Do you love birding? Nothing sucks the fun out of birdwatching like a bad pair of binoculars. If you want to have the best birdwatching experience, you need the best pair of binoculars. A good pair of binoculars should offer a perfect combination of lightweight construction, adjustability, and features. Because, you will be carrying it everywhere, if the pair you choose can have the best features and still be compact, the better.
As a beginner, binoculars with 8×40 specs will give you a great experience. With a magnification of x8 or x9, you will enjoy birding. For experienced birders, a magnification of 10x will do just fine. For the objective lens, you need between 30 and 42 mm as recommended by the National Audubon Society.
Below, we have discussed the five best binoculars for all budgets.
1. Celestron Nature DX (8 x 42)
The Celestron Nature DX (8 x 42) is an ideal pair of binoculars for beginners. It is offered at a relatively low price making great when you are just starting. With 8×42 magnification, this pair allows you to see many birds – you can see a 388-feet field of view at 1000 yards. Irrespective of the environment you are in, the BAK-4 prisms in the binoculars allows you to view details images. Better yet, you can still focus at a distance of 6.5 feet. While these are not the lightest binoculars, at 22.2 ounces, it is still light enough. These units also require less maintenance.
- Great for beginners
- Delivers crisp images irrespective of the environment
- No fogging thanks to nitrogen filling
- Slight edge distortion
- Images not clear in low light
2. Wingspan Optics Spectator (8 x 32)
If you are looking for a budget pair of binoculars, this might be your best bet. It is compact and lightweight and sports excellent features.
You will get a field of view of 326 feet at 1000 yards. Just like the Celestron Nature DX (8 x 42), this pair sports BAK-4 prisms that deliver crisp images in any environment. With a weight of 15.2 ounces, this stands as one of the lightest pairs of binoculars.
- Light in weight
- Crisp images in all environments
- Stiff focus knobs
- Not ideal in low lighting
3. Zeiss Terra Binoculars (8 x 42)
The Zeiss Terra pair of binoculars (8 x 42) is an excellent pair of binoculars thanks to its ability to focus at a close range, its sharp and detailed images, and compact design. It delivers a 375-foot field of view at 1000 yards. Even better, its 8x magnification falls within the recommended magnification range for birders. To make the watching experience better, the pair comes with 16.5mm eye relief. To see clearly in low-light settings, the pair sports a hydrophobic multicoating. Each pair of binoculars is waterproof, and you can use it in between 5 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Large focus wheel
- Nitrogen filled to prevent fogging
- Relatively heavy
- Relatively large
4. Nikon Monarch 7 (8 x 42)
When you need robust midrange binoculars, the Nikon Monarch 7 (8 x 42) might be your best bet. Its rugged design enhances its durability, making it ideal for birders on the go. The extra-low dispersion technology employed on this pair enhances brightness allowing a wide field of view and delivering crisp images even in low light settings. Even better, the multi-layer prism coatings match the intensity without distorting the color of the images. You will get 420 feet field of view at 1000 yards. To enhance your birding experience, the pair offers 17.1mm eye relief – you can use it even in glasses.
- Rugged construction
- Advanced optical features
- Great for use in a low-light setting
- Relatively heavy
- Len covers tend to fall off
5. Maven B-3 (8×30)
This is another light pair of binoculars – you can carry them everywhere. Although they are light, the pair has smaller optics that do not let in as much light as larger optics. Nevertheless, you can see crisp images from as close as 5.5 feet to as far as a mile away.
Even with its smaller optics, the pair still magnifies 8x like many midrange and high-end binoculars. In general, it is a great compact and lightweight pair of binoculars.
- Compact and lightweight
- Unlimited lifetime warranty
- Relatively expensive
Buying a pair of binoculars is a personal affair – while one pair of binoculars may work for you, it may not work for another birder. As such, take your time and pick the pair that feels right for you. Check reviews online to see how a pair you are considering performs.
Guest Post written by Josh Montgomery:
Bio: J. Montgomery is a Texan native who decided to venture forth and conquer the prairies of Iowa, during which he taught people about firearm control and safety. After several trips overseas however, Mr. Montgomery is now looking to experience new cultures, taste new cuisines, and learn about new stuff while staying true to his roots.
Twitter handle: @thetacticaltexannCurrently runs: http://www.minutemanreview.com/
Excellent article, I have been doing some research of my own on binoculars for birdwatching, if you interested have a read here https://www.binogeek.net/best-binoculars-for-bird-watchers/