As a more general comment on the current state of binocular manufacturing: With things changing so rapidly, consumers should check that the pair they end up with is the same high-quality model we’ve tested. So many new binocular brands and models are in the market now, and some confusion is inevitable. Athlon Optics, a relatively new company, currently has 28 different models and six distinct binocular lines. If you’re the kind of person who prefers the stability (and availability) of a better-known brand, look toward our runner-up and budget picks.
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.
What pair of binoculars that you should get, will depend on how specialised and exactly what you want to use them for: The best binoculars for someone who wants to observe the stars with, but also then to use during the day, will be different to those that want to only use the binoculars for star gazing and don't have to worry about carrying them about.
Alpen Shasta Ridge: Though we loved this company’s more-expensive Midas model, we were less impressed with this cheaper sibling. Focusing was difficult, feeling soft and difficult to get exactly right. These also offered noticeably inferior light-gathering compared with the Athlon Optics Midas ED pair. Plus, since we tested this pair Alpen has ceased operations. We expect these to become hard to find.
Once you determine what magnification binocular you need, you can then try out the different objective sizes and styles. For birders, binoculars need to be comfortable for both your eyes and hands. The best way to figure out what binoculars fit you best is to try them out. The wrong style, magnification, or feel of a binocular can have negative effects on your overall birding experience. You’ll want to avoid that.
The angle of view and field of view are basically the same. It is the measure of scenery which you can while looking through a rangefinder binocular. The angle of view is expressed in degrees. It can also be expressed in the form of Apparent Angle of View (AAOV). It can be measured by multiplying the magnification of the binocular with the Angle of view. The magnified field you see while looking through a binocular is the AAOV. So the field of view would be wider with an increase in AAOV. THE AAOV is considered to be wide if the angle is more than 60 to 65 degrees.
The first step to choosing the right pair of binoculars is understanding what all of the different specifications mean. The most prominent specification notated on binoculars, and one of the most important, is a figure that looks something like 10x70 or 25x100. These two numbers represent magnification and lens diameter. The first number is the amount of times a particular pair of binoculars can magnify an image. The second number is the size of the objective lens, which is measured in millimeters. The objective lens is the one at the end of the binoculars closest to the object you are viewing. So a pair of binoculars labeled as 25x100 would make an image look 25 times closer than it actually is and have an objective lens diameter of 100 millimeters. The objective lens is responsible for gathering light, and the larger it is, the more light it can gather and the brighter the image will appear. Since there is not a lot of light in space, it is important to choose a pair of astronomy binoculars with a large lens diameter.
The Fusion ranges out just a tad less than its competitors, but nevertheless, it’s still a full 1,760 yards – a complete one mile. Bushnell is straight-up with its specs as they disclose that its soft-target ranging is only 500 yards. While that might seem on the low side for a high-powered and expensive optic, we do appreciate the truth of its abilities. However, 500 yards is still pretty, doggone far!
The exit pupil is the size of the focused light that hits the eye. To see the exit pupil, hold the binocular eight to ten inches away from your face and notice the small dots of light in the center of the eyepieces. Exit pupil diameter, which should always be larger than the pupil of your eye, is directly affected by the objective diameter and the magnification. The pupil of a human eye ranges from about 1.5mm in bright conditions to about 8mm in the dark. If your binoculars’ exit pupil diameter is smaller than the pupil of your eye, it’s going to seem like you’re looking through a peep hole. Bear in mind that as eyes age, they tend to dilate less, so exit pupil becomes more important as the user ages.

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.
Nikon offers a 25 year limited warranty with these binoculars.  For added peace of mind, the Monarchs also come with a no-fault repair/replace guarantee. There are some exceptions-read the warranty info before you buy. Coupled with excellent customer service, the Nikon 7295 Monarch ATBs is a wise choice for birdwatchers looking for lightweight bins.

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
The quality of the glass or prism used in the rangefinder binocular makes a great difference in measuring the range. Using a generic glass or prism can dent the quality of the image given by the binocular. A slight bend in the glass or prism would result in making the colors look off and give an odd projection of the target. Glasses which are low or extra low dispersed glasses are ideal to give you non-distorted image quality. These glasses are also called specialized glasses. It transmits the light without bending it, giving you crystal clear images without any colors looking oddly off. So, do get to know the type of glass or prism which is used by the manufacturers for the rangefinder binocular.
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.

The type and quality of the glass used for the lenses and prisms matter. Generic optical glass may have imperfections, and if it isn’t ground and polished correctly, it could bend light oddly, causing colors to look skewed or prevent its ability to achieve tack-sharp focusing, or you may notice distortion at the edges. Specialized glass, such as low dispersion or extra low dispersion, is engineered to have virtually no distortion and transmit light better without bending it. The resulting images are generally clearer, sharper, with true color rendition and higher contrast.

Now, if you take a look at precise tests, you will find that the binoculars actually provide a very accurate reading, save for the target at 1200 yards. This actually depends on the target. Most of today’s rangefinder binoculars produce a beam that’s shaped as a horizontal rectangle. However, the Fusion actually has a vertical beam. According to Bushnell’s engineers, this helps optimize the performance for some of the most common hunting scenarios of today. A vertical beam can easily hit the intended target, instead of a nearby bush by mistake.
Anyone looking to make far-away objects appear a bit closer should consider a good pair of binoculars. But you might wonder why this story is so oriented toward bird watching. The answer is simple: Binoculars that are great for birders are great for anyone looking to make things appear closer—whether you’re hunting, watching sports, or otherwise. That’s because birding asks everything you need to ask of binoculars. So even if you never plan to seek a scissor-tailed flycatcher or a harpy eagle, birding binoculars will do what you ask. (But you really should try out birding; for more info, contact your local Audubon Society, or, in North America, pick up either The Sibley Guide to Birds or the Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America.)
Finally, how heavy are the lenses? Will you be fatigued holding them up for long periods of time as you view the sky?  A junior astronomer might be better off with an H body type binocular because they are more lightweight and compact. An adult or more “expert” stargazer may prefer the classic look and feel of a Porro prism style body, and can handle the extra bulk.

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.
"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.

Eye-cups are related to the eye relief as they keep the distance from the oculars to our eyes, but also help keep stray light away from your eyes while using binoculars. Some eye-cups are made from rubber and can roll up or down depending on whether you use lasses or not. The problem with these is that the constant rolling causes the eye-cups to break. Another type are eye-cups that slide rather than roll, but these can be hard to keep in place. The third type are eye-cups that twist up and down and so they can be left at any position from all the way up to all the way down, some even have click stops at regular intervals with the eye relief distance for each stop marked on the cup so you can get the perfect eye relief for your vision.
Each month, as the moon goes through its regular phases, you can see the line of sunrise and sunset on the moon progress across the moon’s face. That’s just the line between light and dark on the moon. This line between the day and night sides of the moon is called the terminator line.  The best place to look at the moon from Earth – using your binoculars – is along the terminator line. The sun angle is very low in this twilight zone, just as the sun is low in our sky around earthly twilight.  So, along the terminator on the moon, lunar features cast long shadows in sharp relief.
Most standard tripods can be used, but because you are looking upwards, it does mean that the eyepieces will be in an awkward position. The best way to get around this is to use a chair and position yourself almost under the tripod. With traditional tripods this can be a little awkward as the legs often get in the way. I recently tested a Vanguard Alta Pro tripod that has an adjustable central column that you can effectively use to position your binoculars away from the center of the tripod (see image below) so you can more easily position yourself under your optics, which I found worked really well for astronomy. For more read my review of the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Tripod.
Your binoculars represent a significant investment — and you want a pair that is going to serve you well for many years. One useful guide to the longevity of a pair of binoculars is the type of warranty offered by the manufacturer. While not infallible, this at least gives you a steer on the manufacturer’s confidence in the quality of their product.
The Vortex® Fury Laser Rangefinder Binoculars combine quality Vortex optics with their state-of-the-art electronics to give you 2 indispensible hunting tools in 1 package. XD extra-low dispersion glass and XR proprietary anti-reflective coatings and fully multi-coated air-to-glass surfaces give you razor sharp viewing with maximum brightness. Roof prisms enhance durability and make the unit more compact. Users are sure to also appreciate the precision adjustable eyecups, center focus wheel, and left eye diopter. An illuminated right barrel display and right side controls allow you to operate the rangefinder with 1 hand. The Fury Laser Rangefinder Binoculars accurately ranges targets from 9 to 1,600 yards on highly reflective targets, and 9 to 1,000 yards on deer-sized targets. The Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) mode compensates for shooting from elevated stands or in steep terrain, providing the true horizontal distance to the target. The Scan mode gives continuous updates on distance as user sweeps across varied terrain or tracks moving animals. An ergonomically designed body with an exterior rubber armor coating provides a comfortable hold, and allows steady, accurate range estimations. Neutral pressure nitrogen purging ensures waterproof and fog-proof protection at any elevation. The Vortex Fury Laser Rangefinder Binoculars is tripod compatible, and comes with a CR2 battery, tethered objective lens covers, neck strap, and deluxe padded carry case.
Different styles suit different people. My personal preference is for the modern single-hinge design (as found in my Swarovski SLC HD and the Vortex Razor HD reviewed on this site recently), followed by the traditional single hinge and finally the double open-hinge design that has become so popular today (a trend started by the popular Swarovski EL series, and used by the Docter 8×42 ED and Vanguard Endeavor 8.5×45 ED we reviewed recently).
Anyone looking to make far-away objects appear a bit closer should consider a good pair of binoculars. But you might wonder why this story is so oriented toward bird watching. The answer is simple: Binoculars that are great for birders are great for anyone looking to make things appear closer—whether you’re hunting, watching sports, or otherwise. That’s because birding asks everything you need to ask of binoculars. So even if you never plan to seek a scissor-tailed flycatcher or a harpy eagle, birding binoculars will do what you ask. (But you really should try out birding; for more info, contact your local Audubon Society, or, in North America, pick up either The Sibley Guide to Birds or the Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America.)
Edge Sharpness: All binoculars have a “sweet spot” in the centre of the field of view where the image is in sharpest focus before some loss of sharpness as you move out towards the image edge (a phenomenon known as field curvature). The wider this central sweet spot, the more enjoyable the binoculars will be to use. The better the binoculars, the larger the sweet spot, and the less softening you get as you approach the image periphery. Some premium binoculars (like Swarovski’s flagship EL Swarovision range), incorporate special “field flattener” lenses in the eyepieces to deliver a clear view right to the edge of the field.
A constant question I am asked is, “What’s the difference between nitrogen and argon?” A quick Google search will return many links to forums where people have very strong opinions on the matter and will get into any number of online arguments over the subject. The short answer is that, performance-wise, there really isn’t much of a difference between the two for the clear majority of people. Both gases will keep moisture out and prevent internal fogging. If you do a deep-dive into the chemistry and look at a diagram of each molecule, you will see that argon molecules are larger than nitrogen molecules. Because of this, some manufacturers feel the larger argon molecules will have a harder time leaking out from the seals, keeping the inert gas inside longer and thus maintaining their water/fog-proof properties over a longer period of time. From a practical standpoint, as long as you have an optic with either of these inert dry gases versus having none, you’re ahead of the game.
The binoculars are comfortable in hand with a fully rubber-coated exterior, which makes the entire piece waterproof. It offers adjustability for a short and long eye relief. They have multilayer-coated lenses and produce high-resolution imagery to say the least. The laser rangefinder gives an exact distance when in both horizontal distance or incline/decline mode.
As far as the build quality goes, they won’t disappoint you. They were designed with fairly high tech military standards, and nowhere is that more obvious than the armor. The non-slippery armor will both give you grip that’s more than sufficient for any user and provide fairly good shock absorption in case it’s something you happen to need, as it’s actually a rather rugged option. Inside, there is nitrogen gas. As mentioned with some of the previous models we spoke about, this will make sure that your lenses don’t get fogged up, even in high humidity situations or rainstorms. And wrapping things up with the build quality and construction is the fact that these binoculars with rangefinders are IPX7 water resistant, which should be more than enough for a variety of situations.
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.
Looking at the basics, you’ll find that all binoculars come with a set of two numbers. They can be 7×42, 7×50, 8×42, 10×52 etc. This is a pretty important number with rangefinder binoculars, and any binoculars in general. The first number will tell you the magnification. For example, a 7×42 will show you objects 7 times closer than the naked eye. The second number tells you how big the objective lens is in mm. A larger objective lens lets in more light, and you’ll be able to see a brighter image. This could be especially beneficial in darker conditions. What you should know is that higher magnification will reduce the amount of light that’s available, and a large objective lens will make the binoculars large and heavy.

First, pick up several binoculars and look at their objective (front) lenses. Do this with a bright white light coming over your shoulder from behind. You'll notice right away that in some objective lenses, the reflection of the light will be brighter than in others. Pick the models with the reflections that look darkest (and no doubt deeply colored); this is a sign of quality lens coatings. Good coatings increase the transmission of light through the glass and reduce the amount of scattered light hazing the view.
Recommendation: always strive for the best optical quality your budget will stretch to, and look for binoculars that deliver sharp, high-contrast images, with lots of detail and a large focal “sweet-spot” and good depth of field. If you’re interested in watching insects pay particular attention to the close focus distance. Look out for HD or ED glass in the objective lens — but bear in mind that non-ED binoculars from premium manufacturers can, and often do, outperform ED optics from some other brands.
Combine Nikon binocular performance with the extreme speed and ranging technology of a 1900-yard laser rangefinder and you have LaserForce, Nikon’s new 10x42 Rangefinder Binocular. Quite simply the single optic solution for serious hunters who depend on both their binocular for picking out distant animals and their rangefinder for getting the exact distance before taking the shot. Featuring ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass and Nikon’s ID Technology to compensate for incline or decline angles, LaserForce puts ranging precision, optical performance and rugged performance within your reach.
The interpupillary distance is the distance between the centers of each of your eyes. This is usually two inches. To set the interpupillary distance scale go to the small scale from 60 to 70 with a few small divisions located between the eyepieces on top of the bridge of the binoculars. This is the interpupuillary distance scale measured in millimeters. Once measured you may write it down somewhere to remember it or like professional binocular users mark it with pocket knife or a dot of white India ink.Focusing a U.S. Military Specification Design Binocular
This is the first model in this list that are specialist astronomy binoculars from a known astronomy brand (Celestron – who make high-quality telescopes and other equipment).  “Giant” binoculars are defined as those that magnify the view 10 times or more and have 70-mm or larger front (objective) lenses and Celestron’s 25×70 SkyMaster binoculars are one of the leaders in the low-price giant binocular arena.
Secondly, the argon-purged chamber helps protect the binoculars against water damage and prevents fogging, one of the most common issues with binoculars. And third, the company backs their bins with a lifetime replacement warranty against defects and lifetime no-cost repairs if you damage them by accident during normal use. And as any avid bird watcher can tell you, frequent normal use will eventually lead to damage.
Our small army of volunteers rated the models on a 1 to 5 scale for a variety of factors, including clarity, brightness, focus response, and eye relief. (For a fuller explanation of our methods, see the below story on how we made our rankings.) For the sake of consistency, we reviewed 8x32 (pronounced “eight by thirty-two”) or 8x42 optics. Most birders prefer 7- or 8-power binoculars because they’re bright and have a wide field of view, making it easier to find birds and to follow them in flight. Optics with objective lenses—the glass at the fat end of the tube—larger than 42 mm are heavier, and those smaller than 30 mm, while lightweight, aren’t bright enough to show detail in poor light. 
The Orion name is synonymous with high quality, superior performance products and the Resolux is no exception. With the tripod adapter it easy to take these binoculars anywhere for extended viewing without the exhaustive set up and limited view of a telescope. Images will be sharp with minimal blurring at the outer edges of whatever you are viewing.
The only weak points of the Monarch 5 are the field of view and close focus range, both of which are slightly on the wrong side average. The 330 foot at 1000 yards field of view is relatively narrow, but we honestly didn't notice that narrowness except when doing side-by-side comparisons with models that offer wider fields of view. The close focus range of 7.8 feet is also slightly long, meaning you'll have to backpedal a bit if you come across a cool bug and want to take a look at it with your bins. If you want a wider field of view or closer focus range the Vortex Diamondback 8x42 is a worthy replacement, but overall we think the Nikon Monarch 5 is the best pair of bins you'll find at this price point.
First, pick up several binoculars and look at their objective (front) lenses. Do this with a bright white light coming over your shoulder from behind. You'll notice right away that in some objective lenses, the reflection of the light will be brighter than in others. Pick the models with the reflections that look darkest (and no doubt deeply colored); this is a sign of quality lens coatings. Good coatings increase the transmission of light through the glass and reduce the amount of scattered light hazing the view.
×