Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Six of the best £200-£500 binoculars

Just some of the large range of binoculars
available from Cley Spy
Here is a brief round-up of some of the best binoculars for a medium budget. The finest binoculars available have prices that are hard to justify if you are not using them everyday or professionally. In resent years a huge range of optics has become available making the choice rather overwhelming. With such a bewildering array on offer it can be hard to see the wood for the trees, but with a little guidance sorting out the best one for your needs can be made a little easier.  Choosing optical equipment is very much a personal decision and because only you can see through you own eyes it is hard to make recommendations.  There are however some binoculars that offer a lot of performance for the money and the price range £200-£500 includes some excellent equipment that does a very respectable job without breaking the bank.

Opticron have a long legacy of good quality and keenly priced optics going back decades, and with a broad range of products from the budget to high end they are a sound choice for many people. This particular model is a well-built and comfortable 42mm binocular, available in both 8x and 10x magnification. Good wide field of view, decent close focus and a 10 year guarantee.

Very popular binoculars, available in 8x36, 10x36, 8x43 and 10x43 models. The ED (extra-low dispersion) glass elements in these deliver a crisp, clear image and all the specifications have an excellent field of view for their magnification. 10 year guarantee.

These are one of the lightest weight 42mm binoculars available, fitting neatly in the hand and feeling more like a 32mm in proportions but with the light gathering of a 42mm for early mornings and late evenings. 2 year guarantee.

Light, sharp and ergonomic. Rather than having the traditional choice of 8x or 10x magnification these are available in 9x32 and 9x42 versions. This strikes a good balance giving slightly more power without compromising the brightness or field of view too much. Pentax are one of the few companies still offering a 30 year guarantee.

A good range of models with 8x42, 10x42, and more interestingly 7x33 and 9x33. For me the 7x33 is the stand out specification, with an excellent sharp, bright image and a staggering 9.1º field of view. This coupled with very well controlled colour fringing and close focus under 2m makes for a great summer binocular for both bird and insect watching. It is good to see a company thinking outside the box when it comes to design. 10 year guarantee.

8x42 and 10x42.  Very ergonomic with nicely textured rubber armouring over a robust feeling low weight body. Great optics that punch above their price. 10 year guarantee.

For more information on what to look for in a binocular and the rest of the range available from Cley Spy visit our website, pop in and see us at Glandford and Cley Marshes or give us a call


  1. This is such an informative post. You have a lot of really great points. I wish I had this post as a resource when I started blogging.