The 10x or 8x magnification are the most common in bird-watching binoculars. For better details 10x magnifications is more suitable, however the hand shakiness might be a slight problem, so it’s highly recommended using smaller magnification with a better FOV. It’s very convenient to watch birds with wider FOV since it’s easier to keep a track on them. It’s also very suitable for bird-watching binoculars to have a quick focusing wheel and good ergonomics for comfortable handling. Compact binoculars are usually not enough bright and full sized binoculars are too heavy, so the all-rounders are the most recommendable. It’s also advisable that binoculars offer a full protection against water and fogging and adjustable eyecups if you are an eyeglass wearer.
10. Kowa Genesis 10.5×44
Great Kowa binoculars – Genesis series are perfect for birdwatchers. They offer excellent performance due to PROMINAR XD (extra-low dispersion) lenses and C3 multi-coatings for high contrast and colors with almost no chromatic aberration and glaring. These binoculars are waterproof and fog-proof due to nitrogen filled construction. Great price-performance ratio will satisfy every birdwatcher and other nature enthusiast.
9. Minox APO HG 10×43
The award winning Minox APO HG series definitely stands out as having a great build with the 75 years of knowledge in sports optics. Made in Wetzlar, Germany, these binoculars can pride themselves with apochromatically corrected lenses and coated with M* coatings that enhance light transmission and MinoBright silver-bearing prism coatings that provide even the most demanding users with perfect – bright, sharp and colorful images. Great sleek and slender design helps with easy handling. They are well protected with rubber armouring and tight seals to make them impervious even in the harshest weather conditions. They are also purged with Argon gas against internal fogging.
8. Nikon EDG 10×32
Compared to other birdwatching binoculars, these Nikon EDG binoculars with 10×32 configuration are incredibly small. Great ergonomics due to lightweight body help to ease your portability and handling for longer periods of time which is very convenient for those spending a lot of time in the nature. Optically they perform quite amazingly. The images have incredible resolution and sharpness and we could easily place them in the top of this list. They are able to satisfy even the most demanding users due to special extra-low dispersion glass that eliminates distortions. The focusing is extremely smooth and these binoculars are equipped with very generous eye-relief. But they are a little darker than Zeiss binoculars, so when it comes to challenging light, they might perform slightly less good.
7. Leica Ultravid 10×32 HD-Plus
Leica Ultravid offers other premium binoculars for birdwatchers – a compact version of Ultravid HD-Plus that you can take with you everywhere. They are still able to provide you with bright and razor sharp image right up to twilight due to many thick layers of high light permeable coatings and SCHOTT HT glass. They are also equipped with lubrication-free mechanism – PETP Discs and are well protected so they are able to withstand even the harshest terrain and weather.
6. Swarovski EL 10×32 WB
Smaller Swarovski EL binoculars with 10×32 configuration are also perfect for birdwatchers. Nevermind the compact size and smaller lens diameter, they will perform well right up to twilight. The same as their bigger brother, they distinguish themselves from other brands because of the field flatteners that offer extremely wide field of view and sharp image from edge to edge. The compact size helps with easier portability and makes them suitable for birdwatchers that spend a lot of time in the nature and don’t want the binoculars to get fatiguing after some time with the help of open-bridge design that helps you with proper wrap-around grip.
5. Leica Ultravid 10×42 HD-Plus
Leica offers another great binoculars for birdwatchers and other nature observations. Ultravid HD-Plus provides a model with amazing design that eases the portability due to a lightweight magnesium chassis. They are well protected, submergible to a water depth of 5 meters without damaging and purged with nitrogen gas. Focusing is quick and smooth with great precision and adjustable by lubrication-free mechanism – PETP-Discs. They are fully multi-coated and SCHOTT HT glass helps with a great light permeability.
4. Nikon EDG 10×42
One of the finest binoculars in the sports optics are Nikon EDG. Perfect for birdwatcher, these binoculars are incredibly comfortable to use. Smooth focusing and rugged rubber armouring for non-slip grip and extreme compactness and lightweight body make great ergonomics. These binoculars perform incredibly well and offer clean razor sharp and colorful images with the help of flat field glass. They are unfortunately less bright than the first three competitors but otherwise they share the same features.
When reviewing all of these binoculars we came to the conclusion that there’s so little difference between the first three binoculars that they share the first spot on our top 10 list. To decide which one is better for you we recommend you try and test all of them individually!
1. Zeiss Victory SF 10×42
Incredible brightness is definitely the best feature of Zeiss Victory SF binoculars. This performance makes them suitable to observe from dusk till dawn. They are equipped with SCHOTT glass and many layers of high-quality coatings together with hydrophobic LotuTec. Great field of view, stunning close focusing distance and ultra-light ergonomics make them very appealing especially for the ones that are spending more time in the great outdoors. ErgoBalance setting helps to lean the binoculars towards the face and makes the grip extremely comfortable. These binoculars are also equipped with triple-link bridge that improves focusing speed.
1. Swarovski EL 10×42 Swarovision
Other binoculars for birdwatchers that definitely stand out are Swarovski EL Swarovision binoculars. The best optical performance is a result of field flatteners and special lens technology that help to eliminate the curvature of the field and thus enhance sharpness from edge to edge. The great Swarovski EL binoculars are fully multi-coated with Swarobright, Swarodur and Swarotop together with hydrophobic Swaroclean. Open-bridge design helps with very comfortable portability due to wrap-around grip. As every premium binoculars, El 10×42 are well protected with tight seals, rubber armouring and purged with nitrogen gas. Wider field of view and stunning close focusing distance for observations up close can satisfy every birdwatcher.
1. Leica Noctivid 10×42
One of the best all-rounders on the market at the moment for birdwatchers are Noctivid 10×42 binoculars that launched in 2016. New perfected technologies and build materials produce impressive performance that leaves competition in the dust. Great field of view and close focusing distance together with the best fully multi-coated system offer great light transmission rate. With this performance you can easily chase the birds and stay on the target even if you are on the move. Amazing stylish and compact design makes them a real pleasure to use and can definitely satisfy even the most demanding users.
This review is not sponsored and it’s completely unbiased. It is made simply out of our own interest in the optics and provides an objective opinion of tested binoculars. Big thanks to Optics Trade who kindly offered us their products to review and test.