For viewing birds, wildlife and mountains late in the afternoon or early in the evening, binoculars that have large light gathering capacity is critical. When looking at binoculars, the first number refers to the magnification, and the second number to the size of the opening at the front of the binoculars. The larger the number, the better it will work in low light. For instance, an 8x42 binoculars with give a brighter image than an 8x25 binoculars, even though the magnification factor is the same.
Nikon Monarch ATB 10x42
The Nikon Monarch ATB 10x42 ($429), are waterproof, shockproof and fogproof, and backed by Nikon's lifetime guarantee. In addition to the wide exit diameter lens, the phase coating improves both brightness and clarity. The rubber coating improves grip on the binoculars in wet weather. The field of vision at 1000 yards is 314 feet, and the close up focus distance is 8.2 feet. The binoculars weigh only 21.5 oz. and measure 5.6 inches long and 5 inches wide.
Steiner 10x42 Merlin
The Steiner 10x42 Merlin ($599) is a very bright binocular with a field of view of 300 feet at 1000 yards and a close up focus distance of 7.9 feet. It measures 6.4 inches long and 5.2 inches wide, and weighs 27 oz.. The lens are coated to improve brightness in low light. The Merlins are waterproof and fogproof, and come with a 10-year warranty. The center focus wheel is Steiner's "Fast Focus," which enables the binocular to go from close focus to infinity in two turns. The exterior of the Merlin is a muted brown, to make it less likely to scare away wildlife.
Pentax 10x50 DCF ED
The Pentax 10x50 DCF ED ($1,150) is an award-winning sport optic that offers top-of-the line performance. The lenses are made of extra low-dispersion glass to provide excellent clarity, and the lenses are aspherical to ensure optimal edge-to-edge image quality. The body is made of magnesium allow and rubber coated, making it very durable. The focus ring has a locking mechanism with each turn, holding the focus distance at its setting. The field of view is 285 feet at 1000 meters, and the close focus distance is 11.5 feet. The binoculars measures 6.7 inches long by 5.2 inches wide, and weighs 25.8 oz.