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Best Binoculars 2019 • 0 Binoculars Reviews

The nature offers unique experiences and observation possibilities. This concerns particularly high mountains, a lake dormant in the valley, smooth and reflecting in calm winds, a turbulent sea, a sunset, the entire animal and plant world and the starry sky at night. Such views have a deep effect, change the people and his way of thinking. The emotions are revived and enriched with numerous images that can hardly be observed in normal everyday life. It is also something completely different if the impression was made by yourself than by looking at a photo or video. Once you have seen a whale rise in the ocean or watched the game of the dolphins, you will remember it for a long time. This applies to many processes in nature that are not closed to humans.

The best binoculars in the test and comparisonHow far the naked eye can capture the things depends on many factors. In addition to the visual strength of the eye, the light conditions and the prevailing weather conditions also determine to what extent something is visible. Long distances can no longer be clearly detected with the eye, they become blurred with increasing distance. Even if the weather is characterized by a wonderfully clear view, a mountain massif can only be recognized as a dark outline and hardly in the spectacular details.

The viewing angle, will be different as soon as enlargement is possible, e.g. as offered by binoculars. Here events, natural spectacles or stars can be brought very close and magnified. This allows also clear pictures with large distance or the close observation of flocks of birds, if migratory birds rise in flocks up to thousand animals and react exactly to the given movement, which is astonishing in the accuracy of the process. The same applies to the different star observations, which are possible at night with binoculars and make an expensive telescope unnecessary. Many models on the market allow a clear view of constellations, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies through a corresponding lens size and amount of light. The choice of the right binoculars for the respective application and application is decisive.

What is a pair of binoculars?

The binocular is a device that is small, handy and portable – equipped with two tubes that are firmly connected to each other. In the tubes there are glasses which are concave and convex to each other. By this arrangement it is possible to recognize objects far away better and above all to see them sharper. By means of the two tubes it is possible to see parallel through the binoculars with both eyes. So the binoculars always have two tubes. Unlike the telescope, where only a tube is to be found – usually the telescope can be extended to bring objects closer to certain distances.

Binoculars are available in different designs: as theatre glass or as prism binocular. Colloquially, binoculars are often called binoculars, which is due to military use. Among the different models there are binoculars that can be used with and without tripod.

The following advantage can be seen with a tripod: the binoculars are always in the same place, so that especially animals that breed can be observed more easily. On the other hand, the image cannot wobble, which has a positive effect on the sharpness. Who uses the binoculars in the leisure area for example on a safari, does not need necessarily a tripod, which constantly changes the place and also the object.

In contrast to a telescope, binoculars are a device with which binocular vision is possible. This means nothing more than that you can look through the tubes with both eyes and thus see more relaxed.

Another advantage is that you do not have to cover or pinch the other eye, which is unavoidable for fatigue-free vision. But the disadvantage to a telescope is that the magnification is not so enormous.

With a binocular you can bring the stars closer to the sky – but not as close as with a telescope. In addition, telescopes are usually designed to perform astronomical observations, while this is used less in nature. Binoculars, on the other hand, are more suitable for terrestrial conditions.

Background information on binoculars

The binoculars

A binocular is a small, handy and portable device. It has two firmly connected pipes. The glasses in the tubes are concave and convex to each other. This condition makes it easier to detect any objects at a great distance and, in particular, makes them sharper. The two tubes allow both eyes to be uniform through the binoculars. The binocular always has two tubes, in contrast to the telescope with only one tube.

The binocular is available in various types of construction iron, for example as theatre glass or prism binoculars. Because of its military applications the binoculars is also called binoculars. Binoculars are offered in different versions with or without tripod.

When using a tripod, the binoculars testbinoculars were always in the same position when using binoculars. This meant that nothing stood in the way of animal observation during breeding in particular. The image did not wobble and had a positive effect on sharpness.


When used in the leisure sector, a tripod is not necessarily necessary, because the location and the object changes permanently. Compared to a telescope, the binocular enables binocular vision. An additional advantage because the second eye does not have to be closed or covered. This promotes fatigue-free vision. The disadvantage to a telescope, the magnification is not so voluminous.

The binocular was suitable for the binocular test to look at the stars. However, the distance is smaller than with a telescope. The concept of telescopes is the execution of astronomical observations. It is used less in nature. The binoculars is actually used for terrestrial applications.

Binoculars have ratios


The presentation of Y x Z are typical titles for binoculars. The numbers are supposed to be very significant. If the first number is minimum to the second number, for example 5 x 30, the binocular has a higher luminous intensity.

For the user this means that the higher the numbers show a difference, the brighter the picture is visible. The second number also describes the twilight number. This determines how much light reaches the eye and not how much is lost through scattering and optics. An additional significant value is numbered 96 m/1000 m. This indicates the field of view and refers to a distance of 1000 meters.

The value determines how much distance can be overcome to obtain still precise images. At the value of 96 m/1000 m, it is merely determined that at a distance of 1000 meters an object of 96 meters height can be precisely detected and fits perfectly into the field of the image.


binoculars with porro prisms there are now fewer. They feature the classic reversing prism normal binoculars, consist of two simple and right-angled reflex prisms, which are designed as half cubes and through which the collected light beam passes one after another. This results in an image rotation of 180 degrees, with porro prisms reversing the rotation. The beam is reflected and deflected twice in a half cube, the image is rotated and compensated, so that it remains in the test laterally correct.

The disadvantage of this prism system is the strong shortening of the beam path. The focal length of a lens is significantly reduced, the mutual distance between the lenses is increased, which improves spatial vision but makes zoom or close-up adjustment more difficult.

Porro binoculars can be recognized in the test by the fact that they often have objectives and eyepieces that are offset from each other. They are ideal for plastic vision. On these models, the eyepieces are synchronized by rotating a focus wheel, moving them back and forth. These are connected by a bridge.

roof prisms

Somewhat better are roof edgesbinoculars. The design is more modern and compact, the beam path is different. The light is mirrored here via the prisms and passed on as mirroring. For this purpose, binoculars with this design have dielectric or silver-electric layers. The light beam is reflected by the roof edge shape at least 5 times before it enters the eyepiece. The prism system is designed accordingly more complex, the glasses more expensive, since also the associated loss of light must be compensated.

roof prisms are also called Amici prisms, named after the inventor Giovanni Battista Amici. They allow the beam path to be angled between 45 degrees and 90 degrees without the image being mirrored. They consist of a prism in the form of a half cube with the edge of the roof on top, and accordingly have a right-angled triangle as the decisive base area. For binoculars straight-faced roof prisms are used, e.g. Schmidt-Pechan prisms. They are characterised by their compact design and are then sufficiently precise to ensure that production is correct in all processes. The production is very cost-intensive. The binoculars have a better coating and high imaging performance, but are then also more expensive. Cheap models usually lag behind the stable Porro binoculars.

Roof binoculars usually have an internal focusing with synchronous shift of the respective lens group, which occurs in both beam paths. The adjustment is therefore somewhat more balanced than with the shift by the focusing wheel of the Porro binoculars.

Other functions and features

Further characteristics of a high-quality binocular are the exit pupil, the lens size, the resolution and the twilight factor. To prevent glasses from fogging up, they need a nitrogen filling. In addition, each binocular has a very specific angle, which determines the overview of the view and is called the visual field. The field of view is calculated with a binocular by meters per 1000 meters distance. This makes a designation of e.g. 92/1000 m necessary, whereby an area of 92 meters remains manageable on 1000 meters. However, binoculars tend to be spoken in degrees. The true field of view in degrees is then equal to the field of view in meters.


How to use the binoculars?

Numerous types of hunting binoculars, hiking binoculars, children's binoculars or binoculars for astronomy characterise the individual models. What is important, however, is the purpose for which it is to be used.

Binoculars_Eschenbach6The Fernglas Test showed, if you decided for one type, additional details were added. A compact glass is also suitable if the other values meet the requirements. The technical features are specified by the manufacturer on the packaging. There are numerous portals on the Internet that summarize all technical data in one list.

An important point is the enlargement. Children's binoculars have perfect values between x5 and x10. At a distance of 1000 meters, the value x10 is recommended. To be able to recognize the object, you must approach the object at a distance of 100 meters for recognition. The magnification already shows in advance how far the object can be zoomed in.

Nevertheless the purchase of binoculars with high value is not really correct. The higher the value, the more the weight of the binocular increases due to its more complex construction. With increasing weight, signs of fatigue become apparent after a period of time. Therefore, characteristics other than weight must also be taken into account.

The twilight number is also important. This is the brightness or light intensity of the binoculars. Recommended for a normal application is x40 or x50.

binoculars_Eschenbach7When purchasing, the field of view must also be taken into account. The value of the field of view reflects the size of the viewing area. The information is given in meters or in degrees. The field of view becomes minimal the higher the magnification is selected. A high field of view is an advantage when observing birds and nature.

The binoculars must also be suitable for spectacle wearers. Manufacturers have binoculars with dioptre correction ready. Without this correction, the images would only be displayed imprecisely and question the meaning and purpose of the purchase. The preferred model must also be suitable for spectacle wearers.

Price always plays a significant role. A price limit should be set before selecting a model. This means that a large number of models are already excluded. Forums and binoculars test portals offer which models in the respective price range are suitable for which occasions.

How does a pair of binoculars work?

 The different fields of application from a binocular test at ReviewInstitute

It actually works very simply. Let's start with the handling: You guide the binoculars to your eyes and align them so that you can see through them with both eyes comfortably. Now the object is targeted and focused. As a rule, 7x magnification can be achieved with binoculars – if the object is aimed at freehand. Holding the binoculars freehand inevitably results in shake, which the binoculars have to compensate for. If you already support your elbows while observing, you can benefit considerably from sharpness and multiple magnification. That is why observations in nature are often carried out with a tripod.

Let's now move on to the technical part. A pair of binoculars always consists of three components. No matter if it is a telescope, a telescope or a pair of binoculars – three components are necessary to bring distant objects close. These three components are divided as follows: lens, eyepieces and prism system.

Objects in general reflect light rays so that they become visible to the human eye. If you use binoculars, the reflected light rays will hit the lens. They run further into the interior where they are repaired by the prisms. Through the eyepieces, you can then perceive the image with the eye. Let us now move on to the individual competencies in detail:


In many areas, even outside the binoculars, you will find lenses. They have the task to catch the light and pass it on. One also talks about lenses that can be built into a single or multiple lenses. Depending on the power the model has to apply, the corresponding lenses are used. When the light hits the lens, the human eye first sees it mirror-inverted. Prisms that correct the image must therefore be used.


Prisms usually consist of a special glass which is able to bring the mirror-inverted image into the correct position. In binoculars, these are specially arranged so that the smirrored image is upright and mirrored. A distinction is made between two prism shapes. Porro prisms are placed at right angles to each other and are thus able to redirect the light rays several times. So the image is redirected once from left to right and further from top to bottomThese Art prisms require very little space, so that this has a positive effect on the total weight of the model.

Another form of the prisms are roof edge prisms. The name is based on the structure, which resembles a roof and also has a roof edge. Two prisms are also used here, but only one of them, the roof edge, is applied. The reflective surface is usually coated with metallic coatings. These prisms are somewhat more expensive to produce, so that models with this roof prism are also more expensive to purchase.


The last element is the eyepiece, which transmits the image to the eye. An eyepiece resembles a very strong magnifying glass and consists of 3 to 6 lenses. Light rays run directly parallel through the eyepiece lens. Therefore, spectacle wearers also need special eyepieces which provide a greater distance.

Only through these three components, objects that are far away are also recognized. If only one of them does not work properly, the image will only be passed sharp. Therefore, there is a focus wheel that allows you to adjust the setting manually. By turning the wheel, the angle is changed to such an extent that the light transmits a perfect image. After all, the distances are different in nature, so that the focus has to be changed again and again.

What are the different types of binoculars?

Various binoculars are available on the market. There are models that are for the theatre and also models that are extra adapted to the needs of children. In addition, a distinction is made between astronomy binoculars and binoculars which are used for observing nature, birds or for other purposes. In the following we will present the special models in more detail.

Astronomy binoculars

Astronomy binoculars are a good alternative to a telescope. It is cheaper in the purchase, but also does not offer so fascinating pictures. For the beginning, however, this model is a good choice. Astronomy binoculars offer low weight, which leads to good mobility. By observing the sky, the head is always inclined, so that the binoculars can easily cause pressure points.

The binoculars for astronomical observations are used at night, so it is elementary that the model is equipped with special optical conditions. Manufacturers indicate on the packaging for which requirements the binoculars were designed. Binoculars for astronomy are usually marked separately.

Hunting binoculars

Hobby hunters need binoculars to target Prey. With hunting binoculars, it also depends on the demands of the consumer. Since many animals are nocturnal, it is advantageous for the hunter to go hunting in the evening or at dusk. The demands that this model has to meet are correspondingly high. For hunting at dusk a night vision device should be integrated in any case. Manufacturers also specify the type of binocular: Universal binoculars, night or day binoculars.

Children's binoculars

Children love to play and observe nature with binoculars. For the little ones it is an adventure, which interesting and instructive seems at the same time. But children also need robust devices that can withstand a lot.

When buying binoculars for children, the most important thing is the weight. 450 grams for a child 5 years old is too heavy, so the joy won't last long.

So make sure when you buy it that it is light and yet robust manufactured. The distance between the eyes of children is much smaller, which is also the reason why children cannot use binoculars for adults. Also be careful not to choose a cheap model with an enormous plastic odor, which may cause health damage. You can also rely more on a quality product for children's binoculars.

Navy binoculars

A marine binocular is a model that can be used on the water. Here, too, different requirements apply than on a hunt. The marine binoculars must be waterproof, as it can happen again and again that the device simply falls into the water. A pair of binoculars that costs a few hundred Euros should of course survive this – which would otherwise be very annoying. Therefore, the most important point is the water tightness.

It also makes sense if the device is filled with Nitrogen from the manufacturer. The nitrogen ensures that the glass cannot fog up. A Compass is also very useful so that you know which direction you are looking in. Whether for sailing, a beach holiday or a cruise – the marine binoculars offer a clear view at all times.

Theatre binoculars

Among the many models are also binoculars, which are used in theater, opera or a musical. Because just when you have a seat in the back row, the view is not much. With binoculars, on the other hand, you can get the details and see them at close range. Important with such binoculars is the function to get the details as close as possible. There is also the close-up setting limit, which should optimally be 1 to 3 metres. With a close-up limit of 15 meters, you would only see the full circumference of the stage if you always bought a place in the middle or last row. That's why 3 meters are a good average, so you can also get a seat in the first or second row – without having to buy new theater binoculars.

Bird watching binoculars or nature binoculars

To observe birds or other animals in the nature is something very special. When you can zoom in on shy animals, it is an experience that will never be forgotten. Since the animals and especially the birds are moving objects – and sometimes even quite fast – you have to pay attention to special criteria when buying them.

A pair of binoculars made only for observing birds does not exist. Therefore you should pay attention to the special functions of the binoculars. When used in nature, it is important that the binoculars are robust and can also be used in bad weather conditions.

Since birds also like to be close to a lake, a certain watertightness should also be present. Now it's the surroundings that matter: Binoculars should provide color-fast images in a sharp quality. You can almost do without seeing very long distances, since birds or other animals are mostly in the vicinity or only a few hundred meters away from you. However, manufacturers shall also indicate the purpose for which the model is suitable. Thus, “suitable for bird observation” may also appear on the packaging under certain circumstances.

Hiking binoculars

Many hikers like to take their binoculars with them into the mountains. A robust construction is therefore required. Besides, you never know exactly what the weather is like at certain altitudes. Therefore the binoculars for hiking should also be waterproof or at least water-repellent. In addition, you need a model in which you can see a good sharp image even at long distances. The Contrast plays an equally important role – that in nature there are mostly similar colors to recognize. The Weight also plays an important role for hiking – because binoculars are an additional ballast that you have to carry along the whole distance.

Zoom binoculars

Another variant is the zoom binocular. With this model, settings can be made steplessly. The difference to normal binoculars is that the magnification is “from to”. Due to the integrated technology, all settings must be synchronously controllable . Since this is a serious challenge, some limitations have to be accepted. As a rule, zoom binoculars cannot provide such an enormous range as normal binoculars. Therefore it is more suitable for the near area. In addition, you can hardly use it without a tripod. This model is therefore ideally suited for observations in nature – if the tripod can adapt to the speed of the objects.

Compact binoculars

The perfect binocular, which adapts to every situation, does not exist. Either the weight, the sharpness or the handling suffers – therefore a compromise must always be made. Compact binoculars, which cover almost all areas, offer a good alternative. These devices have very many setting options , which are individually adaptable. Read the following article to find out which criteria you should pay attention to when making a purchase.

Advantages & Application areas of binoculars

With a binocular it is possible to bring objects and landscapes further away and to view them enlarged in detail. Therefore the fields of application are also versatile. A binocular can be used optimally in the area of astronomy, makes bird and animal observations possible, can be used for hunting, sailing, hiking and mountain tours. Also in a football stadium or at sports events the magnification is an advantage. Also binoculars are used by the military.

The application determines the type of binoculars. A model for stargazing at night requires different conditions than a model for visibility in good lighting conditions. Similarly, a binocular may be more handy when used for hiking, slightly heavier and larger when used with a tripod to allow certain observations.

When hunting, binoculars are a good way to recognize animal at close range, as the game population and hunting are subject to certain conditions and regulations. In addition, animals are very shy and can be better observed from a distance. In ornithology it is necessary to distinguish different birds and to define their behaviour, including the incubation time or the feeding behaviour through a binocular to observe. Bird watching is often possible with a tripod or a spotting scope, which is an important companion on mountain tours and hikes and also serves as a safety feature. Paths and weather conditions can be better estimated. In addition, the binoculars allow an excellent and wide view. For this purpose light and handy models are useful, which reproduce the picture clearly and can also be enriched by an image stabilizer. The application is in test mostly much more frequent and flexible.

Stars are beautiful formations, as galaxies or star clusters in the view a special event. They needed a motion adjustment, but only a very large resolution and magnification with large lens. For this purpose there are also special astronomy binoculars . Basically, a binocular should have a large lens and a good light intensity for star observation.

In order to use the binoculars at sea or when sailing, smaller models are useful, which often also have an additional compass. Previously, binoculars or telescopes were used for positioning.

Such models must above all be waterproof and robust, usually have a size of 7 x 50 with small magnification and a roof prism construction.

What functions should I pay attention to when buying binoculars?

There are an awful lot of models on the market. Binoculars differed in weight, focus, and settings. The handling of each individual model is also different. The manufacturers offer a wide range of products, so it is not always easy to find the right device. We have summarized some details below that you should take into account when deciding to purchase new binoculars.

How to use the binoculars?

There's a lot of guys: Children's binoculars, hunting binoculars, hiking binoculars or binoculars used for astronomy. The first question should therefore be: For what do you want to use it. Under this aspect, some binoculars can already be excluded. If you have decided on a type, further details will be added. A compact binocular can also be useful for your purposes – if the other values match your requirements.

Therefore, pay attention to the technical characteristics that a manufacturer already indicates on the packaging. You will also find many portals in the network that have summarized all technical features in one list. In the best case you can even hire a comparison of the models.

The enlargement is an important detail, which you should pay attention to. The optimum values for children's binoculars are between x5 and x10. The magnification tells you beforehand how far you can get an object. If you want to view an object at a distance of 1000 meters, the value x10 would be advantageous. You would have to approach the object with the naked eye at a distance of 100 meters to be able to recognize it at all.

If you now assume that you are buying binoculars of high value, you are still not quite right. The higher the value, the heavier the binoculars will be, since a more complex design would be necessary. It's like a rat's tail, because the heavier the binoculars are, the harder it will be to hold them steady with your hands. As a test you can hold a 500 ml bottle in front of your eyes for a while – after a while you will notice signs of fatigue. Other values such as weight should therefore also be taken into account.

Another important value is Twilight number. This indicates how bright the binoculars are. Some manufacturers also specify this value as brightness. If you want to use your binoculars at dusk, in the early morning hours or in bad weather conditions, the twilight factor should be quite high. X40 or x50 are recommended for normal use.

The field of view should also be considered when buying. The value of the field of view offers you the size of the viewing area. He will indicate either in meters or degrees. It should be noted that the higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view. However, a high field of view is advantageous when it comes to observing birds or nature.

If you wear glasses, the binoculars must also be suitable for you. There are binoculars that include Dioptre correction. Without this correction, images would only arrive blurred, which of course is not the purpose of the purchase. Therefore, make sure that the desired model is also suitable for spectacle wearers.

Of course, the price also plays an important role. Before selecting a model, set a price limit so that some models can already be excluded. Forums and binocular test portals provide information about which models of your price class are suitable for which purpose. Therefore, we have also written some product reports for you about different binoculars, where a look seems worthwhile.

How were the binoculars tested?

With an external binocular test, the first point of criticism is already the order. What price differences are there and where to buy the binocular test winner at the cheapest . In addition, the ordering process in the test is very simple. Some online shops have a complicated system, which takes some time. Therefore tests were ordered in binoculars only in already known online shops. The delivery was just as important, because you surely want to try out the ordered model promptly and hold it in your hands. As a rule, however, the products were shipped very quickly in tests.

How easy it is to put such binoculars into operation. Is the handling quite complicated and how was the packaging. Especially when buying on the Internet, it is important that the packaging is optimally designed. Then we have summarized the data and facts for you, so that a brief overview is guaranteed.

Furthermore, each model was tested for its handling, functions and ease of use. A further test point is also the manufacturer and which service he offers with the purchase of a product from him. If you have questions about the device, you can expect a reliable and competent support from a manufacturer.

In advance we can already tell you that the customer service is usually fabulous due to the manufacturers' reputation and was no reason for complaint. Of course, test subjects have also tested the binoculars outdoors and under different conditions, so that they could get an optimal impression of the device.

Finally, each product report has a conclusion and a recommendation as to who the binoculars from a test are suitable for or not. In binocular tests all models were tested according to the same test criteria. In addition, all models were compared with each other, and the advantages of the respective models were explained to you more closely. With our extensive comparison of external binocular tests and reports, you can look for a model that meets your needs.

What does a pair of binoculars cost?

The costs are very far apart. There are simple models which are already from 15 Euro and less available. However, these models are only compact binoculars intended for the rare brought. If you want to get high-quality binoculars eyou can spend between 100 and 400 Euro for it.

Our comparative test winner, for example, costs 284 euros, which was also the most expensive of the round. However, there have already been models that show a respectable result for almost 100 Euros and are useful for the hobby observer. If, on the other hand, you are hunting or observing every weekend, it is advisable to dig a little deeper into your pocket.

Top5 Binoculars Manufacturer

  • Eschenbach
  • Vanguard
  • Steiner
  • Celestron
  • Nikon
The company Eschenbach originates from Nuremberg and was founded in 1913. The founder Josef Eschenbach started as a wholesaler for optical articles and drawing instruments. In a very short time, the company enjoyed growing popularity. In the assortment there were preferably binoculars and spectacle frames.

Today, the company has its own technology centre where binoculars for different purposes are developed. Glass lenses and frames also come from Eschenbach. If you purchase products from Eschenbach, they will convince you with high-quality materials. The company also pays attention to quality, which concerns the production and also the manufacturing process. In detail, the company makes sure that it only sells products that meet its high standards.

The Vanguard brand has been in existence for 25 years and can convince with high-quality products. The product range includes in addition to binoculars, accessories that are used for hunting or archery. You will also find accessories for binoculars such as tripods or special cases.

Vanguard is a brand that takes great care to ensure that high quality products leave the house. Due to this characteristic, the brand has already won awards several times in the past. Vanguard brand products are available worldwide. Customer service in each country is available to answer questions about the products.

Karl Steiner originally founded the company in 1947 in Bayreuth. At that time, everything that was called optical devices was still manufactured. Over the years, Steiner has specialised in developing and producing high-quality binoculars. Today the brand Steiner belongs to one of the best, which is connected in the selling with binoculars. The numerous innovations that the company has been able to present since its inception continue to set the standards that still apply.

Steiner was the first manufacturer to market binoculars with UV protection or pocket binoculars. When you purchase Steiner binoculars, you enjoy many benefits, such as the long warranty or the perfect customer service. The products themselves convince with an elaborate workmanship that shows a long service life.

The manufacturer Celestron was known a few years ago under the name Valor Electronics. The company was founded in California. When the name was changed to Celestron, the company was able to achieve stake expansion. Today, the company is also one of the leading manufacturers of binoculars.

But not only the products but also the constant research and results show that Celestron is not dedicated to standstill. Innovations are constantly being integrated into binoculars that offer consumers new possibilities. The product range includes a high product variety, which seems to be growing constantly due to the high demand.

Nikon is a worldwide known brand for binoculars, cameras and other products. Nikon was founded in Japan in 1917. The experience value of the company is therefore almost one hundred years, which is clearly visible in all products. Due to the great success, which the company crowned only a few years after its foundation, Nikon specialized in the production of lenses.

Today, this specialization benefits binoculars because a fabulous vision is guaranteed by Nikon binoculars. There are few accessories in the product range, but high quality products that concentrate on the essential.

Internet vs. specialized trade: where do I buy my binoculars best?

If you decide to purchase binoculars, then the question of the suitable model arises. The market offers many manufacturers and even more models. At the beginning of the search you should be able to make a small preselection. If you go to a shop selling binoculars today, the choice is limited to the product range of the dealer.

Usually you need a special shop to buy a suitable model. If you need binoculars for hunting, you will find with a simple dealer only a minimal selection . It would therefore be necessary for you to visit a dealer who specialises in hunting and hunting accessories.

If you live in a big city, you will probably find one or at most two merchants in the city centre. In small towns or villages the search for a dealer becomes more difficult. In addition, these specialty stores offer a very small selection of a maximum of 10 binoculars. However, if you then look at the entire market, it quickly becomes clear that there are even more relevant and perhaps also more suitable products.

Therefore, when you select a model in the network, you have a variety of binoculars to choose from. In most cases, the selection is so large that it is easy to lose track. Therefore, if you are looking for binoculars that are used to observe nature or for hunting, it is recommended that you enter this information in the search engine.

The results from which you can select the corresponding models are now displayed. In the search list you will also find portals and binoculars test pages where the models are compared. Information about the intended use, the handling and other useful details will also be published there. So you will get a lot of help to choose a suitable device.

If you have included some models in the shortlist, it also helps to add Forums and to trust the ratings of other users. They have already decided on the model and have already used it. The experience reports will give you an even better impression of whether the binoculars are suitable for your purposes.

Since the question about product selection has been answered, it depends on the price. If you have decided on a model in the trade and have not searched the net, you can still save with the help of the Internet. Because usually the products in the net are between 20 and 60 per cent cheaper than in the trade.

So if you want to buy a pair of binoculars which would cost 400 Euro in retail, you may find the same model for 200 Euro on the Internet. The price range can be explained as follows:

  • The retail trade has a shop, with rent and wage costs showing the most expenditure.
  • There are also other additional costs to be borne by the dealer.
  • These costs are included in the prices, so that usually a surcharge to the purchase price of more than 100 percent is necessary – to cover these costs.
  • The provider on the Internet usually has an office to maintain the online shop and to process orders.
  • Maybe it also has a limited storage space where the products can be stacked.
  • binoculars do not have to be presented in the online shop, because pictures of the binoculars are sufficient.

The costs and ancillary costs are therefore considerably lower, so that the online shop can offer the goods more cheaply – because the acquisition costs are usually the same for online shops and retailers. Thus you profit from a purchase on the Internet and can save a lot of money.

Another aspect is noticeable in the return. For purchases on the net there is a 14-day right of return. This means: You buy a model, notice that you don't get along so well with it and can send it back to the online dealer within the time limit. If you buy binoculars from a retailer, it is difficult to return them. Small shops in particular are withdrawing from a right of return – as they are not obliged to do so. After all, you have been able to test the binoculars extensively in the trade and already knew there how the binoculars behave. It is therefore also more advantageous with regard to the right of return if the device is purchased in the online shop.

Things to know and advice

The history of binoculars

In the 19th century, prick glasses were used for better and sharper vision at a distance. As a rule, these were used as monocles.

A noble name was Lorgnette and means as much as “the glasses held in the hand“. These were used by the military in the field and from this the designation “Feldstecher” was derived.

Already at the beginning of the 18th century theatre glasses were available as achromatic lenses and were often produced. In 1823 an imperial special right was transferred to Johann Friedrich Voigtländer for the manufacture of the glasses.

The company Carl Zeiss in Jena filed a patent application for the binocular binocular with monocular porro prisms on July 9, 1903. In 1905 the company M. Hensoldt & Söhne from Wetzlar produced a prism telescope with a pentaprism roof edge and the term dialyt with uniform axes. The patent was registered on 14 April 1905.

The classical theatre glasses produced at that time were also called opera glasses. As a rule, the minimal binoculars with good handling are still the most popular choice today. Depending on the input of the radiation, these binoculars only have a convex object lens. This creates a direct and upright image. Therefore no reversing prisms are necessary. At 11/2 and 5, theatre glasses only have a minimal magnification. For the view of the theatre stage this is perfect and completely sufficient.

According to the Kepler telescope principle prism binoculars have a reverse prism between objective and eyepiece. This enables a compact design and the 180° rotated image is turned back again. As a rule, compact and pocket binoculars have a low weight of 300 grams.

If they are not used, they can be folded to a minimum size. As a rule, binoculars weigh between 400 and 1200 grams. Large binoculars with a lens aperture of 66 mm are also available and are preferably used on tripods.

At the end of the 19th century the binoculars were sold by the company Moritz Hensoldt with the designation prism double telescope. A little later the term Binocles was used. Binocles were used especially for hunting, theatre, sports and the military. In the English language there is no similar word known that documents the name Fernglas.

For binoculars the terms binocular telescopes or monocular telescope can be found there. Also the terms spotting scopes which means spotting scopes and Sports Optic are used for the product range.

Binoculars are provided with key figures

Typical designations of binoculars are shown Y x Z. These numbers are attributed great importance. The smaller the first number is to the second number – e.g. 5 x 30 , the more luminous the binoculars were designed. For you as the user, this means that the further the numbers are apart, the more brighter you can see the image. The second number also describes the twilight number. So how much light arrives at the eye, which is not lost by the scattering and the optics.

Another important value is 96m/1000m. This offers the field of view and is related to a distance of 1000 meters. So this value tells you how much distance can be covered in order to be able to provide you with sharp images. The value of 96m/1000m therefore reveals that at a distance of 1000 meters you can recognize an object of 96 meters height exactly, which would fit exactly on the field of view.

The differences between the individual binoculars

The trade offers different binoculars. Some models are predestined for theatre, and models have also been specially adapted to the needs of children. In addition, a distinction is made between binoculars for astronomy, nature observation, birds or other needs. In the following we will take a closer look at the special models.

  • Astronomy
  • Hunting binoculars
  • Children's binoculars
  • Marine Binoculars
  • Theatre binoculars
  • Bird or nature observation
  • Travelling binoculars
  • Zoom Binoculars
  • Compact Binoculars

Astronomy Binoculars

Astronomy binoculars is an excellent alternative to a telescope. The purchase is cheaper and does not offer such highly interesting pictures. For the beginning this model is a good selection. Binoculars for astronomy have a minimal weight and contribute to good mobility. During sky observation the head is permanently inclined and the binocular can quickly cause pressure points.

For astronomical observations, binoculars are used at night. Therefore the model is provided with special optical characteristics. Already on the packaging there is a note from the manufacturer for which requirements the binocular was developed. As a rule, binoculars for astronomy have a special marking.

Hunting binoculars

A binocular for hobby hunters is required to determine the prey. The requirements of the consumer determine the hunting binoculars. Many animals are active at night and it is advantageous for the hunter to start hunting in the evening or at dusk. Therefore, the requirements that the model has to master are very high. In any case, a night vision device should be installed for hunting at dusk. The binocular type is specified by the producers. They are universal, night or day binoculars.

Children's binoculars

Besides playing, observing nature with the binoculars is an interesting and instructive adventure. However, for children, heavy-duty equipment is necessary. The weight when buying children's binoculars should be less than 450 grams at an age of 5 years. Otherwise the joy will quickly fade.

When buying, make sure that the children's binoculars were manufactured with a light weight and yet resilient. Children have a significantly lower interpupillary distance. Therefore, the use of binoculars for adults is useless. Likewise, no inexpensive model with a high plastic odor should be selected, because health damages might occur. For children's binoculars it is better to pay attention to a corresponding qualitative product.

marine binoculars

Binoculars called marine binoculars can also be used on the water. However, other requirements become clear here than with a hunt. The marine binoculars must be waterproof. There is always the possibility that a device falls into the water. A high-priced binoculars should of course survive this. Therefore the most important characteristic is the waterproofness.

It makes sense to fill the binoculars with nitrogen from the manufacturer. The binoculars test 2018 showed that nitrogen was responsible for the glass not fogging up. A compass is also useful to determine which direction is being targeted with the binoculars. The marine binoculars are ideal for sailing, beach holidays or cruising.

theatre binoculars

Numerous models on offer also offer binoculars for use in theatres, opera houses or musicals. When placed in the back row, the view is not exactly exhilarating. A binocular allows you to zoom in on details and view them from close up.

With this binocular the functionality is important. The details should be as close as possible to the zoom. Optimally, the limit for the close-up setting is 1 to 3 meters. The stage is only visible in the complete circumference at a limit of 15 meters at close-up. Provided you have a central seat or in the last row. Three meters represent a good average and a place in the first or second row is also possible without an investment of a new theater binocular.

Binoculars for bird or nature observation

A special feature is the observation of birds or other animals in nature. If there is the possibility to bring shy animals very close, it is an unforgettable experience. Animals and especially birds are objects that often move very quickly. For this reason, special features must be taken into account when purchasing.

There is no binocular only for birdwatching. Therefore, the special functions of binoculars must be taken into account. When used in nature, it is essential that the binoculars have a high load capacity and can also be used in adverse weather conditions.

Birds love the proximity of lakes. Therefore the binoculars should show a certain water density. The environment is also important: color-fast images in a brilliant quality can be expected from a binocular. The observation from far distances is hardly given, since birds and other animals are mostly in the environment or several hundred meters away. The publication of the manufacturers shows the suitability of the model. The packaging may bear the notice “suitable for bird observation“.

Hiking binoculars

The binoculars is a popular souvenir for many hikers. For the mountains or the mountains a resilient construction method is necessary. The weather capers at certain altitudes are indefinite. Therefore waterproof or alternatively water repellent is absolutely necessary.

The model should also reproduce a good precise image over long distances. An additional feature is the contrast. In nature often similar colours are recognizable. The weight represents an important characteristic when hiking. A binocular is additional ballast when it has to be carried the complete route.

Zoom binoculars

An additional version is the zoom binocular. This model is available for stepless adjustment. In contrast to the usual binoculars, the magnification value represents “from to“. The test winner showed that all settings can be controlled simultaneously due to the built-in technology.

Because of this difficult task, several restrictions have to be accepted. As a rule, a zoom binocular does not create such a long distance as the classic binocular. It is more suitable for the close-up range. The model is particularly predestined for nature observations when the tripod is assimilated to the velocity of the objects.

Compact binoculars

An ideal binocular to adapt to any situation is unfortunately not available. Either the weight, the sharpness or the handling shows its negative side. That is why a compromise is always necessary. Compact glasses, which cover almost all areas, are a good alternative. These devices have extensive options for adjustment and can be adapted as required.


Useful accessories for binoculars

When purchasing a pair of binoculars you also have the option of ordering the appropriate accessories. The range starts with a comfortable tripod adapter, special carrying straps and minimal eyecups for spectacle wearers. Of course the accessories for binoculars should also fulfil the corresponding application purpose. When it comes to finding suitable spare parts, a wide variety of manufacturers today offer everything to ensure that binoculars are optimally equipped. The manufacturer is available at all times and if there is any uncertainty, the customer service can be contacted for detailed information on spare parts and accessories.

A first useful accessory is the case. In a noble quality numerous suitcases are ready. The case ensures a perfect placement of the binoculars . If it is not used, the binoculars are protected from dust and dirt.

The binoculars test proved that metal cases are very optimal for frequent transport. Metal cases offer ideal protection in the unlikely event of a fall. Inside the case is solid foam material and therefore the binocular gets a very good storage and protection. In addition, special bags are also available in stores. Number series manufacturers already include a practical bag with the delivery.

There is the option to buy bags for the binoculars separately, if for example another format would be advantageous, in which all accessories would find their place. In addition, the bags also offer a special convenience and also a complete protection for the binoculars.

Carrying straps are in the most different variants, whether shoulder straps or also cross straps – a guarantor for always the best possible hold. The belts are made of leather, artificial leather or synthetic and are also available in many different colours. Cross belts are particularly comfortable. The weight of the binoculars is distributed over the whole area and guarantees a high wearing comfort.

Shoulder straps also have a comfortable shoulder cushion and help prevent pressure points or painful friction points from forming on the skin. Carrying straps are also available as float straps and prevent the binoculars from sinking into the water in the event of a fall. This ensures that the binoculars are not lost and can be removed from the water immediately.

With noble binoculars carrying straps are always in the scope of supply and can increase the wearing comfort again by more comfortable straps, if one exchanges them.

Furthermore special protective flaps are available for the objective and for the eyepieces. These protective flaps help prevent the lenses from being scratched and provide protection against moisture in adverse weather conditions. Flaps are always offered in different sizes, because for each binocular there are the corresponding ideal sitting protective flaps.

An important accessory for the binoculars are eyecups. It can happen that in the event of wear or tear, the eyecups have to be replaced.

During the binoculars test 2019 it became clear, especially spectacle wearers need special eyecups to minimize the distance. This is why eyecups are available in different sizes for a custom fit. The tripod adapter is an additional useful must-have. Some manufacturers include this part in the scope of delivery.

A tripod adapter serves its purpose when the binocular is to be used with a tripod. For the connection of the binoculars with the tripod an adapter is needed. This will firmly connect the binoculars and the tripod. The tripod is also used for observations. The wobble-free image is created by the stand.

The tripod is a very useful investment for hunting or observation. The tripods also show differences. Feet with three legs are a little wobblier and can tip over immediately in negative weather conditions. You can select the appropriate tripod for the individual purpose. Through the extensive selection you will surely find what you are looking for.

When determining the binocular test winner the focus was on the Snap Shot Adapter from Swarowski. With it you could take great pictures through the binoculars. In nature observations this was very useful to record permanent impressions. Those who have stayed at home can participate with unique fascinating pictures and the corresponding exciting stories of safaris.

The Adapter is positioned on the Binocular and coupled to the corresponding camera. This allows you to create unique images. A permanent reminder for themselves and for other nature lovers who, for example, never have the opportunity to follow a rare specimen up close. These adapters are offered as accessories and are suitable for numerous camera models.

The difference between the models is also the different magnification of binoculars. There is also the option of interchangeable lenses. Already with the purchase one should get the appropriate information whether with the binoculars a change can take place.

In numerous models, the binocular test 2019 found a fixed connection between the lenses. Only an expert could make the exchange. The lenses on some models could be removed and replaced with a screw cap. The advantage of interchangeable lenses is that they can be magnified as needed. Perhaps this variant offers an alternative to the spotting scope or telescope.

There is the option to increase the enlargement of the binoculars with a magnification attachment. Different sizes are available in the trade, which are produced for the respective models.

The 10 most important questions about “Binoculars”

1. When can a binoculars be used?

The binocular is versatile and allows the magnification of many objects and views without image loss or overlay. The lenses should not fog up, should have a nitrogen coating and should be adaptable. The binoculars can then be used for hiking, sailing, hunting, observing animal and natural spectacles. Less beautiful is the use of binoculars for espionage, e.g. to observe the activity of the neighbour through the window.

2. What does “phase retardation” mean in binoculars?

This refers to a special coating on binoculars which is determined as a P coating on roof edgebinoculars the reflection of beam segments. Since the light wave phases are shifted in this design, the light exit must be corrected. This allows the phase coating to prevent reflections.
The coating generally refers to the thin layers that are deposited on the optical lens by the process in high vacuum and reduce the reflections on the lenses. Most binoculars have multiple layers and are then green or violet in the lens.

3. What is image stabilization as a function of binoculars?

With a very high enlargement and a large lens, the image stabilization function is worthwhile, allowing immediate adjustment and focusing and eliminating the need for a tripod. Even a very steady hand cannot always allow a clear view, because the binoculars is equipped with electronic sensors and compensates every smallest movement immediately, whereby the image can become blurred. The larger the lens, the more the image needs to be adjusted. A image stabilizer ensures that the image is always sharp.

4. Are there binoculars for spectacle wearers?

People wearing glasses needed binoculars with adjustable eye distance and with dioptric correction. Even very strong visual differences can be compensated and the visual impairment in the test can be compensated. When using binoculars spectacle wearers benefit from the newly preserved field of vision. Wearing glasses is also no problem when using binoculars, only the interpupillary distance and the eyecups must be changed and adjusted.

5. Are there binoculars with rangefinders?

Such models are available, mostly in the form of marineglasses with compact and waterproof construction and built-in compass. A distance meter then allows you to measure the distance to the object and thus better estimate it. This is also an advantage when hunting or determining positions.

6. What does the magnification of a pair of binoculars say about the quality?

Surely most people, when they buy binoculars, also want a good zoom or a strong magnification, e.g. in 10x version. Nevertheless, the magnification alone does not determine the performance and quality of binoculars. The Test shows that several factors are relevant, including lens coating, glass material, lens size, coating, and mechanics. For most observations an 8- to 10-fold magnification is completely sufficient. When looking at the stars alone, the magnification can be higher, but this also affects the sharpness of the image. The larger the lens, the more complex the image adjustment and sharpness. A tripod is required for a 20x magnification.

7. How can you tell the quality of a pair of binoculars?

The quality of binoculars cannot yet be estimated on the basis of weight and size alone, even though a heavier binocular is certainly better processed than a very light plastic one. But the weight is also related to the material properties and the case and less to the technical advantages. quality can be determined by the type of glass, the coating and the focusing mechanism. If the coating is green or violet, this is an indication of a high-quality coating that reduces reflections. The glass of the objectives also determines how good the binocular is and whether it fog up or not. A good colour purity is also a sure indication of good quality. Therefore the binoculars can be directed at a wall illuminated by the sun. If the color fringes are too strong, the image is impaired. A clearer view is better and possible through good lenses with fluorite lenses or ED.

8. What is the difference between roof edge glass and porro prisms?

These are various prism systems, that are used to rotate the reversed image again. porro prisms divide the light beam into rectangular shapes, roof prisms provide a pointed angle, are also produced more elaborately and expensive. The settings of the eyepieces also differ. Roof prisms, for example, allow a very narrow design, while the distance between the lenses is wider for Porro models. roof binoculars have a helical focus in the tube, while porro binoculars have the focus in the outer area. The snail focusing is slightly more stable and protected.

9. What does the visual field say about the use of binoculars?

A large field of view with a binocular is always of advantage, because here the fusion of the visual impressions of both eyes is compensated. However, the magnification should be taken into account. The smaller it is, the larger the visual field can be. Certain eyepiece constructions allow automatic a large field of view, even when the magnification is high. If the ratio is not correct, sharpness appears at the edges, which impair vision.

10. How to clean and keep your binoculars clean?

To ensure good vision through binoculars, the lenses must remain clean and retain their coating. This is possible due to the protection it provides when transported through a bag, but binoculars are mainly used outdoors and can then be more easily soiled. The lenses have a very sensitive coating and require gentle cleaning, e.g. with a soft and slightly moistened cloth. The use of a soft cleaning brush is better.

Alternatives to binoculars

The binocular is already a transportable device, with which you can make observations of nature, birds or simply use to enjoy nature. In addition to binoculars, a telescope offers an alternative to binoculars . Also a tripod or a telescope can be alternative devices, which bring however disadvantages in addition, advantages with themselves.

The telescope

Everyone knows the telescope as an old pirate film in which the telescope is used to see which enemy is approaching. A typical feature at that time were the flags, which could be seen through the telescope.

Today, telescopes are available in both small and large versions. The small models are mostly pocket scopes, which are lighter than binoculars. The night part is that you can only see through with one eye. Today there are some binoculars like the Galilei telescope or the Kepler telescope, which differ in their inner construction. In most cases, however, the view with telescopes is far less pronounced than with binoculars. At least with small models the range of vision hardly reaches the binoculars.

Large binoculars are usually difficult to hold by hand and require a tripod, which rather restricts the equipment. Especially when observing, when the animals change their place, a mobile device is more advantageous. With large telescopes, on the other hand, the view is much better than with binoculars, as the tripod prevents the images from shaking. But the telescope is not a telescope with which you can also see details in the starry sky.

The telescope

The telescope is designed to cover long distances. With a telescope it is therefore also possible to observe the planets and celestial bodies. However, these devices are less suitable for observation in the closer range.

There are models with which nature observations but also planets can be seen. However, they lose performance when it comes to detailed recognition features in the sky tent. It is therefore not recommended to purchase a device that will allow you to catch a glimpse both at close range and at a distance – because one of both is always disadvantaged.

The spotting scope

A spotting scope is a telescope that can be used as a good alternative to binoculars. However, the spotting scope has the disadvantage that it is only useful for the day. At dusk or in the evening hours, the spotting scope no longer provides sufficient images. Spotting scopes, also differ in their construction, as they usually deliver upright and side-justified images. These models are ideal for hunting, observing birds and other creatures. The military also likes to use spotting scopes to monitor special areas.

The advantage of the spotting scope is that it can be used in wind and weather. Usually the devices have a tripod, which is also transportable. So if you move quickly, the spotting scope folds quickly and is easy to transport. The spotting scope is less suitable for hiking because the tripod is often fixed to the sight. Another disadvantage is also, unilateral vision. Because the spotting scope has only one tube through which you can only see with one eye.

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