Choosing Binoculars Guide (Australia / NZ) 88

Not 100% sure which binoculars to get? We can’t really blame you! With so many models to choose from and so many features to compare, it really is a tedious task. The experts here at Procular have compiled a few simple guides to help you with your decision. All you have to do is go through one of the guides below, according to where you will be using your binoculars the most:

 
 

88 Comments

  1. Hj there, I am a prospector and need glasses that give the best image of things as far away as possible,. Simply need to see the ground clearly the longest way away to save a lot of walking. Thanks

    1. Hi Simon,

      You would benefit from high powered binoculars. Please notice that the more power your binoculars have (magnification), the narrower your field of view will be. If you don’t mind a relatively narrow view and need to cover a great distance then the Avalon 20×50 would work best: https://procular.com.au/avalon-20×50-outpost-binoculars/ — If you need to also be able to scan an area (even in the far distance), then the Nikon Aculon 16×50 binoculars would work best with their slightly wider view. Details below: https://procular.com.au/nikon-aculon-16×50-cf-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  2. Hi. Adam.
    I am looking for a pair of binoculars for work. I am an electrician and need to check cables at the top ov power poles. The distance may be 20m and less from the point I stand but find it hard to see the finer details.
    What would you suggest.
    Thanks Graham

    Graham Staveley
    1. Hi Graham,

      As the distance is quite short, it is best to opt for binoculars with no more than 8x or 10x magnification. This will also prevent image shakiness and allow you to see the fine details more clearly. Preferably not overly heavy binoculars, as you will be pointing them upwards. 10×42 or 8×42 binoculars would fit the requirements and the quality of the optics will determine how much detail you’ll be able to spot, even in low lighting. Overall the Avalon 10×42 PRO HD binoculars should work 90% of the time, details below: https://procular.com.au/avalon-10×42-pro-hd-binoculars-platinum/ — If you can invest more than the Avalon 8×42 Titan ED would work even better as their outstanding image sharpness will allow you to clearly view smaller details within the field of view during any weather conditions / low visibility. Details below: https://procular.com.au/avalon-8×42-titan-ed-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  3. Hi, I’m looking to get my first set of binoculars. The immediate use would be for whale watching from the shore – where we are if you go out on a boat they’ll come to you. I’d also like to be able to use them more generally. Astronomy would be nice but I recognise that there is potentially a trade-off with magnification between more general use and astro. Could zooms be the answer or would you consider that (much like camera lenses) you really need to jump up the price range to get the optical quality? I’d also like them to be manageable weight wise so the kids could use them although if that becomes too much of a compromise I do have several photographic tripods that can take the weight.

    1. Hi Mark,

      In order to use the same binoculars for whale watching, general use and some basic star gazing you can opt for a good pair of 10×42 binoculars. These provide the right specs, mid-size and relatively light weight to be carried easily, hold still and even be used by children. If you are using them around water we highly recommend getting waterproofed ones, simply because they also protect from lens fogging. Regarding zoom binoculars, their image quality is noticeably inferior and they often have focusing issues – so we don’t recommend them and hardly ever sell them. 10×42 binoculars are not the ultimate for astronomy but if you have good optics they allow you to enjoy moon viewing and some near planets on clear nights. Proper astro binoculars are significantly bulkier and heavier and can’t be used onboard boats or by children. Their field of view is also limited due to the high magnification. Regarding specific models, you can look at the Avalon 10×42 PRO HD Binoculars which offer outstanding value and very solid but lightweight design and optical quality. Details below: https://procular.com.au/avalon-10×42-pro-hd-binoculars-platinum/ — Within the higher range we love the Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 which produce beautiful sharp views as well as great durability. Details below: https://procular.com.au/zeiss-terra-ed-10×42-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  4. Hi Adam

    do you stock any stabilised binoculars and what do you think of them. I am after a 10 or twelve magnification (general purpose) that can also be useful in spotting stars at night.

    Thanks

    Mounir Tayyar
    1. Hi Mounir,

      Yes, we stock a few models of image stabilised binoculars. You can view them here:

      https://procular.com.au/binoculars/image-stabilised-binoculars/

      We used to stock a wider range of these in the past (including all models by Canon and Nikon). But they didn’t sell much for general use or stargazing. The main reason was that at this kind of price range people prefer to invest in better optics rather than the image stabilisation feature. At this price range, for general use and star gazing, we would favour the Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 for example. Details below: https://procular.com.au/zeiss-terra-ed-10×42-binoculars/

      The only case where image stabilised binoculars will outperform the standard ones is where higher magnification is needed (14x to 20x). Another scenario is when used at sea. In these cases the IS feature comes in handy as the image shakes a-lot when onboard a boat, ship or helicopter. For that kind of viewing we really like the Fujinon 14×40 Techno-Stabi binoculars below: https://procular.com.au/fujinon-14×40-techno-stabi-is/ — But in your case they might be an overkill.

      One last comment, if you intend to use the binoculars for many different uses, including SOME moon and star viewing, then a high quality pair of 10×42’s would be perfect, better than image stabilised ones. But if your main use will be astronomy then you can consider astronomy binoculars which are much larger. On the downside they are also much bulkier and heavier in that sense. Here’s a guide on choosing astronomy binoculars:

      https://procular.com.au/choosing-astronomy-and-night-binoculars-the-complete-guide/

      We hope this helps!

      Adam Murray, Procular
  5. Hello Adam,

    I am looking for a gift for someone who is currently into safari, but also who does a lot of hiking, bird watching,photography, star gazing… I’d say,he is into everything! It makes it hard to buy just one set of binocular for one purpose and thought to ask you if you could recommend something that may be as good for safari/bird watching as for low light setting. I am looking into $ 500-800 range, maybe even a bit extra if there is a good option for “one fits all”. I know this may be rather an impossible task, but I thought I’d ask 🙂

    By the way, this is a great website! I am a total newbie in the world of binoculars and after checking out a few websites, this is a winner!

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Ollie,

      Thank you for your comment and kind words. Most people favour 10×42 binoculars as the ultimate all-aronnd choice for bird watching, safari, nature viewing etc. They are also fine for hiking as they are not too bulky. You can enjoy star gazing with these too and get good views of the moon especially. If you just want a good (high end) all-around model then we really like the Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 binoculars below: https://procular.com.au/zeiss-terra-ed-10×42-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  6. ANDREW

    I am considering a top end bird watching binocular. I would be grateful if you could tell me the best in bad light and with the sharpest resolution.

    Regards

    Gordon McClatchie
    1. Hi Gordon,

      Thank you for your comment. We stock over 400 different binocular models here on Procular, from 15 leading brands. We have several that are fantastic for bird watching (you can see plenty of buyer guides and reviews about them on this site). But when it comes to the absolute best bird watching ones we believe that Carl Zeiss binoculars are still #1. Especially due to their outstanding performance in low light and the sharpness of their images. If you are serious about bird watching and willing to invest in the best optics around then we highly recommend their latest (and greatest) Zeiss Victory SF 8×42 binoculars below: https://procular.com.au/zeiss-victory-sf-8×42-binoculars/ These obviously don’t come cheap. Within the mid-range to higher-range bird watching binoculars we also like the Nikon’s, Vortex Viper HD models and Zeiss Terra ED models (all listed on Procular). The Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 for example are Zeiss’ new entry level model but still offer brilliant performance, including during low light conditions. Details on these below: https://procular.com.au/carl-zeiss-terra-ed-8×42-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  7. I am looking for bino’s maximum 8×42, waterproof, fog proof with good light as getting old and eyesight not the best. Main inquiry I have had cataract operation with lens implant on both eyes. One eye the operation was not very successful so need bino where I can adjust focus of each eye separately. Is that possible? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Mike,

      The best model we can recommend is the Nikon Prostaff 8×42 Binoculars. These are 100% waterproof and fog-proof, internally filled with Nitro gas to prevent fogging and withhold extreme temperatures. The Nikon 8×42 have a very generous eye relief (19.3 mm which is superb) as well as twist down eye-cups. So they are designed to be used by people with various eyesights, either with or without glasses. On the right eyecup you can adjust the right eye individually to match the difference between your two eyes. These are one of our most recommended binoculars anyways as they offer an outstanding image quality per price. But they are also the easiest to focus and adjust in your case. You can read more about the Nikon Prostaff 8×42 binoculars here: https://procular.com.au/nikon-prostaff-7-8×42-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  8. Hi Adam,
    I have several pairs of binoculars but I don’t know why my
    Nikon 7x20CF111 seem to be clearer and the same focal distance as my
    Gerber 10×25 Field 5’5″
    Any Advice would be helpful

    ERROL ROULSTONE
    1. Hi Errol,

      It is very likely that your Nikon 7×20 binoculars simply have better optics i.e. better lenses and better multi-coating process done on these lenses. Also, their lower magnification (7x) results in brighter images and a wider field of view than the 10x of the Gerber. As a rule, the lower your magnification is the wider the view is and the brighter the image will be. Combined with the product’s better optical quality this is even more noticeable. With lower magnifications it is also easier to achieve a longer eye-relief. So you can use the binoculars further away from your eyes allowing for you to use them with glasses on. But that depends on your model design too.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  9. Ones u can c in the dark

    1. Hi Jacob,

      To see in the dark you have two options. One is getting astronomy binoculars, these are quite large so their lenses take in more light and create a brighter image at dark. They are NOT night vision binoculars but do increase your brightness significantly. They are ideal for watching the moon and the stars. Here’s a guide on how to choose astronomy binoculars: https://procular.com.au/choosing-astronomy-and-night-binoculars-the-complete-guide/

      Now, to see in complete darkness you will need night vision binoculars, or for a more affordable option a night vision monocular. Here’s a guide on how to choose night vision gear: https://procular.com.au/choose-night-vision-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  10. Looking for binoculars for watching rowing from land. Have heard Avalon or Nikon are the ones to choose from & waterproof ✔️
    It is for my husband & me but I wear glasses (he doesn’t ) not a huge issue as they’re a gift for him ( which I will steal occasionally…)
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Sarah,

      For viewing rowing from shore you should opt for a medium sized, medium magnification pair of binoculars as they are easy to hold and stabilise. We can personally recommend the Avalon 10×42. They feature excellent optical quality for their price range and well as lightweight and a wide field of view. Details of this model below:

      https://procular.com.au/avalon-10×42-pro-hd-binoculars-black/

      Within the higher range of binoculars we can recommend the Nikon Prostaff 10×42. They feature sharp Nikon lenses that produce beautiful images every time. They are also lightweight and easy to use. The Nikon Prostaff are 100% waterproof and fog-proof. Details below:

      https://procular.com.au/nikon-prostaff-7-10×42-binoculars/

      Both the Avalon and the Nikon binoculars above are ideal for use either with or without eye-glasses. They have twist down eye-cups. When you use them with glasses on simply twist the eye-cups to their downwards position. If viewing without glasses twist them to their upwards position.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  11. Hi, I have read most of your advice, but am still unsure.. I would love some advice on buying binoculars for my husband bday gift- I know he would like something suitable for water and land- price range up to $500. I know he won’t be going out in rough seas- so does he still need marine binoculars for the stabilisation? For land something that is suitable for low light too, as we have a reserve that backs on to our property and he would like something to view wildlife day and night. Thanks- look forward to your advice.

    1. Hi Susan,

      The issue with using binoculars at sea is due to image shakiness caused by the binoculars’ magnification. So simply by standing on a moving platform (boat / ship) the tiny shakes are magnified as much as the image is. Regardless of if he will be on nearly still waters or at high seas. For this reason most marine binoculars only have 7x magnification. But you can go up to 8x magnification in order to have a good pair of binoculars for both land and sea. We recommend getting binoculars that are waterproof and fod-proof which is useful for use in humid environments or over the water. We have a few good options at your price range. You can look at the Nikon Prostaff 8×42 below: https://procular.com.au/nikon-prostaff-7-8×42-binoculars/ — these will work for both land and sea. And if you can afford to invest a-bit more then our most recommended model would be the Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 binoculars below: https://procular.com.au/carl-zeiss-terra-ed-8×42-binoculars/ — their image quality is outstanding and they also have a better low-light performance for those darker hours. We hope this helps.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  12. Whats better for hunting the Nikon Aculon 12×50 or the Bushnell permafocus 12×50? thank you

    1. Hi Jeremy,

      The Nikon Aculon would be much better for hunting. They have better optics (BAK 4 lenses) than the Bushnell Permafocus so you will get a more clear, detailed image – especially at low light. But more importantly the PermaFocus is not ideal as they can sometimes have un-focused images from shorter range (10m to 80m) which can really get in the way when you’re hunting.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  13. Hi, I have read all of your guides and responses but am still unclear on the most suitable choice. Which binoculars do you recommend for using on an Alaskan cruise as well as driving tour of Alaska ans Canada for 60 yesr olds wearing glasses?

    1. Hi Tricia,

      Binoculars for use on the cruise can only have 7x or 8x power as more than that will prove nearly impossible to stabilise handheld. Regarding use with glasses, the lower the magnification is the longer eye-relief the binoculars will have. So the easier they will be for use with glasses on. So 8x binoculars would be ideal and good for your cruise, driving tour and for general viewing too. Due to the extreme temperatures there we highly recommend getting a waterproof/fog-proof model. This ensures that the binoculars will not fog-up when used in the cold environment. Overall we suggest an 8×42 of good quality waterproofed binoculars. Really good models you should look at are the Nikon Prostaff 8×42 below: https://procular.com.au/nikon-prostaff-7-8×42-binoculars/ and the Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 below: https://procular.com.au/carl-zeiss-terra-ed-8×42-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  14. Hi, which would be best Binoculars for me to watch an AFL game in the stands. I’m in my late Sixties with reasonably good vision. Thanks in anticipation. Graham

    1. Hi Graham,

      For watching the AFL we can recommend the Nikon Aculon 7×35 binoculars. They have an Extraordinary wide 9.3 degrees view means you can follow the fast moving action with ease. As the distance is not that great (less than 500 meters) the 7x magnification is perfect. The medium sized 35mm lenses are also a perfect balance between a clear, sharp view and compact/medium sized binoculars. They weigh 715 grams which is still considered a good weight for medium sized binoculars. Unlike other models at this price point these feature Nikon’s excellent optical quality. Details of the Nikon Aculon 7×35 below:

      https://procular.com.au/nikon-aculon-7×35-binoculars/

      These would be our favourite choice for watching the AFL or horse races. But if you want a pair with stronger magnification – i.e. that you can also use to see very distant objects from your home or while traveling for example then we can recommend the Avalon 10×42 PRO HD binoculars. They are larger than the Nikon but still very good size to take around. They have more power (10x) but not as wide view as the Nikon Aculon. Details below:

      https://procular.com.au/avalon-10×42-pro-hd-binoculars-black/

      We hope this helps. If you have any questions about these products or others please don’t hesitate to let us know.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  15. looking for glasses to see small buds forming on trees at around 50 /150 meters at around $500.00 what would you suggest

    1. Hi Ian,

      You will need binoculars that have a good clear image from a short distance (50m to 150m) and that have good colour reproduction when viewing shady areas of the tree. They also must be compact to medium sized as you will be holding them upwards – so lightweight is an advantage.

      You won’t need more than 10x magnification as this will give you enough detail and still wide enough field of view to spot the small buds in the first place. So our best bet would be a good quality 10×42 binocular. The Avalon 10×42 PRO HD binoculars would be an excellent choice in your case as they have a very clear image in terms of colour and sharpness. This is important because lower-end optics don’t tend to show separate bright colours in low-light (i.e. shade, forest etc.). You can read more about the Avalon 10×42 PRO HD binoculars below:

      https://procular.com.au/avalon-10×42-pro-hd-binoculars-black/

      They weight only 550 grams making them the world’s lightest professional level binoculars. They are also 100% waterproof/fog-proof and ideal for use with or without glasses.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  16. Hi I am looking at purchasing Nikon Prostaff 5 binoculars and I am not able to decide between the 8 x42 and the 10 x42. Apart from the magnification there appears to be small differences between angular field of view field of vision and exit pupil size. I intend to use these mainly for sport and was wondering if these differences would be significant to the untrained eye. Should I pick one over the other for any particular reason. For my purposes of sports viewing am I better to go for the greater magnification. Given the price difference is minimal I would rather go for what is going to be best probably in magnification unless the variances above are significant. To me they seem slight variances however from an expert perspective they may be large variance. I would greatly appreciate your advice

    1. As you correctly noticed the differences in both performance and price are very small. For sports the 10x allows you to see more detail and is better for long range. The 8x will show less detail but allows you to see a wider part of the field. Some people find that when using lower magnification binoculars (8x) it is easier to a more stable image. In the case of Nikon Prostaff 8×42 vs 10×42 there is not much difference.

      So if you want the better magnification and don’t suffer from specifically shaky hands we would lean towards the 10×42.

      Details of this model below:

      https://procular.com.au/nikon-prostaff-7-10×42-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  17. Which binoculars do you recommend for whale watching from the shore? I have heard 10×50 is the best and do any of them automatically adjust. We estimate looking at 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile at the whales. Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Tom,

      Nearly all binoculars have a focus wheel to quickly adjust the focus. Models that “auto-adjust” are available also (they are called perma-focus) but we don’t recommend them. Their quality is never as good as other binoculars.

      They also often have problem with the focusing feature, especially when used for shorter ranges.

      Regarding models. 10×50 will work good for watching whales from shore. But higher powered binoculars such as 16×50 or even 20×50 will work much better.

      You will be able to see further away whales and in much more detail. 10×50’s are more suitable for general viewing as they have a wider field of view.

      Here’s a list of most recommended high powered binoculars, each of these will work good for whale watching from shore. In particular the Nikon 16×50 or Avalon 20×50.

      Details below:

      https://procular.com.au/choosing-high-powered-binoculars/#binoculars

      Adam Murray, Procular
  18. Hi, I would like to know whats a good little compact binocular for watching a theatre production.
    Thanks, Helen

    1. Hi Helen,

      For watching theatre, opera or concerts basically there are two options – either get “opera glasses” or compact binoculars. Many people shy away from opera glasses because they usually have poor optical quality. And the ones that are of better quality are often too expensive for something that is only used rarely and not suitable for other uses (outdoors, travel, general viewing etc.). Other people just don’t like the look and feel of opera glasses. Compact binoculars on the other hand are probably a better option as they are of better optical quality for their price. They can also be used for any other use besides theatre/opera. We can recommend the Discovery 8×21 Pocket Binoculars for theatre. Mainly because of their small, lightweight folding design. Details below: https://procular.com.au/discovery-8×21-pocket-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  19. I have a pair of binoculars which are 10×42/6.0 brand Vitacon. I need something more powerful than these, would appreciate your suggestion. Thanks

    1. The 10x on your binoculars refers to the magnification (power). If you are after more powerful binoculars we have quite a few good options. Basically you should be looking at 12x to 16x binoculars. If you want even stronger ones such as 20x we recommend also getting a tripod for them as these are difficult to stabilise hand held.

      Here is a list of our most recommended powerful binoculars:

      https://procular.com.au/choosing-high-powered-binoculars/#binoculars

      Adam Murray, Procular
  20. Hi there,

    I’ve seen a pair of Fujinon binoculars that featured a compass & had a self-focusing facility; they were large and heavy with a rubberized coating & the user was an amateur whale watcher!

    The guy said he bought them online for around $600 – do you know what they might be?

    Thanks and regards

    1. Hi Paul,

      We are authorised distributors of Fujinon (FujiFilm) binoculars in Australia and stock all of their models. We are also the only ones that sell Fujinon binoculars online so it is very likely that the user has bought them from us.

      There are currently only two models of Fujinon marine binoculars on the market that feature a built in compass. These are the Fujinon 7×50 WPC-XL and the Fujinon 7×50 FMTRX-SX

      The Fujinon WPC-XL are their entry level marine binoculars. They are of good quality but are not rubberised. Note that the compass on this model is not too accurate in Australian waters as it was manufactured in China and not designed for Southern Hemisphere use. Never the less these binoculars are of great quality, very durable and excellent marine binoculars for their price. All details on this model are available here:

      https://procular.com.au/fujinon-7×50-wp-xl-mariner-binoculars/

      The second model with a built in compass is the Fujinon 7×50 FMTRC-SX Polaris Binoculars. These are probably the ones you were referring to in your email. They are rubberised and have a built in compass. They are military specification binoculars and of the highest standard in terms of light intake and optical performance. They are a heavy pair of binoculars as you already know. Ideal for boating and long range use when over the water. They are popular with marine personal such as Australian navy, surf life savers and others. We highly recommend them for any marine use. These are currently on sale- they were replaced by the new model Fujinon 7×50 FMTRC-SX2 (the website still states ‘FMTRC-SX’ but they are actually the new model: FMTRC-SX2).

      You can read all the details and order this model here:

      https://procular.com.au/fujinon-7×50-fmtrc-sx-polaris-binoculars/

      Note that all of our binoculars are delivered free Australia wide and come with a 2 years warranty.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  21. I’m interested in purchasing a pair of 10×50 binoculars for mainly night time viewing also a little day. Want to get the pros and cons on the brands/models, etc.

    1. 10×50 binoculars are a good choice for day and night view. But if you are mainly interested in astronomy we recommend larger binoculars such as the Meade 15×70 Astro binoculars.

      You can read all about choosing night and astronomy binoculars here:

      https://procular.com.au/choosing-astronomy-and-night-binoculars-the-complete-guide/

      And about choosing general use binoculars here:

      https://procular.com.au/general-and-travel-binoculars-the-complete-guide/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  22. Im am a asset surveyor for a power company .surveying power poles and the hardware on poles.I need a pair of binoculars that will suit .our poles range from 9metres to 12 metres high so i need a pair that suits in all weather conditions ,in winter when visibility is cloudy grey ,or sunny .What type would you recommend ?Cheers

    Glenn Warren
    1. Hi Glenn, the ideal binoculars for the job you are describing will need: 1. A close focusing range in order for you to focus successfully from 9 or so meters. 2. Large enough lenses to let sufficient light in when conditions are rainy or foggy BUT small enough for the binoculars to be lightweight. You will be holding them and looking upwards so we suggest 40-42mm lenses as a perfect balance between size and weight. 3. 8x or 10x magnification would work best as you are not spotting from long distances but will still enjoy good detail in the image. 4. Waterproof and fog proof – binoculars that were internally sealed with Nitrogen gas. These are the only real waterproof ones. — Conclusion 8×42 or 10×42 roof prism binoculars, lightweight and waterproofed. There are a few models that match this description. It is a matter of budget. Our most recommended ones for a good price would be the Avalon 10×42 PRO HD binoculars which are waterproofed and work great in all-weather, 550 grams, good quality image. Details below:

      https://procular.com.au/avalon-10×42-pro-hd-binoculars-black/

      Otherwise, if you want to invest in an even better image quality (and brighter in low light conditions) we have the Zeiss Terra 10×42. Details below:

      https://procular.com.au/zeiss-terra-ed-10×42-binoculars/

      Overall, both options would work fine for surveying power poles and the hardware on them. They are both fully waterproofed and fog-proof, good size and weight and will focus nicely from 9 to 50 meters. The Zeiss have a slightly brighter image but the Avalon 10×42 feature outstanding quality for their price range and will surely get the job done!

      Adam Murray, Procular
  23. Hi I am looking for a binoculars to use while trekking and also during our visit to Tanzania for watching migration of animals and during safaris. Need to light weight and not very expensive. Could you recommend one please. Thanks

    1. Hi Geetha, there are quite a few options for binoculars that are lightweight and not very expensive. In general binoculars come in 3 sizes: compact binoculars, medium sized and full sized. Compact ones are the lightest obviously and good for hiking but they have smaller lenses so are not the best ones for viewing wildlife. We would’t recommend them for Safari either. This is because of their narrow field of view. Medium sized are binoculars of 32-42mm in size. These are the best choice for nearly all uses as they are normally light and compact enough to carry everywhere while still have a nice, bright image. Full sized ones are 50mm or beyond and are good when you are viewing from a fixed location and don’t mind the size and weight. So in your case we would recommend medium sized binoculars on the compact side. 32mm to be exact. Best value ones and quite compact are the Avalon 8×32 Mini HD binoculars. Details here:

      https://procular.com.au/avalon-8×32-mini-hd-binoculars/

      They are the perfect balance between a smaller lightweight design, excellent image quality and a wide field of view. They are also waterproof, waterproof and fantastic value for money.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  24. I am interested in Nikon prostaff 8×42 for bird watching and similar. First purchase of binoculars.
    Do you have pro staff in stock now?
    What is the essential difference between them and the pro 5 ?
    Is there another suitable item between $250-$350
    Nikon monarch 5 seems a bit expensive for me but is it worth the extra money?
    Thanks for any comment you can make to enlighten me
    Max

    1. Hi Max,

      Both the Nikon Prostaff and Monarch 5 are excellent for bird watching. The only real difference between the Prostaff and Monarch is their physical design. The Prostaff have longer barrels while the Monarch 5 is shorter and therefore slightly more compact. Optics wise they are exactly the same so produce the same image quality. Have you considered the Avalon 10×42 PRO HD binoculars? We would say that the image quality of the Avalon 10×42 PRO HD binoculars is 90-95% up there with the Nikon models! In terms of sharpness, brightness and ease of focus.

      On top of that, they are lighter than the Nikon’s, more compact designed and very comfortable to use. So in many ways even better than the Nikon binoculars and sold at about half their price! The Nikon do have a slightly wider field of view but not that noticeable. You can read more about the Avalon 10×42 PRO HD binoculars, including a video, specs and customer reviews here:

      https://procular.com.au/avalon-10×42-pro-hd-binoculars-black/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  25. We have Jenoptik 8X30 wide angle binoculars which have become sticky and leave marks on your fingers where you hold them. I think that they may have been wet by rain while we were whale watching on the nullabor. Is there anything that we can clean them with to alleviate the stickiness/mess.
    Alternatively, I would like to purchase a pair of binoculars for my wife who often goes to live stage shows or the football. Can you advise of a suitable pair at a reasonable price.
    Cheers, Jimac

    1. Hi Jimac,

      Rubberised binoculars (with a rubber armoured body) can become quite sticky over the years. This is more common with lower-end binoculars that use cheaper material. Mid-range of proper waterproofed binoculars don’t show this kind of deterioration. If your rubbered armour is a thin coating for “soft touch” you can patiently scrape off the sticky parts of the layer with a soft scraper (finger nail). This will take away the stickiness. If it’s a thicker bump protection then unfortunately the stickiness will just get worse in time. There is no liquid or cleaning product we are aware of that can solve this.

      Regarding good binoculars for live shows, events, concerts and sport games (also applies to watching horse races) – The Nikon Aculon 7×35 is perfect for the job and will be an improved version of your old one. These are excellent quality binoculars with a very wide view and a clear, sharp image:

      https://procular.com.au/nikon-aculon-7×35-binoculars/

      We also have a good buyer guide explaining how to choose binoculars for sports viewing / horse racing. It includes some recommended models at the end of it. You can read this guide here:

      https://procular.com.au/best-binoculars-for-watching-a-horse-race/#binoculars

      Adam Murray, Procular
  26. I am searching a binoculars to use day and night. Birds watching, Viewing planets and night sky, suitable for eye glasses and water, fog, shock proof.

    Also a monocular.

    Can you advise? thank you.

    Dominique Bellonte
    1. Hi Dominique, if you go through the guides above you can find a-lot of info & recommendations on how to choose binoculars. Basically good specs for both day and star gazing are 10×50 binoculars. Any smaller than that and the binoculars won’t let enough light in so won’t be bright enough to see the moon or stars. On the other hand if you go with giant astro binoculars they will be too difficult to hold and stabilise for bird watching (without a tripod). So we would say that a good 10×50 pair would be your best bet. Regarding which one is a matter of how much you can afford to spend. We recommend the Olympus 10×50 which is excellent value for money and suitable for both uses. It is NOT waterproof but is weather resistant. Details below:

      https://procular.com.au/olympus-10×50-zoom-dps-i-binoculars/

      From the high-end range of 10×50 binoculars we recommend the Vortex Viper 10×50. Details below:

      https://procular.com.au/vortex-viper-hd-10×50-binoculars/

      This model has superior brightness and is also roof-prism design (straight tubes vs. the angles ones in the classic Porro-prism design). This design makes it more compact and lightweight. Optics wise it is also sharper and therefore the $500 price difference. But for the average user the first two suggestions will be absolutely fine. They deliver a very nice image and are a big step-up from your basic level binoculars. All three models above are suitable for use with or without glasses.

      Regarding a monocular, our favourite one within a good price range would have to be the Avalon 10×42 below:

      https://procular.com.au/avalon-10×42-wp-monocular/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  27. Hi, what are the best binoculars to see airplanes at night? From my house I can see both incoming and departing planes. The incoming are roughly 7kms away, although departing planes are closer. My current binoculars are 10-30 x 50 however viewing through them at night, I am unable to see the details of the tail as in which aircraft it is, which I would love to see. I really want to see far more detail but am on limited funds. Can you advise. Thank you

    1. In order to see such detail on planes from 7 Km and at night time you will need both high magnification and large lenses (65mm or larger). Large objective lenses will let a-lot more light in and allow you to see a brighter image at night. High magnification (15x and above) will help see more details from that range.

      Basically you have two good options: buy powerful astronomical binoculars or a spotting scope.

      We recommend these astro binoculars:

      https://procular.com.au/meade-15×70-astro-binoculars/

      Or spotting scopes:

      https://procular.com.au/telescope/spotting-scope/

      Note that it is a big scope so you will need a tripod.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  28. We are planning to travel to Canada & Alaska in June and would like some advice on a pair of compact light weight binoculars to take with us , what would you suggest?

  29. Hi, Can you please fill me in on the difference between the Viper HD binoculars and the Razor HD binoculars?

    1. Regarding Vortex binoculars. Every optics manufacturer has various binocular lines. Form entry level to high-end models. Vortex in this case offers quite a few options (perhaps too many even!) and all are aimed at the professional user such as hunters, birdwatchers and nature observers. Vortex Crossfire and Diamondback are their entry level binoculars and are actually very good quality and definitely good value for money. Vortex Talon is similar but with a different product design. Vortex Vulture binoculars are their mid-range with a larger, bulkier design and different materials. Good light intake but not as sharp and crisp. Vortex Viper HD and Razor HD are the higher end offering by Vortex. Both of these models represent their best lens coating and superior light intake and colour reproduction. Vortex HD is highly regarded by hunters worldwide mainly because of its high performance in low light. They are easily comparable to European brands in the 2-3k range such as Zeiss and Swarovski. Razor HD is according to vortex their “flagship” series. This series was designed to have better multi-coating on the lenses and therefore better clarity and sharpness than any other model. There are various marketing terms used to differentiate the models which we won’t cover here. But overall, these two models are very similar and there is no REAL difference to justify the price gap between them. We personally test and review our binoculars and often read customer and other reviews. Between Diamondback and Viper HD there is a noticeable difference but between Viper HD and Razor HD – not so much! We would rate Viper HD as a 95% performer vs. Razor as a 98%. This is a personal preference by simply holding and looking through both models.

      If you are viewing a specific binocular model on the Procular website simply scroll down and look for the title “Video Review”. We include the video demo from Vortex for nearly every binocular. You can also read our customer reviews to see how users rate the binoculars – these are also on Procular, scroll down and click on the tab “Customer Reviews”.

      We hope this helps. Unfortunately we are not certain Vortex themselves can justify their $500-$600 price difference!

      Adam Murray, Procular
  30. I’m looking for binolculars for my husband to take hiking. Size and weight are the issue here rather than exceptional performance as they walk for days on end. Could you please make a recommendation.

    1. There are few good models of compact binoculars that will work. Please have a-look at our recommendations fro compact binoculars below:

      https://procular.com.au/best-compact-binoculars/

      At the end of the post you will find a few good options that are both lightweight and affordable.

      The Discovery 8×21 Pocket binoculars for example is an excellent choice for hiking as they are VERY light, small but feature good performance. You can view the details and order this model here:

      https://procular.com.au/discovery-8×21-pocket-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  31. I would like to get the 10×42 binoculars, but I have read that it is much easier to use a x8 magnification than something higher, as it can make people feel quite nauseous at magnifications over x8, trying to keep the binoculars steady. Is this correct? We want to take the binoculars on outdoor walks and we are keen on birdlife…. I also find it interesting that despite the greater magnification of the 10×42, the price is not much different, which tends to point to the 8×42 being more popular.

    1. From our experience both 8×42 and 10×42 are pretty much equally popular. Stabilisation problems often occur with higher magnifications such as 12x and above. So with 10x this is not common. Most people will be able to hold and stabilise 10x nearly the same as 8x. So in that case we would not worry about 10×42 being hard to stabilise and definitely not causing nauseousness. – this is something that occurs with high magnifications and using poor optics. The main advantage of 8×42 is that they often have a wider field of view than 10×42. So you will be able to see a wider image and thus follow moving objects easier (this is why some bird watchers prefer them). The 10×42 on the other hand allow for a-bit more magnification and are more popular as all-around binoculars.

      We recommend 8×42 only if you will be viewing in confined or “bushy” areas or will often be following fast moving subjects. Otherwise we would usually choose 10×42 as you will enjoy more magnification. As you mentioned the price difference is not significant. We hope this information helps. You can also refer to our more specific buyer guides on Procular with some recommended 10×42 models to choose from.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  32. I have read your excellent guides and gone through the catalogue and narrowed the options down to either 8 x 42 OR perhaps 10 x 42 in the following models :-

    Monarch (either 5 or 7?) DCF
    Zeiss Terra ED
    Zeiss Conquest HD (also wondering about the 8 x 32 option in the Zeiss Conquest)

    We would particularly like to ensure that they are suitable for our 7-year-old son to use. He is an extremely enthusiastic birdwatcher, although he has not had a lot of experience with binoculars at this stage (our current pair are Bausch and Lomb Legacy 7 x 50). Ideally we would like something that is suitable for him now, but is also of very good quality that he can continue to use later in life as he will most likely end up in a job that involves wildlife survey work or similar.

    1. All 3 models you mentioned are very good choices in terms of excellent image quality as well as being truly durable, waterproof, fog-proof etc. So you can’t really go wrong with any of these three options.

      Just a few pointers to help with your decision (these are all from our personal experience with the binoculars and do not reflect any “up selling” of the products).

      1. For a child/teenager/young adult we would definitely recommend 8×42 rather than 10×42. The field of view is always wider i.e. easier to spot and follow birds. Eye relief is better and the binoculars are easier to stabilise. These are all important features for your son as well as any birdwatcher.

      2. Nikon Monarch 5 and 7 – The Monarch 7 is the newest model but both are excellent binoculars. The Monarch 7 are superior to the Monarch 5 in a few ways: They feature ED glass in their objective lenses that allows for a brighter image – in low light as well as in any condition. They are also shorter in design so more compact to handle (an advantage for a child/teenager). Their biggest advantage over the Nikon 5 is the wider field of view. For the Monarch 7, the difference will be noticeable and will result in the ability to see more and see it relatively clearly.

      3. The Zeiss Terra and Conquest HD. We would shy away from the Conquest 8×32 model. The 8×42 version allows for a better performance and you can really feel the difference there in terms of a wider and brighter image. Again, wider field of view which is very important for birding. The Conquest 8×42 would be the best ones and will serve him for years to come if he follows the path of birdwatching / wildlife observation in the future. But they are much more pricy of course!

      In terms of optical quality the Zeiss Conquest HD would be our best model, then the Monarch 7 and then the Zeiss Terra. All products are currently in stock and can be delivered within a day or two.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  33. Hi I like the Avalon 20×50. You have, Im going on a cruise boat and I think this would be the best to take advantage of the views from the boat? Also still light enough to take ashore to do shore tours. Also does the autofocus work and out at what distance?. Not waterproof, but rainproof in latest models. Seems a good price compared to others with these features .Thanks, John

    1. Hi John,

      The 20×50 are great binoculars indeed but unfortunately completely useless for watching from the boat. This is because you will be standing on a moving platform (any boat/ship moves even if you are 100% stable). This means that every little shake of your hand (boat) is also magnified by 20 times. For this reason nearly all marine binoculars are 7×50 i.e. 7x magnification with some 8x. We have a very good guide on choosing binoculars for a cruise, have a look here: https://procular.com.au/binoculars-cruise-holidays/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  34. I would like your advice please. I am travelling to the Arctic with gAdventures and would like a suitable pair of binoculars that are suitable for viewing wildlife there and also on African Safaris. I already have a 12×50 pair weighing 1070g (too heavy), an 8×30 @500g and an 8×25 (small and useless) but I do not understand the numbers. GAdventures are selling some Bushnell H20 10×25 waterproof, Perma Focus 10×32 and H20 10×26.

    Would any of these be suitable or could you recommend something better, lightweight and not too expensive please
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Kay,

      Thanks for your message. Firstly the numbers: 10×25 for example means 10x zoom and 25mm lenses. 25mm or 30mm are considered compact binoculars. 42mm standard size and 50mm (like your 12×50) are full size. The bigger your lenses are the brighter the image will be. This is important for Safari as you will often spot wildlife early mornings or dusk when there is not much light. In these situations your compact 8×25 or 8×30 will be useless like you said.

      Bushnell Permafocus – they are supposed to auto-focus so are good for watching sports where the action is too fast to focus. They don’t always work well – espcially if you don’t have perfect eyesight. They are cheap though. They auto-focus on long range so if you are viewing something close they can have a blurry image. Overall though they are good for the money.

      We recommend getting 8×32 or 8×42 binoculars. These are mid-sized so will get enough light in while still be compact enough to carry. This size is the most popular one. Birdwatchers and hunters go for these specs 90% of the time! (8×32 / 8×42 / 10×42).

      Best model we can suggest is the Avalon 8×32 Mini HD, very lightweight, good value for money and great optical quality: https://procular.com.au/avalon-8×32-mini-hd-binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  35. Hi, please tell me how far i can see using Zeiss terra ed 10×42 ??
    or whats better product for general use range from $800-$1000

    1. The Zeiss Terra 10×42 is probably our best model for that price range in terms of high optics and product quality. Your question is a good one. With binoculars it is not a matter of “how far you can see” because it would be like asking how far you can see with your eyes. The real question is how much you can see from a certain distance. This term is referred to as your field of view (FOV). So for example with the Zeiss 10×42 you will be able to see a field of view of 109m from a 1000m distance. So if you’re looking from 1 Km away you will see a 109 meters wide image. In general with these binoculars you will be able to for example identify a person from up to 2-3 Km.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  36. Do you have Helios PNB2 binoculars – new or second hand.

    1. Unfortunately we don’t distribute the Helios brand. A quick Google search tells us that they are not available anywhere in Australia – is that the case? Sorry we couldn’t be of more help. If you are after an alternative brand such as Nikon, Zeiss, Olympus, Vortex, Avalon, Bushnell, Fujinon or Bresser we stock most of their models. You can view our full range of binoculars here:

      https://procular.com.au/binoculars/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  37. thankyou for your great advice cheers

  38. I need binoculars for both hiking and birdwatching. What is the difference between them? Do I need special binoculars for bird watching?

    1. Birding binoculars would typically have less magnification as you won’t be spotting from a huge distance. They will have a wide view so you can find hidden birds in bushy areas as well as follow moving birds easier. Ability to focus from close range is a plus. Waterproof also nice to have. They will optimally have good quality optics in order for you to enjoy the beautiful colours and details of the birds. Since bird watchers use their binoculars for extended periods of time they will prefer relatively compact and lighter models. But still have a big enough lens to offer the quality and field of view as mentioned above. 42mm is the most common size for birding binoculars. 8×42 or 10×42 are ideal specs. Now, hiking binoculars – any birding binocular will be just fine for hiking. General travel binoculars are not used for extended times so they don’t always need to be top notch. The rest is the same as birding binoculars – nothing too big or heavy so 25mm to 42mm is ideal. If you follow our buyer’s guide for birding binoculars, every model recommended there will also be perfect for hiking:

      https://procular.com.au/choosing-binoculars-for-bird-watching-the-complete-guide/

      And if you need more advice on specific models just drop us an email. We are always happy to help 🙂

      Adam Murray, Procular
  39. THE BEST resource I found so far on choosing binoculars. Would you recommend 42mm or 50mm binoculars? they will be used mainly for watching the farm and a-bit of hiking too. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Mal – happy to hear that. That’s a good question. Basically both 42mm and 50mm are good sizes for binoculars as they provide enough light to come in. This results in good bright images when used anytime of the day and in any weather condition. Both are good sizes too because they allow a nice, wide view. The bigger the lens the brighter and wider the view is. The #1 factor when choosing between 42mm and 50mm binoculars would have to be size and weight. 50mm are considered full-sized binoculars so will give you a little brighter and wider view but will be heavier and bulkier due to the extra glass. If you will only pick them up for a 5-10 minutes at a time to watch the farm then 50mm would be the way to go. If you intend to use your binoculars for prolong periods of time (like bird watchers and hunters do) then 42mm could be a more practical choice. Here’s a few models that we can recommend:

      https://procular.com.au/general-and-travel-binoculars-the-complete-guide/#binoculars

      Adam Murray, Procular
  40. Hi, could you please advise me. I would like binoculars for horse racing, bird watching and for whale watching/ocean viewing from a distance not the beach. After reading other inquiries I am looking at Bushnell 12×25, Olympus 10×25, Bushnell 7×50 and Nikkon Aculon 10×42. Could you please advise which would be best. thank you

    1. For birdwatching as well as horse racing we wouldn’t recommend compact binoculars especially if you’ll also be trying to spot whales from a distance. We would have to say the Aculon 10×42 would be the best choice from your 4 options above. But we believe the Avalon 10×42 PRO HD binoculars would be an even better choice. They are not only lighter and better designed but also feature a superior image quality. You can read more about them here: https://procular.com.au/avalon-10×42-pro-hd-binoculars-black/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  41. Pls advise your suggestions for binoculars for looking at ships abt 2-3 ks away with and without price concern thanks very much

    1. We can give you a few recommendations. Basically you would require high power binoculars and the weight will not be too much of an issue. We would recommend the Avalon 20×50 or Aculon 16×50. Details below:

      https://procular.com.au/avalon-20×50-outpost-binoculars/

      https://procular.com.au/nikon-aculon-16×50-cf-binoculars/

      Note that these are also excellent for night view and star gazing due to their large 50mm lenses. On the downside they are chunky heavy binoculars. You can also see our currently top 3 high powered binoculars on the buyer guide here:

      https://procular.com.au/choosing-high-powered-binoculars/#binoculars

      Adam Murray, Procular
  42. Hi, I would like to buy binoculars for my partner for watching cricket, he wears glasses. The lighter and smaller the better.

    1. Hi Carolyn, if size and weight are your highest priority then we can recommend the Discovery 8×21:

      https://procular.com.au/discovery-8×21-pocket-binoculars/

      They are good quality binoculars. The Discovery 8×21 are VERY compact, light and fit in a pocket. For the complete buyer guide, info and more recommendations for sport viewing binoculars please refer to this page:

      https://procular.com.au/best-binoculars-for-watching-a-horse-race/

      Basically you need compact size binoculars with lower magnification (7x or 8x) and a wider field of view in order to follow moving subjects across the field.

      Adam Murray, Procular
  43. Just looking unsure as yet but thankfully you have made it easier to choose now thst i have read all the wonderfull information you have left on your web site

    Gillian bernobik
  44. Hi Natasha,

    We are happy to hear you are enjoying our guides and learning about binoculars. Regarding good hunting binoculars, we have just updated a new post specifically about the best binoculars for hunting. There are 5 models there that we recommend which should match your budget. Have look at the following post:

    https://procular.com.au/best-hunting-binoculars-the-complete-guide/

    If you scroll down the post you will find the short list of our best models.

    Adam Murray, Procular
  45. Dear Procular,

    The guides on how to choose binoculars are fantastic! I have been reading tons of info on your site and learned so much about binoculars. I am now trying to decide on the best binoculars to buy as a X-mass gift for my husband. Any recommendations? He is a hunter and always talks about getting a new pair. My budget is $800 max so it’s still a-bit hard to decide. Any advice for me?

    Regards,
    Natasha

  46. Hi, i need some binoculars for my dad to watch his horse race from the track and stands.What would u recommend please? something smaller i guess would be better,
    Thanks

    1. Hi Shelly,

      We have a guide for choosing horse racing binoculars. Have a look here: https://procular.com.au/best-binoculars-for-watching-a-horse-race/

      Adam Murray, Procular
  47. Very helpful guide on choosing the right binoculars. Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks.

    Stephen Lalon

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