Small Birding Binoculars – Top 3
You could get a cheaper pair of binoculars. You could save a few pounds for a poorer quality product. But you’re not that kind of person, if you’re going bird watching (otherwise known as “birding”), you need the best of the best.
Magnification, a stable balance and a sleek aesthetic all go a long way when bird watching for hours on end. I’ve done the hard work and separated the wheat from the chaff. These are the three sets of bird watching binoculars I would recommend to any bird watching aficionado.
Vanguard Spirit ED 1042 Review – Our Number 1
Vanguard are at the forefront of bird watching binoculars with a wide range of products to choose from. In this list I have highlighted two of them, the Vanguard Spirit ED 1042 being the first to spring to mind (CHECK PRICE!).
The Vanguard Spirit ED 1042 Binoculars are a lesson in, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Although they have a deceptively simple look to them, the inside, what matters, is top of the line quality.
In the Vanguard line this is about the middle of the road in the price range and should be acceptable to those who want to balance how much money they want to spend with how much of a quality product they receive in the end. The Vanguard Spirit ED 1042 has many features, but these are the few that stuck out to me.
- The extra low dispersion glass offers a crystal clear and colourful image.
- A simple but effective grip to rest your thumbs and the sides of your eyes on making your bird watching period as comfortable as possible.
- The lenses are covered in anti-glare technology minimising any damage that could result in your eyes by portraying an image that is balanced in brightness and colour.
- A x10 magnification, so you can be very far away from your subject without them ever realising you were there.
- The Vanguard Spirit ED 1042 Binoculars also are completely waterproof meaning that if you drop them in a puddle or stream, you needn’t worry about damage done.
The Vanguard Spirit ED 1042 Binoculars are very decent product, straddling the line between an affordable price and a feature set that is worth the price.
Vanguard Endeavour ED 8420 8 x 42 Review – Our Number 2
These are the second pair of Vanguard binoculars that I have featured in this article, and for good reason. The critical acclaim and customer testimonies speak volumes about how much trust and respect is put towards this company and so, naturally, their products were the first I came to.
Judging by the price, you’d be right to assume that these binoculars are higher range than the Vanguard Spirit ED 1042’s, and the feature set reflects this. Out of all the features the Vanguard Endeavour ED 8420 has, these are the ones that stood out to me.
- The Vanguard Endeavour ED 8420 makes use of specially coloured lenses so that it works effectively in low light environments. This will be especially useful when trying to spot birds that tend to come out at dawn or dusk.
- Lens coatings far beyond the competition to improve the rate of light transmission to your eye.
- The central column of the binoculars has been removed to opt for a more open, “open bridge” approach, theoretically making the Vanguard ED 8420 easier to hold for a longer period of time.
- A simple to use and large focus wheel along with eye cups that adjust to three different settings, each helping the user get the best image possible.
- The Vanguard Endeavour ED 8420 is also water proof and fog proof. If you’re in the wilderness and the weather gets rough, you can still be sure that your binoculars will be safe against the elements.
- A seven degree field of view angle so you can the maximum amount of peripheral movement. This becomes especially useful when trying to track movement in the foliage.
Overall, the Vanguard Endeavour ED 8420 is a worthy successor to the Vanguard Spirit ED 1042, however, it’s up to you whether you think the extra cash is worth it.
Nikon Aculon A211 10 x 50 Review – Number 3
Taking a step away from the Vanguard brand line, the Nikon Aculon is a worthy competitor to both of these binoculars. A sleek futuristic aesthetic will make you stand out from the crowd, and the wide lens at the end will give you the maximum amount of zoom.
The price on these is certainly a fair drop down from the other two prices, so when it comes to features you can expect that some of them will be absent, but it is up to you to decide whether you think the drop in features is worth the lower price.
- The aspherical image of the lens eliminates any and all image distortion around the side of the image.
- The lenses are also coated multiple times to give you the brightest image.
- The unique, “Turn and slide” function of the eye pieces help position your eyes in the most comfortable position possible.
- A firm rubber exterior which will protect the binoculars even from quite a high fall. If you drop your binoculars when you’re out and about you needn’t worry about them becoming damaged.
The Nikon Aculon is an admirable product for its price point, and it deserves to be noted because of it, but whether it beats its contenders is up to you.
While all of these binoculars pose interesting perspectives on the bird watching hobby, when weighing up the pricing, feature set and critical acclaim; there is one clear winner which is without a doubt The Vanguard Spirit ED 1042 Binoculars.
With the effective waterproofing, thorough lens modifying and low dispersion glass the Vanguard Spirit ED 1042 stands tall among its contemporaries. As a bonus, it even comes with a decent price tag – when looking at features vs price, The The Vanguard Spirit ED 1042 is undoubtedly the best for birding.