It is rare for whales to approach humans, so it is necessary to look at one from a distance if you see one swimming in the distance. When that happens, you will need a pair of binoculars.
The Internet offers many binoculars for watching whales from shore or land, each with its own advantages.
How do you know which is the best one for you? We’ve selected the top 7 best binoculars for viewing whales up close from over a dozen options.
Let’s get started!
At a Glance Overview – Top 3 Whale Watching Binoculars
- Magnification: 14x
- Objective Lens: 40mm
- Weight: 4 lbs
- Magnifcation: 10x
- Weight: 2.25 lbs
- Objective Lens: 50 mm
- Magnification: 8x
- Objective Lens: 42 mm
- Weight: 2 lbs
Best Binoculars For Whale Watching Comparison Table
How To Choose The Best Whale Watching Binoculars
When you’re out and about to find the perfect pair for your adventure, you might come across a number of brands and products with unique features and attributes that can confuse you. Well, that’s why we’ve assembled this buyer’s guide to help you understand the most important aspects of a whale-watching binocular before you make a purchase.
Let’s get right into it!
The primary job of a binocular is magnification. While you may be tempted to get a binocular that offers the highest magnification, most people often end up regretting afterward.
That’s because higher magnification results in dimmer and shakier images. In fact, too much magnification can actually end up rendering a binocular useless.
However, not all high magnification binoculars are bad. Binoculars that come with higher magnifications usually have a tripod mount which lets you place your binoculars on a stable surface so it doesn’t shake as much.
But let’s be honest here- whale watching is done on a moving boat, ship, or yacht, mounting a tripod isn’t a great option.
What else? Well, these days binoculars come with advanced image stabilization systems that automatically decrease the shakes and movements of binoculars and keep your view clean and sharp.
But it’s worth mentioning that these binoculars usually cost higher for the added tech inside of them.
So, unless you’re going to be getting one with an image stabilization feature or have really steady hands, you’re better off sticking with magnifications below or equal to 10x.
Waterproofing and Fog-proofing
Since you’re going to be around water most of the time, your binoculars need to be fully waterproof and fog-proof. Binoculars usually have an O-ring seal between lenses and all mechanical joints to prevent any water leakage.
Some binoculars might be nitrogen-filled while others filled with superior argon gas, but both work well in preventing internal fogging. Some may also include an extra layer of lens coating to prevent external fogging as well.
So no matter which one you get, don’t forget to ensure your binoculars are waterproof and fog proof.
Size and Weight
When you’re choosing a pair of binoculars, its size and weight are also things that you need to consider. If a binocular is heavy and bulky, it can be tough to hold it for too long.
Bulkiness also transfers to taking too much space in your backpacks and hands when you’re trying to get a good grip.
However, there can be people who don’t mind the big size. And in most cases, a bigger size often converts to better lenses and overall better optical performance.
Field of View
Another important aspect to keep in mind is the field of view. Generally, a wider field of view is considered better for activities such as whale watching, birding, hunting, and hiking.
But to get a wider field of view, you have to sacrifice the magnification power of binoculars. Meaning that higher magnification results in a narrower field of view and vice versa.
A narrow field of view means you’ll have to be moving your binoculars a lot to keep a moving object in your view. So it’s better to find a binocular with a comparatively wider field of view.
Binoculars usually come with a great warranty period of 30 years and as companies like to call it ‘Limited Lifetime Warranty’. This is great for the customer as they will repair your binoculars for absolutely free even after 25 years of extensive use.
Although binos with lifetime warranties are relatively more expensive, the extra few bucks are worth what you’re getting in return.
7 Best Binoculars For Whale Watching From Shore or Land
These binoculars have been compared with their pros and cons, as well as their features, in order to determine which one is best for whale watching. In case you don’t want to wait, here’s what we decided.
Our recommendation would be to choose Fujinon Techno Stabi if you’re looking for the best performance and magnification power. You will likely be most comfortable with the 14x magnification.
Due to the fact that this product is quite expensive compared to others, we decided not to rank it first. The Canon Fujinon techno is, however, well worth the money if you are willing to spend a lot of money.
1. Best Value Whale Watching Binoculars – Nikon 7245 Action 10×50
The Nikon 7245 comes with an exclusive price and is one of the best binoculars for whale watching.
Featuring an ergonomic body design best suited for extended viewing in marine environments, the Nikon 10×50 Action Extreme ATB binoculars are among the best binoculars you can get for whale watching.
Equipped with superior BaK4 high index prisms, these binoculars offer bright, crisp, and color-accurate images.
Additionally, the wider eye-relief and click-stop twist-out eyecups make it comfortable for people even with glasses to look through the lenses for longer periods without eye strain.
The Action Extreme is Nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed for maximum fog and waterproofing so your whale watching adventure doesn’t get ruined by anything.
They are also rubber coated on the outside which not just offers drop protection but also gives you a non-slip grip even when splashed by seawater.
- BaK4 High Index Prisms
- Long 17.2mm eye relief
- Click-stop twist-out eyecups
- Nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed
- Lead and arsenic-free Eco-Glass
Product dimensions: 7.0 x 7.7 x 4.2 inches | Weight: 36 oz | Close distance focus: 23 Feet | Magnification: 10x |Field of View: 341 feet/ 1000 yards | Special features: Waterproof, fog proof, and lifetime warranty
Our Verdict on Nikon 10×50 Action Extreme All-Terrain Binoculars
Delivering remarkable optical and mechanical performance in addition to the fully waterproof and fog proof features, the Nikon 10×50 Action Extreme is our choice of whale watching binoculars also because of how affordable it is.
It is a little heavy but it wouldn’t hurt your viewing experience by much.
2. Absolute Beast Whale Watching Binoculars – Fujinon Techno Stabi 14×40 Image Stabilization
The Fujinon Techno Stabi binoculars from Fujifilm boasts an amazing optical performance packed in a compact and ergonomic body.
With a magnification power of 14x and an inbuilt gimbal technology, these binoculars offer up to 5 degrees of image stabilization which can keep your image constantly stabilized and free from shakes.
These binoculars also feature Fujifilm’s patented Electron Beam Coating which offers high transmittance to keep your images brighter and clearer than other options of similar magnification.
You also receive a rugged military-specification carrying case made from hard plastic to carry your Fujinon binoculars around.
Additionally, you also get a flotation strap that attaches to the side of your binoculars and lets the binoculars hang on just one hand, and also prevents accidental slips and falls.
- 5 Degrees Image Stabilization
- Compact and ergonomic design
- 14x high magnification
- Patented EBC lens coating
- Military-specification tough carrying case
Product dimensions: 7.3 x 6.4 x 3.1 inches | Weight: 45.8 oz | Close distance focus: 16.4 Feet | Magnification: 14x| Field of View: 210 feet/ 1000 yards | Special features: Waterproof, fog proof
Our Verdict on Fujinon Techno Stabi 14×40 Image Stabilization Binoculars
Boasting an optical performance like no other thanks to their lens technology and image stabilization system, the Fujinon TS1440 is an ideal choice for whale watching. However, its price is quite high which led us to drop its rank. But if you’re a dedicated whale watcher and want the best binoculars regardless of their price then these are the perfect pair for you.
3.Value For Money Whale Watching Binoculars – Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof
This Binocular is also one of the best binoculars for whale watching, and also it comes at an affordable price.
Designed with waterproofing and marine conditions in mind, the Bushnell H2O 8×42 binoculars are great for whale watching.
These binoculars are nitrogen-purged to prevent internal fogging and O-ring sealed to withstand extreme weather conditions.
Compared to most marine binoculars of the same magnification, Bushnell H2O has a wider field of view to cover more of the scenery within a single frame.
And working in combination with the BaK4 Porro prisms, these binos deliver great optical performance that you can depend upon for marine activities, hunting, birding, stargazing, and more.
- BaK4 Porro prisms
- Nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed
- Wide field of view
- 17mm eye-relief
- Twist-up eyecups
Product dimensions: 7.4 x 5.5 x 1.96 inches | Weight: 27.2 oz | Close distance focus: 18 Feet | Magnification: 8x | Field of View: 410 feet/ 1000 yards| Special features: Waterproof, fog proof, and lifetime warranty
Our Verdict on Bushnell H2O 8×42 Binoculars
Although not the widest of the bunch, this binocular offer a pretty wide field of view and great optical performance for the price you’re paying.
And thanks to the O-ring seals, you can comfortably use them for your whale watching adventure no matter how bad the weather gets.
4.High Specs Whale Watching Binoculars – Canon 15×50 Image stabilized All-Weather
Whether you’re on a sports event or on a boat watching whales and dolphins, the Canon 15×50 Image Stabilization binoculars are a perfect pair to zoom in and enhance your viewing experience.
With an advanced built-in image stabilization system, these binoculars suppress shakes and movements when you’re trying to get comfortable views in extreme marine conditions.
Moreover, longer eye relief offers comfort even for people with eyeglasses. The featured ergonomic design makes these easy to hold so that you can watch mesmerizing views for a longer period of time without any tiredness.
The Canon Image Stabilization binoculars are fitted with the Porro II prism, an anti-fog lens to provide fair, distortionless, and color-accurate views.
They are also exteriorly coated with rubber armor for reducing slips and increasing protection from extreme weather conditions.
- Built-in Image Stabilization
- Long 15mm eye relief
- Rubber coated exterior
- Fair and distortionless views from edge to edge
- Anti-fog lens
Product dimensions: 6.0 x 7.6 x 3.2 inches | Weight: 41.6 oz | Close distance focus: 19.7 Feet | Magnification: 15x | Field of View: 282 feet/ 1000 yards | Special features: Waterproof, fog proof, and lifetime warranty
Our Verdict on Canon 15×50 Image Stabilization Binoculars
With a huge magnification power and an advanced Image Stabilization system, the Canon 15×50 IS binos offer a crisp and sharp viewing experience even when your vessel is constantly moving with the waves of the sea.
Although the price tag can be a little overwhelming to some, the optical excellence it delivers and premium viewing experience are worth every penny you’re paying.
The Sightron Siibl832 is another best binocular to purchase for whale watching. It has Great built quality based on a Japanese company that is best known for its product and one of the best optics manufacturers.
The Sightron SIIBL832 8×32 Binocular with a lower magnification ensures a wider field of view with an extended scene in a single frame.
These are filled with nitrogen gas to avoid fogging and O-ring sealed to withstand extreme marine conditions maximizing your comfort for whale watching.
Featured with the fully multi-coated lens, Sightron SIIBL Binoculars offers greater accuracy of the image from edge to edge with an optimum light permit.
With a long 17.5mm eye relief and twist-up/down eyecups, these binos make it more comfortable to look for both people with and without eyeglasses.
You are also provided with a carrying case, neck strap, and lens covers to give protection for your binocular while viewing in fluctuating marine environmental conditions.
- Twistable eyecups
- Long 17.5mm eye relief
- Multi-coated lens for a maximum light permit
- Nitrogen filled
- Phase corrected optics
Product dimensions: 5.5 x 5 x 1.5 inches | Weight: 19.8 oz | Close distance focus: 16.4 Feet | Magnification: 8x| Field of View: 420 feet/ 1000 yards | Special features: Waterproof, fog proof, and lifetime warranty
Our Verdict on Sightron SIIBL 8×32 Binoculars
With high-quality materials used, waterproofing, amazing image visuality, and also greater performances in uncertain environmental conditions, Sightron SIIBL832 binoculars is one that you’ll want to use every day.
And thanks to the lifetime warranty that the manufacturer provides, this binocular will last you for decades to come.
6. Budget Whale Watching Binoculars – Nikon 7239 Action 7×50 EX Extreme
This binocular is also one of the best binocular for watching whales. This could be more of budget binoculars for lots of people. Whenever you want to experience a seamless extended viewing, you can go for this binocular.
This can also be used for astronomical viewing purposes. Black padded soft nylon case comes with it that has a single strap loop for transportation purposes.
It is one of the brightest binocular available in the market. The construction of this binocular is built well. It is very easy to handle and this binocular is not that heavy to cause arm strain.
As compared to its competitors, optical coating are superior. Has velcro closure to secure the cases cover for the binocular.
The unique twist-out eyecup is specially designed for the glass wearer to operate a better and long eye-relief. For a non-grip experience, this has a built-in rubber armor which is very good for marine-related activities.
It comes with a BAK-4 prism which delivers a high-quality refractive index that helps for sufficient light transmission for bright and vivid images.
Due to its multi-coating design and the Porro prism, The surface of the lenses becomes reflective, and hence the total internal reflection occurs, and thus, it gives a correct image orientation.
It has a new body style that provides unparalleled strength and ruggedness in a package that is comfortable to carry all day.
With rugged rubber armor, it provides durability and a firm grip even in the worst conditions. Nikon guarantees every ATB to be 100 percent waterproof and fog proof.
It also has a dielectric high-multilayer prism coating which leads to getting brighter, sharper colors, crisp, and drastically improved low-light performance.
Also, it has a twilight factor which increases the resolution of the images. It comes with a tripod mount so that you could make it stand for steady performances. Further, it can survive shock when falls from a distant height.
7. Whale Watching Binoculars- Wingspan Optics Nature Pro
This binocular is specially designed for whale watching or any outdoor activities that require bringing objects closer to focus.
The Wingspan Optics WideViews takes a different approach to whale watching. Offering a lower magnification power of 8x but focusing on providing an extremely wide field of view, these binoculars can deliver up to 430 feet at a thousand yards.
That means, these binos can not only zoom in on your target but also fit more in a single image.
How about looking at some of the best automatic focusing binoculars.
Featured with high-grade phase-corrected multi-coated optics and superior BaK4 high index prisms, the Wingspan WideViews binoculars deliver sharp, clear, and HD images with very little color distortions.
Additionally, these binoculars also have a very small close focus distance of just 6.5 feet so you can see closer objects clearly as well.
- Phase-corrected multi-coated optics
- BaK4 high index prisms
- Extreme field of view
- 2-M close focus distance
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Product dimensions: 5.75 x 5 x 2 inches | Weight: 22 oz| Close distance focus: 6.5 Feet| Magnification:8x | Field of View: 430 feet/ 1000 yards| Special features: Waterproof, fog proof, and lifetime warranty
Our Verdict on Wingspan Optics WideViews 8X42 Binoculars
Although designed for bird watching, these binoculars stand well when you’re on an adventure through the seas.
With a fully water and fog-proof build, sharp and clear optics, and an affordable price tag, these binoculars are great alternatives to expensive whale watching binoculars.
8. Cheapest Whale Watching Binoculars- Aurosports are folding 10×25
Are you looking for a compact, lightweight, and portable binocular for your bird and whale watching adventures? Then, the Aurosports 10×25 Folding binocular is the best one for you.
Compared to other binos, this binocular is small, light, foldable, and easy to carry. Suitable for all ages, the Aurosports compact binoculars enhance your experience whether you’re watching birds, whales, concerts, or outdoor sports.
They also feature BaK4 Porro prisms and the multi-coated lens that permits higher light transmission to display brighter and clearer visuals for you to enjoy your view to the fullest.
- BaK4 Porro prisms
- Night vision
- Compact and foldable
- Multi-coated lens
- Wide 362 feet field of view at 1000yards
Product dimensions: 3.70 x 2.10 x 3.60 inches | Weight: 12 oz | Close distance focus: 9.8 Feet | Magnification: 10x | Field of View: 362 feet/ 1000 yards | Special features: Waterproof, fog proof, and lifetime warranty
Our Verdict on Aurosports Folding Binoculars
With a wider field of view and great image clarity at an affordable price, the Aurosports Folding Binos offer everything you want from compact and portable binoculars. These handy binoculars are suitable for both adults and kids and are comfortable to carry.
We declare the Nikon 7245 Action 10×50 binocular for whale watching to be the winner out of the 7 products reviewed.
If you have the money, get the obvious one. Our recommendation is to go for Canon’s 15×50 Image stabilized. In addition, Fujinon Techno Stabi 14*40 also performs comparatively similarly at a lower price.
This was a full guide on the best binoculars for whale watching.
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