9 Best Zoom Binoculars Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Zoom binoculars come in different sizes and shapes and they simply allow the users to adjust the magnification from low to mid to high or the vice versa. With the best zoom binoculars, you can zoom-in or zoom-out on your target. These type of binoculars can be used for various applications and activities.
Let’s look at some benefits of having zoom binoculars.
Benefits of having Zoom binoculars
Zoom binoculars give you the benefit of being able to change the magnification of your binoculars by just adjusting the zoom with your fingertips. They are very useful when you are viewing long range objects. That is whether you are going boating, sporting events or other outdoor activities.
They also work really great when you are using them to view stationery objects. for applications like surveillance or astronomy. You can mount them on a tripod or any mounting device that can hold them steady. Planetary bodies like the stars and moon will be great to watch with them as their movement is not noticeable.
Quick List of the Best Zoom Binoculars
- Bushnell Legacy WP Zoom Binoculars
- Nikon 8252 Aculon A211
- Olympus Trooper DSP 8‑16×40 Zoom Binoculars
- SCOKC 10-30×50 Power HD Binoculars
- Nikon Compact Aculon T11 8-24×25
- Olympus Tracker 10-30×25 Compact and Lightweight
- Col-P Military Zoom 20-50×70
- Celestron SkyMaster Zoom Binoculars
- Bushnell Powerview 7-15 x 25 Compact Zoom
Now let’s look at each of these zoom binoculars in details and give you an understanding of them better.
Bushnell Legacy WP Zoom Binoculars
These Bushnell zoom binoculars have a bigger full-size objective lens which makes the work well in low light conditions. The feature fully multi-coated optics and premium Bak-4 prisms that have better light transmission and image clarity.
You can use them for general purpose outdoor activities. Whether is city viewing, bird watching, hiking or your favorite sports event. They are fully weatherproof and has a rubber armor grip to prevent slip and fall.
The Legacy WP 10-22×50 Zoom Binoculars carry a limited lifetime warranty and you can enjoy viewing from near to far distance with them. These weigh 969 g and are tripod compatible. Even though they are quite heavy you can put them on a mounting device.
With a field of view ranging from 199 to 126 ft at 1000 yards and an eye relief at 14 mm, you can enjoy wide range views at any magnification.
- Fully waterproof and fog proof
- Lifetime warranty
- Tripod mountable
- Quite heavy
2. Nikon 8252 Aculon A211 Zoom Binoculars
The Nikon 8252 Aculon A211 features multi-coated lenses which are made of Nikon exclusive lead and arsenic free Eco-Glass and a Bak4 prism which corrects the image orientation and help delivers high-quality image whether you are using them at dusk or dawn.
With this pair, you can adjust the magnification anywhere from 10 to 22 and they come at an affordable price. This product weighs 3.0 pounds and is tripod adaptable.
The Nikon Aculon zoom is an ideal device for hunters, birders, and avid outdoor enthusiasts who require a range of magnifications for wide-field and detailed observations in all light conditions.
The Aculon’s sculpted rubber-armored housing is designed to fit comfortably into your hand and provide secure non-slip handling to prevent falls.
The combination of image quality and user-friendly design make the 10-22×50 Aculon A211 a natural option for intermediate- to long-range glassing.
- Environmentally friendly Eco-Glass is made without lead and arsenic
- Durable armored coating
- Tripod adaptable
- Great value for the price
- Lens caps come off easily because they are not attached to the binoculars permanently
3. Olympus Trooper DSP 8‑16×40 Zoom Binoculars
These Olympus Trooper DSP Zoom binoculars have a better field of view compared to the first two above. Its field of view ranges from 285.4 – 193.6 ft at 1000 yards. Making it great for sports events, hiking, bird watching, and other outdoor activities.
With a zoom range from 7-15x, these mid-sized zoom binoculars have an anti-reflective coating and a bk-7 prism that gives you better image brightness, contrast good quality.
They also have UV ray protection to help protect your eyes from the sun rays in case you are using them on a sunny day. They weigh just 2.6 pounds and has eye relief ranging from 10 mm to 12 mm.
- Good field of view
- UV ray protection
- No major complaints
4. SCOKC 10-30×50 Power HD Binoculars
These high definition zoom binoculars can be used for camping, hunting, bird watching, and other general activities. The SCOKC is a very young brand since it was established in 2016. But it is gaining respect among the outdoor enthusiasts who love using binoculars.
These binos feature Multi-coated lenses and BAK7 prism which provide bright and clear images with exceptional contrast. The green lens film help to minimize glare.
In order to solve the problem of insufficient light and to create more clear scenes, this pair eyepiece uses an eye protective soft glue. They are great for both mid-distance and long-distance range viewing.
- Good quality for low budget
- Tripod adaptable
- Very clear and crisp views
- Very affordable
- Takes a bit of effort to bring into focus
5. Col-P Military Zoom 20-50×70
This is a high powered zoom binoculars that weigh around 3.3 pounds. It is good for extra long distance viewing at an affordable price. If you are into an activity that requires some serious magnification then this Col-P military Zoom binoculars is for you.
With such a magnification power range, it will require a mounting device that can help you get a stabilized image. It features multi-coated lenses and UV protection aluminum to prevent glaring. Dimensions are 9″x8″x3″ and it had a field of view of 62m/1000m = 186FT/1000YDS.
Best Compact Zoom Binoculars
If you are looking less weight to carry and still have the benefits of a zoom binocular which will allow you to adjust your magnifying power then these best compact zoom binoculars will be the best to choose from. They are great for day time usage as their objective diameter size is not as bigger compared to the full-sized zoom binoculars reviews above.
6. Nikon Compact Aculon T11 8-24×25 Zoom Binoculars
This is one of the best compact zoom binoculars in the market. Nikon as a well established and respected brand has some of the best zoom binoculars around.
The Nikon Aculon T11 features a 25mm objective diameter and a 3-time zoom capability that allows users to zoom to 24-power for a close-in view. An exclusive, centrally located zoom control lever enables the user to change magnification power with the push of a finger.
They have a slim design but their strength and ruggedness make them very comfortable to carry anywhere with you. They only weigh only 10.8 oz and has an eye relief 13 mm.
- Bright optics
- Lightweight and slim design
- compact and pocket size
- Easy to use
- Not waterproof
7. Olympus Tracker 10-30×25 Compact and Lightweight
These High-quality Olympus binoculars provide bright, crisp, edge-to-edge imaging. They are lightweight and offer a good combination of power and portability. With their multi-coated lens and Bak-4 prism, you a bright and good contrast image.
Their easy to use zoo lever is designed to allow you to zoom in and zoom out easily on your target. They also feature a built-in dioptric correction which allows you to adjust the focus to your individual eyesight. these weigh only 14.9 ounce
- Sleek and stylish
- Lightweight and portable
- long eye relief
- Eye relief is plastic, not rubber
- If you have a wider face, these might not be ideal for you
8. Bushnell Powerview 7-15 x 25 Compact Zoom
Weighing only 315 g, these are perfect for travelers, nature observers and concert goers. Their standard-size Porro model feature insta-focus for fast and easy focus on moving targets. Thanks to their BK-7 prism glass and fully coated optics which delivers clear and bright images.
They also have a wide field of view at 262 feet at 1000 yards which allows you to zoom in on the action and get the total picture at a low power range. They also feature the ergonomic rubber housing provides a secure grip and shock resistance–while the compact size is easy to carry with you.
Built to last, the Powerview 7-15×25 Binoculars come with a limited lifetime warranty from Bushnell.
- Fully coated optics for improved light transmission and brightness
- Non-slip rubber armor absorbs shock while providing a firm grip
- New contemporary styling
- Not weatherproof
9. Celestron SkyMaster Zoom Binoculars – Best Zoom Binoculars for Astronomy
If you enjoy watching the stars and other planetary bodies, you will find these Celestron SkyMaster zoom binoculars perfect for you. These are one of the best zoom binoculars for astronomy at an affordable price.
They feature Bak-4 prisms which provide higher light transmission for better viewing in low light conditions and multi-coated lens that enhances the sharpness of details and crispness.
They also have along eye relief to accommodate those who wear eyeglasses and a diopter adjustment to help refine the image to correct any differences in eyes strength.
History of Zoom Binoculars
The first modern-day binoculars were first invented by a man named Hans Lippershey from the Netherlands. But before his invention in 1608 were other discoveries about the earliest binoculars and telescopes. Hans Lippershey discovery involved the use of concave and convex lens combined to produce a magnified image of a distant object.
In October 1608, he presented his discovered telescope to the Netherland’s States General and he was requested to build two telescopes which could be used by both eyes at the same time for the military.
This request was honored by him and “two eyes” telescopes were made. But due to lack of efficiency, low magnification and very poor image quality his product has, he was denied a patent request.
Around the same time was when Galileo was also developing his telescope through research. So the first early telescopes recognized were those of Galileo the scientist. That is why the first binoculars where called Galileo telescopes or binoculars.
However, Galileo telescopes also had a design flaw which made them have a very extreme narrow field of view making it difficult to see distant object details. A man named Johann Voigtlander was able to correct this flaw and hence he became the first man to properly create a pair of Galileo binoculars. His invention had better image quality as well.
Because of his latest discovery, this made Galileo binoculars very popular before the 1850s. They were commonly used for social events and theatre rooms. You would see them been accessorized with gold, silver, and even pearls. Galileo binoculars concept binoculars still exist till today, just that now they are called opera glasses.
In 1825, the first real pair of the binocular telescope was invented by J.P, Lemiere.
You Might Like to also read: Best Binoculars for the Money Complete guide
In 1854, a new and innovative type of binoculars was released on the market by the Italian optician Ignazio Porro. The model was named the Porro Prism Binoculars. These binoculars were enhanced in the 1980s by specialized manufacturers, such as the German Carl Zeiss.
How to Choose the Ideal Zoom Binoculars
Zoom binoculars vary in magnification and size. You will find some are compact, lightweight and small while others are full size and heavy. Depending on your needs you will be able to choose which one best sues you.
In choosing zoom binos, the first thing to be aware of is the magnification. Different brands have different magnification range. If you intend to use them for distant objects, then is good to look at those which have higher magnification.
The objective lens is your next consideration. The size of the objective lens is the number after the multiplication sign. The size of this number will determine whether your binos are compact or full sized. the bigger the objective lens diameter, the farther you can see objects as they will be able to gather more lights and give brighter images as well. But this size will also affect the weight of your binoculars.
Bigger objective lens binoculars are also better for use in low light conditions. That is why hikers and those who use them during the day often prefer compact zoo binoculars as they are lightweight to carry. Whereas for applications like astronomy, the bigger the objective lens size the better.
Some models are equipped with a rubberized shell meant to take a beating and still operate. This additional armor may increase the size, weight, and price. Users who need a simple pair of binoculars to use from the safety of their stadium seat may favor a lighter, unprotected model.
Do Zoom binoculars Require Any Battery?
The answer is yes and no. The most common zoom binoculars in the market today do not use batteries to operate. especially they once I have listed above. However, you will find a few brands which make some that use batteries and the batteries come with the product.
The Zoom Binoculars Marketing Hype
Don’t be deceived by the marketing hype. Even though zoom binoculars are good but we also know that they are not ideal for all applications. but some manufacturers in their bit to appear as the best or the ones with the most powerful binoculars, tend to push the magnification levels of their zoom binoculars to unrealistic levels.
This makes some users believe that they must choose the one with the highest magnification. The problem with such unrealistic magnifications is that the image quality gets degraded at such very high levels making alignment simply impossible. This kind of marketing is deceptive.
How Do You Zoom in on Binoculars
Zoom binoculars feature a varying magnification range such as 10-30×60 or 12-36×70. The hyphen tells you that the magnification can vary from the first number to the second. This is accomplished by moving the zoom level to increase(zoom-in) or decrease(zoom-out) the magnification. Here is my recent post on how zoom binoculars work.
Josephine is Editor @ Binocularsinght.com, an Electrical Engineering Grad who loves optics. She is an Outdoor Enthusiast and a Writer who likes escaping into the mountains for hiking adventures and enjoys other outdoor activities as well.