Jump to content


Bino Buying Advice


Recommended Posts

Hello All,

I'm looking into buying my Dad a pair of binoculars for general use (not astro necessarily, things like bird watching, sight seeing, etc.) and I'm not really clued up what kind of objective size and magnification would be most appropriate?  Also which brands are the best?

I would welcome advice please!



Edited by scitmon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For general use, my personal advice would be to go for a pair that isn't going to be a burden - so look at a small pair that is more likely to be picked up before he goes out. 

My favourite pair is probably my Pentax Papillio II binoculars - mine are the 8.5x21 (they also come as a slightly lower power 6.5x magnification).  Their unique feature is that they have a very close focus - down to about 0.5 metres. So, not only can you use them for looking at the usual birds in trees etc, you can just as easily use them for looking at bees on flowers close up. 

I sometimes use them in museums so that I can get close up views of the exhibits in their glass cases - so it's valid to think of them as long distance microscope as much as a close distance binocular. 

Their optical quality is what you would expect from Pentax - but their price is lower than you'd expect (Jessops currently have them for £99 / £109 depending on power).  Review here

If your dad has an interest in Astronomy, then these really don't have the aperture - but for general use, they are more versatile than most binoculars. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently bought a pair of Vortex Diamondback HD 8 x 42 for the same mixed usage as you require. Not too big or heavy for walking around with during the day and as big as I can hold reasonably steady for nighttime observation. I chose these by trialling various options at a high street store, they weren't what I thought I wanted before I went in but they performed the best visually of all the options I tried. Cost around £200 I think.

A few hours after leaving the shop with them I enjoyed a close-up view of a deer in the woods and later that night my son had his first view of the Pleiades through them from a dark site in Dorset. Just with those two experiences they had more than paid for themselves within 24 hours!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.