Best entry-level birding binoculars

Binoculars have the advantages of clear and bright images, a large field of view, and being easy to carry. They are not only suitable for astronomical enthusiasts to survey the sky and observe planar celestial bodies such as nebulae, star clusters, and comets.  And a pair of binoculars is a must for bird-watchers.  Binoculars not only allow us to observe birds in more detail but also bring beauty and delight to our hearts!  

A good pair of binoculars will probably stay with the birder for a lifetime and become his most frequently used daily tool.  Bird-watching binoculars can pull in the distance between people and birds, and through binoculars, people can get a closer look at the birds around them.  So as a beginner birder, how do you choose the best entry-level birding binoculars for yourself?  Let’s take a look.  

Wetland bird

How to choose the best entry-level birding binoculars?  

Multiple: 7-10 times is appropriate.  Newbies often prefer to use high magnification, but the image jitter brought by high magnification will offset the detail identification under high magnification. In addition, high magnification must be combined with a large aperture objective lens to obtain a good observation effect, but a large aperture will directly increase the volume and weight of the telescope, affecting portability.  So the multiple is not the higher the better, for the average person, 7-8 times is enough!  

Exit pupil diameter and specification: Exit pupil diameter is closely related to imaging brightness and observation comfort.  The calculation method of exit pupil diameter is objective lens diameter ÷ multiple.  The 2.5mm exit pupil diameter is suitable for bird watching in a well-lit environment, such as 8×20/10×25. The advantage of these specifications is that they are small in size, light in weight, and easy to carry, but the observation comfort is poor.  

The exit pupil diameter of about 4mm can relax the requirements for light, such as 8×30/8×32/10×42, which can meet the requirements of bird watching on most occasions.  The exit pupil diameter above 5 mm is basically an all-day weather type, especially suitable for observing birds at dusk and dawn, such as 8×42/10×50, brightness clarity and comfort are very high.  

bird watching

Prism: A prism must be added to binoculars to obtain positive images. Common prisms are roof prism and Paul prism.  Generally speaking, binoculars with roof prism are more suitable for bird watching. Their appearance is characterized by two straight tubes in the barrel and a small center distance between the objective lens, which is suitable for observing close targets.  It is also easy to be made into a nitrogen-filled waterproof structure, which is more suitable for the harsh outdoor environment.  Small size, lightweight, portability!  

However, the use of roof prism to obtain excellent observation effect, need to use high-precision prism and complex coating, high cost leads to high price.  The binoculars using Paul’s prism are curved in shape, with a large center distance between the objective lens and the nearest observation distance.  It is not easy to realize nitrogen-filled waterproof structure (high sealing can be obtained by using left and right independent focusing, but this focusing method is not suitable for bird watching), and it is large in size and heavy in weight.  

But the advantage is the low technical content of optics, with a relatively low price can get a good effect.  There are also anti-Paul prism binoculars, lighter, but small aperture, not suitable for the main mirror.  

Close range: Birders usually want a small close range to see a bird hidden in bushes or grass.  The roof prism binoculars, its recent observation distance can do is small, can often close to 2 meters high (such as a forest with 8 x32 recent observation distance of 1.2 meters), using the Paul prism binoculars recent observation distance and perhaps even less than 1 meter.

bird watching

Waterproof and shockproof: Bird watching activities are often carried out outdoors, the observation environment is changeable, it is best to choose waterproof binoculars, so as to keep the mirror inside sealed and dry, no fog, no mildew, improve the service life of the telescope.  For the surface coated binoculars, not only shockproof effect is good, ensures the stability of the optical axis, holds up more comfortably.  

Eye mask and exit pupils distance: For nearsighted/aging/astigmatism birds, bird-watching is different from watching the scenery on the balcony. When watching the scenery on the balcony, the glasses can be taken off slowly to focus, while bird-watching usually wears glasses first to search for birds and then directly uses binoculars to observe.  Therefore, a soft eye mask that can be folded or rotated is required, otherwise, the full field of vision cannot be observed.  

A hard eye patch can be very uncomfortable.  Also, do not choose an exit pupil distance that is too short. Exit pupil distances of less than 15mm will force the observer to keep their eyes tightly pressed against the eyepiece, otherwise, they will not see the full field of view.  

Best entry-level binoculars for birding  

Apexel 10X42W Strong Waterproof Binoculars (buy now): For medium binoculars, the APS-RB10x42W is ultra-compact and lightweight, with a very wide field of view and minimal close focus.  Targeted at price-sensitive users who still want high-quality instruments, the APS-RB10X42W uses a fully sealed magnesium alloy body and a metal distortion eye mask to protect high-quality and fully multi-layer coated optical elements, including phase and dielectric coated BAK-4 prisms.  With 21mm eyepieces and 42mm objectives, it brings the world closer, providing high-resolution images and extremely accurate color restoration.  

Best entry-level birding binoculars

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