Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes
OpticsPlanet is committed to making sure its customer have the information they need to make the right product decision. Be sure to check out the numerous night vision product reviews, and please leave reviews for any night vision device you have experience with. How to buy night vision is a common question that we are asked. Need a quick night vision intro? Take a look at our night vision information section. Our night vision bestsellers are presented in our Best Night Vision section. Have a question? Look at our Night Vision Forum, and if you do not see an answer, feel free to ask! We have night vision experts on staff to answer any night vision question you might have!
There is a brief guide to the most import terms at the start of this article. This should be sufficient to get you started and understand what magnification and field view is. You might also be interested to review how close you can focus on an image; this changes according to the binoculars but is something that your kids might b very interested in doing.

For instance, one of our products reviewed also contains a compass, a flashlight, and a magnifying glass. This set is useful for many outdoor activities and will certainly increase your child’s interest in the surrounding environment. Such a set is not only fun but also extremely educational as it teaches your child from an early age to be more responsible and read the nature’s signs and interpret them correctly.
You’ve seen this binocular before. The open-barrel twin-hinge design defined last year’s iteration of the Endeavor in the 10x42 configuration. Now the design is available in a small frame, which is so hand-filling and comfortable that you’ll want to carry it all day. The very good Hoya ED glass makes viewing almost as pleasurable as the handling of the Endeavor ED. Resolution and light-transmission performance were both good, and we loved the styling of the pebbly anthracite-gray finish.
Motion parallax – When an observer moves, the apparent relative motion of several stationary objects against a background gives hints about their relative distance. If information about the direction and velocity of movement is known, motion parallax can provide absolute depth information.[3] This effect can be seen clearly when driving in a car nearby things pass quickly, while distant objects appear stationary. Some animals that lack binocular vision because of the wide placement of the eyes employ parallax more explicitly than humans for depth cueing (e.g., some types of birds, which bob their heads to achieve motion parallax, and squirrels, which move in lines orthogonal to an object of interest to do the same).1
We got these binoculars for our 7 year old daughter's birthday. She is very happy with them. They come with a nice good-quality carrying bag made of heavy fabric. The bag has a loop so that they can be carried on a belt. There is a shoelace-style strap that attaches to one side of the binoculars. It is long enough that she can carry the binoculars around her neck, and they hang down to her waist. It is easy to focus, and they can adjust to adult eyes just as well as kid-sized eyes. The leaves of a tree 100 yards away came into sharp focus. Also included is a good kid-friendly set of instructions and a cleaning cloth. We are delighted with this purchase. These are real binoculars, comparable in weight and quality to binoculars I've taken to watch sporting and cultural events.
The Vortex 8×36 is a medium sized monocular, it has a better image quality than the Avalon 10×42 but not as bright as the Bushnell Legend HD 10×42. Some viewers find its lower magnification (8x) easier to stabilise. But for most users this is not an issue unless you have very shaky hands. This monocular would be a compromise between the two others in terms of both size and image brightness. Details below:
Rangefinders  Rangefinder binoculars have an integrated infrared (IR) laser that is used to measure distance from the binocular to an object. They can be used at sea to measure the distance to another ship or possibly someone who needs rescuing, help hunters to measure the distance to their subject, or aid golfers to calculate their swing to the green. Rangefinder binoculars typically display the distance to the target in either feet or meters, with the readout visible in the eyepieces. Technological innovations have made the rangefinders more precise, and some can do a single spot measurement, or a constantly updated measurement so you can follow a moving subject and get virtually real-time distance.

The Yukon Tracker 2X24 is another night vision binocular that is a bit more affordable than similar products on the market while still offering great performance. It loses out against the Night Owl Pro Nexgen because of its lesser magnification and smaller lens diameter, but when it comes to quality and durability it is hard to beat. It is also a versatile product as it features pin holes in the lens caps which allows you to operate the binoculars during the daytime, something not commonly seen on night vision products.
You seriously can’t beat the price of this awesome toy! They’re a great first option to give your kids the feel of high-end binoculars while still providing some kid features that are necessary for a younger age group. These come with an eight-times zoom which is great for seeing far-away distances up to a thousand feet with no problem. The viewing lenses themselves are also fitted with a roof prism and multi-coated fiber optics for a super clear and concise picture. If the picture needs to be adjusted even that is made easier by a “center-focus” knob that’s easy and precise. The ease of use translates well to a child’s level which can often be complicated to explain to those who have never used a magnification device before. The cool thing about SkyGenius is their use of eco-friendly materials to create their stellar products that are customized specifically for kids, even down to the rubber grips that make them easier for a child to handle on their own without dropping or slipping and the rubber eyepieces that increase comfortability. BENEFITS When you’re looking for a fun activity to do outdoors with your kids without breaking the bank, consider the SkyGenius binoculars. They’re efficient, powerful, durable, and are perfect for beginners. Pros
Glass  The type and quality of the glass used for the lenses and prisms matter. Generic optical glass may have imperfections, and if it isn’t ground and polished correctly, it could bend light oddly, causing colors to look skewed or prevent its ability to achieve tack-sharp focusing, or you may notice distortion at the edges. Specialized glass, such as low dispersion or extra low dispersion, is engineered to have virtually no distortion and transmit light better without bending it. The resulting images are generally clearer, sharper, with true color rendition and higher contrast.

If you are looking for a monocular to use at night or complete darkness then you should consider a night vision monocular. These monoculars use a built-in IR illuminator to allow night vision capability. They normally have less magnification in order to provide a better image (less fuzzy). Night vision monoculars range in sizes, magnification and price.


This new optic from Bushnell has those two in-line hinges, but it’s 50 percent larger than most binoculars in the compact class, weighing just over 13 ounces. That’s a good thing, since size matters in glassing, and hand-filling heft is usually better than the alternative. Before getting into its attributes, a few complaints: The 10X magnification is better suited to larger-frame binoculars; the better magnification for this size is 8X. Second, the focus control is about 50 percent too small. And the 2-position eyecups are sloppy.
These daylight and low nightlight binoculars are very good at magnifying the scenery and targets. The image clarity and brightness they deliver is amazing. This is because the multi-coated lenses with XMC technology and BAK4 prism allow maximum light gain. They have a large viewing distance and the 10x magnification and adjustable eyepieces enable you to focus on your target for intricate details. The dioptric and focus adjustment functions are easy to use.
If you wear glasses in everyday life, you should wear them when you use your binoculars, too. However, your glasses move your eyes further away from the eyepiece of the binoculars, which can shrink your field of vision quite a bit. The solution is eye relief, a measurement of how far away the binoculars can be from your eyes before your field of vision starts to narrow. Experts say that if you wear eyeglasses or sunglasses, you should look for eye relief of at least 11 mm -- for many users, 15 mm or more is more comfortable. Ideally, the binoculars should also have adjustable eye cups that can be retracted (for use with glasses) or extended (for use with bare eyes). Users with deep-set eyes will usually prefer binoculars with greater eye relief, even if they don't wear glasses.
As a curiousity, I peered into the sky, looking at constellations, and sensitivity of picking up more stars was enhanced. It's too bad, there wasn't more zoom to get a different field of view. By the way, it doesn't accommodate a tripod. Additionally, the focusing knob is somewhat counterintuitive for positioning. It is placed on the further end of the top of the body. It is a peculiar location when compared to a conventional set of binoculars. Lastly, the feel of the focusing knob is not as smooth as I would expect from a set of any binoculars. It sort of makes it feel very cheap, in construction.
We are looking for binoculars for several purposes. We are going on safari which we will probably do more than once, we also live near the bush and would like something that allows us to see birds well so this is something we would use them for more often. Naturally having something that we can use for general travel also has value. We have not yet looked extensively but did find the Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 to be comfortable and clear but we were in a shopping centre so it is not really a good test. In particular the way in which the eye pieces extended away from the glass helped with an uninterrupted view.
The ambient light available in the dark will be coming through the lens of your night vision binoculars. It is important that the lenses are of high-quality construction. Multi-coated lens where the lenses have layers of coating to make them anti-reflective, scratch resistant, and water repellent increase light transmission to ensure maximum light gain for the best quality images and ensure long-lasting performance. Lenses are a fragile component and lens covers are important accessories to protect them when not in use.
To understand how night vision works, it is important to note that you require a certain amount of ambient light to see. Thus, when there is insufficient ambient light the human eye is incapable of seeing things clearly. This is where a night vision device comes in. A night vision device will amplify the low amount of ambient light available and channel it to your eyes making it easy for you to see clearly.​
For pre-teens, it is time to consider their first pair of "real" binoculars -- that is, optical quality starts to matter. If your child is serious about birding, you should start to think about the US$75-US$150 entry-level birding binoculars from the major manufacturers, but still look for toggle focus rather than wheel focus, 7x to 8x magnification, and wide field of view.
If you want small and affordable day and low light vision binoculars that are easy and comfortable to use and are easy to carry, you can't go wrong with these HD binoculars by BIAL. They have a compact design for ease of use and transport but are powerful in their performance. They are excellent during the day and are also good for dawn and dusk observations. They are suitable for bird watching, hunting, hiking, camping, wildlife and landscape viewing, watching concerts and shows, and other outdoor activities.
In addition, this mini monocular comes with high definition optical glass and multi coated optics. As a result, it reduces the amount of light dispersal that occurs so you can achieve a clearer, sharper image. Reviewers regularly praise this mini monocular for its clear views and for the convenience it provides because it can slip into their pockets for easy transportation. Some reviewers always carry this monocular with them, while others make it a regular addition to their travel gear.

Levenhuk suggest that these are suitable for children of 4 years and above which is about right, however I know from experience that my daughter was capable of using the very similar Bresser ExploreOne 6x21 Junior Compact Binoculars from around 3 years old. Since then we tested and reviewed this exact National Geographic model when she was 7 and whilst she has access to loads of other binoculars this is her favourite.
If you’re a hunter that hunts smaller game and varmints, then brands like Night Owl and Aurosports will provide you with what you need and go easy on the wallet. Typically, the night vision binoculars from these brands are small and compact and allow you to carry them in your pocket. Keep in mind that most night vision binoculars from these two brands don’t typically incorporate the generation technology into their products. If you’re searching for binoculars with the Gen 1, 2, or 3 technologies, then you should browse through the Bushnell, ATN and Armasight brands.

Kids can have a short attention span. This is common and completely normal, but this kind of toys are a tool that can help them increase their observation time while being educational at the same time. Let’s say you’re on a hike with your child. Along your hike, there are many stop-offs and viewing points. Wouldn’t it be great if at one of those stop-off points, while you’re overlooking a beachy cliff or a broad mountain range, you could pull out a pair of binoculars and watch what’s below and above you? If you had the ability to visually skirt the treeline or master the art of finding schools of fish far below the water’s surface, it would not only catch your child’s attention but increase it as well.
As a hunter, I much prefer a pair of google likes the Leica Ultravid or even the Steiner T1042r. For me, the perfect binoculars would be the weight and compactness of the Leica’s with the rugged and tactical outer of the Steiner binoculars. The main problem that I have with much larger hunting binoculars is that when you’re glassing for long periods, searching for animals to stalk, it’s easy for your arms to become fatigued, especially for those of us who are getting older by the day! Do you think that binoculars like Vortex Viper have enough outer protection for tough environments like hunting? I worry that they would break or the glass could scratch or smash.
The most important feature of any pair of binoculars is its ability to offer a clear and precise view of very distant objects. In that spirit, a lot of manufacturers will describe their binoculars by using phrases like, "long-range view," "adjustable focus," and "superior magnification." More often than not, a pair of binoculars can be refocused by rotating a thumbscrew in the center of the bridge. There are certain digital models on the market, however, that will allow users to adjust the focus via the touch of a button.
Although other manufacturers have caught up, when first introduced the EL offered visibly better light transmission than just about anything else. Plus—and even more importantly—it provides perfect, crisp focus without distortion right to the edges of the large field of view. High-tech coatings on special HD lenses give "maximum color fidelity", setting the EL apart from its older SLC sibling models.
The body of the Bushnell Equinox Series 6L is ergonomically contoured for a comfortable hold. It also has a rubberized covering which provides a non-slip grip. Menu buttons are arranged at the top of the device to ensure comfortable handheld operation. Their placement makes them easy to reach with your fingertips. The Equinox Series 6L has functions such as infrared brightness control, IR illuminator on-off, coarse digital focus and power on-off. Apart from the digital coarse focus, there is a wheel placed at the center that offers users a fine focus adjustment. The eye-caps on the gadget is also rubberized. The main aim of such a design is to provide the user with comfortable eye contact. If you plan on being outdoors for long periods, or you just want to keep your hands free, you can use the tripod mount to attach it to a tripod. If you are moving around a lot you can use the neck strap to carry the device when you are not using it.
Monoculars, on the other hand, only require the use of one eye. Thanks to that advantage, they are ideal for people who are vision impaired in one eye, and for people who cannot properly focus in both eyes with a binocular. This feature also means that, as mentioned before, monoculars are smaller and more compact and, therefore, easier to carry with you.
The Yukon Tracker is lightweight and comfortable in the hands. Additionally, it is highly durable as a result of the rubber armor around its body. Flip-flop lens caps are used instead of the typical lens caps, which are problematic because they are usually fastened with strings, are easy to drop in the dark and are usually loose. Flip-flop lens caps are convenient and easy to operate as they are folded back against the binocular’s body. The focus knob is easy to operate in the dark because it is located close to the center of the housing. An interesting feature is small pin holes in the lens caps that allow people to use the device during the day. The package is inclusive of a protective carrying case and neck strap, but not inclusive of the CR123A battery.
Whether you’re looking for the portable convenience of a binocular, the power of a spotting scope, or to see beyond the ability of our feeble eyes through microscopy, buying optics for children is fairly easy, as long as you consider their individual abilities and interests and nurture their natural curiosity… and who knows—you may just discover that child inside you who becomes just as interested as your offspring.
That isn't to say that any of the bins we tested were poorly constructed. We didn't find any bargain basement bins that could make the cut for inclusion in our review, so all have a dcent base level of construction quality. Sure, minor things like the more plasticky rubber coating of the Celestron Nature DX or the stiff hinge of the Ahtlon Midas makes them feel a bit less engineered than other models, they can still certainly stand up to some rigorous use.
It is for these and a host of other features, components and specifications that I go over i my review as to why I feel that as well as hunting, the Steiner HX 15x56 Binoculars excels in a host of other general use and long range scenarios and thus is why I also put them forward as being the best overall long range, high power binocular that I tested and reviewed for 2018.
Vanguard’s Spirit ED binoculars are very worthy of mention in this section. They come in four sizes: 8X36, 8X42, 10X42, and 10X50. The 10X42 pair have a 314 ft. field of view and 16 mm eye relief. Like its counterparts in this section, these binoculars are waterproof, fog proof, and have coated lenses. They weigh a bit more than the other binoculars in this section at 29.8 ounces.
While we’re discussing protection, Sightmark added a nifty feature to the Ghost Hunter 2×24. A major problem for the tubes inside a night vision device is when they get exposed to bright light. Some brands solve this issue by placing a small hole in the lens cap, and you’re meant to use them with the cap on during the day. Sightmark opted for a different approach – the binoculars will switch off in case they’re exposed to light, thus protecting the tubes.  
The design is one of the criteria we used in evaluating the above binoculars. Porro prism binoculars are less costly to produce than roof prism binoculars. You can acquire the same quality for considerably less money. Nevertheless, they are weightier and tougher to weatherproof. A roof prism binocular which possesses a similar optical quality will be lighter and have a smaller amount of problems. Even though they are expensive, they will most likely be more rugged, and ultimately, they may well be more cost-effective.
Vanguard’s Spirit ED binoculars are very worthy of mention in this section. They come in four sizes: 8X36, 8X42, 10X42, and 10X50. The 10X42 pair have a 314 ft. field of view and 16 mm eye relief. Like its counterparts in this section, these binoculars are waterproof, fog proof, and have coated lenses. They weigh a bit more than the other binoculars in this section at 29.8 ounces.
A good number of night vision binoculars do not have the option of viewing in the daytime. They are mainly designed for viewing with minimal ambient light. As this is the case, people tend to invest in a day binocular and night vision binocular. The design of the Sniper Deluxe Night Vision allows users to have a great viewing experience both at night and during the day. In complete darkness, the user can view up to 110 yards. This is an extra 40 or more yards when you compare it to similar binoculars in the category. During the day, you can view objects that are as far as 440 yards depending on the amount of light present at the time of viewing.
The Athlon Optics Midas ED 8x42—along with nearly all of the other binoculars we tested—are the beneficiaries of a revolution in optical quality caused by the falling costs of precision manufacturing and optical treatments. For under $300 you can get a pair of binoculars that matches—that’s matches, not comes close to—products that cost hundreds, or even thousands, more. The Athlon Midas ED pair’s optics aren’t its only strong suit: These are exceptionally durable binoculars that easily withstood the humid, dusty, and hostile environment of the Mexican rain forest and harsh sun of the Californian desert. And their focus dial adjusts reliably and smoothly across a wide range of depths, making it easy to focus on what you’re trying to see, no matter where it is.
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Some open clusters, such as the bright double cluster (NGC 869 and NGC 884) in the constellation Perseus, and globular clusters, such as M13 in Hercules, are easy to spot. Among nebulae, M17 in Sagittarius and the North America Nebula (NGC 7000) in Cygnus are also readily viewed. Binoculars can show a few of the wider-split binary stars such as Albireo in the constellation Cygnus.

It’s hard to describe a $400 binocular as a bargain, but this 8x32 GPO actually is. Its premium extra-low-dispersion glass is a rarity at this price point, and its tight construction and precise handling make it a very useful and durable field optic. We liked its oversize focus wheel and compactness that enables one-hand operation. It tied with Swarovski’s Companion CL in low-light performance, and turned in a rich, contrasty image and the widest field of view in the compact binocular category.
Eye Relief  Eye relief is the optimal distance from the eyepiece to your eye, or the focal point where the light passes through the ocular lens (eyepiece). Manufacturers install eyecups on the eyepieces to place the user’s eyes at the proper distance from the eyepieces to make using them easy. If you wear glasses, the lenses will position the eyepieces past the eye relief distance, affecting the image quality and your ability to achieve sharp focus. Many binoculars offer dioptric adjustments on one of the eyepieces so that most users can fine-tune the focusing system to their eye prescriptions to use the binocular without their glasses. If your prescription is difficult, or you’re sharing the binocular with other users, the eyecups are often adjustable. Basic eyecups simply fold back to allow you to place your eyeglass lenses closer to the ocular lens. Another type is adjustable eyecups that twist in and out to set the proper distance for the individual user precisely.
The ambient light available in the dark will be coming through the lens of your night vision binoculars. It is important that the lenses are of high-quality construction. Multi-coated lens where the lenses have layers of coating to make them anti-reflective, scratch resistant, and water repellent increase light transmission to ensure maximum light gain for the best quality images and ensure long-lasting performance. Lenses are a fragile component and lens covers are important accessories to protect them when not in use.
Harnesses For most of us, the neck strap that comes with most binoculars is fine. For those who require more, there are numerous options for you. Some are designed to redistribute the weight of the binocular from the neck to the back and shoulders. Others provide a stabilizing function to allow you to hold the optic in your hand while virtually eliminating hand shake or other movements. For those who do activities and want to keep their optic at the ready, some harnesses hold the binocular close to the body and greatly reduce swinging or swaying while running, climbing, or skiing.
The BlueCabi Shock Proof Binoculars are the perfect kids' set of binoculars thanks to their easy to hold, rubber coated surface and durable design. The 6x magnification is great for watching birds and everything else in nature, and the product will not slip from small hands while in use. They come complete with a carrying bag as well as a neck strap sized especially for children. Your young explorer will love to take them on every adventure.
Night vision monoculars and binoculars typically have 1x to 5x magnification in order to keep reletivly less graininess in terms of the image you will see at night. A night vision monocular is a good idea for security purposes and can come in handy to spot the going vandalism. If you wish to also record it you will need a digital NV monocular (or binocular). The Yukon Newton 4×50 does not come with a built in camera. You can see all the digital night vision options here: https://procular.com.au/night-vision/digital-night-vision/

Here the Leica bins have a slight edge. When comparing the 10x magnification models, Leica provides a 376-foot wide field of view at 1000 yards. The Swarovski bins are second with a 336-foot field of view, and Zeiss comes in last at 330 feet. If you opt for an 8x magnification model the Leica and Zeiss field of views increase to 443 and 408 feet, respectively. Swarovski does not make 8x bins, but the 8.5x version provides a field of view of 399 feet.


Prism Coatings  Complementing lens coatings are prism coatings, which increase light reflection and improve image brightness and contrast. While many manufacturers may use standard reflective coatings, the upper echelon of prism coatings is called dielectric coatings, which allow almost 100% of the light through the prism, resulting in brighter high-contrast images.

While shopping for the best night vision binoculars, it’s always good to have some knowledge of the generations 1, 2, and 3. These determine the amount of power and strength that resides in your binoculars. Naturally, the higher the age you go, the higher the price tag. Why? Each generation is more advanced than the previous. Here’s a little lesson for each generation.
But even with all these improvements, binoculars will vary in important ways. A few models close focus down to 5 feet away or even a little closer, though at least one popular model reaches no closer than 16 feet away, making them a no-go for seeing butterflies and other up-close objects. The field of view (how large an area you see when you look out into the distance) is also variable and differed by more than 20 percent across models tested for this review.
This new set works fantastic. We are more careful when we share them with each other now. They are the perfect size for small hands and faces (they are for ages 3+). We love the color and the feel of them. The knob to adjust the focus is easy to turn. And they actually work well for kid binoculars, unlike some cheap ones you find other places. There is a little case that they come with and a strap to attach (so as to keep them from falling!) as well as a cleaning cloth to keep the lenses smudge free. We have had some exciting views of turkey vultures (they are so weird looking!) and neighbors' yards (prompting discussions about privacy!) We are looking forward to taking them on some nature walks and hikes.
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Anti-reflective coatings reduce light lost at every optical surface through reflection at each surface. Reducing reflection via anti-reflective coatings also reduces the amount of "lost" light present inside the binocular which would otherwise make the image appear hazy (low contrast). A pair of binoculars with good optical coatings may yield a brighter image than uncoated binoculars with a larger objective lens, on account of superior light transmission through the assembly. A classic lens-coating material is magnesium fluoride, which reduces reflected light from 5% to 1%. Modern lens coatings consist of complex multi-layers and reflect only 0.25% or less to yield an image with maximum brightness and natural colors.

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