The right pair of binoculars can make all the difference to your viewing experience, whether it’s for bird watching, hunting, or general landscape observation.
If you want to be able to see far away, you should try and make the investment in some binoculars that will stay with you for years to come and provide a good performance and long distance sight.
With so many binoculars out on the market, it can be really tricky to decipher the good from the bad. Thankfully, we’re here to pick out the weak from the strong and show you some binoculars that really are as good as the manufacturer says they are.
We’ve also written a useful buyer’s guide for you to peruse to see what makes a good long distance pair of binoculars and how you can choose the right pair for you.
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Best Binoculars for Long Distance - Comparison Table
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Best Binoculars for Long Distance - Reviews
Pentax have been creating high quality optical equipment for many years now, and the Pentax SP 20x60 WP Binoculars are a testament to their binocular creation abilities. These durable binoculars are made of good quality materials and have stellar optics to boot.
The binoculars have BAK-4 Prism and come with fully multi coated optics, and you can take it wherever you go with you due to its fairly lightweight design. The binoculars are entirely waterproof and fog proof too, so you don’t need to worry about the weather ruining all of your plans for your binoculars.
The binoculars work well for people who wear glasses with a whopping 21mm eye relief, and adjustable eye cups. Even if you do wear glasses though, you can use these without needing them as the magnification will make them work to a good effect. The binoculars are also fully adaptable to a tripod if you want to set it up somewhere and look out of them for a long time.
The binoculars are a good choice if you’re looking for something that can hold its own when you’re viewing things from a considerable distance and still provide a good image.
As the name Celestron would suggest, the Celestron 71017 SkyMaster 25x100 binoculars are ideal for those who want a chance to see the stars. You can quickly get out of orbit with these binoculars with their stunning visual quality.
If you want to piece together Orion with these, you’ll have no problem doing so.
These binoculars are, right off the bat, very large so a word of caution would say don’t try to hold these for long periods of times. We would suggest using them on a tripod while stationary instead as this is where they really shine.
That aside, these are by far one of the best sky gazing binoculars out there due to their huge 25x magnification. These could easily replace a telescope if you need them to.
The binoculars come with fully multi-coated lenses that allow you to see, well, as clear as the night sky! They have a good level of light transmission even in lower lights, and they come with a BaK4 Porro Prism design.
You should anticipate a stellar image and be able to see the stars in tremendous detail with this beast!
Nikon comes armed with an impressive reputation for creating optical equipment, and the Nikon 8252 ACULON is another fantastic set of binoculars in their range that really solidify them in the market as leaders.
This pair of binoculars is especially useful for hunting, with a whole range of fantastic features to make it an enjoyable tool to use. It weighs very little, making it easy to carry around and when you are carrying it around you don’t need to worry too much about damaging it when it falls as a result of the protective rubber armor that encases it.
They work well in most weather conditions, and they have a superb lens and image quality. They’re also easy to use with the zoom feature too!
The binoculars are very efficient in lower lighting and provide a good amount of magnification, and they even come with a tripod adapter if you wish to mount them.
The Vortex Optics Kaibab HD Binoculars are ones for the hunting enthusiasts out there. They’re very comfortable to use and carry around with you, and despite this they still come with a tremendous amount of magnification potential.
The images created by these binoculars are also fantastic, as they use HD extra- low dispersion glass that help to achieve a high definition image.
The design is fairly lightweight and slim, and they come encased in non-slip rubber armor so they won’t slip out of your hands too easily.
They have an average field of view and a lower eye relief so they’re not all that suitable for people that wear glasses. They can also mount onto a tripod if you have shakier hands. As a whole, they’re a high quality set of binoculars that any hunter would be proud to own.
These bad boys can really boast some high power! The Steiner Optics HX Series Binoculars are a premium level pair of binoculars that work amazingly for things like birding and outdoor use in general, but they’re primarily marketed as hunting binoculars for long range.
The binoculars have a fantastic 15 times magnification and a 56 diameter, so you can expect a high quality image even at the highest level of magnification.
The binoculars have a strong and stable grip due to the materials they’re made of and they’re weather resistant.
The binoculars can be easily mounted onto a tripod, and you can fold down the eye cups if you wear glasses. They have an excellent field of view and a 15.4mm eye relief. The only real downside is that they’re very expensive, but you’re getting what you’re paying for.
Best Binoculars for Long Distance - Buyers Guide
So you’ve seen our top picks, but how do we decide what makes a good pair of binoculars for long distance? There are so many different components that go into deciphering if a pair of binoculars is good or not, so we’ll narrow it down for you to make it simple.
Field of View
The field of view on your binoculars is how much you’re able to see without moving the head. A bigger field of view, then, means that you can see a much wider area without moving the head. This is something you’ll need to prioritise if you need to see things that move a lot.
Field of view is usually measured in feet per 1000 yards. Whether they’re big or small binoculars doesn’t matter as it varies in how big your field of view is depending on the pair that you buy, but binoculars with a larger field of view are usually much more expensive than normal binoculars.
Usually binoculars that have a larger field of view need a lot more optical power, hence the extra price.
Performance in Low Light
If you’re trying to get a pair of binoculars that work well for long distance, ideally you also need to be looking for a pair with a high level of light transmission so you can also view things in low light.
The images you get from the binoculars need to appear clear and not blurry. If your only intention is to stargaze though the internal light transmission and magnification will be sufficient.
Size and Weight
The size that you choose for your binoculars varies depending on the things you’re prioritising in your purchase. Are you planning on mostly being stationary when you’re using the binoculars, like for stargazing or bird watching?
Or do you plan on moving about a lot, like if you’re going sightseeing or if you’re going hiking? If you’re going to be mostly still you can get away with buying a larger pair of binoculars that will remain more stationary, and the larger ones generally tend to be a little bit more powerful than smaller ones.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on moving around a lot you ideally need a smaller, more compact pair of binoculars that you can carry around with you. Larger binoculars can become very strenuous if you’re doing an activity that requires a lot of movement like hiking, but if you get a pair of compact binoculars then you won’t have that problem.
It’s worth noting that while larger binoculars generally are a little more powerful, this isn’t necessarily always the case. You can get a lot of binoculars that are very powerful optically that are still quite compact.
When it comes to seeing from a long distance away, the magnification of your binoculars is absolutely paramount. Magnification works by increasing the distance that you can see on top of the naked eye.
So, for example if the magnification is 7 times bigger than the human eye you can see 7 times further away. If you’re trying to target something far away this is very beneficial. The more the binoculars magnify the further away you’ll be able to see.
Binoculars with more magnification can sometimes be bigger and so your hands may become more shaky holding them, as a result your hands may become unsteady. This will make the image a little more shaky as a result.
The other thing to consider is the lens. Usually binoculars will come with 2 numbers. Let’s use 10x50 as an example. The 10 represents the magnification that we’ve just discussed. The second number, the 50, is the objective lens diameter. The bigger this diameter is the more light the binoculars can let in. This is a pretty big deal, as it means it’ll make the image much brighter and clearer.
Both of these aspects then combine to make up the overall quality of the binoculars. The higher both numbers, the better optical quality you will get.
Just to complicate it a little further, some binoculars may come with numbers such as 20-30x60. This may look a little confusing, but to make it more simple this number is usually used on zoom binoculars.
This is called variable magnification, and it means the amount the binoculars can magnify when you zoom. Variable magnification binoculars are pretty cool for seeing further away, but it’s worth noting that sometimes they can provide images that are a bit lower quality and a little less clear the more you zoom in.
If you wear glasses, eye relief is a particularly important factor as it determines how far away your eyes can be from the eyepiece in order to see through the binoculars. Naturally, it’s going to be a little harder to get all up close and personal with your binoculars if you wear glasses as you’ll have your own lenses in the way. What a bother!
Don’t fret though. A lot of binoculars come with longer eye relief, making them more glasses-user friendly and so much more comfortable to use. If you wear glasses, you should really look for binoculars with a longer eye relief, 11mm at the absolute minimum.
Wouldn’t it be great if it was nice weather all the time? Sadly, the universe doesn’t work that way. For that reason, one priority you should have when buying your binoculars is how weatherproof they are. Of course, this will depend on the climate you’re in, but if it rains a lot or there’s more opportunity for the binoculars to get fogged up you should look at binoculars that are waterproof and fog proof.
Binoculars will often come with something called O-rings. These basically stop your binoculars from getting flooded in the rain, and have a handy extra benefit of stopping any debris and dust getting into the binoculars.
Check if the binoculars are waterproof overall before buying if this is necessary for you.
Usually, most manufacturers will put nitrogen in the chassis of the binoculars in order to make them more fog proof.
With this being said, we wouldn’t recommend attempting to drown your binoculars. It’s a little counterproductive. Most binoculars don’t work well when submerged under water, as you can probably expect.
Ease of Use
This is more of a criteria to consider if you’re new to using binoculars, but it kind of takes away from your enjoyment of an activity if you’re sitting there reading an instruction manual for a pair of binoculars for multiple hours.
You should make sure the binoculars are easy to use if you’re a beginner, as advanced binoculars can sometimes be a bit harder to master if you’re not used to them.
Having things like dials for modifications in easy to access places is also beneficial as it will help you adjust things easily if you need to.
Types of Binoculars
There are a few different types of binoculars out there to choose from, all varying in size. These are compact, midsize and full sized binoculars.
As the name suggests, compact binoculars are the easiest ones to carry around with you, and are particularly handy if you’re just out and about and suddenly spot something you want to see a little closer.
They work well if you’re going hiking or going to a sporting event as you can just bring them out of your bag with no trouble. Heavier binoculars can be a bit more cumbersome on long excursions, so this is your best choice if you don’t want to carry something that weighs a tonne on your hike.
With that being said though, compact binoculars sometimes have less powerful optics.
Mid sized binoculars are a good middle ground between the larger binoculars and the smaller compact ones. They have decent power but they can also be moved relatively easily, depending on the make and model.
These are your big power providers when it comes to optical ability. Full size binoculars usually come with more magnification and objective lens diameter, so you can expect brighter, much sharper images and you can expect to be able to see much further away with them. The downside is they’re harder to carry and can put a lot of strain on your body as you carry them, so they’re usually better for stationary activities like bird watching from your garden or stargazing. You may even want to mount them on a tripod to save you lugging them about.