What are the Best Binoculars You Can Buy? 7 Tips for a Successful Buy

December 19, 2019 0 Comments



Anyone planning to buy a pair of binoculars what to get the best one which is not so easy with a huge selection of binoculars available on the market.

What to do then? There are so many things to keep in mind when looking for a good pair of binoculars.

The best binocular is the one that satisfies your needs and affordable. Though it’s a short and simple answer.

There are way more things to take into account and in this short post I want to cover some of the most important aspects for choosing the right optical instrument.



How to choose the Best Binocular for Your Money?

As I said above, choosing binoculars is not so easy though it may seem very easy.

There are many things to take into account, such as weight, material it’s made of, magnification power, prism type, objective size, image quality, waterproof and fog proof feature, field of view, eye relief.

Let’s see how all this can affect your purchase to make sure that you choose the best pair of binoculars for your money.



7 Things to Know About Binoculars


Magnification Power

When you decide which binocular to buy and how to spend your money wisely first thing you need to pay attention to is the weight of a binocular.

The most selling binocular is a 8x and 10x binocular where 8x or 10x stands for magnification power.

This magnification is the most optimal that satisfies the needs of most people wanting to choose a good pair of a binocular.

8x and 10x binocular is good for bird watching, traveling, general use, for hunting, for safaris, for marine purposes.

This type of a binocular is relatively lightweight and doesn’t cause too much hand shaking. As a result, image in such binoculars is relatively stable.






Prism Type

There are two types of prism used in binoculars: porro and roof. Image quality is almost the same but with a slight difference.

Image in porro binoculars is a little 3D scopic which makes image more interesting for your eyes.

But to be honest, the difference compared to roof binoculars is not so critical.

The advantage of roof binoculars over porro binoculars is that roof optical instruments are more lightweight than porro binoculars.

But what does it mean to you as an end user? This means roof binoculars cause less hand shaking and when looking through such a binocular you get more stable image.

Is this important? Yes, it may be important and especially for bird watchers that use binoculars for long sessions.






Optics Quality

Generally speaking image quality in porro binoculars and roof binoculars is not much different. Both images are crystal clear provided binocular has BAK-4 prism.

I never recommend BK-7 prism binoculars because of a very low image quality. Of course, if BK-7 is what you can afford then it’s ok to choose it.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend it. Other than BAK-4 prism I also recommend to choose fully multi-coated optics over multi-coated.

Again, the difference is not so critical but image quality in fully multi-coated optics is a little better than just multi-coated.





Field of View

Field of view is also not so critical but it affects your overall experience.

For general use, for safaris, bird watching and for traveling I always recommend 8x binoculars vs 10x binoculars.

The difference in magnification power is not so noticeable while field of view in 8x is wider than in 10x binoculars.

If field of view is not so critical then you can choose 10x, 12x or even 15x where 15x is the maximum I recommend.

Because anything more powerful than 15x has a narrow field of view which affects your overall experience and is bulky that needs a tripod to be used with binoculars.






Eye Relief

Eye relief is also important if you wear glasses. But it’s not critical for every glass wearer.

Most binoculars correct the image which means you can look through binoculars without eye glasses.

But if you have astigmatism then you better choose binoculars with eye relief of at least 16-18mm. So, if have eye problem then choose binoculars on this page.






Waterproof/Fog proof

Waterproof and fog proof feature is important only if you plan to use binoculars in different weather conditions, especially when traveling.

It’s important due to temperature changes which can cause fogging of your optics. So, it becomes a critical factor for hunters, land and sea travelers.






ED glass/ HD glass binoculars

Some binoculars have ED glass or HD optics which brings some difference to the image quality.

Binoculars with ED glass or HD glass optics have clearer image and less color fringing known as chromatic aberration.

The difference in the image quality is noticeable but not huge if you compare it to a good BAK-4 prism binocular.

Brand binoculars, such as Bushnell, Wingspan, Nikon, Leopold, Carson with BAK-4 prism will deliver super clear image which will satisfy demands of most people.

On the image below you can see the difference. If it’s critical for you then you will have to pay extra $30-$50 and sometimes even more than $100 depending on a brand for a pair with ED or HD glass.





What are the Best Binoculars You Can Buy?

In this post I tried to show most important factors that affect your successful purchase of good pair of binoculars.

As I mentioned above, the best binocular you can buy is one that satisfies most of your needs. Most of those needs have been explained above.

If you follow these recommendations you will be able to make a good choice and I’me sure you will be satisfied with your purchase.

Aside from these aspects I also would like to touch upon some other aspects worth mentioning in my opinion. Selection of binoculars is really huge.

If you plan to look for a good pair of binoculars for your money your search will be endless.

There are mainly three types of binoculars available on the market:


  • Budget binoculars (Mostly non brand binoculars)
  • Medium class binoculars
  • High class binoculars


When choosing binoculars following recommendations above how to make sure you choose the right pair of binoculars?

Budget binoculars are very often come from China and quality of materials is not so good. They cost on average $15-$25.

For such a low price you can’t expect to get a high quality optical instrument. Such binoculars are recommended only if you can’t afford medium or high class binoculars.

Since high binoculars are not affordable for most people and may cost around $700 and up to $1.000 or even $2.000, my top recommended optical instruments are from medium class.

They can cost you around $50 and up to $300-$400. Medium class binoculars are brand products, such as Bushnell, Celestron, Nikon, Wingspan, Bresser, Leopold, Carson and some other brands.

Medium class binoculars have good BAK-4 prism, fully multi-coated optics, waterproof and fog proof and even some of them have ED or HD glass optics.

They all deliver high quality image, are relatively lightweight and waterproof and fog proof.

As I said, selection is endless. I list here some of the best available on the market.


1.  If you are looking for high power binoculars with magnification 15x and above then read this post.

2. If you are looking for lightweight, compact binoculars then read this post.

3. If you are looking for a powerful binocular with magnification 8x and up to 10x then read this post.

4. If you have eye problem and you are looking for a binocular suitable for your eyes then read this post.


Below I list binoculars from each category above:


  Vortex Optics Vulture HD Binoculars 15×56
Wide field of view
Magnification power 15x
Fully multi-coated high quality optics
97% Customer satisfaction
Price: $499

Vortex Optics Vulture HD Binoculars 15x56


4,7 score






  Levenhuk Karma PRO 16×42 Waterproof/Fogproof Binoculars
Bak4 Prism
Magnification power 16
Customer satisfaction: 100%
Price: $103.95

levenhuk 16x42


4,8 score






  Bresser Spezial Astro 20×80
Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 20
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $222.45

Bresser Spezial Astro 20x80

score 4,8






  Pentax UP 8 x 21 Binoculars (Navy) – Porro prism

Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 8
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $99

Pentax UP 8 x 21 Binoculars (Navy)

4,8 score






   Steiner BluHorizons Binoculars 8×22

– Wide angle of view
Steiner Autobright optics
Magnification power 8
Customer satisfaction: 100%
Price: $192.53

Steiner BluHorizons Binoculars 8x22

4,7 score






  Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Binocular 10×25

Wide field of view (waterproof/fog proof)
Magnification power 10x
BAK-4 prism
Customer satisfaction: 90%
Price: $149

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x25

4,8 score






  Wingspan Optics NaturePro HD 8X42 Professional Binoculars

– Extra Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
HD Glass, waterproof/fogproof
94% customer satisfaction
Price: $124.92


Wingspan Optics NaturePro HD 8X42 Professional Binoculars


5 score






  Zeiss Terra ED Binocular 8×42
Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
High quality ED glass optics
100% customer satisfaction
Price: $389

Zeiss Terra ED Binocular 8x42


4,7 score






  Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 10×42 Binoculars
Wide field of view
Magnification power 10x
BaK-4 prism
100% Customer satisfaction
Price: $130.99

Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 10x42 Binoculars


4,8 score






       Levenhuk Karma Plus 8×42

  • Magnification 8x
  • Eye relief 17.8mm
  • Fully Multicoated Roof – Schmidt/Pechan
  • Field of view: 6.8° (355 feet / 1000 yds)
  • Waterproof/ Fog proof
  • Customer satisfaction 90%
  • Suitable for eyeglass wearers
  • Price: $79


Levenhuk Karma Plus 8x42







        Levenhuk Karma Pro 8×42

  • Magnification 8x
  • Eye relief 17.5mm
  • Fully Multicoated optics
  • BAK-4 prism
  • Field of view: 7.4° (388 feet / 1000 yds)
  • Waterproof/ Fog proof
  • Customer satisfaction 89%
  • Suitable for eyeglass wearers
  • Price: $75

Levenhuk Karma Pro 8x42







        Nikon Sporter 8×42 EX

  • Magnification 8x
  • Eye relief 19.7mm
  • Eco Glass optics
  • Field of view: 7° (370 feet / 1000 yds)
  • Waterproof/ Fog proof
  • Customer satisfaction 100%
  • Suitable for eyeglass wearers
  • Price: $180


Nikon Sporter 8x42 EX








        Wingspan Optics Skyview Ultra HD 8×42

  • Eye relief 17.8mm
  • Magnification 8x
  • Extra-Low Dispersion Glass
  • ED Glass BAK-4 prism
  • Field of view: 7.4° (393 feet / 1000 yds)
  • Waterproof/ Fog proof
  • Customer satisfaction 82%
  • Suitable for eyeglass wearers
  • Price: $179

Wingspan Optics Skyview Ultra HD 8×42







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We review and recommend quality binoculars so you don't waste your money on useless ones.

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