Binocular Reviews Home > Birding
In this section of the site, you will find articles, documents and guides related to birding in general as well as advice on choosing the best bird watching binoculars for your specific requirements:
This article is where to start if you are looking to buy a pair of binoculars that will mostly be used for general birdwatching.
In this guide I explain the most important features to look out for and why, so that you can make an informed choice based on your specific requirements.
I also list some of the best birding binoculars that I have reviewed in a number of different price brackets and size categories.
Here I have taken my list of what I consider to be the best value for money binoculars and then selected only those that have also been rated as being ideal for birding from this list.
What is left are what I feel are the best value birding binoculars that I have reviewed on BBR.
The advice for most types of birding is to get a binocular with a wide field of view, which is often more desirable than a powerful magnification and so it is why most birders tend to use a bin with a 7x or 8x magnification.
In this article, I explore the circumstances where the opposite is true and where a 10x42 may be a better choice.
Every year BBR as well as a number of other writers, optical retailers and experts highlight the very best optics in a whole range of categories, including those ideal for bird watching by giving them an award.
So if you are interested in what we think are the very best birdwatching binoculars, take a look at some of the award winners over the past few years:
Having a really wide field of view (FOV) is really important to some people and in some situations. Many birders particularly look for binocular with a wide viewing angle.
What exactly makes good value for money and can you have a really expensive binocular that is better value than a cheap one?
I explore these and other questions as well as list why I believe are the best value optics is a range of different price categories:
>> Best Value For Money Binoculars
>> Best Value Birding Binoculars
On the banks of the eastern basin of Lake Kariba, within the Zambezi valley is Charara Bay, a place from which many Zimbabweans use as a base to go onto the lake to fish the mighty Tigerfish.
However my main interest was to observe and photograph some of the local wildlife and in particular the incredible variety of birds.
As well as my photography and night vision equipment, I also took along a pair of the Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 binoculars with me to see just how well they would perform out in the field.
Designed with birders in mind but the Field Station Belt Pack from Lowepro is actually also a great product for any wildlife enthusiast or researcher.
This small bag fits around your waist and has a pocket that enables you to carry your binoculars and also comes with a "shelf" than makes reading from and writing in your bird book, field guide, sketchbook or notebook really simple when out in the field. This shelf can also be used to carry and use your iPad or other tablet type computer.
Below are a few of my most recent reviews that I have written on bins that in my opinion make excellent bird spotting binoculars.
This section contains articles I have written on some of the more technical aspects and features of binoculars and optics in general. They are also the ones that I think are are important as well as relevant to binoculars that you would use for looking at birds with:
A common misconception is the bigger the exit pupil, the brighter your binoculars will be.
Whilst this is true... to a point as there is only so much light that your eyes can take in. The size of the exit pupil and just how bright an image you will see also varies depending on the surrounding lighting conditions and a bunch of other factors too.
So depending on how, where and when you use your binoculars you may not actually need those giant objective lenses. For more, take a look at my complete guide to the exit pupil.
I have come across many birders over the years who wear glasses, but did not know how to, or even if they could still keep them on whilst glassing.
To do so and still get to view the full image, you need bins with an eyepiece which allows for the adjustment. i.e. you need a good amount of eye-relief.
This article explains exactly what eye-relief is, how much you need and I list some of the very best long eye relief birding bins that hopefully make your choice simpler.
When cleaning your bins, especially the lenses, it is very important that you do it properly and in such a way so as not to scratch or damage the coatings on the glass.
In this guide, we discover the best ways this is achieved by using just a cleaning cloth or specialized optical cleaning kits.
When it comes to birding, the most popular configuration of all full sized binoculars is an 8x42.
There are many very good and valid reasons for this, but is in this article I explore if an 8x42 is right for everyone or would something like an 8.5x45 be better for your specific requirements?
A good friend of mine recently pointed out to me that main guide to choosing binoculars specifically for birding was for her, a little too technical.
She said that as a beginner, it did not focus enough on the basics like how to actually use your binoculars when birding.
So with this in mind, I started with this article which goes over the basics on how to aim your binoculars so that you quickly lock onto your target before it flies away!
It can be much more difficult to use your binoculars in winter when you may be using things like gloves.
In this short guide, I give a few tips on what to look out for in a good winter bin and what else you can do to make them much easier for you to use when it is very cold.
If you have anything to say on this section of my BBR, if you think that I have missed out anything or if you have a suggestion for an article or advice that you would like me to include here, please ad to the comments section below: