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Best Binoculars Under $200 – Reviews & Buying Guide for 2022

A person’s typical vision is about 500 meters in the city on clear sky and 200 meters on cloudy days. To look further than that, we simply can’t because of the limited ability of our eyes. That is why people have been trying to overcome this reality, by creating something called a binocular. A binocular allows you to see further than usual, with the magnification factor in the range of 2x up to 50x. 

In this article, TopReviews will write about how to choose a good pair of binoculars for yourself and the best binoculars under $200. Now, let's find out the best binoculars under 200 via the article.  


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Buying Guides

1. The zooming factor

Although it is possible to make a pair of binoculars with 50x zooming factor, the brands don’t usually make that type and sell it to the customers. This is the most popular zooming or magnification factor being sold on the market:

  • 8x zooming: 8x zooming is the most basic zooming factor that allows you to watch birds, games, or concerts, etc.

  • 10x zooming: 10x zooming enables you to look a little further, when you can look to an island when standing on a boat.

  • 12x zooming: 12x zooming is preferred by fishermen, lifeguards or lighthouse keepers since they have to use it at work.

And to remind you again, 30x or 50x binoculars are possible; however, you would not be likely to see it on the market because it might be exclusively manufactured or priced at a very high tag.

2. The material

The material that makes the binoculars is the next important factor to consider. The material indicates whether the binoculars are good enough to carry around and endure the most extreme situations outside. This is the list of the most popular materials for the frame of a pair of binoculars:

  • Aluminum frame: Aluminum is famous for the lightweight part; however, when it comes to durability, it could never be able to compare with steel.

  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel is tough, but it is heavy. Carrying around a steel binoculars is never an ideal thing, so brands don’t usually choose steel over aluminum.

  • Plastic: Plastic is lightweight, hard enough though not as hard as steel. Using plastic is probably the most popular solution to reduce the price to as low as possible.

3. The diameters of the objective lens

To buy a binocular, the first thing you have to think about is the diameter of the lens. We are going to explain to you, in this section, about the importance of the diameter, and how it affects the way you use the binoculars.

A binocular is designed to look farther away than a normal camera. It is manufactured to look through buildings, lakes, forests, etc. Although the diameters don’t directly impact the zooming function of the binoculars, they affect the image quality.

To put it plainly, with the same magnification level, the bigger objective lens diameters would be capable of capturing more lights and bright images, thus, resulting in more vivid and detailed images. However, in return for that, you have to carry around a big, knobby lens. The list below is of the ranges of objective lens diameters:

  • Below 25mm: Compact-type binoculars

  • 30 - 49mm: Standard binoculars

  • Over 50mm: For astronomical and business use

Although 50mm is defined to be enough for astronomical uses, the lenses we see in the binoculars today are usually bigger than 100mm, for the best bright lights and detailed images.

To conclude, as we are talking about binoculars, you are likely to see products with the diameter of the objective lens fall in the range of 30 millimeters to 50 millimeters.

4. Compatibility

Binoculars are usually made compatible with the phone's camera or traditional cameras, allowing you to take pictures from far away. With the advances in the technology world, when Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has now been possible to capture pictures with 10x optical zoom, pairing a phone with a pair of binoculars is now becoming unnecessary. However, it would be nice if you know it’s there.


Best Binoculars Under $200 Reviews

1. Nikon 16001 PROSTAFF 7S 10x30 Compact Binocular (Black)

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Nikon is the brand that we don’t think there’s someone in the world that doesn't know about. Nikon has been so famous in the field of making film cameras as well as digital cameras. In this article, we will introduce to your readers the Nikon 16001 PROSTAFF 7S 10x30 Compact Binocular (Black)

The binoculars are offered in three sizes, including 8x30 inches, 8x42 inches, and 10x30 inches. The lenses with two variants of size are fully coated with multiple layers of aluminum and silicon dioxide to bring you the best color and clarity possible. 

Nikon claims that the binoculars would even provide stunning image quality to the people who wear glasses by adopting the turn and slide rubber eyecups between the eyes and the binoculars’ eyepieces. Finally, we have two variations of zooming at 8x multiplier and 10x multiplier.

  • 8x and 10x

  • 30mm and 42mm diameters 

  • Rubber body and eyecups

  • Cheap price

2. Celestron – Nature DX 12x56 Binoculars

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Celestron is originally a telescope manufacturer, but they also make binoculars for commercial sellings. The Celestron – Nature DX 12x56 Binoculars is made with 7 variants of sizes, which are 10x32, 10x42, 10x56, 12x56, 8x32, 8x42, and 8x56 making seven. It is reviewed to be the perfect binoculars for adventurers from entry level bird watchers to professional lighthouse keepers. 

The lenses are fully coated with phase-coated BaK-4 prisms, to provide 12x magnification power. Coming with the package, we have a compact carrying case, a pair of objective lens caps, an eyepiece rainguard, a neck strap, a lens cloth and finally an instruction manual. The item is warranted with a limited lifetime warranty policy and unlimited access to technical support hotlines.

  • Lifetime warranty period

  • Celestron brand since 1960

  • Lots of accessories

  • Lots of diameters and magnification variants

  • Multi-coated lenses

3. Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars

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Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars is another affordable pair of binoculars coming from the Vortex brand, featuring a 10x magnification level. There are a total of 4 variants for this Crossfire HD binocular pair, including 10x42 size, 10x50 size, 12x50 size and 8x42 size. The lenses are also multi-layer coated for the outstanding color fidelity, edge to edge sharpness and great light transmission.

The binoculars are made with the eyecups adjustable which can be twisted up and twisted down for comforting your eyes with the best viewing angle. No matter if you are a guy (or a girl) with glasses or not, the binoculars work perfectly for you. The rubber armor would provide a secure, non-slip grip and the best protection against dropping or falling.

As for compatibility, it is compatible with a tripod or camera, allowing users to do so much with it.

  • Really cool brand

  • 4 variants: 10x42, 10x50, 12x50, 8x42

  • Multi-layer coated lenses

  • Great price for a compact, minimalistic design

4. Gosky EagleView 10x42 ED Binoculars

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Gosky EagleView 10x42 ED Binoculars is yet another one of the best binoculars under $200. It features a professional ED glass for the extra low dispersion. The lens minimizes the glare or ghost images to truly bring back the scene right to your eyes without compromising anything. The only size available is 10x42, which allows you to zoom up to 10x magnification factor with the 42 millimeter diameter lens. The lens is obviously fully multi-layer coated with Phase correction BaK4 Prism and ED glass.

The binoculars are compatible with smartphone adapters, which work seamlessly with most flagship phones on the market at the moment, including the iPhone lines, the Samsung Galaxy S and Note lineups.

Finally, the binoculars are recommended for watching stage plays, vocal concerts, football games, or using on your picnic trips. The reason why the binoculars are loved so much is that it is included with the rubber armor that helps it to have the waterproof ability. Therefore, there would never be a problem when you accidentally drop the binoculars into a lake or wash them on purpose.

  • Waterproof capability

  • Phone and camera compatibility

  • Wide angle view fully coated lens

  • Affordable price

  • 10x42 size only


FAQs

1. What does the size of the binoculars mean?

The size of a pair of binoculars is usually named as 8x42 or 10x50 or 12x42. So what do they even mean?

To answer the question, we have to take apart two values indicated by the size, the zooming factor and the objective lens diameter.

  • The first value, 8x, 10x, or 12x is the zooming factor, which means the maximum magnification level the binoculars can reach. The higher this value is, the further you can look using the binoculars

  • The second value, 42, 50, or 45 is the diameter of the objective lens, or the bigger lens at the further end of the binoculars (the end that you don’t stick your eyes to). The higher this value is, the clearer and more detailed images you’ll get.

2. How can I calculate the magnification factor of my binoculars?

We have to get the mathematics and physics involved to answer this question. A lens has several properties you need to know about before getting in to the calculations:

  • Focal point: The focal point is the point that every lens has. It defines a point when all the lights that come penticular with the lens have to go through. In other words, all the lights captured by the lens would fit into the focal point.

  • Focal plane: The focal plane parallels the lens’ plane and contains the focal point inside.

  • Focal length: The focal length is determined by the absolute distance between the focal plane and the lens’ plane. In other words, it is the distance between the center of the lens’ circle and the focal point.

Therefore, the magnification factor of the binoculars, which consists of at least two lens (the objective lens and the eyepiece lens) is calculated using two following values:

  • The focal length of the objective lens (Fo)

  • The focal length of the eyepiece (Fe)

The magnification factor then is defined to be Fo divided by Fe.


3. Can I replace parts of my binoculars?

No you should not. A pair of binoculars in the manufacturing stage has been completed inside and outside with everything glued in place. You should never take apart your binoculars because of two reasons:

  • If you take apart your binoculars, you will definitely lose your warranty period. Once that has happened, you will have absolutely no one to complain when there is anything wrong with the device

  • If you take apart your binoculars, and even if you have succeeded in replacing parts of it, there will be a great risk that you will damage the lens or give it a few scratches, thus, the image quality will not be the same as when it came out of the factory.

Therefore, we do not advise you to take apart and try to repair the binoculars on your own.

4. What about the warranty?

The binoculars are usually warranted for one year. However, it usually depends on the way you use your device. The lenses are usually coated to resist scratches or damage in using sessions. Therefore, in case you drop it to the ground, we could not think of a situation when you have to take the binoculars to a service center.

5. How should I maintain the quality of my binoculars' quality?

The most important part of the binoculars is the lenses. Binoculars usually come with protective lids for the lens, the racks for eyepieces, and cloth for cleaning the item. Cleaning the lens and the binoculars using water and normal cleansing substances would be fine in half the cases, but the procedures are not recommended.


Final Thoughts

We have walked you through the specifications of the binoculars, how to choose the best of them online by understanding every bit of information in the specs table. Finally, we have outlined the best binoculars under 200 picks and answered the most frequently asked questions on our website at TopReviews. Here are our final selected products for the best binoculars under $200 topic:

That has wrapped up our article about the best binoculars under $200. We hope you had a fun time reading our article and making your purchase choice for your trips. Thank you for reading our recommendations and see you in the next ones!