I say this because they are very similar in many ways, very evenly matched, but do differ in price and in a few other small ways. Thus for me to pick one over the other really seems unfair as which you decide on will largely depend on your budget and a few personal preferences. So because of this I have decided to split the award this year, with a high end award and mid range option for you to consider:
Thank you for your comment. As the distance is quite short (25 & 50 yards) you will not need too much magnification. But 10x should work best in order to see the small bullet holes more clearly. We recommend either the Avalon monocular reviewed in this post: https://procular.com.au/avalon-10×42-wp-monocular/ , or a pair of 10×25 compact binoculars if size is critical to you: https://procular.com.au/bushnell-10×25-h2o-compact-binoculars/
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As mentioned previously, product specifications can sometimes be misleading, confusing or incorrect values stated. Such inaccuracies are more commonly found on budget items but have also sometimes been seen from some brand leaders. For those not experienced in interpreting such specifications, it is always wise to try out the item before buying wherever possible. Some of the descriptors needing particular care with include:

As a more general comment on the current state of binocular manufacturing: With things changing so rapidly, consumers should check that the pair they end up with is the same high-quality model we’ve tested. So many new binocular brands and models are in the market now, and some confusion is inevitable. Athlon Optics, a relatively new company, currently has 28 different models and six distinct binocular lines. If you’re the kind of person who prefers the stability (and availability) of a better-known brand, look toward our runner-up and budget picks.


Trying to find the best binoculars to suit your needs? Don't be overwhelmed! We can help you figure out the difference between a roof prism binocular and a porro prism binocular. Want to know what binocular designation numbers like 8x25 and 10x42 mean? Not sure about center-focus binoculars vs. individual eyepiece focus vs. focus free binoculars? We've got you there, too. Have a look at our How To Choose Binoculars guide. Still can't choose? We've got plenty of binoculars reviews on our site as well, written by fellow users who have had experience with the same binos you're looking at. And of course, you can always contact our in-house product experts and sales staff, who can tell you more about our binoculars and help guide you to the model that's perfect for you.

Making the right choice will be easier when you know exactly what you want. Identifying the main purpose your binoculars will serve will help you choose a pair that will serve you best in its application, as you will know the most important quality the pair should have. For example, if you want a pair for wildlife viewing or hunting, you need binoculars with a wide field of view.
This is another set that’s great as a first-time exploration gift for younger kids (specifically kids 6 and up). They’ve got a nice easy grip for kids and some nice magnification for young eyes. Many parts of it are adjustable to make it perfect so they can get out there and explore without worrying too much about messing with the settings. Let’s talk about the Backyard Safari Field Binocs, quality binoculars for kids.
Do you want to be able to view distant items and be able to make them out clearly? Then you’ll want night vision binoculars that have a higher magnification. Consider a pair of binoculars with 5 times magnification. Objects viewed through them will appear 5 times closer than normal. Keep in mind that the higher the magnification, the more your hand movements will also be amplified, making steady viewing more difficult.
This Solomark binocular has everything a nighttime binocular should have and is also suitable for daylight use. It is a digital device and also functions as a camera and camcorder allowing you to record what you're observing. It suits all kinds of applications from outdoor adventures, surveillance, and general observations. It especially suits hunting and wildlife viewing because of its large view screen. Its machined well and priced reasonably. Its compact and lightweight design makes it comfortable to use and carry. All these features make it our top choice as the best night vision binoculars.

I know it sounds strange, but certain states have laws on the use of night vision instruments, binoculars included. Thus, before settling on a night vision binocular, find out whether your state has any laws on night vision use. For instance in California, there are certain military grade night vision binoculars and monoculars that you cannot buy as a civilian.
Finally, make sure the model has a focus ring that will suit your particular uses. If you are tracking birds, for example, you’ll want a focus ring that moves just easily enough that you can make quick adjustments, but not so easily that you can inadvertently bump an image out of focus. On the other hand, if you mostly view stationary objects, you might prefer a very stiff focus ring that is next to impossible to accidentally move.

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.
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Each product's clarity score was based on detailed observations, in varying conditions, to critically compare and rate performance. Factors that can influence clarity are objective lens size, lens material, lens coatings, and optical alignment. A larger objective lens allows more detail into the system, this has to do with the airy pattern and airy disc. ED or high-density glass corrects aberrations. This is important because a larger diameter objective lens can create more aberration issues.

Good things sometimes come in small packages, and nowhere is that more true than in ATN's NVM14. It uses the same high quality photocathode image intensifier tubes as in some of ATN's scopes and larger devices, but packed into a tiny monocular device. Plus, the monocular is designed to be used with only one hand. Its ergonomically designed shape, and easy to reach controls, leave one hand free. In addition, automatic brightness control and a bright light shutoff simplify usage, and keep your image clear and focused, even in conditions when the brightness around you can change at a moment's notice. The NVM14 is designed with a built in infrared illuminator for when the situation is at its darkest.


To add an extra element of long-term learning, take your child on a walk with their new pair of binoculars. Have them observe a natural habitat near your home or even town life. During the process, hand them a notebook and a pencil and have them write down everything that they see, are curious about, or want to learn more about. This is a great way to educate your kids on things they haven’t seen before and help them grow mentally as they absorb information and develop a deeper understanding of what surrounds them. Through the process of writing down information, they’ll remember it and be able to refer back to it if they ever want to re-learn something or remember it. This kind of toys are a great basis for any learning activity no matter the age!
Ergonomically designed for maximum comfort with all day use they are perfect for hiking, wildlife spotting or to take on a cruise. Smooth joints and focus dial make them easy to use and focus with a fingertip. Even under the wettest conditions their rubber-armor coating makes them non-slip, easy to handle and durable if they should happen to take a knock.
The reviews of these binoculars are generally good. There are currently 169 reviews on Amazon and 84% of these give it a 4 or 5-star rating. The general feedback is that the binoculars really do work and provide an opportunity for children to really start exploring the world around them. Of course, there are always some less positive comments but these revolve around items breaking on the binoculars and the fact they don’t see as well as adult binoculars, which should be obvious from the price and description of these binoculars.
The final consideration is magnification. When you’re looking through a magnified optic for the first time, it tends to be a bit difficult to find your intended subject right off the bat, and the higher the magnification, the smaller your field of view, so it gets harder to not only find your subject to start but to also follow it as you add power. It’s for this reason that you’ll want to stay with lower powers of 6x to 8x. This will bring the subject closer than they might have thought possible, while still giving them a wide field of view to more easily find and track a bird or woodland creature.
The Leica 10x25 Ultravid BCR is the perfect pair of bins for a backpacking bird nerd that wants to check some more species off their life list while not being weighed down. Despite a small 25mm objective lens and an almost impossibly light weight of 9.4 oz, these bins still offered great clarity and exceptional brightness in our testing. The smaller barrels and smaller focus knobs may be less comfortable to hold and use for those with larger hands, but overall we were pleased with the comfort of the Ultravid.
Optical coatings are added to the glass surface of the objective in order to reduce or downright eliminate light reflection. Light loss and glare are two things that you might not come across in a binocular with an optical coating, but you’ll definitely stumble upon them if your model doesn’t have any good coating. Brighter and clearer images often come from the quality of the optical coating.
With the right amount of patience, you’ll get your hunting binoculars in no time. If you’re interested in buying a high-quality item but find that your budget doesn’t allow you to do so yet, you might want to check out a seasonal sale or discount organized by an online marketplace. Amazon is one of the internet retailers that often offer discounted binoculars.

Bought for 5-yo twin grandsons to scope the field behind their treehouse. I wanted better optics and potentially longer usefulness than a plastic toy, so I was thrilled to find these, with recommendations on a junior birding site, at Amazon while Christmas shopping. With parental supervision, I expect these binocs to grow with the boys for many years. Excellent clarity and distance, right size for small faces and hands (including mine), good lens adjustability, plus they do appear to be built tough enough for young kids (again, with some supervision until they learn to respect delicate optics).


A new company that we just brought into stock is GPO USA. Offered in 8x and 10x they are packed with the performance features you want: ED glass, Phase-corrected BAK4 prisms, Nitrogen-filled, Magnesium chassis, all the bells and whistles. I got a chance to try out the 8.5x50 version and they were incredible during the day, at dusk, and at night. The 42mm and 50mm both fall into your price range.
Features: It is super powerful and portable to be taken. Suitable for both indoor  and outdoor using. Durable and protective for long time using. FMC glass lenses deliver the ultimate brightness and resolution. Ergonomic design for comfortable handling. It can apply in  military, travel and more places. Streamlined shape,smooth central focus knob for simple operation.
Your child’s age is an important factor; younger children may struggle to use ‘real’ binoculars. A simple pair of ‘toy’ binoculars may provide just enough magnification without causing eye strain. Kids binoculars have important features for younger children, like durability (protection, especially from drops), safe and comfortable eye-pieces, breakaway lanyards for safety, and small, lightweight design that is easy to hold and will fit a child’s face. Older children may be looking for a more functional pair of binoculars with higher magnification for use at sporting events, hikes, and trips. Older kids will still benefit from feature like durable, lightweight design, simple focus, and eyepieces that adjust for fit.
When you view objects normally in low light, you’re limited to the electromagnetic spectrum, which determines the amount of visible light your eyes can see. IR illuminators help improve the ability to see at night in very low-lit areas. When shopping for night vision binoculars, make sure that they include IR illuminators to ensure they work in low-light or complete darkness.
Our runner-up, the Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42s, have rugged, armored construction and were among the lightest binoculars we tested, at 23 ounces (the Athlons weigh two ounces more). Celestron has been making high-quality consumer telescopes since the 1960s, but also offers a huge line of binoculars (over 14 lines, and more than 30 different models).
I say this because they are very similar in many ways, very evenly matched, but do differ in price and in a few other small ways. Thus for me to pick one over the other really seems unfair as which you decide on will largely depend on your budget and a few personal preferences. So because of this I have decided to split the award this year, with a high end award and mid range option for you to consider:
If you're looking for the absolute best optical quality on the market in a pair of bins likely to become a family heirloom, the Swarovski EL 8.5x42 is the best choice. These binoculars outdid the other premium models in our testing, offering both better image quality and superior comfort. What sets the EL apart is the ability to maintain perfect clarity across the entirety of the image, whereas most models present some blurring at the edges. This creates an incredibly immersive image that makes you feel like you're sitting just a few feet away from that Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
You should first look at what you get for your money. Monoculars need a place to live when you aren’t using them, so you should expect to receive a carrying case to go along with your purchase. You should also look for one that includes a neck lanyard/strap or hand strap, so you have some way to keep a grip on the case when you have it at the ready. Finally, a nice bonus is a lens cleaning cloth to keep the monocular clean enough for a clear picture.
A quick and simple microscope is just a smartphone adapter. Carson’s MicroMax Plus is currently offered in three models to fit Galaxy S4, iPhone 4/4s, and iPhone 5/5s. This optic simply clips over the phone’s camera and has magnifications from 60-100x. A similar optic by Bodelin, the ProScope Micro, comes in a version mostly for various iPhones and iPads, plus one for the Galaxy S4. Other simple handheld microscopes would be veho’s 200x USB model, or this iOptron offering that also has a stand. These plug into a laptop or desktop and come with imaging software to save and edit photos and videos. Another handheld model, again Celestron comes into the mix, is the LCD Handheld. Small and compact, it has a 3MP camera with 3.5-50x optical magnification with an additional 4x digital zoom. An internal card slot allows you to save for later viewing and runs on just two AA batteries.
The objective size is synonymous with the second number in what you might see as 7×40. Typically, a 40 or 42mm objective can work with virtually any kind of hunting. The larger the objective, the more detail you will be able to see. However, a 50mm lens can be considerably more expensive than a 40mm one, but it does wonders when it comes to hunting at night. If you strictly plan on hunting during legal hours, it wouldn’t hurt to go for an objective size around 40mm.
Some kids prefer to have the binocular attached at the hip or waist, which we think it’s a lot comfier if the binocular does not weigh too much. A couple of ounces made a lot of difference in how we selected the binoculars, and splitting the hefty binoculars from the lightweight ones took little or no time at all. Also, we ran into no stalemates while doing weight, but we were also ready to use dimensions instead of weight if that comes to pass.
The Nexgen continues to impress with its 50mm lenses made from high-quality glass, durable casing, and comfortable design. About the only things that count against it are the fact that it is a bit on the heavy side and cannot be mounted on a tripod, but these are minor concerns when looking at the binoculars as a whole. With all the great features and the reasonable price, the Night Owl Pro Nexgen is easily our top pick when it comes to night vision binoculars. Additionally, 5X magnification is among the best offers you can ever get for any handheld binoculars sold at this price.
Another factor you must check is how a set of nighttime binoculars is powered. You want to choose one whose source of power is convenient for you and the battery life is long enough for your expeditions. A set that uses separate batteries means you can swap batteries if the current battery is depleted and continue with your observation but an onboard rechargeable battery is cost efficient in the long run. 
I've had this monocular for several months now and and I am still totally satisfied. The 42 mm objective lens allows it to gather enough light for early morning or late evening nature watching. The exit pupil measures 4 mm, which also makes this a good scope for casual star gazing. (The pupil of the human eye opens to between 5 mm and 7 mm when fully dilated. Anything more than that in a telescope is a waste.) I can get my monocular to focus as close as 28 inches. This is almost ten inches closer than a set of close focus binoculars costing hundreds of dollars more. Add to all this the coated optics, the soft rubber body, the waterproofing, the carrying case, the handy neck strap, and the tripod mount connector and one has a compelling product.
During testing in Southern California and/or southern Mexico, a few other models proved very good at bringing in color under harsh conditions, including the Bushnell Legend L Series, Celestron TrailSeeker, Carson 3D, and the Nikon Monarch 5 (my favorite of four Nikon models at the target price point). Neither the Nikon nor the Carson model had the wide field of view at distance the Midas ED boasted. The Nikon was 361 feet at 1,000 yards versus 426 feet for the Athlons, Bushnells, and Celestrons, which had the widest fields of view I tested. The Carson 3D binoculars were incredibly sharp and easily as bright as the Athlons, but felt almost as if they had tunnel vision, likely because their field of view was around 20 percent narrower than that of the Athlons. These field-of-view differences proved more noticeable when trying to differentiate spot-breasted wrens from rufous-and-white wrens as they crawled through vine tangles in southern Mexico, for example; the Nikon pair’s narrower field, which had otherwise excellent glass, seemed to require more time to find the birds than the Athlon pair did (and tellingly, by the end of the trip, I was grabbing the Athlons each morning).
Roof-prisms designs create an instrument that is narrower and more compact than Porro prisms. There is also a difference in image brightness. Porro-prism binoculars will inherently produce a brighter image than Schmidt-Pechan roof-prism binoculars of the same magnification, objective size, and optical quality, because this roof-prism design employs silvered surfaces that reduce light transmission by 12% to 15%. Roof-prisms designs also require tighter tolerances for alignment of their optical elements (collimation). This adds to their expense since the design requires them to use fixed elements that need to be set at a high degree of collimation at the factory. Porro prisms binoculars occasionally need their prism sets to be re-aligned to bring them into collimation. The fixed alignment in roof-prism designs means the binoculars normally will not need re-collimation.[7]
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