5 Great Choices For Entry Level Binoculars For Birding

As part of ourĀ best binoculars for birding review, we included an “entry-level binoculars for birding” category. Only one pair from this category made the final list of the best, but we reviewed a total of 5 great choices. Here are the 5 pairs we reviewed.

Entry Level Binoculars For Birding Comparison Table

Celestron Trailseeker ED 8x42 Binoculars
Top Pick
Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 8x42 Binoculars, Black, Model Number: DB-214
Nikon 16002 PROSTAFF 7S 8x42 Inches All-Terrain Binocular (Black)
Budget Friendly
Wingspan Optics Phoenix Ultra HD - 8X42 Bird Watching Binoculars with ED Glass. Exclusively for Enhanced Bird Watching with ED Glass, Phase Coating, Close Focus, and 393 Ft Extra-Wide Field of View.
Rating
Reviews
290 Reviews
1,058 Reviews
1,022 Reviews
220 Reviews
689 Reviews
Price
$426.49
$276.95
$215.00
$186.95
$179.92
Celestron Trailseeker ED 8x42 Binoculars
Rating
Reviews
290 Reviews
Price
$426.49
Top Pick
Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
Rating
Reviews
1,058 Reviews
Price
$276.95
Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 8x42 Binoculars, Black, Model Number: DB-214
Rating
Reviews
1,022 Reviews
Price
$215.00
Nikon 16002 PROSTAFF 7S 8x42 Inches All-Terrain Binocular (Black)
Rating
Reviews
220 Reviews
Price
$186.95
Budget Friendly
Wingspan Optics Phoenix Ultra HD - 8X42 Bird Watching Binoculars with ED Glass. Exclusively for Enhanced Bird Watching with ED Glass, Phase Coating, Close Focus, and 393 Ft Extra-Wide Field of View.
Rating
Reviews
689 Reviews
Price
$179.92

Entry-Level Binoculars For Birding

1. Celestron Trailseeker ED 8×42 Binoculars

The Celestron ED 8×42 was our first selection in the entry-level category. We were impressed with the high-level performance and many features, including optical, mechanical, and ergonomic, which made them seem like a more expensive pair.

The color was vibrant, and we did not detect any color fringing. The lack of chromatic aberration is mainly due to the extra-low dispersion glass used for the lenses. The bright, detailed images are a result of combining the fully multi-coating and Bak-4 prisms, which helps with light transmission.

While the Celestron ED 8×42 has many features and benefits, be aware they come with a price and near the top of the price range for this category.

The body and frame are lightweight and durable, made from magnesium alloy. These binoculars undoubtedly hold up to regular field use. The binoculars are comfortable for people who wear glasses as well.

Celestron Trailseeker ED 8x42 Binoculars
290 Reviews
Celestron Trailseeker ED 8x42 Binoculars
  • ED objective lenses to provide superior images that are virtually free of chromatic aberration with accurate color reproduction, increased resolution, and image contrast
  • Fully multi-coated optics and phase and dielectric coated BaK-4 prisms fo rmaximum light transmission and vivid, true-to-life colors
  • Durable, protective full-body armoring and a completely new, innovative Celestron industrial design. The binocular is tripod adaptabile for comfort and ease-of-use during extended viewing sessions
  • A fully waterproof chassis that is nitrogen filled to prevent internal fogging of the lenses
  • Twist-up eyecups that are fully padded for comfort as well as eyeglass compatibility
  • Field-worthy accessories including a comfortable carry harness, a deluxe padded neck strap, a single piece eyepiece cover, tetherable objective covers, a durable padded carrying case that offers both shoulder strap and belt/pack strap attachment options, a lens cleaning cloth, and an instruction manual

2. Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8×42 Binocular

Winner: Our Pick Entry Level Binoculars for Birding

The Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 is our top pick for the entry-level category. As we reviewed these binoculars, it was challenging to come up with criticism. Birdwatchers rave about Monarch 5, and it is easy to understand why. Two of the most challenging times for birdwatching is dawn and dusk, due to the lower levels of light. Utilizing Nikon’s ED Extra-low Dispersion glass lenses, these binoculars handle chromatic aberrations well. Their ED glass lenses maintain superior contrasts and resolution. Grabbing your Nikon Monarch 5 and heading to the field for some birdwatching is a joy.

These binoculars are incredibly portable, and the newer model is even lighter than before. They have a sleek design that is comfortable in your hand and easy to grip. The high-eyepoint design leads to a clear field of view, so it doesn’t crowd the distance between the user’s eyebrows and eyecups of the binoculars.

It is essential to minimize the loss of light due to reflection. Using multilayer coatings provides higher light transmittance across the entire visible light spectrum. Nikon utilizes this process, resulting in a more natural and clearer view.

Other features we liked were the adjustable turn-and-slide rubber eyecups for comfort while viewing. A rubber-armored body helps make them non slip even in wet conditions. As you would expect, they are waterproof and fog proof. It is easy to see why the Monarch 5 8×42 is our top pick for this category.

Sale
Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
1,058 Reviews
Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
  • All Monarch 5 binoculars are now built with Nikon's premium ED (Extra low dispersion); Glass for a sharper, clearer and more brilliant field of view
  • Almost an ounce lighter than its predecessor, the new Monarch 5 is even easier to bring along on your next adventure
  • Fully multicoated eco glass lenses provide a high light transmittance across the entire visible light spectrum
  • It is equipped with user friendly features such as turn and slide rubber eyecups, a smooth central focus knob and flip down lens caps
  • Built for extreme use, the Monarch 5 is waterproof, fog proof and has a rubber armored body for strengthened durability

3. Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 8×42

The Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 8×42 binoculars are an impressive set of binoculars that balance the price and performance incredibly well. They do fall at the top of the range from a price standpoint for our entry-level category, but these are just a solid choice. The Vortex has a unique GlassPakTM harness that users appreciate. They keep the binoculars close at hand while protecting them. The harness is much more comfortable than a traditional neck strap.

The linear field of view comes in at 393 feet per 1000 yards and an angular field of view measuring 7.5 degrees. These specs are right in line with where you want them to be, including a close focus of 5 feet. They weigh in at 21.8 ounces, which is beautifully light in the field and has a 5.7-inch total height.

The Vortex Optics Diamondback HD feathers the HD Optical System optimized to give an exceptional resolution. We found the color fidelity to be outstanding with sharpness across the diameter of the lenses. Like our top choice, these binoculars also have a fully multi-coated anti-reflective coating to them. They withstand rugged use that comes with outdoor activity, assisted by their non-slip rubberized covering. They are shockproof and water-proof, as you would expect from this level of binocular.

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 8x42 Binoculars, Black, Model Number: DB-214
1,022 Reviews
Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 8x42 Binoculars, Black, Model Number: DB-214
  • 8x magnification & 42mm objective lenses, these Diamondback HD binos are optimized with select glass elements to deliver exceptional resolution, cut chromatic aberration and provide outstanding color fidelity, sharpness and light transmission.
  • Fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission with anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. Dielectric coating provides bright, clear, color-accurate images. Armortek coating protects exterior lenses from scratches, oil and dirt.
  • Adjustable eyecups twist up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses. Center focus wheel adjusts the focus of both binocular barrels at the same time. Diopter (located on right eyepiece) adjusts for differences in a user's eyes.
  • Rubber armor provides a secure, non-slip grip, and durable external protection. Binoculars are tripod adaptable allowing use on a tripod or car window mount.
  • Argon purging and O-ring seals provide water and Fog proof performance in all environments. Rugged construction withstands recoil and impact. Includes glass Pak harness.

4. Nikon Prostaff 7S 8×42

The Nikon Prostaff 7S 8×42 binoculars are a great pair of compact binoculars that are light-weight and comfortable to hold in the field. As you inspect their optical system, the quality brightness and resolution stand out. We like the accurate color representation that comes with their phase-correction coated roof prisms. You get a natural and clear view using the Prostaff 7S.

We like the ergonomic body design that is rubber-coated, giving you a non-slip grip even when it’s raining out. The rubber eyecups turn-and-slide design makes a comfortable fit for more extended periods. Having a pair of binoculars that are fog-proof and waterproof is essential. Nikon achieves this with its nitrogen-filled binoculars and O-ring seal.

The real angular field of view measures 6.8 degrees, with an apparent field of view of 50.8 degrees. The binoculars have a lovely range with a 357 ft field of view at 1,000 yards. They are very comfortable to carry weighing in at 22.9 ounces with a size of 6.6″ x 5″. It’s easy to see why the Nikon Prostaff 7S 8×42 made the top 5 list.

Nikon Prostaff 7S 8x42 Binocular
768 Reviews
Nikon Prostaff 7S 8x42 Binocular
  • High reflection mirror-coated prisms for enhanced brightness
  • Long eye relief design ensures a clear field of view, even for eyeglass wearers
  • Turn-and-slide rubber eyecups with a multi-click adjustment make it easy to correctly position the eye
  • Extremely lightweight with rubber armouring for shock resistance and a firm, comfortable grip
  • Waterproof (up to 1m/3.3 ft. for 10 minutes) and fog-free with nitrogen gas
  • Item weight: 0.65 kg

5. Wingspan Optics Phoenix Ultra HD 8×42

The Wingspan Optics Phoenix Ultra HD 8×42 is our budget-friendly winner of the entry-level category. They offered a lot for the price and were not selected only because of the favorable price. These binoculars match up well when set side by side with the others in the category.

The Wingspan Optics Phoenix Ultra HD 8×42 gives a positive experience when bird watching. They feature their extras low dispersion, ED, glass. Overall the binoculars are durable and stand up well in the field. They are fog-proof and water-proof, filled with nitrogen and sealed, as you would expect. We found a solid sharpness to the image, and the color was consistent with what you would suppose. The focus wheel is smooth as you target in on the bird’s location.

The binocular’s prism is Bak-4, which is phase correction multi-coated. The field of view is 393ft at 1000 yards, which is a little wider than some of the other models.

Wingspan Optics Phoenix Ultra HD - 8X42 Bird Watching Binoculars with ED Glass. Exclusively for Enhanced Bird Watching with ED Glass, Phase Coating, Close Focus, and 393 Ft Extra-Wide Field of View.
689 Reviews
Wingspan Optics Phoenix Ultra HD - 8X42 Bird Watching Binoculars with ED Glass. Exclusively for Enhanced Bird Watching with ED Glass, Phase Coating, Close Focus, and 393 Ft Extra-Wide Field of View.
  • Everything You Desire In Bird Watching Binoculars - Durable, Fully Multi-Coated Lenses, ED glass, Waterproof, Fog Proof, Phase Correction Coated Prism, Close Focus and a Wide Field of View.
  • Spectacular Color and Clarity! - Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) Glass Awakens a New Rainbow of Color Clarity and prevents or reduces chromatic aberration, which can causes color fringing. It's optics technology that delivers cleaner, brighter breathtaking image.
  • World Class HD Sharpness and Color Fidelity - Step up to spectacular viewing! Phoenix Ultra HD 8X42 Bird Watching Binoculars With ED Glass delivers an extremely Sharp, Clear, Bright, True Color Image, close up or far away.
  • Durable and Lighter Than Standard Binoculars - The Phoenix Ultra HD With ED Glass is made to last. Waterproof, Fog Proof and features DuraTech Technology, allowing you to travel without fear of damage.
  • No Risk, No Worry! Your Binoculars come with a LIFETIME WARRANTY, Plus a 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE, just in case you're not satisfied with your purchase.