Best Binoculars & Binocular Reviews Website

In-depth Reviews of the Best Binoculars
My interest in binoculars and indeed in optics in general began whilst I was working as a safari guide (field guide) in South Africa, where as part of my job, I used bins almost every single day. The idea for The Best Binocular Reviews website came about from the frustration I felt whilst looking for a new pair for myself - It was really difficult to find any good information as well as unbiased and objective evaluations on the web about any of the models I was interested in.

Thus the aim of this site (BBR) is to help in some small way by providing useful information on binoculars and related optical products, as well as completely unbiased reviews on selected products and brands and offer tips and guides to those looking into buying a pair.

April 2017 - Latest Articles & Site News:

Binocular of the Year 2016/17Annual Binocular Awards 2016-2017

Now into it's seventh year, the BBR Annual Awards acts as a showcase and a great way for me to bring to your attention the very best binoculars that I have reviewed on this site in a range of different categories over the last 365 days.

This year I was very fortunate to have tested some outstanding products which has meant that the competition to win an award was tougher than ever. So to take a look and see which bins really impressed me the most: 2016/17 BBR Annual Award Winners

 
20 Most Popular Binoculars Amongst BBR Readers

The Biggest Mistakes Newbies Make When Choosing Binoculars

And How to Avoid Them
The most common mistakes I see people new to binoculars (and other optics) make when choosing binoculars to buy and how not to make them yourself

 

Introducing 4 New Brands to BBR

New Swarovski EL 8.5x42 BinocularsVery excited to announce that I have just received a number of instruments to test from brands that are new here on BBR.

  • Athlon Optics: Athlon Ares 10x42 Binoculars and the mid to high range 8x42 Athlon Argos Binoculars
  • Maven Outdoor Equipment Company: A pair of fantastic looking Maven B2 9x45 Binoculars
  • Upland Optics: Upland Optics Perception HD 10x42 Hunting Binoculars
  • TRACT Optics: TRACT TORIC 8x42 Binoculars

Look out for my full reviews and thoughts on each these exciting new instruments as they will be up on this site in due course.

 

Updated: Best Binoculars under $200 / £200 / €200:

Bushnell 10x42 NatureView BinocularsWhilst I highly encourage people never to opt for the very cheapest binoculars available (under $30), but you can get some really fantastic value for money optics from around the $100 to $200 mark that are not only far superior to the almost unusable really cheap binoculars, but compare surprisingly well to many mid to high range options.

For the ones that have really stood out for me take a look at this guide to the Best Cheap Binoculars under $200 / £200 / €200

 

Vortex Neck StrapBinocular Neck Strap Guide

The humble neck or shoulder strap is one of those accessories that often goes unnoticed... that is unless you either have an excellent one, or like many that come with mid and lower end optics, a really poor one.

Luckily for us this is one accessory that can be upgraded relatively cheaply.

In this guide I go through what exactly makes a great neck strap, some of the best ones that I have encountered through the years and where you can get one to #PimpYourBinoculars for improved comfort and usability: >> Binocular Neck & Shoulder Strap Guide.

 

Best Value For Money Bird Watching Bins

Bird Watching Binoculars
I have already written in depth as to what makes a great birding binocular and have a page that lists the best value for money binoculars that I have reviewed, so the next logical step was to combine them to make the: Best Value Birding Binoculars.

Wide Angle 10x42s

Minox 10x42 BV BRW Binoculars
In optics, the width of view and magnification are inversely related, so the more power usually means a narrower field of view.

Thus you need to choose the right balance for your needs between image detail and how wide you want your view to be.


 

Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 BinocularsExpensive vs Cheap Binoculars

Buyers Guide

Someone recently sent in a question to me, wanting to know what the differences between a cheap and an expensive pair of binoculars were and if those difference were worth the extra cost.

With some pairs costing well under $50 (£50) and others in excess of $2000 (£2000), with a whole spectrum in between, it is well worth knowing where the extra money goes and if it is always worth it to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.

 

 

Safari Binoculars:

Perfect for travel, wildlife viewing and able to hold their own as birding binoculars. Below are a couple of the best: >> View all Binoculars for Safaris.

Vanguard 10x42 Endeavor ED Binoculars

Vanguard 10x42 Endeavor ED Binoculars
High quality optics including extra low dispersion glass, phase correction coatings on Bak-4 roof prisms wrapped in a tough, lightweight, water & fogproof body.

Celestron Granite 9x33 Binoculars

Celestron Granite 9x33 Binoculars
Mid-size fog & waterproof binoculars featuring an lightweight alloy open bridge body with ED glass, phase corrected BAK-4 Prisms containing Dielectric Coatings.

 

Birdwatching binocularsBirdwatching Binoculars

Whilst it is possible to enjoy bird watching without them, binoculars along with your bird book are the most essential tools to any birder.

But with so much choice, which pair is right for you and your specific "type" of birding? Take a look as I review some of the best, cheapest, lightest, smallest, strongest birding binoculars in the market and point out what features to look out for when choosing your next pair of birding bins.


 

My Reviews: Quality Not Quantity

I get quite a lot of people asking me why I have not reviewed a specific binocular. Not only is it impossible for me to review every set of binoculars on the market, but sometimes too much choice can be a bad thing - for example I find that when I visit many websites that sell binoculars, I am often baffled by the sheer amount of binoculars all being described as the greatest on earth, or I am sometimes disappointed by the quality of binoculars being described as the ultimate binocular.

My aim is to provide you with the best reviews of some of the best binoculars... not the most.

When deciding which binoculars to test, I try and select good quality, higher specification pairs (Best Binoculars), as these are what I am mostly interested in and I feel it is pointless for me to spend days using, photographing, filming and then writing about a device that I know I would not recommend to anyone.

If I test a pair of optics that I think they are rubbish, I will say so. It is more likely that rather than being completely bad, they will have certain features that fall short of the mark in my opinion and I will highlight them in my write-up. I would also like to point out that I am in now way compensated or influenced by any manufacturer, distributor of supplier to provide a positive review and they are all my own and truthful opinions.

 

Recent Reviews April 2017

Below is a selection of my most recent full and in-depth evaluations:

 

Athlon Ares 10x42 Binoculars

Mid to high end binoculars from Athlon that include many of the components and coatings found on the very best high end optics:

A fully water and fog proof chassis that is made from magnesium protects a Fully Multi-Coated Optical system with ED glass elements, BaK-4 phase corrected and dielectrically coated roof prisms...

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Opticron Imagic BGA VHD 8x42 Binoculars

High end binoculars from Opticron utilizing many quality components and coatings that combine well to supply you with an equally good user experience and view to match.

Highlights include a very long eye-relief, phase corrected and dielectric coated prisms helping to deliver a sharp, bright image.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 78%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Levenhuk Sherman PLUS 8x42 Binoculars

Low cost 8x42 porro prism binoculars with a good quality and bright image, very wide field of view and plenty of eye-relief.

In my opinion, you are easily getting your money's worth and then some with the Levenhuk Sherman Plus binoculars...

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 70%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Helios Nitrosport 8x42 Binoculars

These low cost 8x42 Helios binoculars come with a number of features and components that I would not normally expect to find at this price.

This includes phase correction coatings on the prisms, which when combined with the silver mirror coatings and the fully multi-coated optics help deliver a view that I believe is on a par with any other at this price level.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Snypex Knight D-ED 8x42 Binoculars

'New and improved' that is how Snypex highlight their latest version of the Knight ED binoculars, which was developed and improved in response to customer as well as BBR's feedback.

Major changes include upgraded dielectric coatings on the prisms to improve light transmission and thus the brightness and image quality as well as changes to the exterior like a full metal focus wheel that not only works better but brings added class to what was already a great pair of binoculars.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 85%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Hawke Endurance ED 8x42 Binoculars

Mid-range binoculars that to my mind offer a level of quality and performance that easily surpasses their price tag.

Highlights include a Magnesium Housing, ED Glass Elements in the Lenses, Phase Corrected BaK-4 prisms, 18mm of eye-relief and a close focus distance of less than 2 meters.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Eschenbach Trophy D 8x42 ED Binoculars

I believe these deliver a superior quality image than the majority at this price level - Not only is the image very bright, with great color reproduction, but these 8x42 Eschenbach binoculars also have an excellent wide field of view that remains sharp right to the edges.

Combine this with a very well made metallic shell, eye-pieces and focus wheel and you have a very high end binocular at what I would say is a very competitive price.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Levenhuk Karma Plus 8x32 Binoculars

Ideal for occasional, casual use or as a first time bin for an older child these cheap mid-sized binoculars from Levenhuk come with a well balanced, good looking and fully water/fog proof shell.

Internally the have multi-coated optics, silver coated Bak-4 roof prisms.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 60%
Very Good
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 5/10
Optical Stats: 6/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Opticron DBA VHD 10x42 Binoculars

High end Opticron binoculars that incorporate a raft of high end components and features that I believe add up to make an instrument that not only looks and feels the business, but delivers a very high quality view that even the most critical users will appreciate.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Helios Lightwing HR 8x42 ED Binoculars

Mid priced Helios binoculars with a host of features that you would only expect to see on high end, far more expensive instruments.

This includes a a magnesium chassis, fully multi-coated optics and phase corrected BaK-4 prisms that have been dielectrically coated for the highest levels of light transmission.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 78%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Night Vision DevicesNight Vision devices:

Open up a whole new world after dark. I take a look at the difference between night vision glasses and other night vision devices, including binoculars, monoculars and night vision scopes as well as discovering how they work and what features to look out for when deciding which one to buy >> Night Vision Glasses & Devices.

 

Binoculars for AstronomySkymaster Celestron binoculars for astronomy:

Perfect as astronomical binoculars, the Celestron Skymaster Binoculars (Celestron 25x70) feature high quality BAK-4 prisms and a tripod adapter bringing you excellent performance at a great price. Recommended for newcomers as well as astronomy enthusiasts >> About Celestron Binoculars | Celestron SkyMaster 25x70 Binocular Review.


 

Bushnell Marine binocularsMarine binoculars:

Binoculars that are specifically designed for a watery environment need to have special qualities, these include being tough and fully waterproof, some float and others come with a compass and are also rangefinder binoculars. Take a look at my guide to the >> Best Marine Binoculars.

 

 

Nikon SHE Safari Monarch 10x36 Womens BinocularsWomen's Binoculars

Most binoculars have a strong masculine look to them, but a few manufacturers have decided to design binoculars with a softer, more feminine look to them.

From safari & birding binoculars, to optics ideal as a functional, stylish accessory to a day at Wimbledon or the races. >> Binoculars for Women.


 
 
 

Annual Bino Awards

Annual Binocular Awards
Best Binocular Reviews Annual Binocular Awards 2010, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 & 2016!
>> More Details.