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Whales are truly magnificent creatures. They are elusive, beautiful, intelligent, and often quite curious. Seeing a whale in the wild is an experience that is hard to forget.
There are many different ways to watch whales. You can go on a whale-watching tour, or you can simply keep your eyes peeled while you are out on the water. However, one of the best ways to get an up-close and personal experience with these gentle giants is by using binoculars.
With binoculars, you can get a closer look at the whale’s features and see them in their natural habitat. You can also use binoculars to spot whales from a distance so that you can better plan your whale-watching trip.
When choosing the best binoculars for whale watching, there are several things to consider. You will want to choose products that have a high magnification power and a wide field of view. You will also want to make sure that the binoculars are waterproof and fog proof. And, of course, you will want to do all of this without breaking the bank.
To help whale watchers out, we have put together a list of the best binoculars for whale watching. In our list, you will find products that offer the best features at a variety of price points. So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced whale watcher, we are sure that you will find the perfect pair of binoculars for your needs.
Before we begin with our list, let’s quickly look at some of the most common questions regarding binoculars used for whale watching:
What species of whales are the easiest to spot in their natural habitat?
There are many different species of whales, and each one has its unique behaviors and habitat. However, some species of whales are easier to spot than others.
The most common type of whale that is spotted in the wild is the humpback whale. These whales are relatively easy to spot because they often breach (jump out of the water) and they often swim close to the shore.
Other types of whales that are relatively easy to spot include the blue whale, the sperm whale, and the orca (killer whale). These whales are often spotted in open waters and are known to breach and pop their heads out of the water relatively frequently.
What features to look for in a binocular used for watching whales?
Above all, you want your pair of binoculars to have decent magnification and a wide field of view. In addition, you should aim for durable models – even the handiest of whale watchers can drop their binoculars in wet and foggy conditions so make sure to get a pair that can withstand the elements.
What is the best time of day to go whale watching?
The best time of day to go whale watching depends on the type of whale you are hoping to see. If you are hoping to see a breaching whale, then early morning or late evening is often the best time to go because that is when they are most active.
If you are hoping to see a whale that is swimming close to the shore, then midday is often the best time to go because that is when they are most likely to be in shallow waters.
Finally, if you are hoping to see a whale that is swimming in open waters, then any time of day is a good time to go because they are often visible from a distance.
Now that we have answered some of the most common questions regarding whale watching, let’s take a look at our list of the best binoculars for whale watching. We sorted our list from the cheapest to the most expensive.
That said, do not think that a cheap pair will not do the job. In fact, for a beginner, cheaper models might be a better option as they offer all the features you need without breaking the bank. However, if you have already fallen in love with whale watching and want to view the sea overlords from as close as possible, then you should consider one of the more expensive models on our list.
Here are the best whale watching binoculars listed from cheapest to most expensive:
Leupold BX-1 Rogue 8x25mm Compact Binocular
Check price at Optics Planet
If you are not a serious nature observer yet still want your experience to be memorable, then this model from Leupold is the obvious way to go.
Here, you get a pair that will cost under $100 yet will still come with all the features you need to get a detailed view of the beautiful lords of the sea.
It is a durable pair with 8x magnification, which is more than enough for whale watching. It also comes with a 25mm objective lens, which is on the smaller side but will still provide you with a decent field of view.
And, if you are worried about dropping them in the water, don’t be – despite the cheap price, the pair is completely fog proof and waterproof.
So, if you want a cheap pair of binoculars for your first whale-watching trip, the Leupold BX-1 Rogue 8x25mm Compact Binocular is by far the most obvious choice.
If you fall in love with whale watching, you can always upgrade and get a high-end pair later on. And, if your trip is a one-time thing, you will also not lose much since the cost of these binoculars is so low.
Vortex Diamondback 10x42mm Roof Prism Binocular
Check price at Optics Planet
Our list of best binoculars for whale watching would be incomplete without including one of the top-selling pairs on OpticsPlanet.
With the Vortex Diamondback, you have a pair that falls on the cheaper side of the prism, yet there are no compromises made in terms of quality. This is one of the best binoculars for those who are on a budget but still want a good pair of binoculars for whale watching.
One of the things that separates Vortex Diamondback from the rest of the pack is the quality of the optics. You have fully multi-coated lenses that offer great light transmission. The result is a bright and clear image, even in conditions where the sun hits from a weird angle and you would traditionally find it hard to catch a good focus.
These binoculars are also quite compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry around with you. And, if you do drop them in the water by accident, you can rest assured knowing that they are waterproof and fog proof.
So, if you are looking for a good pair of binoculars for whale watching on a budget, the Vortex Diamondback is a solid option to consider.
Nikon 7×50 Action Extreme Waterproof Binoculars
Check price at Optics Planet
Generally speaking, countries where whale watching is common are known for their unreliable weather conditions. As such, having a completely weatherproof product is essential. The Nikon 7×50 Action Extreme Waterproof Binoculars are just such a product.
With a magnification power of 7x and 50 mm objective lenses, these binoculars offer a clear and bright image, even in low-light conditions. In addition, you have a very wide field of view with these binoculars, making it easy to spot whales from a distance.
Additionally, the binoculars are nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed, making them completely waterproof and fog proof. So, even if you get caught in a sudden downpour or find yourself in a thick fog, you can rest assured that your binoculars will still work perfectly.
All things considered, this is one of those products that prove why Nikon is still among the most trusted brands in the optics industry.
Barska Deep Sea 7x50mm Porro Prism Binoculars
Check price at Optics Planet
Next up, we have the Barska Deep Sea 7x50mm Porro Prism Binoculars. As the name suggests, these binoculars are designed for use in marine environments – perfect for whale watching.
Now, these binoculars are designed for whale watching from a boat. On a boat, you can often expect rough conditions. And, rough waves can obstruct your view and damage your binoculars.
This is where the Barska Deep Sea 7x50mm Porro Prism Binoculars shine. These binoculars are built for use in rough nautical environments. Your field of view will be steady, even if you are doing your whale watching in conditions that are less than ideal.
I am a bit of a nut when it comes to the aesthetics of my devices. Thus, I just have to say that this pair of binoculars looks splendid. The design is sturdy and beautiful, and the entire thing just oozes with quality.
In a nutshell, this is the perfect pair for whale watching from a boat.
Bushnell Marine 7x50mm Porro Prism Binoculars with Compass & Rangefinder
Check price at OpticsPlanet
With Bushnell, we have yet another trusted name in the optics industry. The Bushnell Marine 7x50mm Porro Prism Binoculars with Compass & Rangefinder is specifically designed for use in marine environments. As such, they offer features that are specifically tailored for whale watching.
For example, these binoculars come with a built-in compass. This is perfect for those who want to go on a whale watching tour as it will help you to better navigate the waters. Additionally, the rangefinder feature is also quite handy as it can help you to estimate the distance to the whales.
Of course, the binoculars also offer many features that are common among all good whale-watching binoculars. For example, you have solid magnification power and a wide field of view. You also have fully multi-coated optics, which help to reduce glare and improve image quality.
Additionally, these binoculars offer a splendid grip in wet conditions. More than a few whale watchers have had to say goodbye to their pair of binoculars by losing their grip because of a sneaky wave. Here, you do not have to worry about this as the binoculars come with a special non-slip coating.
In short, these binoculars from Bushnell offer everything that you need for an enjoyable whale-watching experience.
Fujinon Mariner 7x50mm WPXL Binoculars
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Picking a solid binocular for whale watchers who wear glasses can be especially difficult. This is because most binoculars require you to cup your hand around the eyepiece to get a good image. This can be quite uncomfortable for those who wear glasses as it puts added pressure on the glasses.
The Fujinon Mariner 7x50mm WPXL comes with extra-long eye relief which is perfect for those who wear glasses. This means that your field of view will be completely unobstructed, regardless of your glasses.
Of course, this is not the only feature that makes these binoculars great for whale watching. You also have other standards such as the powerful magnification of 7x and the 50 mm objective lenses. You also have a wide field of view, making it easy to spot whales from afar.
Finally, you have other useful perks such as the built-in compass and internal light. The internal light feature, by the way, is something you will always want in a whale-watching binocular – most whale species tend to be more active during the night.
And there you have it, six of the best binoculars for whale watching on the market today. With these toys, you will enjoy your whale-watching experiences like never before. With this, I will leave you for today. See you again for another article!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ideal pair of binoculars for whale watching?
When it comes to experiencing the awe-inspiring splendor of whales in their natural habitat, nothing quite does the trick like the 7×35 or 8×32 binoculars. They’re the optimal choice for marine use, but also versatile enough for other activities like hiking, bird watching, or catching the details at sporting events. Their compact size and sheer handling ease make them our top pick. With them, you can catch a spectacular glimpse of an offshore pod or an individual humpback breaking the surface in awe-inspiring fashion.
Which binoculars offer the best long-distance view for whale watching?
In the vast, open seas where whales make their home, having high-quality, long-distance viewing tools is paramount. In this regard, the Nikon 7×50 Action Extreme Waterproof Binoculars emerge as the unquestionable front-runners. With 7x magnifying power coupled with a 50 mm objective lens, these binoculars ensure that you won’t miss a moment of a whale’s majestic ballet, even in conditions of low light. Not only that, but they also provide an impressively wide field of view, making it a breeze to locate a whale off in the distance.
What’s the most powerful pair of binoculars available in the market?
The supremacy of the Suangor 30-160×70 Mega Zoom BCFBinoculars stands unchallenged when it comes to identifying the most powerful pair of binoculars out there. However, when discussing binocular telescopes, the Oberwerk BT-100XL-SD 100mm takes the cake, providing a stunning magnification of up to 80x. These intricate pieces of equipment clearly demonstrate how far we’ve come in our quest to bring the wonders of the natural world into closer view.
What’s the recommendable binocular size for maritime use?
Embarking on a marine adventure without a reliable set of binoculars can seriously decrease your chances of spotting wildlife. For maritime use, the tried-and-true 7×50 is the traditional marine binocular of choice. It’s beloved by seasoned seafarers and casual cruisers alike for its commendable magnification strength, unmatched capability for gathering light, and impressive exit pupil size. There’s nothing quite like the 7×50 for bringing the ocean’s wonders right before your eyes.