The Best Binoculars for Viewing Wildlife

The Best Binoculars for Viewing Wildlife
Binoculars are an important tool for an avid nature watcher. A good pair of general-purpose wildlife binoculars will combine the features that are best for ground use with those that are best for bird watchers, and these are not always found in the same package. Sometimes these are competing and conflicting features, and the best wildlife binoculars will not require you to sacrifice anything.

Steiner Wildlife 10.5x28

These binoculars are tough, waterproof, compact enough to fit into a buttpack and weigh a mere 11 oz. The center focusing dial is easy to manipulate, allowing for a quick focus on a moving target. The close focus distance of 8.5 feet and magnification of 10.5 is good enough that the binoculars are competitive with middling-but-dedicated bird watching binoculars, and for most animals will prove very good indeed. The field of view of 264 feet at 1,000 yards is respectable for such a compact set of binoculars.With a midrange price tag, these binoculars offer the best balance on the market between size, weight, cost, durability and capability.

Nikon Monarch ATB 8x42

These binoculars scored very well with the bird watching community, with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology describing them as having "an image and feel that surpasses many models costing two or three times more." They are waterproof and fogproof, 8x magnification, have a field of view of 330 feet at 1,000 yards and have a close focus distance of 8.2 feet. They are comfortable to use, even for those who are wearing glasses. The price tag is very reasonable, and the Nikon Monarch ATB has a reputation of offering very big bang for the buck. However, all of that functionality comes in a big pair of binoculars that weighs a little over 23 oz.

Canon 10x42 L IS WP

The Canon 10x42 L IS WP is a pair of binoculars packed with special features that eliminate virtually every little problem typical of binocular optics and viewing. The high-tech lenses eliminate the faint, rainbow-like distortion that can be a problem with binoculars, creating a crisp, bright image. The Canon 10x42 L IS WP also has computer-controlled refraction correction and gyros for stabilization. They are waterproof, fogproof and surprisingly rugged for such a "gold-plated" device. They have a 10x magnification, a field of view of 374 feet at 1,000 yards and a close focus distance of 8.2 feet. However, all that functionality does make this one expensive pair of binoculars, and they weigh a hefty 2.3 lbs. Also, the computer-controlled aspects of the binoculars require battery power.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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