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Jacob's Photo & Digital
9 Mokoia Road
Birkenhead
Auckland 0626

Our Top 3 Binoculars

Top 3 General Purpose and Travel Binoculars

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 easier to hold steady and less cumbersome, but won't produce an image as bright as a larger pair.

Entry-level

An affordable compact with no shortage of features. It's Center Focus & Open Hinge Design with a large focuser makes using them so simple. Being waterproof, it's not going to matter if they get wet when hiking or tramping and only weighing 305 g, it's like your carrying nothing. Comes in a 10x magnification pair as well.

Mid-range

This is not a small and light pair like the model above but gets a mention because of it's fast and quick focuser, getting you sharp on your subject right away, fantastic poly-carbonate makrolon armour and eyecups that don't degrade like those of a cheaper model. They are focusable down to 2m's, for great detail of subjects like flowers.

Top-end

Complex internally, simple luxury on the outside, This is a easy to use, but high quality binocular. Featuring Ultravid Glass from Leica, it's optics are sharp, crisp and bright for it's objective lens size. It features an amazing eye adjustment system that allows you to set your adjustments visually, rather than needed to look though the binoculars each time in order to set it accurately using a little screen.

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.

Entry-level

New to hunting and need something to get you started on a budget? The Bushnell Trophy is by far the best in it's 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 a (product) lifetime warranty.

Mid-range

This is a purpose built hunting binocular with the focus on low light performance, weight and outstanding ruggedness. It features a clic-loc system, when used with Steiners harness allows you to keep the binoculars on your chest with little movement. The high contrast optics make the image sharp and clear all the way down to 2m. Weighs only 790g.

Top-end

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.  

Entry-level

Meade has normally been a Telescope company in the past. There new Rainforest Pro series not only has a really affordable price point but also has a 63° apparent field of view
waterproof design and phase corrected roof prisms, a first as far as we know for a low end binocular. It helps with contrast for the best possible image the rainforests can produce. Comes in a 10x42, 8x32 and 10x32 model as well.

Mid-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.

10 year warranty.

Top-end

When price is no object, you buy a Swarovski. Field Flattener lenses provide unprecedented peripheral definition, fluoride-containing HD lenses minimize color fringing, while optimized coatings ensure maximum color 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.

Entry-level

The go-to for budget boaties. Something as simple as finger indents in the top of the binocular make it so much easier to grip while having adjustable focus rings on both eyes gives you the sharpest possible image. They have been tested in NZ's conditions for years and are by far the best in their price range.

Available with both a traditional and digital compass.

Mid-range

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.

Top-end

The only truly 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.

Entry-level

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.

Mid-range

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.

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