Choosing Which Binocular is Best For Bird Watching?

If you’re a bird watcher, you know how important it is to have a quality pair of binoculars. This is because they help to bring birds closer and increase the chances of a great view.

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when choosing your binoculars, including the magnification, field of view and waterproofing.


The magnification of a binocular is a key feature for bird watching. It helps to give the birds more detail so you can identify them easily and also makes it easier to spot them from a long distance.

Binoculars come in various magnifications including 5x, 7x, 8x and 10x. Generally, a higher magnification is not recommended for bird watching as it will cause the image to be blurrier and less sharp.

To determine what magnification is best for your needs, decide what you want to use the binoculars for. Do you want to have a clearer, brighter image, or are you looking for a wider field of view?

If you are new to binoculars, it is best to go with lower magnifications. Having a low magnification will make it easier for you to keep them steady in your hands when you are out walking or observing birds at a distance.

Another factor to consider is how much light the binoculars can gather. Larger objective lenses will allow more light to enter the binoculars and this will help to reduce glare and improve their performance in low light situations.

It is a good idea to look for binoculars that are waterproof and fogproof. This is because you will be using them outdoors in a range of weather conditions and they should be able to handle the different temperatures.

In addition to choosing the right magnification for your needs, it is important to choose a binocular that is comfortable for your eyes and hands. A pair of binoculars that are too heavy or uncomfortable will have a negative impact on your enjoyment of the activity.

A binocular with a high magnification will be more difficult to hold stable in your hand as it will induce shakes in the image which can make it more difficult to pick out details of the bird. This is not something you want to experience if you are spending hours in the field.

A binocular with a low magnification will be more comfortable and will produce a clearer, brighter image. If you have to go for a higher magnification, it is worth investing in a tripod. This will help to stabilise the binoculars and prevent induced shakes in the image which can affect your enjoyment of the activity.

Field of View

Field of View is an important factor for bird watchers, especially when looking at birds in dense foliage or following them as they move. The wider the field of view, the more room you have to spot a bird in your binoculars.

A binocular’s field of view (FOV) is the area that can be seen without moving the eyepieces or changing magnification. FOV is usually expressed in feet at 1,000 yards, or meters at 1,000 metres, but may also be provided in degrees of field.

Most manufacturers list the FOV in terms of angular degrees, but this can be misleading, because human eyes are not fixed on the object you are viewing. The angular field is the actual angle of the eyepiece, while the apparent field of view (also known as the Apparent FOV) is what you see through your binoculars, multiplied by the magnification power.

Another common way to express FOV is in terms of dimensional units, which are also in m and ft. This can be easier to understand and work with.

The dimensional field of view is computed from the focal length and sensor size of a lens. It is measured in horizontal width, vertical height, or diagonal.

A higher number for either angular or dimensional field of view indicates a wider area of the world you can see through the eyepieces. The most common FOV is given in feet at 1000 yds, but it is increasingly being presented in meters.

Some manufacturers even provide an apparent field of view that is calculated by multiplying the angular FOV by the magnification power. This value can be useful when comparing binoculars of different magnifications because it provides a more consistent result between brands.

Generally, binoculars with a lower magnification and higher FOV are better for bird watching than those with high magnification and low FOV. The reason for this is that binoculars with a lower magnification allow you to look at birds closer. This allows you to more easily see the fine details of a bird, and also helps you identify the species quicker when trying to read a bird’s name or other identification details.


Waterproof binoculars are a must-have for bird watchers who spend most of their time outside. Not all weather conditions are ideal for birding, and a waterproof pair of binoculars will protect your glasses from rain, snow, and fog when the forecast is not good.

The simplest way to ensure your glasses are waterproof is by buying those that have rubber O-rings around their housing-lens interfaces and eyepiece-objective lens joints. These O-rings act as a tight seal between the binocular barrel and the glass, keeping moisture, dirt, and debris out.

Some manufacturers have their binoculars rated for their waterproofing according to the JIS or DIN standards (Japanese Industrial Standards and German Institute for Standardization, respectively). This rating will describe how much water a binocular can handle at various pressures and angles without damaging the internal components.

In addition to protecting your eyes from the dangers of exposure to water, the waterproofing of a binocular can also prevent lens fogging. Fog can ruin a clear view through your binoculars, and can even result in lens corrosion.

Another serious problem with unprotected optics is fungus development on the lenses. This can happen in only a few hours of exposure to wet conditions.

Fortunately, some binoculars have nitrogen fillers that act as an extra layer of protection from humidity and water damage. This can also help prevent internal fogging, which is caused by rapid temperature changes in the binocular barrels.

If you’re looking for a high-quality, fully-waterproof binocular, look for those that have been designed specifically for bird watching. These binoculars will provide a wider field of view and will be easier to track flying birds.

Some of these birding binoculars can also have a wide range of magnification, so you can get closer to your target. If you want to capture the best possible image of a bird, you should choose one that has at least 10x magnification.

When purchasing a pair of binoculars, it’s best to go to a retail store that specializes in optics. This way, the salesperson can guide you to the right model for your needs.


When you are out birding, it is important to be able to see the birds you’re searching for clearly. You’ll want to find a binocular that has good optical quality. The best optics will allow you to see the smallest details of a bird’s feathers. It will also help you locate them if they are in flight or perched on a branch.

Fogproofing is a feature that helps prevent the condensation of moisture in a binocular’s lenses and eyepieces. When this occurs, it can cause damage to the glasses and can ruin your birding trip.

Fortunately, modern binoculars are generally both waterproof and fog proof. This is achieved by purifying the inside of the optical barrels with nitrogen or argon gas. This process is often referred to as nitrogen-purging.

Nitrogen is used because it is a non-moist gas, which will not condense on the inside of the binoculars’ glass and will therefore not cause fogging. It is also a natural anti-mold agent.

Another feature that can prevent internal fogging is anti-microbial coatings on the binocular’s lenses. These can keep fungi and bacteria from growing on the lens surfaces, which can make them more difficult to clean.

This is an important feature to consider because it can help you avoid expensive repairs or replacements. This means that you can get a better deal on your binoculars, and can use them for years without having to worry about their performance or lifespan.

The best way to avoid internal fogging is to ensure that the binoculars are not exposed to sudden changes in temperature and/or humidity. This can include leaving the binoculars in a warm vehicle overnight or letting them acclimate to the conditions before you take them with you for your birding trip.

You should also wipe down the eyepieces with a microfiber cloth after you have been out birding to remove any excess moisture from the lenses and eyepieces, especially after long periods of rain. This can help to prevent the moisture from causing additional problems with your binoculars, like corrosion or rust.

You should also look for binoculars that are lightweight, so they don’t fatigue you after a long birding session. They should also be easy to carry around, since you’ll be spending a lot of time viewing the birds and other avian subjects you’re hunting for. This will help to increase your satisfaction with your birding experience, and you’ll be able to enjoy it more than ever before!

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About the Author: Clare Louise