I always keep a pair of compact binoculars in my car. I usually have two or three other pair of binoculars in my car, but my compact binoculars are handy to grab what I want to look at something along the road or when taking a walk.
Compact binoculars can be placed in your pocket if your coat has big pockets. Now days, small binoculars have clear optics and significant magnification so that you can see that antelope on the hill that is 500 feet away at much higher magnification than the cheap binoculars that magnify only two or three times.
Some hunters prefer a pair of compact binoculars over more cumbersome binocular’s. Some carry a regular size of 8 x 30 or 10 x 50 binoculars, but not all others want to be laden down that much.
Some Small Binoculars are Less Than $10.00
You can buy a pair of small binoculars for less than $10. If you want to get fancy and have the cash, you can spend several hundred dollars. Usually, higher-priced binoculars are superior to low cost binoculars. They have better optics and they are more rugged. They might be waterproof too. Birders are often out in the rain so they like the waterproof feature. They also want rugged binoculars so they can be knocked around a bit, not on purpose of course, but by accident.
Back When I Was a Boy
The first pair of binoculars that I used for birding was an old army surplus pair of 8 x30 binoculars. When I was old enough to go to war, I use an exact pair as a forward observer during the Korean War. My first pair may still be around here somewhere. I can’t always find everything. Right now, I have binoculars of all sizes. That includes compact binoculars, regular size binoculars and giant binoculars.
I Have the Great and the Small
I have two pairs of Binoculars that are very good for looking into the sky at night, that is if you can hold them steady, I guess that’s why they came with a tripod, that are 100 X. I sometimes use them to spy on unsuspecting birds that are a long way away. I usually take them with me when I go with other birders. That way I can, another birder, or non-birder, to carry them for me under the guise that I am letting him use my most expensive binoculars.
Bird Watching Ladies Seem to Like Small Binoculars
I don’t think that compact binoculars are the very best for birding. However I see many birders using compact binoculars, especially the ladies. Small binoculars are great for children. The toy binoculars are worthless but for less than $10 children can enjoy a decent pair of binoculars. A few years ago I gave small binoculars to a number of my grandchildren. They make good gifts. I made a big hit!
How to Be a Scrooge
This year, my family decided that I should not give gifts to all my family members. They drew me a name from the families of each of my children. That way, in my old age when I am trying to take care my wife which takes tens of thousands of dollars every year, that I would not spend on 35 gifts for my living grandchildren, on about 40 or so gifts for my children and spouses, and on 24 gifts for my great-grandchildren. And the cost of mailing such gifts, and you get the idea of the cost.
I feel like Scrooge!
My Granddaughter in Alaska
My granddaughter, who lives in Alaska, has become an ardent birder. I got her name for Christmas and she wanted a premium bird guide. It was a pleasure to buy that for her and I heard that she was very excited to receive it. What birder wouldn’t be?
You Can Always Insure Binoculars
One thing about compact binoculars, if they suddenly disappear, you have not lost too much. I have had several pairs of these binoculars, but I think I only know where there is one now. Losing a small pair of binoculars that didn’t cost over $10 is not a national disaster. But if you lose a pair that cost you $350, that is another thing.
Your car or household insurance may cover your binoculars if stolen. American Express once bragged about covering lost or stolen articles purchased with their card. Maybe they still do.
Compact binoculars usually come with a fairly good case and a cleaning cloth. I don’t have an expensive pair of small binoculars. I don’t know if they have caps or not for the lenses. My compact binoculars do not. I think that lens caps are a nuisance and I’m always afraid of losing them when I drop them on the floor of my car or on the ground. If your lens caps falls and get covered with third, for heavens sake don’t put them back on the binoculars until they have been cleaned.
If you take care of your binoculars and keep the lenses from getting scratched, they will be useful for a very long time. Treat them gently. If you can’t do that, make sure they are rugged. Lenses are never rugged.
The criteria for buying a pair of binoculars is the same for compact binoculars. They need to serve your purpose. For birding or hunting, you want to have good optics that give you a bright clear image of the critter you are looking for. You need at least a magnification of eight times. You want them waterproof and rugged.
If you get a pair of compact binoculars and place them on the kitchen window, you can look at your bird feeder and identify the birds that are coming there for food. A birdbath, especially in winter, is very attractive to birds when they cannot find open water. Cold as it is outside, they still want to take a bath.
I realize that it is difficult to keep the squirrels out of your feeder and to keep the water from freezing in the birdbath. But it is worth it. Sometimes a sharp shinned hawk will swooped down to grab a bird, but sharp shinned Hawks migrate to the south. I have not seen them in the wintertime here in Idaho.
How to Care for Your Binoculars
Now that we are talking about the care of birds, let’s think about the love and care of our binoculars. Here is a reference for on the care and cleaning and lubricating of your binoculars: http://www.koehleroptics.com/news/2013/7/12/binocularrepairinfo
Small Binoculars at Amazon
I went to Amazon and collected some information on compact binoculars. Maybe it will help you make a selection. The FTC wants me to tell you that the links in the table may pay me a small commission if you purchase a pair of binoculars at Amazon from one of my links in the table. There! I’ve been a good boy!
Small Binoculars at Amazon
|10x25 Compact Waterproof binoculars|
BK 7 prism with blue lenses
Stylish yellow and black rubber body
compact, light weight, and easy to carry
Limited Lifetime Warranty
|Waterproof is a good feature for birders and the cost is low.
|100% waterproof, O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged for reliable|
BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics offer crisp clear images with improved light transmission
Non-slip rubber armor and Soft Texture Grip absorbs shock and provides a firm grip
10x magnification and 25mm objective diameter; 15-foot close focus distance; 12mm eye relief
Large center-focus knob for easy adjustments; Twist-up eyecups; Limited lifetime warranty
|Waterproof and low cost.
76mm reflector telescope
Alt-Azimuth mount 6 x 24mm finder scope
25mm, 12.5mm & 4mm eyepieces
Compact zoom binoculars with 7 to 15x adjustable magnification and 25-millimeter objective lenses
Fully coated optics for improved clarity and light transmission
Ergonomic rubber housing for a secure grip and shock resistance
Fold down eyecups for comfort
Space-saving folding design; limited lifetime warranty
|Do you like zoom? I do for my weakening eyes. Better optics at a bit higher price.
|Turn-and-slide rubber eyecups facilitate the easy positioning of eyes at the correct eye-point and allow for comfortable viewing during extended periods of use.|
Multicoated lenses mean that images are going to be bright, rich with color and full of detail.
The ACULON T01 binoculars are designed to be as light as possible along with excellent ergonomics. This assures you will be comfortable and steady throughout extended periods of use.
|A low price for Nikon. Who doesn't like Nikon?
|Tasco's best-selling Essentials line balances optical performance and quality construction, at an affordable price|
Rubber-armored housing absorbs shock and protects them from bumps and weather
Ultra-light binoculars offer outstanding compact performance with rugged, rubber armor for hiking, backpacking or bicycle touring
8X magnification, 21-millimeter objective lens, roof prism system, 383-foot field of view at 1,000 yards and 6.5-ounce weight
Includes limited lifetime manufacturer's warranty
|My old standby. Inexpensive and easy to find elsewhere. I have been satisfied with these.
|10 Times Magnification Compact Binocular|
Nitrogen filled ; fog-proof and waterproof
Twist up Eye Cups to adjust eye releif
All Metal Construction
Fully Multicoated lenses for bright images with excellent contrast
|Good stuff! A bit more money but worth it for the properties.
|10x magnification, 42mm objective lens binoculars|
Exceptional optics with ED Prime Glass, Ultra Wide Band Coatings, and RainGuard HD water-repellent lens coating
Ultra wide field-of-view with long eye-relief; locking diopter
Lightweight, magnesium chassis and soft touch grips; 100 percent waterproof/fogproof construction
Includes soft case and neckstrap
|Higher cost but look at what you are getting. I have always been satisfied with my Bushnell binoculars.
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