Bird Binoculars

Bird Binoculars and Scopes – Types

Who uses what type of binoculars or scopes and why?

Binoculars for birdwatching need to be easy to hold and carry.

A wide field of vision helps to find birds in flight.

A zoom lens helps to identify the birds.


Characteristics and Features of Binoculars -

There are three basic parts to binoculars:

  • an objective lens
  • prisms (or mirrors)
  • an eyepiece lens

Everything else is extra. Or as some tough minded field naturalists might say “fluff”.

The quality of your binoculars is directly related to the quality of the lenses and prisms used to make them.

That is where your homework will come in handy. Learning how to look at the insides of binoculars, essentially from the outside is almost what you need to do. Checking the company. Talking with other birders. Trying them out. There are some really special techniques for testing binoculars in the store to simulate field action. But that is for another post. “How I decide whether I like binoculars or not.”



Reflections on Bird Binoculars

When I began this site I felt fairly knowledgeable about its topics and components.

You know how it is when you learn more of something? The more you learn, the more you know you NEED to learn!

It is like standing on the edge of a circle and looking INTO it to see what you do know and then turning around to look OUT from it to see what you now have yet to learn. THAT is humbling. And THAT is reality.

The next step is courage. To step forth with what we DO know and share it even if it is not the only way to understand things about binoculars.

You will know where I stand. Then you can decide where YOU stand.

The number and kinds of binoculars have increased through the seasons along with the complexity.

So to recommend the best birding binoculars might be different next season.

In addition, I will give you a short list of types of binoculars available on today’s market.

My list reflects my experience and level of technical know-how. So ask questions.


Today there is no special sequence for this list. That will come with the closer look at each one.

Just a gut level comment on a few of these binoculars which I have experienced in the field is enough for today. Steiner-Dream on. Zeiss-I like their optics. Brunton-I use these compasses! Leica-Cool. But I don’t own any. Nikon-One of my favorite cameras. Bushnell-My absolute favorite compact bird binoculars. Tasco-I grew up on these all purpose binoculars. Swarovski-I almost drool at the sight of these. Olympus- Minolta-Canon- these are all very similar and popular. Leupold digital-One of these days!


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