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The Binocular Advisor

Binocular Picks
for Every Price Range

by Michael and Diane Porter

Diane PorterMichael PorterBelow are our personal choices for the best binoculars, from the least expensive to the ultimate high end optics.

Feel free to give us a call at 800-779-7256. You can also order online at the Birdwatching Dot Com Store.

UNDER $200

Under $100

Eagle Optics Shrike

Eagle Optics Shrike

The least expensive waterproof, good binocular. Lots of schools order these. Free Lower-48 shipping.

Read our review!

$110 - $130

Papilio Binocular

Pentax Papilio

Focuses down to 18 inches! Great for butterflies, and fabulous for hummingbirds.

Read our review!


Opticron Oregon

Opticron Oregon 8x42

A nice, standard, full-sized binocular at an affordable price. Excellent eye relief for eyeglasses.



Alpen Wings Binocular

Alpen Wings Compact

Tiny thing weighs only 8 oz. and fits in your pocket. Great for travel.

Read our review!

UNDER $400



Vortex Diamondback

All new in 2016. First place in comparative review
Free Lower-48 shipping.

See our review.

$280 - $330


Nikon Monarch 5

One of the most popular binoculars of all time. A classic.
Free Lower-48 shipping.

See our review.


Vanguard Endeavor ED

Vanguard 8x32
Endeavor ED II

We think it's outstanding. Light, compact, and bright, with excellent optical quality. A real pleasure to use.
Free Lower-48 shipping.

$400 - $450

Zeiss Terra

Zeiss Terra

If you want to feel the quality of German-made, Zeiss optics at a moderate price, we recommend the 8x42 Terra. Light weight and sharp.
Free Lower-48 shipping.

UNDER $900

$549 - $579

Opticron Verano

Opticron Verano

We like the ergonomic, open-bridge design. Wrap your fingers around the barrel. Isn't it comfortable? High optical quality.
Free US shipping.

See the details.


Vortex Viper

Vortex Viper HD 8x42

We love this binocular! Excellent optical quality. moderate price. Free US shipping.

Read our review.

$750 - $899

Leica Compact Ultravid

Leica Ultravid Compact

Leica's optically superb tiny compact works with glasses. One of the best compact binoculars. Free US shipping.

Read our review.

$819 - $879

Swarovski CL Pocket

Swarovski CL Pocket

First pocket binocular that performs like a mid-sized. I (Diane) sometimes carry one in place of my regular full-size binocular.
Free US shipping.

See our review.


Swaro Companion
$999 - $1089

Swarovski CL Companion

Swarovski CL Companion

Swarovski's new, lower priced binocular. Extremely compact, it's great for travel. Free US shipping.

Available in 8x30 and 10x30.

Leica Trinovid 42mm
$1449 - 1499

Leica Trinovid

Leica Trinovid 42

Virtually the same optical quality as the Leica Ultravid. Free US shipping.

In 8x42 and 10x42.
Read our review.

Zeiss Conquest HD
$900 - $1000

Zeiss Conquest HD

Zeiss Conquest HD

Full-sized, German-made Zeiss binocular for under $1000. A best buy. Free US shipping.

8x42  10x42
8x32  10x32

Alpen Rainier HD ED

Alpen Rainier HD ED

Alpen Rainier

Alpen's top-of-the-line binocular. HD (high-definition) ED (Extra-low Dispersion Glass) delivers great clarity.

Also comes in 10x42. ($1157)


$1180 - $1200

Vortex Razor HD

Vortex Razor HD

We tested the Vortex Razors against the most expensive binoculars and found them very close in optical quality. Open-bridge design is comfortable and easy to hold in one hand.
Free US shipping

normally starting at $2199 but July 1-Aug 15, 2015:

$1979 - $2829


Swarovision EL

Unsurpassed optical quality. Open-bridge, one-hand-use design.
Free US shipping.

Read our review!

$2600 - $2650

Zeiss Victory ST

Zeiss Victory SF

New from Zeiss. Some say it's the best birding and wildlife-observing binocular in the world. Now available.

Read our review!

$2399 -$2599

Leica Ultravid

Leica Ultravid HD Plus

Leica is known for its brightness and resolution. We especially like the 8x42 model.
Free US shipping.

Read our review!

All Binoculars

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