If you are a person who loves bird watching, watching sports, hunting and stargazing you will probably be looking for a good binocular. To determine the binocular with supreme quality, you must consider looking at its optics, magnifiers and lenses size. This Top 10 Best Binoculars in 2017 Reviews will provide you sort of information with regards to selecting the right binocular for your needs. When you able to choose the one exactly for your needs, you will surely enjoy your day especially when you’re on a trip. There are lots of choices of products in the market, so be a wise spender and take careful in purchasing.
What types of binoculars are there?
i. General Use Binoculars
These are binoculars that are used for general purposes for outdoor activities as the name suggests. These binoculars have wide angle view and are best for watching sports events especially in the stadium. Most of them are compact, and you can easily pocket on your way to and fro the field. Most of these binoculars have a magnification range of 7x to 10x hence provides a wide view.
ii. Hunting Binoculars
Hunting binoculars also range between 7x and 10x in magnification. They are built in such a way that they make it easy for long-range viewing and shooting especially on varmint hunting. However, when using a larger magnification, it is advisable to use a tripod stand that ensures the stability of the image since when hand held, the image can be shaky. Therefore, as the name suggest, hunting binoculars are specifically used by hunters.
iii. Bird Watching
Have you ever gone for a bird watching exercise? Sometimes it becomes very difficult to watch the small birds which are far away in the sky. The good news is that there are binoculars that are specially designed to enhance your watching. The standard ones in this category of bird watching binoculars is the 8×42 mode. However, the 10x or 12x is also appropriate especially when the birds are at a far distance. Some of the must-have features that the bird watching binoculars are the close focus and longer eye relief.
iv. Boating and Marine Binoculars
While on water, a high magnification binocular is not advisable. Therefore, the commonly used ones are those with 7x or 8x magnification. However, sometimes the 10x is also preferred by most boating and marine enthusiasts. The boating and marine binoculars have three prime features mainly waterproof, larger objective lens, and rubber armoring.
v. Concert/Theater Binoculars
The best binoculars for theater or concert are those with wide angle focus. The most efficient ones are those with a magnification of 4×30, 8×25, 5×25 or 7×18. It is also a fact that some multi-purpose binoculars exists, and are adjustable to fit a particular viewing.
What makes up a good binocular? (Buying Guide)
The first feature of any binocular to look at is the power. The power is expressed in terms of magnification by the diameter of the lens. For example, one with a power rating of 8×42 means that the magnification power is 8, and the diameter of the lens is 42 millimeters. The magnification of 8 implies that when you use the lens, the image would appear 8 times closer than it is when you view with your naked eyes. Therefore, the higher the magnification, the further the binocular can reach. On the other hand, the diameter of the lens has effect on the clarity of the image and the wider the diameter, the more the light, hence, clarity.
b. Field of View (FOV)
The second feature that one must check while sourcing for the best binocular is the FOV capacity. FOV is simply the measure of how wide you can view using the device at 1000 yards. A higher number implies a wider area while a small FOV implies a narrower area of view. The size of the objective lens and the focal length impacts on the actual FOV. It is also important to note that the power of a binocular inversely impacts on the FOV. Therefore, FOV decreases with an increase in magnification and the opposite is true.
With regards to this, choosing the best FOV solely depends on your main intention of use. You will not require one with a wider field of view when you simply want to scan for a mule deer. On the other hand, someone who is using the binocular to search for the horned gazelle in the dense forest would go for a one with a higher field of view.
c. Exit Pupil
There is a close connection between the exit pupil and the other two components of a binocular which are the size of the objective lens and the power. To see the exit pupil, just hold the binoculars away from you and look through the lens, you will see a small circle of a bright light; that is the exit pupil. The exit pupil, therefore, is the size of the beam of light that would leave the binocular at any given time. The exit pupil is calculated by dividing the diameter of the objective lens by the power. For example, an 8×42 binocular would have an exit pupil of 5.25mm.
Practically, a binocular that is used much when there is little light, especially at dawn or dusk, need to have a bigger exit pupil. The same way, human eye’s pupil increases with a decrease in light around and decreases with increase in light. Therefore, it is advisable to go for what can serve the purpose at all times by first knowing your timing of use.
When light passes through the binocular, the image is inverted. Therefore, erecting prisms are hence, used to correct the problem resulting in an erect image. There are two main prisms namely Porro prisms and roof prisms. Even though the debate on which one is the best prisms has never end, it is good just to know the difference and decide on the one that impresses you. The main difference is that with roof prisms, the light is that it reflects the light 5 times while the Porro prisms reflect 4 times.
Another difference is that the Roof Prisms gives a resultant light on the same line as the incoming light while the Porro Prisms gives a resultant light on a different line from the line of entry.
e. Eye Relief
Eye relief refers to the comfortable distance from which the binocular can be held away from the eye and the viewer still sees the whole image clearly. A long eye relief is recommendable but should encompass the use of sunglasses or eyeglasses. Some binoculars have extendable eyepieces, and some come with fold down rubber eyecups, all which provides a larger field of view.
f. Other Considerations
Some other factors to consider are there even though the major ones are the ones discussed above. Other things to look at includes but not limited to:
- Casing (waterproofness)
Here are the Best 10 Binoculars in 2017
Table of Contents
- 10. Vortex Optics Viper HD 8×42 Roof Prism Binocular
- 9. Nikon 7483 PROSTAFF 8×25 Waterproof All-Terrain Binocular
- 8. USCAMEL® 10×50 Military Waterproof HD Binoculars
- 7. Binoculars 10×42 Waterproof BaK4 Roof Prism
- 6. MagnifyLabs ClearSight High-Powered 10×50 Binoculars
- 5. Carl Zeiss Optical Inc Victory Compact Model Binoculars (8×20 T)
- 4. Polaris Optics Spectator 8X32 Compact Bird Watching Binoculars
- 3. Vortex Optics Viper Hd 10×42 Roof Prism Binocular
- 2. Leupold 8×30 BX-1 Yosemite Porro Prism Binocular
- 1. Polaris Optics 8X42 HD Professional Bird Watching Binoculars
10. Vortex Optics Viper HD 8×42 Roof Prism Binocular
This Vortex Optics Viper HD binocular is supported by O-ring seals to prevent moisture, dust and debris from entering and penetrating the lenses and the binoculars internal body reducing the performance. It is also designed to be waterproof and fog proof. This binocular features an XR fully multi-coated on all air-to-glass surfaces increasing light transmission over the object along the dielectric prism coatings which provide bright, color accurate and clear images in high density. In addition, its extra-low dispersion glass delivers an impressive resolution and color fidelity, thus resulting in high definition images. Inside the package is the item with rain guard tethered objective lens covers, comfortable next strap and deluxe padded carry case.
- Superior clarity, color correctness, and brightness
- Bonus harness is an advantage
- Excellent in low light and have a very big field of view
- The diopter has a locking mechanism
- Impressive warranty period
9. Nikon 7483 PROSTAFF 8×25 Waterproof All-Terrain Binocular
Nikon 7483 Prostaff Waterproof all-terrain binocular is also a fog proof 8×25 mm prism binoculars. It features a 100% waterproof and fog proof body, very light weight and compact which carrying is not a hassle. Its aspherical eyepiece lenses provide crisp, distortion-free field of view. It also gives long eye-relief for eyeglass wearers. Likewise, its rubber-armored polycarbonate body is dust and scratch resistant. At the same time, it also provides eco-glass lenses and prisms for high performance and weight savings plus twist-up eyecups for easy viewing.
- Brightness and contrast are excellent
- Ideal rubberized surface
- Fairly broad surface is very comfortable
- Prone to flare
- Gummy quality makes it attractive to lint and dirt
8. USCAMEL® 10×50 Military Waterproof HD Binoculars
An USCAMEL military waterproof HD binocular is the binocular for all weather and very suitable for use outdoor even when there are any severe circumstances. This product of USCAMEL is waterproof and dust proof. Nitrogen gas inside the binocular able to eliminate fogging and mold on internal lenses surfaces whether there’s a rainstorm and high humidity. More so, it has internal rangefinder scale and directional compass with illumination switch indicating the size or the distance of the object and its orientation. Its hi-index BAK4 prism features a bright sharp image with vivid contrast offering you each little detail of the object. It also has a rubber coated body that provides great shock resistance, firm grasp and a comfortable touch.
- Binoculars are in excellent quality
- The rubbery skin is very resistant
- Quick fold down eyecups makes it easy to use and share
- Easy to adjust
- Produce a very clear image
- Focusing is easy
7. Binoculars 10×42 Waterproof BaK4 Roof Prism
This binocular from VITE offers the most bright and clear view. It has 10 times magnification and 42 mm big fully multi-coated lens with the best BAK-4 roof prism offering the best viewing experience. This is ideal for watching scenarios such as landscapes, concerts, moon, birds, wildlife etc. This product is waterproof, fog proof and shockproof making it durable plus the nitrogen filled on the inside and sealed with O-rings thus preventing moisture corrosion and fogging which is caused by any condensation. Furthermore, it has 14mm long exit relief with twist up eye cup making it comfortable for viewing even with glasses. This binocular is easy to use and is portable to carry. The package includes neck strap and carry case.
- Impressive quality
- The lenses does not show any trouble
- Crystal clear
- Lighter weight
- Image is clear, bright and relatively sharp
- Has nice grips
- Difficult to change the distance
6. MagnifyLabs ClearSight High-Powered 10×50 Binoculars
10 x50 magnification is what this MagnifyLabs ClearSight high powered binocular offers. This provides 10 time’s high powered magnification and wide FOV perfect for surveillance, bird watching, hunting and many more. It features BK-7 prism thru its premier quality BK-7 prism. Likewise, it is constructed with durable quality materials which have been rigorously tested to withstand any conditions. This binocular is scratch proof with a rubberized coating to avoid slippage. It also has multicoated optics used to reflect the most possible light. The package includes: a protected carrying case, four protective lens cups, a Microfiber lens cloth and a harness.
- Very impressive
- Better quality and more lights in
- Images are crisp and clear
- Quality construction
- Magnification quality is only 8 times instead of 10
5. Carl Zeiss Optical Inc Victory Compact Model Binoculars (8×20 T)
A Carl Zeiss Optical Inc Victory Compact Model binocular has 8x magnification and 20mm objective lenses. This product has a phase corrected Shmidt-Pechan roof prisms with dielectric motor coatings. It has individually adjustable twist-up eyecups; easy to use focusing dials. Its rugged nonslip rubber arbor is used to absorb noise and shock. In addition, this binocular is waterproof and fog proof making it safe from outside factors.
- Very light to carry
- Has excellent quality optics
- Has a three-dimensional view
- The focus knob is well placed
- Show no problems with eye relief
- Minimal Eye relief for those who wear glasses
4. Polaris Optics Spectator 8X32 Compact Bird Watching Binoculars
Polaris Optics Spectator 8×32 binoculars is specifically designed for bird watching. It is a pocket-size binocular which you can go and carry anywhere. Moreover, its wide views detail at almost 1000 yards out making it the best binocular in wide viewing. Its bright and clear modes with powerful 8×32 magnifications will make your bird watching very comfortable and hassle free. This Polaris binocular gives ergocomfort, durable, non slip grip allowing you to watch the birds and concerts at an almost perfect view and details for a maximized time. Its packaged includes nylon mesh carrying case, lens cover, and non-abrasive micro-fiber lens cleaning cloth. The manufacturer of this product offers a lifetime warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee to all of its customers.
- Comfortable to hold and never slips
- It has right eye diopter
- Easy to use and lightweight
- The optics are easy to adjust
- Substantial and hefty
3. Vortex Optics Viper Hd 10×42 Roof Prism Binocular
Vortex Optics Viper roof prism binocular is made with O-ring seals to prevent moisture from entering the lenses of the binoculars. It also shields the binocular from dust and debris from penetrating thus making it reliable on any conditions. Its XR fully multi-coated on all air-to glass surfaces increases light transmission while dielectric prism coatings on the other hand provide bright, clear and color accurate images. Furthermore, it has adjustable eyecups which can be twisted upward or downward for comfortable viewing even without glasses. It then also features a VIP unconditional lifetime warranty which means that Vortex Optics will repair or replace these by no cost. Included in the packaging are rainguard, tethered objective lens cover, comfort neck strap and deluxe padded case.
- Brighter images can be noticeably viewed
- The vipers fit the bill perfectly
- The focus knob can be turned on handed
- Light weight and is easy to handle
- Glass is crisp and clear edge to edge
- It has a locking diopter
- has an incredible lifetime warranty
- stiffness with the focusing knob
2. Leupold 8×30 BX-1 Yosemite Porro Prism Binocular
This Leupold 8×30 BX-1 Yosemite water proof porro prism binocular has reached the top 2 of this review for having the ideal combination of power and field of view for tracking using 6x and 8x magnification options. It has smaller interpupillary with distance settings of 50mm to 70mm giving a wider range of people to full use of the optics. This product also has fully multi-coated lenses which ensures brightness, clarity, contrast and color fidelity. In addition, it has a generous eye relief for comfortable extended viewing and even inexperienced users can cope up. Its body is made from armor coated, rugged and waterproof materials making it durable from outside factors.
- Crystal clear, compact and light weight
- Decently built
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Easy to adjust magnification
- Eye relief pieces turn and lock in place
1. Polaris Optics 8X42 HD Professional Bird Watching Binoculars
This model from Polaris Optics made it to the top rank. This WideViews 8×42 HD professional bird watching binocular is really on its highest demand because of its extra-wide field of view. Using this binocular, you can view an entire flock with target focusing for brilliant HD detail from 1000 yards out. It has a 430 ft. extra wide field of view making you enjoy the scene. It also features a close focus with laser 8x close focus and sharp optical quality where you can see every detail. This also gives a phase correction coated high index prisms creating sharp, clear and high contrast images along with the fully multi-coated lenses deliver the brightness and color fidelity for your need. The body of this binocular is made from waterproof and fog proof material making it suitable for any weather condition and at the same time it is compact and durable.
- Distance clarity is perfect for your needs
- Has a good adjustable eye pieces
- Easy to focus
- Compact and light weight
- It adjust the focus automatically
- Sturdy enough for outdoor activities