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.

Latest Articles & Site News:

Swarovski EL 10x32 Swarovision Binoculars - Winner Binocular of the Year 2013The Best Binoculars of 2013

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

So to take a look back and see which bins impressed me the most in 2013:
2013 BBR Annual Award Winners

 

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

May 2013

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 2014

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

 

Snypex Knight ED 10x50 Binoculars

High specification 10x binoculars with larger than standard 50mm objective lenses for superior light gathering ability, which combined with optical features like fully multi-coated optics and highly reflective silver mirror coated prisms deliver a stunning low light performance for a 10x binocular of this size.

Other optical highlights include the use of ED glass elements in their apochromatic designed lenses and phase corrected Bak-4 roof prisms.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 78%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Kite Ibis ED 8x42 Binoculars

These premium grade 8x42 binoculars are made in Japan using all the top end components and coatings you expect including ED Glass Lens Elements, Fully Multi-Coated Optics, Phase Corrected Bak-4 Roof Prisms with Dielectric Coatings on the reflective prism surface.

This results in a superb quality of view at a cost that is less than you'd expect and so should bring a smile to even the most discerning users.

Price: (5/6) 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

 

Swarovski CL Pocket 8x25 Binoculars

With the duel hinge design and compact body, these true pocket binoculars fold up to easily fit into the palm of your hand or indeed your pocket!

Fully fog and waterproof, you get a wide field of view and generous eye relief, which is complemented by fully multi-coated optics and phase corrected BaK-4 roof prisms for an image that you expect from Swarovski.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 87%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Pentax 9x42 DCF BR Binoculars

Featuring a weight saving and comfortable open bridge design, the Pentax 9x42 DCF BR binocular is nitrogen charged and fully waterproof (JIS Class 6 compliant) that they say allows for fresh-water rinsing should you need it.

High-performance optics and coatings like the fully-multi-coated optics, phase corrected and silver mirror coated roof prisms deliver what I thought was an outstanding optical performance for a binocular in this class ideal for a wide range of uses including general nature observation, birding, hunting and much more.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Pentax DCF ED 8x43 Binoculars

ED Optical glass elements, Fully multi-coated optics, Phase-coated and Full-reflection roof prism coatings, Hybrid Aspherical elements, Hard coatings on external lenses, Waterproof and Nitrogen-filled Magnesium alloy body - the list of very high spec components and features goes on, so make no mistake these premium Pentax binoculars rank up there with the very best.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 78%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Luna Optics LN-NVM5-HR Night Vision Monocular

These high powered 5x Night Vision Monoculars from Luna Optics, combine quality optics and a large 50mm objective lens with a tough waterproof body, powerful built-in IR Illuminator and tripod mount to make an excellent reasonably compact, one handed, take anywhere NV device that will perform even in complete darkness.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Night Vision Monoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Vanguard Orros 10x25 Binoculars

These low cost 10x Vanguard binoculars feature a lightweight rubber coated, water and fog proof body that protects good quality BaK-4 roof prisms and multi-coated lenses.

The also feature a unique offset hinge and focussing wheel that is designed to make adjustments more comfortable as well as helps them fold down to a compact shape for easy storage, making them a great take any and everywhere binocular.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 70%
Excellent
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Celestron SkyMaster 25x70 Binoculars

These Celestron Skymaster binoculars, with reasonably good quality optics and their large 70mm objectives with a very powerful 25x magnification make them an ideal low cost option for long distance terrestrial observation as well as perfect astronomy binoculars.

The waterproof body, protects high quality BAK-4 porro prisms and to help improve transmission levels, the the optics are multi-coated.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 63%
Very Good
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 6/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Hawke Nature-Trek 8x42 Binoculars

Low cost binoculars that still retain a number of key features that ensure they perform well above their price tag. This includes fully multi-coated optics and good quality Bak-4 glass roof prisms with plenty of eye-relief and a wide field of view.

Their rubber armoured body features an open hinge design and is water & fog-proof. Ideal entry level general use, wildlife and birdwatching binoculars.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 68%
Very Good
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

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 15x70) 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 Binoculars.


 

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
>> More Details.