The Binocular Sky

MENU

First Light Optics

Binoculars

£50-£99


Opticron Adventurer 10x50

Opticron Adventurer 10x50


A good, tripod-mountable (with L-bracket), all-rounder. It does have the unjustly maligned (click here to learn why) BK7 prisms, but is surprisingly good both optically and mechanically, and is much better than a lot of other stuff at a similar price. Unlike many budget binoculars, it is not internally stopped down, so you get the full 50mm aperture. It represents very good value for money.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£49.50

Opticron Adventurer T WP 10x50

Opticron Adventurer T WP 10x50


If there is a better 10x50 for under £125, I’ve not seen it. Everything works as it should, the image in the sweet spot is extremely good, it has decent coatings, it is waterproof, it is lightweight and comfortable to use, the strap is good quality and comfortable, unusually for a budget binocular it is not significantly stopped down, and it will suit a wide range of faces.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£79.00

Opticron Oregon 11x70

Opticron Adventurer 10x50


A good incarnation of the United Optics BA1 that represents good value for money. Although it looks cosmetically identical (apart from logos) to similar models, these binoculars are made to a different specification, although the caveat about losing collimation if bumped still applies. Like all binoculars of this class, it is internally stopped to an effective aperture of about 63mm. There is also a 15x70 version.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£89.00

Opticron Oregon LE 8x42 WP

Oregon LE 8x42


An excellent choice for someone who needs a good entry-level lightweight binocular that is very easy to hold steadily. It is nitrogen-filled and waterproof, so will no tsuffer from internal fogging. There is also a 10x42 option for those who prefer a smaller exit pupil and can hold a 10x binocular steadily.

Further details from FLO here


£95.00

£100-£149


Helios Stellar II 10x50

Helios Stellar II 10x50


A competent, tripod-mountable (with L-bracket), astro-binocular.
Pros: Waterproof, nitrogen-filled, tethered lens caps, bright image, good eye relief for spectacle wearers.
Cons: The focus is too easy to inadvertently adjust.

It is probably the least expensive full-aperture (i.e. not internally stopped down) individual eyepiece focusing 50mm currently available in the UK.

Also available as a 7x50.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£129.00

Opticron Imagic TGA WP 8x42

Opticron Imagic TGA WP 8x42


A lovely little binocular that gives excellent images. Very good optics, lightweight, click-stop twist-up eyecups, with easily enough eye relief to make it suitable for spectacle wearers. It has a very flat field of view and a very firm eyepiece bridge that does not rock in normal use. It is waterproof and nitrogen-filled, so will not suffer from internal condesnsation on dewy nights.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£149.00

Pentax SP 10x50 WP

Pentax SP 10x50 WP


This is the upgraded replacement for the discontinued PCF-WP II, which was a popular choice as an intermediate quality general-purpose binocular. Robust but light construction and nitrogen-filled to prevent internal fogging. Does not have a traditional eyepiece bridge, so does not suffer from bridge rocking. It has a lockable focus, which is very useful for astronomy. Very sharp optics with a flat field of view. The control of stray light is superb. At its new price, it represents exceptionally good value for money.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£149.00

£150--£200


Pentax SP 20x60 WP

Pentax SP 20x60 WP


This is the upgraded replacement for the discontinued PCF-WP II, which was a popular choice as a good quality light-weight "observation" binocular. Robust but light construction and nitrogen-filled to prevent internal fogging. Does not have a traditional eyepiece bridge, so does not suffer from bridge rocking. It has a lockable focus, which is very useful for astronomy. Very sharp optics with a flat field of view. The control of stray light is very good.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£179.00

Helios Stellar II 15x70

Helios Stellar II 15x70


A reasonably good, tripod-mountable (with L-bracket), astro-binocular.
Pros: Waterproof, nitrogen-filled, tethered lens caps, good eye relief for spectacle wearers.
Cons: The focus is too easy to inadvertently adjust, stray light not well-controlled.

It is probably the least expensive full-aperture (i.e. not internally stopped down) individual eyepiece focusing 70mm currently available in the UK.

Also available as a 10.5x70.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£179.00

£200-£249


William Optics 10x50 ED

William Optics 10x50 ED


This is the 10x50 version of the United Optics BA8, which is a very good binocular for this price range. Very bright indeed with a wide field of view. Waterproof and nitrogen-filled. Individual eyepiece focusing is ideal for astronomy. Also available as a 7x50.

Further details from FLO here


£219.00

Vixen SG 2.1x42

Vixen SG 2.1x42


Entirely different to any other binocular in appearance and in the experience it offers. Very wide field (I get 23°) and gives about an extra 1.5 magnitudes. A delight to use under a transparent dark sky. Very much a luxury item, but it offers a binocular experience that you will be unlikely to mimic with anything else.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£259.00

£250-£299


Helios LightQuest-HR 10x50

Helios LightQuest-HR 10x50


A very good 10x50. Very well made, very bright with a wide field of view. Waterproof and nitrogen-filled. Individual eyepiece focusing is ideal for astronomy. Good eye relief for spectacle wearers. Quality and performance is between that of the William Optics and the Lunt Magnesium.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£269.00

Helios Apollo 15x70

Helios Apollo 15x70


This is the very popular Helios-branded version of the very popular United Optics BA8. Very robust construction and nitrogen-filled to prevent internal fogging.Individual eyepiece focusing is ideal for astronomy. Eyepieces are threaded for standard 1.25" filters. Eye relief is a bit tight for spectacle wearers. It has a deservedly good reputation and you will need to spend nearly twice as much to get a noticeably better 15x70 or 16x70 binocular. There are also a 10.5x70 and larger versions available. Until I got the Lunt (see below), this binocular, mounted on a monopod and trigger-grip head, was my favourite "grab and go" astro-binocular.

Further details from FLO here


£275.00

£300 and over


Helios LightQuest-HR 16x70

Helios LightQuest-HR 16x70


An excellent 16x70. Very well made, light enough to hand-hold briefly, extremely bright, very sharp and very good contrast. Good eye relief for spectacle wearers. It is a delight to use. Quality and performance compares with the Lunt Magnesium.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£420.00

Opticron WP Observation 16x80

Opticron WP Observation 16x80


An exceptionally good 16x80. Very well made and extremely bright, with very good contrast and a wide flat field. Good eye relief for spectacle wearers. It is a delight to use. It mounts on a post that slides on a bar between the objective is easy to balance. Has extending objective hoods that reduce dewing and glare. It is centre-focus and has twist-up eyecups.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£499.00

Helios LightQuest-HR 20x80

Helios LightQuest-HR 20x80


Very good 20x80. Well made, rubber-armoured magnesium alloy body, bright, sharp image with good contrast. Adequate eye relief for most spectacle wearers. Pleasure to use.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£520.00

Lunt Magnesium 16x70

Lunt Magnesium 16x70


A superb 16x70! Very well made, light enough to hand-hold briefly, extremely bright, very good contrast. Good eye relief for spectacle wearers. It is a delight to use. This binocular, mounted on a monopod and trigger-grip head, is now my favourite "grab and go" astro-binocular.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£564.00

Helios LightQuest-HR 25x100

Helios LightQuest-HR 25x100


Very good 25x100. Well made, rubber-armoured magnesium alloy body, with substantial mounting bar and post. Very bright, sharp image with good contrast. Adequate eye relief for most spectacle wearers. A true delight to use for deep sky observation.

Review here.

Further details from FLO here


£629.00