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.

June 2015 - Latest Articles & Site News:

Best Butterfly BinocularsBest Butterfly Binoculars

By Use / Interest

If you have never looked at a butterfly through a pair of binos, you should give it a try. The amount of detail and colours that you see is incredible, which only gets better with a purpose built butterfly binocular.

Whilst most bins are designed and indeed used for longer distance observation, there are some that are specifically engineered to have a very short close focus distance for close observation of subjects like flowers, butterflies, other insects or for use in places like a museum.

 
Pentax Papilio II Binoculars Sale

Due to it's versatility, the Pentax Papilio is often mentioned as the bin that everyone should have within their collection. With an unique optical system that is specifically designed for close focusing, this small and inexpensive bin is not only great for observing butterflies and flowers at close ranges, but also performs well at short to medium distances making it an ideal take anywhere birding, hiking, holiday and general use pair of optics

For more on this and other Pentax offers, take a look at this section >> Current Discounts, Rebates & Offers on Pentax Binoculars


 

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 June 2015

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

 

Celestron LandScout 10x50 Binoculars

These low cost 50mm porro prism Celestron binoculars possess many components & features that are better than I would expect to see at this price point:

This includes an aluminium housing that is fully fog & waterproof, twist-up eye cups, BaK-4 prisms and fully multi-coated optics.

These all combine well to deliver a great value for money large aperture instrument that performs well in all weather conditions, but which excels in low light when compared to others in it's class.

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

 

Celestron Cavalry 7x50 Binoculars

The 7x50 configuration, tough body designed to withstand the elements as well as it's bright image, wide field of view and of course the rangefinding reticle, digital GPS and compass mark these Celestron binoculars out as the ideal companion for boaters, security and military personnel as well as hunters and especially those involved in search and rescue operations.

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

 

Levenhuk Energy PLUS 8x25 Binoculars

Low costing compact binocular from Levenhuk that comes with a number of higher end features including a water and fog proof shell that protects fully multi-coated optics within.

Highlights also include a very wide field of view and a close minimum focusing distance.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 70%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Swarovski SLC 10x42 Binoculars

Multipurpose Swarovski binoculars optimized for wildlife observation, the SLC incorporates a more traditional look with state of the art materials like a tough, lightweight and waterproof Magnesium housing and a lockable diopter adjustment located on the central focus wheel.

Optical highlights include fully multi-coated HD Optics that includes Swarobright & Swaroclean Coatings and Phase Coated roof prisms to produce a view of exceptional quality, contrast and brightness.

Price: (6/6) Expensive Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 90%
The VERY Best
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 10/10
Extras & Details: 10/10

 

Levenhuk Monaco 8x42 Binoculars

These mild-level Levenhuk binoculars feature fully multi-coated optics with roof prisms that are dielectrically coated as well as phase corrected. This combined with a relatively wide FOV, good close focus and plenty of eye-relief ensures that they offer an optical performance that in some cases matches much higher costing binoculars. The body is made from a lightweight, high-performance polycarbonate plastic which has been fully sealed to make them fully waterproof. The have also been nitrogen purged so to prevent the internal glass surfaces from fogging.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 75%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Minox BL 8x33 HD Binoculars

The Minox BL HD is an updated and reworked version of the really popular and already excellent Minox BL 8x33, that now includes HD lens elements that improve the image quality even further.

Made and hand finished in Germany, other highlights include a fully waterproof compact and lightweight open bridge body design, phase correction coating on the roof prisms, long eye-relief and a really wide field of view.

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

 

Celestron Trailseeker 8x42 Binoculars

Aimed at the more price conscious user, but who still want a high quality instrument, the Celestron Trailseeker binoculars come with an impressive array of features.

A fully sealed Magnesium alloy body, with metal twist-up eye-cups protect high quality and fully multi-coated optics that include phase and dielectric coated BaK-4 prisms to offer a performance that easily surpasses their price tag and thus almost all of their direct competition.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Eagle Optics NEW Ranger ED 8x42 Binoculars

The latest version of the Eagle Optics Ranger ED Binocular improves on it's predecessor and now features a single bridged lightweight body that is of course both water & fog proof.

Optically these are hard to beat, especially at this price point as they are equipped with ED (extra-low dispersion) glass lenses, dielectric and phase-corrected BaK-4 prisms and fully multi-coated optics.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8x42 Binoculars

The new flagship model from Vanguard utilizes premium grade ED glass lenses made in Japan, fully multi-coated optics and phase corrected roof prisms to deliver an image of outstanding quality and brightness.

Add to this features like a robust & waterproof magnesium-alloy body, twist-up eyecups with a full 19.5mm of eye-relief, a wide field of view and good close focus distance and you have a bin that is hard to beat, especially at this price.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 83%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Bushnell 10x42 NatureView BinocularsBest Binoculars under $200 / £200:

Whilst I don't recommend that you get yourself the cheapest binoculars available (under $30) and I am not sure if you can say that at $200, they are cheap binoculars. But you can get some really great value for money optics at this price that are not only far superior to the almost unusable really cheap binoculars, but compare surprisingly well to many top of the range options. >> Best Cheap Binoculars under $200 / £200

 

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, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014
>> More Details.