Best 8x42 Binoculars - Reviews [2020 - 2021]

Written by 

Karlie Menzel

Updated on: 

September 18, 2021

Product
Our Favourite
Opticron 30458 Discovery WP PC Mg 8x42 Binocular
Runner Up
Olympus 18793 8x42 EXPSI BINOCULAR
Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8x42 BaK-4 Prism Binoculars, Green
Magnification Level
8x
8x
8x
Objective Lens Size
42mm
42mm
42mm
Close Focus Distance
4.9ft
41mm - 50mm
6.5ft
Type
Bak-4 prism
BaK-4 prism
Bak-4 prisms
Eye relief
22mm
18mm
18mm
Waterproof or Water Resistant
Features
Durable lightweight magnesium build. Click-right dioptre adjustment. Multi-coated. 7.5-degrees wide field of view.
Multi-coated lenses. 114-metre brilliant field of view. Central focus knob system. 25-year warranty. Porro-prism design.
Fully multi-coated lenses. 7.4-degrees range FOV. Twist-up eyecups. Rubber armoured. Accessories included. Limited lifetime warranty.
Product Dimension
‎18 x 7.6 x 15.2 centimetres
19.81 x 19.81 x 8.89 centimetres
13.5 x 5.1 x 12.4 centimetres
Product Weight
0.86 Kilograms
780 Kilograms
0.79 Kilograms
Star Rating
Our Favourite
Product
Opticron 30458 Discovery WP PC Mg 8x42 Binocular
Magnification Level
8x
Objective Lens Size
42mm
Close Focus Distance
4.9ft
Type
Bak-4 prism
Eye relief
22mm
Waterproof or Water Resistant
Features
Durable lightweight magnesium build. Click-right dioptre adjustment. Multi-coated. 7.5-degrees wide field of view.
Product Dimension
‎18 x 7.6 x 15.2 centimetres
Product Weight
0.86 Kilograms
Star Rating
Buy Now
Runner Up
Product
Olympus 18793 8x42 EXPSI BINOCULAR
Magnification Level
8x
Objective Lens Size
42mm
Close Focus Distance
41mm - 50mm
Type
BaK-4 prism
Eye relief
18mm
Waterproof or Water Resistant
Features
Multi-coated lenses. 114-metre brilliant field of view. Central focus knob system. 25-year warranty. Porro-prism design.
Product Dimension
19.81 x 19.81 x 8.89 centimetres
Product Weight
780 Kilograms
Star Rating
Buy Now
Product
Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8x42 BaK-4 Prism Binoculars, Green
Magnification Level
8x
Objective Lens Size
42mm
Close Focus Distance
6.5ft
Type
Bak-4 prisms
Eye relief
18mm
Waterproof or Water Resistant
Features
Fully multi-coated lenses. 7.4-degrees range FOV. Twist-up eyecups. Rubber armoured. Accessories included. Limited lifetime warranty.
Product Dimension
13.5 x 5.1 x 12.4 centimetres
Product Weight
0.79 Kilograms
Star Rating
Buy Now

Short On Time?

Our Recommended Best 8x42 Binoculars Is The Opticron Discovery WP PC 8x42 Binoculars!

Sale
Opticron 30458 Discovery WP PC Mg 8x42 Binocular
  • Compact roof prism design with textured protective rubber armour
  • Lightweight magnesium body
  • PC phase corrected prisms integrated into a fully multi-coated optical system
  • Long eyerelief, wide angle eyepieces for extra viewing comfort and fitted with twist-type eyecups
  • Click-stop right dioptre adjustment and wide wheel focusing

The Best 8x42 Binoculars Reviews & Buying Guide

For bird watcher's and people on the move, 8x42 binoculars are an excellent pair of bino's to choose from, as their strength allows you to magnify close enough to see features on birds, while the objective lens still lets enough light in. 

These binoculars also allow for a wider field of view, meaning you can observe landscapes with ease, however, finding the best pair of binoculars can be a hard task, to say the least, as there is a huge binocular range on the market. 

So to make your search for the best 8x42 binocular model a little easier, we have rounded up the top 8x42 binocular sets which are on the market currently and compared them to find the best powerful binoculars. 

Let's get reviewing!

Our Favourite 8x42 Binoculars -

The Opticron Discovery WP PC 8x42 Binoculars (Editor's Pick!)

If you are looking for a quality pair of binoculars and don't mind spending a little more, then these Opticron Discovery binoculars could be worth taking a look at. 

Feature-wise, the compact binoculars come with a roof prism binocular design, it has a combination of magnification rated 8x and an objective lenses diameter of 42mm. The binoculars use fully multicoated Bak-4 prism lenses to allow for brighter images and use a long eye relief of 22mm. 

Opticron 30458 Discovery WP PC Mg 8x42 Binocular

In terms of the design, these expensive binoculars are nitrogen-filled to make them waterproof, they have a 7.5-degree wide field of view and a close focus rating of 4.9ft. Its design additionally uses a 2-stage twist eye cup system and the whole binoculars are rubber armoured. 

The model uses a click-right dioptre system to adjust the binos and has a wide wheel for better focusing on the model. Total weight of the magnesium body is around 690g and the model comes with accessories such as a lens cap, a case and a strap. 

A five-year warranty is included with Opticron binoculars. 

Conclusion

Overall, this compact roof prism binocular model by Opticron is a desirable binocular choice for people who after durability thanks to the designs magnesium armoured build and for people who want easy adjustment with its click-right dioptre system. 

It is further an excellent binocular choice if you wear glasses as it has a 22mm eye relief compared to cheap binoculars. 

Drawbacks of the Opticron binos are the strap included which has been said to undo and fall off by customers, potentially damaging the binoculars. It has also been reported that eyepieces do not stay set once adjusted.

Opticron 30458 Discovery WP PC Mg 8x42 Binocular

Pros 

  • Durable lightweight magnesium build. 
  • Close focus of 4.9ft. 
  • Waterproof. 
  • 22mm eye relief.
  • Click-right dioptre adjustment. 
  • Multi-coated Bak 4 prism. 
  • 7.5-degrees wide field of view. 

Cons 

  • Expensive. 
  • Eyecups do not stay set. 
  • Poor quality strap accessory. 

View Price


Our Porro Prism Runner Up - The Olympus 18793 8x42 EXPSI BINOCULAR

Olympus is very well-known in the binocular industry for creating reliable binoculars at a fair price. 

Feature-wise, these binoculars for bird watching have an 8x magnification with a 42mm objective lenses diameter, they use fully multi-coated lenses to produce the clearest images with BaK-4 prism. For the field of view, the model has a real field ranging to 114 metres with an 18mm eye relief and a close focus of 4m.

Olympus 18793 8x42 EXPSI BINOCULAR

The binoculars by Olympus use a central focus knobs design for easy focusing and have an exit pupil of 5.3mm. Its Porro Prism design has a rubber armoured contour and weighs 780g, it is additionally said to come with a 25-year warranty.

Conclusion

If your looking for a quality pair of binoculars that have a comfortable grip and a Porro Prism design, then you will not be let down by this Olympus model. 

This models lenses produce superior images even in low light with a simple to use focus knob making them an excellent choice for birders who want to see birds quickly without annoying focus controls or blurry images. 

Negatives of these binoculars by Olympus are its accessories, for example, the larger lens caps on the binoculars fully come off which can make them easy to lose and its carry case is made with pretty poor material. 

Olympus 18793 8x42 EXPSI BINOCULAR

Pros 

  • A reliable choice for bird watchers. 
  • Bak-4 prism multi-coated lenses. 
  • 18mm eye relief. 
  • 114-metre brilliant field of view. 
  • Central focus knob system. 
  • 25-year warranty. 
  • Porro-prism design.

Cons 

  • Poor accessories. 

View Price


Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8x42 BaK-4 Prism Binoculars

The Celestron Nature DX binoculars feature an 8x binocular magnification and uses a 42mm objective lenses size with a 6.5ft close focus. 

Main specs of the binocular choice by Celestron are fully multi-coated lenses with Bak-4 prisms, allowing you to use the powerful binoculars in low-light conditions with a bright image. For the field of view, the binoculars have a 7.4° degrees range and 18mm eye relief for better comfort. 

Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8x42 BaK-4 Prism Binoculars, Green

Design-wise, for optical clarity the binoculars are fog proof as well as waterproof due to them being nitrogen sealed. The eyecups are twist-up and the whole design is rubber armoured with a green design, you can also mount these binoculars with a tripod for extra stability. 

Accessories included with these Celestron binoculars are a neck strap, lens cap, lens cloth and carry case, the binos come with a limited lifetime warranty too for buyers confidence. 

Conclusion

To conclude, these 8x42 binoculars by Celestron are great for optical performance with their fully multi-coated lenses providing a clearer image and a wide field of view thanks to the diameter. 

We also like these binoculars thanks to their long eye relief adjustment, this makes them a comfortable and reliable choice for people who wear glasses. 

Downfalls of the Celestron binoculars have to be heavyweight which might be tiring to carry around for long periods for a backpacking bird nerd, the binoculars twist-up eyecups are also said to be hard to adjust and do not extend long enough for some users. 

Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8x42 BaK-4 Prism Binoculars, Green

Pros 

  • Fully multi-coated lenses with Bak-4 prisms. 
  • 18mm adjustment of eye relief. 
  • Inexpensive binoculars.
  • 7.4-degrees range FOV.
  • Twist-up eyecups. 
  • Rubber armoured. 
  • Accessories included.
  • Limited lifetime warranty.

Cons 

  • Heavyweight. 
  • Twist-up eyecups are hard to use.

View Price


Which Are The Best 8x42 Binoculars?

To conclude our reviews of the best 8x42 binoculars, we can confidently say the top binoculars in our reviews for excellent image clarity and durability has to be the Opticron Discovery WP PC 8x42 Binoculars. 

Opticron 30458 Discovery WP PC Mg 8x42 Binocular

These binoculars by Opticron give superior images thanks to their multicoated Bak-4 prism lenses, they also have an exceptional eye relief of 22mm making them the perfect pair of binoculars for people who wear glasses too because of the extra comfort. 

As a runner up, we would also suggest checking out the Olympus 18793 8x42 EXPSI BINOCULAR, these Olympus binoculars are a fantastic pair of Porro-Prism binos and would please anyone with a fascination with bird watching due to their closer focus range and supple focus knobs allowing for quicker adjustment.

Olympus 18793 8x42 EXPSI BINOCULAR

The reason we didn't place this Olympus model as our number is due to poor quality accessories included which lets the model down.

What To Look For In The Top 8x42 Binoculars (Our Best Buying Guide)

Now we have reviewed the top three 8x42 binoculars on the market and found our number one, it's important we get to know more about these types of binoculars before making a final decision on which pair is right for you. 

In our buying guide below we will cover why 8x42 binoculars are the best all-round binos, what features to look for in your top model, how 8x42 binos match up to 10x42 binos and a quick guide on how to focus with your new model. 

So without further chat, let's get into it! 

Why Choose 8x42 Binoculars? 

First off, when looking for the best pair of binoculars on the market, you will probably find countless binoculars all with different powers and sizes, which begs the question, why would you choose an 8x42 binocular over others? 

Well, 8x42 binoculars tend to be the most popular on the market thanks to their objective lenses size, which is enough for use in daylight, but also enough to give a clearer image in low-light situations. 

The binos additionally still give great magnification with enhanced brightness, but not too much so as you would need a tripod for stability and so as it would cut your field of view, making it a common choice for birding. 

We have summarised why you should choose an 8x42 binocular pair below. 

  • They give a great magnification without compromising the field of view. 
  • Exceptional brightness in dim light. 
  • Not too magnified for handheld use. 
  • Affordable. 
  • Best for birdwatching or hunting.

Top Features To Consider In Your 8x42 Binoculars 

From the coatings of the lenses to the field of view and design, if you want to be getting the right pair of binoculars that will give you an excellent viewing experience then you need to make sure it has the right features for you. 

We have listed out the essential specs to be considering in your new 8x42 binos below. 

  • Lens coatings - The best binoculars will have multi-coated lenses to help with producing a clearer image that has less reflection, some even have Bak-4 prism coatings which are top of the range, but in general, fully multi-coated lenses should be enough for a higher quality image.
  • Prism design - Binoculars either come in Roof Prism or Porro Prism designs, Porro Prism binos have a wider field of view but are typically more expensive binoculars while Roof Prism designs are more comfortable and less expensive so tend to be more popular. 
  • Eye relief - The eye relief of your binoculars is very important for people that wear glasses, this is because it allows you to see the whole field of view when looking through the lens, you should always look for an eye relief of 11mm and above, the longer the better!

Opticron 30458 Discovery WP PC Mg 8x42 Binocular

  • Close focus range - Close focus means the closest the binoculars can focus to something, this is essential for viewing nearby subjects with clarity, anything under 10 feet will be found on the best binos.
  • Field of view - Field of view is important if you want to be using your binoculars for wildlife viewing or bird watching, as it allows you to track your subject in a larger frame without having to zoom out, typically at a spot of 1000 yards away, this should be between 6 and 8 degrees. 
  • Design - Design-wise, your binoculars need to be waterproof as well as fog proof, rubber armouring is also a good idea to help with grip and durability in case you drop your binos. Check the focus system of your binoculars too and make sure it's simple to use, as well as the eyecups. 
  • Weight - The weight of your binoculars should be light if you want to be holding your binos for long periods without fatigue, anything around 500 grams is best. Ensure your model includes accessories such as a neck strap and carry support case too.

8x42 Binoculars Vs 10x42 Binoculars - Which Is Better?

When looking at 8x42 binoculars, you might be wondering if 10x42 binos are any better as they have higher magnification and typically comes with the same weight and size. 

We have compared both 8x42 binoculars and 10x42 binoculars down below to help you decide which model is right for you. 

8x42 Binoculars 

These 8x42 binoculars have the same objective lens as 10x42 models, except use a lower level of magnification. Advantages of these binos over the 10x models are their exit pupil which tends to be larger, making it easier to line up your eyes when using the model and producing a brighter image too.

The binoculars additionally will often be a little lighter in weight too and have a larger field of view, allowing you to see more in the frame when at top magnification. As these binos are more popular they will be more affordable too. 

Drawbacks of these binoculars in comparison to 10x42 models will be their lower magnification, meaning you can't see as much detail far away. So if you want to see subjects from a very far distance, 8x binoculars will struggle more with this.

Advantages 

  • More affordable. 
  • Wider field of view. 
  • Lighter in weight. 
  • Brighter image. 

Disadvantages 

  • Less detailed image when magnified. 

10x42 Binoculars 

For 10x42 binos, they always win over 8x42 models when it comes to long-distance viewing, you will never be able to see the same amount of detail from a long distance with 8x binoculars as you would with 10x binos. 

Olympus 18793 8x42 EXPSI BINOCULAR

However, because of this increase magnification they have a smaller field of view too and are more expensive, so might not be the best choice for birding, as you can fit as many subjects in your frame. They further have a smaller exit pupil so aren't the best for viewing in lower-light conditions. 

Advantages 

  • You can see more detailed images. 
  • Allows you to see things further away.

Disadvantages 

  • More expensive. 
  • A smaller field of view. 
  • Bad performance in low light.

Which Power Binoculars Should I Choose?

Overall, if you are planning to view subjects at mid-distances away and want to use your binoculars for bird or wildlife tracking then an 8x42 pair of binoculars will probably suit you better as they allow you to follow subjects with their wider field of view, they also work well in low light, making them better to use in forests or woodlands. 

On the other hand, if you want to see subjects at long distances then a 10x42 pair of binos might suit you better, especially for sport or astronomy.

How To Use 8x42 Binoculars 

When your first get your binoculars, you will probably be keen to unwrap them straight away and start observing, however, before you do this you need to ensure that they are set up correctly so as you can get the most out of their performance. 

We have put together some basic steps to using your 8x42 binoculars for the first time down below. 

  • Step one - First of all adjust the two barrels of the binoculars so as they can be the right width for your eyes without a black field around the edges of the image.  
  • Step two - Find something to focus on such as a street sign then focus the binoculars with both eyes open by turning the central focus knob.  
  • Step three - To fine focus, close your right eye and use your left eye to adjust the focus until the image you see is clear, after doing this close your left eye and adjust the dioptre until the image is clear again. 
  • Step four - Open both eyes to check if the image is clear, if not then repeat the steps making small adjustments until you see a clear image.

FAQs About The Best 8x42 Binoculars 

How much do 8x42 binoculars tend to cost?

This all comes down to the brand and the specs it comes with, they can cost between a general price range of £100-£400.

Should I clean my binoculars? 

It is important to clean your binos, but not too much, you should always use a microfibre cloth, lens cleaning solution and compressed air to clean your binoculars, never use standard soap or tissue as this will damage the lens.

Do I need a tripod for my 8x42 binoculars? 

No, despite many 8x42 binos coming with tripod adaptability, this is just an extra and you don't need to use it. Tripods are needed for binoculars with a magnification of over 12x as they can become shaky to view when handheld.

Are 8x42 binoculars good for hunting?

Yes, 8x42 binos are great for hunting as they are lightweight which allows you to hold them for long periods and they still keep their wide field of view which is excellent for tracking moving subjects.

Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8x42 BaK-4 Prism Binoculars, Green

What does Bak-4 prism coating mean?

Bak-4 Prism refers to the type of glass used during coating, these are available in different ranks, but in general, it means the lens has a high-quality finish.

Is more or less field of view better on my binoculars? 

More field of view has two disadvantages to consider, one is that it will often mean a smaller eye relief which is not great for glasses wearers, two is that a bigger field of view means less magnification, so it comes down to what you will be using your binoculars for.

For wildlife viewing, you might prefer a bigger field of view, but for astronomy, you want to be able to view images at a far distance with detail.

Should I get 8x42 or 10x42 binoculars for wildlife watching? 

In our opinion, both 10x42 and 8x42 binos are great for wildlife watching, but we tip in favour of the 8x42 models as they have a wider field of view that allows you to track and follow animals.

Are lens coatings on binoculars important? 

Your binoculars need to have lens coatings as this can dramatically improve the image you see through the lens, reducing chromatic aberrations and reflections distorting what you see, the best binos have fully multi-coated lenses.

Do I need binoculars with image stabilisation?

For 8x42 binoculars they do not need to have image stabilisation, as the magnification inside can be handheld without producing a shaking image, image stabilisation becomes useful in binoculars that have a high power over 12x.

Our #1 8x42 Binoculars For The Clearest Image 

Our number one pair of binoculars for creating a high-quality image as well as comfortable viewing is the Opticron Discovery WP PC 8x42 Binoculars thanks to their high-quality multi-coated lenses and long eye relief. 

View Price

We also suggested checking out the Porro Prism Olympus 18793 8x42 EXPSI BINOCULAR because of its affordable price and close focus range which provides exceptional viewing quality as well as quick focusing adjustment which is important for wildlife viewing.

View Price

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