Whether you want a pair of zoom binoculars for bird watching, hiking, or watching a sporting event, choosing the perfect model can be a daunting task.
There are so many aspects of zoom models to consider, including how large the field of view is, the amount of light transmission, and the degree of magnification.
So, which binocular is best for you and your life? Keep reading to find out.
Nikon Aculon A211 (Editor’s Choice)
It comes as no surprise that a Nikon model makes it onto our list of best zoom binoculars. They have been known as leaders in the camera and binoculars industry for decades.
The Nikon Aculon A211 model is like a telescope that you can carry around in your rucksack. They offer the user a minimum of 10 times magnification and can go up to a maximum of 22 times magnification.
This model is reasonably lightweight for such a powerful tool and are also ergonomically designed.
One unique feature on this model is the tethered ocular rain guard that is used to protect the eyecups. Another is that you can hook the objective lens cap to the neck strap to prevent losing it.
Since this device is so lightweight and portable, it is perfect for bird watching and hunting.
This model is protected by a heavy and durable rubber coating. Rubber grips are carved into it to provide the user with a good grip. You can use these binoculars no matter what the season is.
The Nikon Aculon A211 zoom binoculars feature multi coated lenses with 50 mm objectives. Eco glass is combined with BAK 4 Porro prisms to give you the best view possible.
The multi coated Porro prisms provide the binoculars with an exceptional depth of field so that it is easy to estimate the distances between objects that you are viewing.
The eyepiece lenses are actually aspherical to minimise spherical aberration. Again, Nikon is doing everything in its power to give the user the best view possible through the binocular.
The objective lens is anti reflective and provide a crisp, clear image even when using a high magnification setting.
The field of view for this particular model is 60 metres per 100 metres while set to 10 times magnification.
Close focus is 15 metres at 10 times magnification. Eye relief is 8.6 mm; combined with the retractable eyecups, this is very good for those who wear glasses.
The magnification and focus are both very easy to adjust on the binocular. The zoom lever is mounted on top of the eyepiece so that you can make fast magnification changes from 10 to 22 times.
Changing the focus is smooth and easy; even beginners can use this particular model.
The Nikon Aculon A211 is tripod compatible so you do not always have to hold these zoom binoculars. This feature is great for stargazing and bird watching.
- Magnification is extremely easy to adjust.
- The view through these binoculars is bright and clear, even in low light conditions.
- This pair of binoculars are ergonomically designed and provide the user with a good grip.
- This model can be a bit heavy if you are holding them for an extended period of time.
Nikon products are state of the art which is why the Nikon Aculon A211 made it onto our list of the best zoom binoculars. They are sturdy, reliable, and affordable and should last you a lifetime.
BetaOptics Military Zoom Binoculars
The military zoom binoculars from BetaOptics are extremely affordable binoculars that include an incredibly powerful zoom feature.
These binoculars are lightweight and portable, making them the perfect device to bring to outdoor sporting events, wildlife viewing trips, and stargazing.
The zoom feature allows the user to magnify objects 20 to 150 times closer so that you can see them from up to 450 metres away.
The objective lenses in the BetaOptics binoculars are wide enough to provide the user with a decent amount of light. This means the image is illuminated very well, even in low light conditions.
These lightweight and durable zoom binoculars produce crystal clear images, even from over 100 metres away.
The focus wheel is smooth and easy to adjust, which is great for beginners.
Purchase of the BetaOptics zoom binoculars comes with an additional carrying case and adjustable strap. This makes traveling with this pair of binoculars a breeze.
The multi coated optics in these zoom binoculars lend to the high definition clarity achieved by them.
One added facet of these binoculars is that they are suited to be mounted to a tripod. This is especially useful if you plan to use them for extended periods of time.
- Purchase of this pair of binoculars comes with a 30 day warranty for workmanship and defects.
- For zoom binoculars, this model are incredibly lightweight and portable.
- Some buyers have complained that the lenses in these zoom binoculars are a bit too small.
- Since the magnification is so powerful, you need a very steady hand to produce a clear image from very far away.
Overall, the BetaOptics zoom binoculars produce fantastic magnification for the price. For such an affordable piece of equipment, they are incredibly well designed and constructed.
Sunagor 30 Megazoom
The Sunagor 30 Megazoom binoculars are extremely powerful, as they offer magnification of up to 160 times. If you are interested in sailing, spotting planes, or wildlife observation, these zoom binoculars are the ones for you.
The body of this pair of binoculars is coated in a protective rubber coating. This coating protects the device against minor bumps and some shock damage.
These Sunagor zoom binoculars feature a central focus knob that is smooth to adjust for fast and sharp focusing.
This device features a zoom lever that controls most of the magnification. The lever is larger than on similar models and feels firm while sliding it. This feature makes adjusting the magnification on this model extremely precise.
These particular zoom binoculars are fitted with high quality, multi coated optics and 70 mm objective lenses.
The built in dioptric eyepiece correction is implemented to suit everyone’s different eyesight. It also includes soft fold down eye cups that are great for people who wear eyeglasses.
All the optical components in this pair of binoculars are manufactured using high quality Japanese eco glass. The BAK 4 design has even been carried over to the Porro prism used inside the binocular.
These zoom binoculars are relatively lightweight compared to other similar models.
The body of the Sunagor binoculars is made with just one piece. The barrels are not screwed onto the body; instead, the whole thing is made using one mould. This patented design gives the zoom binoculars a higher degree of precision and rigidity.
This increased precision and rigidity allows the user to hold the binoculars steady, especially when using a very high magnification.
Purchase of the Sunagor binoculars comes with an additional neck strap, protective lens cap, polishing cloth, and tripod adaptor.
- This device is great for stargazing.
- Mounting these binoculars is very easy and necessary if using them for a long period of time.
- When used at the highest magnification level, the image tends to dim a bit.
- Some customers have noted that these zoom binoculars are quite heavy and need to be used with a tripod.
These zoom binoculars are suited to a wide range of outdoor activities and light conditions.
Bushnell Legacy Zoom Binoculars
The Legacy series of binoculars from Bushnell offers a wide range of devices for a whole host of outdoor activities. Form paddling to bird watching, Bushnell will have a binocular that suits your needs.
This particular model features multi coated optics as well as BAK 4 prisms. Both of these features lend themselves to producing the highest quality image possible.
These Porro prism binoculars have a larger objective lens than similar models do, which makes them work exceptionally well in low light conditions.
This model is fully weather proof and can be used in any condition. They feature a comfortable rubber armour that not only protects them from shock damage, but makes them easy to grip and hold as well.
Weighing in at 969 g, these Bushnell zoom binoculars are some of the lightest models on the market today. This makes them suited to hiking and bird watching.
With an eye relief of 14 mm, this particular model is suited even to users who wear eyeglasses.
- These zoom binoculars from Bushnell are completely waterproof and fog proof.
- Purchase of these binoculars comes with a lifetime warranty.
- This device can easily be mounted on a tripod.
- This particular model is quite heavy.
If you are looking for a model that is portable, the Bushnell Legacy are the best zoom binoculars for you. They are affordable, lightweight, and tripod compatible so that you can take them anywhere.
Nikon Sportstar Zoom
IF you are in the market for an extra portable zoom binocular, then the Nikon Sportstar is the way to go.
These affordable zoom binoculars are perfect for watching all kinds of sport. Easily zoom in and out of focus using the lever on top of the binoculars.
The magnification of these binoculars ranges from 8 times to 24 times. There are no set magnification stops, so you can easily find and follow your subject without having to settle for a less than perfect view.
The mechanical magnification settings means that there is no need for batteries or charging. Your binoculars will always be ready to go whenever you are.
The lenses in the Sportstar binoculars are multi coated to produce much brighter images.
The rubber eyecups on this particular model are super soft and comfortable, even those who wear glasses will be able to successfully use it.
These binoculars weigh less than 305 g which means that they can be brought along in a rucksack almost anywhere.
Purchase of this zoom binocular comes with additional accessories. This model comes with a carrying case, eye cap, and padded neck strap.
- These binoculars are incredibly affordable for a pair of zoom binoculars.
- This model can be used for sporting events as well as bird watching.
- Focusing these binoculars to get a good view of objects far away is smooth and fast.
- Some buyers have complained that the eye relief is not the best and users with eyeglasses may have a hard time using this model.
If you are in the market for a zoom binocular for sporting events, then the Nikon Sportstar model is the one for you.
Choosing Zoom Binoculars
There are several aspects to consider before you decide to get a pair of zoom binoculars. For example, consider which activities you will use them for.
If you will remain seated or stationary for most of the activity for which you will use your zoom binoculars, you do not need to purchase an exceptionally durable pair.
If you plan to go hiking or traveling with your binoculars, then you may want to invest in a pair that has increased durability.
In most cases, zoom binoculars are large and heavy. There are compact options you can instead buy.
If image quality is your highest concern, look for a model that strikes a balance between field of view, optical diameter, and magnification.
All of these specifications impact the final image you see through the device, especially field of view and magnification.
Magnification determines how closely you can view an object from a distance. A high optical diameter corresponds to better performance in low light. A wide field typically makes the device easier to use.
The amount of zoom you will need on your binoculars will be determined by the activities you wish to do with them.
For example, a magnification of between 10 times and 20 times is suitable for birds and wildlife.
If you want to get into stargazing, you can opt for a pair with a stronger magnification. Models with a stronger magnification than 10 times will require tripod compatibility.
The best binoculars come with an array of accessories.
If you plan to use your device for extended periods of time or for stationary work like stargazing, you will need to purchase a pair that can be mounted on a tripod.
Lens caps and covers are a must to protect the lenses of your binoculars. The best lens covers will fit snugly over the eye pieces.
A neck strap is a nice bonus to have while birding or wildlife viewing. Better straps will be padded and made of materials like neoprene. Comfort is a must when adding a neck strap to your new binoculars.
Best in Show- Nikon Aculon A211 Zoom Binoculars
Our vote for the best binoculars for far zoom magnification are the Nikon Aculon A211. They are the most affordable binocular on the market today for the high quality that they offer.
The prism lenses on these binoculars allow maximum light transmission through the device to give the user the best view possible. The field of view through these binoculars is incredibly wide, even when they are set to the maximum magnification.
Of course, the binoculars which are best for your activities and needs will vary, but out favourite zoom model for most activities and light levels is the Nikon Aculon A211.