Whale watching is truly a great experience that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. It’s always been fascinating to watch whales from shore or a boat.
There are a plethora of people who take it as a hobby like bird watching. Every year a large number of people intended to watch whales from various locations.
These creatures are very cautious, and they keep their distance from boats or humans directly. So, if you want to watch them, you have to find a suitable location for whales to come up without feeling threatened. But with your naked eyes, you can’t see them in detail. Because our naked eyes have limitations and binoculars will work to enhance our vision.
You can assume that’s why you need the best binoculars for whale watching because binocular will help you see them in detail. However, there are many binoculars available at retail stores, but there are some primary requirements you have to think about before choosing one.
There are some factors that need to consider about the best whale watching binoculars such as magnification of distance, waterproofing, the field of view, and easy to use. Don’t be afraid I’m going to solve your puzzle. So there are our top listed instruments and an in-depth buyer’s guide In below.
Why Buy Whale Watching Binoculars?
Due to the characteristics of whales, you simply cannot find them close to your boat or shore. As mentioned earlier, they are highly cautious and always keep a safe distance from humans. That’s why you need a powerful and specialized binocular to watch the unique mammal. Unlike the other varieties, binoculars for whale watching need to be waterproof as you will use them near the water.
Besides, these binoculars should be nitrogen purged to prevent moisture build-up inside. Your usual binoculars don’t arrive with such properties. That’s why you must select specialized whale watching binoculars for an uninterrupted experience.
Types of binoculars Whale Watching
Based on the prism of the binoculars, they can be two types, which are Porro Prism and roof prism. The other varieties of binocular you see out there are typically for specific uses. Check out the detailed information about the types of binoculars from below.
Porro Prism Binoculars
The Porro Prism Binoculars were developed during the 19th century by Ignazio Porro. What’s impressive about the variation is the most of the original design is still used in the binoculars. Here is how it works: the light from the objective lenses passes through some triangular-shaped light catchers in a quick horizontal zag. That enables the device to invert and amplifies the light to provide you a magnified and sharp image of the target object.
They are a bit bulky and heavy but available at affordable prices when compared to the other variation. Although this type of binocular has comparatively lower magnification, they offer better 3D images and a wider field of view.
Roof Prism Binoculars
The roof prism binoculars are more modern when compared to the Porro Prism. They are typically consisting of straight tubes, compact, and streamlined designs. Although the outside of the binoculars is simplistic, they have a more complex mechanism inside. Lights from the object went through a complex pathway before reaching your eyes. Following this way, this variation can offer you a better magnification range.
The roof prism binoculars can offer you better magnification and clear images with their efficient mechanism. With these advantages, you will need to be ready to pay a bit more for this type of binoculars. Be aware that some of the models of roof prism binoculars can arrive with a smaller field of view.
Night Vision Binoculars
As the name recommends, these binoculars are designed to offer you a clear sight of the target during the night. The usual binoculars become useless when it comes to darkness. The night vision binoculars use electronically assisted lenses to capture the little available lights. Later the photon-enhancing components of the binoculars make the light viewable for your eyes. No wonder that they are pretty costly.
The marine binoculars are designed to offer you a better performance around the water. They arrive with a wider objective and ocular lens. Accommodated by high to medium magnification power they enable you to get the view nicely. The whale-watching binoculars can be considered as a variation of the marine binoculars.
The astronomy binoculars are designed to explore the sky. Although these handheld binoculars don’t come with great specs, they can help the amateur astronomer a bit. You may be able to view the stars and other still objects of the sky with it, but it can be pretty hard to track a moving thing like a meteor. For astronomy purposes, it’s better to go for a fully-equipped telescope.
30 Sec Quick Summary – Best Binoculars for Whale Watching
Editor’s Choice – Nikon 7245 Action 10×50 EX Binocular
“A feature-rich binocular filled with nitrogen and sealed well for waterproof performance. Rubber coated to ensure proper handgrip”
Best Overall – Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular
“The binocular is based on roof prism system, making it lightweight and compact. Multi-coated lenses to ensure bright and compact view”
Best Mid-budget Binocular – Athlon Optics Midas Roof Prism UHD Binoculars
“Ultra-HD binocular with argon-gas and well-sealed design accommodated by Magnesium chassis. Best in the price range.”
Best Binocular with Eco-friendly design – Nikon 8252 10-22×50 Zoom Binocular
“Arrives with powerful variable magnification range with eco-friendly material construction. Equipped with Bak 4 prism to offer stunning image.”
Best for Lowlight – Wingspan Optics Phoenix Ultra HD – 8X42
“Fully multi-coated lenses, phase correction prism, and ED glass to deliver a sharper, brighter, and accurate color on various ranges.”
Best for UV protection – Bushnell Marine 7×50 Waterproof Binocular
“Fully multi-coated lens with UV protection assures stunning HD images. Coast guard recommended magnification range and objective lens diameter”
Best for Long Range – Best for Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars 10×42
“10x magnification range with massive 325ft field of view. Quality optics to ensure bright, clear, and stunning view.”
Top 8 Best Binoculars for Whale Watching
Nikon 7245 Action 10×50 EX Binocular – Overall Best Binoculars for Whale Watching
Magnification Range: 10x
Waterproof: YesObjective Lens: 50mm
This Nikon 7245 Action binocular has various features that will make your whale watching experience more enjoyable. This binocular is Nitrogen filled and well sealed and which makes it waterproof, and it also can absorb shock because the outer shell is made with polycarbonate. For example, when you go for a whale-watching trip by boat, there can be rain or sudden waves, and in these types of conditions, you may drop your binocular.
So, in extreme weather conditions, nothing terrible will happen to this binocular.
Besides, this binocular is rubber-coated. As a result, it will provide a fair amount of handgrip to your hand. Just imagine you’re in a boat, and lots of waves are hitting your ship. So, you will drench your hands with water, which may cause a weaker grip. So, there is still a chance you may drop your binocular from your hand. This rubber coating grip will make it more protective and durable. This binocular also has features like multi-coated lenses and Bak4 high index prisms, delivering brighter and crisp images. It also performs well in low light conditions. Another good thing about this binocular is, it has a long eye relief. So, if you wear eyeglasses, it won’t be a big deal for you.
Nikon 7245 binocular has a 50mm diameter objective lens, and you can have a wide range of views. It helps to see a fast-moving object with this feature. If you want to have a long-lasting binocular, you can go for it. To recapitulate, it can be the best binoculars for whale watching.
- 10x magnification range with 50mm objective lens.
- Waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof construction.
- Lightweight polycarbonate shell with all-metal chassis.
- Rubber-coated body to ensure a non-slip grip.
- Bak 4 prism to ensure a high-resolution and bright image.
The Nikon 7245 Action 10×50 EX Binocular is a nice combination of features for excellent performance in mid-range. If you are searching for a reliable binocular at a moderate price, this one will be a great option.
VIEW ON AMAZON: Nikon 7245 Action 10×50 EX Binocular
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular – Best Binoculars for Whale Watching under 100$
Magnification Range: 8x
Material: Rubber Armor
Waterproof: YesObjective Lens: 42 mm
Bushnell always cares about their customers’ satisfaction. This beautiful binocular comes with Roof Prism, making it slimmer and less bulky than a Porro prism binocular. So, it’s a lightweight binocular, and you use it for a long time without any kinds of disturbances. Furthermore, you can carry it for a long time while hiking.
The Bushnell H2O Waterproof 8x42mm has Bak 4 prism and multi-coated optics and can see more bright and crisp clear images. Also, this binocular is filled with Nitrogen and well sealed. For this reason, it is 100% waterproof and offers a fog-free performance.
Besides, this binocular has a non-slip rubber armour coating, making it more secure to hold with hands.
Bushnell H20 Waterproof (8×42) provides a wide range of views. It has 8x magnification, which is very excellent, and a 42mm objective diameter. It also has 17-millimeter eye relief, which is useful for eyeglass users. Its twist-up eyecups are adjustable and perfect for eyeglass users during whale watching. Its central focus knob is large and very easy to adjust.
In my personal opinion, I think it’s the best binocular in this price range for whale watching.
- 8x magnification range with 42mm objective lens diameter.
- Waterproof,fog-proof, o-ring sealed, and nitrogen purged.
- Bak 4 prism with multi-coat optics for improved light transmission.
- Soft texture grip with nonslip rubber Armor for ease of use.
VIEW ON AMAZON: Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binocular
Athlon Optics Midas Roof Prism UHD Binoculars- Best Under $250
Magnification Range: 8x
Objective Lens: 42 mm
The Athlon Optics Midas Roof Prism UHD Binocular is one of the best mid-range budget binoculars. This binocular has a variety of features with good built quality.
The body is made of Magnesium chassis, which can withstand harsh weather.
Also, filled with argon gas and well sealed, which protects the binocular from water and fog. Due to Argon gas, it gives better thermal stability and a better field of view angle.
The Alton Midas binocular has 8×42 magnification, which is an ideal magnification for whale watching binoculars. This binocular offers a 42 mm objective lens and 427ft field of view, and 17.2mm long eye relief. The ED glass lens can bring a bright, exact, accurate colour and sharper image to your eyes because it works with ESP dielectric coating multilayer prisms. The best thing about It is, it can reflect over 99% of lights coming through the binocular. And as a result, it offers sharp and more precise images.
Besides, this binocular has an XPL coating, which prevents the lens from scratches and fights off oil or dirt. As a result, lenses stay clean for a longer time.
- Equipped with ED glass to cut chromatic fringe for better sight.
- ESP Dielectric Multi-layer prism coating to reflect 99% of the light.
- Advanced fully multi-coated lenses for improved brightness.
- Long eye relief for the people with glass for ease of view.
- Argon purged inside for thermal stability and waterproof.
The Athlon Optics Midas can be an ideal choice for whale viewing from the boat with adequate magnification range, and unique ED glass. You can expect an accurate, bright, and exact color with scope. The lightweight and compact design also make it suitable for long-duration viewing experiences.
VIEW ON AMAZON: Athlon Optics Midas Roof Prism
Nikon 8252 10-22×50 Zoom Binocular- Best binocular for Whale Watching from Long Distance
Magnification Range: 10x
Material: Not Mentioned
Waterproof: YesObjective Lens: 50mm
The Nikon 8252 Aculon 10-20×50 binocular provides various kinds of features for whale watching or adventure loving people. Nikon did a great job with binocular. It has a great feature which makes it remarkable than other binoculars. You can change the magnification setting from 10x to 22x if you want. Isn’t it a great feature? This binocular is ideal for long-range viewing.
Nikon 8252 has a multi-coated ECO glass Lens construction. The objective lens diameter is 50mm. Eco glass construction means they are free from LEDs and arsenic. So, this pair of binoculars is eco friendly. They have anti-reflective multi-coated optics. On the other hand, this binocular offers a 199ft wide field of view and 8.6 mm of eye relief.
With this zooming ability, you can also use it for stargazing, mount viewing and wildlife viewing as well. Also, Nikon is providing highly durable Rubber armoured coating which will assure you a perfect hand grip in any types of challenging weather conditions. The rubber armoured is shock resistant as well. Another positive fact about Nikon 8252 is, they are tripod adaptable. And you can watch whales from shore by using a tripod. They are also better for bird watching.
Describing the prisms system, they used the Bak 4 Porro prisms system. It can deliver stunning images in different lighting conditions from dawn to dust.
Moreover, this Nikon 8252 has an exclusive Smooth Central Focus knob and Eyepiece zoom. The eyepiece zoom lever helps to switch magnification from 10x to 20x quickly.
- 10x magnification range with 50mm objective lens.
- Features fingertip zoom control knob and interpapillary adjustment.
- Turn and slide rubber eyecup to comfort eyes on long duration.
- Multi-coated eco glass lenses for a bright and clear view.
- Durable rubber-armored upper layer for non-slip grip even in wet.
The Nikon 8252 is one of the best binoculars for whale and wildlife experience. It combines outstanding components to ensure a high-quality, precise, and reliable sight. The Nikon 8252 will be a wise choice for you if it suits your budget.
VIEW ON AMAZON: Nikon 8252 10-22×50 Zoom Binocular
Wingspan Optics Phoenix Ultra HD – 8X42 – Best under 200$
Magnification Range: 8x
Material: Metal and rubber
Waterproof: YesObjective Lens: 42mm
The Wingspan Optics is offering 8x magnification, and the diameter of objective lenses is 42mm. And it also has fully multi-coated lenses and a phase correction coated prism. So, you won’t face any blueness or focus issues.
This Ultra HD binocular is very lightweight because it has Bak-4, Roof Prism. It has ED glass in this binocular, in the low light condition, which delivers sharper, brighter, accurate colours and stunning HD images no matter how close or far the object is.
Furthermore, It has 2m of close focus ability, which helps to watch a close-range target in detail. This Wingspan binocular has 17.2m extended eye relief, and it’s excellent for eyeglass wearers.
Also, It is offering a 393 ft extra-wide field of view. So, you can have a great ocean view on your whale watching trip.
Being durable and waterproof, fog-proof, it will assure you a damage-free whale watching trip because it has Nitrogen filled inside and a well-sealed body that can tolerate severe weather conditions. Those things make the Wingspan Optics Phoenix Ultra HD binocular is the best whale watching binocular you are searching for.
The Wingspan binocular box comes with a Nylon mesh carrying case, lens protective cover, eyepieces. For cleaning, you will get a microfiber lens cleaning cloth.
- Ultra-HD binocular with 8x magnification and 32mm objective lens.
- Combines ED glass and phase correction prism for ultimate performance.
- Fully-multi coated lenses for ideal brightness and crisp view.
- DuraTech technology ensures durability while makes it lightweight.
- Cutting edge close-focus technology for the finest details.
The Wingspan Optics Phoenix Ultra HD binocular is something dependable with an array of quality features. The integration of technologies like DuraTech can assure long-term performance. You should consider this top-rated binocular for whale watching.
VIEW ON AMAZON: Wingspan Optics Phoenix Ultra HD
Bushnell Marine 7×50 Waterproof Binocular
Magnification Range: 7x
Waterproof: Yes Objective Lens: 50mm
The Bushnell industry always tries to offer a quality product to their customers. In this Bushnell Marine 7×50 binocular they used fully multi-coated quality optics and UV protection for stunning HD clear images. This binocular offers 7x magnification and 50mm objective lens. Coast guard always recommend this magnification and objective lens diameter is as ideal for marine life and land.
The Bushnell Marine binocular, they provide Bak 4 barium crown prism glass and Porro prism system. As a result, you’ll be able to see a bright, clear view and also 380ft of the broader field of view.
In construction, they made it weatherproof. Besides, it is resistant to saltwater corrosion. The hermetic sealing is also excellent. Bushnell has purged nitrogen and O ring seal protection to keep out moisture.
- Coast guard recommended 7x magnification and objective lens.
- Premium Bak 4 prisms with fully multi-coated optics.
- Waterproof and corrosion-resistant design for the marine environment.
- 100% quality materials for durability and UV protection.
As the name recommends, the Bushnell Marine 7×50 Waterproof Binoculars are designed for marine environments. By choosing the well-designed, durable, waterproof, and fog-resistant binocular, you can be fully assured of a decent performance near waters.
VIEW ON AMAZON: Bushnell Marine 7×50
Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars 10×42
Magnification Range: 10x
Waterproof: YesObjective Lens: 42mm
Vortex Optics Crossfire HD binocular features 10x magnification and the objective lens diameter is 42mm. This binocular Vortex uses fully multi-coated lenses which increase light transmission. It has multiple anti-reflective coating on glass surfaces; as a result, you will get bright, clear, and stunning images. Besides, it has a 325ft great field of view, and this kind of perspective can make your whale watching trip adventurous.
On the other hand, it has Roof prism and an Aluminium body which makes this binocular compact, durable, and lightweight. You can carry this lightweight binocular on hiking or anywhere for a long time.
Inside it has Nitrogen purge and O ring features which make this binocular waterproof and fog proof. The waterproofing and fog proofing ability make binocular more durable and extreme survivors for harsh environmental conditions. Also, the rubber-armoured coating provides non-slip and perfect grip to hands and excellent protection.
For whale watching from shore or boat, you have to think about eye comfort. Here Vortex Optics provides adjustable eyecups and 15mm long eye relief. The central focus knob is large, and it helps to adjust the focus quickly. So, Vortex is providing a user-friendly binocular at this affordable price.
- Up to 10x magnification range and 42mm objective lens.
- Fully multi-coated lenses with multiple anti-reflective coatings.
- Roof prism design for compact size and durability.
- Adjustable eyecups twists for comfortable viewing with eyeglasses.
- Nitrogen purged, o-ring sealed, fog-proof, and waterproof design.
The Vortex Optics Crossfire is one of the top-rated and best-selling whales watching binoculars out there. It’s an irresistible choice in the budget with impressive features and extraordinary performance. If you are looking for the best binoculars for whale watching from land, it will be an absolute no-brainer.
VIEW ON AMAZON: Vortex Optics Crossfire HD
Celestron – SkyMaster 25×70 Binocular – Best in 100$
Magnification Range: 25x
Waterproof: YesObjective Lens: 70 mm
The Celestron SkyMaster 25×70 Binocular is one of the best for long-distance object viewing like astronomical objects or whales. This kind of telescopic binocular is best in the budget. And the reasons behind it is, Celestron Offers 25x of magnification and 70mm sizeable objective lens in this price range.
With this advanced magnification system, it can bring a distant object to your eye no matter how far it is. Those 70mm large objective lenses can gather more amount of lights. As a result, it is capable of delivering low light images. Also, Multi-coated optics will provide sharp and clear views. So, it can be the best choice for people who love astronomy. Don’t be upset; it is also suitable for whale watching from shore and boat.
Skymaster 25×70 has a Bak r prism in it which delivers crisp and bright images with stunning colour. Also, it has a 141ft field of view and 13 mm long eye relief which is suitable for eyeglass wearers.
Being waterproof and durable it will make you comfortable to use it. For protection, Celestron used a rubber armoured body for a better non-slip grip.
Another fact about Celestron Skymaster 25×70 Binocular is, you can mount a tripod on it. And can enjoy hands-free viewing.
- 25x magnification range and 70mm objective lens Porto prism.
- Linear field of view with an ultra-sharp focus across the field of view.
- Multi-coated optics with long eye relief, ideal to use with glasses.
- Suitable for astronomical and terrestrial viewing (Ipd max: 2.83in)
If you have a keen interest in astronomy as well as whale watching, then the Celestron – SkyMaster 25×70 Binocular is what you need. With such a huge 25x variable magnification range, you can easily perform both of the activities. Make sure to purchase it with a tripod for the best performance.
VIEW ON AMAZON: Celestron – SkyMaster
How to Choose the best binocular for whale watching
When you spend your valuable money on a binocular, you need to know what kind of features they are offering you.
You need to think about these important features while choosing the best whale watching binocular.
Magnification: Magnification is the most valuable key factor for a binocular. So, you are thinking about what amount of magnification you need in a whale watching binocular. The answer is 7x to 8x magnification is ideal for whale watching. With higher magnification like 10x, you’ll face problems like unstable images while the boat is shaking. But, viewing whales from shore, higher magnification is an ideal option.
Size: Size is also the main factor for binoculars. Because the marine binocular size is 7×50 and that kind of binocular is quite heavy and bulky. In my opinion, 7×35 or 8×32 is the best for whale watching.
Lens diameter: A better field of view is very important for any marine animals or whale watching binoculars. So, a large lens will capture more light, and you’ll be able to see a brighter and clearer image.
Exit pupil: Exit pupil is also an essential point for binoculars though many people don’t think about it. In a low light condition, a large exit pupil will give a brighter image.
Prism: There are two types of prisms used in binoculars. These are Roof prism and Porro Prism. In short, Roof prism is for slimmer, lightweight, and smaller binoculars. And they are a bit expensive. And they deliver more detailed images than Porro prism. On the other hand, the Porro prism is less costly than the Roof prism. Also, the Porro prism binoculars are bulkier.
Waterproofing capability: I consider that a waterproof binocular can do a better job than any others.Because when you’re watching a whale from a boat, there is a chance that water droplets can get inside, or you might drop the binocular in the water. And it’ll make your binocular useless. This waterproofing binocular is also fog proof, and it prevents moisture in the binocular.
Design: I know, right now, you are thinking why I am writing about binoculars design. However, it seems an unusual factor for a binocular. But, I’m telling you, the design is also essential. When you’re on a whale watching trip, and you have a pair of binocular. For whale watching, you have to hold your binocular for a long time. So, if your binocular design seems uncomfortable to you, it can make your whale watching trip exhausted.
Check out The best binoculars for duck hunting.
Whale Watching Tips
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
What type of binoculars is best for whale watching?
The best binoculars for whale watching are the one that arrives with 7x or 8x magnification range. As the sea has a wide view, it’s become easier to control and enjoy a stable view with a moderate level magnification range.
How do I choose binoculars?
Consider the factors like magnification range and objective lens size, lens coatings, types of glass, construction, etc. while choosing a binocular. Make sure the binoculars fit your needs.
What do the numbers mean on binoculars?
The number of binoculars describes their magnification range and diameter of the objective lens. As an example, if the number is 8x42mm, it means the magnification range of binocular is 8x and the diameter of the objective lens is 42mm.
Are Nikon binoculars waterproof?
Nikon offers an array of binocular models for various purposes. Most of their binoculars are made waterproof through an O-ring seal and fog-proof by nitrogen purge.
What time of day is best for whale watching?
Morning is the best time for a pleasant whale watching experience. Typically, there will be less wind in the morning and the ocean will pretty clear. The weather and ocean conditions make morning the best time for whale watching.
What magnification do you need for whale watching?
The 7x or 8x magnification range is the ideal choice for whale watching from a boat. If you want to watch from the shore, you may consider a higher magnification range based on your preference.
What Do the Numbers on Binoculars Mean?
Suppose you choose a whale watching binoculars and in the model number it has some words like 8×42. The number before X is “8” and it tells about the binocular’s magnification strength. And the number “42” means the objective lens diameter in millimeters.
Which one is the best binocular for whale watching 8×42 or 10×42?
If you are confused between 8×42 or 10×42 and which one will be best for whale watching? I’m here to help you out of this thing.
First of all, it depends on your viewing location. If you intend to watch whales from a boat or ship, 8×42 power of binocular is best. That kind of binocular can provide better images with shaky hands while you are moving on a ship.
On the other hand, if you are watching whales from land or seashore, you’ll need a good pair of binoculars with higher magnification like 8x or 10x or more. So, you can assume that higher magnification will allow you to see whales from a far distance in more detail.
As you can see, there are many essential factors you have to think about before buying a pair of binoculars for whale watching. Also, you have to think about the money you’re spending on a binocular is well worth it? This article will help you to choose the best pair of binoculars for you. It will also enhance your knowledge about binoculars.
Overall, the Nikon 7245 action binocular is the best marine binoculars all around. However, If you consider the budget then go with Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular.