5 things to help you buy with confidence while saving money

Shopping for binoculars can be overwhelming, especially when you’re new to the glassing game. Or maybe you’re just looking for an inexpensive backup binocular that doesn’t cost a fortune but gets the job done.

When shopping for budget binoculars, it’s all about finding a good balance between performance, image quality, and cost. To help you save without sacrificing quality, here’s a breakdown of the most important factors you should know:


When shopping binoculars, you’ll see two prominent numbers that tell you their strength and size. Two common examples are 8×42 or 10×50.

The first number represents the magnification (which means the object will appear that many times closer to you than it actually is). The second number represents the diameter of the objective lens, which affects how much light the binocular can gather.

As a general rule, when comparing two binoculars in the same class, keep in mind that larger objective lens will result in a brighter image.


Anti-reflective lens coatings increase light transmission and enhance image brightness and clarity. Simply put, they keep the wrong light out of the scope and keep the best light flowing through the lenses to your eye.

Narrow your search by looking for a binocular with fully coated or multi-coated lenses, which will help to reduce glare and improve overall image quality.

Last, lens coatings can also protect the lenses against scratches by creating a surface that is too slick for dust, dirt, and other debris to adhere to. In fact, lens coatings can be so slick that condensation runs off the lenses to reduce fogging.


Binocular prisms have one major function: they put an upside-down image the right way up and keep the binocular small enough to be handheld. In other words, modern binoculars are more compact and user-friendly thanks to prisms. And there are two main types you should know: roof prisms and porro prisms.

Roof prism binoculars are generally more compact and more expensive. Traditional-looking porro prisms are bulkier but often provide a wider field of view and better image quality.

Overall, the type of prism system used impacts the ergonomics and design of the binoculars. For example, roof prism binoculars tend to have a more streamlined design and may be easier to grip and adjust with one hand, while porro prism binoculars may have a more bulky design with wider spacing between the objective lenses and eyepieces.


Well-built binoculars are generally more comfortable to use, as they are designed with ergonomics in mind. This means that they will feel solid, be more comfortable to hold, adjust, and focus, and tend to be easier to use for extended periods of time.

While it can be tempting to skimp on build quality when choosing budget binoculars, it’s important to consider the impact that this can have on image quality, durability, and comfort. Investing in a well-built pair of binoculars can ensure that you have a product that is both reliable and enjoyable to use, even when price is one of your guiding lights.


When considering budget binoculars, buyers often feel a higher degree of risk and some fear that the optic will fail to live up to expectations. A great warranty provides you with protection against issues you may encounter, giving you peace of mind and insurance that you can get a replacement or repair if something goes wrong.

A warranty provides you with greater confidence in your purchase, knowing that the manufacturer stands behind their product and has you back in the event of a problem. This can be particularly important when purchasing a binocular for activities such as birdwatching or hunting, where a malfunctioning or defective product could ruin the experience.

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