Favorite Binoculars?


Expert Ultracrepidarian
Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2007
I use Olympus Magellan 7x50s.
I've long loved Olympus' optics and these have a built in compass that makes them fantastic for sharing views or taking notes.


Gold Member
Jun 10, 2016
Even cell phone shots are decent through my Zeiss SF 8x42's. Though they cost about double my rent even in 2016.

Not the best bird pic, zoom in and check that clarity through a the SFs AND a cell phone camera.

They're pretty tough to beat, but all of my VERY serious bird nerd friends like Leicas.

Edit: aha... aside from 'Big 3'

My bad.

Look at birds.
Dec 13, 2020
ASIDE FROM THE BIG THREE what are your favorite binoculars? My personal favorite is no longer made. The Brunton Eternas. I found them very clear, ergonomic and rugged. Only complaint is the cheapo case they came in. Cured that with a Bino Rain Wrap hooked up to Crooked Horn harness.

As a binoculars collector who owns around 1.200 pairs of binoculars, including a decent selection of military binoculars, I guess what I choose to grab most often to look at things must be my favorites. For non big three brand, and if I want a detailed view, and if carrying them around is not an issue, I have two US Secret Service Property marked Mirador 11x80 binoculars which the agents would use to scan crowds from the tops of buildings, and I usually grab them. They weigh 5 pounds and measure 12"x9", so hand holding is practical for limited lengths of times only. For fixed location long duration tripod observation I like my German Army DKL (war code for Schneider) WWII 10x80 Flak (antiaircraft artillery) binoculars with gimble and tripod, but that rig weighs upwards of 23 pounds. For more mobile observation I like one of my US military contract Fujinon 7x50 binoculars, but I do prefer the version without the laser protection coating; or else East German Army NVA 7x40's; or else Swedish Navy Nedinsco 7x50's; or British Army Avimo 7x42 fixed focus binoculars. For more compact I like Swiss Military Leica 8x30s (yes big 3, but not a commercial item), and for miniatures I like 1920's German Fata Morgana 4x. The following item is a big 3 but not a commercial offering, but is one of my absolute favorite binoculars to use are purpose designed German WWII BLC (war code for Zeiss) 7x50 Uboat binoculars. Optics always surprise me how good they are. Probably is closest to originally price no object production I have. And sure I do have lots of other military binoculars. And sure I have more modern Zeiss, Leitz, Nikon and similar commercial binoculars, and might use one to put in my pocket once in a while, but more often use the older military models mentioned.

If people have old or inherited binoculars they want toresearch, I do offer an on-line free research library of 3,581 pages of 209 old binoculars catalogs (pre 1980), documenting 173 brands, and this resource is on my not for profit binoculars research website www.miniaturebinoculars.com

Mark Ohno