Choosing The Right Binoculars For Birding

Choosing The Right Binoculars For Birding2019-05-13T14:02:45+00:00

If you want to see the birds in really good detail you need a pair of binoculars that have wide field of view and produce brighter images. However, keep in mind that when magnification increases field of view decreases. So, to pick up a binocular for bird watching you need a pair that has good balance between ‘the magnification‘ and ‘the field of view‘ and ‘the objective lens diameter‘. A good balance of these specs will ensure your binoculars produce best image without straining your eyes.

The best budget binoculars for birding will make up for a great addition for your next adventure backpack. If you don’t have a grip on how to choose the best binoculars for birding, don’t worry. We have compiled some best birding binoculars reviews in order to make the work easy for you. Read along and choose what actually suits your needs.

Best Binoculars for Bird Watching
Bushnell Legend L Series 10x42mm

When choosing birding binoculars what factors do you look for most?

  • Ultra sharp image to identify unknown birds?
  • Wide field of view and better close focus distance so you don’t lose your focus in case the bird flies away?
  • Compact and lightweight design?

Well, these are all high end specs for high quality binoculars. And high quality binoculars always come with price. After all, you cannot have your cake and eat it too!

But, the Bushnell Legend L-Series 10×42 is one of very few  (my personal favorite) that comes with good and cheap together. It’s a great combination of quality and price.

Before I get into the details on Bushnell Legend L 10×42, I think it is important to shortly mention all other Legend series:

  • E Series
    These are the base series of the three. They offer decent optical performance what you can tell ‘best value for money’.
  • L Series
    L series binoculars have higher-end optical specs than the E series that offer the best bang for your buck. They offer improved sharpness of view and better eye relief.
  • M Series
    These are the best of all three series that focus a little less on value for money and more on outright performance in every details.

All three series have some features in common, and some differences – which are reflected in the price tag.


My Experience with Bushnell Legend L-Series 10×42

Exceptionally Sharp Image

ED Glass
The biggest improvement to these and what really sets them apart from the cheaper Legend E series is the addition of ED glass lenses. This ED glass makes it possible for them to reduce the color fringing around the edges of objects.

Prisms
As expected, the prism used in this series is the trendy BaK-4 which is good. But, what is very good is that the the prism surface has also been treated with a proprietary chemical layer (PC-3 Phase Coating) to resolve the “phase shift” issue that occurs in all roof prism binoculars. The result is enhanced resolution and contrast than other roof prism binoculars that don’t use this coating.

Fully Multi-Coated Lens
The modern trend of using fully multi-coated (FMC) lenses is of no surprise at this level. The result is increased light transmission and brighter images.

Extra – Water-Repellent Coatings

They also have a patented hydrophobic lens coating ‘RainGuard HD’ to the lens surfaces. This prevents water from settling on the lens surfaces and thus easier to use in the rain. This special coating also helps to clean the water stains effortlessly, minimizing the chance to scratch the lenses.

 

Exterior Features That I Liked

Chassis

The chassis is made of Magnesium Alloy which is a great as many of the rivals at this price range use a less robust and far cheaper polycarbonate shell.

Water & Fog-proof

The binocular is as you would expect nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed making it waterproof and fog-proof.

Focusing & Calibration

The binocular employs a central focus wheel for both barrels and a diopter on the right eye-piece which is good. But, what is very good is that the diopter is lockable so it does not get changed accidentally.

 

Other Recommendations

I have tested all these series very carefully.

  • The E and the L series bins are very similar in designs but the L series bins sometimes outperform in colour rendition. So if you are on the tightest budget go with E Series bins otherwise I would recommend L series bins.
  • The M series bins are noticeably longer with stylish open-bridge design. Optically the M series bins are the best because they used dielectric coating on the prism surface. If you can spend a bit more, it might be the best options to choose.

The one thing that’s clear is Wingspan Optics has some of the best binoculars for birding. Take the SkyView Ultra HD – 8X42 Binoculars from Wingspan Optics for instance. This set of binoculars is customized for a top end birding experience and nothing more.

It enjoys a breathtaking clarity and has every interest of the bird watcher in mind. It has an and extra wide field of view, a close focus, a top-rated phase correction coated prism, and an ED glass on the lenses just to make your bird watching experience an event to remember.

And unlike many other binoculars that you will find out there, this one comes with the new ED glass which actually awakens the best sets of real color experience for your field of view any day.

The ED glass on this set of high-powered binoculars assists you to capture and view some of the best images which come in a clearer and sharper touch to your eyes.

ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) glass does this by preventing or reducing the chromatic aberration that may cause color fringing upon viewing any bird through your binoculars. And as you have learnt, the better the aberrations get controlled the clearer and brighter your image appears.

More importantly, this set of binoculars also addresses the issue of blurred images under low lit areas by the use of fully multi-coated (FMC) lenses and a phase correction coated prism. The combination of these features makes colors to pop out and remain as they are in real life.

The phase-correction coated high caliber prism also creates a sharp and clear HD image as the 42mm fully multi-coated lens delivers the high-level brightness that you need. It boosts the 8X magnification power to end up with crystal clear, brighter, and steadier birding images.

And thanks to its cutting-edge technology, the Wingspan Optics SkyView Ultra HD – 8X42 Binoculars is also airtight, waterproof, fog-proof, light in weight, and comes with a highly durable shell.

It is nitrogen purged for a maximum Waterproof and Fogproof touch and withstands tough weather conditions apart from performing well under the most rugged environments. Thanks to its DuraTech Technology you can travel light, without any fear of damage.

Pros

  • Extra wide field of view
  • A close focus
  • Top rated phase correction coated prism
  • Ed glass on the lenses
  • Real color experience
  • Crystal clear, brighter, and steadier birding images
  • Air tight, waterproof, fog-proof
  • Light in weight

Cons

  • Must read user manual to use
Bushnell NatureView 8x40

If you feel like you want to enjoy the perfect sight of the most fluttering finest feather tips under the wind getting a high end binocular will be the best thing to do. The Bushnell NatureView birder combo 8 x 40mm porro prism binoculars give you exactly that touch.

To make sure that you don’t strain under low lit areas such as under foggy weather or misty environments, the 8X40 binocular has the best lead-free glass. This gives you the clear-cut images under the blurriest vision.

More importantly, the 8X magnification power under the 40 mm objective lens diameter will leave you with a great field of view that any birder will die for.

And the experience never ends there. To make sure that your images are actually on a top level, the fully multi-coated (FMC) optics and the BaK-4 roof prisms work together to clear any color aberrations and leave you with a set of bright, clear, and crisp images under your view.

You can also have the leverage of learning a few birding tips before you set out on the wild; thanks to this binoculars birding CD-ROM and birding field log that you will find included once you buy.

More importantly, you will also be able to keep your binoculars safe. Its textured center-focus wheel will maximize the grip and also allow for easy adjustments on the diopter knob. In addition to that, the rubber armor coating keeps the binoculars safe in case of fall and also provides improved grip.

We have to admit that the carrying case and the deluxe strap also works so well for people who want to easily bag their binoculars on long trips including vacations, mountain climbing, hiking, and camping.

Enjoy a lifetime warranty and an easy fix for your binoculars in case the binocular sustains any damaged along the way.

Pros

  • 8X magnification power
  • Bak-4 roof prisms
  • Textured center-focus wheel will maximize the grip
  • Easy adjustments on the diopter knob
  • Rubber armor coating
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Technical repair if broken
Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42

Celestron 71404 TrailSeeker 8×42 Binocular is also another best binocular for birding and here are the reasons why.

The Celestron 71404 is very light in weight. This is a characteristic that’s best suited for bird watching binoculars as you have to hold it in front of your eyes for a long time. A heavy design will get your wrists burning in no time and that’s why this model rocks.

More precisely, this model is also very durable. It is made out of a magnesium alloy which makes the shell strong, durable, and very much reliable if you need a binoculars model that will easily last a lifetime without so much attention.

Because bird watching also needs clear-cut images, going with this binocular’s BaK-4 Prisms will be cool as you will easily enjoy an increased light transmission touch through the prisms system and in turn get brighter and better images.

The prism also comes with phase and dielectric coatings on the lenses that will actually increase contrast and also image resolution.

Even better, this touch of clarity is boosted by the extremely wide field of view that the 42 mm objective lens diameter provides. The wide lens diameter also allows more light to go through the lenses so that your clarity is boosted.

With this, you can quickly acquire the subject that’s being viewed and subsequently follow your subject much more easily and with less need of moving the binoculars.

To maximize the touch of these fully multi-coated lenses and get an increased light transmission for better and brighter views with a much more epic resolution, it is virtually important that you use the focus knob to track your object.

And unlike the other best birding binoculars that we have seen, this one comes with a 6.5′ close focus for a highly detailed and up close observation for any subject within close proximity.

It also has a set of metallic multi-stop twist up eyecups that are much more durable with longer lifespans than plastic eyecups.

However, this set of binoculars is recommended for guys who need an extended view time as it also comes with a tripod stand that you can easily use to attach your trail seeker and get a non-exhaustive view.

Pros

  • Magnesium alloy
  • Clear cut images
  • Bak-4 prisms
  • Increased light transmission
  • Dielectric coatings
  • Metallic multi-stop twist-up eyecups

Cons

  • Best suited for heavy tripods

Yet if you want to catch a glimpse of your best nature view, birding experience, or wildlife migration along your beautiful nature walk, in full HD quality, the Xgazer optics 10×42 ultra HD Certvision binoculars will be your perfect pathfinder.

With such superior clarity, this set of binoculars is indeed the best binoculars for any outdoor use. It will easily furnish your expanded field of view to give you some of the best images to marvel at.

The best part is, the binocular is designed with a high anti-reflective lens coating that helps to boost light transmissions and in turn leave you with some of the most crystal clear images under your view.

And to maximize the binocular’s resiliency these birding binoculars are also gas purged and come readily designed with O-ring seals that will help to keep water, fog, and dust away from your lenses especially if you love the beauty of early morning adventures.

To add on to your personalized experience, these binoculars also come with an included set of accessories. The accessories include a neck strap, rain-guard eyepiece, and also lens cover for each side.

In addition to that, you will have a hard binocular storage case and a fiber cleaning cloth that helps you to give your binoculars the perfect cleaning and makes your outdoor adventures some of the most memorable ones.

However, it is the adjustable focus knob in the middle of the two binoculars that gives any user the best-personalized experience. It allows you to quickly track your object under your view and once again keep it locked for as long as you intend to.

The external build is also designed in such a way that it will guarantee maximum durability so that you can enjoy the best value for your binoculars. And to boost its lifespan is a limited lifetime warranty to go with.

For anyone who needs an affordable yet good pair of binoculars, this set of binoculars is designed with exactly that view in mind. Choose the Xgazer Optics 10×42 Ultra HD Certvision Binoculars and start off the easy way.

Pros

  • Increase contrast and also image resolution
  • Wide lens diameter
  • Focus knob to track your object
  • 5′ close focus for a highly detailed and up close observation

Cons

  • Plastic eye-cups

What to Look Out for the Best Birding Binoculars

A great birding experience starts off with the right choice of the birding binoculars. That’s why we are committed to giving some of the best considerations to make when choosing your next birding binoculars.

Field of View

Birds compared to other animals such as a zebra, lion, or cheetahs are extra small in size and finding them with your set of binoculars might be as hard as it is with naked eyes.

That’s why you need to have a wider field of view so that you can pick them out with some sense of ease and less hassle really. Typically, binoculars with 32mm, 40mm, or 42 mm objective lens will be okay.

Quick Focus

Quick focus will mean that you can easily eliminate the subtle features much more specifically in areas with dim light and pick out your bird easily in a crisp and crystal clear image any time you choose to.

Such binoculars will actually have a magnification power of between 8X and 10X so that you don’t have to drag your images for longer periods. If you do, you might find the bird flown away.

Eye Relief

The best eye relief will play a key role in the type of birding experience irrespective of whether you wear glasses or not. Typically you need to have the adjustable eyepieces so that you can have a great eye relief and also keep your device at a safe distance that gives you a great viewing experience.

Construction

You also need your binoculars to be super durable. Because you have already spent so much money on them, it will make no sense if they fell and broke on the same day.

That’s why it is very ideal that you get binoculars with rubberized armor so that you can have the best casing for your binoculars in case of any kind of eventuality such as a fall.

Don’t of a Birding Binocular

  • Don’t by compact sized or pocket-sized binoculars – they have a narrow field of view.
  • Don’t buy any type of zoom binoculars – they easily distort your images
  • Don’t ask from hikers, boaters, hunters, or o non-birders for a device.
  • Don’t buy your birding binoculars until you have tried them out.
  • Don’t open or try to fix your binoculars alone – buy one with warranty.

Allow us to point out something here; pocket binoculars look good because of their compact designs. However, they aren’t the finest choices if you want to watch birds because of their narrow field of view.

For a great bird watching experience it always pretty cool if you went with a binocular that will provide a sharp and bright image but also have the beauty of a sizable and easy to carry design too.

Another thing is using binoculars is all about hand to eye coordination. So, don’t expect to pick up binoculars for the first time and to find birds immediately. The secret is to find and place the birds with your naked eye before trying to find it with your binoculars.