Binoculars Comparison 2018

Purchase advice for binoculars comparison or test 2018

  • Binoculars come in different price categories for a wide variety of applications. Ordinary hobby binoculars are already available from 50 - 100 €. For occasional observation in nature, they are perfect.
  • The magnification of most amateur binoculars is either 8x or 10x. There are differences in the lens diameter, which affects the incidence of light and thus the visibility at dusk, but also the weight.
  • There are also glasses for eyeglass wearers, where a dioptric value can be adjusted to compensate for the visual impairment of the eyes.

Binoculars Comparison 2018: 2018

Binoculars have many uses: the hiker orients himself with them in the wide terrain, the ornithologist looks out for birds, foresters and hunters can detect other animals. It is therefore one of the most popular optical devices and indispensable in many professions and for countless hobbies.

The price differences in binoculars are enormous: the best binoculars cost well over a thousand euros, cheap binoculars, however, are already for about twenty euros to have. This confuses consumers who are already struggling with technical terms such as twilight, diopter compensation and field of vision. In our binoculars comparison, you will get an overview of the topic. In addition, we give you the opportunity to calculate the different numerical values ​​yourself, if you wish.

1. How does the binoculars work?

Binoculars Comparison 2018: 2018

Unlike binoculars, the telescope has only a single tube.

A binocular binocular has two tubes, one for each eye. They are connected to each other and usually adjustable to the individual eye distance. Both eyes are open while viewing. This differs from the telescope, which - as the name implies - only consists of a single tube.

The user looks with his eye through the so-called eyepiece. At the other end of the tube is the lens. Between the two is also a small prism system, small mirrors that "move" the incident light a bit. Without them, the binoculars would be much longer and would be quite unwieldy.

2. Magnification

Most commercially available binoculars have an eight to ten times magnification. Binoculars with higher magnification fall significantly larger and heavier and are hardly suitable for normal users.

The indication of how strong the magnification of the present binoculars is in the so-called Magnification number. It is always called together with the lens diameter, If binoculars have an 8x magnification and a lens diameter of 40 millimeters, the indication would be: 8x40. This type of measure will always come up in search of the best binoculars.

The specified magnification and also the lens diameter may differ slightly from the actual values.

If the lenses have a large diameter, more light can enter the glass. This creates a brighter picture and even at dusk the glass is more efficient. The price for it is the weight: Larger lenses mean that the entire device must be built larger. A few millimeters more quickly make up hundreds of grams, which in the end you have to carry around with you.

3. Light intensity and twilight number

Binoculars Comparison 2018: 2018

At sunrise and sunset, a high amount of twilight is important.

A physical factor that confuses users again and again is the twilight factor. She is extremely important: she provides information how well the observer can detect things as the light dims after sunset and the light increases at sunrise, The higher the number of twilight, the better you will be able to make out an animal in the undergrowth with moderate light exposure. See the product table at the top of this article for details on each model.

Before you buy, think about how often you go out in the evening or early in the morning, and whether you need a pair of strong binoculars at all. Most hikers return home before dark. A high However, twilight counts are important for the observation of certain dawning animals.

Less common is the Light intensity. It describes how much light penetrates through the binoculars to the eyes and ensures a bright picture.

4th field of vision

The field of vision is a less common statement. Nevertheless, we want to tell you what's behind it: It's about how wide the section you can see through the glass. A large field of view is pleasant, as you then have the whole horizon at a glance, With a narrow field of view, you have to move the binoculars a lot from left to right to see everything.

As a unit for the field of view, either angle or field width (meter at 1,000 m distance) is selected, What is the field width? Quite simply: If, for example, you observe a village which is exactly one kilometer away and the binoculars have a field of view of 120 meters, you can see a 120 meter wide section of this village - that is, around the eight houses next to each other, if they are have a little garden in front of it.

If an angle is specified, you will find the corresponding value in this table:

cornerfield width
53 m
70 m
88 m
105 m
123 m
140 m
158 m
10°175 m
Larger or smaller fields of vision are rare.

5. Depth of field

Binoculars Comparison 2018: field

An example of depth of field: The dogs in the foreground are easy to recognize, the house in the background is out of focus.

The depth of field describes whether several things can be seen simultaneously that are far away from the viewer. Surely you have already experienced that when looking into a telescope or binoculars, a distant mountain, although appear sharp, but a tree in the immediate vicinity is blurred.

How strong this effect is, depends on the magnification: If the binoculars are set only weakly (about five times magnification), a relatively large field is clearly visible. By contrast, if you get the maximum magnification out of the device, you can always only focus on objects at a specific distance.

6. Calculation of the different values

Calculation of the twilight number

You can calculate the twilight number yourself if a manufacturer does not provide this information: Multiply the magnification of the binoculars by the lens diameter. From the result, drag the square root and already the twilight number is fixed. It is given without a unit.

An example:

Lens Diameter: 56mm, Magnification: 8x - (Here would be indicated as a number on the binoculars: 8x56)
First step: 8 x 56 = 448. Second step: √448 = 21.2. Twilight number: approx. 21.

Small rule of thumb: In moderate light, you can see things at a distance ten times the amount of twilight. For example, if the twilight number is 21, a deer is still clearly visible 210 meters away.

Calculation of the light intensity

First divide the lens diameter by the magnification. For binoculars with "8x56" that would be 56/8 = 7. This number is called the exit pupil. Multiply the number by yourself and the result is the light intensity, ie 7 x 7 = 49.

Calculation of the field of view at angles

An angular degree corresponds to about 17.5 m field width, which is used as a multiplier. For example, if the binoculars have a field of view of 8°, this corresponds to 17.5 x 8 = 140, ie about 140 m in width, which you can see at a glance when you are one kilometer from the village. In Chapter 4 you will also find a simple conversion table.

But where did the 17.5 m come from? You may also remember the geometry chapter in mathematics lessons. If you drew a circle around you at a distance of 1,000 m, it would be about 6,280 m long, because the circumference of a circle is twice the radius multiplied by the circle number Pi (π = about 3.14). Calculation step: 1,000 m x 2 x 3,14 = 6,280 m.

One revolution around its own axis corresponds to 360 degrees. Dividing the 6,280 m that surrounds us as a circle into individual degrees yields approximately 6,280 m / 360° = 17.44 m per degree.

7. Do not underestimate the weight

Binoculars Comparison 2018: field

If possible, leave some space in the camera bag or hiking backpack so that the binoculars can be accommodated there.

It may sound trivial, but when you buy a pair of binoculars, keep in mind that you will be carrying it through woods and meadows for a long time. The Meanwhile, your weight is on your neck or, if you have the jar in a bag, on your shoulders, Heavy weight is also detrimental to use: the arms become heavy and the hands start to shake.

Although many cheap binoculars are very light because of their moderate quality, but also among the high-quality devices are compactLightweights. They are especially recommended for longer hikes or walks.

8. Many binoculars for eyeglass wearers

Due to different construction methods, some binoculars for spectacle wearers are easily usable, others not at all. So that you do not have to let your newly acquired binoculars go back directly, pay attention to the details of the dealer or take this information from the table at the beginning of the article.

Binoculars Comparison 2018: binoculars

With many binoculars, the glasses can be left open. Others have adjustable diopter compensation.

There are Two different methods, such as glasses-friendly binoculars can be usedOn one hand, the glasses can be left open while the viewer is looking through the glass. Prerequisite is that the binoculars have a comparatively high eye relief. However, this application can be perceived as unpleasant when z. B. from the side a lot of light and the user fades.

In the other case, the manufacturer has a so-called Diopter compensation built into its product: The eyecups can be adjusted with a wheel and adapted to the respective diopter value of the viewer. Also, a different visual impairment in the right and left eye can be corrected in this way. A little tip: Write down what level you have set for the wheel to easily restore the value later.

9. The many uses of the binoculars

Surely you already have an idea of ​​what you want to look at with the new binoculars. Maybe "only" the horizon or the nearby mountains? Nevertheless, we present a small list of typical areas of application and who knows - maybe you will come up with new ideas.


The technical term refers to ornithology, in this case the Watching birds in the wild. With the necessary interest in nature as well as a bit of patience, you can also make nice observations in your home country. Whether blackbird, thrush, finch or star - you can find them all at the right time of the year.

A "special form" of ornithology is that Aircraft observing (often English: aircraft spotting), Many fans of the iron mills wait at the end of the runway to discover their favorite aircraft or take pictures with the camera for the photo collection.


Binoculars Comparison 2018: 2018

On the hike you can make great discoveries with the binoculars.

Perhaps not the most unusual, but certainly a popular hobby, in which the binoculars can be excellently applied. On a longer route, there are always things to spy on. In addition, the glass, like the compass, serves as a guide.


The observation of stars and other celestial bodies is possible with binoculars. Find out in advance which constellations, planets or even comets you want to look out for. Of course, the matter can also be approached more professionally: with a telescope.


Especially in shipping, good binoculars are indispensable. Whether land is spotted, shipwrecked discovered or obstacles to be avoided - everything is possible with the aid. Of course, you can also watch sailing ships and container ships from shore.


Binoculars Comparison 2018: binoculars

The offspring are also interested in everything a lens has.

Great fun prepares the binoculars to all children. Whether you want to give pleasure to son, daughter or grandchildren - the first look through the binoculars is a fascinating moment for the little ones, who will not forget soon. Take it easy for a walk and get it out of the bag when the kids get bored.


Whether hobby or professional hunters, both rely on a high quality hunting binoculars. When tracking wild animals, binoculars are simply indispensable. The riflescope, which is mounted on the rifle, often has only a small magnification.


In this sport, long distances are the rule. A small, white ball can hardly be traced to the naked eye. The binoculars are an important support here - especially if the ball has not come exactly where it should.

Opera glass / theater glass

Binoculars Comparison 2018: 2018

The opera glass comes in a noble look.

Granted, the opera glass is a special candidate that should not be worn in the middle of Wallachia, but should only be used in cultural establishments, otherwise the beautiful shell could be damaged. And with a binoculars, preferably still in military look, you would be viewed in the Opera House at least crooked. But since the opera glass works just like ordinary binoculars, we did not want to withhold it for completeness.

10. Well-known brands at a glance

It does not always have to be expensive

Stiftung Warentest knows: Even binoculars for a few hundred euros are already enough to the quality of these high-caliber approach. And even cheap models can at least provide satisfactory results.

The last binoculars test by Stiftung Warentest is already a bit behind - it was released in September 2006. As expected, high-priced binoculars from Leica, Swarovski and Zeiss were ahead. Since these are usually in the four-digit range in terms of price, they are out of the question for the vast majority of casual users.

Nevertheless, in our binoculars comparison 2018, we have summarized a few well-known and niche manufacturers in this short list:

  • brown
  • Bresser
  • Canon
  • Carl Zeiss
  • Celestron
  • Docter
  • Eschenbach
  • Hama
  • Leica
  • Luger
  • Minox
  • Nikon
  • Olympus
  • Omegon
  • Pentax
  • sea ​​eagle
  • Steiner
  • Swarovski
  • Tasco
  • Vanguard
  • Yukon

Binoculars Comparison 2018: binoculars

11. Frequently asked questions

If our binoculars comparison left questions unanswered, you may find the answers here.

11.1. What do the numbers in binoculars, z. Eg 10x50, 8x30?

The first number is the magnification number and describes how far you can see with the binoculars and still looks sharp. With "10x50" it would appear 10 times larger. The second number indicates the lens diameter, Lenses are the round glass panes that are out of sight when you attach the binoculars. At "10x50" the lens has a diameter of 50 millimeters, ie 5 centimeters. Large lenses let in more light and provide a brighter picture, especially at dusk - but also increase the weight of the binoculars.

11.2. Can eyeglass wearers use binoculars?

Yes. Make sure, however, that the binoculars are also intended for use by wearers of glasses. You can find this information in the table at the beginning of our article.

11.3. How much does a pair of binoculars cost?

It all depends on how high the product is. A cheap pair of binoculars is already available for just under 30 €, but for a reasonable device that you enjoy a long time, you should take a little more money in the hand. Good devices for the average consumer, which often appear in binoculars tests, cost between 60 € and 100 €. The scale is open at the top: Binoculars can cost many hundreds of euros, but this investment only makes sense if you need it for the practice of your profession or if you really pursue a hobby intensively.

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