10 Best High End Binoculars Worth the Money (2021)

Tori Rhodes
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When you want an optical device that comes in the form of a binocular, you need something that will work well for you under any circumstances.

That's why binoculars are so great because they make viewing objects from a distance possible.

As an outdoorsy person, you may want binoculars that will work for both long-range and close-range viewing. You also want something that is easy to use and compact enough to take along with you when you travel.

If you can afford to spend a little more, then you may be willing to go for high-end binoculars as opposed to budget ones as they are more durable. Here are some of the best high end binoculars available in 2019.

NameCategoryProduct
Vortex Optics Razor UHD Binoculars 10×42Best OverallVortex Optics Razor UHD Binoculars 10x42
Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 BinocularsBudget PickZeiss Terra ED 10x42 Binoculars
Steiner 398 10 x 50 Military BRF Binocular RFUpgrade PickSteiner 398 10 x 50 Military BRF Binocular RF

1. Vortex Optics Razor UHD Binoculars 10×42

Our rating: 9 / 10

Vortex Optics Razor UHD Binoculars 10x42

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Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Shock and fog proof
  • Multi-layer coatings and BaK-4 Porro prisms
  • Optics are fully multi-coated, XR Plus lens edging process
  • Rubber armoured body
  • Field of View Range: 8.3m/27.1ft
  • Eye Relief Range: 15mm
  • Tripod adaptable
  • Aluminum construction
  • Tripod adaptable

If you can’t decide between a roof prism or Porro prism binoculars, then you really need to check out Vortex Optics Razor UHD Binoculars. Originally designed by Vortex Optics on a mission to create a high-performance binoculars that’s rugged, weatherproof, and offers top-of-the-line optical performance, all for an affordable price.

Thanks to options like HD (High Density) extra-low dispersion glass and BaK-4 Porro prisms, these binoculars deliver incredible quality images with superior brightness and definition (HD – Extra low dispersion glass makes for extremely sharp images and it increases edge-to-edge clarity at all wavelengths).

2. Steiner Optics HX Series Binoculars

Our rating: 9 / 10

Steiner Optics HX Series Binoculars

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Pros:

  • They are polarized, and are designed to reduce the glare that is often found through other binoculars
  • They are multicoated, meaning that they will not cause a glare during day lamps or at night
  • They are built to meet Steiner Military specifications. That means they are shock-proof, waterproof, and rugged enough to handle the toughest hunting conditions

These binoculars from Steiner were the highest rated binoculars for hunting on Amazon, with more than 200 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 stars. These are designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind. It is easy to see why.

These are designed to be waterproof and also have an open bridge, which will prevent them from fogging. The design makes this model easier to clean. The lenses have an oil free multi-coating, which will prevent glare.

3. Leica Noctivid 8×42 Green Binocular 40386

Our rating: 9 / 10

Leica Noctivid 8x42 Green Binocular 40386

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Pros:

  • Excellent optics
  • Waterproof and fogproof
  • Great for stargazing
  • Good build quality
  • Easy to focus
  • Very bright, high quality image
  • Good value
  • Easy to hold

Cons:

  • Relatively heavy and has a big body
  • Eyecups are small, and can’t really be adjusted.

What is it that makes the Leica Noctivid binoculars so popular?

One reason is that the Leica Noctivid binoculars are a great way to get into real Leica optics without spending a fortune. Sure, you’re going to see some some differences in image quality compared to the price-is-no-object binoculars, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be impressed with how much you’re getting at the Noctivid price…

What do people say about the Leica Noctivid?

4. SWAROVSKI EL 10×42 Binocular

Our rating: 8 / 10

SWAROVSKI EL 10x42 Binocular

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Pros:

  • High magnifications with wide field of view
  • Available in different colors
  • High quality lenses
  • Includes carrying case

5. Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 Binoculars

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zeiss Terra ED 10x42 Binoculars

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Pros:

  • Waterproof and fog-proof
  • Tripod mountable
  • Multicoated lenses
  • Rubber armoring
  • Easily adjusted eye cups
  • Lightweight design

Zeiss makes some of the finest binoculars in the world. They also make some of the most expensive. However, if you’re in the market for some seriously high-quality binoculars, then you can do no better than the Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 Binoculars.

This model is a little on the pricey side, but you’re getting a binocular designed with the serious hunter and outdoor adventurer in mind.

The Terra ED comes with Dual Focus System II, which is two small dials mounted in each eyecup that make it quick and easy to get the binocular focused just for you. You can also adjust the eye-relief to fit your eyes perfectly.

6. SWAROVSKI Optik 15×56 SLC Series Water Proof Roof Prism Binocular

Our rating: 8 / 10

SWAROVSKI Optik 15x56 SLC Series Water Proof Roof Prism Binocular

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Pros:

  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Waterproof and fogproof
  • Rubber armor for maximum grip and moisture protection
  • Comes with a 15x zoom
  • Comes with a lens cover
  • 5 year warranty
  • Made with high-quality glass
  • Relatively lightweight

The Swarovski Optik 15×56 SLC is one of the most expensive binoculars on the market to date. They are a bit on the pricey side, but for the price, you are getting a product of excellent quality. These binoculars have multiple high-end features that make it an ideal pick for bird watchers and hunters.

The only significant downside to the Swarovski Optik 15×56 SLC is the price. However, the high-quality glass, multiple features of the binoculars, and the 5 year warranty are enough to make the product worth the purchase.

7. Zeiss Victory HT 8x54mm and 10x54mm Binoculars

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zeiss Victory HT 8x54mm and 10x54mm Binoculars

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Pros:

  • Extremely sharp 8x and 10x magnification
  • Extreme quality across the board
  • Tripod collar with stationary quick-lock
  • Elegant design
  • Lightweight and ergonomically friendly
  • Dial focus main lenses

Cons:

  • Slight shifting of lenses
  • Flare when light hits lenses

And Skywatching.

Serious bird-watchers, hunters, shutterbugs, adventurers, and stargazers appreciate top-quality optics, so the Zeiss Victory HT is a great binocular for them. Its 8x and 10x magnification ratio makes it a great choice for all these activities, plus the rugged design makes this binocular ideal for travel.

The larger objective lens gathers more light, which means the field of view is brighter and more true to what your eye sees.

8. Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD 15x56mm Binocular

Our rating: 7 / 10

Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD 15x56mm Binocular

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Pros:

  • Cost effective for a high end pair of binoculars
  • HD quality image allows for excellent detail
  • Fog-proof and moisture-proof
  • Has a built-in compass, sighting reticle, and target ranging system
  • Jacket lens cover, rubberized neck strap, and a soft case included

Cons:

  • The waterproofing doesn’t live up to the stated standards
  • May lose focus occasionally

The first thing I noticed about the Leupold BX-5 is that the price tag is significantly lower than other comparable high-end binoculars. It’s clear that this company found a way to create an excellent pair of binoculars without having to spend an arm and a leg.

These binoculars can also record its location (latitude and longitude) with the press of one button. This is a great tool for the hunter or birdwatcher.

Another feature I love is how these binoculars are waterproof. I was thrilled to see that it is fully rubberized and sealed to prevent anything (including water) from getting inside.

9. Steiner 398 10 x 50 Military BRF Binocular RF

Our rating: 7 / 10

Steiner 398 10 x 50 Military BRF Binocular RF

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Pros:

  • Multicoated lenses for greater brightness and clarity
  • Rubber armored housing
  • Waterproof and fogproof

Cons:

  • Extra weight and bulkier than standard size binoculars
  • Small grip isn’t comfortable for everyone

For the discerning outdoors enthusiast, no binocular can compare to the tactical binoculars from Steiner. Steiner takes the design of the traditional binocular and kicks it up a notch.

Steiner employs proprietary multicoated lenses to produce high clarity images with superior brightness. The housings are completely rubber armored for waterproofing and include rare earth magnet end caps that make sure there’s no pesky lens shift.

Beyond tactical binoculars, Steiner offers hunting binoculars, night vision binoculars, and binocular tripods. One thing’s for sure: for serious optics, Steiner is the way to go.

10. Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars

Our rating: 6 / 10

Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars

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Pros:

  • Waterproof, Fogproof, and Shockproof
  • Extremely Clear Optics
  • Very Affordable for High End Binoculars
  • Great for Bird Watching
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Great for Traveling

The Vortex Optics Viper HD binoculars easily top my list of the top binoculars for bird watching. These binoculars are in a class of their own, featuring a lot of high end features. The Viper HD is one of the only binoculars I could find on the market that is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.

This is fantastic for anyone who wants to use their binoculars during inclement weather or plans on using them on some outdoor adventures. Another great feature is the large objective lenses. This makes the Viper HD great for viewing small and far away objects.

They give you a wide field of view, so you can watch your subject in greater detail and watch most subjects in a still position. This is also great if you want to save your energy and let your subject come to you.

11. ZEISS VICTORY SF Black Binoculars

Our rating: 6 / 10

ZEISS VICTORY SF Black Binoculars

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Pros:

  • Made with high quality standards
  • 6x 30mm Binoculars
  • 25 Degree NatureView Binoculars
  • Comes with a case

Cons:

  • The price might be steep for some
  • May be a little heavy

If you're looking to spend some money on good, solid high end binoculars, the ZEISS Victory SF Binoculars are right up there with the best of them. They are fantastic at magnifying, and give you great views of objects far away.

The optics are top of the line on these binoculars, and the wide 25 degree field of view makes seeing wide objects such as landscapes much easier. The close focus is 6 feet, so things like seeing wildlife are a breeze with these binoculars.

The ZEISS Victory SF Binoculars with case is all around the best, and that's why they made it into our top 10 best high end binoculars worth the money list.

12. Leica Ultravid 12×50 HD Plus Binoculars

Our rating: 5 / 10

Leica Ultravid 12x50 HD Plus Binoculars

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Pros:

  • Boasts of its superb sharpness, brightness and contrast.
  • Leica Ultravid 12x 50 HD Plus Binoculars feature a unique lens design that is paired with Leica's revolutionary HD technology for 100 percent light transmission. For the first time you will be able to see your subject in sharp, bright and stunning detail.
  • The 12×50 Binoculars with their huge 50mm objective lens cover a huge area making it easy for you to follow your target without missing any action. The system's Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens is anti-reflective and allows more light to enter giving you the sharpest most vivid images you have ever experienced.
  • The ergonomic aluminum housing allows you to use the binoculars for hours on end without causing any strain to your arms or fingers.

Cons:

  • You get what you pay for.
  • The weight of binocular is very heavy.

Finger-Ring, Black.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are high end binoculars worth the money?

For your best high end binoculars, you're looking to get something that will last, work well in all kinds of lighting situations, and is easy-to-use and packed with features.

A lot of the top binoculars on the market today are made with advanced coatings that make them ultrasharp and easy to focus. Whether it's for viewing wildlife, watching the game, or scouting the competition, if you know what you're looking for, it's easy to find just what you need.

Before you put down your hard-earned cash on an expensive pair of binoculars, though, weigh your needs against the strengths and weaknesses of the models out there. You should also check out reviews from experts and users to ensure that the product you choose is the right one for you.

What are the best binoculars for the money?

When it comes to binoculars, the features that really matter are the objective lens and the size of the exit pupil. It’s important to understand that bigger telescopes are not better in all cases. For example, you might want a bright image but also something compact enough to take hiking. In that case, a 15×80 mm binoculars with 42 mm of aperture is a better choice than an 8×42.

However, if you want something for birdwatching or want to see deeper into the universe with your binoculars, a 42 mm telescope is a better option. Another important thing to keep in mind is that some binoculars have a noticeably brighter background which can make it easier to see your subject. That’s an issue you want to avoid when selecting your binoculars.

Buying binoculars is a complicated affair and countless models on the market create a lot of confusion for beginner shoppers.

What are the best all around binoculars?

Many people have different needs than you, and it has been my experience that the best bins come down to two pairs: Swarovski EL 10×42 and Leica Trinovid HD 8×42.

The Swarovski EL 10x42s are the best all around binoculars I know of in terms of versatility, build quality, and optical quality. The bins look good, feel good in the hand, and are highly functional. I believe these are the best all-around bins you can buy.

Which is better 10×50 binoculars vs 10×42 binoculars?

The answer to this question is dependent on your goals. If you want to view long distances you are going to want a larger objective lens. The larger lens allows in more light so even in the dark you can still see what you are looking at. With binoculars, the larger the magnification level, the more they will pick up light.

Also if you want to use them more in the day you will want a larger objective lens as well. 10×50 binoculars are for general use, wildlife, birding and watching sports. 10×42 binoculars are for spotting more detail, especially useful for viewing objects such as stars or distant flowers.

Conclusion

Binoculars have been used as a viewfinder for generations. They were probably some of the first pieces of technology humans ever created for the sole purpose of viewing farther distance.

Of course, binoculars have come a long way since being first developed by a Dutch inventor in 1608.

The technology of binoculars is so advanced that there is a complete science behind the types of lenses, coatings, configurations and more.

They are now used not only for military purposes but also by bird-watchers, hunters, sports enthusiasts, astronomers, photographers, rescue workers, construction workers, real estate agents, and others.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Vortex Optics Razor UHD Binoculars 10×42Best OverallVortex Optics Razor UHD Binoculars 10x42
Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 BinocularsBudget PickZeiss Terra ED 10x42 Binoculars
Steiner 398 10 x 50 Military BRF Binocular RFUpgrade PickSteiner 398 10 x 50 Military BRF Binocular RF