Last Updated on November 18, 2020
Nothing beats a nice quiet evening watching shooting stars. Only one thing could make that better, and that would be seeing the shooting stars with a wonderful pair of zoom binoculars.
Of course, binoculars come in all different shapes and sizes, so we are here to help you sift through your choices and adjust that diopter until you have the exact pair you want!
In these reviews, we will cover binoculars, big and small, for star gazing and for hunting. So, let’s get in the exploring mood and zoom in on awesome binoculars!
|Best Overall||ESSLNB Astronomy||
|Best Value||TASCO MC||
|Premium Choice||Nikon ACULON||
With a name like Giant Astronomy, these aren’t your everyday binoculars. They are truly impressive. With awesome zooming capabilities — 13-39X magnification — this instrument from ESSLNB offers wonderful brightness and surprising contrast even in low light and long-range conditions. Getting into focus is a breeze as well.
The Giant Astronomy Zoom Binoculars have an easy-to-reach control knob on the left and a diopter ring on the right, so you will be able to make adjustments on the fly. With a wide range of view, you’ll be able to quickly track things from far away. You can also set this to work with your smartphone so your phone sees what the binoculars do.
This astronomical viewing instrument is also wonderful for people who wear glasses. When you order this product, not only will you receive the binoculars, but you will also get a neck strap, a cleaning cloth, a carrying bag, a tripod mounter, and a phone adapter. Talk about getting bang for your buck!
The only setback with a pair of binoculars like this is the size. Of course, once you have them mounted to a tripod, that won’t matter as much. If you add it all up, it’s easy to see why these are our top pick.
While our top pick was bulky, our value pick is quite portable but has a similar amount of power. With an 8-to-24X magnification and a 25mm objective lens, you get a high-powered pair of binoculars for quite the deal! The lenses are also multicoated, and you’ll be thrilled with the 190’ field of vision, with accurate views up to 10X magnification.
When it comes to size, this pair of binoculars is perfect if you want to minimize how much to carry, as they only weigh 24.3 ounces. Even in that small package, they still come with the patented Porro Prism design.
We do have to point out that for some users, this pair of binoculars just feels small. While they focus great, you might have an issue getting adjusted to them, or you might just want to buy a bigger pair of binoculars. Still, we think that these are the best zoom binoculars for the money.
Designed to be as accommodating as possible to the user, these binoculars from Nikon are made with portability and ease in mind. This is no more apparent than in the weight of the product and its ergonomic design. The easy-to-reach fingertip zoom stands out as a wonderful feature, as you can make quick and easy adjustments on the fly. The Turn and Slide rubber eye cups make for a comfortable viewing experience for any duration of time.
The multicoated Eco-Glass lenses give you an incredibly clear image in most lighting conditions, only seeing deterioration in conditions that are legitimately dark. These binoculars are made for rough conditions, as they feature a non-slip grip. The field of view at 1,000 meters is 66/199.
The only issue we can find with this product is that they can be a bit difficult to adjust at first. Once you get used to the binoculars, you shouldn’t have an issue, but there is a bit of a learning curve.
Every now and then, nature doesn’t agree with our urging to go birdwatching or star gazing, but with these binoculars from Olympus, that doesn’t really matter, as long as you have a good poncho. The waterproof construction of these binoculars is impressive, as they make viewing quite easy, offering eye relief as the brightness of the image you are looking at increases.
These are easy to focus with the large center focus knob that allows for quick but accurate tracking. The lens themselves are anti-reflective to enhance the image that you see. The zoom capability goes all the way up to 16X, which is good for about 1,000 yards of sighting. These also feel good in the hand, as they are made with comfortable ergonomic grips.
These binoculars from Olympus look and feel great, but the tuning knob is not as durable as one would hope. For some users, there are no issues at all, while others have had defective or quick-to-break tuning knobs. If you find yourself on the wrong end of this problem, we hope that you purchased the three-year protection plan.
Celestron decided to make eye comfort its number-one concern and did so while still producing a pair of binoculars that are great for birdwatching or sporting events. These binoculars utilize lower magnification, which allows you to track an object more easily. Once you have it in your sights, you can zoom in for a close-up view. The multi-coated optics enhance the sharpness of detail you are seeing and the crispness of its color.
Made with a BaK-4 prism, these binoculars have a higher light transmission so you can see more easily in low-light scenarios. Another nifty feature is the large objective diameter, which makes for a comfortable viewing experience even at high aperture. This pair of binoculars is great for people who wear glasses as well, as it designed to add comfort to the viewing experience. This product is adaptable with a tripod, so you can look for as long as you like without your arms getting tired!
Unfortunately, these binoculars don’t particularly handle zooming anything past 30x very well. Also, don’t expect them to fit in your pocket. These are really big.
Made to put color in phase with a BaK-4 prism, Stellax’s ZoomX binoculars can give you bright and clear images. This is possible due to the fully multi-coated lenses. Made to be portable, these binoculars weigh just over 500 grams and fit comfortably in your hands. They also come encased in a fully rubberized body.
The eyepieces are designed to suit your eye comfortably. With a zoom of 10X, you can also capture what you are seeing on your smartphone, as this device is compatible with most Samsung and Apple devices. If you are worried about durability, this product is advertised as being unbreakable.
While this product is also advertised as being waterproof, we have found that this is not the case. While they are physically durable, they are not exactly functionally durable. The tuning knob can go south in a hurry, and we’ve heard reports of these losing the ability to focus within a month of purchase.
These Barska binoculars are meant for hunting but aren’t necessarily great at tracking. Basically, this is a relabeled item that is being sold at a lower price. While that seems fair, the quality of these binoculars make you wonder if they should be sold at all.
The zoom feature doesn’t really work, and the image you do get is fuzzy. Giving credit where credit is due, they look quite tough.
The type of binoculars you want will depend on the type of activity that you plan to do and the type of zooming that you’ll need. Not all binoculars are created equal, and most are designed with specific things in mind. Let’s look at these specifications.
Do you need to be able to track things quickly while zooming? Not all binoculars are capable of doing this. You will most likely want to get hunting binoculars if this is what you need, because they specialize in tracking, as opposed to astronomical binoculars that are meant to be set in one spot and allow you to view a wide-open area.
Astronomical binoculars are generally much bigger, with huge lenses and typically requiring a tripod. These are meant to be set in place so you can capture a wide scope of an area. More recent models are compatible with smartphones, so you don’t even have to use the viewfinder to look through them.
Hunting binoculars are much smaller and meant to be hung around the neck and easily fit in your hand. These are meant to be used quickly, as you never know when your tracked target will be on the move.
The industry is catching up to the fact that people with glasses have a harder time with binoculars for a couple of reasons. First, using the viewfinder can be a bit more difficult, as there is an extra lens being added to the equation, and second, the use of binoculars can be stressful on the eyes, especially for someone who is already impaired in this area. Manufacturers are getting wise to this, and as you can see in our list of reviews, some several brands and products are recommended if you are a person who wears glasses.
The zoom features on different binoculars vary quite a bit. If you want something with extreme zoom capabilities, keep in mind that the more you zoom in, the pickier a pair of binoculars can be. This might also affect the type of binoculars you get, as you might not need an astronomical pair for bird watching.
The price range of binoculars varies wildly. While we generally believe in the old axiom that you pay for what you get, you can still find great bargains. Just don’t expect a perfectly clear image of Mars.
If you’re searching for Binoculars:
With so many options, we understand that it may be difficult to figure out which product to go with, but that is why we made this list and buying guide! Have you realized what you want to use your binoculars for? While binoculars aren’t prohibitively expensive, they aren’t cheap either. If you already had a good idea of what you want to look at with your new purchase, then we hope that we were able to narrow down the list for you.
So, which ones have you decided to go with? You certainly can’t go wrong with our top choice from ESSLNB, but you would also be thrilled with our value pick by TASCO. Whichever way you went, we hope these reviews have you shopping with crystal-clear focus!
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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