You love your handy binoculars.
You use them to view wildlife and birds and might even use them to check out the stars on clear nights from your backyard.
Can you really use binoculars for astronomy?
You certainly can, and that’s because your binoculars offer a wide field of view, so you can see more when you look up at the sky.
But which binoculars should you purchase?
There are tons of binoculars out there, so it’s not easy to know which one is best for what you intend to use it for. Let’s check out the best binoculars for under $200 for every type of activity.
Best Stargazing Binoculars Under $200: Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars
These binoculars by Gosky are the best ones for astronomy – no telescope required! Here’s why.
- Smartphone mount
- Multi-guard FMC coating
- These binoculars have 10x magnification as well as a large field of view, so they’re perfect for watching the night sky. But you can also use them for other activities, such as wildlife, which makes them a versatile pair of binoculars to own.
- Their optics make use of BaK-4 prism lenses – this ensures that your views are crisp and clear.
- The lenses have Multiguard FMC coatings. These provide anti-reflection properties so that light is transmitted effectively, producing a clearer, more comfortable view.
- These binoculars are built to be durable. They can handle harsh weather conditions thanks to their shock-absorbing rubber.
- They are equipped with an O-ring design. This seals the body of the binoculars to prevent dust and debris.
- The binoculars come with a handy smartphone mount so you can connect it to your smartphone and take pictures of what you see!
- Some people who have purchased these binoculars have stated that the smartphone mount can be difficult to use.
- Some people have said that their lenses tend to fog up on cold days.
- These binoculars come with extra items: rubber lens covers, a cleaning cloth, a neck strap, and a carrying case.
- The eyecups have a twist design with long eye relief, so they’re ideal for you if you wear spectacles.
- These binoculars are tripod-compatible.
These binoculars have everything you need to be able to have stunning views of the universe, and they’re versatile enough for many other activities, which makes them an all-around quality pair to own.
Best Birding Binoculars Under $200: Celestron 71333 Nature DX 10×42 Binoculars
If you love watching birds and you want a quality pair of binoculars to help you see more details, these Celestron binoculars are a must.
- BaK-4 prism
- Multi-coated optics
- Resistant to fog
- These binoculars offer a wide field of view, so you don’t have to move your binoculars around to be able to focus on your target.
- They make use of BaK-4 prism lenses with phase coating. This is useful because it increases resolution and contrast, producing sharper views.
- The optics are multi-coated to provide more light transmission. This makes the birds you view look brighter and clearer.
- These binoculars have a 6.5-foot close focus. This means you can see many more details of the birds you love to spot in your environment, and it also allows you to see close-ups of plants, insects, and more.
- These binoculars have a twist-up eyecup design and are spectacles-friendly because they offer 17.5mm of eye relief.
- You’ll enjoy the 42mm objective lenses and 10x magnification, which makes these binoculars perfect for a variety of activities.
- Some people have reported that these binoculars were heavier than they thought they would be.
- Others have reported dissatisfaction with the eye relief dial as it turns too easily.
- If you’ve ever experienced your binocular lenses fogging up on cold days, you’ll love that these are resistant to fog and water. This is because they’re filled with dry gas.
These Celestron binoculars are excellent for providing you with clear, bright views of birds and other wildlife, and they have features such as being fog- and water-resistant that make them a must to purchase.
Best 8×42 Binoculars Under $200: Celestron 72332 Nature DX ED 8×42 Premier Binoculars
It’s an interesting fact: sometimes you can have better views with an 8×42 set of binoculars instead of a 10×42, such as when it comes to having increased eye relief.
If you’re interested in purchasing a new set of binoculars, this one by Celestron is worth considering, and it has more to offer than good magnification. Here’s what you need to know about it.
- Extra-Low Dispersion glass
- Waterproof and fog-proof
- Polycarbonate construction
- One of the best things about these binoculars is that they make use of Extra-Low Dispersion glass. This eliminates chromatic aberration from occurring, making your views much sharper with realistic colors.
- Just like with some other top binoculars on the market, these Celestron binoculars are made with BaK-4 prism glass with phase coating. These increase how much light is transmitted and provides detailed views even if the lighting in your environment isn’t that great.
- These binoculars are made of rubber, and they’re waterproof as well as fog-proof, so they’re perfect for taking outdoors in any kind of weather!
- Some people have said that the eye cups are a bit flimsy.
- Others have reported that the neck strap that comes with the binoculars is of low quality.
- Besides the neck strap, you’ll also receive other items with your purchase. These include a carrying case and cleaning cloth.
- These binoculars are very durable, thanks to their polycarbonate construction.
- Just like with the previous Celestron binoculars we featured in this article, these come with 6.5 foot focus.
These Celestron 8×42 binos are a quality pair of binoculars that you’ll enjoy using for their crisp, color-correct images.
Best Hunting Binoculars Under $200: Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm Binoculars
If you need a pair of binoculars for hunting, you’ll want something durable that offers precise views. This Bushnell Legend pair doesn’t compromise on either. Let’s check out its specs.
- Rainguard HD technology
- 340-feet field of view
- These 10×42 millimeter binoculars are built to last. They have non-slip rubber armor to protect their glass.
- They’re ergonomic, perfect for long hours spent in the bush.
- These binoculars have a hydrophobic and oleophobic coating on their lenses. This means that oiliness (such as from your fingers), water, and fog is prevented. This allows you to have unobstructed views.
- You know that hunting requires you to be completely in tune with your target, so you don’t want the weather to break your concentration. These binoculars prevent that from happening because they cause water droplets, such as moisture or rain, to bead into smaller drops. This means that less light is scattered.
- Some people who have purchased these binoculars have stated that the neck strap is not durable and is prone to wear and tear.
- Others have reported that the rubber lens caps pop off very easily.
- You receive lots of other items in the pack with this purchase: a rubber lens cover to protect your binoculars, a cloth drawstring bag, a carrying case with a belt loop included, and a neck strap.
- People who have purchased these binoculars have stated that they are really easy to align with your eyes and offer precise views.
These Bushnell binoculars are your must-have hunting eyes. They’re precise, easy to use, and resistant to many elements that can try to get in the way of your activity.
Best Compact Binoculars Under $200: Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars
Who says you have to spend a lot of money to buy a quality pair of binoculars?
If you’re on a tight budget, these Occer binoculars are the ones for you! Here’s what you should know about them.
- FMC coating
- Compact design
- Shockproof and waterproof
- The FMC Broadband coating on these binoculars, when combined with their BaK-4 prism, means that you’ll be able to enjoy high-quality views.
- These binoculars are really light, weighing only 7.2 ounces, so you can easily use them with one hand and pop them into your pocket when you’re done with them for the day.
- Their lightweight nature also makes them the perfect family set of binoculars because the kids will be able to use them with ease.
- These binoculars have non-slip rubber armor that makes it easy and comfortable to hold them.
- They’re both waterproof and shockproof, so they’re built to last.
- These binoculars are perfect for activities such as bird watching because they offer 12x magnification.
- The instruction manual that comes with the binoculars is unsatisfactory and difficult to understand.
- Some people have reported that the binoculars don’t seem to have 12x magnification.
- The company makes it clear that you can’t use these at night.
- These binoculars are ideal for low-light conditions, such as when you want to birdwatch in the early morning or take pictures of the moon at sunset. Just make sure you don’t use them when it’s too dark!
- They are said to have excellent clarity up to about 100 yards.
These best compact binoculars under 200 are really affordable while offering you solid features that you’ll appreciate in a pair of multi-use binoculars.
Binoculars Under $200 FAQ
After reading our reviews of the best binoculars under $200 for every type of activity, you might want to know more about binoculars and what features are important to look for before you go ahead and hand over your credit card details to purchase them online.
Whether you’re a beginner when it comes to using binoculars or you have some experience, here are some important things to know about them.
What should I look for when buying binoculars?
When purchasing binoculars, it’s important to ensure that they have the following features:
Magnification between 7x and 12x
This will ensure that you can see things that are a bit further away from you and be able to increase the magnification for what you see.
If you choose a pair of binoculars that have more magnification than that, however, you will need to have a tripod; otherwise, it will be difficult to use.
Objective lens size
This is important because it’s responsible for how much light can enter the binoculars.
You want more light to enter if you’re in low visibility conditions, so make sure the lens size is large. FYI, the objective lens is the lens on the binoculars that is located opposite the eyepiece.
You’ll see the lens size of binoculars is written as a œmm measurement after the œx. So, if the measurement is 8×24, this means that the binoculars have 8x magnification and a 24mm diameter. Good diameter size is between 25mm and 40mm.
Quality lens coatings
These are very important to reduce how much light gets reflected and obstructs your view.
You want lenses that have multilayer coatings, such as those found in the Celestron 71333 Nature DX 10×42 binoculars that we featured in our reviews of the best binoculars under 200.
Light in weight
You don’t want to be stuck with a heavy pair of binoculars. Carrying them around when you need to use them can prove very tiresome. A small, compact set of binoculars will be highly portable and easy on the hands during long hours of hunting or stargazing.
One of the most compact binoculars on the market under $200 is the pair of Occer binoculars we featured in our reviews – it only weighs 7.2 ounces!
This is pretty standard on many quality binoculars, and it’s highly important. You’re going to be using your binoculars outside no matter what activity you’re interested in using them for, and you don’t want them to become damaged by moisture or humidity.
Always check that your binoculars are listed as waterproof (they often will have the letters WP to signify this). It might also be good to ensure that they’re resistant to other things as well that could cause them damage, such as fog and fingerprints.
The Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm binoculars that we featured on our list of the best binoculars under $200 contain coatings on their lenses that resist fingerprints, water, and fog, so you’ll be more than covered.
Which binoculars are the best for long-distance viewing?
If you want to see things from very far away with your binoculars, you have to ensure that they are primed for long-distance viewing. They should have these features:
Larger objective lenses
These translate into more light being brought to your eyes, and they have wider fields of view. This has the bonus of allowing you to view things in low-light conditions, such as at dusk.
This will help you to capture details, such as on very small birds that are far away from you. You’ll find that binoculars that are 8×24 are considered to be the standard, but 10×42,10×50, and 12×50 are all excellent binocular sizes for helping you to see more details.
Many binoculars that are suitable for long-distance views will have a high magnification number and a large objective lens diameter, helping you to see larger images that are clear thanks to the light brought in by the lens.
Bear in mind that the higher magnification, the less brightness of what you see!
This will help you to enjoy crisper, clearer views. Choose binoculars, such as Celestron 72332 “ Nature DX ED 8×42 Premier Binoculars, that have Extra-Low-Dispersion lenses.
These correct color issues and provide you with much sharper images.
As we’ve seen in our reviews of the best binoculars under 200, many quality binoculars will have Bak-4 glass.
This is one of the best on the market. It delivers a high-refractive quality, and this translates into a better light transmission, so what you see at a distance will be sharper.
Binoculars that are good for long-distance views will be heavy, so you need to combine them with a tripod to make your sightseeing more comfortable and prevent blurry images from shakiness.
The Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars that we featured in our reviews are compatible with tripods.
What is a good field of view for binoculars?
The field of view of your binoculars basically refers to how much you can see with them. More specifically, it can be defined as the width of the area that you’ll be able to see.
A wider field of view will enable you to see more in your field of vision without having to move your binoculars, so it’s especially useful if you’re watching sports or birds.
There are different factors that can influence the binoculars’ field of view, such as how its lens is designed as well as its objective lens diameter in relation to the magnification.
o, binoculars that have 8x magnification and 22 diameter will have a wider field of view than, say, binoculars that have a 10x magnification and 22 diameter.
You will see that field of view is measured in degrees in some cases but feet in others. When the binoculars have their field of view measured in feet, it’s measured as the width of your view at 1,000 yards (via CrutchField).
Usually, quality binoculars tend to have a field of view that’s between 300 to 375 feet at 1,000 yards.
It’s worth bearing in mind that magnification affects the field of view. The higher the magnification, the narrower your field of view will be. In addition to that, binoculars that have longer eye relief will have a smaller field of view.
If you want to focus on zooming in on a target, then you’ll want a pair of binoculars that have higher magnification, even if that means your field of view will be narrower.
When purchasing a set of binoculars, remember that different binoculars that have the same specs can differ in a big way when it comes to their fields of view. This is why it’s important to make sure that you check all their information to make the best choice.
If you want to purchase a new pair of binoculars that don’t cost a lot of money but don’t skimp on quality, this buying guide will show you that it certainly is possible.
In our reviews of the best binoculars under $200 for every type of activity, you’ll be able to find budget-friendly binoculars for hunting, astronomy, bird watching, and more. Many of the binoculars that we’ve featured are versatile, so you can use them for a variety of activities.
We’ve also featured some important information pertaining to binoculars and how to find the best one for your needs. Whether you want a compact pair of binoculars or ones that are built to withstand harsh conditions, you’ll find the best pair on our list.