Best Binoculars Ratings

90-100%
The VERY Best
80-90%
Outstanding
70-80%
Excellent
60-70%
Very Good
50-60%
Above Average
40-50%
Below Average
0-40%
Poor

The Best Rated Binoculars

When I first started the Best Binocular Reviews website, it my my intention to make it easier for people to sift through all the marketing jargon and select not only the best best binocular, but also the right one for their particular needs. Since then this site has grown a huge amount and so has the amount of binoculars that I review - and whilst choice is great, it has become evident to me that it is also making it harder for people to decide between binoculars.

In order to rectify this, I have introduced the Best Binoculars Ratings, a score card that makes for a simple way for you to quickly narrow down your shortlist. I would still suggest that once you have narrowed your search down, you read through the review to make your final decision as the scores are just a guide and it must be stressed, just my opinion.

How Binoculars Are Rated

So, I guess the next question you probably have is How Are Binoculars Rated?

Well, the total score is displayed as a percentage and is composed of a 6 different sections that encompass all the main elements and specifications of the instrument and includes aspects like the build quality, the level of optics and coatings used and the quality of the view.

I go through each of these elements in detail below and explain how I derive a score for each one:

Body Construction Quality:
This is the score out of ten of the quality of the outer body of the binocular, the materials used, how well it has been made, if it is water and fogproof and generally how tough it is. How well does the diopter adjustment and focusing wheel work, it also includes the quality of the eye-cups and generally, does the binocular feel like a quality optical instrument.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Body Stats:
This is a rating, again out of ten on the binoculars dimensions, weight and overall balance. This score is in relation to other binoculars in their size class. For example a compact binocular will always be smaller and lighter than a full sized one, so it would be unfair if you compared them without taking into consideration what class they were in.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Optical Components Quality:
This score is a reflection of the quality of glass used in the lenses and prism. It also includes the quality of their coatings, if they are just fully coated or fully multi-coated and if they have any anti-reflection coatings on the prism. Do they used extra low dispersion glass or have any special lens coatings for example.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Optical Stats:
This is an overall score of how wide a field of view a binocular has, the amount of eye-relief as well as it's minimum focusing distance. This score is in relation to others in their size and magnification class. I have done it this way because it would be unfair to compare the field of view of a 10x compact with an 8x full sized binocular. For more details on how I calculate each binoculars optical stats score click here.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Image Quality:
With all my reviews I compare the view through the binocular with a benchmark binocular in their class. This gives me good feeling of where they sit in relation to other binoculars that I have reviewed in the past. They are rated on their brightness, sharpness, contrast, color reproduction, amount of colour fringing (chromatic aberration) and the amount of softening of the image on the periphery of the view. The optical quality score is an overall reflection of these qualities in relation to other binoculars in their size class. I have done this because a small compact binocular, no matter how good it's coatings and quality of glass is never going to compete in brightness with a good quality full sized binocular and so it would not be fair to directly compare the two. So the score is in relation to others in their size class.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Extras & Attention to Detail:
This score reflects the quality of the carry bag and the neck strap. Does the binocular come with a lens cleaning cloth and what about lens caps. Just all the little things that can make the difference between a good binocular and a really great one.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Top Rated Binoculars

Below are the most recent rated binoculars that I have so far reviewed.

View >> All Rated Binoculars reviewed on Best Binocular Reviews.

Compare Side-By-Side:

Compare features of all reviewed & rated binoculars on BBR Side-By-Side

 

Maven B1.2 10x42 Binoculars Review

Updated from the B.1 series, the 10x42 B1.2 binoculars are smaller, more lightweight, come with improved optics, a much wider field of view, longer eye-relief, a closer minimum focus distance as well as other improvements.

The fact that Maven Optics has managed to do all this and keep the cost at the same level results in a high-performance binocular with an incredible performance to price ratio.

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

 

Pentax Papilio II 8.5x21 Binoculars Review

Updated with a fully multi-coated optical system the Pentax Papilio II is now better & more versatile than ever.

With their incredibly close minimum focusing distance these are ideal for the close observation of things like butterflies or flowers when out in the field or for use in a gallery or museum.

Other optical highlights include quality BaK4 reverse Porro prisms and aspherical lens elements for a quality and brightness of view that is impressive for a compact binocular at this price level.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 75%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Fujinon HC 8x42 Binoculars Review

Fujinon HC 8x42 binocular is outstanding and dare I say it, beautiful pair of optics that certainly stands out from the crowd.

I especially like the very wide field of view, which when combined with the excellent quality optics and resulting superb image quality means that you are presented with a view that is just about as good as it gets in both good and low light conditions.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 83%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Opticron Explorer WA ED-R 8x32 Binoculars Review

Excellent quality and bright image, combined with an extremely wide view and small, lightweight body, these 8x32 Opticron Explorer WA ED-R binoculars are an ideal option for a wide range of uses where you want something a bit smaller than an 8x42, but better low light performance than a full compact binocular.

Other highlights include ED glass lenses, dielectric coated, and phase-corrected BaK-4 roof prisms, fully multi-coated optics, and a tough waterproof chassis.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Pentax VM 6x21 WP Monocular & Microscope Kit Review

Small, lightweight, and versatile monocular when combined with the complete kit easily converts into an 18x microscope.

Highlights include an extremely wide field of view, very close minimum focus distance, plenty of eye relief, and a unique shape and rocker focus mechanism making it both comfortable and very easy to use in just one hand.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Monocular
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 83%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 10/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Pentax VD 4x20 WP Binocular & Monoculars Review

A compact binocular that the Transformers would be proud of!

The Pentax VD 4x20 can be split in half and thus converted into two 4x monoculars, which in turn can be placed end-on-end, transforming it once again into a mini-sized, but powerful 16x Spotting Scope!

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 10/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

GPO Passion HD 10x50 Binoculars Review

Extremely high-quality binoculars designed in Germany, made using premium class optics and components in Japan.

Standout features include a Magnesium housing, fully machined aluminum rotary eyecups, a focus wheel with an integrated & lockable diopter adjuster, Dielectric coated Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms, Double HD glass lenses with hydrophobic exterior coatings.

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

 

Steiner Wildlife 8x24 Binoculars Review

The double-hinge, roof prism design, combined with a tough exterior and fully water and fog proof chassis makes these a true pocket sized binocular that just ask to be taken anywhere and everywhere you go.

Other highlights include a fully multi-coated optical system, wide field of view, excellent close focus distance and with it's Click-Lock attachments system probably the best neck-strap I have ever seen on a compact.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 83%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Bresser Pirsch ED 8x34 Binoculars Review

This Pirsch ED binocular from the German brand Bresser incorporates a very good level of optics and body components into a mid-sized, easy to carry chassis, all the time keeping half an eye on the cost, with the result being an instrument that offers a very good performance to price ratio.

Main optical highlights include ED Glass lenses, a Fully Multi-Coated optical pathway and Dielectric, Phase Corrected BAK-4 Roof Prisms...

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Vortex Diamondback HD 15x56 Binoculars Review

For the most part, these high power, long range binoculars from Vortex manage to achieve that very difficult balancing act of a reasonably priced, reasonably high performance binocular that delivers a bright, high-quality image in combination with a high magnification.

As well as the instrument, the level and sheer number of included accessories is also impressive...

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 9/10

 

Steiner Navigator Pro 7x30 Binoculars Review

Excellent quality mid-sized marine binoculars ideal for speed boating, sailing, yachting or indeed kayaking and canoeing, but can also be used for a number of dry-land activities.

Highlights include a tough waterproof chassis and outer armor that is very comfortable in the hands, with high levels of grip.

High-quality glass and coatings deliver a bright, vibrant view with extremely low levels of color fringing and almost no softening around the edges of the view.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Opticron Savanna WP 6x30 Binoculars Review

Comfortable, easy to carry about and with a bright, good quality image, I love using these Opticron Savanna WP 6x30 binoculars, which I think this will also be the case for many people looking for an inexpensive, easy to use binocular as I feel they offer a good compromise between size, weight and image quality, and brightness.

Highlights include an excellent price to performance ratio, a wide field of view, steady 6x magnified image and a huge amount of eye-relief.

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

 

Bresser Pirsch ED 8x42 Binoculars Review

With ergonomic features like an open bridge body design and optical features like high-performance ED glass lens elements and dielectric coatings on the Barium-Kron glass roof prisms, this 8x42mm version of the Pirsch ED binocular from the German Optics company Bresser combine a high level of components with an excellent build quality to deliver a binocular with an excellent overall performance at a very reasonable price.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 83%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Maven B5 18x56 Binoculars Review

Super high powered binoculars with an equally high level of renowned Japanese optics, coatings, components and a build quality to match.

The 18x56 Maven B5 binocular is designed to deliver high quality, highly detailed views a long distances and all at a price well under that of most other "alpha" level instruments.

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

 

Swarovski SLC 15x56 HD Binoculars Review

Very high-end, long range, long-distance binoculars, the 15x56 Swarovski SLC HD has gained a significant reputation among hunters, in particular, for its quality and low light performance.

My interest came from a desire for a high magnification binocular for coastal and wetland bird watching: Whilst most bird watchers will use spotting scopes, I wanted to see how a high power binocular would perform as an alternative.

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

 

Bresser Spezial Astro SF 15x70 Binoculars Review

Ideal long-range terrestrial and astronomy binoculars, these 15x70 Bresser Spezial Astro SF binoculars combine a fully multi-coated optical system with quality BaK-4 Porro prisms and a tough water and fog proof aluminum housing that, in turn, deliver a quality of view and user experience that is well above average.

Far from just being good for stargazing, viewing planets, the moon and general astronomy at night-time, I would also highly recommend these to anyone wanting a higher power binocular to mount onto a tripod and look out over the ocean, a lake or onto the mountains during the day.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 75%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Fujinon Polaris 7x50 FMTRC-SX Binoculars Review

Designed to withstand the rigors of the professional marine and fishing industries, these 7x50 Fujinon Polaris binoculars also make excellent wide-field astronomy binoculars.

Highlights include a fully nitrogen purged and water proof all-metal chassis with a rubber coated exterior, a built-in compass and range-finding reticle, extremely wide field of view, field flattener lenses and Fujinon's EBC multi-coatings on every optical surface for a light transmission of more than 95%

Price: (5/6) 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

 

Celestron SkyMaster Pro 15x70 Binoculars Review

From the fully multi-coated optical pathway and the waterproof, nitrogen-purged chassis, to the included all-metal tripod adapter and the side-shield eyecups, there is no doubt that these Celestron SkyMaster Pro binoculars are far superior to most mid level astronomy and long distance viewing binoculars and whilst they are somewhat more expensive than the standard Celestron SkyMaster's, I do feel that they offer excellent value for money and that the improvements they have made are well worth it.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 75%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Levenhuk Monaco ED 8x32 Binoculars Review

Mid-sized binoculars with a mid-level price tag, but with many higher-end features make these Levenhuk binoculars great value for money.

Highlights include ED glass lens elements and very highly reflective dielectric coated prisms that are also phase corrected. The fully waterproof body has a metal focus wheel, metal diopter adjustment ring, metal eyepiece housings and, metal eyecups. All of these are not something that you typically see on a binocular costing less than $300

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 78%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Bresser Pirsch 8x34 Binoculars Review

Mid-range 8x32 binoculars have an excellent performance to price ratio making these mid-sized Bresser Pirsch binoculars are ideal for for the more serious observer looking for an easy to carry, but relatively high performing binocular at a more than reasonable price

Highlights include a fully multi-coated optical system with phase coated Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms, a wide field of view and an excellent level of eye-relief.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 73%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Hawke Frontier ED X 8x32 Binoculars Review

Top-end, mid-sized 8x32 binoculars offering an incredible performance to price ratio, these Hawke Frontier ED X binoculars have many alpha level features such as Dielectric, phase corrected Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms, ED glass lens elements and a magnesium alloy chassis.

In terms of their optical specifications, this 8x32 binocular from Hawke Sport Optics features an incredibly wide FOV which will please birders and general wildlife enthusiasts alike...

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

Compare Side-By-Side:

Compare features of all reviewed & rated binoculars on BBR Side-By-Side

View >> All Rated Binoculars reviewed on Best Binocular Reviews.