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.

December 2016 - Latest Articles & Site News:

Christmas Shopping Guide 2016 -
Bins, Spotting Scopes & Accessories

Swarovski Binocuars wrapped in a bowWhilst I may be a little biased, I really could not think of anything better than if Santa was to slip down the chimney and leave me a great set of optics under the tree this year! But with so much choice and so many deals, which ones should you get that special and soon to be very lucky person?

To make your Christmas shopping a little easier this year, I have put together a number of recommendations that I have fully tested and reviewed in a range of different price and interest categories. The guide also includes the best Christmas deals and offers helping your shopping go further. So be that person a birder, wildlife guru, sports nut or traveller and no matter what your budget is, there is the perfect gift for you in my: Buyers Guides to the best binoculars for Christmas

 
 

Stars & StripesCanadian Flag Best Deals & Discounts for Christmas

Vanguard Endeavor ED BinocularsVanguard Sale & Rebate Offer
Vanguard currently offering an impressive $100 Mail-In Rebate on most models within their best selling and high end Endeavour ED and Endeavour ED II ranges.

Example: $230 Off Vanguard 8x42 & 10x42 Endeavor ED Binoculars:

  • List Price: $429.99
  • Current Retail Price approx: $299 (On Amazon / Eagle Optics)
  • + Mail-In Rebate: -$100
  • Vanguard 8x42mm Endeavor ED's Now Only $199.99!!!

>> $100 REBATE: Vanguard Endeavor ED & ED II Binoculars

 

Stars & StripesCanadian Flag Swarovski EL Binoculars Sale

New Swarovski EL 8.5x42 BinocularsAlmost all models within the new as well as some of the older versions of Swarovski Optik's flagship EL range of binoculars are currently on sale through a number of on-line retailers.

What is more, if you already own a pair, you can also trade in your old Swarovski binocular for one of the new versions.

Full details and where to claim these offers >>
Current Discounts & Offers on Swarovski EL Binoculars

 

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 December 2016

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

 

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

 

Eschenbach Arena D+ 10x50 B Binoculars

Mid-priced 50mm binoculars, designed to get you a detailed as well as bright image without costing the earth.

Whilst image quality for me was the major highlight on these Eschenbach binoculars, overall I thought they more than accomplished their remit and are well worth taking a closer look at...

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 70%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 6/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Binoculars

By combining the highest quality optical components and coatings with their technical expertise, there is no denying that these Swarovski's produce an image that is unsurpassed.

Add to this their tried and tested exterior and the inclusion of their new FieldPro package and you really do have a special pair of optics.

So If you are looking for the ultimate pair of 42mm binoculars, then you will most certainly not be disappointed with the Swarovski EL 8.5x42 binoculars. These are for me now the reference point and by which all others need to aspire towards.

Price: (6/6) Expensive Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 93%
The VERY Best
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 10/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 10/10
Extras & Details: 10/10

 

Opticron Savanna R 8x33 Binoculars

A more than capable, great looking, low cost, mid sized binocular that covers all the most important areas well and thus makes for a very versatile instrument that competes well within their price bracket.

Highlights include a waterproof aluminium & polycarbonate shell that protects full multi-coated optics and aluminium coated BaK-4 roof prisms.

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: 7/10
Image Quality 7/10
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.