Bestselling Binoculars on Amazon.com

I am not sure how many of you know this, but Amazon produce a number of best-seller lists in many different categories, Including binoculars that are published on their site. These lists are updated hourly and as the name suggests are the most popular items within that category on Amazon.

You can take a look at the current list here:

Bestselling Binoculars on Amazon

Bushnell Dominance
The most obvious thing that stands out in this list is that there are 6 Bushnell binoculars in the top 10, which considering just how many manufacturers there are to choose from is pretty impressive. Bushnell’s marketing team should get a really big bonus this year, but surely this is more than just good marketing? Bushnell have obviously found out exactly what most people want when looking for binoculars and are giving it to them.

So what type of binoculars to most people buy on Amazon?

Cheap Binoculars
Well price is obviously a major factor as the next thing that really stands out to me is that all of the top 10 binoculars, apart from the 10th placed Nikon Monarch 10x42 ATB binoculars are what I would describe as cheap to very cheap binoculars. Although because it is a best-seller list as opposed to a “best of” list this is not really surprising as I guess most people out there are probably just looking for a cheap pair of optics.

Magnifications: High Power
In this list there are 5 binoculars with a magnification over 10x, 3 with a 10x magnification and only 2 with a magnification under 10x, so we can assume that most people are looking for high powered optics.

Size of Binoculars
The top ten selling binoculars on Amazon contains two compacts, no mid-sized models, five full size binoculars and three giant binoculars (objectives of 60mm or more). Of the five full size binoculars, two have 50mm objective lenses, which suggests to me that larger binoculars are by far more popular than compacts. This is rather surprising to me as I find my compacts and my mid-sized binoculars my most used pairs as they are far easier to carry with me pretty much everywhere I go.

Prism Designs
There is a fairly even split between porro (6) and roof prisms (4)

Conclusion
As I would have guessed even before seeing this list, most people new to the world of binoculars want a cheap pair with a large magnification, which in many cases is a big mistake.

The reason I say this is the larger the magnification, the less bright the image produced usually is. This is because they will have a smaller exit pupil: This is the amount of light rays that enter the objective lens and exit the ocular lens. It is an important measure if you want to know how well a binocular will perform in dim light. The measurement is achieved by dividing the lens aperture (diameter of the lens) by the magnification.

Combine this with cheap lenses, prisms and coatings and you can find yourself with a very poor pair of binoculars, that will only work remotely well in the best light conditions.

High quality binoculars help by using high quality lenses, prisms and coatings that help by getting as much of the light as possible to your eyes. Another way to ensure a bright image is produced is to use large objective lenses, which will let more light into the system. Which is why, I am pleased to see that all of the very powerful binoculars on this list (10x or more), apart from the Bushnell Powerview 12x25’s have large or even very large objective lenses.

The large number of Giant binoculars, which are traditionally used as Binoculars for Astronomy on this list seems to suggest that either astronomy is becoming very popular or as I suspect, people are using them for terrestrial use as well.

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