Best Binoculars under $500 (Year 2018)

Whoever said that you should part with so much of your money when you buy binoculars was dead wrong. You can still get high-quality, high-definition binoculars at a fair price. You may think that they may not last or will disappoint you out in the field but I can assure you that they are very efficient.

Choosing a set of binoculars is, however, no easy task. That’s where this article comes in. It will cover a complete buyer’s guide with our list of the best picks of binoculars available in the market.

What is the best magnification power of the best binocular?

Magnification power is how close or far a subject will appear when you look through a binocular. Binoculars are identified by two numbers. For example, an 8×25 binocular has 8x as the magnification power and 25 as the objective lens diameter.

Binoculars range from 7×35 to 10×50 each being different in weight, size, function, and convenience. I can’t dictate to you what kind of magnification you need as you know what you use the binocular for.

Vortex Optics Viper HD Binocular

Vortex Optics Viper HD Binocular

If you love bird watching you may consider getting binoculars that are a bit larger or compact. They’re meant to cover a large area and bring the images either 8x or 10x closer to you. When you buy binoculars, get one that will sufficiently fulfill your needs.

Do all binoculars come with lens coatings?

Nikon 7549 MONARCH 7 Binocular

Nikon 7549 MONARCH 7 Binocular

Earlier when binoculars were not as popular, the lenses used to reflect a lot of light, especially on sunny days. But with the advancement of technology, the best binoculars are made with lens coatings.

Light reflects off glass surfaces which may hurt your eyes, damage the lenses and ultimately the binocular itself. Binoculars come with lens coatings. Some binoculars are made from prisms that prevent reflection or light. 

Some have multilayered coatings that serve the same purpose while others have both of these features for more protection and convenience.

It’s however important to note that binoculars under $500 come with multiple coated lenses which mean they are not fully multicoated. The more expensive ones can be used whether there’s light or not. That’s where the importance of lens coatings really comes in.

Do all binoculars weigh the same?

Binoculars are so diverse. They come in different shapes, sizes and weights. As mentioned above binoculars range from 7×35 to 10×50. The 7×35 binoculars are smaller and more lightweight compared to the 10×50.

Binoculars under $500 usually range from the full size that is 8×42 to 10×42 or medium size that is 7×35 and 10×32. These two ranges of binoculars perform pretty well despite their relative sizes. They are also lightweight. You can carry them around your neck when you go hiking or strolling or any activity that requires a lot of movement.

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Vortex Optics Talon HD Binoculars

Vortex Optics Talon HD Binoculars

However, with smaller size comes the problem of insufficient light transmission especially in low light. To get a better viewing of a vast area, you need the big heavy binoculars. They can be mounted on stands to support the weight. You can carry them in your backpack but not around your neck. Some of these heavy binoculars come with a holster.

What is the best exterior material for binoculars?

Leupold BX-3 Mojave Binoculars

Leupold BX-3 Mojave Binoculars

The exterior of the binoculars takes care of the delicate interior of the binocular. The exterior can be made from a huge range of material. While come companies use plastic, others use quartz, aluminum, armored rubber or others metals.

It’s important to know what materials make up the exterior of your binocular as they will determine the size, weight, and durability of the same. Earlier on binoculars were made from aluminum and other metal alloys which would sometimes get really heavy especially in combat.

However, with the modern times, the exterior is made from rubberized armor that is rugged. The armor provides for protection of the binocular as well as a comfortable grip when in use.

Who exactly can use binoculars?

Binoculars can be used by everyone with a knack for adventure or even investigation. People in the war or combat used binoculars to spot enemies. That was the original use actually.

But nowadays, you can use binoculars to go hunting, bird watching, to observe nature, to investigate a person if you’re law enforcement, to go to sporting events or to go to watch plays in a theater or listen and watch your favorite pop star in a concert.

There are even those made for children. They’re so versatile. You just need to find the perfect one that fits your needs.

Steiner 2444 Predator Binocular

Steiner 2444 Predator Binocular

Best Binoculars under $500 Reviews

1. Vortex Optics Viper HD Binocular

If you’re looking for a high-quality binocular, you’re in the right place. Just like its name, it’s a full-fledged high definition binocular. You’ll look once through it and you’ll appreciate the binocular. The fact that there’s one available in this price range is just gold.

Pros

  • For a complete delivery of fog and waterproof performance, the binocular is designed with an O-ring and an argon gas purging. It keeps away moisture, dust, and debris from getting into the binocular. This makes the binocular usable in any condition at any time
  • An insulating prism multi-coated covering gives you radiant and free-of-obstacles images. It comes equipped with an air-to-glass to increase transmission of light
  • Its HD with an extra-low dispersion of glass gives exceptional resolution and color quality. You will get images that are highly defined
  • In addition to the binocular being water/fog proof, it’s made with a guard that protects it from the rain and the lens are tethered for even more protection
  • It comes complete with a neck strap and a padded carry case for convenience

Cons

  • If you like using the eyecups, this isn’t the binocular for you as it’s difficult to use
  • The field of view isn’t large enough especially when viewing a vast area
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If you like convenient devices, this binocular is one of them. You will like the O-ring, the rain guard and other features that protect the binoculars. It’s guaranteed to last no matter where you go viewing.

2. Nikon 7549 MONARCH 7 Binocular

If you’re a glass wearer looking for something that will be comfortable for your eyes and ultimately the feel in your arms, this binocular is for you. With its close focus capability, you will not strain as you enjoy the outdoors.

Pros

  • This is a 10x magnification and 42objective lens diameter. These types of binoculars offer an extra-wide field of view. This makes spotting your objects/subjects effortlessly
  • To give you those highly desired distinguishable images and an on-point accuracy, the binocular has high-quality lenses that are multilayered with prism coverings which are insulated
  • It’s rubberized armored exterior makes this binocular easy to hold and at the same time offers durability
  • From the exceptional make of the binocular, it can withstand any type of environment and condition

Cons

  • If you’re a birding enthusiast, this binocular isn’t meant for viewing over a long distance
  • You will need to buy a carrying case and neck strap separately

If you wear glasses and you’re in need of getting binoculars, this is the best one for you. The exit-pupil and the eye-relief will work perfectly for you.

3. Leupold BX-3 Mojave Binoculars

If you’re an explorer, you need a versatile binocular that will work in any environment in the world. This binocular is one of the few versatile ones.  They give you bright and clear images under any condition at the same time, it has a generous eye-relief for an extended time of viewing.

Pros

  • This binocular is made from prisms that are covered with cold mirror which provide for adjustments to give a smoothly focused image
  • The binocular is lightweight yet ergonomic from its bridge that is open and the roof prism that makes it easier for movement
  • For a longer viewing period, the binocular provides for adjustable eye-cups and generous eye-relief. It, therefore, prevents straining for those who wear glasses and those who don’t
  • For clear, crisp, sharply focused images, the lenses of the binocular are multilayered with optics with a combination of prisms. Perfect for viewing at any time anywhere.
  • Its armor coated exterior makes the binocular rugged to provide a comfortable grip and waterproof for protection from rain and moisture.

Cons

  • If you plan on moving around with your binoculars, don’t consider this one because it’s hefty

This is a 10×42 binocular. It’s perfect for hunting and exploring. If you like being in motion, you need to get another one as this binocular is heavy. You can, however, use a stand when viewing to take care of the weight.

4. Vortex Optics Talon HD Binoculars

To be able to view your prey from a distance to know how and where to aim, you need this binocular. It’s a 10×42 binocular making it perfect for viewing images in high-resolution from a long distance. With the HD feature, your subjects will feel as though they’re at arm’s length from you.

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Pros

  • This modified version of binoculars is made from high-definition glass with an extra low diffraction. It, in turn, gives high-definition images free from obstructions and blurriness
  • The exterior is made from rubberized armor that is comfortable to the hands and durable. The exterior also serves as water and fog barriers
  • Lenses of the binoculars are multilayered with coated prisms. These phase corrected lenses provide for a sufficient amount of light transmission and viewing
  • 10x magnification binoculars to bring images 10times closer, 42mm objective lens diameter to provide sufficient lighting and 348ft wide field of view at 1000yards make viewing interesting

Cons

  • This isn’t the binocular you can use to get a sharp focus
  • Being that it’s a 10×42 binoculars. It’s hefty hence not appropriate for movement

To get binoculars like this at this price range is virtually impossible. The high-definition glass will give you the clear and crisp images. You’ll definitely enjoy your viewing with this binocular. Although it’s a little hefty, you can use a stand when you view.

5. Steiner 2444 Predator Binocular

If you’re a hunter in search of binoculars that will not only be convenient for you out in the wild but also durable, this binocular is ideal for you. For a hunter’s 10×42 binocular, it’s very efficient. Its ergonomic design will ensure you enjoy your viewing as you hunt or just view wildlife.

Pros

  • This binocular makes it easy to spot game/predators in any environment using its Color Adjusted Transmission (CAT). It enlarges hue between two colors making them more visible to the normal human eye
  • For a low-light performance, this binocular is made with the latest and more advanced optimized light transmission technology that give more distinguishable images and up to 3-4% advanced transmission of light
  • To be able to sharply focus on your prey, this binocular comes complete with a central focusing wheel that needs the smallest possible rotation for a fast, close focus for an absolute sharp image
  • For a longer life, the binocular is made from Makrolon housing, polycarbonate with NBR rubberized armoring for protection and to offer a comfortable grip able to resist collision.
  • It’s a lightweight binocular that can easily fit into your backpack

Cons

  • If you go hunting in low-temperature regions, this isn’t the binocular for you as the eyeglass fogs when in low temperatures.
  • It’s a 10×42 binocular meaning it’s hefty if you carry it around your neck

For a binocular with all these amazing features to be easily available and at this price range is a major advantage. It’s made from the latest technology to ensure your convenience as you hunt or general viewing. You will love this binocular.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a hunter, bird watcher, explorer, sports or concert enthusiast, any of the above-discussed binoculars are appropriate for you. Some of them may be hefty, it’s recommended to buy a tripod stand. I hope you’ve found some insight from the above article.