Holiday Gift Ideas for Binoculars 2017

This holiday season, consider a pair of binoculars for the outdoorsmen/woman in your life. If you are that outdoorsmen/woman, you’ll know just how important binoculars can be for activities like hunting, birding, and other sporting activities. There is a multitude of binos out there that are specialized for specific activities. There are even binoculars with the appropriate range to view plays and operas indoors.

Click here to see our top picks for the best binoculars of 2017.

The price of binoculars varies dramatically depending on the activity. Mini and hand-held binoculars are more focused towards short range activities like birding and opera while hunting binoculars feature longer and more powerful objects to spot game at a longer distance. Another aspect is detail and coloration. You’ll want a pair of binos that are able to pick up small details to help you locate and identify animals and objects.

If you don’t find a pair of binos here that interest you, check out the bestsellers.

 Black Binoculars in Maroon and Beige Textile

Best Hunting Binoculars

Upland Optics Perception HD 10x42mm

  • Upland’s 10x42mm binos are exceptionally powerful sporting optics. While water and fog proof, they’re on the heavier side, so you’ll probably need to invest in a good chest strap for when you take them out on long excursions.

Best Birding Binoculars

Wingspan Optics Spectator 8×32 Compact Binoculars

Best Theater Binoculars

HUTACT 10x25mm Compact Binoculars

  • These binoculars fit in the palm of your hand and come with shorter range optics. You won’t have to worry about stages being too blurry from indoors because it appropriately distributes incoming light to your eyes.

Best Mini Binoculars

  • The SkyGenius 8x21mm’s also fit in the palm of your hand. Despite their size, they have a wide FOV (field of view) at long range. The knobs that control focus are simple and easy for children to use, making it an ideal children’s optic as well.

Best All-Around Binoculars

Nikon Aculon 10-22×50 Binoculars

  • The Nikon Aculon’s are a variable zoom type of binocular. Most binoculars require you to focus at different distances but Aculon simplifies the process with variable zoom. They’re also pretty lightweight given their size, so they’re the perfect all-around pair of binoculars.

Do Binoculars Make Great Gifts?

Binoculars are the quintessential tool to seeing things that are too far for the naked eye and too close for a spotting scope. Of course, you’ll shouldn’t feel limited by what the company says a pair of binoculars is specialized for. You can pretty much use any pair of binoculars for any purpose. It just doesn’t make much sense to use hunting binoculars in a theater, and smaller binoculars won’t have the power to see far away and differentiate color in the wilderness.

A pair of binoculars under the tree or in a stocking will make a great gift this holiday season. Just make sure you know what pair you’re buying!

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Binoculars Sales & Deals of 2017

Whether you’re a hunter, birdwatcher, opera enthusiast, or just like seeing long distances in general, be sure to pick up your favorite pair of binoculars this Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2017. No doubt you’re probably on the hunt for Nikon, Bushnell, or Diamondback series binos, as those are the most mainstream and popular.

However, there are a number of smaller brands whose products are already on sale (click here to see bestsellers). They may not be the type of binos you’ll see in the field but there a variety of uses for binoculars beyond hunting. Some brands have specialized their binos for birdwatching, observation, and even opera and plays.

Lightweight and handheld binoculars are going to be your preferable birdwatching and observation optics while larger and heavier optics from Nikon, Bushnell, or Vortex are going to be your mainline hunting and sporting optics.

Click here to see our top picks for binoculars to find low cost and affordable binoculars for your next excursion.

A man looking through binoculars in the desert

 

Binoculars Already on Sale

Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm Binoculars

Celestron 10x42mm Binoculars

Celestron 8x42mm Binocular

 

Binoculars to Watch For

Bushnell 10x42mm H2O

Nikon Monarch 5 8x42mm Binoculars

Vortex Diamondback 10x42mm Binoculars

 

Why Binoculars Make Great Gifts

Binoculars make great gifts for all things sightseeing. If you want to make sure you don’t miss those once in a lifetime shots, binoculars are going to come in real handy.

Most people assume that binoculars are only good for hunting since the market in that area is huge. The simple truth is that you can use binoculars for just about any long-range sighting activity you can think of. Don’t assume that just because you have hunting or birding binoculars that you have to remain faithful to those activities with those specific binoculars.

Some optics can be just as good in other activities as they are in the category they were made for. Keep in mind that the reason that specialized binoculars exist is to make objects and sights stand out through color and appropriate light distribution.

Wingspan Optics Spectator 8×32 Compact Binoculars Review

When we think of binoculars, we can be quick to classify any of them as good for any purpose. This simply isn’t so. Take a look around Optics Den and you’ll see the various sorts of optics used specifically for different purposes.

This is where the Spectator 8×32 compact pair of binos by Wingspan Optics comes in. These binos almost fit in the entirety of your hand but we aren’t classifying them as toys or mini-binos by any means. The most popular hobby that these binos are used for is birding.

  • Wingspan Optics is a brand known for their focus in birding optics, so you can already see how specialization in the optics industry occurs.

You may be asking, can’t I just use my hunting binoculars for birding? Don’t they do the same job? Not quite. Let’s look at why this set of Spectators is a universal birder’s choice for optics.

Despite their small size, the Spectator’s have a pretty wide depth of field that enables you to see more in a single viewing. The light transmission is just as good at the maximum magnification and range at a thousand yards.

  • An important aspect of birding is being able to differentiate between two species that look almost identical. The 8×32’s give you incredible detail at long range so you can identify those small characteristics.

Don’t mistake the Spectator’s small size for low-quaility optics. These binos boast impressive stats that will help you see what you want to see on a greater level of detail. Let’s take a look at some of its specs.

 

Specs

POWER – 8x

OBJ.LENS DIA. – 32mm

EXIT PUPIL DIAMETER – 4

EXIT PUPIL DIST. – 14.8

DIMENSIONS (LxWxH) – 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.75 inches

WEIGHT – 15.2 Ounces

 

Overall

Just because these binos specialize in birding doesn’t mean you can’t take them anywhere else. Many users have reported that the small size of Spectators allows them to take the binos on trips and excursions where larger optics might prove cumbersome or unnecessary. They do carry a little bit of weight to them but not like true hunting or other sporting optics.

  • Our recommendation would be to simply test them with any hobby that your require optics for whether it be birding, hunting, or even stargazing. You might find that the Spectator is more suited for birding compared to other binos but in the end everyone’s preference is different.

Where the Spectators really stand out is the coloration of the environment or in most cases—animals you are looking at. This where that need for differentiation we talked about comes in. Color and light transmission, as well as visibility all play a role in your ability to see the target.

  • For accessibility, the binos have hooks on the sides where you can thread a strap through. Don’t feel as though you have to carry them by hand everywhere you go.

The magnification isn’t the greatest in the world in terms of sporting optics but the trick with these binos is their depth perception and their ability to pick up detail. A maximum range of around a thousand yards is still an impressive feat.

 

Binoculars Review 2017: Monarch 5 10×42

Nikon’s Monarch line of binoculars are some of the most popular in the world. As you’d expect thanks to their popularity and the Nikon name, they are great binoculars.

If you are looking to upgrade that old pair of binoculars in your truck that only really work through one eye, you will be absolutely amazed by the quality of these binoculars. In optics, you get what you pay for, and that’s especially true in binoculars.

The Monarch line is well made and well respected. Even if you are experienced with binoculars but are looking for a new pair, there is very little to be disappointed in with this line. And, you have several configuration options, so you can get exactly what you need.

Monarchs actually come in three configurations – 8×42, 10×42, and 12×42. We tested the 10×42 Monarch 5, which includes the following specs:

  • FOV @ 1000m/yds: 96/288
  • Exit pupil: 4.2 mm
  • Brightness: 17.6
  • Eye relief: 18.4 mm
  • Weight: 21.2 oz

And it has the following features:

  • Extra-low dispersion glass
  • Multi-layer coating
  • Turn and slide rubber eyecups
  • Waterproof and fog free

The Monarch 5 10×42 is a great mid-range binocular. True, they’re on the higher end of that price range, but they are worth the money if you can make your budget accommodate.

Design

One of the first things you’ll notice right out of the package is that the Monarchs feel well made and sturdy. They are also relatively lightweight for this price point, so you won’t feel like you’re lugging bricks around your neck all day.

The rubber armoring makes it easy to hold. The twist-up eyecups are comfortable, as is the 18mm eye relief. Adjustments are easy to make, and the focus wheel works incredibly well no matter what your hands are covered in.

These are very well made, and designed with the elements in mind. Nikon Monarch 5 binoculars are filled with nitrogen, which makes them completely fogproof. For anyone who has experienced the frustration of lenses that fog up, you will be super impressed by how well this fogproofing works. Additionally, the Monarch 5s are waterproof (for up to 10 minutes at a depth of up to one meter).

Key Users

The Nikon Monarch 5 is very popular with bird watchers, hikers, and hunters. The design features support the needs of those populations. And, the multi-coated lenses mean that the true color comes through. The overall visual quality is outstanding. You’ll see crisp, clear views with great detail.

In-House Comparison

We tested these alongside comparably priced binoculars with similar specs, and the Monarch 5s were the clear winner. The lightweight design gives it a competitive edge, but it really comes down to eye comfort and the stunning quality.

Our Verdict

The Monarch 5 is a great pair of binoculars that will work well for a number of uses. Whether you want to take them hiking to check out wildlife, keep them in your vehicle for your birdwatching excursions, or keep them close on your hunt, they will work wonderfully. We can’t wait to get these back outside for hunting season, or even just to birdwatch. Overall, the Monarch 5 is well worth the money and will last you a long, long time.

Click here to check the current price of the Monarch 5

Vortex Diamondback 10×42 Review

Vortex is a manufacturer of high-quality optics for hunting, bird watching, and other outdoor activities. The Diamondback 10×42 pair of binoculars are dedicated sporting optics with a clear view of nearly one-thousand yards. They’ll fetch you a high-price, but if you’re looking to up your game in the outdoor world, the Diamondbacks are the optics for you.

During a bright day, the sun can play havoc with a binocular’s ability to see objects at a distance. We were blown away by the Diamondback’s anti-reflective lens that gave it above average light filtering. Of course, as you approach a thousand yards above, general vision quality decreases. However, the Diamondback’s optics are dielectric coated and argon purged to deliver above average clarity and keep them water and fog proof.

When you search for a good pair of sporting binoculars, there are a couple of things that you want to consider. The first and foremost however is focusing. The Diamondback gives you some options to properly adjust the binoculars for your comfort.

  • The IPD (Interpupillary Distance) is the distance between the primary light gatherers in your eyes. The Diamondback has the ability to rotate its barrels in order to match the distance between your eyes.
  • The center focus is located in the middle of the binoculars and should be adjusted after you have played with the barrels and formatted them to your liking.
  • The diopter ring (on the right barrel) is a mini-focus that will help you adjust the binoculars to your own vision. Anyone else with different viewing preferences will have to adjust the ring on their own.

The eyecups are also adjustable. If you’re using the binoculars with your naked eye, you can twist the eyecups away from from the body of the binoculars. This feature combined with the focusing features gives the user maximum control over the clarity of the object or area they wish to view.

Due to their weight, it can be difficult for younger users to handle these optics without shaking them. Thus if you plan to use these optics for hunting or bird watching, they would be complemented by a small tripod to eliminate shakiness. Furthermore, two built-in structures on each barrel allow for a neck strap to run through.

Overall, there is little we could find to slander the Diamondback. There are still shadows that most binoculars have trouble with when you move them around sharply, but they aren’t a huge deal if you find some sort stabilizer (like a tripod) for them.vortex

Bushnell’s New Engage Line of Binoculars and Scopes

Bushnell Engage Binoculars

Bushnell’s new lineup of Engage Binoculars is shaking things up in the world of optics.

The Engage binoculars feature multicoated glass with Bushnell’s new EXO Barrier protective coating. These are designed to withstand pretty much everything. This Bushnell exclusive coating repels water, debris, oil, and fog.

The Bushnell Engage binoculars come in four configurations:

8 x 42 mmBushnell

  • FOV 142m
  • eye relief 19mm

10 x 42 mm

  • FOV 113m
  • eye relief 18mm

10 x 50 mm

  • FOV 113m
  • eye relief 15mm

12 x 50 mm

  • FOV 93m
  • eye relief 15mm

The rugged nature of these doesn’t do anything to skimp on image quality, though. The ED Prime Glass feature and dielectric prism coating produce high reflectivity, great color, amazing resolution, and fantastic details. Each configuration offers twist up eyecups and a locking diopter.

These work well in low light conditions, thanks to a host of other features that enable the best brightness and details available.

One of the best features of this new line is its affordability. The Engage line of optics drives home Bushnell’s commitment to making high-quality optics that everyone can afford.

 

Bushnell Engage Riflescopes

The Engage lineup also includes new riflescopes. Like the binoculars, these feature the exclusive EXO Barrier protective coating. This slick coating repels everything from oil and water to dirt and debris.

The riflescopes come in nine configurations: Bushnell riflescope

  • 2-7x 36mm
  • 3-9x 40mm
  • 3-9x 50mm
  • 4-12x 40mm
  • 6-18x 50mm
  • 5-10x 44mm
  • 3-12x 42mm
  • 4-16x 44mm
  • 6-24x 50mm

These scopes feature:

  • EXO Barrier
  • Waterproof construction
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Ultra-wide band coating
  • Side focus parallax adjustment
  • Tool-less Zero Reset (on some models)
  • Locking Turrets

 

Engage riflescopes include Bushnell’s new Deploy MOA reticle. This gives shooters 1-MOA windage and elevation hashmarks and can reach both short and mid-range targets.

Like the binoculars, the Engage riflescopes are affordable, yet high on quality. Find out more on Bushnell’s website.

Athlon Talos 10x50mm Binoculars Review

Athlon may not be as big of a name in the sporting optics world as Bushnell or Nikon, but that certainly doesn’t mean their products aren’t worth considering for sportsmen. This particular model, the Talos 10x50mm binocular, is a great pair of binoculars for a variety of purposes.

Binos with a 50mm objective lens are designed to gather maximum amounts of light, and are ideal for use in low light conditions. While they are heavier to carry than the more common 42mm lenses, for many the trade off is very well worth it.

The packaging is fairly standard for binoculars in this range. The soft case isn’t the best I’ve seen, but also is far from the worst. The included neck strap does have some very nice padding, better than most similar binoculars, which will definitely be needed for carrying a pair with heavy 50mm lenses. As far as the lens caps, the objective side cap attaches to the binoculars themselves and the eye piece side can attach to the neck strap. They are of a similar design and quality to virtually every pair of binos in any price range. However, the occular side caps seemed to be poorly fit. Even the lightest touch immediately pulls them off of the lenses, making them pretty worthless for field use. Even pulling the binoculars out of their case immediately ripped the caps right off, offering little protection.

I field tested these binoculars at the same time that I tested Athlon’s higher end Cronus, comparing both pairs to mid range pairs from Nikon and Bushnell. Of the various binos I compared, the Talos was the most affordable.

I was impressed with the general build quality of the Talos. While most pairs in the sub $200 pricing level tend to be of mixed quality workmanship, the Talos seemed very solidly built. As a back country hunter, I’ve seen binoculars take some pretty significant falls before, and I got the sense that the Talos could the handle the punishment as well as anything I’ve seen.

While I was impressed with the build quality, I wasn’t blown away by the optics. I wouldn’t call them bad, but the image quality definitely left something to be desired. It probably didn’t help that I was comparing them to pairs that are more expensive, but if optical clarity and sharpness are your primary concerns these probably aren’t for you. The field of view is also not particularly great for a 10 power pair of binoculars, though not the worst I’ve seen.

Here’s a quick run down of the pros and cons of these binoculars:

Pros:

  • Large 50mm objective lenses gather a ton of light.
  • Grip on the side of the casing of the binoculars makes them easy to hold onto, prevents any slipping.
  • Build quality appears to be much higher than normal for this price range.

Cons:

  • Glass leaves much to be desired.
  • Objective side lens caps are essentially worthless.

In the end, I would recommend these binoculars to someone who specifically wants 50mm objective lenses and is on a strict sub $200 budget. In that price range, I can’t think of any 10x50s that will serve you better. With that said, I think you can find much better glass if you are willing to spend a little bit more money.

 

Athlon Cronus 10×42 Binoculars Review

Athlon makes a fairly wide range of binoculars, and the Cronus is their flagship model. While certainly not cheap, the Cronus fits the midrange in price that puts it out of reach of many people, but not so incredibly high priced that you’d be nervous to carry it in the field. Made to exacting standards and promising high quality and clear images, I was definitely excited to test these guys out.

Like other Athlon products I’ve tested, the Cronus comes in fairly standard binocular packaging, wrapped in several layers of plastic and a cardboard box. It includes a soft carry case that fits it well, and closes with a buckle instead of the more common Velcro. The lens caps are the typical rubber caps that connect too the binocular itself and/or the neck strap. The strap itself appears to be the same as the one found in the much less expensive Talos from Athlon, but has good padding and will work for many uses. I usually recommend using a chest harness system purchased separately for extended carrying of binoculars anyway.

10×42 is the ideal size for most sporting optics uses, and especially for hunters. If you want a wider field of view (at the price of less zoom) an 8.5×42 model is also available. The Cronus glass is encased in a hard plastic material with textured grip areas. Binocular manufacturers have generally gone one of two ways, using either rubberized coatings (Bushnell, Upland Optics, etc) or hard plastic with textured grip. I personally am a fan of the rubberized coating, but I know plenty of people who like the alternative.

I field tested the Cronus while hiking in the Idaho mountains, and compared it to a few other sets of 10×42 binoculars I had on hand. They included 10×42 sets from Bushnell and Nikon that are in the $300 price range, as well as the 10×50 Talos from Athlon.

Finding deer was easy during the wintering season, and I was able to test them all side by side when looking at small herds of deer anywhere from 300 yards to several miles away. While all of the binoculars did the job, there were definitely some subtle differences that will be important to someone willing to spend more money to get better glass. While looking at deer that were relatively close up, I noticed that they seemed to “pop” more with the Cronus than they did with any other set I was using. The focus was a bit sharper and the glass appeared to let in just a little bit more light (light conditions were sub optimal due to an incoming storm).

When testing them at long range, the differences were more subtle but still present. It was just a bit easier to pick apart the hill side using the Cronus than the more affordable Bushnell and Nikon sets. As far as comparing it to Athlon’s far less expensive Talos model, there was no question that the Cronus is a far superior set of optics.

Personally, I feel like the Cronus would be excellent for bird watchers. They have an excellent close focusing distance of only 2 meters, which is perfect for birders. The differences I noticed when glassing deer at 300 yards would be exactly the type of differences that birders are willing to pay thousands of dollars to get in their optics, and the Cronus is much less expensive than the typical Swarovski and Zeiss models that birders flock to.

As far as downsides go, I did notice one thing I wasn’t impressed with. All binoculars will have some amount of shadows obscure your view as you move/adjust them during use. However, I noticed those shadows much more with the Cronus than I have with other pairs in the same price range. I will say that those effects are usually highly dependent on the user and their unique eyes, so I recommend testing them yourself to see if that is an issue for you.

Overall, I think the Cronus 10x42s are an excellent pair of binoculars. There are some things that I personally am not a fan of (like the above mentioned shadows and the hard plastic), but those are personal preferences that plenty of people will not have issues with. And the glass is definitely of very high quality, which is the most important thing for a pair of binoculars. In particular I’d recommend these binoculars to bird watchers, who I think could really use the excellent close focusing distance and solid glass to its full capabilities.

Reviews of the Best Binoculars for 2017

The Best BinocularsIt may seem like a strange notion to those who have never done it before, but buying a great pair of binoculars takes quite a bit of research and knowledge. Just like anything else, a quality pair of binoculars will provide you with a lot better images than buying a cheap pair from a discount store. As technology has improved, binoculars have become more modern and have improved in quality. Nevertheless, there are still some basic features that you should look for in a pair of binoculars, and this is what we will explain first. We hope that this guide is useful to you in finding the perfect pair of binoculars for your needs.

My #1 Recommendation

Choosing just one pair of binoculars to crown as our number one pick is a difficult thing to do. But if we had to, we would choose the Upland Optics Perception HD 10x42mm. These binoculars are tough as nails and give an excellent picture quality. They have the perfect magnification and field of view for a general pair of binoculars, and can be used for everything from hunting to bird watching. Our partner company Upland Optics does an amazing job, these binoculars are first class! Click here to see their price.

 

 

 

What to Look For in a Pair of Binoculars

Specifications

Magnification and Objective Lens Diameter

One of the most important features in a pair of binoculars is the magnification and objective lens diameter, which is typically included in model information. For example, in the Upland Optics Perception HD 10×42 mm – “10×42” is the magnification x objective lens diameter.

The magnification will usually appear as 8X, 10X, or even higher. When a pair of binoculars has a magnification of 10X, it means that you will be able to see a distant object 10 times larger than you would if you were not using binoculars. For instance, if you are viewing something that is 500 yards away, it will appear as if it were only 50 yards away. Magnification is often the most important thing that a buyer will look for in a pair of binoculars.

In the example above, 10 is the magnification, while the 42 means that the objective lens diameter is 42 millimeters. Lens objective size is very important, as larger lenses collect more light than smaller lenses. This means that objects will appear brighter in binoculars that have larger lenses. Furthermore, the size of the objective lens will greatly affect the field of view you will have, which we will discuss next.

Field of View

The next feature to understand is field of view. This is simply the amount of area that you are able to see when you are looking through your binoculars. The magnification of your binoculars as well as the diameter size of your objective lens will affect your field of view. There are a few ways to understand field of view:

  • Higher magnifications – smaller field of view
  • Larger lenses – larger field of view

reviews of binoculars

So, if you are comparing binoculars and they have the same magnification, the lens size will determine the field of view.

Actual and Apparent Field of View

The units of measurement that you may see when looking at field of view statistics are degrees and feet. When you see degrees, you will often see two numbers, and these will represent the degrees in the actual field of view and the degrees in the apparent field of view. The actual field of view is the number that matters. The apparent field of view is calculated from the actual field of view.

The actual field of view is the angle of your viewing window at the point after the binocular lenses. If you have a pair of 10X binoculars, and your actual field of view is 5 degrees, then your apparent field of view will be 50 degrees. You simply multiply the actual field of view measurement by the magnification of your binoculars in order to get the apparent field of view.

When the field of view is measured in feet, it is a bit less complicated. If you see a field of view of 300 feet, it means that you are able to see 300 feet at 1,000 yards. This means that if there were a 300 foot building off in the distance, you can get as close as 1,000 yards and still be able to see it in its entirety through your binoculars.

Eye Relief

For people who wear eyeglasses, eye relief is an important specification. Eye relief is closely related to field of view, as it is the distance that you can hold the binoculars away from your is a good rule of thumb for people with eyeglasses. With sufficient eye relief, a person that wears glasses is able to enjoy the same field of view as everyone else.

Exit Pupil Diameter

The exit pupil diameter relates to the brightness your binoculars provide. It is the measurement of the size of the ray of light that will hit your eyes after it travels through the lens. The exit pupil diameter is determined through dividing the lens size by the magnification. The larger the number that is obtained, the brighter the images will appear when viewing through the respective binoculars. Matching a higher magnification with a larger lens size ensures that you will not sacrifice on the brightness of your image.

Additional Binocular Features

Aside from those key specifications that were discussed above, you may be interested in some other features that are common in binoculars.

Compact Size

Many people find that having compact sized binoculars is an advantage when traveling through rough terrains or carrying lots of equipment. New technology is constantly improving on the size and weight of these binoculars. Currently, you can find models that weigh half a pound and are of very high quality. In the future, compact sized binoculars may even be the norm. Today, however, many are not as powerful as their full-sized counterparts.

Weatherproof Binoculars

Many environments where binoculars are used are treacherous, and binoculars are constantly exposed to the elements. Water can damage the equipment that we carry, so developers have started to design water resistant and waterproof binoculars. Many also include fogproof design. While the degree of water protection may vary, this is a good feature that will prevent your binoculars from fogging up or getting water damage. Some binoculars may even be able to submerge in water for a short time, but make sure that you have checked your manual before attempting that.

Lens Coating

Lens coating is often what differentiates cheap binoculars from high quality binoculars. Binoculars that are worth buying often have at least one coat over the lenses that improves clarity and protects them from scratches. This makes them more durable, and they will produce higher quality images for a longer period of time.

Basic Uses and Recommendations

General

If you are looking for binoculars for general sport use, marine use, or for the theatre, you will want at least a pair of 7 x 25 lenses. This will ensure that you have enough magnification, but not too much where your field of view will be impaired. The field of view should be between 300-350 feet, with the higher end being for marine use. You may also want to consider waterproof binoculars for marine use.

Bird Watching and Hunting

For bird watching and hunting, you will want a pair of 8 X 30 lenses. Waterproof is always a good idea for these purposes. The field of view should be at least 350 feet. You may want to consider more powerful binoculars if you are looking at far away animals, or maybe even a spotting scope to complement your field binoculars.

Golfing

If you want binoculars for golfing, either as a player or a spectator, a pair of 6 X 17 should suffice. In golf, you are looking at stationary objects that are not terribly far away, so you do not need very high powered lenses. A range finder may be useful if you are using them for golf in order to know the distance between you and the hole or other obstacles such as bunkers and bodies of water.

Stargazing

Stargazing presents a special set of circumstances, as you are viewing stationary objects that are very far away. To make it more complicated, the environment will have minimal light available. 10X 40 binoculars are typically recommended for this purpose. You can afford higher magnifications because you will not be moving the binoculars much, and to make up for the diminished field of vision and darker images that this will present, you have the large lens diameter.

Next, we will delve more specifically into binocular makers and specific pairs of binoculars for every need and budget. First we will start with an overview of binocular manufacturers.

The Best Binocular Brands

Bushnell

Bushnell is a giant in imaging products in the United States, and it makes everything from high quality rifle scopes, microscopes, telescopes, and of course, binoculars. The company was founded in Japan by David P. Bushnell when it was occupied by Allied forces during WWII in 1948. Bushnell’s binoculars have won multiple awards for their quality, and most recently, the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10X42 binoculars were awarded binocular of the year by binoculars.com.

Zeiss

Zeiss is one of the oldest, most reputable optics and imaging companies in the world, and it makes very high quality binoculars. Not only does it deal in sporting optics like Bushnell, but it also makes optic devices for medical use and even space telescopes. It was founded in Germany in 1846, and it has become a leader in the industry since then. One of the most popular binoculars it has on the market right now are the Zeiss 10X42 Victory HT binoculars.

Nikon

Known for its digital cameras, Nikon also makes stellar binoculars. Nikon is now a huge company that was founded in Japan in 1917. It specializes in lenses, binoculars and other advanced imaging technology. Their best-selling binoculars have historically been from the Monarch line. Today, the 8X42 Monarch 5 take that distinction.

Steiner

Steiner has a rich history in the optics industry, and it has arguably one of the most advanced optics laboratories in the world. Every lens and pair of binoculars that Steiner produces is field tested extensively to ensure that it is a very high quality product. This German company prides itself in producing binoculars that will be serviceable for multiple lifetimes. You can be sure that if you buy Steiner binoculars like the Safari Ultrasharp 8X22, you will have a product that you are satisfied with for life.

Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list, and there are many more manufacturers that make outstanding binoculars. If you are in the market for a pair of high quality pair of binoculars, you should not limit yourself to these brands.

Next, we will focus on the best binoculars for specific uses.

Best Binoculars for Hunting

When hunting big game, binoculars are one of the most important pieces of gear you will need. They will allow you to scan for animals that you cannot see with your naked eye. This makes them an indispensable tool in the field.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when choosing a pair of binoculars for hunting. First off, remember that you’ll often be looking for animals in low light conditions, so light transmission is crucial. Also, you’ll be lugging them around difficult terrain, so buy a quality pair that will be able to take a few bumps without any major problems. 10×42 is the most common size of binoculars to carry while hunting, although you may want a larger pair if you are doing long range spotting.

Here are four pairs that are extremely highly rated and are worth checking out:

Nikon Monarch Best Hunting BinocularsNikon Monarch Binoculars

Nikon Monarch binoculars come in three sizes: 8X42, 10X42, and 12X42, so you have many choices at your disposal. The standard 10X42 have a 288 ft. field of view, and 18.4mm eye relief. Also, these binoculars are waterproof, fog proof, and have coated lenses. They weigh around 21.9 ounces.

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD

These are Bushnell’s most critically acclaimed binoculars, and it is no surprise that they are some of the best binoculars for hunting out there. They come in 4 sizes: 8X36, 8X42, 10X36, and 10X42. The 10X42 variety have a 340 ft. field of view, and 15.2 mm eye relief. Like the Nikon pair, Bushnell Legend Ultra binoculars are waterproof, fog proof and have coated lenses. They weigh in at 24.7 ounces.

Vortex Diamondback

Vortex Diamondback binoculars are of very high quality, and although the company is not as big as its competitors, it can deliver a great product. Diamondbacks come in 4 sizes: 8X28, 8X42, 10X42, and 12X50. The 10X42 pair have a 345 ft. field of view and 16 mm eye relief. These binoculars are waterproof, fog proof and have coated lenses. They weigh 24.4 ounces.

Vanguard Spirit ED

Vanguard’s Spirit ED binoculars are very worthy of mention in this section. They come in four sizes: 8X36, 8X42, 10X42, and 10X50. The 10X42 pair have a 314 ft. field of view and 16 mm eye relief. Like its counterparts in this section, these binoculars are waterproof, fog proof, and have coated lenses. They weigh a bit more than the other binoculars in this section at 29.8 ounces.

Best Binoculars for Birding

If birding is your hobby, the following are some binoculars that you should definitely consider purchasing in order to have the best viewing experience. Because birding is more about the picture quality and feel, picking a pair of binoculars without trying them first is very difficult.

Athlon Cronus 10×42

If your main priority is high quality glass and you don’t want to spend a fortune, the Cronus might be the perfect fit for you. High quality glass and ESP Dielectric coating give these binoculars excellent clarity and light transmission, making them perfect for bird watchers who want to see every detail.

Zeiss Victory Best Birding BinocularsZeiss Victory THT 8X42

These binoculars are considered top-of-the-line, and this is noticeable in the price tag. They feel great in the hands and have great clarity and eye relief. They are widely considered some of the best binoculars that money can buy.

Zeiss Victory TFL 8X32

These are a smaller version of the THT binoculars, but they still have all of the benefits of a top-of-the-line pair of binoculars. If you can afford these, you cannot go wrong with them. Zeiss also has midrange priced binoculars, Zeiss Conquest HD, which are of excellent quality and a great alternative to the Victory line.

Nikon Monarch 7

These are ¼ of the price of binoculars like the Zeiss Victory, but they deliver exceptional quality and image. The Monarch line has been very popular among birders for years, and it continues to deliver.

Leica Trinovid

The Trinovid line has been around for a long time, and experienced birders will likely recognize it. The new Trinovid line offers exceptional quality and a bright, clear image.

Best Compact Binoculars

If you are looking for compact binoculars that you can take with you comfortably everywhere, here is a list that will give you an idea of where to start looking. The following are widely considered some of the best compact binoculars on the market.

Swarovski CL Pocket 8X25 Binoculars

These are very high quality compact binoculars that fold up easily and can fit in your pocket. Furthermore, they are waterproof and fog proof. They are made by Swarovski, so you know you are getting some of the best binoculars on the market with these.

Vanguard Orros 10X25 Binoculars

These binoculars feel great in your hands, as they have a very lightweight rubberized body. The shape is very compact, and they can fold down to store anywhere. Furthermore, these binoculars are very affordable.

Nikon 8-24X25 EagleView Zoom CF

These binoculars are unique in that they have a zoom button that lets you go from 8X to 24X at the push of a button. This may not be very attractive to some binocular buyers, but another draw to these are that they are affordable and still provide great image quality.

Pentax 9X28 DCF LV Binoculars

Unlike many compact counterparts, these binoculars offer a 9X magnification without sacrificing too much field of view. They are waterproof and fog proof, and while they are mid-priced binoculars, they offer exceptional optical quality. They also have a great design and feel great in your hands.

Best Astronomy and Stargazing Binoculars

Many stargazers and astronomers prefer to use binoculars instead of telescopes to look at the stars. If you want to get into stargazing, or are already an avid stargazer and are looking for binoculars, the following are a few binoculars that are definitely worth your consideration.

Celestron Echelon 20X70 Binoculars

Since you are stargazing, you want a higher magnification along with a bigger lens. These are very high quality binoculars that are tripod adaptable in order to allow for long stargazing periods. They are not too heavy that you cannot pick them up and use them with your hands for added flexibility.

Celestron 15X70 SkyMaster Binoculars

These offer exceptional performance and come at a great price for viewing the night sky. The lenses are multicoated, which makes your image of the stars much clearer. Aside from stargazing, these have other great uses including bird watching as well.

Best Binoculars for Safaris

If you enjoy viewing wildlife, specifically wildlife on safaris, there are a few binoculars that you should research and test before looking at any others. Consider these as you embark on your safari trip.

Celestron Granite 9X33 Binoculars

These binoculars have a wide field of view, which is excellent for safaris. Since they are 9X, you get a little more detail of the object you are looking at. The lenses are very high quality, and with these you will get a very crisp image.

Swarovski EL W B Traveler 8X32

These are top-of-the-line midsized binoculars that offer impeccable optical quality. They are optimal for taking on safaris, and their open bridge design makes them comfortable to hold with one hand. Furthermore, they offer a digital camera adapter so that you can take high quality photos through them. Swarovski produces some of the best imaging products in the world, and this is no exception.

Best Binoculars for Kids

When engaging children in nature activities, the right set of binoculars can go a long way towards getting them excited about their surroundings. Certain binocular features are more important than others when it comes to children’s binoculars, such as the maximum magnification level. The recommended maximum is 8x, as this gives children a wide enough view to keep their eyes on the interesting sight even if their hands are shaky.

The size and weight of the binoculars is also important, as bulky binoculars may be difficult for children to hold on to. With these factors in mind, consider both of the following highly rated binoculars for kids:

Bresser 6×21 Junior Compact Binoculars

With a colorful casing guaranteed to catch your child’s eye, the Bresser 6×21 is a compact binocular with a maximum 6x magnification that is perfect first binocular for children of any age. The state-of-the-art optical system delivers clear images, while the rubber armored body is built to endure all types of damage. Affordably priced, the Bresser 6×21 also comes with a five year guarantee.

Opticron Discovery WP PC 8×32 Binoculars

Built for the older child, the Opticron Discovery is both compact and lightweight enough to deliver comfort regardless of how long the nature walk lasts. An 8x optical system also delivers clear images from a distance, while the affordable prices guarantees a great return on the investment. With a durable design built to last through years of wear and tear, the Opticron Discovery remains one of the best children’s binoculars on the market.

Best Binoculars with Built in Camera

For the professional photographer or birdwatcher, a quality sighting through a pair of binoculars is only worthwhile if the image can be captured. Luckily, modern technology has intersected with current demands to yield a new generation of binoculars with built in cameras. Some of the best digital camera binoculars on the market today are both inexpensive and easy-to-setup. Learn more about two of the industry leaders below:

Vivitar 10×25 DigiCam Binoculars

Though the slightly heavy design may seem inconvenient at first, the Vivitar Digicam Binoculars are well worth the effort with a 640X480 resolution on the attached camera. Add to that the 16 megabytes of internal storage and these camera binoculars become perfect for both long and short sightseeing events, from sports games to nature walks and more. Designed for comfort and precision, the Vivitar 10×25 carries a long battery life as well to ensure long-term use on almost any outing.

Bushnell 8×30 3.1MP Instant Replay Digital Camera Binoculars

With the widest selection of digital camera binoculars, Bushnell boasts an impressive catalogue. However, one of the standouts remains the 8×30 Instant Replay Camera Binoculars. As if taking crystal clear pictures of the best sights wasn’t enough, this Bushnell binocular also allows users to record video with up to 3.1 megapixel resolution, higher than other comparably priced binoculars in the industry.

Best Rangefinder Binoculars

Open ranges can be a thing of beauty all on their own. However, there are few ranges that cannot be enhanced by a great pair of rangefinder binoculars. Regardless of the type of rangefinder binoculars you plan on purchasing (golf, hunting, digital, etc.), the goal is to improve aim while also allowing for a wide field of view regardless of the terrain. If you want this feature in a separate device, you can always get a stand alone laser rangefinder.

Learn more about two of the best rangefinder binoculars on the market below:

Leica Geovid HD-B Binocular

Though pricier than other brands of binoculars, the reward is well worth the cost as the Leica Geovid is one of the most accurate rangefinder binoculars on the market. Featuring state-of-the-art optics and a field of view exceeding 1,000 yards, these industry-leading Leica binoculars offer everything from automatic adjustments of the visual settings to an ergonomic design that ensures comfort regardless of how long they are held.

Zeiss Victory RF Binocular

Fluoride glass is one of the secrets to the Zeiss Victory’s premium imagery, ensuring that every sight seen through these lens is of the best quality possible. A 45 millimeter objective lens adds to sight quality while the field of view remains one of the best in its class. Though slightly heavier than other comparable binoculars, the Zeiss Victory makes up for it with convenient button placement for added comfort.

The Best Binoculars for the Money

After all of the binoculars that have been listed so far, you may be wondering, “Which ones provide me with the best value?” The following binoculars are widely thought to give buyers the best bang for the buck.

Swarovski CL Pocket 8X25 Binoculars

Although they may seem pricey, these binoculars are cheap compared to the other $1200+ priced binoculars that Swarovski offers. Furthermore, they are better than almost anything else on the market.

Hawke Sapphire ED 8X42 Binoculars

These binoculars have amazing specs, they are waterproof and fog proof, and they have a lightweight body made of magnesium. Add to this the unparalleled optical quality that they offer and you will realize that the price is a great bargain.

Upland Optics Perception HD 10×42 Binoculars

These are some of the best binoculars out there at any price point, and they are under $300 dollars! They offer exceptional optics, water repellant lens coating, a light weight chassis, and unparalleled image quality.

Celestron Nature DX 8X42 Binoculars

These will appeal to those on a tight budget, but also to those looking for a great value and optical quality. These are fully sealed waterproof and fog proof binoculars that deliver a great image, and the price will make you very happy.

Best Binoculars for Under $100

If you are on a tight budget and can only spend $100 or less, you can still get quality binoculars. The following binoculars will offer great quality for their price.

Nikon 8245 Aculon Binoculars

These binoculars are so good that you may find some vendors selling them for $200 due to demand, but if you look in the right place, mainly online, you can find them for under $100 dollars. They provide a quick central focus system and a 420 foot field of view. One downside to these is that they are not waterproof.

Celestron 20X80 Skymaster Binoculars

Celestron simply makes great quality products at a great price. These are great for stargazing and many other uses, and they have a water-resistant, not waterproof body.

Best Binoculars for Under $200

If you have a little more to spend, these are some binoculars you should consider that are under $200 dollars.

Vanguard 10X42 Spirit XF Binoculars

These binoculars offer a wide field of view, multi coated lenses, and high quality images. If you are a causal binocular user, you simply cannot go wrong with these.

Hawk Nature-Trek 8X42 Binoculars

If you want high quality, low weight binoculars, then you have found them. These are fully waterproof and fog proof, and they provide a relatively good field of view and close focus. These are a great choice for the budget conscious buyer.

The Best Binoculars on the Market

If you want the best-of-the-best, and you are fortunate enough to have no price limitations on the binoculars that you are looking for, then the following is a list of the best binoculars that money can buy.

Upland Optics Perception HD 10×42 Binoculars

See description in the Best Value section.

Zeiss 10X42 Victory HT Binocular

These are often listed as the best binoculars that money can buy, period. They offer a viewing experience like no other binoculars, and you can see even the finest details of your object in dimming light. They are very robust, and offer a staggering 95% light transmission. If you want the best-of-the-best, then these are the binoculars for you.

Conclusion

The world of binoculars is huge, and it will take many years for the beginner to explore and learn. With time, you will be able to appreciate minor differences between binoculars, and you will develop a taste of your own. I hope that this guide will provide you with sufficient information to begin your exciting journey into the world of binoculars.

Binocular Review: Vortex Razor HD 10x42mm

Razor HD BinocularsVortex makes many popular sporting optics, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that their Razor HD 10×42 binoculars are a favorite for those with a budget around $1k. They are high-quality, lightweight binoculars with a crisp, bright image, and come with a VIP unconditional lifetime warranty. Read on to learn the specifics of these binoculars and prepare to be impressed!

Outer design:

Made in Japan, these binoculars have a true open-hinge design. This means that unlike open-hinge binoculars that have two connecting bridges that are very thin, the Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars have just one thicker connecting bridge. However, this bridge connector is still much thinner than the bridge on standard roof prism binoculars, leaving more of the barrels exposed. This gives the extra security needed for one-handed holding.

Exterior

The magnesium chassis on these binoculars is much more durable and solid than the usual aluminum chassis, while the thin, dark green rubber covering will protect your binoculars from most minor impacts. The magnesium and rubber are both non-reflective, making them great for observing timid wildlife. The rubber has a sandpaper grit that is not as tactile as some binoculars’ covering, but is still non-slip, and the magnesium has a rough texture that is also non-slip. The parts of the binoculars not covered by the rubber are the bridge, a small inset on the inside of each barrel, and about one-third of the end of the barrels. While this helps lessen the load, if something metallic (such as a ring or keys) strikes the binoculars, it will make a ringing noise that may scare off some animals.

Under each barrel is a thumb indent, which encourages you to hold the binoculars in the proper position. If held in this fashion, the binoculars are well-balanced, which makes for a stiller, clearer image that is less strenuous on the eyes.

Objective Lens

The optical lens, which is a large 42 millimeters in diameter, is set about eight millimeters deep into the barrels. This helps prevent damage to the objective lenses when the lens caps are removed.

Weight

At 1.55 pounds, these binoculars are very lightweight, but remain solidly built and durable thanks to the magnesium chassis mentioned earlier.

Tripod Mounting

These binoculars are compatible with a tripod adaptor with one-fourth inch threading, allowing use on a tripod or car window mount. However, the adaptor is sold separately.

Twist-up eyecups

Made of metal and rubber, the eyecups are durable but comfortable. Forty millimeters in diameter, the eyecup is quite large, making fitting it on your eye sockets quite comfortable. In addition, the helicode mechanism of the eye cup is simple and very smooth to operate.

Eye Relief

The eye relief is a big plus for eye glass wearers at 17.5 millimeters.

Focusing

The focus Wheel diameter is thirteen millimeters, about standard for full-size binoculars. It has good resistance without being too loose and causing over-rotation. There is a decent reach distance, allowing you to turn the focus wheel while holding the binoculars in the standard position. (Based on an average man’s hand) The wheel is nicely grooved, protrudes from the binoculars a good distance, and is fairly large. This makes turning it easy even with thick gloves, such as you would wear in winter.

Diopter Adjustment

As you can with most good binoculars, you can focus one barrel separately from the other to compensate for differences in your eyes. On these binoculars, the diopter adjustment is located on the right side between the eye cup and the chassis. The nice thing about this adjustment wheel is that you can lock your setting in place, since you have to click the wheel toward the eye cup before turning it. Finally, unlike most diopter wheels, which are made of plastic, this wheel is metal with fine grooves cut into it.

Weather-Proofing

The Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars are all-weather binoculars, being one-hundred percent air and water proof. This also prevents any dust or debris from entering the system. The interior is “argon purged,” which means all the air has been removed and replaced with argon, preventing fogging. As these binoculars are moisture-free, they won’t corrode, extending their life dramatically.

Glass

Apochromatic (APO) Optical System

When light travels through a single simple lens, the distance at which each wavelength comes into perfect focus varies, causing chromatic and spherical aberrations. This results in you seeing soft images and color fringing along the edges of high-contrast images. To minimize chromatic and spherical aberrations, designers of binoculars have created compound lenses, which are a combination of several simple lenses of varying optical properties and focal lengths. The most common type of compound lens is the achromatic lens, which can bring into focus two wavelengths, usually red and blue. However, these binoculars have an apochromatic lens, which means it has three elements and, because it brings the light of three frequencies together to a common focus, it corrects chromatic and spherical aberrations better. The drawback of apochromatic lenses, though, is their weight. The Vortex Razor HD binoculars, however, balance the weight of an apochromatic lens with a magnesium chassis, making the binoculars actually lighter than many binoculars on the market.

ED and HD glass

ED (extra-low density) glass is used in the design of these binoculars’ lens because it has the potential to improve image sharpness and reduce color fringing. HD (high density) glass is also used in the design of the apochromatic lens, since it is easier to manipulate and thus they are able to better focus the wavelengths to improve the color fidelity and resolution of the image even more.

Lens Coatings

More than one layer of Vortex’s proprietary XR anti-reflective lens coating has been added to each lens surface that is open to the air. This greatly increases light transmittance, which results in a much brighter image. This is very important when the ambient light is not so great, as in dense woods or at dawn or dusk.

Vortex has also added Armor Tech coating to the exterior lenses. This very hard coating resists scratches and repels dirt, making the lenses less likely to need cleaning and much easier to clean when they do need it.

Roof Prism and Coatings

While Vortex does not say what kind of prisms they use, the best guess from the quality of other parts of the binoculars is that they are using a good quality BAK-4 glass.

The first coating on the prisms is a phase correction coating. This is needed because roof prisms cause “phase shift,” which leads to a reduction in sharpness. Phase correction coating helps by preserving light in the right color phases. Thus, you get a better contrasting image with color enhancement and sharper resolution.

The next coating is the dielectric multi-layer Prism Coating. What is this and why is it needed, you might ask. The downside to roof prisms is that the first prism in the system has one surface without total internal reflection, causing the loss of some light. It is very important, then, to raise the reflectiveness of this surface. To do this, Vortex has added multiple layers of Dielectric coatings. This creates a Dielectric mirror, which is able to transmit 99% of light, creating a sharper, clearer image.

Optical Performance

Field of View (FOV)

The width of the image you can see at 1000 yards is 362 feet or 6.9 degrees. This is certainly above average and very nice, but it’s not top-notch performance.

Near Focus

The closest distance at which you can focus these Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars is six feet, an excellent distance for full-sized binoculars. This near focus is great for observing butterflies and birds that land nearby, as well as other close objects.

Quality of Image

Compared to other binoculars of similar design, the Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars have a higher level of brightness when the level of ambient light is low. Not much of a difference can be seen when the light is strong, however. This high light transmittance is very important for observing wildlife in dense woods or forests and when the sun is low on the horizon.

Image Contrast and Color Reproduction

When focused properly as you should expect, the image is very sharp. In fact, if you could zoom your naked eyes in, it would look like the image in these binoculars. The color hues are natural, not like the false hues of some inferior binoculars.

Chromatic Aberrations

When viewing light or white images in front of dark backgrounds, which is where color fringing is easiest to spot, there is no apparent fringing. This is where the apochromatic lens and ED glass really shine, as other binoculars without ED glass and with an achromatic lens have a lot of color fringing

Image Softening

On poor quality binoculars, the edges of the viewed image are often softened quite a bit. With these Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars, you don’t get that image softness nearly as much. In fact, it is so minimal that you must really look to see any softening around the edges. This sharpness of image makes the binoculars an excellent device.

Overall, the image is one of the best ones seen on a pair of binoculars of this type. It is crisp and clear, bright and with natural color hues, as well as being without chromatic aberrations or image softness. You’re sure to love the image seen through these binoculars!

In the Box

A few other things come with the Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars: a Rain guard, Tethered Objective Lens Covers, a Comfort Neck Strap, and a Deluxe Padded Carry Case.

Rain guard

The eyepiece cover, or rain guard, fits perfectly over the eyepiece, allowing for no accidental removal. It also has a flexible connector that flexes or compresses according to your interpupilary setting.

Objective Lens Covers

The caps for the objective lenses fit well and so should not fall off accidentally. However, should they fall off, they are tethered to the barrels by a rubber loop which also keeps them out of the way when you are using the binoculars. If you don’t like them dangling down, you can also detach the objective lens covers and stow them away somewhere safe like the carry case.

Neck Strap

These binoculars come with a very comfortable padded neck strap that is also shaped to fit better around your neck and shoulders. Vortex also connected the neck strap to the nylon strap with loop connectors, allowing the neck part of the strap to remain undisturbed when you lift the binoculars to your eyes.

Carrying Case

The carrying case for these binoculars is fairly well-padded, and the binoculars fit snugly without being too tight for easy access. Accessing the binoculars in their case is easy with a quick-release buckle and strap. There is also a mesh pocket on the inside of the lid for storing a few personal possessions such as an ID, a hunting license, and/or a lens cleaning cloth.

There is a separate unpadded neck strap that comes with the carrying case, but it can be attached or removed. If removed, the padded neck strap of the binoculars can be threaded through to be used instead. You can also carry the binoculars on your belt via a few loops on the back of the case.

While not as luxurious as some binocular cases, this carrying case does the job and has easy access to the binoculars.

The overall performance of these binoculars is exceptional. They have a crisp and clear image, are easy to focus and adjust, and have some extra details that add up to greatness, such as the neck strap’s comfortability and the tripod or car window mount possibility.