Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or you need a pair of binoculars for a professional reason, knowing the options for the best binoculars under $200 can be handy.
Choosing the right binocular isn’t only about choosing the most expensive or the most sophisticated one. You need to know the details of the operation, such as zooming ability, resistance against natural elements (water, fog, etc), and the proper maintenance care. It’s a good thing that there are several promising candidates that you can consider – and most importantly, they are all affordable. How cool is that?
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Best Binoculars Selection Tips
As an optical instrument, the binocular is pretty useful and helpful, especially for outdoor enthusiasts who need the help to see things better and in detail, just like the eyeglasses. There are different kinds of uses and functions of binoculars, so make sure that you understand the function and importance before you buy one.
So, what are the things you need to consider when you are about to choose the best binoculars to buy?
- Usage frequency. If you are going to use the binocular quite often, you may want to choose the rather high-end ones with sturdier quality. But if it isn’t so often, the inexpensive one is probably good enough. But inexpensive items don’t always mean that it is flimsy. There are many good and affordable products out there but the features may be limited.
- Use. There are different usages of binoculars, such as bird watching, marine activities, hunting, or theater. Each of them has their own signature style and characteristics. For instance, the best hunting binoculars require special and flexible magnification, so 7x to 10x binoculars are the perfect pick. For bird watching, you need 8×42 binocular with 12x magnification. If you use the binocular for marine activity, a water-resistant item would be perfect but don’t choose the high magnification one. Be sure to really understand your activity and needs before making your own research.
- Size. There are also different sizes available, such as the full size (for boating use), compact (for daytime outdoor), or mid-size (for sports and wildlife). Remember that size is related to weight, meaning that the compact binocular is the lightest while the full-size one is probably the heaviest type.
- Magnification power and lens diameter. It will determine the lens diameter and magnification power. The 8x 35 binocular, for instance, means that it has 8 magnification power – the object will look 8 times bigger and closer. But the ones bigger than 10 will affect your hand movements so it would be hard to have a steady viewing. The 35 means that the lenses are 35mm in diameter.
- Prism type. Binoculars have 2 types of prism: Porro and roof. Porro prisms are bulkier but they can deliver good optics. Roof, on the other hand, is more compact and slimmer, but you need extra work to adjust their precision.
- Lens coating. Some have multicoated layers while the others only have one coating layer.
- Weather-resistant features. If you are going to use the binocular for hunting or outdoor use, you need to consider the waterproof and weather resistant feature. Don’t forget that you should also consider the fog-resistant feature.
Top 5 Best Binoculars for under $200 in 2019
1. Nikon Aculon 8252
As you can imagine, Nikon is a world-class brand and name, and when it produces a high-quality binocular, the quality is just superb and impressive. The binocular has 22×50 zoom ability with 10-22 adjustable power multicoated lenses. The device has Eco-Glass (arsenic-free) lenses with Porro prism quality. A lot of people who have bought the Nikon Aculon 8252 claim that the binocular is very flexible and effective to use. They can use it in any condition and any time of the day. The Eco-Glass lenses deliver crisp, bright, and clear images and the glass composition is very safe and reliable (with arsenic and lead-free quality). Nikon Aculon 8252 is perfect for hunting activity.
The focus button is smooth and fast, and it comes with ergonomic and comfortable design. Switching focus from 10x to 22x is super easy and effortless. Most users like the zoom quality because they can always change the focus and the lenses will immediately adjust to the new setting – which is very different from the regular binoculars that may need the extra time for the adjustment. In short, the focus won’t be compromised and you can hold on to the device without any tiredness or difficulty. And don’t forget durable and sturdy construction – it is one of the winning elements from the best hunting binoculars for under $200.
2. Bushnell H2O – Black
Not all binoculars are made and created as a waterproof device, so choose carefully if you want to use the device for outdoor activity or for marine activity. Bushnell H2O is constructed with waterproof quality with reliable rubber pads with textured and non-slip ability to help you hold the binocular in the most comfortable manner. So, even when it is wet or rainy, you won’t have to worry about slipping.
Bushnell H2O also comes with rubber armor with non-slip ability. The armor is also able to absorb any bump or shock, reducing the possibility of damage or wreck. And the prism quality is delivering impressive quality view. The image will be bright and clear without you having to worry about how much light will enter the device or whether the focus will be compromised. Basically, you only need to adjust the setting and simply use it. The device will take care of it on its own. The package comes with its own carrying case and also comfortable strap, including the rubber lens cover. Again, the waterproof quality is trusted and reliable.
3. Vortex Optics Diamondback
What can you learn from the best binoculars? The quality of the glass is impressive and has a very nice lightweight feel when you hold it. It’s the quality lightweight feel, not the cheap one. And this Vortex Optics Diamondback has multi-coating full lenses that deliver amazing view even within the low-light surrounding. The wide field of view will also deliver convenient use where you can cover any ground and spot any subject without any difficulty. Very suitable for hunting!
The adjustable eyecups are handy and functional, even when you wear eyeglasses. The IPD setting is easy and simple, and you can rotate the device until it aligns with the eyes. The binocular can help you see better and clearer without adding the extra fuss or weight whenever you carry it around even when you are hunting the smallest bird. Pretty convenient, eh?
4. Nikon ProStaff 3S – Black
Since this device is mostly used for outdoor use, the construction is lightweight and compact. Is it perfect for casual activity? You can bet on it! The ProStaff 3S binocular has a slim body and lightweight feature, along with a convenient grip for improved and hassle-free handling. Moreover, the binocular is fog and water-resistant – meaning that you can tag it anytime you go out, no matter what weather it is.
The binocular has multi-layer coating lenses and also prism high-reflective coating that will deliver bright, sharp, and detailed images. The wider view field is comfortable and convenient without compromising the eye relief length. As a result, you can find objects easier without compromising anything, especially comfort.
The construction of the ProStaff 3S is sturdy and tough, and the many features only add comfort in using it. You’d be amazed to find that there are many handy features within the device. Zooming and adjusting focus is very convenient. You can also attach it to the available straps, so there is no need to worry about dropping the binocular or losing it. That why Nikon ProStaff 3S is the best binoculars for the money today.
5. Celestron 71332 Nature DX – Green
The binocular comes in 8×42 measurement which means that the lenses are quite big (42mm) and the device can make subjects appear 8x closer and bigger. Celestron Nature DX is the best compact binocular that is intended for outdoor use so the overall construction is solid and sturdy. With waterproof quality, you can have a breeze carrying this device around. And the full rubber armor will provide extra protection and safety to the maximum level. Even when you use the binocular in a rough situation, you won’t have to worry that it will be damaged or broken.
The coated prisms would deliver perfect view because of the increased resolution and contrast. You can enjoy the closer and detailed image or watching birds without having to worry that it may compromise you. There is also the multi full coated optics that filters the incoming light and delivers brighter result. It can be done by increasing the light transmission via the optical path. And besides the waterproof quality, the fog proof quality should also be considered. This is a device that is eyeglass-friendly and sturdy construction. A lot of users who have used Celestron Nature DX claim that they like the sturdy construction as well as the easy operation. With a flexible use and handle of the device, you can enjoy it – no matter in whatever setting you are using the binocular.
There you are some of the best budget binoculars that you can have for your own personal or professional use. You only need to choose one among these best binoculars under $200 based on your preference and needs.