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What are good bird watching binoculars?

Do you also find yourself wondering which bird is singing so beautifully on that branch you see in the distance? Or which birds can be found in your garden? With good binoculars looking for birds will be a piece of cake. With it you namely bring the bird closer, making it easier to examine. But that do you need to pay attention to when looking for birds? We will help you out.


When you go out to look for birds you want to be able to properly follow them in the sky. That is why these binoculars are often enhanced with a magnification from 8x to 10x. Binoculars with a magnification smaller than 8 will, obviously, not bring the image close enough. Binoculars with a magnification of 8 will leave you with a calm image and a large field of view. As such you will be able to properly follow the birds. A magnification factor higher than 10 might give you more details but also leaves you with a less stable image. Every vibration is namely also enhanced. In the end the choice for the magnification comes down to how stable your hands are and your personal preference. So try it out!

Objective diameter

The diameter of the objective is important because on the one hand it determines the light output and the viewing experience of the binoculars and on the other hand it determines the weight and size of the binoculars. The number behind the x tells you more about the objective diameter. Binoculars that feature 8x42, have an objective diameter of, you guessed it, 42 mm. The larger this number, the more light can enter the binoculars. As such the colours are nicely rendered and the image will be clearer. However, as the number increases so do the size and weight of the pair. Making it more difficult to take with you. That is why you need to look for a compromise. However, binoculars with an objective diameter of 42 mm are great when looking for birds. This is a nice compromise between size and image quality.

Are you planning to look for birds at twilight or perhaps even at night? Also pay close attention to the twilight factor. The higher the number, the more details you will see with little light. Always aim for a twilight factor of at least 20 when you want to look for birds in the dark.

Width of the field of view

When you look at birds in the sky you need a pair of binoculars with a broad field of view. Otherwise you will quickly lose the bird. The field of view depends on the magnification, but also the construction of the binoculars. This differs for every pair of binoculars. For 8x42 binoculars a field of view of approximately 130 meters at 1000 meters is good and a field of view of approximately 140 meters is really good. For 10x42 pairs a field of view of 115 metres at 1000 metres is a great value.

Quick focus

When looking at birds it is important that you can quickly focus your binoculars. As such you can always follow a quickly-moving bird. With some binoculars you need to turn the focus knob a couple of times to focus from close by to far away, while with other binoculars, such as, for instance, with our Eden Quality ED and HD 8x42 binoculars one turn is enough. But also a quick focus takes some getting used to. But don't worry, you will get the hang of it!

But which will it be?

Okay, we discussed everything you need to pay attention to when purchasing binoculars. But which are good binoculars for those just starting out? And what are good, affordable binoculars? We made an overview of a number of options, sorted by budget. Either way, all these binoculars are great when looking for birds!