Are you planning to go whale watching? Then don’t forget to carry with you one of the best binoculars for whale watching. The mere thought of this activity sounds fun, and having a binocular with you will, without a doubt, make things even more memorable.
Whales are such fascinating animals and have been around for a very long time. Their population has drastically decreased; no wonder several species are listed as endangered.
So, if you ever get a chance to go on a cruise or are lucky enough to live somewhere close to a shore where you can watch whales, then you need to get a binocular to observe these beautiful aquatic giants just like they were right next to you.
Why Buy Whale Watching Binoculars?
Whether you plan to observe these marvelous mammals from the shores of Alaska, an Alaska cruise ship, or while on a trip to Reykjavik, Iceland, a binocular must be at the top of your checklist, whales are shy animals, and they don’t swim too close to shore or a ship.
As huge as they are, trying to observe them with the naked eyes might not feel so great, but equipping yourself with a suitable whale-watching binocular will give you maximum enjoyment.
While the definition of “the right binocular” is always relative to individual preference, specific benchmarks must be met, and below, we’ve made a list of points to look out for when buying a binocular for whale watching.
Top-Rated Binoculars for Whale Watching 2022
What to Look for Before Buying Best Binoculars for Whale Watching
Binoculars are described using two numbers separated by an “x,” e.g., 7×28, 8×32, 8×42, and so on. The number represents the magnification just before the “x.” The device you choose would depend on whether you are viewing from a cruise ship/boat or on land for whale watching.
You have a stable surface to view from land, but you are pretty far from the whales. So, an adaptable tripod binocular with a reasonably high magnification power would be ideal.
However, you will need a binocular with sufficient magnification cruise or boat, but it doesn’t pose any stability issues, mainly because you will be viewing on a mobile platform.
Whether you are searching for the best binocular for whale watching from land or on a cruise, our list of recommended devices has great binocular models suitable for both purposes.
Size of the objectives
The number after the “x represents the diameter in mm of a binocular pair.” The larger this value, the more a pair of binoculars can gather light.
This feature is particularly crucial if you intend to go whale watching at dawn, dusk, or in areas with poor light conditions.
During the day, compact and mid-sized binoculars are great for viewing, while binoculars with larger objectives are more adapted for night viewing. Though larger lenses equate to brighter images, they also make the binoculars bigger and heavier.
Waterproof and fog-proof features
The whales’ home is in the sea, where there can be sudden downpours and significant fluctuations in temperature. Hence, good binoculars for whale watching must be both waterproof and fog-proof. Fogging an optical device’s internal components leads to poor light transmittance, resulting in poor imaging performance.
The waterproof feature is equally crucial as it ensures your binocular remains fully functional even when it comes into contact with water. Fortunately, most medium-end and even low-end binoculars come with these features.
Ergonomics and Overall Quality
The quality and durability of your binoculars’ exterior and internal components are of the utmost importance. The lenses and prisms and the coatings on them should be made of top-quality materials to ensure that you get the best versions of the images you observe.
The exterior of the binocular should be sleek and sturdy as well. Devices with quality rubberized armor are fantastic, allow for a comfortable non-slip grip, and are very durable.
The price of a binocular is indeed reflective of the optical quality of the device. As we always say, you shouldn’t be in a hurry to pay the price. Nobody has to spend a fortune to get a suitable binocular for whatever purpose.
Also, try to steer clear of cheap binoculars, as you will most likely end up disappointed. Though the prices of the devices we’ve selected at our recommendation price have varying costs, each one of them offers excellent value for money and will not disappoint.
Let’s dive straight into it.
Reviews of Top 5 Best Binoculars for Whale Watching
1. Pentax DCF NV –
Best Compact Binoculars for Whale Watching
The DCF NV is an 8×36 binocular from the optical device big name, Pentax. It offers an 8x magnification power, sufficient for whale watching, particularly on a cruise ship or boat, due to its sharpness and an impressive degree of image stability.
Like most quality binoculars, this device features a nicely textured exterior rubberized armor that provides much-needed protection and a pleasant non-slip grip. A waterproof function is of the essence for a binocular for whale watching.
The DCF NV binocular is well-equipped in this regard; it features O-ring seals and a nitrogen filling. Both features make this binocular fully waterproof and fog proof. There is no questioning the ergonomics, and eyeglass wearers can enjoy the entire field of view of 114m at 1000 meters due to the long 16 mm eye relief.
The lenses are fully multicoated, and the roof prisms are phase-corrected to ensure that you enjoy nothing short of top-quality images.
Best Binoculars For Whale Watching from Shore
This Nikon Aculon A211 binocular 7×35 from Nikon is just perfect for adventure seekers who love to enjoy crisp images. It makes our list of the best binoculars for whale watching due to the optics’ excellent performance, which incorporates high-quality BaK-4 Porro prisms and 7x multicoated lenses.
The design is compact, and the images are bright and crisp, irrespective of the light condition. The high-quality rubber armor and twist-up eyecups further enhance an already commendable level of user comfort.
The 7x magnification power delivers incredible image stability even when using this binocular on a moving boat or ship. Whales are enormous and stand out from their surroundings, making the 488 ft. field of view at 1000 yards sufficient for a memorable whale-watching experience.
The binocular passes all quality standards and the glasses are free of harmful materials like lead and arsenic.
Good Binoculars for Whale Watching
The EL Swarovision 10×42 binocular from Swarovski Optik is one of the best binoculars for whale watching from land. It provides a powerful 10x magnification power, enabling you to observe all the tiny details from a distance.
The enormous 42 mm objective lens diameters enable the device to gather enough light even at dawn or dusk when the lighting condition is poor. The high performing lenses are fully multicoated while the roof prisms incorporated are phase-corrected and feature a dielectric anti-reflective coating.
The device is ergonomically sound, and the long eye relief of 20 mm allows spectacle wearers to enjoy the pleasing sights the binocular offers. The Swarovision 10×42 binocular is fully sealed and completely waterproof and fog proof, thanks to the housing’s nitrogen filling.
At 840 grams, the device is quite sizeable and tripod adaptable, which enables it to be used for extended periods without any image stability issues. The field of view of 112 meters at 1000 meters (1km) is sufficient for whale watching.
Best Inexpensive Binoculars for Whale Watching
The Synpex Knight 8×42 binocular is compact, waterproof, and fog proof and provides an outstanding near the focus of 4.56 ft. (just 1.38 meters). The device is rugged and comes with a rubberized armor, which absorbs shock without any damage.
The optics feature fully multicoated ED glass lenses and Bak-4 prisms, which provide color-true images with astonishing clarity and impressive brightness in all situations. The Knight performs great at night as the 42 mm objectives enable it to gather sufficient image-forming light.
Ergonomics is spot on with the long eye relief, and twist-up eyecups make this binocular great for spectacle wearers. The binocular is tripod mountable to improve image stability, and the field of view is a quite unstinting 393 ft. at 1000 yards. The device looks and feels gorgeous, and a year’s warranty backs its quality.
Best Travel Binoculars for Whale Watching
The Techno Stabi 14×40 IS binocular is a powerful, close-focus, near-focusing binocular that comes with an image stabilizer. It provides very stable images even when the observer is in motion, making them suitable for whale watching from boats and cruise ships, and land. This is one of the best whale watching binoculars on the market now.
The images are clear and color-true, thanks to the exceptional light transmittance by the EBC coated lenses. Four detachable AA batteries power the image stabilizing system. The total weight is 4 pounds (1.81kg). Simultaneously, the dimensions are 9.7-inches x 13 inches x 6 inches, so this device is particularly recommended for users who love to enjoy quality, highly detailed images without minding the weight.
Just as with other high magnification devices, the field of view is significantly less than you get with standard binoculars, but for whale watching, the field of view of 70 meters at 1000 meters would suffice.
Yes, whales are huge but watching them with your naked eyes doesn’t allow you to enjoy all their fascinating details. You only realize how much fun you’ve been missing when you use a pair of binoculars.
Not just any binocular is suitable for whale watching. You’d need to put features like magnification, the field of view, and all the others mentioned above into consideration if you will make the right choice. So, whether from land or on a cruise, we hope our guide points you to the best binocular for whale watching.