Binoculars! Binoculars! Let’s talk about this wonderful tool. How boring our life would have been if there had been no binoculars. It helps to quench the thirst of those who want to enjoy the view of different things from afar.
Binoculars come in different sizes, colours and weights with different features and varying price ranges.
But the ones with good features and quality optics are not that cheap. This is what many of us think, but let me tell you that’s not true at all. We can find many premium binoculars with impressive durability, robust build, wide field of view, image with great contrast and true to life details at affordable prices.
Some of those are listed here.
The 7 Best Binoculars Under $200
1. Nikon 16003 PROSTAFF 7S 10×42
If you are looking for a solid build budget binocular with great crisp and clear optics in this price range then this pair of binocular is for you.
It weighs 1.6 lbs and is not heavy to hold in hand because of its ergonomic design. Therefore, you can carry it around with you for wildlife or whale watching, hunting, bird watching etc. Also, the rubber armor of this binocular provides a nice grip and also acts as a shock absorber.
The neck strap is comfortable which is a great plus point for long-term travels.
The 10X Magnification helps you see desired things up-close. The quality of field view is not compromised even when magnified because of an advanced optical system that consists of phase-correction coated roof prisms and multilayer-coated lenses. Phase-correction coated roof prism minimizes the loss of resolution and provides a high-contrast image whereas the multilayer-coated lens improves the light transmission and brightens the view. Also, the 42 mm objective lens diameter of this binocular helps in inviting more brightness.
This is a waterproof binocular and is fog proof because it is nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed. So you need not need to worry about its durability in wet conditions or any weather conditions.
However, the lens and lens caps are not connected to the binoculars and thus you might want to remain aware as the chances of you losing it can be high if you are someone who tends to place things randomly.
It consists of turn and slide adjustable rubber eyecups and thus adjusting the space between the eye and eyepiece is easy. Because of the long eye relief, both the eyeglass wearers and non-eyeglass wearers can use this binocular by adjusting the space for a custom fit.
2. Nikon 8252 Aculon A211 10-22×50
This is one of those binoculars at an affordable price that is worth the money. If you are looking for something worth your money’s value then this is the one. The image quality is arguable for the binocular in this price range.
Its’ ergonomic design is responsible for the lightweight and thus does not cause any discomfort to the users handling it. The rubber-coated armour provides a good grip and adds to the comfort of handling it. As this binocular is made up of eco-safe elements, it is weatherproof and is durable.
It provides a range of magnification levels from 10 up to 22 power and thus you can choose the magnification as per your taste or requirement. Adjusting the magnification is easy because of the fingertip reachable zoom control knob. When it comes to focusing, this has excellent focusing speed with which it can focus fast-moving objects too. Therefore, focusing and viewing are easy even for beginners.
It has turn and slide rubber eyecups that allow the viewer to adjust the space according to their preference. Therefore, viewing for an extended period of time is comfortable for both the eyeglass wearers and non-eyeglass wearers.
The presence of high-quality multicoated eco glass lenses and traditional Porro prism system provides a bright and clear image with enhanced depth of field. Bak4 prism and spherical aberration help in producing a crisp image with minimum image distortion. The multi-coloured anti-reflective coatings of this binocular provide a wide-angle of view.
This binocular contains a tripod mount which makes using this pair much more comfortable. When mounted, your arms can have a rest and you can focus on the view itself rather than worrying about shaky vibrations due to your fatigued arms.
The comfortable viewing good quality neck strap helps in carrying it around without the fear of losing it.
It comes with a rain guard and protects the rubber eyecups from water but it is not waterproof. Therefore, you might want to remain mindful of the weather before heading out with it.
3. HAWKE 8×32 Endurance Binoculars
If you are someone who likes travelling outside and loves enjoying nature then this is the best binocular for you. This is an award-winning binocular and so you can rest assured that you will be pleased with its’ optical performance. This binocular won the Best safari and travel binocular 2016/17 thus the outdoor enthusiasts will surely fall in love with this one.
The chassis of this binocular is made up of magnesium alloy rather than polycarbonate plastic. Therefore, it is much lighter in weight and easier to handle. But the built quality is not that robust compared to other strongly built binoculars and the feel on the hand is not that good as well.
The body is rubber-coated and is smooth but also textured in the parts that need grip to make the handling of this binocular easy. The rubber coating acts as a shock absorber and thus adds to the sustainability of this binocular.
This binocular is made up of ED (extra-low dispersion glass) lenses which is a big plus point in any binoculars. The ED glass lenses have been made in such a way that there is high transmissivity and low dispersion. Because of the low dispersion, there is barely any noticeable chromatic aberration and thus the images produced are bright with very little fringing. Also, the 32mm objective lenses help in adding to that brightness.
The phase-corrected roof prism of this binocular helps to minimize the loss of resolution which in turn results in images with high contrast. You can witness bright images because of the great light transmission due to the presence of fully multi-coated optics. This fully multi-coated optics reduces the loss of internal light and glare resulting in even light transmission.
The viewing with this binocular is easy because of the twist-up/down eyecups. The eyecups have an external diameter of 39mm which cuts out more peripheral light and provides a much clearer view.
It is of top hinge design and the easily reachable central hinge can be opened and closed to move the barrels further and closer together. This then helps in adjusting the distance between the eye-cups and match the inter-pupillary distance of anyone for comfortable viewing. Also, you can customize the amount of eye relief depending on one’s requirement with the fixed stop midway between the two extremes.
The large centre focus wheel which is placed in the easy reaching distance can be tuned finely to get sharp focus quickly and easily. After one or two tries, even making the large adjustment is not that time consuming at all.
People can have the different focus power for their own two eyes and thus focusing can be a bit problematic. But you don’t need to worry about that problem while using this binocular because you can easily adjust the difference in the focus of your two eyes with the help of the present diopter.
It is both waterproof and fog proof. Therefore, you need not need to worry much about its’ durability in harsh weather conditions and just enjoy the view.
Also, it is tripod adaptable and thus it can be stabilized when needed or when your arms are tired of carrying the binocular for long term viewing. The provided un-padded shoulder strap helps in carrying this binocular around while travelling. It also comes with a hand strap and therefore you can carry this binocular as you want. The straps are connected to the bag with quick-release clips and thus these can be removed quickly when needed.
It also comes with a beautiful binocular carrying case, an objective lens cover to protect the objective lens, an eyepiece cover to protect the eyepiece from rain and a cleaning cloth to free the lenses from dirt and dust. All these accessories help in maintaining the binocular and lengthen its’ lifetime.
4. Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars
This binocular is one of the best affordable pairs of binocular under 200$ for stargazing and bird watching. The magnification of 10x makes it a good choice for viewing things that are afar with great clarity. It brings the world closer and the distant objects can be viewed with realistic details.
It has a compact design and thus is lighter than those full-sized binoculars. Even though the compact design, it does not compromise on the optical quality and provides the image quality which is comparable to the ones provided by highly expensive binoculars. Therefore, you might want to rest assured if your choice is this binocular even over some full-sized ones.
The Bak-4 roof prisms closely overlap and thus the objective lens can line up with the eyepiece perfectly leading to the streamlined design.
It is fully armored with a thick rubber layer which provides the grip necessary for holding the binocular. This rubber armor not only provides the grip but also acts as a shock absorber and thus protects from external damages. It also has the framework of a durable magnalium.
The 42 mm objective lens increases the brightness and thus the view is brighter in comparison to the binoculars with smaller objective lens diameter. The multi-coated objective lens and eighteen-millimeter blue film eyepiece help in minimizing glare and light interference. This binocular helps in capturing even the smallest details and thus identifying a certain star or a certain species of bird is easier and much faster.
The Bak4 prism lenses present in this binocular ensure a crisp view. Along with that, multi-guard FMC coating provides a clearer and brighter view because of its’ anti-reflection properties.
It has highly adjustable twist-up eyecups and provides long eye relief. Therefore, both the eyeglass wearers and non-eyeglass wearers can use it easily according to their preference.
It is O-ring sealed and thus this seals the body of the binocular from dust and debris. It is also waterproof.
There is also a smartphone mount and thus you can connect it to your smartphone easily and take pictures of whatever you like as a memento. The smartphone mount is compatible both with iOS and Android phones which is really great. Also, it is tripod compatible. Therefore, if you want a stable view and are tired from carrying the binocular then you can rely on the tripod stand to do the required work.
The binocular comes with a beautiful carrying case and this binocular comes with a rubber lens cover- to cover and protect the lens, a cleaning cloth- to clean the lenses and keep it free from dirt and dust, and also a neck strap to carry it easily while viewing the natural landscapes, bird watching, hiking, hunting, watching wildlife, etc.
You are offered a lifetime warranty and lifetime technical support for this pair of binocular. Thus, you can invest in a pair of these binoculars without many dilemmas.
5. Celestron – Nature DX 10×42 Binoculars
If you are a bird enthusiast and enjoy watching birds (without disturbing them) in their natural habitat minding their own business then this is the best binocular for you. It is popular among birders because of its’ optical quality and durability. The view is bright with great contrast and also shows details in depth.
The body of this binocular is made up of polycarbonate and is thus durable. It is covered by a thick rubber coating and this protects the binocular from some external damage. The rubber armor also provides the users with the required grip for easy handling.
It is waterproof and fog proof because of the nitrogen purged in this binocular. Thus, you can take this beauty outside with you not worrying about the weather conditions.
The Bak4 prism in this binocular transmit light better and maintains edge clarity resulting in crisp and bright images. In addition, phase coating on the Bak4 prism lenses increases the resolution and contrast resulting in an even sharper view. The multi-coated optics reduces the internal light loss and glare, which in turn helps in maintaining the balance of brightness.
Not only are the targets afar, but this binocular also helps in seeing the targets close up with great details. The 6.5 feet close focus lets you enjoy the high-definition beauty of wildlife, plants, insects and so much more.
The twist-up eyecups present in this binocular makes it easier for the users to adjust the positioning of their eyes. Also, the multiple stops in the binocular help in adjusting it not only for the non-eyeglass wearers but even for the eyeglass wearers very easily.
This binocular offers a wide field of view and therefore, you will be able to focus on your target without moving your binocular.
6.5-feet close focus. This means you can see many more details of the birds you love to spot in your environment, and it also allows you to see close-ups of plants, insects, and more.
6. Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm Binoculars
Hunting is one of those activities which requires the use of binoculars. Without a good quality pair of binoculars, hunting is nearly impossible. So, if you are looking for a sturdy pair of binoculars for hunting then this is the one. Its’ ergonomic design, lightweight, clear view and ability to withstand any extreme environmental condition makes it a great choice for hunting. This can also be used for sports activities.
The coating of non-slip rubber armour around the whole body of this binocular provides the necessary grip. When going hunting, you have to run at times and a good grip is what is needed to keep binocular from dropping to the ground. The rubber armour not only gives a good grip but also acts as a shock absorbent and protects the binocular from any external damages up to a certain extent.
This binocular is made with rain-guard HD technology. The lens of this binocular has a hydrophobic and oleophobic coating. The hydrophobic coating on the lenses prevent the water from adhering to the glass lenses and the oleophobic coating on the lenses prevent any type of oiliness (could be from your fingers or food) from sticking to the glass lenses. Rather than adhering to the glass lenses, the rainwater, snow and sleet beads into smaller droplets and scatters less light. This does not obstruct the viewing and provide you with a clear image while you are focused on a specific target.
This binocular provides good eye relief and thus can be used by both the eyeglass wearers and non-eyeglass wearers comfortably. The 42 mm objective lens provides a wide range of fields of view and also facilitates good light transmission resulting in a bright clear view. One of the features of this binocular is the ED (Extra-low dispersion) prime fluorite glass. This glass gives the most detailed and amazing colour resolution by eliminating chromatic aberration and colour fringing. In addition to that, this binocular has fully multi-coated optics and Bak-4 prisms is PC-3 coated which enhances the resolution and contrast. Therefore, the object you are viewing is clear even in low light conditions.
Another thing notice worthy about this binocular is the ultra-wideband coating. This coating is customized for every lens element in the optical path. This coating ensures maximum light transmission resulting in optimum brightness and spectacular colour accuracy resulting in true colour viewing.
A rubber lens cover comes with this binocular which helps in protecting your precious lens. The comfortable neck strap makes it easier for the users to carry it around while travelling and wildlife viewing. If you don’t want to carry it around in your neck then you can opt to carry it in the carrying case provided with this binocular. The carrying case comes with a belt loop which makes travelling with this binocular even easier and comfortable. Also, there is a drawstring bag for storing this binocular.
7. Occer 12×25 Binoculars
If compact binoculars are your type then you might want to have a look at this Ocular 12×25 binocular once. This is a really great quality pair of binocular for an affordable price and is suitable for almost all types of activities like birding, stargazing, wildlife viewing etc. You will be amazed to see what features this binocular offers irrespective of its’ price.
The framework of this binocular is made up of ABS plastic. This plastic makes the binocular durable as it acts as a shock absorbent and protects it from any external damage. It is compact binocular, lightweight and can fit inside the pocket easily. Therefore, it is really easy to carry it around and use it for an extended period of time without tiring your arms. Also, this binocular is coated with rubber armour for better grip.
You get 12x magnification with this binocular. This magnification is really helpful in viewing the targets that are afar and thus it is favourable for birding. Along with birding, it can be used for various other activities like wildlife viewing, hunting etc. as this binocular offers excellent clarity up to 100 yards. Because of the wide field of view, you do not need to move your binoculars much to see things around.
The presence of premium Bak-4 Porro prism brings in the needed brightness and crispiness. FMC broadband coating on the optics reduces the internal reflection and in combination with Bak-4 Porro prism produces bright images even in low light conditions.
The eyecups of this binocular are adjustable and can be adjusted to suit any persons’ positioning of the eye. As the eye relief is long, this binocular can be used by both the eyeglass wearers and non-eyeglass wearers easily and comfortably.
However, a drawback of this binocular is that it is not completely waterproof and fog proof. Therefore, you might want to check the weather first before heading out with this pair.
Except for this drawback, all the features this binocular has and the image quality it provides for this price range are on par with many other highly expensive binoculars.
7 binoculars have been listed here but this does not mean that the above-mentioned pairs of binoculars are the only good binoculars in this price range. These are only some from among the lot.
People use binoculars for various activities and thus the binoculars are manufactured differently with varying features. While some binoculars are built keeping hunting in mind, some are made keeping birding, stargazing, sports watching etc. as a priority. The choice of binocular depends upon the people using them to enjoy their respective hobbies.
I hope this article was helpful for the binocular enthusiasts out there and I wish the fellow binocular lovers find the right pair for them.