How to Choose the Best High Power Binoculars

April 18, 2019 2 Comments

high power binoculars

 

Choosing high power binoculars is very different from choosing binoculars for general use purposes. Normally we look for magnification power.

If we want binoculars for a general use we look for a criteria, such as magnification.

Because binoculars with magnification up to 16 are relatively lightweight and you can hold them in your hands relatively steady.

I would recommend magnification up to 10x which can meet the needs of almost anyone looking for a powerful binocular at a reasonable price.

If anyway you want more powerful optics and not too heavy binoculars then magnification 16 is the limit. The objective lens must not be more than 50mm.

There are very few binoculars with magnification 16x available on the market that are lightweight and produce high quality image. I will list them all here.

And remember that I recommend only quality optics. Prices are different too, ranging from $100 and up to $200.

If you find optics with a high magnification for $20 or something around this price I would recommend to not waste your hard earned money on such cheap optics.

The quality of such binoculars is very low and the image quality doesn’t meet any standards. They will harm your eyesight.

Binoculars that have magnification 15x or 16x can be used without a tripod.

I would say if you are looking for a powerful lightweight binocular, magnification 15x or 16x is the best choice.

I can recommend 6 binoculars such as:

 

  • Swarovski Optik 15×56 SLC Series Roof Prism Binocular
  • Vortex Optics Vulture HD Binoculars 15×56
  • Pentax SP 16×50 Binoculars
  • Nikon 7247 Action 16×50 EX Extreme All-Terrain Binocular
  • Levenhuk Karma PRO 16×42 Waterproof Fogproof Binoculars
  • Nikon 8250 ACULON A211 16×50 Binocular

 

 

  Swarovski Optik 15×56 SLC Series Water Proof Roof Prism Binocular
Wide angle of view (4.5 Degree)
HD Glass Prism
Magnification power 15
Customer satisfaction: 86%
Price: $2.299

Swarovski Optik 15x56 SLC

4,6 score

 

 

 

 

  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

 

 

 

 

  Pentax SP 16×50 Binoculars
Bak4 Prism
Magnification power 16
Customer satisfaction: 70%
Price: $106.89

pentax-sp-16x50-binoculars

4,6 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

 

 

For other binoculars with magnification 15x click here. 

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For other binoculars with magnification 16x click here. 

 

These are the best optical devices existing on the market when it comes to overall quality in terms of design, image quality and use of use.

 

How and When to Use High Power Binoculars

Binoculars that have magnification 20x or 25x are known as high power binoculars. Such binoculars are heavy and recommended to use on tripod only.

It’s hard to hold them in hands steady longer than 1,2 minutes. I use my Pentax 20×60 with AmazonBasics tripod.

Though the quality of the tripod is not so good I still use it. It broke a few days after my purchase and then I fixed it myself.

 

pentax 20x60

 

High power binoculars normally have objective lens of at least 60mm and up to 100mm.

Due to a high magnification power they have such big lenses in order to produce image of high quality and brightness.

This makes such binoculars heavy and holding them in hands becomes a challenge even for experienced users.

The downside of high power binoculars is the field of view aspect and the image quality and brightness.

Such binoculars can’t produce the same image quality that do binoculars with magnification up to 12.

Binoculars with magnification up to 12x can be used both in clear weather and in hot weather.

The image will be crystal clear with magnification up to 10x or clear with magnification 12x.

When it comes to magnification 15x and above, such as 16x, 20x, 25x, 40x, 48, 60x, 100x the image becomes different and not so crystal clear depending on the weather conditions.

 

objective-lens-diaameter

 

Why? I will try to explain.

When you use high power binoculars with magnification 12x and above, especially starting from 16x and above in a hot weather due to evaporation in the air your binoculars magnify not only objects that you try to view through binoculars but everything that gets into binoculars field of view zone.

In a hot weather very often image becomes floating due to evaporation in the air.

The ideal time for using high power binoculars with magnification 15x and above is when weather is clear and not hot.

If you use such binoculars in weather conditions other than I described above the image quality in the binoculars will be clear.

High power or in other words astronomical binoculars have lens size starting from 70mm and above which makes them heavy and not usable without a tripod.

Though there are some binoculars that have objective lens size 56mm or 60mm. They are relatively lightweight.

The best among high power binoculars that produce good image and are not too heavy are 4 binoculars that I can recommend:

 

  • Vortex Optics Kaibab HD Binoculars, 18×56
  • Pentax SP 20×60 WP Binoculars
  • Bresser Spezial-Saturn 20×60 Porro
  • Nikon Monarch 5 20×56 ED Binoculars

 

 

  Vortex Optics Kaibab HD Binoculars, 18×56
HD Water Proof Roof Prism
Magnification power 18
Customer satisfaction: 85%
Price: $998

Vortex Optics Kaibab HD Binoculars, 18x56

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

  Pentax SP 20×60 WP Binoculars
Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 20
Customer satisfaction: 78%
Price: $239

Pentax SP 20x60 WP Binoculars

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

  Bresser Spezial-Saturn 20×60 Porro
Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 20
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $140

 

Bresser Spezial-Saturn 20x60 Porro

4,7

 

 

 

 

  Nikon Monarch 5 20×56 ED Waterproof/Fogproof Binoculars 

– Wide field of view, (Field of View: 173 feet at 1,000 yards, 3.3 degrees angle of view)
Magnification power 20x
Prism type: ED Glass roof prism
Customer satisfaction: 94%
Price: $899.99

Nikon Monarch 5 20x56 ED Binoculars

 

4,6 score

 

 

These optical devices have a powerful magnification, produce quality image and are relatively lightweight.

You can use them without a tripod though tripod is sometimes recommended.

The image quality in these binoculars is almost of the same quality.

Though Vortex and Nikon are more expensive and produce image a little better than Pentax and Bresser.

I have Pentax 20×60 and happy with the quality. Image is clear and sharp.

If you want the best image quality then paying for Vortex or Nikon is worth every penny of your money.

At least I don’t know any other binoculars with such magnification and image quality available on the market.

 

High Power Binoculars with Magnification 20x and above

Now let’s talk about high power binoculars with magnification 20x, 25x and lens size 70mm, 80mm, 100mm.

Remember, the bigger the objective lens the brighter is the image produced by binoculars.

These binoculars with lens size 70mm, 80mm, 100mm are heavy and have to be used on tripod only.

Only in that case you can enjoy viewing objects through the binoculars.

Among such binoculars there are medium class binoculars and there are high class binoculars and there are premium class binoculars.

By high class I mean the image quality produced by them. Note, both medium and high class high power binoculars produce quality image.

But if you want to get the best image, crystal clear, sharp and bright then you have to pay more. This is very normal and fair.

 

Among medium class binoculars I can recommend these:

 

  • Celestron SkyMaster 20×80 Binoculars
  • Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25×70 Binoculars
  • Gosky Titan 25×70 Astronomy Binoculars

 

  Celestron SkyMaster 20×80 Binoculars
Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 20
Customer satisfaction: 74%
Price: $102.40

Celestron SkyMaster 20x80

 

4,5

 

 

 

  Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25×70 Binoculars
Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 25
Customer satisfaction: 77%
Price: $65.64

Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25x70

 

4,6

 

 

 

  Gosky Titan 25×70 Astronomy Binoculars
– Bak-4 Prism
– Magnification power 25
– Customer satisfaction: 86%
– Price: $105.99

Gosky Titan 25x70

 

4,3

 

 

 

Among high class high power binoculars I can recommend these:

 

  • Levenhuk Bruno Plus 20×80 Powerful Astronomy Binoculars
  • Bresser Spezial Astro 20×80
  • Gosky Titan 20×80 Astronomy Binoculars
  • Oberwerk 20×80 LW Binocular
  • Celestron 20×80 SkyMaster Pro High Power Astronomy Binoculars
  • Pentax SP 20×60 WP Binoculars
  • Gosky Titan 25×70 Astronomy Binoculars
  • Celestron SkyMaster 25X100 ASTRO Binoculars

 

  Levenhuk Bruno Plus 20×80 Powerful Astronomy Binoculars
Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 20
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $184.95

Levenhuk Bruno Plus 20x80

 

score 4,8

 

 

 

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

Bresser Spezial Astro 20x80

score 4,8

 

 

 

 

  Gosky Titan 20×80 Astronomy Binoculars
Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 20
Customer satisfaction:76%
Price: $222.45

Gosky Titan 20x80 Astronomy Binoculars

 

score 4,8

 

 

 

  Oberwerk 20×80 LW Binocular
Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 20
Customer satisfaction: 83%
Price: $219.95

Oberwerk 20x80 LW Binocular

score 4,8

 

 

 

 

  Celestron 20×80 SkyMaster Pro High Power Astronomy Binoculars
Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 20
Customer satisfaction: 88%
Price: $209.95

Celestron 20x80 SkyMaster Pro

score 4,8

 

 

 

Premium class high power binoculars:

 

  • Nikon Monarch 5 20×56 ED Waterproof/Fogproof Binoculars
  • Vortex Optics Kaibab HD Binoculars 18×56
  • Celestron 71454 Echelon 20×70 Binoculars
  • Oberwerk 25×100 IF Deluxe Binocular
  • Orion GiantView 25×100 Astronomy Binoculars
  • Orion GiantView ED 20×80 Waterproof Astronomy Binoculars

 

 

  Orion GiantView ED 20×80 Waterproof Astronomy Binoculars
Prism type: ED lenses, Bak-4
Magnification power 20
Customer satisfaction: 100%
Price: $399.14

Orion GiantView ED 20x80

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

  Celestron 71454 Echelon 20×70 Binoculars
Bak-4 Prism, Waterproof
Magnification power 20
Customer satisfaction: 100%
Price: $798.49

Celestron 71454 Echelon 20x70

4,6 score

 

 

 

  Vortex Optics Kaibab HD Binoculars, 18×56
HD Water Proof Roof Prism
Magnification power 18
Customer satisfaction: 85%
Price: $998

Vortex Optics Kaibab HD Binoculars, 18x56

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

  Orion GiantView 25×100 Astronomy Binoculars
Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 25
Customer satisfaction: 77%
Price: $349.99

Orion GiantView 25×100 Astronomy

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

   Oberwerk 25×100 IF Deluxe Binocular

Field of view 2.4°
 BAK-4 Prism
Magnification power 25
Customer satisfaction: 90%
Price: $499.95

Oberwerk 25x100 IF Deluxe Binocular

4.6

 

 

 

 

  Nikon Monarch 5 20×56 ED Waterproof/Fogproof Binoculars 

– Wide field of view, (Field of View: 173 feet at 1,000 yards, 3.3 degrees angle of view)
Magnification power 20x
Prism type: ED Glass roof prism
Customer satisfaction: 94%
Price: $899.99

Nikon Monarch 5 20x56 ED Binoculars

 

4,6 score

 

 

Note: High power binoculars with magnification 15x and above, such as 16x, 18x, 20x, 25x, 30x, 40x, 50x, 60x, 100x have limited field of view.

For example, below you can see the screenshot of three different binoculars with magnification 10x, 12x and 20x.

 

magnification-10x-12x-20x

 

It’s obvious that when magnification power increases the field of view becomes smaller.

This is very normal for high power binoculars.

Please note that though you see the image on the screenshot below in a round circle, in real life when you look through binoculars with your two eyes the actual image is bigger than what you see in the image.

Of course, when it comes to field of view high power binoculars with magnification 15x and above can’t beat binoculars with magnification up to 12x.

In fact, if you choose high power binoculars you do so because you want to get closer to the distant object and see smaller details that you can’t see with magnification 8x, 10, or even 12x.

That’s why in my opinion, smaller field of view here is not an issue at all.

Finally, let’s talk about Astronomical binoculars with magnification 40x and above up to 94x must be used with tripod only.

You simply can’t hold them in your hands and look through them. They are too heavy.

Fortunately, most of the time they come with tripod when you buy such binoculars.

If you plan to use binoculars for astronomy purposes to see Saturn rings, galaxies, nebulas or get closer to the moon then you need astronomy telescopes, such as Oberwerk telescopic binoculars with magnification 40x, 48x, 64x, 94x.

These astronomical binoculars can be used both for field and stargazing.

They are expensive but if you are looking for a high quality optics with a powerful magnification then Oberwerk is one of the best manufacturers of high power optics.

 

For astronomical binoculars with magnification 40x and above click here. 

 

 

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

Comments (2)

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  1. Dhayours says:

    Binoculars and miscrocope are interesting instrument as they help you view things from far distance and it will be as if they are closer to you. I must commend you for taking your time to share this article because you must have done a lot of research. I have learnt when to use high power binoculars from this article and I will keep checking up on your site to get more exciting post binoculars and miscrocope. What high power binocular can you recommend me? My budget is around $120. 

    • Adam says:

      I love binoculars too and have many optical devices from different brands. In fact, most people nowadays spend too much time with smart phones and tablets but in my opinion, with binoculars you can spend your time in a much better way viewing distant objects or nature. For your budget I can recommend

      1. Pentax SP 16×50 Binoculars,
      2. Levenhuk Karma PRO 16×42 Waterproof Fogproof Binoculars,
      3. Celestron SkyMaster 20×80 Binoculars
      4. Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25×70 Binoculars
      5. Gosky Titan 25×70 Astronomy Binoculars

      If you plan to use them without a tripod then my recommendation would be first two binoculars. In my opinion the second one Levenhuk is the ideal choice because lens size is 42 which means it is a lightweight binocular. The field of view in Levenhuk is 3.6 degrees while in Pentax it is 3.5 So, Levenhuk is better. But the difference is not critical. Go with any of these two and I believe you will not be disappointed.

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