How to Choose the Best Binoculars for Birding

How to Choose the Best Binoculars for Birding

How To Choose The Best Binoculars For Birding

Do you want to level up your game when it comes to bird watching? Then, you should get a pair of binoculars rather than plainly looking at birds from afar. In fact, a good par of binoculars are so important, you should make an effort to buy the best binoculars for birding possible.

You need one to get the best view when birding or bird watching. But, we know that finding the best binoculars for birding can be a struggle. There are tons of brand and types that can be overwhelming especially for beginners.

#1 The right parameters for the best binoculars for birding

Binoculars are often determined by a set of numbers, for example, 10×50 or 8×42. These numbers are the binocular magnification and the objective diameter.

The first number is the magnification. If you get a pair of 10×40 binoculars, it means that the image you see is magnified 10 times. Higher magnification will give you a more detailed and closer view. But, it also has a much narrower view compared to low magnification binoculars.

The second number is the diameter of the lens. The larger the diameter, the brighter and more detailed the image will be. Yet, a larger diameter means that your lens will be bigger thus making it heavier and bulkier.

#2 Decide on the size

Now that you know what those numbers stand for, it’s time to decide on the size of the binoculars you want.

If you’re a casual bird watcher or just starting out, it’s best to get a compact pair. There are tons of binoculars nowadays that offer great features in a small package. Opt for binoculars with 10x or less magnification and less than 32mm objective diameter. Binoculars with higher parameters are much heavier.

For experts who take birding to the extremes, there are binoculars like the Nikon Monarch 5 16×56. These bigger binoculars need to be mounted on a tripod since they’re a lot heavier.

best binoculars for birding

#3 Set a budget

With any kind of product, paying more would get you more features and better quality. But with today’s technological advances, you can get a decent pair of binoculars that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Compact and smaller binoculars would, of course, cost less than bigger ones. Still, it’s not advisable to get binoculars that are less than $100. It’s safe to spend between $150 and $200 on a pair of compact ones. You may regret getting really cheap binoculars under a hundred bucks.

If you want bigger binoculars, you should at least set a minimum of $1,000. This would include the binoculars and the tripod if you don’t have one yet.

#4 Check for additional features

Many binocular manufacturers compete through adding features to their products. This may include waterproofing, fog proofing, ergonomics, durability, and even the warranty. These features can make a big difference when you’re already using the binoculars.

#5 Choose which you prefer

If your friend has recommended a pair of binoculars to you, it doesn’t mean that it’ll fit you as well. The best binoculars for birding depend on preferences. One pair might be great for some groups of people, but it won’t always be perfect for everyone.

Before buying one, it’s best to test it out first. If you’re buying a pair of binoculars online, try to ask your friends or family if they have any recommendation. If you’re part of a birdwatching group in your area, ask them if you could try their binoculars to see if they suit your needs.

Do you wear eyeglasses? Then go for binoculars with retractable eyecups. If you can’t bring bulky binoculars, buy a compact one. It all depends on your needs so think about it carefully.

#6 Test it outside or in dark lighting

If you decide on buying from a physical optic store, it’s best to test the binoculars in a different lighting condition. Stores are well-lit compared to the forests so you can’t judge the performance of the binoculars there.

The best binoculars for birding should be able to deliver high-quality images despite low-lightning conditions. Ask the store clerk if you can test it out in a darker area in their store. Just to be safe, try not to get one that has an objective lens smaller than 30mm.

CONCLUSION – The Best Binoculars For Birding

Buying a pair of binoculars can become enjoyable if you bring people with you. Get a fellow bird watcher to help you pick the best ones. It’s also helpful to bring someone who’s knowledgeable about binoculars.

If you don’t have anyone to bring with you, follow the tips above on how to choose the best binoculars for birding. Once you’ve made a great purchase, you won’t need to go binocular shopping again within a few years.

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