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.
Most compacts have objective lenses of between 25mm to 28mm. A light and compact binocular is much easier to carry around with you all day. Smaller binoculars may also actually let you see more because you're more likely to have them with you when you need them as you never know when a birding opportunity will arise. Compact binoculars are also great for when you're traveling, where you may not always want large high-value optics dangling from your neck and so it's nice to have binoculars that will tuck into a purse or jacket pocket.
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.
The good news is that the true technological improvements in binoculars over the past few years have come not in gimmicky features, but optics. Whereas 20 years ago you might have needed to spend $500 to get decent, waterproof binoculars from a factory in the Midwest, now the recent manufacturing boom in China has brought us increasingly cheaper versions of familiar products, resulting in a crush of nearly identical binoculars—more than 2,000 models right now on Amazon, for example—most of them featuring similar designs.
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.
dless of whether you’re an expert with an extensive collection of rangefinder binoculars, or someone who’s only getting their first pair, choosing the right ones can be tricky. Making the wrong choice can cost you $90-100, or it could easily go into the thousands if you buy a premium pair of binoculars. When you consider all of the variables, making a wrong choice isn’t that hard. Things such as zoom or fixed, or image stabilization, or even the numbers in the name can be confusing for someone who isn’t well versed in the topic. However, as you saw above, clearing them up isn’t that difficult, and if you do know what you need, getting the right pair isn’t all that difficult either.
With that in mind I selected my top five binoculars from the initial tests and took them along with me to unfamiliar territory in southern Mexico for advanced testing. Working in the field is the ultimate test for any pair of binoculars. The optics need to do some very heavy lifting—studying intricate patterns of white vermiculation on the upper back of a woodcreeper before the bird scoots around the trunk of a tree, for example—while my brain sorts through several near-identical species, something I don’t get to do back home.
If you're looking for a super-crisp and clear image, the Vanguard Spirit XF binoculars are the way to go. Top Ten Reviews found that these binoculars produce the sharpest images of all the binoculars the publication reviewed. And the Spirit XFs are designed to be versatile, so you can use them during the day and at night. The 42-mm objective lens "helps create bright images, as more light can enter through the binoculars," Top Ten Reviews writes, adding that "you can use the binoculars in low-light settings and still get a fairly clear image." And with these binoculars' relatively wide field of view, you can easily track fast movement without readjusting your gaze too much. These are also exceptionally lightweight for high-quality binoculars, weighing in at 22.93 ounces (0.65 kg). You won't have to worry about tired arms when using these binoculars all day long, and you won't need a tripod to see a steady image. The binoculars provide 10x magnification and are built to last, with rubber armor that is both waterproof and fog-proof.
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.
At just under $120, any serious birder, hunter, or outdoorsman will tell you that the Nikon Prostaff S3 8x42 bins are quite affordable for what you’re getting. And while you can buy cheaper binoculars with more magnification power (I own such a pair and keep them bouncing around in my glove compartment), their quality — of both the lenses and the body — won’t match that of the Nikons. The low cost of these binoculars makes them a great choice for a first-time bino buyer, as does their large focus ring and easy-to-adjust eyecups. They also have a long eye relief, which is the distance away from the eyes that the binoculars can be held while still rendering a full field of view — making them great for people who are wearing glasses or sunglasses.
There are still other denizens of the solar system you can capture through binocs. Look for the occasional comet, which appears as a fuzzy blob of light. Then there are the asteroids – fully 12 of them can be followed with binoculars when they are at their brightest. Because an asteroid looks star-like, the secret to confirming its presence is to sketch a star field through which it’s passing. Do this over subsequent nights; the star that changes position relative to the others is our solar system interloper.
Bill Stewart says that he has seen many beginning birders make the mistake of buying binoculars based on a brand or recommendation and then finding themselves disappointed with the feel or view they experience in the field. He also has seen birders “buy down instead of up” to save some money initially. They often end up spending more the second time around when they feel that they need to upgrade to a better pair, he says.
Pros: The waterproof and fogproof chassis protects your binoculars from moisture damage. At 22.1 ounces, these are one of the lighter pairs of binoculars we reviewed, and testers found them comfortable to hold and easier to adjust than many other models. Testers also reported consistently bright and clear images, and its 17.7mm eye relief is one of the best we saw.
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.
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?
And of course, Swarovski Optik El live up to it’s name. In terms of optical performance, this product outperforms the other three in this review (it’s slightly better than Leica Geovid). However, if you ask me, I can’t really differentiate the quality of image seen through this and Leica Geovid. Perhaps you have to be really professional to notice a difference.
Binoculars are tools and, just as you wouldn't get far using a Phillips screwdriver on a slotted screw, you'll want to match the binocular to its task. The astronomy binoculars with 60mm diameter objective lenses or larger will be appropriate to consider for your next astronomical binoculars. First, most star watchers want to have a basis for evaluating their binoculars so we'll stop long enough to consider how to do that.
There are a number of binoculars with large eye relief, that are ideal for those who wear glasses. If you have used a bin without decent eye relief in the past, you know what a pain it can be. My recommendation for glasses wearers, are either the Swarovski EL (premium price, 20mm relief) or the Vanguard Endeavour ED II 8×42 (affordable price, 19.5mm relief), depending on your budget.
The ultimate in efficiency, the Fusion melds the best of Bushnell binoculars with world-leading laser range finding capabilities. Every detail is magnified with rich contrast and stunning clarity from edge to edge using premium fully multi-coated optics and BaK-4 prisms. At the push of a button, it displays exact distance to your target from 10 to 1,760 yards.
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.
10x42 is a nice utilitarian size, but some may find them a bit large/heavy for general sightseeing as they may cause neck strain when worn around the neck while walking around town or in the woods. I'll give some recommendations, for that size - but you may want to consider some other sizes. An 8x42 drops the magnification down a bit, but you generally get a larger field of view, wider exit pupil, and usually a longer eye relief so they are a little better for sightseeing. Additionally, you may want to go with a smaller objective such as a 30-32mm, which will shave considerable ounces off the weight and inches off the size to make it easier to pack and carry...for smaller models like this, I'd stay at the 8x power to maximize image brightness, field of view, and exit pupil. With that being said, here are my recommendations:
The Leupold BX-1 Yosemite is a good set of binoculars that produces clear images. These binoculars are lightweight, waterproof and fogproof, so they can handle wet conditions without damage to the optics inside. They’re low powered and have the smallest objective lens of any binoculars we reviewed. Pros: These Leupold binoculars are some of the lightest we reviewed at 17oz. An 8x magnification and 118m field of view make them a good choice for birdwatching and sporting events where things move quickly.
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.