Birdwatching Dot Com

Birding Order Desk










Sign up for our FREE Email Newsletter

The Binocular Advisor

by Michael and Diane Porter

Michael PorterDiane PorterAnswers to questions from real people with real questions about how to choose a binocular.

Situation: Is there a mid-sized (32mm) binocular that works well with glasses? For a reasonable price, I mean?

Advice: If you wear glasses, you need a binocular with at least 16mm of eye relief. (Many 8x32 binoculars have less than 16mm of eye relief and do not let a glasses wearer see the whole picture.)

Here are two 8x32 binoculars that each have 16mm of eye relief and work well with most eyeglasses. Starting with the least expensive.

Crossfire 8x32The Vortex Crossfire 8x32 is a good, inexpensive, waterproof binocular. It's made in the roof-prism design, like most high-end binoculars. It's light weight (17 ounces), and it has decent optical quality. Price is $99.99.

Vortex Viper 8x32The Vortex Viper 8x32 is a superb mid-sized binocular that works great with eyeglasses. This is one of our favorite binoculars. It's made with extra low-dispersion glass, which helps explain its great optical quality. Very comfortable to hold and to use. Price is $559.

Swarovision EL 32mmBest of all, the Swarovski Swarovision 8x32 has superb optical quality and 20mm of eye relief. The 10x32 model is extremely unusual for also having 20mm of eye relief. See Michael and Diane's complete review of this binocular here. Price is $2099 - $2179.

Text and photos copyright 2012 by Michael and Diane Porter.



Table of Contents