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Best Value Binoculars

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Best Value BinocularsThe Best Value For Money Binoculars

For many people who haven't researched binoculars and who don't know much about them, there are two main methods that they use to choose their binoculars:

The most common way is to pick the largest magnification at the cheapest price because the common misconception is the bigger the magnification, the better the binocular. This is a fatal combination and what you end up with is a truly terrible pair of optics, little better (and in some cases worse) than a toy - so even though they were cheap, they still make very bad value for money.

On the other extreme and for those that can afford it, some people just pick the most expensive binoculars that they can find. At least in this case they are almost guaranteed of getting an excellent pair of binoculars. But are they great value for money?

Here lies my problem when deciding on what makes a good value for money binocular. If you take someone like Bill Gates for example, even the most expensive pair of binoculars on earth, for him would be mere pocket change and as long as they performed really well with very high quality optics, they would indeed for him be considered good value for money.

For the average person, who only occasionally uses their optics, the amount he spent may seem excessive for the relatively small gain in performance from 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.

This is why, on this page below, I have 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, which are therefor what I believe are the best binoculars for the money.

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 the Best Rated Binoculars). So for a binocular to feature on this page and therefore be rated as being best value for money, they must have achieved an excellent score within their particular price category:

Best Value Mid Priced Binoculars

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 thus for the money, these are the best mid priced binoculars I have reviewed::

 

Hawke Endurance ED 8x42 Binoculars Review

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

 

Hawke Endurance ED 8x32 Binoculars Review

Mid-sized, mid-priced Hawke binoculars that impress in almost single every area.

A fully fog and waterproof magnesium housing protects high quality and fully multi-coated optics with highlights that include ED glass lenses, BaK-4 roof prisms that have been phase corrected.

The result is a high quality and bright image that has a wide field of view, good close focus and delivers plenty of eye-relief.

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

 

Opticron Discovery WP PC 8x32 Binoculars Review

For a mid-sized binocular, the 8x32 Opticron Discovery is ultra compact and lightweight, has a very wide field of view and extremely minimum close focus.

Add to this good quality optics and a mid range price point and you have an instrument that is ideal in a very wide range of uses and thus will appeal to a huge selection of users.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 10/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Celestron Trailseeker 8x42 Binoculars Review

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.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Kowa 8x25 BD Binoculars Review

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.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

These Binoculars are On SaleDiscounted Binoculars: These Kowa Binoculars have been reduced in price on Amazon and Eagle Optics in the USA.
>> Check Prices

The binoculars above are in my opinion the very best value for money in this price category. It is important to remember that this is just a guide to help you make a shortlist and there are many other binoculars that I have reviewed that also give you plenty bang for your buck and may be in other peoples opinions even better value for money:


 

Best Value Mid-High Priced Binoculars

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:

 

Vortex Viper HD 10x42 Binoculars Review

There is a whole lot to like about these 10x42 Vortex Viper HD binoculars, but what really stands out for me are the super high quality HD optics with ED glass lenses and phase corrected, dielectrically coated roof prisms.

Add to this an excellent build quality and loads of attention to detail like a lockable diopter adjuster and ultra hard exterior lens coatings and you have a high performing binocular that is also great value for money.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 85%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Hawke Sapphire ED 8x42 Binoculars Review

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.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 85%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Vortex 8x42 Viper HD Binoculars Review

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.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 85%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

These Binoculars are On SaleDiscounted Binoculars: Vortex Viper's are available at a reduced price on Binoculars.com and Eagle Optics in the USA
>> Check Prices

The 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 there are many other binoculars that I have reviewed that also give you plenty bang for your buck and may be in other peoples opinions even better value for money:


 

Best Value High End Binoculars

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:

 

Swarovski CL Pocket 8x25 Binoculars Review

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

 

Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 Binoculars Review

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.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 88%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 10/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 9/10

 

Vortex 8x42 Razor HD Binoculars Review

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.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 90%
The VERY Best
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 10/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 9/10

 

Minox 8x43 HG Binoculars Review

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.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 10/10 87%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

These Binoculars are On SaleDiscounted Binoculars: These Minox HG Binoculars are available at a discount on Eagle Optics and Binoculars.com in the US.
>> Check Prices
 

Kowa 10x33 Genesis XD Binoculars Review

High-End mid sized roof prism binoculars featuring Prominar XD Lenses (extra low dispersion glass), fully multi-coated lenses and phase corrected Schmidt-Pechan prisms to ensure excellent optical performance. This Kowa Genisis binocular is also fully waterproof, fog-proof and lightweight, with a durable and tough rubber coated armour exterior.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 92%
The VERY Best
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 10/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 10/10

These Binoculars are On SaleDiscounted Binoculars: The Kowa Genesis 10x33 is available at a reduced price from Eagle Optics in the USA and Amazon.co.uk in the UK.
>> Check Prices

The 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 there are many other binoculars that I have reviewed that also give you plenty bang for your buck and may be in other peoples opinions even better value for money:


 

Best Value Premium Binoculars

The binoculars below are all within the expensive price category (> $1200 / > £1200) and have scored at least 92% on the Best Binocular Reviews Ratings scale:

 

Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Binoculars Review

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

 

Swarovski EL 10x32 Swarovision Binoculars Review

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.

Price: (6/6) Expensive Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 95%
The VERY Best
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 10/10
Optical Stats: 10/10
Image Quality 10/10
Extras & Details: 10/10

These Binoculars are On SaleDiscounted Binoculars: The Swarovski EL 10x32 SV binoculars are available at a discount on Amazon.com, Binoculars.com and Eagle Optics in the USA
>> Check Prices
 

Nikon 10x42 EDG Binoculars Review

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.

Price: (6/6) Expensive Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 92%
The VERY Best
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 10/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 10/10
Extras & Details: 9/10

These Binoculars are On SaleDiscounted Binoculars: The Nikon EDG 10x42 binoculars are available at a discount on Amazon.com and Binoculars.com in the USA
>> Check Prices
 

Kowa 10.5x44 Genesis XD Binoculars Review

Designed to compete with the very best this Kowa Genesis XD44 binocular utilizes optical technology taken from their popular range of TSN Spotting Scopes including the excellent Prominar XD lens to make a binocular that produces images of the highest quality. Combined with a tough waterproof body, these make excellent binoculars for nature viewing, outdoor sports and general use.

Price: (6/6) Expensive Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 92%
The VERY Best
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 10/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 10/10
Extras & Details: 10/10

These Binoculars are On SaleDiscounted Binoculars: A discount of between 7% and 12% is being offered on these Kowa Genesis XD44 Binoculars at Amazon.com Binoculars.com and Eagle Optics in the USA
>> Check Prices

The binoculars above are in my opinion the very best binoculars for the money within this price category. It is important to remember that this is just a guide to help you make a shortlist and there are many other binoculars that I have reviewed that also give you plenty bang for your buck and may be in other peoples opinions even better value for money:


 

Best Value Low Cost Binoculars

The binoculars 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:

 

Carson RD Series 8x42 Binoculars Review

Price wise these Carson binoculars hover right on the boundary between mid range and low cost instruments. However in terms of the components and features these sit comfortable amongst many mid level binoculars and thus look to offer some more than decent value for money.

Highlights include BAK-4 roof prisms, fully multi-coated optics, plenty of eye-relief and a more than decent field of view.

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 7/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Levenhuk Sherman PLUS 8x42 Binoculars Review

Low cost 8x42 porro prism binoculars with a good quality and bright image, very wide field of view and plenty of eye-relief.

In my opinion, you are easily getting your money's worth and then some with the Levenhuk Sherman Plus binoculars...

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

 

Helios Nitrosport 8x42 Binoculars Review

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

 

Meade 8x42 Rainforest Pro Binoculars Review

These low cost binoculars from Meade Instruments come with features that those in the mid level would be proud to have.

This includes phase corrected and silver coated BaK-4 roof prisms, fully multi-coated optics and a tough nitrogen filled waterproof housing.

Combine these with a wide field of view, good amount of eye-relief and close focus and you have a very capable and versatile binocular that at this price offers excellent value for money.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Tom Lock Series 2 8x42 Binoculars Review

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.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Celestron LandScout 10x50 Binoculars Review

These low cost 50mm porro prism Celestron binoculars possess many components & features that are better than I would expect to see at this price point:

This includes an aluminium housing that is fully fog & waterproof, twist-up eye cups, BaK-4 prisms and fully multi-coated optics.

These all combine well to deliver a great value for money large aperture instrument that performs well in all weather conditions, but which excels in low light when compared to others in it's class.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Levenhuk Energy PLUS 8x25 Binoculars Review

Low costing compact binocular from Levenhuk that comes with a number of higher end features including a water and fog proof shell that protects fully multi-coated optics within.

Highlights also include a very wide field of view and a close minimum focusing distance.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 70%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Hawke Nature-Trek 8x42 Binoculars Review

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 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Vanguard Orros 10x25 Binoculars Review

These low cost 10x Vanguard binoculars feature a lightweight rubber coated, water and fog proof body that protects good quality BaK-4 roof prisms and multi-coated lenses.

The also feature a unique offset hinge and focussing wheel that is designed to make adjustments more comfortable as well as helps them fold down to a compact shape for easy storage, making them a great take any and everywhere binocular.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 70%
Excellent
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Celestron Nature DX 8x42 Binoculars Review

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.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 Binoculars Review

Compact porro prism binoculars with fully multi-coated optics and an incredibly close minimum focusing distance that is ideal for close observation of birds, flowers, butterflies, bees and other insects and objects both out in the field or in a gallery or museum.

Their compact design makes them easy to carry about and so like any other compact bin, they make great hiking, camping and general travel companions, as well as for taking to most spectator sports.

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

 

Kowa 8x30 YF Binoculars Review

This 8x30 Kowa YF Series binocular is great low cost mid-sized porro prism binocular with fully multi-coated optics that produce an excellent quality image.

The body is tough, fully waterproof, fog proof and very lightweight.

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

 

Barr & Stroud 10x42 Sierra Binoculars Review

Featuring excellent quality phase coated BaK-4 roof prisms, combined with fully multi-coated lenses and a tough waterproof exterior and all at a very reasonable price. These Barr & Stroud 10x42 Sierra binoculars really are excellent value for money.

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

The binoculars above are in my opinion the very best binoculars for the money within this price category. It is important to remember that this is just a guide to help you make a shortlist and there are many other binoculars that I have reviewed that also give you plenty bang for your buck and may be in other peoples opinions even better value for money:


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