coatings. (A multilayer coating effectively reduces reflected light that cannot be eliminated with a single-layer coating, and increases the transmittance of light.) Multiple layers are about an order of magnitude more effective than a single layer.
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.
We are defining clarity as the amount of detail one can see through the lenses. This was tested by using the following ISO 12233 chart. The chart was downloaded and printed on a piece of 11x17 paper at 1200 dpi resolution. We also recruited a couple bird models from a local arts and crafts store (Garry the Goldfinch and Barry the Bluebird) and observed those models through each pair of binoculars.
There is not much of a need for an astronomy binocular to be waterproof, water resistant is enough as using them at night can expose a binocular to dew and moisture, which can cause a non-waterproof model to mist up inside the mechanism. I would just like to say though that in general, better quality binoculars tend to be sealed and fully waterproof as well as fogproof and so this is one indicator to look out for if you want to make sure that the binoculars you are getting are of a good quality. (importance 2/10)
Orion's telescope and astrophotography accessories will enhance your telescope enjoyment without breaking the bank. Expand your viewing experience with accessories ranging from moon filters to power-boosting Barlow lenses to advanced computerized telescope mounts. Capture breathtaking photos with our affordable astrophotography cameras. And when you're stargazing, Orion's telescope cases and covers, observing gear, red LED flashlights, astronomy books and star charts will make your observing sessions more convenient, comfortable and meaningful.
The Swarovski EL series has been the upper echelon of hunting optics for years and the EL Range is no different. Swarovski rates this unit to 1500 yards, which is a fairly accurate limit. The EL Range doesn’t have the raw ranging power that the other high end units have but for most hunters having the ability to solidly range past 1000 yards is plenty.
Hi Mark, I found the 60 x 60 binoculars for about $50-80. They look pretty poorly built. I also found a pair of 60 x 90’s for just over $110 and they don’t look much better either. I think anything larger than 12 x 50 is hard to handhold and anything over 15 x 70 is impossible. Not sure why people wanting that much magnification don’t go for a spotting scope?
A. Celestron warrants your product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for two years. Celestron will repair or replace such product or part thereof which, upon inspection by Celestron, is found to be defective in materials or workmanship. As a condition to the obligation of Celestron to repair or replace such product, the product must be returned to Celestron together with proof-of-purchase satisfactory to Celestron.
Meteor showers offer a practical example. You never know exactly where the next bright streak will appear. Yes, you're pretty sure it will come from the "radiant." That’s the name of a constellation (usually) whose location on the sky roughly corresponds to the cloud of cosmic crap into which Earth is plowing to create the shower. [Example: The Leonid meteor shower in November appears to come from the direction of Leo.]