There will never be one binocular to rule them all, but if you need a general purpose unit the smaller compacts may be better suited to your needs. Compacts are less cumbersome, but won't produce an image as bright as a larger pair.
Our Top 3 Binoculars
Top 3 General Purpose and Travel Binoculars
One of the cheapest pairs on the market with phase coatings it provides a clear and contrasted image at a great price. In addition to being waterproof these binoculars also have a protective KR coatings to repel moisture. Generous eye-relief makes them more comfortable to use than many other compacts.
This half-size binocular features ED Prime glass for a great viewing experience, EXO barrier coatings on the lenses wet use with a fully water/fogproof contruction. If, in the unlikely event something does happen to the binoculars Bushnell's Iron Clad warrenty covers the product for its lifespan.
Complex internally, simple luxury on the outside, This is an easy to use, but high quality binocular. Featuring Ultravid Glass from Leica, its optics are sharp, crisp and bright for its objective lens size. The Leica Ultravid also features a unique and easy to use read-out on its diopter.
Top 3 Hunting Binoculars
Binoculars for hunting should be light, strong and have great low-light performance. 10x42 is the most common spec, however depending on what and how you're hunting you may find a lower magnification is suitable.
New to hunting and need something to get you started on a budget? The Bushnell Prime is by far the best in its price range in terms of build quality and optical performance. Featuring weather sealing, an ergonomic design that makes it easy to hold when wet. Comes in a wide range of sizes and magnifications.
Comes with Bushnell's Iron Clad warranty covering damage to the product for its lifetime.
The Viper HD features premium optics and rugged construction in a tremendously compact, lightweight package. What more could you need? Well, perhaps a quality chest harness to comfortably and securely carry your investment in the field, but thats included, too! Hunters, shooters and outdoor enthusiasts alike are sure to benefit from the high performance of the Viper HD binoculars.
It's just great value.
This is Leica's top of the range hunting binocular featuring Leica's Advanced Ballistic Compensation (ABC) technology with combines temperature and air pressure readings with rangefinder data, zeroed distance, and a user-defined ballistics curve to calculate ballistic compensation values. It's one of, if not the best consumer grade rangefinding binoculars on the market.
The optics are equally fantastic, both in good and bad light in all respects and includes Leica's proprietary High Durable (HDC) and AquaDura lens coatings, which repel moisture and prevent dirt from adhering to the glass while offering abrasion-resistance.
Top 3 Birding Binoculars
A birding binocular should be light, have a large field of view, great colour and sharpness to bring you into nature. 8x magnification is a good sweet spot between magnification and field of view while lens size is personal, with 32 and 42 being the most common sizes. Going below 32mm on an entry level binocular is not recommended for bird watching.
Celestron has normally been a telescope company in the past. Their Nature DX series not only has a really affordable price point but also a great field of field! Waterproof in design and containg phase corrected roof prisms it's a clear winner at this price range.
Kowa has specialised in birding products for over 50 years, and the Prominar has earned its place as a favourite of bird watchers in NZ. The Prominar delivers a bright, sharp, colour-accurate image in within a light magnesium alloy body. Water-and-fog proofing and shock resistance means they'll always be an assest, not a liability.
Comes with a 10 year warranty.
When price is no object, you buy a Swarovski. Field Flattener lenses provide unprecedented peripheral definition, fluorite HD lenses minimize colour fringing, while optimized coatings ensure maximum colour fidelity. Large eye relief offering a full field of view for those wearing eye glasses. Swarovski branded this technology Swarovision: the overall effect is so convincing that it's easy to forget you're not using your own eyes.
Each Swarovski EL is manufactured down to an 8 μ of mechanical tolerance. For perspective, a human hair is 60 μ giving you unmatched reliability.
Come into our store for a demo or click the link to the product page for more information.
Top 3 Marine Binoculars
Any good pair of marine binoculars should be very waterproof, resistance to salt damage, have a wide viewing angle and be easy to hold stable in even rough conditions. It's common to find Marine binoculars at 7x50 as they have the size to gather enough light to be used at any time of day and at 7x magnification they still offer a wide field of view and stable image.
The go-to for budget boaties. It's cheap and while the optics do have a color tint, a waterproof marine binocular is unheard of at this price. If you don't have a binocular on your boat pick this up, it could save someones life.
When we show people in the shop this model they are always blown away. It's the latest in Steiner's long history of marine binoculars and features an auto focus system that doesn't require batteries (simply hold it up to your eyes and enjoy) shock resistant to 7 feet, 10 year warranty and high contrast optics so when it's overcast, it's easy to spot a fishing workup. It's well supported, with accessories like a floating strap, compassed model and harness available.
The only 100% waterproof and fogproof stabilised binoculars. It will counteract wave and hand shake, giving you a clear image at a huge 14x power. They are a joy to use, with a simple 2 button operation and a AA battery compartment that's quick to change. Optically incredibly sharp, made by the same Fuji department that makes all of the lenses for the X-Series cameras. It's the complete package.
Top 3 Stargazing Binoculars
A binocular is a great way to start stargazing. They are light, portable, wide angle and multi-purpose. Astro binoculars typically have large objective lenses to make them as bright as possible and of course, work on land too.
The Konus Konusview 10x50 is a simple, affordable binocular. Featuring a large 50mm lens and 10x power, it's ideal for all kinds of basic observation on land or in the sky. It's not waterproof or fogproof however. It offers a wide angle viewing experience, something unique in it's price. It's tripod mountable with an optional adapter.
True to their name the Orion GiantView is massive, giving it the light-gathering power to match smaller telescopes. The GiantView 25x100 is a wonderfully well made binocular. The top-quality BAK-4 prisms and precise internal baffling ensure sharp images and pleasing contrast. The binocular barrels are cross-reinforced with an aluminum rod and objective cell cuffs for maximum structural rigidity and unflinching optical alignment. A sliding 1/4"-20 threaded mounting post is held captive on the rod, for convenient coupling of the binocular to a tripod, which is highly recommended due to its size and high magnification
An unusually long eye-relief lets eyeglasses wearers make the most of its generous field of view.
Investing a strong, stable tripod is absolutely necessary.
Stargazing with both eyes brings an amazing amount of depth to each view while also making observations more relaxing and comfortable. Views of everything from lunar craters to wispy nebulae will take on an almost 3-dimensional feel in the GiantView BT-100 Binocular Telescope. This impressive instrument's 100mm (3.9") aperture objective lenses gather over 56% more light than large 80mm astronomy binoculars, so you'll be able to see more objects in the sky with greater clarity. But the fun doesn't stop at sunrise! During the day, this big binocular telescope becomes the ultimate "spotting scope" for terrestrial exploration. Set the BT-100 up on your deck or at your favorite scenic overlook to enjoy awesome long-distance views. The 45ø angle eyepiece holders make both daytime and nighttime observations comfortable.
Comes with wide 31x eyepieces, standard 1.25" fitting.
Requires a very strong tripod or Telescope mounting