Whether you are a birdwatcher, a hunter, a stargazer or a sports enthusiast, a pair of binoculars is your best friend that makes things appear closer and clearer to you. A binocular is basically a pair of two small telescopes that consist of the ocular lenses, the objective lenses and the prism. But when it comes to choosing a pair of binoculars, there are a number of factors that should be considered. While general binoculars are suitable for hiking, sports and outdoors, there are special binoculars for bird watching, hunting and marine sports. Then there are factors such as magnification power, objective lens diameter, exit pupil, relative brightness, eye relief, field of view, etc. that have to be taken into consideration to make an informed decision.
Things to Look for While Buying a Binocular
1. Binocular Size
- Full Size Binocular – Full size binoculars have an 8 x 42 and 10 x 50 magnification range. These binoculars are best suited for wildlife viewing and marine viewing. They capture mode light and work better in low-light situations. They have a wider field of view compared to other binoculars.
- Mid-Size Binoculars – Mid-size binoculars have a 7 x 35 and 10 x 32 magnification range. They are the best all-round binoculars suitable for both wildlife viewing and sports. These binoculars are moderately sized and have decent light transmission.
- Compact Binoculars – Compact binoculars have an 8 x 25 and 10 x 25 magnification range. These binoculars are best suited for daytime outdoor activities. They are lightweight and small in size and ideal for backpacking.
- Magnification Power – Magnification power of binoculars indicate how close an object will appear using the device. A binocular with magnification power of 7 means the object will appear 7 times closer to you than it would to unassisted eye.
- Objective Lens Diameter – Lens diameter of the binoculars indicate the diameter of the objective lens in millimetres. For example, 7 x 35 binoculars have an objective lens measuring 35 millimetres. The diameter of objective lenses determines how much light can be gathered by the binoculars.
- Exit Pupil – Exit pupil of a binocular determines how bright an object will appear in low-light situations. Higher exit pupil number provides brighter images. It also helps to maintain full image of an abject even if your hands shake. Exit pupil is calculated by dividing diameter of the objective lens by magnification number.
- Relative Brightness – Relative brightness also measures how bright an object appears through the binocular. Relative brightness is measures by squaring the exit pupil.
- Eye Relief – Binocular eye relief indicates the distance between each eyepiece and the eyes when then entire field of view is visible. Long eye relief is always better because it allow you to hold the binoculars away from your eyes and increases comfort of viewing.
- Field of View – Filed of view indicates the total width of the area that can be viewed through the binocular at a glance 1000 yards from where you stand. A binocular with wide field of view is best for bird watching and wildlife viewing.
- Focus – Almost all binoculars come with a focusing wheel that can be adjusted as per requirement to focus both barrels of the binoculars. Some binoculars also come with dioptre adjustment ring that focuses each barrel independently.
- Lens Coatings – The lenses used in binoculars come with a coating that reduces reflection and provides clear and sharp images. While some lenses have single coating others have multiple coating layers. Multiple-layer coating lenses are superior that single coating lenses.
- Prism design – Most binoculars use Porro prisms which increases the space between the main lenses and eyepieces. This helps to provide clear 3-dimensoinal images of near objects. Some binoculars use roof prisms that allow the main lenses to be aligned with the eyepieces and make them more compact. Some expensive binoculars use BaK4 Porro prism while less expensive binoculars often make use of BK-7 prisms.
- Whether Resistant Feature – Those who use binoculars in rains, fog and heat should opt for one with whether resistant feature. Waterproof binoculars create a seal and prevent moisture from entering. Fog proof binoculars prevent fogging up of the lenses when there is any difference in temperature.
Best Binoculars in India
#1. Olympus 118760 10×50 DPSI Wide-Angle Binocular
Olympus 118760 10×50 DPSI binoculars are a high-end device that combined quality, endurance and high optical power which provides a wide angle view without straining your eyes. It is suitable for both avid birdwatchers and sports enthusiasts.
These binoculars have the longest magnification field of 10X that allows you to zoom in and view objects that are at more than a kilometre away.
The lenses come with anti-reflective coating that reduces reflection of light and increases the brightness and sharpness of the images.
The multi-coated prism lenses come with ultra-violet protection feature that ensures proper light transmission and provides amazing image quality. The optical glass is coated with magnesium fluoride that prevents light loss, improves vision and minimizes eye fatigue.
The spherical optics used in the device guarantee provides distortion-free views and eye plasticity. This feature makes it suitable for speed viewing.
#2. Nikon Aculon A211 10×42 Binocular
This is an ergonomically designed high end binocular that has quality and comes with higher middle range magnification options.
It has a sturdy and compact design that is extremely lightweight and easy to carry which makes it suitable for hiking and travelling.
This binocular features 10X multicoated lenses and 42mm objectives that provide great magnification and clear and sharp images.
The BaK4 Porro prism system deliver high quality images under all lighting conditions so that they can be used from dawn till dusk.
Aspherical Multicoated Eco-Glass Lenses used in the binoculars deliver bright and clear images.
Smooth Central Focus Knob present in the binocular offers fast and smooth range of focus that allows quick viewing.
The turn-and-slide rubber eyecups aid easy eye positioning and correct eye point that allows comfortable viewing for extended period of time.
The durable rubber-armored coating of the binocular can stand harsh environment and weather conditions.
#3. Bushnell PowerView 20 x 50 Binocular
This is a high-end surveillance binocular that combined high quality optics with high-definition quality which makes them suitable for any form of hunting, fishing, bird watching and stargazing. But it is a bit more expensive than Nikon and Olympus.
It has a wide 170ft. field of view that 45 close focus that provides high quality images, amazing precision and a wide range of view.
It makes use of fully multicoated porro prisms and lenses that ensure superior light transmission and cuts out reflection to provide sharp, bright and high contrast pictures.
These binoculars are known for their amazing surveillance potential so that you can survey a wide area while remaining in focus rather than having to zoom in and out.
Fully multicoated lenses ensure superior level of light transmission and brightness, delivers crisp and clear images with minimal color changes.
Large aperture of the lenses captures more light and ensures good performance even in low light conditions.
#4. Vanguard DR-1025 Binocular
This is a standard binocular with DR lenses that is suitable for wildlife viewing, hunting and boating.
The binocular has a 10X magnification range that provides crisp and sharp images of distant objects.
This binocular makes use of roof prism that reduces the size of the binocular and makes it more compact and lightweight.
It has a wide field of view that lets you look at an extensive area at a single glance without adjusting the zoom.
The fully coated lenses used in the binocular minimize reflection and helps to provide bright and clear images without any distortions.
The binocular has a sturdy metallic finish with a no=slip rubber armor which makes it easy-to-use and durable.
#5. COMET 8x40mm Powerful Prism Binocular Telescope
The 8x40mm Powerful Prism Binocular Telescope from Comet is a high-powered multi-magnification long distance zoom binocular that is ideal for stargazing and amateur astronomy.
It has a powerful magnification power of 8X40mm that allows you to view crisp and clear images of objects located far away.
Extra-wide field of view of this binocular lets you look at an extensive area at a single glance without adjusting the zoom.
It has the provision of setting the focus independently for each eye which is especially useful for those who wear spects.
It comes with adjustable eyecups that can be rolled up and down as per your requirement.
Ergonomic design and comfortable grip of the binocular makes it suitable for prolonged use without causing any discomfort.
#6. Tiny Deal Compact 10X25 Mini Binoculars Telescope
This is a powerful compact mini binocular that is perfect for casual bird viewing and sightseeing.
It is lightweight and sufficiently small to keep in your pocket. It comes with a durable rubber armoring which makes it durable and anti-slip.
It has a magnification range of 10X25mm which provides modestly clear and crisp images of objects located as a certain distance.
The fully coated lenses used in the binocular minimize reflection and ensure greater brightness and clarity even in low light situations.
The binocular comes with a carrying pouch, strap and cleaning cloth.
#7. Sakura 30×60 Foldable with Strap & POUCH- Binoculars
This is a standard 30×60 foldable binocular suitable for camping, sports enthusiasts, campers and concert goers that provides great performance at an affordable price.
It has a small and compact ergonomic design which makes it suitable to be carried in your pocket or bag.
It features 30-60x magnification and 15mm objective diameter that provides decent images of far away objects that are within 1000 meters of the binocular.
The magnified images are not clear and sharp enough as we see in high-end binoculars, but it provides great value for its price.
#8. Celestron 140990 5×30 Impulse Compact Binocular
This is a standard compact binocular with high contrast view and 5X magnification that is ideal for casual bird watching, wildlife viewing, sightseeing and sports events.
The binocular has some cool features for its price. It has 9.1m closest focusing distance that lets you view distant objects with considerable clarity.
The binocular features coated glass optics that minimize reflection and provide sharp and clear images in all light conditions.
It has 4.3m meter field of view at 1000m which lets you watch over a stretch of area without zooming in and out frequently.
The manufacturer provides 1 year warranty on the product.
This brings us to the end of our list of best binoculars in India and Olympus 118760 10×50 DPSI Wide-Angle Binocular is our top pick because it is a professional level binocular from a reputed brand that combines quality, a number of useful features and affordable price. It has high optical power that provides a wide angle view and multi-coated prism lenses provide clear and sharp images without straining the eyes. This binocular is suitable for professional birdwatchers, wildlife viewers and sports enthusiasts.