Binoculars aren’t just a handy accessory or extra piece of outdoor gear. In this fast-paced world, binos also provide an invitation to slow down, soak up the scenery, and observe the fine details of life. In that regard, the best binoculars are the ones you have in your hands.
Optics companies understand how important binoculars are for birding, hunting, stargazing, hiking, and any activity where we need to see things up close. In response to demand, there are literally thousands of binoculars to choose from.
Not all binoculars are built the same, and some are better suited to specific applications than others. For example, birdwatching binos require different qualities than binos for stargazing.
We’ve pulled together all the important information you need to find the right pair of binoculars for you. In this guide, we’ll break down the key characteristics to consider, provide some useful binocular tips, and even share a few of our favorite models.
If you don’t have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated binoculars on the market today:
- Nikon Monarch 5 8x42mm Binoculars – Best for Birding
- Leica 10×42 Noctivid Binocular – Best for Wildlife Viewing
- Carson 3D Series in Mossy Oak – Best Bowhunting Binoculars
- Swarovski SLC 10×56 – Best Hunting Binoculars
- Celestron Trailseeker ED 8×42 – Best for Hiking
- Zeiss Terra ED 8x42mm – Best Compact Binoculars
- Steiner Navigator Pro 7×50 – Best for Boating
- Nikon LaserForce 10×42 – Best Rangefinder Binoculars
- Steiner Tactical 10×28 – Best Tactical Binoculars
- ATN BinoX 4T 384 2-8x – Best Thermal Binoculars
- Solomark Binoculars – Best Night Vision Binoculars
- Kidwinz 8×21 Binoculars – Best for Kids
- Celestron SkyMaster Pro Binoculars – Best for Stargazing
- Vortex Razor HD 8×42 Binoculars – Best for Under $1000
- Bushnell Prime 8×42 Binoculars – Best for Under $200
Table of Contents
- What You Need to Know Before Buying Binoculars?
- Best Binocular Brands
- Best Binoculars on the Market Reviews
- 1 Nikon Monarch 5 8x42mm Binoculars – Best for Birding
- 2 Leica 10×42 Noctivid Binocular – Best for Wildlife Viewing
- 3 Carson 3D Series in Mossy Oak – Best Bowhunting Binoculars
- 4 Swarovski SLC 10×56 – Best Hunting Binoculars
- 5 Celestron Trailseeker ED 8×42 – Best for Hiking
- 6 Zeiss Terra ED 8x42mm – Best Compact Binoculars
- 7 Steiner Navigator Pro 7×50 – Best for Boating
- 8 Nikon LaserForce 10×42 – Best Rangefinder Binoculars
- 9 Steiner Tactical 10×28 – Best Tactical Binoculars
- 10 ATN BinoX 4T 384 2-8x – Best Thermal Binoculars
- 11 Solomark Binoculars – Best Night Vision Binoculars
- 12 Kidwinz 8×21 Binoculars – Best for Kids
- 13 Celestron SkyMaster Pro Binoculars – Best for Stargazing
- 14 Vortex Razor HD 8×42 Binoculars – Best for Under $1000
- 15 Bushnell Prime 8×42 Binoculars – Best for Under $200
- Binocular Tips and Tricks
- Final Thoughts
What You Need to Know Before Buying Binoculars?
When, where, and how you plan to use your binoculars will affect which model works best for you. Let’s take a closer look at some important binocular features, so you can find the right combination of features to meet your needs.
Understanding the Numbers
Binoculars are typically specified by a set of numbers that somewhat resembles a math problem. It usually looks something like this: 10x42mm
The first number indicates magnification. In our example, the binos have 10 times (or 10x) magnification. In other words, objects viewed through the binoculars appear ten times closer than they do when you look at them without the binoculars.
While buying binoculars with powerful magnification may seem like a good idea, that power comes with some drawbacks.
Binos with higher magnification are generally bigger and heavier than models with lower magnification. They also tend to cost more.
High magnification binos can also be more difficult to use. As they magnify images, they also magnify movement. High magnification can make it hard to hold your binoculars still enough for comfortable viewing.
The average user only needs between 8x and 10x magnification. This tends to be the sweet spot for hunters, birders, tourists, and spectators of sporting events and concerts.
Users who need to observe small objects at long distances may benefit from higher magnification, as will those using their binoculars for astronomy.
The second number in the “math problem” stands for the diameter of the binoculars’ objective lenses. Objective lenses are positioned on the end of the barrels, opposite the end you look through.
The objective lenses in our previous example measure 42 millimeters across. The larger the number that follows the x, the larger the objective lenses.
The purpose of objective lenses is to gather light. The larger the objectives, the more light will pass through, which results in brighter images.
Large objective lenses are particularly valuable if you will be using your binoculars for viewing in low light conditions, particularly the hours around dawn and dusk. The drawback to large objectives is that they are heavy and bulky, making them impractical for hiking and other activities where space comes at a premium.
FOV is an acronym for “field of view.” FOV is the amount of area from left to right you are able to see when you look through the binoculars. FOV is usually measured at 1000 hundred yards. As magnification of the scope increases, FOV narrows.
Users who need to track moving objects need binoculars with a wide FOV. A generous FOV helps you track an animal or bird without swinging your binoculars.
If you plan to use your binoculars for watching a ball game, music concert, or stationary landmarks, a wide FOV isn’t necessary.
Lens and Glass Coatings
The lenses, glass surfaces, and sometimes the prisms in binoculars have coating layers that are applied to help assist light transfer, minimize glare, and improve image quality. Depending on the model you choose, your binoculars may have up to 80 thin layers of coating.
The following terms are used to describe binocular coatings. We’ve listed them from the lowest quality to the highest.
- Coated (C) – one or more on the lens surfaces have a thin anti-reflective coating.
- Fully Coated (FC) – all air-to-glass surfaces have at least one thin anti-reflective coating.
- Multi Coated (MC) – multiple coating layers have been applied to one or more of the lens surfaces.
- Fully Multi-Coated (FMC) – multiple coatings have been applied to all lens surfaces.
Binoculars are designed with one of two different types of prism systems – Porro prisms or roof prisms.
Standard until the 1960s, Porro prism binoculars have a zigzag design. Porro prisms provide a slightly clearer image with greater depth perception and a wider FOV than roof prisms.
Binoculars with Porro prisms tend to be bigger, bulkier and heavier. They are easy to recognize, because the front lens is offset from the eyepiece.
More compact, lightweight, and easier to hold than Porro Prism binoculars. Roof Prism binoculars look like the letter H.
Although from the outside, roof prism binos seem like they use a simpler design, they are actually far more complex on the inside. They are also more expensive.
The density of the glass used to make the prisms also has a profound effect on image quality.
BK-7 is the cheapest material, and although image quality is acceptable, it is of a noticeably lower quality than other materials.
BaK-4 has a higher refractive index rate, which results in clearer images. However, the improved image quality will cost you. Binos with BaK-4 prisms usually come with a higher price tag
Some binoculars use ED (extra low dispersion) glass, which produces the clearest, sharpest images.
Best Binocular Brands
Understanding the qualities to look for in your new binoculars is only part of the equation. If you still aren’t sure where to begin, we suggest starting with products from one of these reputable companies.
These are the big names in the world of binoculars. While there are definitely quality models that don’t bear one of these brand names, products from these companies always rank high in image quality, durability, and design.
Bushnell began as a small company selling mail-order binoculars. From those humble beginnings, the company has grown into one of the most recognizable names in outdoor optics.
Particularly popular among hunters, all of Bushnell’s products are reasonably priced and designed specifically for outdoor pursuits.
Although the optical quality of Bushnell binoculars probably isn’t going to knock your socks off, it’s definitely better than adequate. However, these are some of the toughest, most durable optics on the market. If you need your binos to stand up to hard use and abuse, Bushnell is definitely worth serious consideration.
Celestron has been a major player in the field of optics for decades. Best known for designing and manufacturing telescopes, the brand is understandably popular in astronomy circles.
A great option for beginners, Celestron has a wonderful line of entry level binoculars. All reasonably priced, Celestron binos offer great value for the money.
Celestron’s giant binoculars are also worth a look, especially for anyone interested in viewing the moon, planets, constellations, and other objects in the nighttime sky.
Although best known for their cameras and photography equipment, Nikon also produces high-quality optics, including rangefinders, spotting scopes, and binoculars.
Nikon’s binoculars run the gamut from compact to high magnification. They also span a wide price range. Nikon makes budget-priced entry level binos, premium top-of-the-line models, and everything in between.
Across the board, Nikon binos are functional, have better-than-average optical quality, and are reasonably priced.
Swarovski Optik is a respected Austrian company famous for their fine crystals. The company motto is “Capturing the natural magic of light.” This purpose carries over into their binoculars and other optics.
When you look through Swarovski binoculars, the images are brighter, sharper, and more vivid than anything you’ll ever see with your naked eye. Swarovski accomplished this feat by using glass with superior quality. They also apply proprietary coatings designed to maximize light transmission and minimize color aberration.
If image quality is your main objective, then Swarovski binoculars produce some of the best on the planet. Just be prepared to pay for it. Optical quality of this magnitude doesn’t come cheap.
Vortex is an American, family-owned company located in Wisconsin. With a small staff of approximately forty people, they focus on product quality and customer service. Their product warranty is one of the best in the business.
Focusing on optics for outdoor activities like hunting, bird watching, and nature viewing, Vortex makes products that are rugged, lightweight, and built to last. If you want a good balance of image quality and durability, Vortex binoculars are a great choice.
Best Binoculars on the Market Reviews
There are literally thousands of different binoculars on the market today. With such a large selection to choose from, narrowing down the options and finding the right model can seem utterly impossible. If you don’t have the time to sift through all the choices, our list of top binoculars is a great place to start.
1 Nikon Monarch 5 8x42mm Binoculars – Best for Birding
Although most people recognize Nikon as a company that produces high-end camera equipment, they also make high quality outdoor optics. Nikon’s Monarch 5 binoculars have one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings on the market, and these lightweight, portable binos are perfect for birding.
Made with dielectric ED (extra low dispersion) glass, fully multi-coated lenses, and prisms that are both mirror-coated and phase-corrected, the Nikon Monarch 5 binoculars have some of the best image quality of any mid range optic. With these high-quality field glasses, you will experience razor sharp image clarity, clean contrast, superb brightness, and impressive color fidelity, all at a price point that won’t break the bank.
Perfect for birdwatching on the go, these binos are lightweight, compact, and feature a sleek ergonomic design that makes them easy to carry with you on your next outing. Perfectly capable of enduring rough outdoor use, the March 5 binos are completely waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
Serious birdwatchers will particularly appreciate the intuitive central focus knob. This one simple feature allows you to bring distant birds easily into focus, so you can see even the finest feather details.
2 Leica 10×42 Noctivid Binocular – Best for Wildlife Viewing
We love Leica’s 8x Noctivid binoculars for birdwatching. However, for general wildlife viewing, we like the extra magnification of the 10x Noctivid.
Noctivid is Leica’s top-of-the-line model, and these binos do not disappoint. Leica even claims, “These are the best binoculars we’ve ever made.” Coming from a company that has excelled in the optics industry for more than 150 years, that is quite an accomplishment.
Although Leica’s Noctivid binos come with a pretty hefty price tag, this model is the luxury sports car of the optics world. They feature Schott HT (high transmission) glass, which is some of the finest glass in the world. When paired with Leica’s re-engineered optical system, you get maximum color contrast and razor sharp clarity that extends to the outermost edges of the field of view. These premium binos also deliver mind-blowingly bright light transmission.
In addition to stunning image quality, Noctivid binoculars are perfectly balanced and have an elegant, high-end look you’ll be proud to show off.
3 Carson 3D Series in Mossy Oak – Best Bowhunting Binoculars
Carson may not be one of the big-name brands, but only because they are relative newcomers to the optics industry. They have been designing and manufacturing high-quality optics for nearly 30 years, and their products definitely hold their own compared to products from some of the more popular and established brands.
Hunters will particularly love the Carson 3D series of binoculars. Although these are technically full-size binos, they are relatively compact and lightweight. Tipping the scales at a mere 1.38 pounds, these binos are fairly easy to carry across your shoulder or in your hunting pack. They also come in popular Mossy Oak camo, making them particularly well-suited for bowhunting.
The optical quality of the Carson 3D series is seriously impressive. With fully multi-coated extra-low dispersion glass and phase-corrected BaK-4 prisms, these high-quality binos deliver excellent contrast, clarity, and color fidelity. They also have excellent light transmission, making them perfect for spotting game in low light conditions.
Engineered to withstand hunting in rough environments, the Carson 3D binoculars are o-ring sealed, nitrogen purged, and feature a waterproof body. They also have a smooth ergonomic design that hunters will find easy to hold onto, whether in a treestand or on a backcountry trail. You can also easily mount Carson 3D binos to a tripod in just a matter of seconds, making them ideal for scouting whitetails, mule deer, and elk across wide open terrain.
4 Swarovski SLC 10×56 – Best Hunting Binoculars
These are serious binoculars for serious hunters. Swarovski’s SLC binoculars feature unparalleled optical clarity.
Swarovski uses their patented SWAROBRIGHT and SWAROCLEAN technologies to deliver true-to-life colors and razor sharp edges, so you can easily see rich detail on distant game animals, even in low light.
Swarovski SLC binos also feature special Field Flattener lenses that provide crisp peripheral definition for the best viewing experience possible.
One look through these binoculars will knock your socks off. We promise the images viewed through the Swarovski SLC are sharper, brighter, and clearer than anything you’ll ever witness without them.
Hunters will also appreciate the comfortable ergonomic body design. You can glass a field or mountain ridge all day without experiencing any hand or eye fatigue.
Swarovski also uses the most durable and rugged housing possible, to ensure these are the last hunting binos you’ll ever need to buy.
5 Celestron Trailseeker ED 8×42 – Best for Hiking
As the name implies, the Celestron Trailseeker binoculars were made for hiking. Durable, compact, and lightweight, these binos make the perfect trail companion.
Delivering impressive image quality for a set of compact binoculars, the Celestron Trailseeker features fully multi-coated lenses and premium BaK-4 prisms that are both phase-coated and dielectric coated. As a result, you get to experience bright, crisp, images with vivid true-to-life colors. The image quality on these affordably priced binos is so stunning, it’s hard for us to believe you can buy these for under $300.
For glasses wearers, the Trailseeker features comfortable, easy-to-use twist-up eyecups.
Perfect for outdoor use in rugged conditions, the Trailseeker has a fully waterproof body that is o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged for reliable fogproof performance in any weather condition.
The Trailseeker also comes with some handy trail ready accessories, including a comfortable carry harness, a padded neck strap, tethered objective covers, and a durable padded carrying case that easily slings over your shoulder or attaches to your belt or backpack.
6 Zeiss Terra ED 8x42mm – Best Compact Binoculars
Zeiss is one of the most respected names in the optic industry, and these compact binoculars make it easy to understand why. Small and lightweight, Zeiss Terra binos are the perfect size for travel, hiking, taking on safari, or just watching birds at the backyard bird feeder.
Terra binoculars are made with high-quality ED (extra-low dispersion) Schott glass, which is covered in a unique hydrophobic multi-coating. The result is crystal clear images in perfect true-to-life color, even in the wettest weather conditions.
These binos have a surprisingly wide FOV (125 meters at 1000 meters), especially for a compact model. Their wide FOV makes them ideal for spotting moving wildlife and birds on the wing.
Perfect for outdoor use, Zeiss Terra have a weatherproof rating and operate reliably in temperatures ranging from -4 to 145 degrees Fehrenheit. They also have a sleek, modern design that you’ll have a hard time not showing off.
These marine binoculars from Steiner are perfect for fishing, sailing, and whale watching. The Navigator Pro has several features that make them perfect for use on the water, including an illuminated analog compass for easy on-the-water navigation.
These boating binos provide exceptional image clarity, razor sharp definition, and crisp color contrast. They also feature oversized objective lenses to maximize their light-gathering ability and produce a bright, clear picture even in twilight conditions.
The Navigator Pro offers 7x marine standard magnification and a wide FOV. Both of these features make it easy to track other vessels, buoys, and bridge numbers even when the waves get rough.
They also feature a special Floating Prism System with a flexible silicone lens mounts. Everything is housed in a durable Makrolon housing covered in NBR Long Life rubber armoring. This design protects the delicate internal components of your boating binos, absorbing impact shock if you drop them in rough boating conditions.
8 Nikon LaserForce 10×42 – Best Rangefinder Binoculars
If you want to combine the long distance viewing ability of binoculars with the precise measuring technology of a laser rangefinder, this is the perfect gadget for you. Not only does the Nikon LaserForce have breathtaking optical quality, it also ranges targets out to 1900 yards.
The LaserForce even has a handy angle-compensating function that quickly measures horizontal distance to your target. It even works when ranging at steep incline/decline angles of up to an almost vertical +/- 89 degrees.
Aside from its rangefinding capabilities, the Nikon LaserForce performs incredibly well as a standard pair of binoculars. It features fully multi-coated lenses and ED (extra-low dispersion) glass that work to reduce color fringing and maximize light transmission. The result is some of the brightest, crystal clear images you’ll ever view through an optic.
Designed with hunters in mind, the LaserForce has controls that are easy to manipulate, even with gloved hands. This thing is also durable enough to last through a lifetime of rugged hunting.
9 Steiner Tactical 10×28 – Best Tactical Binoculars
Steiner’s optics have a reputation for toughness, and these tactical binoculars may be their toughest yet. Made with a military grade rubber armoring, they offer a level of rugged reliability that is hard to match. These binos are also o-ring sealed and filled with nitrogen gas to prevent fogging even in the worst weather conditions.
Steiner has also coated every exposed glass surface on these binoculars. Using advanced lens coatings, Steiner Tactical optics are designed to enhance light for improved image contrast and brighter details, even in twilight conditions.
These pocket size binoculars are lightweight (only .79 pounds), easy to carry, and offer a wide FOV (317 feet at 1000 yards). They also feature a SUMR targeting reticle that matches Steiner’s 10x rifle scopes.
Another great tactical feature is the patented ClicLoc system that quickly attaches and releases your optic to your neck strap or harness with the simple push of a button. Designed so your binos hang straight, this one feature ensures your binoculars are always battle-ready.
10 ATN BinoX 4T 384 2-8x – Best Thermal Binoculars
ATN has always been a top performer in thermal imaging, and the BinoX 4T 384 thermal binoculars make it easy to understand why.
The perfect option for hog hunting or nighttime surveillance, these smart HD binos have a ton of useful features. This high-tech device has an onboard Dual Core Processor that enables HD video transmission to two different channels at the same time. You can actually record viewed images to a micro SD card while simultaneously streaming video to a connected smartphone.
The BinoX 4T has an integrated laser rangefinder that hunters will particularly appreciate. It also comes with a built-in 3D gyroscope, e-compass, and a microphone for sound as well as video recording.
While all the high-tech extras are nice, where the BinoX 4T really shines is its thermal imaging capabilities. It features a Dual Core 384 x 288 Thermal Sensor that delivers much better image detail and clarity than most thermal imaging devices.
11 Solomark Binoculars – Best Night Vision Binoculars
Night vision technology can be pretty pricey. However, the Solomark Digital Night Vision Binoculars are refreshingly priced well under $500.
A fantastic buy for the money, these high-tech binos offer 7x magnification with a 2x digital zoom and an impressive 1300-foot range, even in the darkest conditions. They even have built-in 3W Infrared LED and 850nm Infrared Illuminators to help stretch your detection range even further.
In addition to its night vision capabilities, the Solomark Digital Binoculars feature day and night video recording and image capture. The device comes with its own AV cable and USB hook-up, so you can share your images on your television or transfer files straight to your computer.With fully multi-coated lenses to maximize light transmission and minimize glare, these binoculars produce great image clarity in bright sunlight or the dead of night. These versatile night vision binoculars are perfect for tactical use, nighttime hunting or fishing, or any after-dark adventure.
12 Kidwinz 8×21 Binoculars – Best for Kids
These compact binos from Kidwinz are perfect for young outdoor explorers. Although made for kids ages three and up, Kidwinz actually have image quality comparable to some adult budget models.
Kidwinz binos are made with high quality BaK-4 prisms and lenses covered in a special multilayer film. The images viewed through these children’s binoculars are so sharp, clear, and vibrant that parents will be utterly surprised by the quality.
Kidwinz understands that little hands tend to drop things, so they’ve covered these durable binos in a tough rubber coating that absorbs shock and protects fragile inner components.
They are also made with extra rubber surrounding the eyepieces to provide extra protection for the lenses if they are dropped. This extra rubber also helps protect kids, so they don’t hurt their eyes if they fall forward when using their binos.
13 Celestron SkyMaster Pro Binoculars – Best for Stargazing
With massive 20x magnification and colossal 80mm objective lenses, the SkyMaster Pro binoculars from Celestron are ideal for viewing the night sky.
Every exterior glass surface is multi coated with a proprietary StarBright XLT coating. This highly reflective metallic coating is designed to maximize light transmission, so you can observe celestial objects with bright clarity.
These binoculars are completely waterproof and nitrogen purged for reliable fogproof sky-watching.
To make finding astronomical features easier, the SkyMaster is Reflex Sight Ready. You can mount a StarPointer Finderscope right to the binoculars to help you locate planets, stars, comets, and other celestial features.
These binoculars are large, yet comfortable to use. They have interchangeable soft rubber eyecups, so you can customize your viewing experience, a feature eyeglass wearers will particularly appreciate. The SkyMaster also comes with a built-in tripod adapter, so you can experience extra viewing stability, a welcome feature on binoculars with this level of powerful magnification.
14 Vortex Razor HD 8×42 Binoculars – Best for Under $1000
Small, lightweight, and surprisingly rugged, the Vortex Razor HD binoculars provide incredible value for the money. A great option for birding, hunting, hiking, or golfing, the Razor HD performs like high-end binos. The only thing these binos are missing is the premium price tag.
Delivering stunningly crisp, bright, high-resolution images, the Vortex Razor HD features premium high-density glass, hand-selected BaK-4 prisms, and anti-reflective coatings applied with cutting-edge plasma technology. The optical components in these top-notch field glasses are designed to achieve the highest levels of brightness, even in twilight conditions.
Rugged and durable, Razor HD binos are o-ring sealed and argon purged for a lifetime of reliable waterproof, fogproof performance. These binoculars also feature hard, scratch-resistant Armortek lens protection, ensuring crystal clear viewing for the life of the binoculars.
The housing is coated in a special non-slip armor for extra protection from bumps and drops. The rubber armor also provides a comfortable, easy-to-hold grip, even in wet weather.
15 Bushnell Prime 8×42 Binoculars – Best for Under $200
These reasonably priced binoculars from Bushnell have a great combination of quality glass, high-tech coatings, and a durable, waterproof construction. Relatively compact (measuring just over 5 inches) lightweight (weighing just 23 ounces), these binos are easy to fit in a bag or backpack for traveling or hiking.
Featuring fully multi-coated lenses and a special EXO hydrophobic barrier, Bushnell Prime binoculars provide birders, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts with sharp contrast, crisp resolution, and vivid, true-to-life colors.
These field glasses are both fogproof and waterproof. They also offer 8x magnification and a wide FOV (350 feet at 1000 yards) that makes it easy to spot moving wildlife and flitting birds, even at distance.
Other great features include a comfortable padded neck strap, carrying case, and a full lifetime Ironclad warranty.
Binocular Tips and Tricks
Viewing distant objects and animals with binoculars can take some getting used to. Follow these tips and tricks, and you’ll be glassing like a seasoned pro in no time.
Aiming Your Binoculars
Locating a subject while looking through your binos can be difficult, especially if you’re using a model with high magnification. If possible, first locate the subject with your naked eye. Then, while maintaining visual contact, raise the binoculars to your face. Usually, the subject will be right in your field of view.
Adjusting Your Binoculars
To get the best out of your binos, they need to be properly focused. Even the most expensive model will have no advantage over a cheap pair if they aren’t focused correctly. Follow these steps to make sure you get the most from your field glasses.
- Adjust the spacing of the eyepieces. While holding the binoculars, move the barrels in or out until you see a single circular image. If you see black around the edges of the image, your eyepieces are either too close together or too far apart.
- Focus the Lenses. Keeping your eyes open, revolve the central focus wheel until the image becomes clear. For fine-tuning the focus, close one eye and slowly adjust the wheel. Then close the other eye and turn the diopter adjustment until the image comes into sharp focus.
Specific focusing steps may vary depending on the model you own, so check your user’s manual for more details.
Stabilizing the Image
Viewing images through your binos can be a wobbly affair. Just like binoculars magnify the landscape, they also magnify small body movements. If you have a hard time holding your binoculars steady, it can leave you feeling seasick.
If you’re having trouble keeping your hands steady, try one of these tips for improving your viewing experience.
- Use a tripod. Many high-magnification binoculars come with a tripod adapter for easy attachment.
- Prop your elbows on your knees. If you can sit on the ground, your knees make a great stabilizing surface.
- Lean against something. If you can’t get down on the ground, try leaning a shoulder against a tree, wall, or other stable surface.
- Tuck in your elbows. If you have to stand and hold your field glasses, try pulling your elbows toward each other and press them toward your body. This forms a more stable triangle for supported viewing
Taking Care of Your Binoculars
You will occasionally need to clean your binoculars, especially if you use them outdoors. However, cleaning them the wrong way can cause damage.
Wiping the lenses with your sleeve may seem like a quick and harmless way to remove dust and smudges. However, cleaning them this way can leave tiny scratches on the lens or glass coatings. These minute scratches will build up over time, negatively affecting image quality.
When cleaning your binos, always use a microfiber cloth or camel hair brush. Hold your binoculars upside down, so most of the dust and dirt falls away from lens surfaces.
You can also use canned air to blow dust and dirt from your lenses, so they don’t scratch delicate surfaces.
To remove stubborn smudges, use a small amount of water or cleaning solution, and a cotton swab or microfiber cloth.
Other Maintenance Tips
To ensure you enjoy a lifetime of clear images from your new binoculars, follow these easy maintenance tips.
- Don’t overclean. Although it may be tempting to try to keep your binos in pristine condition, cleaning too often can damage special lens coatings.
- Don’t touch. Oil from your skin can leave smudgy prints and degrade lens coatings. Don’t touch your lenses with your fingers if you can avoid it.
- Use a harness or shoulder strap. Carrying your binoculars with one of these handy accessories will help keep dust and dirt off your lens surfaces.
- Use the lens caps. These should remain in place when you aren’t using your binoculars.
- Store your binoculars properly. When you aren’t in the field, your binoculars should be stored in a dry case to protect them and help keep them clean.
Digiscoping is a method of photography that pairs binos with a camera to capture images from a distance. You don’t need any fancy camera equipment for digiscoping. All you need is your smartphone, binoculars, and an adapter.
Binoculars may be the most versatile optics on the planet. They can be used to bring distant objects into focus, and are particularly useful for hunting, watching wildlife, sightseeing, and stargazing. Binos can even be used during sporting events or concerts to help you get a close-up view of the action.
Before you invest in a new set of field glasses, you should carefully consider how and where you’ll be using them. The best binoculars for bowhunting require very different specs than binos you would use to watch a professional baseball game.
We hope the information here will help you better understand your options and help you find the best binoculars for wherever your adventures take you.