Best Binoculars for Long Distance Viewing: Exclusive Guide
Have you ever been out in the wild, saw an animal from afar, and wondering what kind it was? Or perhaps you noticed a bird in the distance, a few yards too far away for you to identify it? These are things all outdoor lovers live to see. However, without a good set of binoculars, it can be almost impossible.
Whether you love hunting or birdwatching, binoculars make life so much easier for spotting and tracking long-distance targets. Luckily, we have done the legwork to find the best binoculars for long-distance viewing. Stay tuned for our results!
Spoiler Alert: If you don’t have time to read the whole article, don’t worry! We will tell you our top pick right now! The best overall binoculars for long-distance viewing are Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars.
Our Selection – Best 7 Binoculars for Long Distance Viewing in 2018
The Reviews – Best Binoculars for Long-distance Viewing on the Market Today
1. Bushnell PowerView Super High-Powered Surveillance Binoculars Review – Best Budget Buy
Highly rated for creating thorough and clear images
The Bushnell PowerView Super High-Powered Surveillance Binoculars are highly rated for long-distance viewing and are constructed with a non-slip rubber coating. This aids in creating durability and, should the binoculars fall, they will be shock resistant as well as waterproof!
The Porro prism lenses are highly rated for creating thorough and clear images, while the multicoated lenses will aid in reducing any glare that might be present from the sun. With this feature, the light transmission is high so you will have no problems being up close and personal with your target.
While the field of view is not the best at only 170-feet, these binoculars will still enable you to keep a target in sight at a distance of 1000-yards. Hunters and anglers will find this helpful, but bird watchers might have some problems. These binoculars are also rather heavy and this could be problematic for long-term use.
- These binoculars are virtually unbreakable.
- In both the rain and the fog I could still see.
- These are arguably the best binoculars at this price point.
- For more affordable binoculars that are basic for beginners, check out The Bushnell Performance Optics 133450C-DISC Falcon Binoculars
The Bushnell PowerView Super High-Powered Surveillance Binoculars are available at an affordable price. Great news for those on a budget! Finding such features from a reputable brand is generally more expensive. However, the inclusion of a limited lifetime warranty should give you more peace of mind.
- Made of the highest quality materials
- Cameras & Photo Binoculars
- Another quality Bushnell product
2. Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 Binoculars Review – Best for Glare
Small, lightweight, and compact design
The Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 Binoculars feature a small, lightweight, and compact design. They are constructed with a rubber body to add to the durability. These binoculars are also resistant to shock if they fall, but it is recommended not to drop them.
The Extra-low Dispersion(ED) glasses are unique to the Nikon brand and they have been patented for Nikon use only. They have a high reflection rating that reduces glare, and the phase-coated prisms help in low-light conditions as well. The lenses are also multi-coated to enhance the quality of the light transmission for clear images at long range.
The central knob is oversized and located in a prime position to make any adjustments that you need whilst using these binoculars. Additionally, eco-glass has been used and the included neck strap will help you when it comes to carrying it around for prolonged distances.
- The durable and compact design is easy to hold and carry.
- Besides being waterproof and fog proof, these things are even shockproof.
- Even a beginner can easily use them.
- The Nikon 6121 PROSTAFF Bino Harness makes these binoculars easier to carry and whip out in a flash!
- All MONARCH 5 binoculars are now built with...
- Almost an ounce lighter than its predecessor, the...
- Fully Multicoated Eco-Glass Lenses provide a high...
3. Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars Review – Best for Hunting
Best optics brands on the market today
Vortex is rated as one of the best optics brands on the market today, and the Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars certainly add to this statement as proof! While considered a “workhorse”, these binoculars also feature durable rubber coating that adds to the overall durability.
The dielectric lenses have been multicoated and this leads to some of the brightest and clearest images imaginable. The ability to resist glare and fog should not be an issue due to the nitrogen filled o-ring that keeps the view clear. They are quite functional in all environments!
Additionally, the field of view is one of the longest on the market today at 345-feet. This makes tracking easy, so bird watchers should have no problems keeping track of faster birds during take-off. The 16-mm eye relief makes them perfect for users wearing glasses.
The biggest downside is that adjusting the binocular’s focus knob seems to be a little tricky. However, once you have found the ideal settings, you will have no problems!
- Easy to carry and can live through drops.
- Fantastic light transmission when hunting.
- Great for any users wearing glasses.
- The Vortex Optics Solo R/T Tactical Monocular with MRAD Ranging Reticle is a more affordable option for hunters on a budget.
With a limited lifetime warranty, these binoculars do not seem as expensive as many people might think. They are ideal for long-distance viewing and they enable the user to keep track of animals and even birds in flight. These are highly recommended for bird watchers as well as advanced hunters.
4. Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 10×50 Binoculars Review – Worst for Eye-Relief
Really affordable and easy to use
The Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 Binoculars closely match the Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars. They too are designed from top quality rubber for protection of the outer coating! The ACULON also includes grip marks that will keep it from slipping out of your hands in wet conditions. This makes the binoculars easier to control.
The lenses are multicoated, leading to much better light transmission. The high reflective rating absorbs the light and keeps glare from being a problem. A large adjustable knob is placed at the top, and this will help when it comes to adjustments that need to be made for focus.
The field of view is a staggering 341 feet, making it easy for bird watchers and hunters to keep track of their targets while moving at a faster pace. These Nikon’s can be mounted on a tripod for more stability. This comes in handy since they are a little heavy at 31.7-ounces.
The eye-relief is the biggest downside to these binoculars and with an eye-relief of only 8.6mm, they might put some strain on your eyes. Those wearing glasses might have some problems when it comes to focus and should look for a better eye-relief.
- Extremely durable for the most rugged of terrain.
- The view is extremely easy to adjust, even for beginners.
- A wide field of view like this allows for easier tracking.
- The OP/TECH USA E-Z Comfort Strap makes a perfect accessory for this Nikon.
The Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 Binoculars are really affordable and easy to use. They might not be the best for prolonged use, but hunters and bird watchers should find them easy and comfortable to use whilst tracking animals. These binoculars should make a great gift to someone in the family who loves the outdoors.
5. Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binoculars Review – Best in All Weather
Easy to handle in all weather conditions
The Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binoculars feature a unique and stylish design that has been rubber coated for extra style and durability. With the additional grip on the sides, these binoculars are easy to handle in all weather conditions. Finally, binoculars that will not slip out of your hands in wet weather!
The BAK-4 prisms are highly rated and they have been multi-coated for greater light transmission. The H20 also has the ability to resist any glare you might be troubled with. The nitrogen purged o-ring will ensure no fog buildup is present. Perfect for all climates!
One of the best features is the massive 17mm eye-relief: ideal for those with glasses. These Bushnell’s can be used by virtually anyone and they offer an excellent field of view for tracking your targets. Bird watchers should definitely find this to be a great addition to their equipment.
While the central knob is smooth and easy to adjust, the biggest downside is the lack of durability in the neck strap. The neck strap feels a little flimsy, but it can be replaced if you find something more durable and comfortable.
- The build quality for the cost is incredible.
- Adjusting the eyepieces is easy and intuitive.
- Users with glasses will appreciate the eye relief.
- If you are looking for something smaller and more compact, check out the Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars .
The Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binoculars are ideal for users looking for something affordable and easy to use. They include a good lifetime warranty for peace of mind and the eye-relief makes them versatile and desirable for any outdoor enthusiast! At longer distances, these binoculars are really effective.
- Quality optics with stunning HD clarity
- 100% quality materials used and tested...
- Beautiful design and durability built to last
6. Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars Review – Best Overall Pick
Border close to HD quality
The Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars are some of the more expensive binoculars on the market. That is because they are constructed from top quality materials! Polycarbonate plastic is used for the outer coating to make the binoculars durable and rugged. This allows you to use them in all weather conditions and terrains.
The high-density optical lenses are enhanced by an anti-reflective coating that will resist any glare. The Viper offers great light transmission, leading to a top of the range imaging that borders on HD. Additionally, the eyecups can be adjusted easily for an effective and comfortable viewing experience.
The 319-foot field of view makes it easy to stalk your targets and track birds in flight. The Vipers are quite light at 24.6-ounces but can be mounted on a tripod if you need more stability. The eye-relief is around 16.5mm, giving users with glasses no strain on the eyes.
- These binoculars produce a crystal clear image.
- Worth every penny.
- Anyone with bad eyes will feel better with this eye-relief.
- The Vortex Talon HD 8×32 Binoculars are a great companion to the Viper. They work better for quick focus at smaller ranges.
The Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars are not only durable, but they come with a lifetime warranty to give you additional peace of mind. These binoculars might be really expensive compared to some of the others on the list, but the features are unrivaled. They are highly recommended, as you will never need another set again.
- 10x magnification and 42mm objective lenses, the...
- Dielectric, multi-layer prism coatings provide...
- A compact, rubber-armored chasis and armortek...
7. Vortex Optics Crossfire Roof Prism Binoculars Review – Best Deal
Affordable with high-end features
Last but certainly not least, we have the Vortex Optics Crossfire Roof Prism Binoculars. These are a little cheaper than what you would expect from the Vortex brand in general. Rubber is once again used for the outer coating to add to the durability and ruggedness. Unfortunately, it lacks the grip feature for wet weather conditions.
These Vortex’s are designed with multi-coated lenses and have the ability to offer clear light transmission. They are glare-resistant, which this is common for all Vortex binoculars. In addition, the Crossfire features a decent field of view for keeping your targets in your line of sight and spotting them with a simple scan of the area.
With an eye-relief of 15mm, they are ideal for anyone with eye problems and should not put too much strain on the eyes. They are lightweight and can be mounted on a tripod, but carrying them for long-distances should not be a problem.
- These are very stylishly designed.
- The lightweight and compact design make them easy to carry.
- High quality light transmission for dark weather viewing.
- If you are looking for a more compact companion pair, check out the Vortex Crossfire 12×50 Binoculars.
If you are in the market for something affordable with high-end features, the Vortex Optics Crossfire Roof Prism Binoculars are the ideal option. They still have the quality features associated with Vortex and also include a lifetime warranty for additional peace of mind. These binoculars are perfect for hunters and outdoor lovers.
- 10x magnification and 42mm objective lenses, this...
- A wide field of view and enhanced depth of field...
- Twist-up eyecups, a smooth center focus wheel, and...
The Buyer’s Guide – Choosing Binoculars for Long-distance Viewing: 101
The best binoculars are designed with great care. When it comes to long-distance viewing, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind. Here are the top features for selecting a great pair of binoculars for your next outing:
# Lens Quality and Coating
Unfortunately, we do not have control over the weather. This is where the lens coating becomes handy! The reflection from the sun might be troublesome, but a good quality lens coating will keep any glare out.
The quality also has an effect on the image you see. The top quality lenses like the BK4 Prism offer the technology to see better images. The best lenses ensure better contrast and even allow you to use the binoculars in low-light conditions!
# Objective Lens
On the opposite side of the binoculars, you will find the objective lens. Keep in mind the size of this lens is really important for long-distance viewing. The size will also determine the amount of lighting that can enter. With a larger size, you will have much greater visibility in lowlight conditions.
As a rule of thumb, we recommended you keep the ratio between the objective lens and the magnification at 5. That means if the magnification is 10X, the objective lens should be 50mm in diameter.
Magnification is probably the most important part of the binoculars. The further you want to see, the greater the magnification you will need. The most common options for magnification at longer distances are between 8X and 12X. This brings the image close enough for you to see details at a distance of 1000-yards.
# Field of View
The field of view is the area you can see when looking through the lens. For long-distance use, a larger field of view is crucial! It will also make it easier to keep track of your target! The lens diameter divided by the magnification will give you the exit pupil. This should generally be around 7mm for best use.
It is worth noting that binoculars with a larger magnification will have a smaller field of view. The optimal field of view for long-distance trekking and bird watching is around 300 feet or more. However, anything above 280 feet is acceptable.
One of the main things you should keep in mind when buying binoculars is the amount of time you will spend using them. If they are too heavy, you might become tired and your hands might start to shake. This could definitely have a negative impact on the image. Hunters should also consider something small and lightweight, which can easily be carried around.
The optimal weight of binoculars that will be carried for prolonged periods is between 18 and 28-ounces. Some brands even have binoculars as light as 17-ounces.
If you are someone with glasses, you need to look for optimal eye-relief. If there isn’t enough eye-relief, you might feel your eyes becoming painful or burning. Hint: the high-end brands have better eye-relief and won’t cause any real eyestrain.
Smaller binoculars have an eye-relief of 16mm. This might be fine for those without glasses, but someone with glasses should look for something over 16mm. Average eye-relief is gener
ally between 14 and 17mm as it takes some of the strain off the eyes.
High-end binoculars are expensive and no one is capable of buying a new set every time. However, decent durability should not be sacrificed. Here are a few features to look out for:
- Waterproof: Even if it starts raining, there may still have a few animals to look at. Binoculars should be waterproof to allow you to continue using them in tough conditions!
- Shockproof: Should they fall, you do not want the lenses to get damaged. This is where shockproof binoculars come in handy!
- Fog proof: If the binoculars are fogging up, you can’t see anything! That’s why all of the high-end brands are fog proof. Do not go cheap on this!
- Materials: The top binoculars are generally made from metal alloys or aluminum for greater durability. If you are looking for something more affordable, plastic is an option. Just remember they are not as reliable.
The Final Thoughts –
Understanding binoculars is not so hard once you have all the features under your belt! Now it should be easier to choose the oair that best meets yoru needs. No matter what you choose, we highly recommend all of these brands and products for the quality and the value they offer.
However, the Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars is definitely the best on the list. They offer you all the features needed for hunting and long-distance viewing. Not to mention they high quality lenses, durability, and eye-relief!
We would like to thank you for reading this article and we would like you to share your comments on these binoculars! Let us know in the comment section if you have ever used any of them and if we have missed any of your favorites!