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Optics & Gear

Welcome to the Optics Section

Welcome to our Optics Section!

Your ability to see birds is only as good as the optics you carry. Fortunately, there are so many excellent choices today for binoculars and spotting scopes of all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. The hard part is choosing the optics that are right for your eyes and your budget. We're here to help!

Subsection Features - Optics

Optics Features

The High-end Standard Binoculars Roundup

Even if a pair of these babies are not in one's budget right now, they're likely to be in one's sights. BWD contributors Michael and Diane Porter test the best 8x42 binoculars on the market.

The 8x42 Midpriced Binoculars Roundup

If you're looking for binoculars for your everyday enjoyment, take a closer look at 8x42 optics!

Mid-sized Binocular Roundup

Sometimes small is beautiful and less is more. Check out an overview of binoculars that will tuck into a purse or cargo pocket.

Mid-priced Binocular Roundup

If you are a bird watcher with between $300 and $800 to spend on a new pair of binoculars, what can you get? Check out a review by BWD contributors Michael and Diane Porter.

High-end Scopes Roundup

BWD contributors Michael and Diane Porter evaluate high-end scopes based on resolution, image quality, value, and more.

Mid-priced Scopes Roundup

What are the best scopes for birding on a budget? Check out an evaluation of 12 scopes below $900.


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