7 Best Binoculars for Whale Watching in 2020

By Robin Owens 7 days ago Binoculars

Inexpensive binoculars for long-distance whale watching.

best binoculars for whale watching

Whale watching is a cool activity that can interest many people. However, while selecting the best watching whale binoculars from land and boat, you should mind magnification and several important things which I describe below.

Top 7 Whale Watching Binoculars

  1. Canon 12x36 - Our Choice
  2. Swarovski 10x50 EL - Premium quality
  3. Nikon 7239 - Affordable
  4. Zeiss Carl Victory FL - For whale watching from shore
  5. Nikon Monarch HG - Universal binoculars
  6. Pentax ZD 10x43 - For water sports
  7. Olympus 8 X 42 PRO - The best binoculars for birding

During whale-watching tours on a specially designed marine vessel, you can stay inside, if the weather is bad and outside to get the best view possible. Whales usually stay away from such vessels.

1. Canon 12x36

Our Choice
canon 12x binoculars

Magnification: 12 x | Objective diameter: 36 mm | Field of view at 1000m: 87/262 metres /ft | Closest focusing distance: 6/19.7 metres/ ft | Eye relief: 14.5 mm | Weight: 660 g

⊕ Extra-low dispersion
⊕ Objective lens diameter is 50 mm
⊕ Picture stabilization technology
⊕ Long eye relief
⊖ Cumbersome and heavyweight
⊖ Big eyecups

The compact and efficient binocular delivers an explicit and consistent viewing experience for active people. Using special stabilization technology, they provide a good, detailed image. Multi-coated high zooming lenses ensure a wide field-of-view.

The use of the original Double Field Flattener allows you to get pictures clear across the frame. These advanced binoculars come with the patented IS technology to eliminate the hand shake, which makes these binoculars for whale-watching suitable for multiple-hour viewing experience.

2. Swarovski 10x50 EL

Premium Swarovski binoculars
swarovski 50mm binoculars

Magnification: 10 x | Objective diameter: 50 mm | Field of view at 1000m: 115/377 metres /ft | Closest focusing distance: 2.5/8.2 metres/ ft | Eye relief: 20 mm | Weight: 999 g

⊕ Watertight
⊕ Minimal distortion
⊕ Very low coma
⊕ Broad FOV
⊖ Large weight
⊖ The light area around exit pupils

The company offers a high-quality model with magnesium casing, dazzling optical quality with special coatings, and better performance with a special wrap-around grip for easy one-handed use. The binocular uses the company’s technology that delivers amazing clarity across the entire frame and high contrast.

Thanks to the light consistency of HD optics, eyeglass wearers can enjoy max eye relief with reasonable viewing comfort.

These can be called the best binoculars for whale watching because of improved light gathering. One gets an opportunity to use a large objective lens with a 50mm diameter. Moreover, with the stellar branded optics, the binoculars ensure high resolution, razor-sharp details, and color accuracy even in poor lighting conditions and at longer distances.

3. Nikon 7239

Nikon action binoculars
nikon action binos for whale watching

Magnification: 7 x | Objective diameter: 50 mm | Field of view at 1000m: 112/335 metres /ft | Closest focusing distance: 7/23 metres/ ft | Eye relief: 17.1 mm | Weight: 136 g

⊕ Clear pictures
⊕ Bright
⊕ Rugged system
⊕ Affordable
⊖ Heavyweight and bulky

These binoculars are created for outdoor amateurs, who are searching for durable binoculars for whale watching under the most severe conditions. They have a metal chassis with lens fittings built in a solid, lightweight body made of polycarbonate.

The picture sharpness, simple focusing, waterproof design, and light gathering ability make it perfect for whale watching activity. Even if you wear glasses, you can use special eye pieces to enjoy the view.

4. Zeiss Carl Victory FL

All-purpose Zeiss binoculars
zeiss waterproof binoculars

Magnification: 10 x | Objective diameter: 32 mm | Field of view at 1000m: 120/394 metres /ft | Closest focusing distance: 2/7.8 metres/ ft | Eye relief: 15.2 mm | Weight: 560 g

⊕ Occupies little space
⊕ Solid
⊕ Wide FOV
⊕ Exceptional grip
⊖ High price
⊖ Large weight

These binoculars deliver crisp and bright pictures. Special fluoride glass lenses eliminate chromatic aberrations and maintain good image clarity – view the whole image and marvel at the visual experience.

When it comes to resolution, contrast, and color consistency, they can be called the best binoculars for whale watching from land. They have more to deliver in terms of comfort. High-performance optics are absolutely lightweight and user-friendly. Zeiss is one of the industry's most popular and reputable manufacturers of binoculars.

5. Nikon Monarch HG

Nikon 10X42 binoculars
nikon whale watching binoculars

Magnification: 10 x | Objective diameter: 42 mm | Field of view at 1000m: 110/362 metres /ft | Closest focusing distance: 2/6.6 metres/ ft | Eye relief: 17 mm | Weight: 680 g

⊕ Look stylish
⊕ Smooth focusing
⊕ Easy to use
⊕ Amazing zooming capabilities
⊖ Too long eye relief
⊖ Overpriced

If you choose these binoculars, you can see whales from afar, which is the main task of such equipment. The model is made of magnesium alloy and ensures remarkable performance even in the most challenging weather conditions.

The casing is improved with rubberized panels to deliver a tight grip and maximum solidness. The binoculars are rather lightweight, which means you can hold them for a long time.

That’s why, many people consider them to be the best binoculars for whale watching. Scratch-resistant coverings ensure optical acuity and interior lenses are protected from fogging at an exceptional water-resistant level.

6. Pentax ZD 10x43

The best waterproof binoculars
whale watching pentax binoculars

Magnification: 10 x | Objective diameter: 43 mm | Field of view at 1000m: 105/315 metres /ft | Closest focusing distance: 2/6.6 metres/ ft | Eye relief: 17 mm |Weight: 771 g

⊕ Waterproof
⊕ Minimum astigmatism
⊕ Great transmission
⊕ Average coma
⊖ Bad FOV
⊖ Distantly located exit pupils

Thanks to the extra layer of coating, these binoculars capture the optimum amount of light. As a result, you get vivid, crisp, and true-to-life images. As you want to keep your lenses clean and your image quality at its best, there is an advanced covered coating that repels any type of dirt – dust, water, and grease.

This is a really important feature to consider if you are looking for the top binoculars for ocean viewing. Made of the magnesium alloy, this pair of binoculars is long-lasting and rather lightweight.

The picture quality is on point thanks to special aspheric lens elements and ED glass. This type of glass reduces chromatic aberration to provide an accurate representation of colors.

7. Olympus 8 X 42 PRO

Waterproof Olympus binoculars
olympus pro binoculars

Magnification: 8 x | Objective diameter: 42 mm | Field of view at 1000m: 130/394 metres /ft | Closest focusing distance: 1.5/4.9 metres/ ft | Eye relief: 18 mm | Weight: 670 g

⊕ Accurate coma improvement
⊕ Multi-coated optics
⊕ Good housing
⊕ Insignificant astigmatism
⊖ Transmission lower than stated
⊖ Sharpness decrease

This binocular is supplied with extra-low dispersion (ED) glass with phase-correcting and dielectric coatings on the BAK4 prisms. Thanks to multi-coated anti-reflection optics, you can create enjoy vibrant high-contrast images.

To decrease ghosting and flashes, the lenses are covered with ZERO coating typically used for interchangeable cameras and microscope lens. These binoculars for ocean viewing minimize chromatic aberration so the images contain no blurring traces. Thanks to the minimum focusing distance of 1.5m, you can increase the variety of subjects for observation.

Image Name Features  
canon 12x binoculars
Canon 12x36
Our Choice
  • Magnification: 12 x
  • Objective diameter: 36 mm
  • Eye relief: 14.5 mm
  • Weight: 660 g
CHECK PRICE
swarovski 50mm binoculars
Swarovski 10x50 EL
Premium
  • Magnification: 10 x
  • Objective diameter: 50 mm
  • Eye relief: 20 mm
  • Weight: 999 g
CHECK PRICE
nikon action binos for whale watching
Nikon 7239
Affordable
  • Magnification: 7 x
  • Objective diameter: 50 mm
  • Eye relief: 17.1 mm
  • Weight: 136 g
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose Whale Watching Binoculars?

best binoculars for whale watching

Magnification

Since you are choosing the best binoculars for whale watching, you need a model with a max magnification of 8x. This is explained by the fact that every shake is magnified as well and the image becomes blurred. Moreover, the higher zoom option will reduce the field of view. Consequently, you will sacrifice the space visible through the lens.

If you are watching animals from shore, you can buy binoculars with a high zoom rate. However, if you are choosing binoculars for whale watching from a boat, you should pick the binoculars with magnification ranging from 7x to 8x.

Field Of View

The higher the field of view your binoculars have, the wider the view you will see through your lens. Thus, you can see wider areas and track moving objects, for example, playing whales. The best field of view for whale watching is something from 380 to 500 ft.

Waterproofing

The waterproof housing is a must if you are on the lookout for the best binoculars for ocean viewing. Most binoculars have fog protection as well. Thus, your binoculars will not fog up in changing temperatures. Besides, they are protected from rain or boat splashing.

Size and Weight

The best binoculars for the whale watching are the ones from 7x35-8x32 categories. They have a perfect zoom, are light and easy to use. These models are not as cumbersome as the standard marine binoculars.

FAQ

  • • What does 20x50 mean for binoculars?

The first number means the possible magnification that these binoculars offer. For the zoom control, you can use a special lever next to your thumb. Then “50” means the size of the objective lens at the end of binoculars in mm.

  • • Which is the best zoom option for binoculars?

If you want to watch a moving object from a distance, the best option for you is binoculars with 7x-10x magnification. If you want to go varmint hunting, you should use binoculars with 12x-16x magnification.

If you need better zooming capabilities, you will need a special stabilizer so the image won’t be blurred.

  • • Are 20x50 binoculars good enough?

Unfortunately, many buyers know little about exit pupils or how the binoculars work. 20x50 seems to be a nice option worth investing in.

  • • How far can binoculars see?

The binocular can show you everything you see but 10x closer or bigger. For instance, you can see ship far away but thanks to the binocular you can see it 10x larger depending on the model of the binocular.

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