Choose a Viewer That Magnifies 10x

Many bird watchers blindly opt for binoculars that magnify 10x. Because with that, you sit the bird nice and close to its fat feathers. And that is really a difference with other nature lovers, such as wildlife spotters.

They prefer a wider view, for example, 8x magnification. However, there is some value about birdwatchers using this 10x magnifier. Such a strong viewer is much more difficult to keep still so that your image will vibrate if you do not have very steady hands.

Or A Viewer That Magnifies 8x

Quite a few binoculars specialists find that 8x magnification is enough for good bird spotting. According to them, the Best Compact Binoculars for Birding are mainly lightweight and quick to use.

Extreme magnification is less important because if you cannot observe the bird with the naked eye, you will not be able to see it with binoculars. You then keep looking; this can be difficult, especially in dense foliage.

Birdwatching at Dusk

Whether you choose, a 10x or 8x magnification is not only a matter of steady or trembling hands but also simply personal preference. This is crucial to consider the time you plan to make use of the viewer.

Many birdwatchers can be found in the woods at dusk or dawn. Then binoculars with a high twilight factor are of great importance. Are you a twilight birder?

Then choose a birdwatcher with a twilight number around or above 18. Keep in mind that it is always darker in a forest than in the open field.

Twilight Number & Brightness

Twilight number? Have you ever heard of it? This number indicates to what extent you can still make a good observation under poor lighting conditions.

The higher the number, the better the binoculars perform in low light. This is how you calculate the twilight number: multiply the diameter of the objective by the magnification factor and subtract the square root from this number.

For example, a viewer of 8×40 has a twilight figure of 17.9. Viewers with a twilight number under 15 are only suitable for daytime use. The twilight figure should not be confused with the brightness.

The brightness indicates how bright the image is that the viewer transmits. The following applies: the higher the light intensity, the brighter.

Heavy or Light Bird Binoculars?

And what about bird watching in wet weather? Can the viewer of your choice withstand that? The place where you go birdwatching also determines which bird binoculars are best for you.

If you are in a permanent place (a camouflaged hut, for example) or if you look from your house, weight does not play a role. If you’re a walking birdwatcher (like me), you’ll have to cut back on weight. These are all things that you have to weigh up carefully.

Are Good Bird Binoculars Expensive?

The best birdwatchers are very pricey. Keep thinking that the book can last for a long time or even your entire life. This means that you could consider it a worthwhile investment.

The top brands, such as Swarovski or Leica, have better glassware and therefore give a clearer, more colorfast image than cheaper binoculars.

If you strive for the best of the best and have plenty of money, then I would go for that. But such an expensive pair of binoculars is not absolutely necessary to enjoy bird watching. There are plenty of birdwatchers that are much cheaper and perform excellently.

Swarovski Nl Pure Series

Swarovski has spent seven years developing a range of new top binoculars: the Swarovski NL Pure series. Binoculars are even better than the binoculars from the famous EL series. They are the best binoculars of the moment, also for bird watchers.

Swarovski was already known for its top-class binoculars. With the brand new Swarovski NL Pure series, Swarovski outdoes itself. They offer a better overview, easier viewing, and a clearer and more contrasting image.

They also focus more easily than the EL viewers. The Pures also offers a more stable image than ever, making the 10x and 12x versions more interesting for many bird watchers as well. “This is pure craftsmanship, one lump of high quality,” said one reviewer.

In the Birdwatcher

  • High-contrast and true-to-life image with razor-sharp contours
  • Ergonomic design: fits like a glove in your hand
  • Very large field of view: you keep a good overview
  • Short minimum focusing distance (great for insect watching)
  • Extremely bright: 91% light transmission

Swarovski El 8.5×42

Showpiece from Swarovski. Top binoculars with a particularly colorfast image. Winner of the Roots Large Binoculars Test. Excellent for birdwatching. They were displaced from place one by the NL Pure series.

This is one of the best birdwatchers out there right now. Thanks to its size and weight, it is easy to take with you on a walk, for example. The ergonomic design fits perfectly in hand.

These updated Swarovision binoculars offer crystal clear and true-to-color images without disturbing color fringing. Fine structures and small details are effortless to observe.

So you can study birds very well—the best binoculars for bird watchers at If you can get over the price, these are binoculars that will give you many years of birding pleasure.

In the Birdwatcher

  • High-contrast and true-to-life image with razor-sharp contours
  • A very ergonomic design that is perfect for hand
  • Redesigned Swivel Strap Connector
  • Diopter correction with lock function
  • Individually adjustable eyecups

Swarovski El 8×32 Wb Swarovision

“The best binoculars for walkers,” according to the binoculars expert. Pretty much as good as the Swarovski EL above, just a lot more portable. Excellent as a compact bird binoculars.

This beautiful Swarovski is light, compact, and has excellent ergonomics. So you can bird watch all day long, even when you’re out and about.

Naturally offers the unique Swarovski quality: clear, razor-sharp, true-to-color images. “Clearly clear binoculars from the absolute top class!” writes one reviewer.

Thanks to the fixed-grip, you can observe birds for hours without getting tired. These binoculars are a joy to hold, even with one hand. I should know: I bought it!

In the Birdwatcher

  • High-contrast and true-to-life image with razor-sharp contours
  • Very ergonomic design: fits perfectly in the hand
  • Redesigned Swivel Strap Connector
  • Diopter correction with lock function
  • Fast and accurate close focus down to 1.9m for macro viewing

Buying Tips From Bird Protection

  • Before you start looking, determine the maximum amount you want to spend.
  • Make a list of the binoculars you want to try and call the store you want to see if they have these binoculars in stock so you can compare them.
  • Note the strengths and weaknesses. That makes it easier afterward to sort everything out before you take the plunge.
  • Take your time, look through the viewer yourself for some time, put it in your hand for the weight, and hang it around your neck for a while, because you will wear the viewer for many hours.
  • Go to the store on a cloudy day to test the image; bad viewers will immediately fall for the basket.
  • Do you really like a certain viewer, but you just don’t have the money yet? Then wait a minute. You might buy such binoculars for the rest of your life.

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