Binoculars can be considered as mini or portable telescopes. They are optical marvels that enable you to capture stunning views while observing distant objects with the aim to bring them as close to you as possible. They are made of two small telescopes attached side by side to provide you with a close-up of things far away. They overcome the limitation of a telescope to view or focus on things through one eye because they let you do that using both your eyes simultaneously. The small size of binoculars makes them portable for you to carry around while traveling or taking part in outdoor activities. They are ideal for bird watching, wildlife viewing, nature observation, hiking, hunting, camping, stargazing, and other similar outdoor activities.
But you must be thinking, how is it possible to purchase such a complex optical gear at a price equal to or under $50, given that its overall performance remains almost average. It is true that quality does depend on the price and a pair of binoculars that you purchase for $1500 is way better than its $50 counterpart. But you might be surprised that there are a few hidden gems which offer great optical performance at dirt cheap prices as well. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to own a reliable pair of binoculars. But uncovering these gems can be a task which isn’t easy to accomplish.
For finding the appropriate pair of binoculars for yourself under $50, you must be aware that it’s not only the brand name that can guarantee you a good pair of binoculars. When it comes to making the most of your money, you need to look at several other factors before picking out your travel companion.
What to look for in Binoculars under $50?
Let us help you sift through some of the factors you need to consider while purchasing the best pair of binoculars under $50.
Higher magnifying power in a binocular allows you to focus on distant objects more clearly irrespective of the fact whether they are moving or stationary. But you must be aware that the amount of magnification achieved by a binocular can affect the amount of light gathered and retained by it. This means the more the magnification, the less is the brightness of the image. This is why it is important for a balance to be maintained between magnification and brightness.
Objective Lens Diameter
Objective Lens Diameter determines the light transmission and retention rates of a pair of binoculars. The greater the width of the objective lens, the broader will be the field of view. Along with it, brightness will also increase because more light will be allowed to enter the binoculars.
The lens coating must be good enough so that it smoothens out the surface to get rid of its irregularities. This will help prevent the diffraction and spreading of light. Anti-reflective coatings must be used to reduce the amount of light being reflected back. Also, lens coatings tend to protect the lenses from scratches and make them easier to clean. One can even expect the use of phase corrective coatings for the optical elements used in a binocular.
Exit pupils can be considered as the windows which allow the light to enter and pass through the binoculars. The larger the width of the exit pupil, the more light is allowed to pass through and brighter is the resulting image. An exit pupil of 3-5 mm is considered appropriate and anything less than 3 mm would restrict the light gathering and retention potential of a pair of binoculars.
Field of View
Field of view refers to the size of the area of clear vision which a pair of binoculars can provide at a 1000 yards. For example, a field of view of 323 feet means you will be able to clearly see an area of 323 feet, a 1000 yards away from you.
Close focus refers to how close you can focus on an object using a pair of binoculars. It depends not only on the binocular but also on the viewer’s eye and focusing ability.
The clarity and quality of the images produced by a binocular are one of the biggest factors that you need to consider before purchasing a pair of binoculars. If a pair of binoculars can make you feel like you are looking through your own eyes rather than a set of lenses, then such a binocular is a must have.
Low Light Performance
For several outdoor excursions, there can be situations where you want to capture stunning visuals in low light conditions. This may not be possible with binoculars that cannot perform well in poor lighting. Make sure to buy binoculars that magnify not only the image but the brightness as well.
A pair of binoculars needs to durable enough to accompany you on several trips and excursions and provide you with the best optical experience. You must ensure that the binoculars have a strong and protective armor to make the binoculars suitable for rugged use.
Overall Optical Quality
To witness spectacular views, one needs to use binoculars which have good quality lens. The quality of a lens is defined by the grade of glass used. Higher the overall optical quality better will be the viewing experience as the dispersion of light will be minimum.
It is important for binoculars to be waterproof, fog proof and dust proof since they are an essential outdoor gear. This will allow you to continue using binoculars even under harsh weather conditions. You can be assured of clear sights during rain, storm or cold weather.
Top 10 Best Binoculars under $50
Here is a list of some of the most popular binoculars with a price tag of $50 or less.
1. Bushnell Falcon 133410 7×35 Binoculars
Bushnell has been a leader in the optical gear industry, especially high-end binoculars. It has built a reputation for itself based on high-quality products. Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars are ranked among one of the most powerful pairs of binoculars. They have set an industry standard in wide-angle optics. There is a reason that these binoculars are considered to be one of the best sellers on the market today because they provide high-end optics and remain inexpensive. Not only do these binoculars provide exceptional magnification, but they are also considered to be pocket-friendly as well. Coming at a price below $50, these binoculars are a great value for money.
With a highly impressive 420-foot/ 1000-yard field of view, they are a powerhouse. These high-performance binoculars have a close focusing distance of 20 feet and are durable, to say the least. The glare-free HD optics, 7x magnification, and auto-focusing Porro prisms enhance their performance extensively.
They come with a 35-mm objective lens to provide users a clear, crisp and thorough view of their subjects from up to a hundred yards. Also, their Insta-Focus feature allows a user to zoom quickly on their subjects without any magnification hassles. The Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars provide 12 mm eye relief to the users and a wide 5 mm exit pupil for better light transmission through them which is pretty outstanding for such a low priced model.
At 21 ounces, they have a lightweight and portable design and are easier to handle. The scratch-proof chassis makes them stand out from the rest. The durability, performance, good looks and efficiency all make Bushnell Falcon one of the best.
- Autofocusing Porro Prisms
- 20-foot close focusing distance
- 420 feet wide field of view
- Portable 21-ounce design
- Cheap nylon casing
- Slightly heavier and bulkier
- Not waterproof and fog proof
2. Bushnell PowerView Compact 10×25 Binoculars
Bushnell PowerView Compact 10×25 Binoculars are one of the handiest, most compact and flexible binoculars ever produced by Bushnell. They are a compact version of the PowerView series and are a professional-grade hunting binocular that can be folded for easy handling. They serve all the high-end features that you expect from a strong binocular and still weigh around 7 ounces. With a price tag
The Bushnell PowerView Compact Roof Prism Binocular is one of the best lightweight, flexible and high-performance binoculars available in the present market. Their lightweight construction provides the user an advantage of not tiring so easily in case of extended observations.
The PowerView Compact series provides a sufficient range of magnification levels starting from 8×21 model, stepping through 10x, 12x up to the strongest, the 16×32 model weighing nearly twice that of the 8×21 model. These magnification options let you choose the level of detail that you need. But the Bushnell PowerView Compact 10×25 Binoculars is a great pair of binoculars fitting under the $50 mark.
The PowerView Compact’s BK-7 lenses along with the multi-coated Porro prisms provide clear images and an adequate level of brightness. It has an impressive field of view of 378 foot at 1000 yards. The rubber-armored body makes it non-slippery, shock resistant and durable, while its center focus provides sharp and clear views. This user-friendly pair of binoculars comes at an affordable price and a lifetime warranty.
- Multi-coated optics
- Center focusing system
- Rubber-armored, durable chassis
- Wide field of view
- Poor low light performance
- Not waterproof and fog proof
3. Celestron 71198 Cometron 7×50 Binoculars
Celestron has had a presence in the optical device industry for several decades now. They have continued to strive on their legacy to build exceptional optical products using revolutionary and innovative technology. Celestron Cometron 7×50 Binoculars offer a pretty decent optical performance at an affordable price. These binoculars use high-end optical components to produce brilliant images and possess incredible light gathering and retaining capabilities which significantly improves the clarity, sharpness, and brightness of the images.
The 7x magnification power coupled with a 50 mm objective lens results in a powerful configuration that can blow your mind. The 7×50 configuration is accompanied by a large exit pupil which improves the light transmission through the binoculars and allows more light to reach your eyes. This makes these binoculars an ideal choice in situations with poor lighting. Also, they can be considered ideal for activities such as stargazing, wildlife viewing, hunting, hiking, etc.
These binoculars use multicoated lenses to reduce reflection, glare, and distortion and thereby provide a clear field of vision. The lenses are built with the ability to focus on objects pretty quickly. The wide field of view manages to keep the objects in your sight throughout the viewing experience.
Although the magnification power is slightly less as compared to some other pair of binoculars, Celestron Cometron 7×50 Binoculars do not fail to amaze you with their large objective lens and wide field of view. Further, the chassis is made out of aluminum making these binoculars sturdy and durable. The rubber armor is a cherry on top to provide solid grip and shock resistance.
- Excellent low light performance
- Perfect for star gazing and planetary viewing
- Shockproof rubber armor
- Slightly bulky
- Lenses fail to line up
4. DAXGD Waterproof Fog Proof Night Vision 8×35 Binoculars
The DAXGD Binoculars are not just a normal pair of binoculars. They are night vision binoculars especially built to enhance your viewing experience in the dark. These binoculars are here to make your nightlife viewing better than ever before and can be considered the best night vision binoculars falling in the price range of under $50.
These night vision binoculars are a must have for all the nocturnes and neophytes who have the urge to go out and explore places at night and are ideal for activities involving poor lighting such as wildlife viewing. Besides superior low light performance, these binoculars can be used for daytime activities as well including bird watching, sports viewing, hiking, fishing, etc.
Although these binoculars do not match the optical performance of an infrared night vision binocular, still they are the best limited-budget purchase.
The use of HD LLL low light/night vision helps these binoculars ensure a clear vision. The 8x magnification power along with the auto-focus mechanism enables these DAXGD Night Vision Binoculars to provide a clear visual field up to 9800 feet. These binoculars come with a 35 mm objective lens and an ultra-wide system for angle optics.
Apart from being an excellent pair of night vision binoculars, the DAXGD 8×35 binoculars are waterproof and fog proof as well, which makes them weatherproof and easy to use in any kind of terrain or climate.
- Excellent HD LLL low light/night vision
- Powerful lenses
- Serves during both day and night
- Stunning visual clarity of up to 9800 feet
- Waterproof and Fog proof
- Not an infrared type night vision
- Slightly mediocre daytime viewing
- Poor build quality
5. Bushnell 133450 Falcon 10×50 Wide Angle Binoculars
Bushnell Falcon 133450 Wide Angle Binoculars provide you with stunning views, high definition displays and optimum quality optics at an affordable rate. These binoculars remain a popular choice among avid nature observers, bird watchers, wildlife viewers, etc. For a price under $50, they provide an array of features and ensure excellent optical performance. The configuration of 10×50 which includes a 10x magnification and 50 mm objective lens makes these binoculars a power packed product which nobody should miss, especially at such a pocket-friendly cost. Such a configuration makes capturing distant objects a walk in the park.
To top it off, Bushnell makes use of Porro prisms in Falcon 133450 instead of the roof prism design to enhance its optical performance. For a price so less, the use of Porro prisms sure seems to be a generous move on Bushnell’s end.
The Bushnell Falcon 10×50 boasts of another feature which is a lightweight design. At just 27 ounces, it is a beast compressed into a light body. The ability of the Falcon to have an instant close focus with a range of 25 feet also adds to its repertoire.
The presence of a 5 mm exit pupil along with a 9 mm eye relief and a clear field of view of about 1000 yards makes the Bushnell Falcon 133450 binoculars a must-have outdoor gear for you to capture stunning views without burning a hole in your pocket.
- Lightweight and compact design
- Instant close focus up to 25 feet
- HD vision
- Superb optical performance
- Poor build material
- Quality check issues
6. USCAMEL 8×21 Folding Pocket Binoculars
If you are looking for a pair of binoculars that are small and compact which can even fit in your pocket, then the USCAMEL 8×21 Folding Pocket Binoculars are the right choice for you. These binoculars are one of the smallest binoculars that you will find within this price range. But don’t start believing that this pair of binoculars compromises on quality in order to manage the size constraint. USCAMEL has made sure to maintain superb optical quality even within this little body. The use of BAK-4 roof prisms within these binoculars makes up for the optical clarity and image view that might get affected due to a comparatively smaller size of the objective lens.
Although the objective lens diameter is slightly smaller, the magnification achieved by these binoculars is still pretty strong due to the 8x magnification power. Also, these binoculars come with a dual focus system. This makes it very easy for you to focus on the smallest of objects and observe the intricacies which makes these binoculars ideal for insect observation as well.
The fact that these binoculars can literally fit into your pocket makes them a great travel companion and suitable for all outdoor activities including wildlife observation, bird watching, sports, hunting, hiking, concerts, etc. These binoculars are able to provide a more stabilized view. The quality of optical components used in this pair of binoculars is sufficiently high with an additional feature of the anti-glare system. Additionally, the build quality is superb with a strong grip and has a waterproof and fog proof design.
- HD optics and anti-glare system
- BAK-4 prisms
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Lightweight and Portable
- Limitation for very long distances
- Difficulty in focusing
7. Merytes 10×25 Portable High Definition and Blue Film Binoculars
Merytes Portable HD and Blue Film Binoculars are considered an all-round pair of compact binoculars. They are a favorite amongst nature lovers, sports enthusiasts, hikers, trekkers, concert goers and the likes.
These binoculars are constructed using high-quality aluminum alloy making them durable and sturdy. A weight of 0.2 kg makes them super lightweight and compact. This eventually makes these binoculars super portable and easy to carry around for any kind of outdoor activity. The optical lenses used in these binoculars include an FMC Blue Film for sharp, clear and precise images and a much wider field of view. The blue film also leads to a reduced color difference and an increased evenness. The multicoated optics add to the optical finesse by offering greater light transmission capabilities for an improved low light performance. The 10x magnification power and high definition design allow these binoculars to focus on the smallest of details of a stationary or moving object.
Even after packing all these features into a single unit, the price remains below the $50 mark which is quite surprising. The solid built and a well-placed rubber grip makes them ideal for rugged use as well. Also, Merytes has made sure to incorporate such a design into these binoculars which makes them kid-friendly as well.
- FMC Blue Film for better image quality
- Aluminum alloy chassis
- Lightweight, compact and portable
- Well-placed rubber grip
- Focusing is slightly below average
- Not waterproof or fog proof
- Not completely covered by rubber armor
8. G4Free 12×25 Waterproof Binoculars
With a price of less than $50, you should be surprised to see a pair of binoculars possessing a 12x magnification power. This kind of magnification power is invaluable and makes these binoculars a beast and a must-have for the price that they come at. But you should be aware of the fact that to achieve a magnification power like that, these binoculars have to compromise on the objective lens diameter which does have an impact on the overall image quality. The reduced objective lens width of 25 mm hinders the otherwise superb vision. But for the low price and 12x magnification, this can be considered as a little kink in the armor.
The optical lenses use green films to provide superior performance even under low light conditions and make these binoculars even more powerful. The built of these binoculars is robust as well as sturdy and makes these binoculars shockproof as well. Although it is not one of the best binoculars that you can own, it sure is a multi-functional pair of binoculars and does justice with its price tag. The use of BAK-4 prisms and XMC technology improves the clarity of the image irrespective of the quality of lighting in the environment.
The G4Free 12×25 Binoculars are considered ideal for field surveillance, hunting, hiking and any other kind of outdoor excursion. These binoculars are 100 percent waterproof and can be used in all kinds of weather. Along with this, the G4Free binoculars have a built-in night vision to help you in the dark.
- Powerful green film optics
- XMC technology for improved image clarity
- Superb 12x magnification
- HD vision with high powered lenses
- Value for money
- Flimsy construction
- Reduced objective lens diameter
9. Celestron Outland X 10×25 Binoculars
Celestron Outland X 10×25 Binoculars are a great pair of binoculars which deliver exceptional optical performance in the harshest of conditions. They combine high-quality optics with an ergonomic design and are small and petite which makes them perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities.
They come with a 10x magnification power which is appropriate to focus on the smallest of details of an object under observation. But to provide this high level of magnification, these binoculars compromise slightly on the objective lens diameter by reducing it to 25 mm which isn’t too wide and does have an impact on the overall image quality.
These binoculars have an ergonomic design and are incredibly light making them easy to hold and use. They provide stable views even if you are a person with not the steadiest hands.
These binoculars are equipped with a roof prism design and high-end optical components such as multicoated glass lenses and BAK-4 prisms to generate superior quality images with higher contrast, clarity, sharpness, brightness, and resolution. The strong rubber armor makes these binoculars shock proof and durable. Due to the use of nitrogen filling and O-ring seals, these binoculars are waterproof and fog proof as well.
These binoculars have a wide coverage area and won’t be missing a thing because of the 330-foot field of view.
- Multicoated Optics
- Waterproof and Fog proof
- Shockproof rubber armor
- Superb 10x magnification power
- Reduced objective lens diameter
- Slightly narrow field of view
10. BARSKA Lucid View 10×25 Binoculars
BARSKA is a sports optics brand with a strong reputation in the optics industry. They deliver superior quality optical products at affordable prices. BARSKA Lucid View 10×25 Binoculars are a perfect blend of functionality and portability. These binoculars are ideal for your outdoor adventures like hunting, hiking, camping, nature observations, bird watching, concert experiences and field use. By providing 10x magnification power, these binoculars can get you closer to your observed object or event in a matter of seconds. You can observe the finest of details of the concerned target and enjoy the view which you couldn’t have seen with the naked eye. But to achieve such a high level of magnification and still keep the price tag under $50, it was necessary for BARSKA to compromise on at least one aspect and they chose to reduce the objective lens diameter for the same. The reduced objective lens diameter of 25 mm sure has an impact on the overall optical quality but can be neglected if you have an inherent affinity towards a higher magnifying capability.
These binoculars are very light and handy. Along with the compact and ergonomic design, these binoculars can easily fit in your pockets and be your best travel buddies. This ensures that you can explore, discover and uncover new things on the move with this pair of binoculars in your pocket.
Also, these binoculars make use of multicoated lenses and roof prism design to provide improved image quality with brighter, sharper and precise views. They also provide a field of view which is adequate enough to ensure that you observe your surroundings in its entirety and not miss a thing. The exterior rubber armor makes these binoculars durable, easy to hold and suitable for rugged use. BARSKA Lucid View Binoculars are definitely a compact pair of binoculars which are small in size but big on convenience.
- Multicoated optics
- 10x magnification power
- Rubberized armor
- Lightweight and compact
- Reduced objective lens diameter
- Slightly narrow field of view
We hope that you are now aware of the factors you need to consider while purchasing a binocular under $50, along with some of the most popular pair of binoculars falling in this range, it should be easy for you to figure out the right pair of binoculars for yourself. Also, you need to be aware of your needs and the actual purpose of using a pair of binoculars, before making a decision about which ones to buy. The best pair of binoculars is the one that suits your specific requirements and fits right into your budget.