A super-rugged set of binoculars, these 15x70s are optically outstanding. Looking through the Ultras' exquisitely multicoated glass, you may find yourself falling in love with the sky all over again. Oberwerk's method of suspending its BAK4 glass Porro prisms offers greater shock-resistance than most competitors' designs do. While costlier than some comparable binoculars, the Ultras deliver superior value. Our only complaint is their mass: At 5.5 lbs. (2.5 kg), these guys are heavy!  You can hand-hold them for a short while, if you're lying down. But it is best to place them on a tripod, or on a counterweighted arm, unless you like shaky squiggles where your point-source stars are supposed to be. Like with most truly big binoculars, the eyepieces focus independently; there's no center focus wheel. These "binos" are for true astronomers.

Close focusing is key when trying to see detail on things like butterflies, wildflowers, and the like. Our pick gets as near as 6.5 feet, and though a few binoculars focused closer than that, several contenders didn’t get anywhere near getting near. The Nikon Prostaff 5, for example, couldn’t bring objects any closer than 16 feet into focus. We liked the Prostaff 5 as a budget pick, but we warn that they’re not for looking at butterflies or anything that requires getting ultra-close for detail.
We can’t really recommend any binoculars that cost under $100; those tend to have very poor optics and aren’t durable enough to survive hard knocks without coming out of alignment. But for just a bit more, the very functional Carson VP pair offers excellent optics, a minimum focus distance 10 feet closer than the Nikon ProStaff 5, and rugged waterproof and fogproof construction.
Generally the better the anti-reflective coatings, the better the resulting image and the better the binoculars will perform across a wide range of lighting conditions. The best performing coatings are expensive to produce and difficult to apply, and typically add considerably to the cost of the finished binocular. These coatings are perhaps the main differentiating factor between premium or “alpha” class binoculars and other models.
Carl Zeiss Optical Inc Victory is unlike any other rangefinder binoculars you have ever seen. The first thing you notice about this device is the clarity it has. You get the feeling that you are not working on a device, but that you are watching through your own eyes. The optics used in this rangefinder binocular is definitely of premium quality. It uses special multilayer glasses of fluoride giving a crystal clear view for you. The images are vibrant and colorful due to the LotuTec coating it has on the lenses. It helps you view the target so up front and close to you that you would not have an explanation for missing a shot.
There's much more to look at in the night sky than random stars. Scores of double stars, rich Milky Way star clouds, star clusters of various sizes and types, stars that vary in brightness from month to month or even hour to hour, a smattering of ghostly nebulae and dim, distant galaxies — all are waiting for you to track them down with binoculars and suitably detailed sky maps and guidebooks.
Glass wise these are quite a step up from the Bushnell’s but not yet at the level of the Leica’s and Swaros. Ranging wise, they smoke the Bushnells and nudge just above Swarovski El’s. In fair weather (sun, overcast, light rain, etc) the Leica Geovid HD-B is going to outrange it most of the time. If weather turns to crap or there is heavy fog the Steiner will be unbeaten.
Find a reputable site you favor and look for the type of binoculars you want. Whether it’s an online retailer or a third-party site, you need to make sure the binoculars you’re looking to buy fit the specifications you decided upon earlier. Be willing to sacrifice one of your wants if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, but don’t settle for something subpar just to save a dollar.
The Pentax AD’s weight is feather-light, at 9.6 ounces (less than half the 25-ounce weight of the Athlon Midas 8×42 binoculars, our top full-size pick). All compacts—in particular the high-magnification ones—are prone to “tunnel vision” due to a narrow field of view that makes it hard to find a distant target through the lens. Optically, the Pentax AD compacts have a wider field of view than some of the other compacts we tested, and the colors on birds, flowers, and butterflies appeared just as bright under normal conditions.
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.
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.
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.
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Beyond those specific models, I would say look at a bino that's larger than 42mm up to 56mm - anything larger than that and they're going to be heavy and awkward to use. I'd also keep the magnification at around 7x-8x - that will ensure a large exit pupil (especially with the bigger objective models) and will help offset the dimming of the view that can happen to high-power optics especially in challenging light. Here's a link to some search results that can help you narrow your choices. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?setNs=p_PRICE_2%7c1&Ns=p_PRICE_2%7c1&ci=1010&fct=fct_magnification_156%7c7x%2bfct_magnification_156%7c8x%2bfct_objective-lens-diameter_1126%7c50mm%2bfct_objective...
These Canon binoculars offer something different from the above options because of the image stabilization function. This means that they minimize any shake and are much easier to use by hand – you just push the image stabilization button and the shaky image steadies. This means that for casual stargazing and astronomy, they can be used without a tripod.
In addition to the built-in rangefinder, the binoculars also include a compass in order to properly get your bearings. Sturdily constructed, they are designed to be shockproof so that they can withstand rougher environments on your adventures. Because of these qualities, the Barska Outdoor Marine waterproof rangefinding binoculars are truly impressive.
With 10x and even more powerful binoculars you will get more detail which is good for spotting birds of prey, waterfowl, and large birds or wildlife. These birds tend to be slower moving and are often out in the open, where the narrow field of view will also not be such an issue. When using a very high-powers (approx. 12x or more), you will need a very steady hand or tripod or some sort of image stabilization and it is very important to stay away from cheap binoculars with high magnifications.
Many find that they really like astronomy binoculars with 70 or 80mm or more diameter objectives. Choosing a magnification of 20X or more will allow you to see significantly more than you did with your initial, smaller astronomy binoculars. You'll find that using the two binoculars together will produce benefits in finding objects quickly with the smaller handheld binoculars and then using the tripod-mounted larger model for your studied review of the object. You will have already gotten locations of favorite views in mind and seeing them through the larger, more powerful instrument is a natural progression.

Hopefully you found the information included above to be useful. You can use all of the information to streamline your decision-making process as to whether or not you want to purchase rangefinder binoculars, and also use it to better educate yourself about this technology – as well as others. They are definitely incredible tools, but may or may not be useful in your specific circumstance or situation.
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.
What is also interesting is they accept the standard, 1.25-inch astronomical filters to enhance your views of the Moon, planets nebulae and other celestial bodies. Other features include fully multi-coated lenses, quality BAK-4 prisms, individual focus for precise adjustment. They are fully waterproof and nitrogen-purged to prevent any fogging up. They're also backed by Zhumell's 25-year warranty.

"These binoculars provide a clear view of wildlife in my backyard or while on a nature walk. I agree they are built like a tank, but not the weight. I was looking at other brands and decided on the Carson's VP series. I made my decision from reading the reviews and watching the Carson provided product videos. I can't wait to view more wildlife with them."

From January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2011, Celestron offered a No Fault Warranty on all binoculars and spotting scopes. For a charge of $25 for binoculars and $35 for spotting scopes, any binocular or spotting scope would be repaired or replaced with the same or similar product at the sole discretion of Celestron regardless of how the binoculars or spotting scope were damaged or rendered unusable. The customer must be the original owner, provide proof of purchase, and return the binoculars or spotting scope prepaid to Celestron.
A simple trick for spotting stuff faster with binoculars: Don’t hold your binoculars up to your eyes and then pan and scan for what you’re trying to spot. You’ll never get there. Instead, with the naked eye, stare up at what you want to see, then raise the binoculars to your gaze. That’ll allow whatever you’re looking at to instantly pop into your magnified view.

Age is the single most important factor in choosing a pair of binoculars. Although with age a person’s exit pupil tends to get smaller; that is, 5mm after age 50, one should determine his or her exit pupil. This is usually done by trial and error. If you do it in the dark, you cannot see what you are doing when holding up a millimeter ruler to your eye in front of a mirror. You can try a dimly lit room however. Sky Publishing use to sell a device for measuring one’s exit pupil.Another factor affecting your exit pupil is your observing environment. If you observe from the city or the suburbs, light pollution will affect your exit pupil and will not allow it to fully dilate as if you were under a country sky. For instance, if you observe with a 7 x 50 pair of binoculars under a city sky, this is like observing with a pair of 7 x 35 binoculars. Why? Because your pupil is not fully dilated to take advantage of the extra exit pupil or circle of light being projected by the 7 x 50 binoculars. What is the exit pupil of a 7 x 50 binocular? Answer. 7.1mm. Divide 50mm the aperture of the binocular
The “act of seeing” is more a confirmation of a couple facts your brain stores, and identification becomes a result of quickly matching a minimum number of those facts with what your eyes tell you. Sure, mockingbirds have sharp, narrow bills, but that’s not usually what you look for in a distant mockingbird; you see a slender gray bird and confirm that it has black-and-white wings, and, hence, isn’t something else. Knowing that mockingbird is pretty much the only thing around with those features—and if nothing else jumps out—your identification of it as a mockingbird is instant. Your total time looking through the binoculars is maybe a second or two.
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.
Binoculars that share the same magnification and objective lens diameter can deliver vastly different levels of optical performance. The quality of the optical components, the design of the optical system itself and the care and attention to detail during construction all play a role in a binocular’s overall optical quality, as do the quality and application of special coatings to the lenses and prisms (see below).
Nikon's black 10x42 ProStaff 3S Binocular (B&H # NIPS3S10X42) features silver-alloy coated roof prisms and anti-reflection multi-coated optics that produces bright and clear high-contrast images with true color rendition across its entire field of view. To help offset visible hand-shake often associated with 10x power and higher optics, Nikon built this binocular with a wide 63° apparent angle of view to limit disorientation and improve the observational experience in most lighting conditions, and even in the most extreme weather. Whether you're hunting or birding, boating or watching your favorite team, this ProStaff will quickly become indispensable for all you're outdoor activities.
Olaf Soltau reminds us, “Remember that we spend a lot of time holding our binos, more time than we actually look through them.” How they feel in your hands is a critical part of the viewing experience. You will find that different bridge designs (the part that holds the tubes together) will give you a different feel, as well as the obvious Porro versus roof configuration. Arthur Morris, bird photographer and blogger, says, “Always try before you buy.” Many other birding experts echoed that very sentiment.
The sole obligation of Celestron under this limited warranty shall be to repair or replace the covered product, in accordance with the terms set forth herein. Celestron expressly disclaims any lost profits, general, special, indirect or consequential damages which may result from breach of warranty, or arising out of the use or inability to use any Celestron product. Any warranties which are implied and which cannot be disclaimed shall be limited in duration to a term of one year from the date of original retail purchase. 
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.
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.
Fusion 1-Mile uses the latest technology especially when it comes to the glass and lens. It uses the all-new XTR technology to provide the ultimate transmission of light. This, in turn, delivers great clarity and resolution. It has a waterproof coating which protects it from harsh conditions. The multi-coated casing also gives it protection from falls and other impacts. The quality of lenses and the sturdy construction makes it easy for you to carry it into the woods without worrying about damaging the device.
A quick word on monoculars: There is certainly a market for these devices. Basically, the monocular is half of a binocular; one of two optical tubes that are connected to form a binocular. The monocular gives you half the binocular, less than half the weight (there is no bridge), and often a proportional cost savings. The disadvantage is that one-eye viewing is more tiring than viewing with both eyes, and you lose the stereoscopic advantage of the binoculars. However, if your vision is poor in one eye, or nonexistent, the monocular makes a ton of sense.
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.
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.
Any good designed binocular, whether the U.S. specification design or the center focus design, will have Bak-4 prisms, fully multi-coated lens, air-spaced objectives, and nitrogen filled tubes sealed with o-rings to water proof the binocular.Bak-4 prisms, fully multi-coated optics, and air-spaced objectives allow for better light transmission, and therefore, a better view. Air-spaced objectives allow for better resolution. The nitrogen filled tubes sealed with o-rings keeps water, whether of the liquid variety or the vapor variety, from entering the binoculars system and causing mold or mildew to grow.
What is good for us the consumers is that many of the new Chinese optics are now being made to very high optical standards and whilst many may not like to admit it, they perform as well as many far more expensive optics made in the west. Some popular brands include the Oberwerk which have plenty of nice features including collimation screws, Celestron's, Meade's and the excellent Apogee brand of binoculars. All of these offer fantastic quality for the price and bring giant binoculars within reach of most peoples budgets. (Take a look at this review on Cheap Binoculars for Astronomy)
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.
Overall, I give the Nikon binocular performance an A-. I did notice in the optical performance that there was some chromatic aberration, or color fringing. It did very well in low light conditions, and offered bright images in return. I only found a few trees over 700 yards difficult to get complete ranges on, but distant animals were never an issue.
Inside a regular pair of binoculars, there are many glass surfaces from the objective lens to the eyepiece. If these are untreated, a small amount of light is lost at every glass surface. By the time light reaches your pupil, there is much less of it that started down at the objective lens, which dims the image you see and lowers the quality of your astronomy.
I’ll try to point the way, with a caveat that my methodology is appallingly unscientific; a field-based approach, you might charitably call it. I used each of these binoculars on assignment in Norway, North Dakota and Vermont, and on my sun-porch in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with an infant in my arms, glassing the horizon for any passerine that might happen to wing into view, as they so often do, seemingly from nowhere. Bearing in mind all of the above, here are five of the best birding binoculars you’ll find.
Look at your binoculars as a long-term investment. Unlike the latest electronic gizmos your binoculars won’t become obsolete in six months, and if properly cared for the view through them won’t deteriorate over time. A good pair of binoculars will keep delivering value week in week out, year after year for decades.   More expensive binoculars are also made with better quality materials and to tighter production tolerances, and are built to cope with the rigours of life in the field.
Which are all crucial considerations, as binoculars tend to be highly subjective. It’s helpful to think of a pair as you might a new car: you want a rare symbiotic union of stylistic penchants, pragmatic details and clarity of vision that all mesh with whatever price point you’re willing to live with. Because the moment you drive it off the lot, the resale value craps out. There’s no monolithic pair that everyone should own, no starter set that’s worth the $200 you could just apply towards pricier lifetime binoculars. While cost is often a barometer of quality, it’s not always. Instead, a thornier set of metrics obtains: are you after high magnification for long-range birding — owls and shorebirds and the like — or will 7x or 8x suffice? Do you want a lightweight pair to stow in your glove compartment, carry-on or briefcase? How important is balance, overall feel, focus, and what birders call “eye relief” (basically visual ergonomics) to you? Because they’re different for everyone. In short, will you be driving an Audi 6 or a Ford Fusion?
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.
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.
For most binoculars with 80mm or 100mm objective lenses, however, a tripod as typically used for light cameras for instance, will not be strong enough to hold a binocular weighing between 5 and 10 or more pounds (2.25 to 4.5+ kg). We're the kind of folks who figure we're likely to get an even heavier instrument later on, so we'll get a good, heavy-duty tripod to start with. That's just us, though, and you certainly don't NEED to get anything above and beyond what will serve your immediate needs! Just be sure the tripod you use for your giant astronomy binoculars won't collapse with resultant damage to your instrument!
An 8x or 10x will give you a comfortable magnification, with average to wide exit pupil, plus you'll get much better fields of view. Holding these magnifications steady will be easier, so you'll be much more mobile. The most popular size is 8x/10x42 as a good balance between aperture and magnification, but you could also do great with a 50mm to boost the low-light performance and exit pupil.
When looking at spec sheets on binoculars, birders may notice that they have two standard types of prisms. Chris’s article gets deeper into this, but we will discuss it briefly here. The BAK4 prism provides a more circular field of view and is considered superior to the BK7 prism’s rectangular field of view, as the BK7 may cause vignetting of the image. There are wonderful binoculars with the BK7 prisms, so do not discount the variation; it is just something to be conscious of when comparing binoculars.

Binoculars come in two basic configurations: Porro prism or roof prism. The Porro prism gives that type of binoculars the traditional binocular shape. The roof prism binocular features a narrower and compact, straight design. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but, in general, the Porro prism design is less expensive to manufacture and, therefore, gives you more bang for your buck as far as optical quality and features. The relative compact size of roof prism binoculars makes them generally more popular for birders, as optically similar Porros will be larger.
The best part is, even after three years whereby the premium warranty is reverted to limited lifetime warranty, Leica Geovid promises to service/repair your binocular for only $35 irrespective of the actual cost of repairing for your whole life. $35 is pretty reasonable considering the fact that the materials used in Leica Geovid are high quality ones.
For a premium experience while hunting or birdwatching, the Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars are the pair for you. Their massive 50mm objective lenses offer high-end performance with a full-size feel and edge-to-edge clarity. The binoculars also magnify at an impressive 12x, with a field of view of 288 feet at 1,000 yards. They're also built with lifetime fog and waterproofing performance with ultra-hard scratch resistant armortek protection.
Telescopes do make objects look larger. But their main job is to gather light. Paradoxically, the more a telescope magnifies an object, the dimmer that object appears. That's a problem when observing deep-sky targets like comets, galaxies and widely diffuse star clusters. It's an issue for everything, really, except the moon — which can be too bright — and a few vivid planets.
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