Binoculars for birding experience guide

Because we tend to overthink the process for fear of not making the right choice, we decided to prepare  some tips when looking for  birding binoculars that should help you simplify this process and be confident making your next purchase decision.

How optics work and fits you on the path for better birding experiences?

Starting point: numbers

Before making any decision on purchasing binoculars for bird watching you should look at numbers. 

Choose those with the ideal features birding binoculars are of no difference from ordinary binoculars except for some in terms of magnification. traditionally birding binoculars should have a magnification of 8×42 or 10×25. Go for those who have these magnification ranges though their prices may vary just a little bit.

What is magnification? 

We already talked a bit about magnification and will continue to cover this subject because it is one of the most important topics when reviewing binoculars. One of the first things to understand about binoculars is two numbers 8×42, 10×25, etc…

What do those numbers mean?

So you have an 8 by 42 or a 10 by 25 for instance that first number which is more often is going to be an 8 or a 10 that’s the binoculars magnification or power. But you can’t necessarily look at a binocular and say oh that’s an 8 or 10 size and appearance doesn’t have anything to do with the binoculars magnification. But you can tell when you look at those numbers the eighth power binocular is going to magnify things eight times that means they’re eight times larger than if you weren’t using binoculars at all. Like with many things in life with magnification it becomes possible to see wonderful things that we cannot with the naked eye. A lot of birders will think of the more power they have the better they’re gonna be able to see but actually as you increase the power of binocular so you can find that it makes this most truste tool of birding a little bit more difficult to use. 

Let’s see why one important thing to understand about higher power binoculars. With added magnification the binoculars field of view will decrease. This means as we increase power we won’t have the ability to see as much to our left and right through the binocular which can make it challenging to quickly find birds with your binoculars and then track them as they move about through habitat. High magnification makes it really difficult and that’s because the magnification in your binoculars not only magnifies the image that you’re seeing it’s also picking up on any movement of your upper body or your hands and that degrades the quality of the image that’s reaching your eyes. That’s why a lot of bird watchers professionals recommend lower power binoculars. Eighth power binoculars over 10 because you’re gonna have that ability of holding an eighth power blocker steadier than a ten. 10s are still very usable, but certainly beyond 10 power kind of a no-fly zone. 

For birders definitely it’s one of the situations with magnification that more isn’t always better. 

Comparative review

8×42 serves most bird watchers needs, it’s easy to use, and holds steady. It’s good in low-light as a wide field of view. If you’re looking for a little bit more magnification a 10×42 is a great choice. And then for someone who wants a little bit lighter weight more compact binocular consider 8×32.



-- Binocular magnification is  the first number listed in a binocular size that refers to the power. 
-- An eight by forty two magnification objects by eight times 
-- More power doesn't always mean you'll get a better view an increase of power likely means we'll be working with a narrower field of view 
-- High-powered optics can also be more difficult to hold steady so you might not want to use anything stronger than a 10 power binocular when you're birding 


Once you’ve got the right size figured out the next step will be looking at pricing. Does price matter? Of course.The price is also a big factor. Birding binoculars price ranges are incredibly impressive. Considering your budget is under $200 there are some great choices. The next price level up but you’re going to find between three and four hundred dollars from there five to six hundred dollars and then we jump up to run a thousand dollars beyond that price point. When you get up to the ultra premium binoculars you’re looking at pieces that are upwards of thousand dollars. These are binoculars that are built with an incredible amount of precision and technology giving you the best views possible resolution and clarity brightness. They’re an absolute joy to use easy on the eyes and they’ll last a lifetime.

Comparative review


Binoculars features

The next important tip is essential features. If you’re an eyeglass wearer for instance something with long eye relief maybe like looking at butterflies you want something with a good close focus. Maybe your top priorities performance in which case price would be secondary and you’re really gonna want to focus on the higher-end optics.

Make sure also that their lenses are multi-coated for them to work properly in both sunny days or foggy afternoons. Also the lighter your binoculars are the better. You cannot expect to immediately see a flock of birds the moment you are in the field can you? It takes a lot of walking around for you to see birds outdoors. That is why it is preferable to have your binoculars compact and lightweight for you to easily walk around with convenience. 


It has to be user-friendly and functional. Does it feel good in your hands? Is it easy to find the focus wheel? Are the eye cups fitting your face? If the binoculars feel awkward or clumsy you should consider a different choice.

Branding & warranty

There are many different options at various price points. One thing that’s important to consider is the company’s reputation,  the brand of the binocular you’re buying and what kind of warranty or service comes with that binocular. Some manufacturers have a reputation for excellent customer service check with the person who’s selling the binocular to get any information they might have and who might best serve you your needs in a time that you need it most.


After all, you should also think of your investment over the period of time you’re going to be using these binoculars. An avid birder will be using their binoculars on a regular basis for years to come. It might be worth breaking the piggy bank and getting a really nice pair of binoculars that only have better views for that whole period of time they’re gonna last a lot longer.

If you’re the type of person that likes to get the binocular ‘up to date’ maybe you’re in change every 2 or 3 years maybe it’s not worth investing that much now. Binoculars of well-known brands tend to have some of the best resale value. Some binoculars even have transferable warranty. So if you want to resell it to someone the warranty goes with the binoculars. If you like to upgrade your binoculars frequently consider the resale value of what you’re buying.

Summing up

The best way for you to have those best birding adventures is to find the perfect locations. Joining a group of bird watching enthusiasts can also help. There are also magazine publishers that specifically cater to bird watching lovers. If you are just a beginner it is best advised to go with the professionals first. Birding tips focusing directly on birds is a challenge for first time bird watchers especially if the bird is flying. This just requires constant practice. Obviously flying birds can only be visible for a short span of seconds. Practicing and concentrating much on your focus is one of the best ways for you to be proficient and later on a professional. 

The basics of bird watching for starters practice is the main ingredient. Before you go for the outdoors try bird watching from your backyards first. Since we can find birds everywhere your local park is also an option. For most beginners they shoot themselves away from the public for fear that they might not be doing the right thing. This is not actually what it should be. In fact bird watching is a common hobby for people from almost all walks of life. So there really should be no issue about it. It is indeed not that expensive making bird watching a hobby. All it takes are perfect locations and a good pair of birding binoculars. You don’t have to have the top of the line equipment to satisfy yourself. Be practical. After all, bird watching is just one way of relaxation.

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