Longer Distance Birding & Seal Watching Binoculars

Have A Question For Me?Question:

I live by the ocean and I like to view birds and seals out on rocks, a little distance from shore. I was looking at pelicans the other day and I was wondering what type of binoculars you would recommend? Should I use a zoom lens?


So basically you are looking for a good longer distance wildlife & birding binocular and the fact that most of your observation is out in the open, the field of view is not as important as it would for viewing small birds from close distances for example.

I would try and keep the magnification to around 10x – 12x, of course this depends on exactly how far the distance is, but for most normal uses this should be enough.

If you want a magnificationmuch higher than this, you may also either look at getting a tripod, or image stabilized binoculars like the excellent Canon IS Series.

You did not mention your budget, so I can’t really recommend the exact binocular but will point you to a few articles that I hope will help:

10x42 Binoculars for Bird Watching – In this article I discuss the merits of a higher magnification versus a wide field of view and why for some people it may be the right choice over the more traditional 7x or 8x42 birding binocular.

Binoculars for Puffin, Seal & Whale Watching – This article goes through in detail binoculars ideal for almost precisely what you after: Observing wildlife and birds at longer distance and out in the open. It also lists some ideal binoculars in a wide range of prices.

Budget? If you are unsure of how much to spend take a look at Expensive vs Cheap Binoculars where I go through the main differences and where all the money goes on a top spec bin.

Zoom Binoculars

In general I do not recommend getting a zoom binocular as they generally have a few issues including reduced FOV and Collimation problems and so you are usually better off either getting two pairs binoculars or a binocular that can accept a 2x doubler on one of the eyepieces that effectively converts your binocular into a scope.

However if you are on a tight budget, then a Zoom binocular may be the right choice for you.

For more take a look at the following:

I hope that at least some of these article are useful and that you find exactly what you are looking for.

Have A Question For Me?Question Me

Have a binocular or optics related question that I have not already covered on this site? Then I would love to try and answer it for you: ask your question here.

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