Are you passionate about observing wild animals and nature activities are your favorites? Are you really interested in bird watching?
If you are thinking of getting binoculars to observe birds , this is your guide.
Here you will find all the details and aspects that you must take into account when choosing binoculars to see birds that best suit your needs and objectives.
1. Vortex Viper HD 8 × 42 – Best Binocular to See Birds of 2020
The Vortex Viper HD 8 × 42 binocular for birding is first on our list for its great versatility, image quality and ability to deliver a pleasing observing experience.
Thanks to a compact design, a light weight of less than 686 grams and the rubber lining, they are perfect for long and comfortable bird watching.
Furthermore, these binoculars are 100% waterproof and fog resistant making it suitable for use under adverse weather conditions.
The best of these binoculars is undoubtedly the quality of the lenses (ED), their optical components (Bak4) and coating treatments (FMC) that allow obtaining superior image quality without chromatic aberrations, high contrast and sharpness at a price more than decent.
All this, in addition, is reinforced by a minimum focus distance of 1.5 meters and a field of view of 136 meters.
Something essential to improve the experience of any binocular to see birds.
Specifically, they stand out for being equipped with:
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- XR anti-reflective coatings
- HD (high density) glass extra low dispersion glass
- ArmorTek ultra hard lens armor
- Strong and tough rubber lining.
- Phase correction
- Center focus wheel
- O-ring seals
- Waterproof and fog resistant (purged argon gas) construction
- VIP Warranty: Vortex, Unconditional Unlimited Lifetime Warranty
Their great optical performance, together with a quick focus system make them ideal for bird and insect observation.
If you’re looking for the best image quality for affordable birding binoculars , the Vortex Viper HD 8 × 42 should be at the top of your priority list.
These binoculars strike a great balance between price and performance.
So if you are serious about bird watching and wildlife, these are your binoculars.
2. Celestron Nature 10 × 42 – Birdwatching Binoculars for Beginners
Who has said that to start birdwatching you need to get expensive equipment or give up the quality of the images?
With Celestron Nature 10 × 42 binoculars this is history.
Here you have binoculars equipped with an enviable set of features at an affordable price .
Light (629 grams), compact and resistant, they are equipped with Bak 4 prisms with phase correction…. They are perfect for anyone looking to get started with guarantees in ornithology.
All models of this bird binocular stand out for offering a multiple coating (FMC) that gives it high-quality optical performance to offer good image quality despite the price.
In addition, they feature a rugged design, fog-proof waterproof construction but without sacrificing comfortable, rugged handling and multi-position eyewear for wearers of glasses.
These bird binoculars stand out for including:
- Polycarbonate shell.
- Completely Multi-coated FMC.
- Ceiling prism with phase correction and Bak-4 prisms.
- Central focus with a minimum focus distance of 2 meters.
- 101 meter field of view.
- Diopter of the right eye.
- Waterproof and Fog Proof (Nitrogen Filled).
- Adaptable tripod.
The essential for bird watching.
As we pointed out, the Celestron Nature are perfect to get started in bird watching, especially if you are a beginner, you are looking to spend little money or because you are looking for binoculars to share with your children and family that are cheap and resistant .
3. Steiner SkyHawk 3.0 8 × 42 – Bird Binoculars
German manufacturer Steiner has been working closely with bird watchers and naturalists for many years.
As a result, they have built a reputation for making quality and robust optics at reasonable prices for birding binoculars.
In this case, the Steiner skyHawk 3.0 family binoculars meet the optical performance and reliability standards that any ornithology fan demands.
Let’s see why:
With a 125 meter field of view, which facilitates and the detection and monitoring of birds, these binoculars incorporate a distance control system to make observation more pleasant.
Allowing to pre-adjust distances.
The best thing about these binoculars is that they feature an ultra-fast center focus system that can adjust vision to a minimum distance of 2 meters.
Perfect for those who make observations at very close range.
In addition, they include high-density ED glasses with fully multi-treated lenses to enhance the image.
- Objective diameter: 42mm
- Magnification: 8 x
- Weight: 740 g
- Width: 128mm
- Height: 147 mm
- Field of view at 1000m: 125m
- Focus system: Fast Close Focus
- Minimum focus: 2m
- High Performance Optics: High Definition
- Water resistant: Up to 3m
- Rubber outer coating: NBR Longlife
- Warranty: 10 years
4. Pentax 8 × 42 DCF CS – Our Favorite Bird Viewing Binoculars
The truth is that these Pentax 8 × 42 binoculars are our favorite birding binoculars for various reasons.
This manufacturer, although little known, always manages to present binoculars of incredible performance at a very reasonable price .
They amaze with their tough, waterproof fiber-reinforced polycarbonate body, reliable internal focus design, and rubberized exterior.
And all this in a weight that does not exceed 640 grams.
Its optical system offers a wide field of view (134 meters), somewhat surprising: the lenses are fully coated (FMC) to improve brightness and clarity, while the phase-coated ceiling prisms have a deposition layer of silver for maximum light transmission.
This guarantees incredible performance for daily, moderate or extreme use.
Providing images with incredible sharpness.
In addition, they have a comfortable central focus system that develops a minimum focus distance of 2.5 meters.
Perfect for close-up bird observations.
It is really difficult to find something better at the price proposed by Pentax for this set of binoculars
5. Nikon Aculon A211 8 × 42
Although the Aculon A211 8 × 42 binoculars are not classified as binoculars exclusively for birdwatching, they can perfectly handle this task.
And is that the Nikon Aculon A211, offer great ergonomics , due to its lightweight construction and small dimensions.
This facilitates their portability and helps decrease fatigue when used for long periods of time.
In addition, they feature rubber armor with a smooth surface that provides a “sticky” non-slip grip for proper grip.
But best of all, they are equipped with high-quality multilayer coating (FMC) lenses , high-quality BaK-4 joint prisms and aspherical eyepieces to eliminate field curvature.
Achieving a colorful, bright and high resolution image display.
Finally, highlight its built- in center focus mechanism that allows for quick and sharp focus adjustments. Even when the weather is cold so you don’t need to take off your gloves.
All in a compact size and light weight of 755 grams .
What to look for when buying Binoculars to Observe Birds
Birdwatching binoculars must meet a number of basic requirements to ensure minimum quality on your ornithological expeditions in the field.
Next, we are going to explain what you should take into account when buying this type of binoculars.
In this way, thanks to our guide, you will know what to ask for when choosing yours.
Pay attention to:
Technical Specifications: Adequate Magnification and Target 🔍
When choosing binoculars to see birds, you must take into account, among others, two fundamental aspects that help us differentiate and identify each other:
- The increase, amplification or magnification.
- and the diameter of the output target.
The increase or zoom indicates the number of times that the image is enlarged with respect to what we actually observe. For example, if we were to talk about 7 × 42 binoculars, 7 would indicate that the image is 7 times larger than the one observed.
The recommended thing in this case, that you want to observe birds, is to choose binoculars with an increase of 7, 8 or 10 .
You might think why not choose a higher magnification, and the answer is simple: the higher the magnification, the narrower the field of view and the more difficult it becomes to locate birds and track them when they are on the move.
And that is not what we are looking for.
Also, if we talk about light, the image of the bird will be brighter the lower the magnification, since the light must pass through fewer lenses.
We can add to finish with the magnification of the binoculars, that the higher the magnification, the heavier the binoculars.
On the other hand, we have the diameter of the output target .
In the case of our hypothetical 7 × 42 mm binoculars, 42 refers to the diameter of the objectives, that is, the luminosity that penetrates through them.
The ideal for bird watchers is to choose a diameter of the lens of 40 or 50 millimeters to have a good luminosity during the day.
Directly related to these two aspects, we find the exit pupil, which we obtain by dividing the diameter of the objective by the magnification number. The closer you get to the size of the human pupil, which is 6 millimeters, the more stability the image we observe will gain.
Optical Specifications: Quality Glass, Prisms and Lenses
As you know, the design of the prisms directly influences our observation through binoculars. We can find two types of prism: joint and roof .
On the one hand, there are the porro ones, which have a Z-shaped optical path in which the objective lenses are displaced from the eyepieces, offering as a result a larger set of binoculars.
The roof prisms, for their part, closely overlap the objective lenses and align with the eyepieces. Thus, they offer a slim, streamlined shape.
You should know that due to the more expensive technology required by roof prisms, they are usually more expensive than joint prisms.
However, for birding binoculars we recommend the roof type . The investment is worth it since they are more compact, light and therefore better serve for long observations.
Unless your budget is very low, less than € 150, our preference for these is clear.
In any case, whatever you choose, look for those that provide minimal guarantees of optical performance. To do this, make sure that the premiums are Bak 4, it is the type of glass that is associated with the highest quality binoculars.
And that the lenses include fully multi-coated (FMC) treatments with high-density glasses (ED).
In this way, you will ensure a higher luminosity, up to 85%, a reduction in chromatic aberration and sharper images.
Wide Field of View
The field of view in bird binoculars is essential.
As a general rule, we will look for those binoculars that, at equal magnifications, offer the widest field of vision possible . In this way, it is possible to cover a greater amount of land to locate the birds and to make fast sweeps to the moving birds, since they usually move at high speed.
The field of view, in case you don’t know, is the area in meters that is seen when looking through your binoculars at a distance of 1000 meters.
For birdwatching binoculars we recommend a minimum field of view of 100 meters.
Choose a Central Focus System
Since birds can move very fast, it is very important that you select binoculars with a central focusing system so that you can easily and quickly refocus binoculars when looking at the target.
All other focusing systems are generally not suitable for birdwatching.
Better a Compact Size and Light Weight 🕊️
It is clear that for activities with prolonged observations it is more comfortable to hold binoculars of 500 grams than about 1.5 kilos.
Not only because you are going to hold them with both hands for a longer time but because you are going to carry them hanging around the neck and you can end up with injuries and discomfort.
In our case, bird watching, we always recommend binoculars that weigh between 400 and 800 grams .
And for that there is nothing better than compact or joint types.
Recommended Price Range when Buying Binoculars to see Birds
To finish, it is important that when selecting your binoculars to observe birds that you take into account a price range where the binoculars with the best value for money are located.
This may depend a little depending on your situation.
But as a general rule we recommend you avoid products with a market price of less than $ 100. Unless they are low magnification, low diameter binoculars for output lenses.
Everyone on this budget will easily meet the features that make these binoculars exceptional.
Of course, you can find good bird binoculars at a lower cost. As is the case with: Nikon Aculon A211 8 × 42 . Shown in the top 5 of this guide.