Top 6 Best Porro Prism Binoculars

By Robin Owens 5 days ago Binoculars

The best 10x50 Porro prism binoculars.

porro prism binoculars review

Invented by Ignazio Porro, Porro prism binoculars were the first to appear on the market. This optical device features sturdy ergonomics and offers brighter optical capabilities than roof prism binoculars.

Go on reading and you will get acquainted with great Porro prism binoculars available on the market for today.

6 Best Porro Prism Binoculars

  1. Nikon 8252 Aculon - Our choice
  2. Olympus Trooper - The cheapest Porro model
  3. Vortex Optics Raptor - Affordable model for bird viewing
  4. Thompson Center - A solid investment for nature observer
  5. Bushnell NatureView - The best for birdwatching
  6. Pentax SP - Great for astronomy

To simplify your choice, we have tested 6 popular models and prepared a brief Porro prism binoculars review. This post will help you get acquainted with all the pros and cons and understand what to pay attention to at first.

1. Nikon 8252 Aculon

Our choice
porro prism binoculars

Magnification: 10-22x | Objective diameter: 50mm | Field of view at 1000m: 66.1 metres (10x) | Closest focusing distance: 15 metres | Eye relief: 8.6 mm (10x) | Weight: 961 g

⊕ Magnification from 10 up to 22
⊕ Non-slip grip
⊕ Comes with a free tripod
⊕ 25-year warranty
⊖ Body is not water and fog-resistant
⊖ Minimum power is 10x

At first glance, Nikon Aculon A11 are not ideal Porro prism binoculars. But they offer great possibilities for the money they cost. Although they are not lightweight, rather big and don’t have a waterproof case, Nikon Aculon A11 is crystal clear and works rather smoothly. In addition, the Zoom function is impressive.

In general, we can claim that these Porro prism binoculars show great performance at an affordable price. It is not recommended to use them for hunting or traveling. But it is an ideal option for birdwatching, stargazing and sightseeing.

2. Olympus Trooper

The cheapest Porro model
compact porro prism binoculars

Magnification: 7x | Objective diameter: 35mm | Field of view at 1000m: 113.3 metres | Closest focusing distance: 6 metres | Eye relief: 12 mm | Weight: 855 g

⊕ Crisp and clear image
⊕ Impressive magnification
⊕ Simple to adjust
⊕ Works in multiple lighting situations
⊖ Shaky image

Thanks to the crisp and clear image, we may claim that Trooper is one of the best Porro prism binoculars we reviewed. The only drawback here is shakiness that results from viewing images with an impressive magnifier of 10x.

However, this pair of Porro prism binoculars is still one of the best options on the market today. The focus knob is very easy to adjust since the device followed the horse's movement for over a quarter of a mile.

Olympus Trooper 10x50 is a decent set of binoculars, but they are suitable for those who don’t mind their large size.

3. Vortex Optics Raptor

Affordable model for bird viewing
compact porro prism binoculars

Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 32mm | Field of view at 1000m: 112.55 metres | Closest focusing distance: 4.6 metres | Eye relief: 13 mm | Weight: 499 g

⊕ Fully multicoated design
⊕ Lightweight and flexible
⊕ Perfect for family use
⊕ Lifetime warranty
⊖ No built-in rangefinder

Vortex Optics Raptor 10×32 is a convenient device with a wide and flexible viewing angle. In such a way, these Porro prism binoculars are an ideal option for those looking for wide viewing angles.

Although Raptor features a Porro prism design, it has a waterproof and fog-resistant body (quite a rare feature for Porro prism binoculars). Moreover, it is flexible enough to fit any facial structure. Thanks to a fully multi-coated optics, you get increased light transmission. As a pleasant bonus, you will get a lifetime warranty that is great at this price category.

4. Thompson Center

A solid investment for nature observer
best porro prism binoculars for birding

Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 50mm | Field of view at 1000m: N/A | Closest focusing distance: N/A | Eye relief: N/A | Weight: N/A

⊕ Impressive clarity
⊕ Focus knobs with a nice grip
⊕ Qualitative carrying case is fully usable
⊕ Great performance in poor lighting
⊖ Not the most compact

The most impressive thing about these Porro prism binoculars is the clarity they offer. Even at a great distance, an intended object is clearly seen. Speaking about their weight, we can’t say that they are lightweight. But, at the same time, your hands won’t get tired after long use.

This pair is very convenient and feels good in the hands. The device features a leather-like pattern with a rubber feel so your hands comfortably hold it. In addition, the focus knobs twist smoothly and have a nice grip.

The carrying case hasn’t disappointed us either. It is a well-made bag with padded walls and Velcro closure. The model is a great solution for bird watchers, hunters or nature observers.

5. Bushnell NatureView

Best for birdwatching
best porro prism binoculars for birding

Magnification: 8x | Objective diameter: 40mm | Field of view at 1000m: 121.18 metres | Closest focusing distance: 4.3 metres | Eye relief: 14 mm | Weight: 720 g

⊕ Relatively wide field of view
⊕ Easy to recalibrate if necessary
⊕ Waterproof and fog-resistant
⊕ Lifetime warranty
⊖ A strap is not the most durable one

Bushnell Birder 8×40’ is an ideal variant for those who care about the price. Thanks to nitrogen purging and O-ring sealing techniques, this device is waterproof and fog-resistant.

The central focusing wheel has a rubber armor texture so they are very easy to recalibrate if necessary. In such a way, you may easily watch birds in action.

After testing these Porro prism binoculars, we may conclude that it is a decent device for such money. It provides a sharp image with an easy and smooth focus system. What is more, it has a limited lifetime warranty.

6. Pentax SP

Great for astronomy
best porro prism binoculars

Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 50mm | Field of view at 1000m: 87.5 metres | Closest focusing distance: 5.55 metres | Eye relief: 20 mm | Weight: 1060 g

⊕ Waterproof body
⊕ BaK-4 glass prisms
⊕ Sensible antireflection coatings
⊕ 30-year warranty
⊖ Narrow field of view
⊖ Slightly truncated exit pupils

These Porro prism binoculars boast a decent build quality at a budget price. Although the device features a central focusing mechanism, there is a waterproof case suitable even for the worst weather conditions. In addition, this central focusing mechanism is quite a unique feature that only some binoculars provide for today.

If you are looking for a useful tool and can put up with some optical issues, Pentax is an ideal Porro device for you. What is more, you will not worry about the safety of your binoculars since they will serve you well no matter what the weather is.

Image Name Features  
porro prism binoculars review
Nikon 8252 Aculon
Our choice
  • Magnification and objective diameter: 10-22x50mm
  • Field of view at 1000m: 66.1 metres (10x)
  • Closest focusing distance: 15 metres
  • Eye relief: 8.6 mm (10x)
CHECK PRICE
porro prism binoculars
Vortex Optics Raptor
Professional
  • Magnification and objective diameter: 10x32mm
  • Field of view at 1000m: 112.55 metres
  • Closest focusing distance: 4.6 metres
  • Eye relief: 13 mm
CHECK PRICE
compact porro prism binoculars
Olympus Trooper
Budget
  • Magnification and objective diameter: 7x35mm
  • Field of view at 1000m: 113.3 metres
  • Closest focusing distance: 6 metres
  • Eye relief: 12 mm
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose Porro Prism Binoculars

porro prism binoculars review

Magnification

To satisfy users with different requirements, manufacturers release Porro prism binoculars with multiple magnification levels. However, there are models featuring a single, pre-selected magnification. That is why we recommend paying attention to this parameter while choosing a pair of binoculars in order not to be surprised after all.

Objective Diameter

The front lens of the binoculars is called the objective lens. Its size determines how much light is gathered and is referred to as its aperture size. The bigger the aperture, the more light it captures, which results in better image quality.

For instance, 10x50 Porro prism binoculars are capable of gathering more light than a 10x42 device. At the same time, both models have the same magnification. But a 10x50 binocular provides brighter images and guarantees a better viewing experience.

Field of View

Some binoculars are equipped with unique lenses and provide a “wide field” of view. In such a way, these models may be better than binoculars of the same magnification. Field of view decreases as magnification increases, and vice versa. In other words, if a wide field of view is important for you, choose binoculars with lower magnifications.

On the contrary, if you don’t care about the field of view, choose wide-angled devices. Large objective lenses provide a larger field of view. As a rule, Porro prism binoculars offer larger fields of view than roof ones featuring the same parameters.

Durability

Most people use binoculars in the open air. You may drop them, hit a rock, land in the mud, they may get wet, etc. You never know what surprises the weather prepares for you. Apart from standard weather protection, the best Porro prism binoculars feature impact and shock protection in the form of rubberized armor coatings. Moreover, they often add grip and texture for you not to drop them.

Weight

Weight is an essential characteristic you should pay attention to while choosing Porro prism binoculars. As a rule, binoculars’ owners carry them around the neck all day. So, if the device is too heavy, you will feel the extra weight. In addition, heavy binoculars will tire your hands quickly, and they may shake spoiling the image. That is why it is recommended to choose the lighter binoculars you can afford.

FAQ

  • • What are prism binoculars?

Prism binoculars use prisms in the optical system to rectify an inverted image projected by the objective. They usually have a compact body because the prism shortens the optical path.

We may distinguish 2 types of prism binoculars: Porro prism binoculars and Roof (Dach) prism ones.

  • • Which is better ‒ Roof prism or Porro prism?

Porro prism binoculars are more complicated than Roof prism optical devices. At the same time, Roof prism binoculars have a more complex light path and require greater optical precision in manufacturing. That is why they are more expensive.

Speaking of Porro prism design, it is simpler and more light efficient. Moreover, the image you see features better contrast.

  • • What is the best prism for binoculars?

In general, Porro prism binoculars offer higher image quality and less light loss. As a result, the picture is clearer. However, thanks to a compact design and complex prisms, expensive roof prisms are frequently chosen for quality binoculars.

  • • Which is the best magnification for binoculars?

Average users who don’t have any particular requirements for a pair of binoculars should choose the devices from 7x to 10x power. People who buy binoculars for theatre visits should find something between 3-5x (it depends on the seats).

If you are a sports fan, find something with 7x power. For long-range observations, get Porro prism binoculars with 10x magnification or higher.

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