This model comes with an adaptor for the tripod, providing more convenience when observing static objects for long periods of time.
Dust and dirt sticks to the rubber armouring.
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.
Roof / BAK4
IP67 body protection level, Turn-and-slide eyecups, Tripod adaptor, Rubbered composite body, Fogproof
These Bushnell binoculars offer a great balance between the diameter, zoom, and lens. The image you get has is clear, vivid, and distortion-free.
Focusing might seem a bit difficult at first.
This model has an ergonomic chassis, providing a firm and comfortable grip. You will be able to enjoy viewing distant objects!
Roof / BAK7
Non-slip rubber armour absorbs shock and provides a firm grip
The model 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.
The case that comes in the supply kit doesn't have pockets for storing lens caps.
This Olympus model combines a truly wallet-friendly price and impressive optical specifications. These binoculars will be a great present.
Porro / BAK7
Rubber-coated chassis, Extended kit (includes a case, a strap, and a cloth)
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.
These Celestron binoculars are rather heavy, so watching fast-moving objects might be slightly inconvenient.
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.
Porro / BAK4
Tripod adaptable, Protective rubber covering, Right eye dioptre adjustment
This pair of binoculars is very durable, so it's suitable for extreme conditions and everyday use. The lenses are fog-proof and, thus, can be used even in case of a rapid temperature change.
Holding the binoculars during a rain might seem slightly uncomfortable due to the placement of dents on the chassis.
This pair of binoculars will be a real finding for hunters, bird watchers, and for viewing sports competitions. The binoculars are supplied with all the necessary accessories.
Roof / BAK4
Waterproof, Rubber Armouring, Multi-position eyecups, Centre focus wheel, Right eye dioptre, Tripod adaptable, Fog-proof
What is a Binocular?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Complete Package Bundle
Nikon comes with a good package. It contains a special case for storage and transportation and includes special dustproof cups for protecting lenses and pupils.
Reliable Binoculars From the Well-known Manufacturer
The Powerview binoculars from the famous Bushnell company are a great combination of fantastic optical specifications and a really durable chassis. This model has a 10x zoom, which means the device is fairly versatile - you can use it while hunting or fishing, on a hiking tour or for watching sporting events. The image clarity is above all praise and you will be able to enjoy the views of nature and see everything in detail. The Powerview binoculars have a shockproof chassis with a rubber covering, so the device can withstand accidental drops and bumps. The lenses of these binoculars have are multi-coated, allowing you to discern distant objects even under low light conditions. If you are an avid bird watcher, you can mount these Bushnell binoculars on a tripod. It's very useful and convenient! Yet, we would like to draw your attention that this device is not water-resistant, so you should avoid using it in a rain.
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. No doubt, this set of binoculars has a decent field of view (at 1000 yards) - almost 131 metres. In our expert team's opinion, these binoculars are excellent for viewing fast-moving objects. And if you are worried about your eyes' health, we are really glad to inform you that the lenses of this model provide a UV protection. Thus, your eyes will not suffer if you enjoy watching birds on a sunny day for several hours.
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.
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.
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.
Eyeskey Compact Waterproof Binocular
Compact and Protected
If you are looking for a compact and well-protected pair of binoculars that will help you view distant objects in any weather conditions, pay attention to this Eyeskey model. No doubt, this device won't be out of service if you use it during a heavy downpour. The model boasts an excellent assembly quality and, thus, is truly reliable. The manufacturer is totally sure about its products and that's why the lifetime guarantee is provided. The Eyeskey binoculars are totally waterproof and, moreover, resistant to bumps and temperature changes. Therefore, the Eyeskey binoculars will be helpful to hunters, park rangers, bird watchers, and those who adore extreme leisure. The multi-coated optics and BAC4 lenses of these binoculars ensure an astounding image clarity that can be compared to that on much more expensive models on the market. Finally, we would like to once more highlight the compactness of the device. If you need a portable set of binoculars - this one is for you!
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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.