So what makes a good or even the best value for money birdwatching binocular?
Well what I have done is to go through all the binoculars that I have reviewed that I consider to be good for most types of bird watching (good all round birding binoculars) and then filtered out the best value for money ones from that list and so what we have left are the Best Value for Money Bird Watching Binoculars.. easy!
Deciding what is and what is not good value for money can be difficult as what some people may consider good value, others may perceive as being expensive.
Take someone like Bill Gates for example, even the most expensive binoculars on earth would be mere pocket change for him and so as long as they were also very high quality and had a very high level of performance, for him they would seem to be good value for money.
However, for the average person who only occasionally uses their optics, this amount would seem excessive for the relatively small gain in performance when compared to a good quality mid priced binocular.
So as you can see "good value" is related to what you perceive to be a reasonable amount of money. Thus to ensure all types of people are catered for, I have first split the binoculars into price categories and then within those categories found the binoculars that have better components, coatings, features and perform above their price category average. It is in this way I get the best value for money binoculars within each of the price categories.
On this page below are listed the best value binoculars within the main price brackets and all you have to do is decide on your budget and then take a look at the best within that price range.
How are the Best Value Binoculars Chosen?
My definition of a good value for money binocular is one that gives you the most features, best quality components and the best image quality for the least amount of money possible.
All the binoculars that I now review are rated in a number of key areas: Body Construction Quality, Body Stats, Optical Components Quality, Optical Stats, Image Quality and Extras & Attention to Detail. These individual scores combine to give an overall score (for more information on this see my article which explains the Binocular Ratings Scale). So for a binocular to feature on this page and therefore be rated as being best value for money bird binoculars, they must have achieved an excellent score within their price particular category and obviously be ideal for observing most types of birds with:
The binoculars below are all within the mid price category (approx: $130 - $300 / £130 - £300) and have scored at least 80% on the Best Binocular Reviews Ratings scale and I also recommend them as being ideal for birdwatching:
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.
These 8x42's combine very high quality optics that includes extra low dispersion glass, phase correction coatings on Bak-4 prisims with a tough, lightweight body that is 100% fog and waterproof and what you get is a great pair of binoculars ideal for birdwatching as well as everyday use.
Very high quality compact roof prism binoculars that are fully fog and waterproof. They also feature fully multi-coated optics and phase correction coatings on the prisms that produce a excellent qaulity, bright image with a wide field of view.
The optics listed above are in my opinion the very best value for money bird watching binoculars in this price category. It is important to remember that this is just a guide to help you make a shortlist below are a few related links that may also help you:
The binoculars below are all within the mid-high price category (approx: $300 - $500 / £300 - £500) and have scored at least 85% on the Best Binocular Reviews Ratings scale meaning that I rate them as outstanding. They will also in my opinion make ideal birding binoculars:
High specification, mid priced 8x42 Hawke binoculars with many highlights including a lightweight , water and fog proof magnesium body, quality optical components and coatings including fully multi-coated ED glass lenses, and that produce a high quality image with a very wide field of view.
High quality binoculars that includes optical features like extra-low dispersion glass (HD), fully multi-coated lenses, phase correction coatings on the roof prisms, encased in a tough yet lightweight, fog and waterproof body.
The binoculars above are in my opinion are ideal for birdwatching and offer the very best value for money within the mid-high price category. It is important to remember that this is just a guide to help you make a shortlist and below are a few more pages that may help with your search:
The binoculars below are all within the high price category (approx: $500-$1200 / £500-£1200) and have scored at least 87% on the Best Binocular Reviews Ratings scale meaning that they are amongst the Very best and will in my opinion be perfect for most types of birdwatching:
Weighing just 17.6oz ounces and measuring 4.7 inches long by 4.5 inches wide, it's hard to believe Swarovski can pack so much of their renowned optical excellence into such a compact unit and make it just that bit more affordable, but they have.
Ideal for anyone looking for a premium compact binocular to take travelling, on safari, hiking, camping or to a sporting event, the CL Companion includes their legendary Swarotop & Swarodur anti-reflection coatings as well as phase correction and Swarobright coatings on the roof prisms producing an excellent high quality image even in low light situations.
The use of the very best quality optical components and coatings like high density ED glass lens elements and dielectric and phase correction coatings on the roof prisms contribute to producing an extremely high quality and bright image.
These Vortex binoculars ooze quality and the water and fogproof body is nice and light as well as strong thanks to a magnesium chassis. I also really like the exterior design that is both comfortable and secure to hold.
Fully Waterproof & Fogproof binoculars featuring Minox's Quick-Close-Focus mechanism, Fully Multi-Coated optics, Phase coated Bak-4 Roof Prisims and a host of other top of the range features. In short very high quality binoculars manufactured in Germany at a very good price.
These ideal bird watching binoculars above are in my opinion the very best value for money within this price category. It is important to remember that this is just a guide to help you make a shortlist and below are a few links that should also help:
The binocular(s) below are the very top of the range, would be ideal to take birdwatching and fall all within the expensive price category (> $1200 / > £1200) as such they have to a score at least 92% on the Best Binocular Reviews Ratings scale, which is very, very tough:
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.
The new Swarovision EL 10x32 binoculars combine the very best optics and coatings with a waterproof, lightweight and tough Magnesium open bridge body to produce one of the very best mid sized binoculars currently on the market.
Optical features include Field flattener lenses to correct field curvature, Phase correction and dielectric coatings on the roof prisms and fully multi-coated Swarobright lens coatings for a much better light transmission.
Designed to compete with the best binoculars in the world, the 10x42 Nikon EDG binocular comes with Nikon's fantastic ED glass lenses and advanced multilayer coating and phase correction roof prisms that produce stunning clear images with a powerful 10x magnification, a tough, waterproof and fog-proof body and so much more.
The binocular(s) above are in my opinion the very best value for money within this price category and would also be ideal as a bird watching binocular, as you can see it is a very exclusive list as the entry requirements are very high! For more choice and further reading:
These ideal birding binocular(s) below are all within the low cost price category ($50 - $130 / £50 - £130) and have scored at least 70% on the Best Binocular Reviews Ratings scale, as you can see it is a very exclusive list as the entry requirements are very high which makes it very hard for binoculars at this price point to achieve:
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.
These low cost binos from Tom Lock come with a surprising selection of higher specification components and coatings that surpass the majority of others in this class and equal that of many mid range instruments.
Examples of this include the all metal focus wheel and eye-cups, phase corrected and silver mirror coated BaK-4 prisms and fully multi-coated optics.
If you are on a tight budget and are after a great all-rounder, this 8x42 Series 2 is well worth taking a closer look at.
Priced to appeal to those on a fairly tight budget, yet they they still manage to pack in a good amount of higher specification components and features which include very good quality BaK-4 glass and fully multi-coated optics which are protected in a fully sealed and waterproof Polycarbonate body that is filled with nitrogen gas to prevent fogging of the lenses.
The result is a tough, well priced binocular that produces a more than decent view which is as good as or better than most in this price range.
The binocular(s) above are in my opinion the very best value for money within this price category and would also be ideal as a birding binocular, as you can see it is a very exclusive list as the entry requirements are very high! Further reading:
I would love to get your comments and well as your opinions, have I missed out anything or do you think that some of opinions or assumptions that I have made are wrong or do you agree with them? Do own what you consider to be the best value for money birding binocular? If so please let us know what you think: