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.

August 2014 - Latest Articles & Site News:

Win a Pair of Minox BL 8x44 HD Binoculars

Competition - win a pair of Minox BL 8x44 HD BinocularsMinox have very kindly offered up the pair that I used whilst testing as a prize and so we are giving you a chance to win the actual pair of Minox binoculars in this review.

Scoring an outstanding 80%, I thought that the quality of image they produced was stunning and the extra light collected by the larger 44mm objectives and higher transmission levels achieved through the use of high quality ED glass and coatings on the lenses & prisms all combine to make a perceptible difference to the view.

Birders as well as hunters and general wildlife observers will also really appreciate the extra wide field of view though the Minox 8x44 BL HD that ranks up there with the very best. Click here to enter the #MinoxBBR Competition

 

Swarovski EL 10x32 Swarovision Binoculars - Winner Binocular of the Year 2013Award Winning Binoculars

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

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 August 2014

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

 

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

 

Celestron Echelon 20x70 Binoculars

High quality, high powered binoculars that are hand assembled in the USA using high specification Japanese optics, these are designed for long range terrestrial observation and astronomy.

With their large 70mm objective lenses and high quality optical coatings, these Celestron Echelon binoculars outperform many of their direct competitors in low light.

Tripod adaptable, their tough, yet lightweight aluminium body means you can also hand hold them in some situations for added flexibility.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Luna Optics LN-DM50-HRSD Digital Night Vision Viewer & Recorder

Much more than your average night vision device, the LN-DM50-HRSD Monocular from Luna Optics also records still images and full HD video and unlike most night vision devices, you get a full-color view in the day & super light sensitive B&W image at night.

5x-20x image magnification, a viewing distance of up to 200m in complete darkness, water-resistant body, full glass optics, In-built IR illuminator & the ability to transmit images directly to your computer, TV or monitor, a DC wall adapter and a built-in tripod mount are just a few of the many, many features

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Night Vision Monoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 73%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Minox BL 8x44 HD Binoculars

Designed & made in Germany by MINOX in conjunction with Volkswagen Design, these premium quality, hand finished binoculars come with HD glass, phase correction coatings and a full 30 year warranty.

Combine this with their large 44mm objective lenses, wide field of view and relatively low cost and you have a binocular that is really hard to match never mind beat.

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

 

Hawke Nature-Trek 8x42 Binoculars

Low cost Hawke binoculars that feature a single open hinge body design that is very lightweight as well as water and fog proof.

Optics are fully multi-coated and the roof prisms are made from quality Bak-4 glass that results in a very good quality image that matches or beats most in this price range.

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

 

Snypex Knight ED 10x32 Binoculars

A very lightweight and compact open bridge body that is tough as well as fog and waterproof do a great job of protecting the high quality optics contained inside these Snypex binoculars.

Components like Apochromatic lenses with ED Glass Lens Elements, fully multi-coated optics and Phase Coated, BaK-4 Roof Prisms all combine to produce an image of stunning clarity and brightness that is a match to any in this class.

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

 

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.

 

Win a Pair of Minox Binoculars

Best Binocular Reviews Facebook Page
>> Enter the #MinoxBBR Competition