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If you are viewing scenery or spotting subjects from a longer distance, typically over 2 miles, then high-powered binoculars are a great choice. More magnification means that you will be able to see further and in more detail. The following guide explains how to choose binoculars for very long distance viewing. We also cover the features to look for when buying high magnification binoculars and the best models around for every budget.

High Powered Binoculars

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How to Identify Binoculars Power?

Two numbers always represent binoculars, for example 10×50. The first number is their power (or magnification) and the second is the diameter of their lenses. Generally, binoculars power will range between 8x to 20x. If you are spotting a very distant subject across your land or a sailing boat 2 miles from shore then you should opt for 16x to 20x binoculars.

Are High-Powered Binoculars the Right Choice?

It is very important to know that high-powered binoculars can be difficult to stabilise handheld. This is because every shake of your hands is also magnified as much as the image is. This can lead to a shaky image and is a common issue with using powerful binoculars. Most people can still use up to 20x binoculars to quickly see something in the distance. If you are viewing for longer periods of time, it is recommended that you support your binoculars on a table, stand or tripod. This will eliminate the shakiness of the image. Or otherwise choose other binoculars with lower magnification.

Do I Need a Tripod for High-Powered Binoculars?

Not necessarily. If you just need to “quickly see something” then you’ll probably be perfectly fine without one. You can also try leaning your elbows on a table, stand, veranda or other platforms to support your arms while using your binoculars. If you are often using binoculars from a fixed location or for longer periods of time then a tripod is still recommended. The good news is that nearly any tripod will do. We usually recommend that you first purchase the binoculars and then visit your local camera shop to pick up a tripod for them (if you feel it’s needed). We also offer some heavier duty tripods specifically built for binoculars and spotting scopes. These are designed for carrying heavier weights so can sometimes be more expensive than your standard camera tripod.

Nikon High Powered Binoculars

What is the Best Lens Size and Weight?

Bigger lenses in binoculars make your image brighter and allow for a wider field of view. High magnification models are usually full sized binoculars with lenses of 50mm. These are still very easy to hold, stabilise and carry but are definitely not compact. They will weigh anywhere between 1.5 to 4 pounds. Astronomy binoculars will have even larger lenses, 70mm to 100mm, and can be even heavier than that.

Which Brand Should I Get?

There are plenty of good optic brands out there. Each brand has various binocular model lines depending on optical quality. Ranging from entry-level binoculars to high-end professional ones. With optics, you really get what you pay for! Some reputable brands to look at are Nikon, Bushnell, Avalon, Bresser, Vortex and Zeiss. These all offer excellent binoculars for every type of user. Prices range from £100 to £400 for a good pair of high-powered binoculars.


Our Top 4 High-Powered Binoculars for 2018

** Note: All 4 binoculars recommended below are suitable for eyeglasses users **


Bresser 16×50 Hunter Binoculars
– Featuring 16x magnification and an excellent quality for their price range. Not waterproof but will sustain rain or fog. Relatively good weight and easy to use. Optics wise they provide a clear, sharp image and certainly go the distance. Overall great value for buck. £125 inc. free delivery


Celestron Porro 20×50
– Ideal for seeing more detail from longer distance (2-5 miles). With an impressive 20x magnification they are extremely powerful yet still easy to handle. Large 50mm lenses allow for a brighter, sharper image. Can be used with or without a tripod. Discounted and available for £159 inc. free delivery


Celestron SkyMaster 25×70
– Astronomy binoculars but are just as good for watching land or sea. The most powerful pair you can own without dealing with a monstrous sized product. At 3 pounds they are not light but manageable handheld. Sharp lenses, bright vivid colours and, let’s not forget, an impressive 25x magnification! £195


Nikon Aculon 16×50
– High power binoculars by Nikon. Perfect for both long distance and general viewing. Made with environmentally friendly Eco-Glass. Wide field of view and bright, high contrast images. Nicely finished product and easily comparable to Nikon’s higher-end models. £219 inc. free delivery


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