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.

February 2016 - Latest Articles & Site News:

Winner Best Wildlife & Hunting Binocular 2015, the Pentax ZD 8x42 ED Binoculars2015 Annual Binocular Awards

Now into it's sixth year, the BBR Annual Awards is a way for me to showcase the very best binoculars that I have reviewed on this site in a range of different categories. Having reviewed more bins than ever this year, the competition to win an award was tougher than ever:

So to take a look and see which bins impressed me the most this year: 2015 BBR Annual Award Winners

 
Pentax Z-Series Binoculars Sale

Huge Savings on Pentax Z-Series Binoculars
Pentax's flagship ZD ED binoculars as well as their more affordable ZD WP binoculars are currently being offered at hugely reduced sale prices.

Example - Pentax ZD 8x43 ED Binocular

  • List Price: $1,520.26
  • Current Retail Price approx: $999
  • Sale Price: Between $849 and $899 (see where below)
  • Save $670 (44%)!

More Details >> Pentax Z-Series Binoculars Sale


 

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 February 2016

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

 

Hawke Endurance ED 8x32 Binoculars

Mid-sized, mid-priced Hawke binoculars that impress in almost single every area.

A fully fog and waterproof magnesium housing protects high quality and fully multi-coated optics with highlights that include ED glass lenses, BaK-4 roof prisms that have been phase corrected.

The result is a high quality and bright image that has a wide field of view, good close focus and delivers plenty of eye-relief.

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

 

Pentax AD 9x32 WP Binoculars

With quality components and coatings, these mid-high end Pentax binoculars are aimed at the more serious users who need or appreciate the convenience of a more portable and lightweight instrument, but are also not willing to sacrifice too much in terms of optical performance.

Features include fully multi-coated optics, BaK-4 phase corrected prisms, water and fog proof housing and five stage twist-up eye-cups with 16mm of eye-relief.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 75%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Opticron Discovery WP PC 8x32 Binoculars

For a mid-sized binocular, the 8x32 Opticron Discovery is ultra compact and lightweight, has a very wide field of view and extremely minimum close focus.

Add to this good quality optics and a mid range price point and you have an instrument that is ideal in a very wide range of uses and thus will appeal to a huge selection of users.

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

 

Meade 8x42 Rainforest Pro Binoculars

These low cost binoculars from Meade Instruments come with features that those in the mid level would be proud to have.

This includes phase corrected and silver coated BaK-4 roof prisms, fully multi-coated optics and a tough nitrogen filled waterproof housing.

Combine these with a wide field of view, good amount of eye-relief and close focus and you have a very capable and versatile binocular that at this price offers excellent value for money.

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

 

Levenhuk Atom 10x50 Binoculars

Highlights of these cheap large aperture porro prism binoculars from Levenhuk include a very wide field of view for a 10x bin and a good low light performance, making them well worth looking at for birders and most wildlife observers on a very tight budget.

Price: (1/6) Cheap Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 60%
Very Good
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Details: 4/10

 

Pentax ZD 8x43 ED Binoculars

Pentax Sport Optics flagship series contains all the qualities, components and coatings that you would expect from a high end instrument from a quality optical manufacturer.

Hybrid Aspherical lens elements containing ED glass and a range of specialized high receptivity coatings ensure that these really do deliver a superior image in terms of their clarity, color reproduction, sharpness and low light performance that I feel is as good as the very best at this price level.

Add to this a very well made, classy looking yet tough and waterproof chassis and you have the makings of a very fine binocular.

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

 

Opticron Verano BGA HD 8x42 Binoculars

These mid-high level open bridge 8x42 binoculars from Opticron feature phase corrected roof prisms with their own Oasis coatings that they proudly say has a transmittance of more than 99%, which easily beats most bins that use aluminium or silver mirror coated prisms for a brighter, higher resolution view.

Other highlights include a very long eye-relief and 4 stage twist-up eye-cups, a water & fog proof body that is tripod adaptable and much more...

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 75%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Snypex Profinder HD 8x42 Binoculars

High quality optics encased and well very protected in a high quality chassis and all at an affordable price. These Snypex Profinder binoculars rank up there with the better mid-range bins that I have tested.

Optical attributes worth underlining include a fully multicoated system with water repellent coatings on the lenses, BaK-4 roof prisms that are phase corrected to ensure a bright and high resolution view in even the most adverse conditions.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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 & 2015!
>> More Details.