Most people who like to spend time in the great outdoors own a pair of binoculars. They are a great way to see nature in all its glory. They give a clear, magnified view of objects that would not normally be seen very well with the naked eye.
Binoculars - only for looking at birds. And trees
Binoculars are an essential tool for birdwatchers as they provide an opportunity to see birds in greater detail. They can also be used to get a better view of marine life from the beach or from onboard a boat; essential for whale watching. Some people also take them to sporting events at large arenas to ensure a better view of the action. Also, with many families now opting for holidays in the UK, binoculars are a great tool to allow your children to observe and learn about wildlife in their own country.
If you are considering buying a pair of binoculars for the first time it will be confusing as there are just so many makes and types available on the market. So to find a pair that fit your budget and that will do what you require some research and advice may be necessary. Here we take a closer looks at some of the best binoculars on the market at the moment.
Depends how deep your pockets are
Firstly it is important to point out that binoculars vary enormously in terms of price. The finest binoculars usually come in at around the £1000 mark. They are really intended for people who are looking to make an investment purchase related to a particular job or a serious hobby, who require a pair of binoculars with the very best optics available. The quality of the lenses is all-important. As with cameras, the better the lens the more expensive the binoculars will be. Perhaps the most well known make at the quality end of the market is Carl Zeiss, the German company. Their binoculars start from around £250 and progress in quality through a model range to about £1500.00.
At the other end of the scale starter binoculars can be picked up for around £50 to £100. There are of course plenty of models available at prices between, and which ones you choose really depends on what your required specifications are.
The Bushnell H20-2410 binoculars cost around £90 and are therefore ideal for a first time purchase. These are ideal for use near water or in adverse weather conditions. No matter how many times they get soaked, they will dry with fog free lenses. They are also an ideal purchase for those active members of the community who indulge in sports such as kayaking, angling and skiing. They are shielded with non-slip rubber making them extremely comfortable to use. They are small enough to pop in your bag or suitcase when travelling.
The Nikon 10×25 Sportlite binoculars come in at a very wallet friendly £50. These binoculars are very light in weight and they fold together making them pocket-sized. They are also very good quality despite their very reasonable price tag. The only downside is that sometimes the lens caps do not stay on very well increasing the risk of lens scratches.
They’re a dinky little pair!
Another great choice of binoculars comes from Nikon in the shape of their Eagleview Zoom 8-24×25cf which will usually cost around £120. These binoculars are also extremely light in weight and are convenient to use. They also have an extra zoom feature to make sure that you can focus on your subject as clearly as possible. You will need to have a steady hand when using the magnification at its full capacity. Again, as seems to be common with many binoculars the lens caps can come off easily.
Nikon binoculars are so well made that they are amongst the best on the market throughout the price ranges. Their Action Vii 8X40 CF binoculars are no exception. These binoculars are extremely well constructed. The lens cover is attached to the strap making it a lot easier to protect the lenses from dust and scratches. They are certainly great value for money offering crisp, clear images. They are so well made and solid that you shouldn’t have too much to worry about if any little accidents occur.
Bit bigger, for the restraining order times.
The Centon 10×25 Multi-Coated DCF BAK 4 Compact Binoculars are another quality choice. These binoculars are small enough to be carried in your pocket making them extremely versatile. They are also very light so they won’t weigh your pocket down. It is simple to focus these binoculars, perhaps making them ideal for the kids to use? They might not present as bright a view as some of the other options on the market but they are still a good purchase.
Most of the binoculars we have already discussed have been described as being light in weight as indeed most are nowadays, but the 10×25 Travelite EX Binoculars will make sure that no matter how long you have to have the instrument up to your eyes waiting for that elusive bird to appear, your arms will never get uncomfortable. They are also robust and compact. This model is very reasonably priced without any detriment to the static quality offered, however there may be some slight distortion of image as you move them around. The only criticism would be that these binoculars could have benefited from a lens cover for the largest end of the lenses.
What a lovely tree. Oh look - my ex!!
Not everyone is looking to spend the minimum amount of money on a set of binoculars so lets take a look at the Canon 15×50 All Weather Image Stabiliser binoculars. These are to be found in retailers at £990.00, so are likely to be a purchase for professional use or by a very keen birdwatcher. They do exactly what they say they will; providing stabilised images, even while panning. These binoculars use batteries that can go flat rather quickly so always have some spares with you. They are also quite heavy, so unless you have been doing your upper arm exercises they may be rather difficult to hold up to your eyes for long periods of time. Are they worth the money? That really depends how often you are planning to use them but the technology definitely works and the quality is excellent.
Finally, a worthwhile attachment for your binoculars is the Jessop’s Binocular Clamp Universal. This is a useful mount for your binoculars to help keep them steady.
Whichever binoculars you choose, enjoy using them.
Filed under Blog