Best Binoculars in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 24, 2018
Do you like gazing into the sky? Or, maybe, you are a farmer who needs to survey his land? In any case, you need to use good binoculars! These devices seem simple, yet they are really different from each other. That's why we've prepared a new binoculars review, so read it and take your pick! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Magnification
Lens diameter
Exit pupil
Eye relief
Field of view (at 1000 metres)
Prism
Minimum focus
Lenses
Extras
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

This product comes with an adaptor for the tripod, providing more convenience when observing static objects for long periods of time.

CONS

Dust and dirt sticks to the rubber armouring.

OUR VERDICT

This binocular has all the necessary features for a perfect model, making the Nikon Monarch 5 one of the best optical devices in its class. The light body is made of composite materials to prevent its damage and physical impact from the external sources.

detailed parameters
Magnification

10x

Lens diameter

42 mm

Exit pupil

4.2 mm

Eye relief

18.4 mm

Field of view (at 1000 metres)

96 m

Prism

Roof / BAK4

Minimum focus

2.5 m

Lenses

Fully multi-coated

Extras

IP67 body protection level, Turn-and-slide eyecups, Tripod adaptor, Rubbered composite body, Fogproof

Weight

600 g

Warranty

10 years

PROS

Celestron binoculars are among the best in terms of magnification rate. Thanks to the stunning 25x zoom, you can see every single detail of the objects that are really far. Unlike many other binoculars, this one comes with a tripod.

CONS

These Celestron binoculars are rather heavy, so watching fast-moving objects might be slightly inconvenient.

OUR VERDICT

It's the best set of binocular for observing the sky and distant objects. A top choice for Federal Wildlife marshals who need to keep track of animals and birds.

detailed parameters
Magnification

25x

Lens diameter

70 mm

Exit pupil

2.8 mm

Eye relief

13 mm

Field of view (at 1000 metres)

43 m

Prism

Porro / BAK4

Minimum focus

22.8 m

Lenses

Multi-coated

Extras

Tripod adaptable, Protective rubber covering, Right eye dioptre adjustment

Weight

1474 g

Warranty

Limited lifetime

PROS

The pair of binoculars has a wide field of view, allowing you to view the smallest details of distant objects. An optimal exit pupil diameter ensures an advanced visual efficiency and reduces distortions.

CONS

The case that comes in the supply kit doesn't have pockets for storing lens caps.

OUR VERDICT

This Olympus model combines a truly wallet-friendly price and impressive optical specifications. These binoculars will be a great present. But you can also buy them for yourself and discover the expansive nature around you. 

detailed parameters
Magnification

8x

Lens diameter

40 mm

Exit pupil

5 mm

Eye relief

10-12 mm

Field of view (at 1000 metres)

130.8 m

Prism

Porro / BAK7

Minimum focus

4 m

Lenses

Fully multi-coated

Extras

Rubber-coated chassis, Extended kit (includes a case, a strap, and a cloth)

Weight

710 g

Warranty

25 years

PROS

The robust housing of these optics allows them to remain waterproof at a 2-metre depth for up to 5 minutes. O-ring seals and nitrogen gas prevent mould or fog from forming inside the optical system. The binoculars weigh a smidge above 350 grams. 

CONS

Some customers find the neck strap a bit flimsy. 

OUR VERDICT

The Nikon Travelite EX is a great pair of binoculars for a couple of reasons. First, the compact size and the lightweight construction make them particularly suitable for outdoor activities. The said construction is also as rugged and robust as it gets, so you'll know the model will always be there for you.

detailed parameters
Magnification

8x

Lens diameter

25 mm

Exit pupil

3.1 mm

Eye relief

15.5 mm

Field of view (at 1000 metres)

110 m

Prism

Porro / BAK4

Minimum focus

2.8 m

Lenses

Multi-coated

Extras

Waterproof, "Turn-and-slide" rubber eyecups, Neck strap and carrying case included

Weight

355 g

Warranty

10 years

PROS

The compact size will let you use the model with one hand. The wide 16-millimetre eyepieces do not discriminate and will make just about any user feel comfortable peeping inside the binoculars. The rubber eyecups are removable, making them great for bespectacled individuals.

CONS

The plastic lens caps lose their grip after some time. 

OUR VERDICT

We feel comfortable putting the HUTACT HTK-62 on our list. It is a perfect entry-level pair of binoculars for ornithologists and just about anyone who would like to study and observe rare birds. Other than that, it isn't a bad option for your average sightseeing.

detailed parameters
Magnification

10x

Lens diameter

42 mm

Exit pupil

4.1 mm

Eye relief

15 mm

Field of view (at 1000 metres)

~101 m

Prism

Roof / BAK4

Minimum focus

~3 m

Lenses

Fully multi-coated

Extras

Waterproof, Carrying case, Neck strap, Lens and eyepiece caps, Cleaning cloth included

Weight

600 g

Warranty

Limited lifetime

Nikon Monarch 5

The Best Pick for Those Who Value Quality and Reliability

Nikon is a popular Japanese brand which is famous for manufacturing not only good reflex cameras but also superb optics. That's why these Monarch 5 series can be safely called the best optic devices in the class. Notably, the Monarch 5 binoculars range is available in several modifications that slightly vary in magnification rate and lens construction. The given model, which comes with x10 magnification and a 42-mm diameter lens, is one of the most popular models that smartly combines compact design and excellent optical characteristics to ensure users can get a clear view of far objects. Made from composite materials, these fiberglass polycarbonate binoculars are lightweight enough for comfortable outdoor use yet boast great shock resistance to withstand use in extreme conditions. The external part of the body is reinforced with rubber for a non-slip grip and better protection. 

Review of Nikon Monarch 5 Binocular

Optics That Will Impess You

When it comes to visibility and observation at different times of the day, the crucial point is the optics. The Monarch 5 model by Nikon comes with one of the best solutions so far. The optical elements are made of the Bak 4 glass so that you can get less optical chromatic aberrations and have a better clarity in different lighting conditions. Implementing a multi-prism coating in each optical element, Nikon has managed to increase binocular visual efficiency several times, making it suitable even for night observation. With the 4.2 mm exit pupil, this Monarch 5 binocular is a true balance of excellent magnification characteristics and optics diameter through which the nature you'll captivate will reveal all its beauty and glory. 

Nikon Monarch 5 Binocular in the use

Practical in Every Detail

The practical characteristics of binoculars are just as important as the optics. By purchasing the Monarch 5, you get a superb quality lens and a reinforced fully water- and fog-proof body designed to withstand external hazards and shocks. Thus, hunters, travellers, adventurers, and all active users can use it fearlessly in different weather conditions, even the wettest ones, observing objects and locations at different times of the day. Plus, this Nikon model comes with a good package. It contains a special case for storage and transportation and includes special dustproof cups for protecting lenses and pupils.

Detailed review of Nikon Monarch 5 Binocular

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Celestron 71008 SkyMaster

Magnification and Lens

Celestron binoculars are recommended by nearly any binocular buying guide. We have picked the Celestron 71008 SkyMaster since they boast an outstanding magnification rate of 25x. No wonder, the front lenses are rather wide in diameter - 70 mm, so the light transmittance is incredible. The field of view these cool binoculars provide is 43 metres at a distance of 914 metres. The exit pupil diameter is 2.8 mm. Thanks to immense magnification capabilities, the Celestron binoculars are the most suitable for watching distant immobile objects, such as celestial bodies. If you want to enjoy the Moon, these binoculars are right what you need. You can even try finding the Apollo 11 landing place! Celestron is incredible for astronomical viewing. Of course, you can use these binoculars for gazing into the sea and looking for an attractive harbour while sailing your yacht, for example. These binoculars aren't the best choice for watching the objects moving really fast, though. The minimum focus is 22.8 - too much for watching close objects.

Review of Celestron 71008 SkyMaster Binocular

Optical System

The big size of these binoculars is due to the use of a porro prism. Thus, these are classic binoculars. Despite their size, the Celestron model is very convenient to grip and carry. All the optics used in these cool binoculars are made of superb BAK4 glass. It goes without saying that Celestron designers stay up-to-date and use a multi-coated optics for the sake of clear and sharp views. You will definitely enjoy watching distant mountains and valleys at Yellowstone National Park. However, we'd like to mention once again that these are excellent binoculars for stargazers who adore the night sky.

Celestron 71008 SkyMaster Binocular in the use

Convenience

Unlike many other binoculars available on the market, this one is shipped with a tripod adapter, so you can easily mount it and enjoy shake-free views. Actually, we strongly advise you to do so, since the weight of the Celestron binoculars is rather big - almost 1.5 kg. The chassis is covered with rubber for a firm and non-slip grip. Also, the rubber covering protects the binoculars from scratches. As nearly all modern binoculars, these ones have a dioptre adjustment on the right eyecup. No need to say, the eyecups can be adjusted. The eye relief of the Celestron SkyMaster binoculars is 13 mm - ideal for people who wear glasses.

Detailed review of Celestron 71008 SkyMaster Binocular

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Celestron 71008 SkyMaster Binoculars
 

Olympus 8 x 40 DPSI

Perfect Price-to-Quality Ratio

Everybody knows Olympus - the well-known Japanese manufacturer of digital cameras. But do you know that the company also produces high-quality binoculars? If you do not, we can recommend you this Olympus 8 x 40 DPSI pair of binoculars which is totally worth your attention. This model is affordable but it doesn't mean it has a poor optical performance. For example, the lenses of this binocular set are fully multi-coated for an improved light transmission and, therefore, clear and bright images in all lighting conditions. 

A combination of an 8x magnification and a lens diameter of 40 mm provides a good light beam and amazing image fidelity. Now, these numbers might not seem that impressive if you compare them to those of the high-end binoculars but keep in mind that we're dealing with a budget model here.

Review of Olympus 8 x 40 DPSI Binocular

Excellent Field of View

Again, this device is one of the least expensive options on the market right now. But it can rival the majority of high-end binoculars at most things and even beat them at others. For example, the model features a ridiculous field of view that adds up to almost 131 metres.

With a field of view like that, it goes without saying that you'll have a great view of any stadium. You could use them to observe nature and the said view won't be limited whatsoever.

Other than that, the previous specifications and the latter one make this product a particularly excellent choice for viewing fast-moving objects at a considerable distance. Furthermore, the model's large, centre-focus knob will allow you to easily focus on the object in no time at all.

Olympus 8 x 40 DPSI Binocular in the use

Distortion-Free View

Now, before we move on from the subject of optical performance, there's one more thing that we absolutely have to talk about. While the coating, magnification, and the field of view are all important, even more significant is the aspherical shape of the said optics. It might not sound like much but a form like that guarantees plasticity and distortion-free view more than any other aspect.

As far as the model's construction goes, you have the usual rubber coating that ensures a solid and firm grip. But you also have a couple of things that aren't as prevalent like UV protection that will keep your eyes away from the sun's harmful rays. There's also the built-in dioptric correction technology that does a pretty good job adjusting to the eyesight of every individual.

All things considered, the modest price and solid optical specifications make this pair of binoculars one of the more well-balanced prospects on the market. They'll make a great present, allowing you or the recipient to discover the expansive nature around us.

Detailed review of Olympus 8 x 40 DPSI Binocular

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Nikon Travelite EX 8x25

A Robust Pair

Even when it comes to the budget segment of the optics market, Nikon is still a company you can always rely upon. Whether we're talking about a one thousand pound camera or a below one hundred pound pair of binoculars, the people at Nikon always deliver a quality product.

In this case, the quality product is Nikon Travelite EX, the said pair of modestly priced binoculars. There's a lot to like about them but we would like to start with the construction. To be a bit more precise, with the model's waterproof and fog-free construction.

The robust housing of these optics allows them to remain waterproof at a 2-metre depth for up to 5 minutes. Now, as far as fog is concerned, the engineers at Nikon decided to go with O-ring seals and nitrogen gas. A solution like that prevents mould or fog from forming inside the optical system. Which is great because it means that a sudden change of weather won't be enough to cloud your view.

Review of Nikon Travelite EX 8x25 Binoculars

Comfort has a Role to Play Too

While we would like to move on from the model's construction, we would be remiss not to mention the die-cast aluminium body that the manufacturers have covered in rubber armouring. This way, they have been able to kill two birds with one stone - add a layer of shock resistance to their binoculars and ensure a comfortable and firm grip for all kinds of hands.

Speaking of comfort, the central focusing dial plays a big role in it too as it is perfectly positioned for ease of use. But the most important part of this product that makes them both comfortable and particularly versatile is weight. Adding up to about 350 grams in the said category, this lightweight and rugged model is perfect for travelling, be it camping, hiking, backpacking, or any other type of outdoor recreation.

Nikon Travelite EX 8x25 Binoculars in the use

The Optics to Match

But, of course, any pair of binoculars is only as good as its optical performance. But this is Nikon we're talking about, and at the people at Nikon always have their customers back in that regard. Though the 8x magnification power might not seem like a lot, it will be more than enough for spectator sports, general theatre use, observing the wildlife, and the aforementioned travelling purposes.

The multilayer lens coating that they employ is responsible for bright, clear images. The high-eyepoint design ensures a clear, 110-metre field of view. The click-type dioptre ring will allow you to achieve and enjoy the sharpest image. The aspherical eyepieces also play a part in ensuring that sharpness and clarity as they work to eliminate all kinds of optical imperfections.

Other than that, there's a lot more we could cover here, but we believe we have made our point already. Nikon Travelite EX is a great pair of binoculars for a couple of reasons. First, the compact size and the lightweight construction make them particularly suitable for outdoor activities. The said construction is also as rugged and robust as it gets, so you'll know the model will always be there for you.

Detailed review of Nikon Travelite EX 8x25 Binoculars

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

HUTACT HTK-62

Easy to Grab, Easy to Share

The HUTACT HTK-62 doesn't have some sort of a big name brand behind it. But what the American company lacks in notoriety they more than make up for it with affordable prices and a personal approach to every product.

The first thing that caught our attention is the compact design of the model. Though we like the way these binoculars look, the best part of the design is just how space-saving and practical it is. If some sort of a rare bird pops by, you can grab the model with minimal fuss. The ergonomically sound design also means that this thing can be easily passed around or shared with your friends or family members at some kind of an outdoor event.

Of course, most of these outdoor events aren't known for their safety and lack of any potential collision. So the non-slip rubber hand grips are there not just to secure a firm grip but also to protect the device from any shock damage if you manage to drop it.

Review of HUTACT HTK-62 Binoculars Bird Watching, Compact 10X42

An Always Bright Image

As far as optics are concerned, the model is no slouch either. Since it comes with 10x magnification, you will be able to make images a hundred metres away appear to be just 10 metres away. The multi-coated lenses are there to make sure that the product will not fall victim to fog and dust.

The 42-millimetre aperture is up there with some of the most expensive commercial binoculars when it comes to providing a bright image. Even while dealing with low-light conditions, the image quality will be able to stay at a high level.

We particularly liked the way the manufacturers have implemented the adjustable focus here. All you have to do to activate it is twist the right eyecup, it doesn't get simpler than that.

HUTACT HTK-62 Binoculars Bird Watching, Compact 10X42 in the use

Grab it With one Hand

Now, we did talk about the model's design earlier, but we feel like there are still a couple of things that we would talk about. First, the whole thing features precisely 12.6 x 5.8 x 14.2 centimetres in overall dimensions and about 600 grams of weight, so you'll easily be able to use it with one hand. The wide 16-millimetre eyepieces do not discriminate and will make just about any user feel comfortable peeping inside the binoculars.

By the way, the aforementioned rubber eyecups are removable, so people with glasses will be able to just as easily utilise this model as the ones without spectacles. In addition to the binoculars themselves, you'll get a cleaning cloth, a carrying case, and the usual protective lens covers.

All in all, we feel comfortable putting the HUTACT HTK-62 on our list. It is a perfect entry-level pair of binoculars for ornithologists and just about anyone who would like to study and observe rare birds. Other than that, it isn't a bad model for your average sightseeing.

Detailed review of HUTACT HTK-62 Binoculars Bird Watching, Compact 10X42

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Are Binoculars?

Binoculars are, basically, 2 mirror-symmetrical tubes with lots of lenses, mirrors, and a prism. Simple as they are, binoculars give quite a lot of opportunities for people of different professions. As you know, binoculars are used for observing distant objects that are too far for human eyesight to spot. Thanks to binoculars, you can zoom the object in and see every single detail of it. Who needs it? Lots of people. Binoculars make it possible for us to watch birds, to orient during a hiking tour, to watch the surface of the Moon, to see faces of your favourite music band members during concerts, and so on. And it's self-evident that binoculars are an absolute must-have for any hunter or a border guard! In general, if you like nature and wilderness, you should certainly get a cool pair of binoculars.

Those who adore backpacking and camping will also appreciate our review of the best sleeping bags that are necessary for spending nights in the open country.

What Features to Compare

Magnification and Lens

There are 3 major features you need to pay attention to when choosing binoculars: a magnification rate, a front lens diameter, and an exit pupil. The quality of what you are going to see through any binoculars depends primarily on them. Let's explain each parameter so that you understand what they mean. So, the magnification rate tells you how many times you can enlarge a distant object. The more the better but the quality and accuracy suffer. If you need binoculars for birding, choose a model that has a magnification rate of 8x and lower - you will be able to find the object and focus on it rather quickly. If you wish to observe a pride of lions from afar in Africa - choose binoculars with a higher magnification rate. The diameter of the front lens impacts a viewing angle and the amount of light the lens can collect. Thus, the wider the lens is, the more you will be able to see. Finally, consider the exit pupil. It depends on the previous feature and the higher the exit pupil is, the better you will be able to see in the evening. Be careful when choosing lens parameters, consider what you need binoculars for, then proceed to the other important aspects described further on.

Optical System

Now, it's time to consider the optic system of all binoculars in our review. The keystone is a prism that transforms and rotates an image so that our eyes can see the object as it is, not upside down. The prism and the material it's made of are really important since they impact the quality of what you see and the size of the binoculars. Today, 2 major types of prisms are used: roof and porro. Roof prisms are smaller and, therefore, binoculars with roof prisms are more compact, too. However, porro prisms are rather popular even today; it's a classic design of binoculars. The units with a porro prism are usually quite convenient to carry and hold. Next, find out what type of material a prism is made of - it impacts the view you see. As usual, 2 types of glass are used to produce prisms: BAK4 and BAK7. BAK7 prisms are usually installed on cheaper models but there's a drawback - the view on the sides will be more obscure than that in the center. BAK4 prisms are far superior in terms of the view they produce. Also, the best binoculars have a multi-layer coating of lenses and prism - it helps get a rather bright view even in the dusk.

Convenience

In the end, you need to consider how convenient binoculars are and if you feel comfortable using it. So, what to start with? First of all, pay attention to the material all binoculars are made of and what covering they have. If you need binoculars for really extreme situations, choose a reinforced or magnesium chassis (shock-resistant and durable). The chassis should be rubberised so that the unit doesn't slip out of your hands. Also, find out if binoculars are waterproof - if yes, you will be able to use a unit during the rain or when fording a river. A shift in the temperatures leads to the appearance of fog on the lenses and that mustn't happen to binoculars, so we recommend you to get the one with a fog-proof chassis. And no need to mention, binoculars should be quite lightweight in order not to be a burden for you. How to make it fog-proof? It's easy - such binoculars are filled with some gas (usually, nitrogen), which is invisible to a human eye but prevents fogging. Also, don't forget to check some other convenience features: for example, twist-up eyecups allow you to use binoculars even while wearing glasses. And if you have different eyesight on your eyes, pick binoculars with a dioptre adjustment (an appropriate ring is usually on the right eyecup). Finally, the more you zoom up, the 'shakier' the view will be and you might need a tripod. However, most binoculars are tripod adaptable.

Sources:

1. How to Choose Binoculars, wikiHow.

2. Binoculars: How to Choose, REI. July 28, 2016.

3. How to Choose Binoculars, Eastern Mountain Sports.

4. Dave Brody How to Choose Binoculars for Astronomy and Skywatching, SPACE. October 22, 2015.

5. How to Choose the Right Binoculars, OpticsPlanet. July 17, 2015.

Other reviews
Comments
0 Comments

Your comment was successfully sent

Error! Please try again later