World of Binoculars – Articles

On this section of my site you can find a wide range of articles, tips, advice as well as special offers and deals in the world of optics with an emphasis on binoculars.

Popular Articles

How Binoculars Are Made

A really interesting video produced by the Discovery Channel from the How It Is Made series that gives us a fantastic insight into the main steps in making a pair of Steiner Commander XP Marine binoculars. In this article, I take a look at the main steps in detail and expand on the information given.

10x42 Binoculars for Bird Watching


For most types of birding, a nice wide view tends to be more desirable than a powerful magnification and so most opt for a 7x or 8x magnification.

However there are some situations where the opposite is the case and a good 10x42 may be your ideal choice.


Fixed Focus Bushnell BinocularsAuto Focus Binoculars? No, Fixed Focus Binoculars!

A common misconception is that you can get auto focusing binoculars, this exaggeration is actually partly the fault of the marketing departments of many optical brands, who try to make out that their particular model does something incredible! In this guide I take a look at exactly how these binoculars actually stay in focus.

The guide also examines the advantages fixed focus has over "standard" focus binoculars, which ones to get and where best to use them: >> Fixed Focus Binoculars

 

Buyers’ Guides

Bushnell 10x42 NatureView BinocularsBest Binoculars under $200 / £200

Whilst I highly recommend that you stay well clear of cheapest binoculars (under $30/£30) and I am not sure if you can say that at $200/£200, they are cheap binoculars. But at this price you can get some really great value for money optics that are not only far superior to the almost unusable really cheap binoculars, but compare surprisingly well to many top of the range options available.

Best ED Binoculars under $350 / £350

Vortex 8x42 Viper HD BinocularsHere I reply to a question that I received from someone looking for the best Binoculars for under $350 / £350 that use extra low dispersion glass in their lenses. Featured bins include the Vanguard Endeavor ED, the Vortex Viper HD, the Celestron Granite and the great looking Theron Wapiti 8x42 APO ED binoculars.


Game&Fish: Top 5 Binoculars under $400 / £400

Bushnell 10x42 Legend Ultra HD BinocularsIn this section I take a look at five different binoculars under $400 recommended by Game&Fish Magazine, stating with a pair of Nikon’s and the new Steiner Champs that cost less than $100 (£400). It also includes the Zeiss Terra ED Binoculars and the excellent value Bushnell 10x42 Legend Ultra HD Binoculars. For each of their picks, I also give an alternative that I have fully reviewed.

 

Technical

Reticle Rangefinders on Marine Binoculars

In this article I take an in-depth look at marine binoculars (as well as some hunting binoculars) that came with a reticle to calculate distances to discover just how they work and indeed just how well they work.

8x42 vs 8.5x45 Binoculars

The most commonly made and sold configuration of all full sized binoculars is an 8x42. There are many good reasons for this, but is this configuration right for everyone or would something a little different be better for your specific needs?


The Complete Guide to: Extra Low Dispersion Glass (ED Glass)

With so many manufactures using ED Glass in their binoculars these days, do you know what it really means, why it is used and how does it help improve the view through your optics?

If not, I try answer those and other questions in this article as simply as I can, but it can get a little technical, so hold onto your hats, but stick with me as you will also discover that it is also kind of cool.

The Complete Guide to: The Exit Pupil

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.

 

Spotting Scopes

Guide to the Best Wildlife & Astronomy Spotting Scopes Under $550 / £500

I recently received a question from a reader that was looking to get a spotting scope that would work well for wildlife observation as well as for occasional astronomy.

So in this article I go over just what features you need to look for as well as reinforce the fact that whilst a terrestrial spotting scope is essentially a refractor telescope, it does differ in a number of ways from a telescope that is specifically designed to view the stars and other objects in our skies at night.

However this does not mean that you cannot use a scope for astronomy, you just need to be a little cleaver in your choice of which one to get.

 

Accessories

Digibinning with the Kowa TSN-IP4S iPhone AdapterDigibinning & Camera Adapters

When you see something fantastic through your binoculars, if you are anything like me, you immediately want to be able to capture it to look at again later or share with your friends.

Whilst digital camera binoculars have been around for a while,they have never produced what I would call acceptable results.

An alternative is called Digibinning, which is where you use an adapter to connect your camera or indeed your iPhone to your binoculars take photos through an eye-piece. There are a number ways this can be done:

 

Vanguard ABEO Pro 283CGH Tripod KitVanguard ABEO Pro 283CGH Tripod Kit

This tripod kit contains the excellent Vanguard Abeo Pro 283CT carbon fiber tripod, with it’s multi angle central column and the incredible Vanguard GH-300T Pistol Grip ball head.

This combination in my opinion has many advantages not only for traditional photography, but also as a steady base for your astronomy binoculars and your spotting scope, be that for observation or for digiscoping as you can quickly and accurately aim your gear towards whatever you want to observe:

>> Vanguard ABEO Pro 283CGH Review


 

LockDown Binocular HarnessLockDown Binocular Harness

One of the most use full and for me the most innovative binocular accessory that I have ever is used is the LockDown Optics Deployment System. It is like no other binocular harness or binocular suspender that you have ever seen with many advantages over more traditional versions that includes a cover that protects your binocular and it’s lenses, a "ShockCord" that not only securely attaches your optics to your chest when you are not using them, but enables tension free glassing when you are:
>> LockDown Optics Deployment System | Binocular Harness Guide

 

Lowepro Field Station Optics BagLowepro Field Station Belt Pack

A purpose made binocular bag that has been designed to be used by birders, but is ideal for any wildlife enthusiast or researcher. This compact bag will not only enable you to comfortably carry your binoculars, but it 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. It can also be used to carry and use your iPad or other tablet type computer.

>> Lowepro Field Station Belt Pack | More Binocular Accessories

 

Latest Releases

Announced March 2016:

New Nikon PROSTAFF 3S Binoculars – Aimed at the mid range market, the Prostaff 3S binoculars in 8x and 10x42mm configurations boast features like twist up, multi-position eye-cups, O-ring sealed, nitrogen filled bodies, silver coated roof prisms and multi-coated lenses.

Leica Trinovid HD BinocularsAnnounced January 2016:

New Leica Trinovid HD Binoculars – Details of the two new updated Trinovid premium entry level binoculars to the Leica stable that now includes HD optics and their ne Adventure strap – the all-in-one carry case and binocular harness.

Announced July 2015:

New Swarovski EL Family Binoculars – One of the most iconic ranges currently available has been updated with Swarovski Optik making a number of improvements to the design and functionality to all the instruments within their EL stable.

New Swarovski EL Family BinocularsThese improvements include a new neck strap and fixing system that makes them more comfortable, easier to swap with other straps and accessories and faster to adjust in length. There are also a new designs to the objective and eye-piece covers as well as minor adjustments to the focus wheel and diopter.

Announced September 2014:

New Swarovski CL Companion Africa Binoculars – Swarovski Optik announces the release of a new special edition to their highly successful travel series, the CL Companion.

Swarovski CL Companion Africa BinocularsRather than being a completely new binocular, the Africa edition focuses on the design, drawing inspiration from the great continent and thus makes them the ideal companion to any safari adventure. Updates have been made to the color of the body and some small details like the eyecup housing as well as the inclusion of a superior grade and handmade carry bag and leather carry strap.

Announced July 2014:


New Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binoculars
Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8x32 binocularsVanguard Sport Optics announced the introduction of the Endeavor ED II series binoculars, that will supersede the standard Endeavor’s as their new flagship range and which according to the company feature a number of key design and optical improvements.


Announced February 2014:

Snypex Knight ED binocularsNew Snypex Knight ED Binoculars – Snypex Sports Optics announces a new mid to high end series of ED binoculars to their line-up. With 6 models, these mid and full sized roof prism binoculars come with ED glass elements in their apochromatic lenses, fully multi-coated optics all wrapped up in a water and fogproof magnesium alloy chassis.

Announced January 2014:

Three New Vortex binoculars shown off at Shot Show 2014 – Vortex Optics decided to spill the beans on three new models to their line-up that will be available from Spring 2014. The Vortex Vulture 15x56, Viper HD 12x50 and the Kaibab 20x56 binoculars are in response to what they say is public demand for higher magnification bins.

Announced May 2013:

Bushnell NatureView 8x42 Roof Prism BinocularsNew Bushnell NatureView Binoculars – Bushnell Outdoor Products have completely revamped their very popular line of NatureView Binoculars by adding a new design and adding some new models.

Announced March 2013:

New Nikon MONARCH 5 Binoculars – Nikon’s introduction of their new and completely redesigned Monarch 5 binoculars. Improvements include the addition of an ED lenses.

New MINOX BL HD Binoculars – Details of the new line of Minox binoculars which were introduced at the recent IWA Outdoor Classics show.

Announced in 2012:

Vanguard Spirit XF BinocularsNew Vanguard Spirit XF Binoculars – Based on their flagship Endeavor ED Bins, the Spirit XF’s have some quality components and features, eat are available at a budget-friendly price.

New Vortex Razor HD Binoculars – Details of the new Vortex Razor HD binoculars, which are an evolution on their "standard" Razor binoculars and are slightly smaller and lighter and now include HD glass.

New Zeiss Victory HT Binoculars – Details of the new sand stunning looking Zeiss Victory HT Binoculars unveiled by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics at the 2012 NRA Annual Meetings, the longest running shooting & hunting show in the world.

New Eagle Optics Golden Eagle HD Binoculars – Details of these new bins that are available in both 8x42 and 10x42 configurations featuring a rugged and lightweight body, waterproofing, fogproofing and HD Glass elements.

 

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