A great pair of mid-sized binoculars is the perfect addition to any outdoorsman’s collection. But don’t get stuck thinking that these optics are just for hunting or birding. For six of the best mid-sized binoculars, keep reading here.
I’ll never forget the looks of joy on my father’s face as he would peer out the window of our living room at a family of cardinals picking sunflower seeds from the feeder in our back yard. In his hands, he held a pair of black, rubber-armored, mid-sized binoculars which he kept on the coffee table by his chair and, being located in the Southeast, with a book of all regional birds. If you enjoy birdwatching as my father does, you know you need the best pair of mid-sized binoculars that you can find.
But, don’t get it twisted. A good pair of binoculars extends far beyond just bird watching. If you’re a hunter, you’ll need a pair of binoculars for spotting out into the trees or onto the duck pond. If you’re into astronomy, the right pair of binoculars is perfect for viewing planets and constellations. Maybe sports are your thing? Well, take a good pair of binoculars to the stadium next time and you won’t miss any of the action. Even the most cultured of us can make use of a pair of powerful mid-sized binoculars at the opera, observing a soprano belting a beautiful libretto.
No matter what you intend to use them for, a quality pair of mid-sized binoculars will last a lifetime. It can be hard finding the perfect pair, though, especially in a market dominated by such big names as Swarovski, Nikon, Celestron, Steiner, and Fujinon. But that’s what we are here for. For those of you in the market for best-of-the-best mid-sized binoculars, we have prepared a list of 6 top-quality items available today. Keep reading and we hope to impart some useful knowledge!
Steiner Optics Predator Series Binocular
The first product on our list is a premium entry from Steiner Optics. These are quality binoculars great for anyone looking to go hunting or fishing. With these, you can easily distinguish the rack of a buck from surrounding tree branches thanks to Steiner Optics’ color adjusted lens treatment. They have pumped up the contrast on these binoculars to the apex of human vision.
If you’re worried that you might miss something in the forefront, though, Steiner has you covered. With the Predator Series, the user is afforded a close focus of 6ft and a focus wheel that requires only minimal effort to turn. This way, you can easily zoom in or out. As for the field of view, these binoculars have 328ft field of view at 1000yds.
For users who worry about dropping or damaging their binoculars, with Steiner Optics’ Predator Series binoculars, you can forget about water damage, fogging, or breakage. These lenses have been sealed with 14psi of injected dry nitrogen, guaranteeing a waterproof and fog proof seal. As well, the frame of these binoculars is constructed from a strong polycarbonate material that is then covered in an NBR long-life rubber armor. This helps to protect against scratching but also provides a comfortable and ergonomic hold.
These optics come in three available sizes—a 10x magnification power with a 26mm lens (10x26mm), a 10x42mm, and an 8x42mm. The larger the lens, the more light you will get in the binocular and, therefore, a brighter, higher-contrast image. With a larger lens, though, you end up paying a bit more for the improved quality. So, what is the price, you ask? Well, for the smaller lens size of 26mm, you can expect to pay $206.99 but for the larger 42mm lens, be prepared to spend $399.99 for a pair of these incredible binoculars.
Nikon 8252 ACULON A211 10-22x50mm Zoom Binocular
Next on our list are Nikon’s 8252 ACULON A211 10-22×50 Zoom Binoculars. Nikon is a company known for its excellence and holding true to uncompromised Japanese quality, the same for which can be said of these binoculars. If you are a birder, these are likely the binoculars you are looking for. With a pair of ACULON A211’s, you will be zooming in on nests even at the very top of a tree. And, with fully multi-coated lenses, designed to eliminate light reflection or glare, you will have a clear and high-contrast image, even out to the peripheries of your field of view.
Nikon makes their lenses of a first-class lead and arsenic-free eco glass to ensure a lightweight product. And, with non-slip rubber grips, these binoculars are great for use even on a wet morning. For added comfort, Nikon has included adjustable turn-and-slide eyecups for customizable eye-relief and an improved field of view. This is a prime choice for anyone who struggles to use binoculars because of their eyeglasses.
Nikon’s 8252 ACULON A211 binoculars are also tripod-mountable for users interested in tracking celestial bodies or looking out onto the duck pond without having to free-up their hands. If your binoculars do eventually succumb to damage, though, Nikon provides a lifetime warranty and a comprehensive repair service dedicated to maintaining the quality associated with Nikon products. Included with your purchase are lens covers and a sturdy case, all for the price of $161.94. With quality like this, that price really cannot be beaten.
Celestron Nature DX 8x42mm Binoculars
If you are looking for a less expensive item for someone interested in starting birdwatching or an outdoor hobby, these are an excellent choice. Or, if you are wanting a pair of mid-sized binoculars to take to sporting events, these are also great. Celestron has been producing quality, American-made optics since the 1960s and their name has come to be associated with superior products. With the fully multi-coated lenses on these binoculars, you will be able to see every detail of a bird’s plumage from either a distance or, even, up-close with a 6.5ft close focus.
These binoculars feature BAK-4 prisms made from top-of-the-line barium crown glass. These prisms provide better light transmission, allowing for the most clarity an image can offer. With a 42mm lens, these binoculars soak up light and make for an incredibly high-quality image. Celestron has also equipped its binoculars with twist-up eyecups that allow the user to adjust them to his or her need. You also do not have to worry about moisture damaging your optics. With the Nature DX 8×42 binoculars, you get a strong polycarbonate, rubber-armored body, sealed and filled with dry nitrogen gas.
At a listing price of $102.00, Celestron is practically giving these binoculars away. You get a sturdy case, lens caps, a strap, a cleaning cloth, and even eyepiece rain guards all for that low price. You can carry these binoculars out into the woods and not even worry about taking the case thanks to all of these added accessories. It is hard to find a value as prime as this.
Sightron SIIBL832 8x32mm Binoculars
Here is a set of binoculars for the outdoorsman or sportsman looking for a pocket-sized pair of binoculars. Sightron heard your wishes and delivered with their SIIBL832 8×32 binoculars. Weighing only 1.24lbs and featuring a very compact design, these binoculars really can fit in your pocket. Having built them from strong aluminum and then rubber armoring them, you won’t have to worry about crushing these durable lenses either.
Unlike the previous entries on our list, these optics have a unique feature. They contain four phase-corrected prisms. By making use of a vacuum-vaporization method, silver has been added to the non-reflective opposite side of the prisms’ surfaces. By doing so, Sightron has greatly improved the reflective properties of its prisms and increased the brightness of its image. The lenses of these binoculars also over rich, warm-toned colors with only minimal color blurring on the peripheries of the lens.
Fitting the ergonomic design of these binoculars, the SIIBL832’s have a counter-clockwise focus wheel with a smooth turn and just the right amount of resistance to prevent the binoculars from self-correcting. The exterior rubber armor also has indentations for the user’s thumbs, allowing for an even more comfortable hold.
Like any quality mid-sized binoculars, these are O-ring sealed and filled with dry nitrogen to make for a waterproof and fog proof product. Sightron includes a case, lens covers, and neck strap with their products, bringing the total cost of the SIIBL832 8x32mm binoculars to $167.00
Nikon 8250 ACULON A211
Up next we have another amazing pair of binoculars from Nikon. These are very similar to the previous Nikon entry on our list so you know that they carry the same immaculate quality Nikon provides. These are, however, a slightly heavier, slightly less advanced option for those of you who want to Nikon name without the Nikon price. But, rest assured, despite an increased weight, you still get a premium product.
With their 8250 ACULON A211, Nikon has included the same BAK-4 glass prisms as the Celestron binoculars featured previously. These are made of a first-class barium crown glass that makes for a higher quality refractive index, promising the ultimate in clarity. The lenses of these binoculars are also multi-coated to reduce reflection off the lenses and they are also aspherical for a flat field of view.
These are an all-purpose set of binoculars perfect for hunting, birding, or even stargazing. Some users have reported being able to spot the crescent shape of Venus and even the moons of Saturn using these binoculars! Of course, you will want to mount your binoculars to a tripod to achieve such feats. But do not worry, because the Nikon 8250 ACULON A211 comes with a thick and sturdy aluminum tripod adapter so you won’t have to go out and purchase your own.
As with the earlier Nikon option, these binoculars come with a lifetime warranty and quality assured repair service. Nikon even includes a well-padded carrying case and a leather-backed strap with this product. Coming in at $119.80, if you are comfortable with a bit of added weight and size, these are a less expensive option from Nikon with all of the same quality.
Carson 3D Series High Definition 10x42mm Binoculars
The final set of mid-sized binoculars on this list comes to us from Carson, a company founded in the early 1990s. But, don’t let their relatively young age fool you! Their 3D series high definition binoculars are a formidable entry on this list. Carson knows that for anyone purchasing a set of binoculars, the accuracy and clarity of an image are of the utmost importance. For that reason, Carson has used a high definition extra-low-dispersion glass to craft their 10x42mm lenses. The prisms of their binoculars are also phase-corrected, just like those of Sightron’s binoculars. These allow for a more reflective prism, increasing the brightness and clarity of the image.
At only 1.38lbs, these are also one of the lightest pairs of binoculars on our list. The rubber exterior offers thumb grooves similar to those of the Sightron entry as well, making for an ergonomic and comfortable design. And, like the Nikon 8250 ACULON A211, Carson’s 3D Series binoculars can be mounted on a tripod. As you can see, Carson has taken the best aspects of all the previous models and wrapped them up into one clean product.
At a price range of $259.00 for the black option or $305.49 for the mossy oak camouflage option, these may seem slightly expensive compared to the other options. But, keep in mind that Carson includes a long list of accessories—a case, a strap, lens covers, a cleaning cloth, and even a shoulder harness! With all of that, the price is quite understandable.
Regardless of whether you wish to view the stunning reds and blues of a bird’s plumage or if you are hoping to catch the next home run at the game, a fine pair of mid-sized binoculars really cannot lead you astray. We hope that this list of products and its various options of magnification, lens sizes, constructions, and perks has lit a burning fire of interest in fine optics. Whether you go for a Nikon, Celestron, Carson, Steiner, or Sightron, you will find yourself with a wonderful product that will surely last a lifetime.