Best binoculars for whale watching [Travelers Review 2019]

best binoculars for whale watching

You are one of the travelers or enthusiast who loves to watch huge mammals like whales in their natural. This is possible only with best binoculars for whale watching. Water spray and mist like the fountain showers known as spout from the blowhole opening from the head of big whales and fishes. Who can forget those long and lovely flip-flops by whales by jumping over the surface of ocean water? Then gallons of water splashes out creating a lot of sounds.

I guess this is the view that every individual would love to capture in their memories forever. Your eyes need special purpose whale watching binoculars which can amplify the ocean and in-depth showstopper sharp clear view of whales. These views are not only eye soothing but also every educative and it is the sign that you are curious to know more about these warm-blooded whale mammals.

People think that common binocular can fulfill their need for watching whales and other big fishes. You can try to waste your money and come back again to us. You really think that you can have a good detailed stable view of the shark while on shaky onboard cruise or ship. Now you already know it is important to have one best binoculars for whale watching, who are many features, quality and also these binoculars are available for every budget.

Top 7 Best binoculars for Whale watching:

1. Vanguard Spirit ED Binocular:

The excellent ergonomics from the spirit ED binoculars. The well balanced lightweight full-size binocular is made with high quality inner and outer material. This is one of the top-notch durable and mid price range binoculars for the whale watchers.  The style of vanguard spirit ED binocular we have chosen is 8 x 36, means 8 times magnifier with 36 mm of the objective lens.

The first look of this binocular is just elegant and simple features. The body has good grip, you can handle even with the single hand while on moving boat. You will not find this binocular on the weight side. The twist-up eyecups are the catchy thing, first you can easily set the binoculars are per your eyes (good for glass wearer and aged persons also). The eye relief is 17 mm which is very good.

It has fully multi-coated lens with bak4 prisms which is one of the best combinations for watching the whales and dolphins. The FMC (fully multi-coated lens) will ensure that no or very little light will be lost after passing the lens and prisms. As a result, more light pass and the end user can enjoy the high quality and brighter view of jumping whales.

The other features of Vanguard Spirit ED Binocular are that it has the good view angle of 7 degrees and near focus is 6.6 feet. The ED (Extra-low dispersion glass) is a plus point for these pair of binoculars, this will produce the true colors of the viewing object, due to the chromatic filter, which converges on the same plane. Means you will give brighter, sharper and non-grainy image on the eyepiece side.

Anti foggind and waterproof features are the must requirements for the whale watching through the binoculars.


  • Fast Focus Wheel
  • Waterproof and Fogproof
  • Fully multicoated lens
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Get scratch easily

2. Wingspan Optics WideViews HD 8X42 Professional Binoculars:

This is crafted by the proffessionals for the environment lovers. The wingspan is known to produce the high quality binoculars in the low price tag. This wingspan optcis wide views HD 8×42 is a compact binocular for the whale lovers. It is a 1 lbs in weight and size is so compact that can easily fit into your pocket. If you don’t find convinent to carry the neck strap with you this is for you only, though neck strap come along with this.

Overall this binocular is the best bet for low price seekers, not only it is of good quality but also optics are pretty good for watching whales and other big things. It has 8x times magnification along with the 42 mm of an objective lens. As a result field of view is very wide, so this makes it easier to watch the big whales even if it is closer or at the farthest distance you can easily spot.

More light passes through 42 mm lens which produces the HD vivid view of the ocean.

You can simply take this pair of binocular anywhere because it produces the nitrogen inside the binoculars, which safeguard from all sort of weather conditions. Be it the snowy, sunny, rainy, windy or dark, the filled nitrogen will ensure the waterproof and anti-fogging properties.

The eye relief is which is an inferior thing in comparison with other binoculars. Aged and glass wearer will find easy to use these binoculars for spotting the whales in the ocean and even birds in the forest.


  • Wide field of view
  • Close and better focus
  • Anti-fogging and waterproof
  • Lifetime warranty
  • No ED Glass
  • China Made

3. Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars:

These roof optics are high quality and durable binoculars if you seeking for best binoculars for whale watching. The reason people wonders why we are not going with high magnifiers, well if your magnification is more than 10x, even the small hand movements will create a big difference in the view. Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars is been the one of the best selling brand and very that too famous among the whale watchers.

8×42 is simply the one of best combination. This binocular will magnify 8 times on compare with your naked eyes. Due to the 42 mm diameter of the objective lens, the more of the light will pass through them and your view will be crisp, clear and sharp. You can see easily with good focus at any time of the day.

The FMC (multi-coated) lens is another thing which will not let lost any of the light passes through the lens. Combination of 42 mm lens and FMC produce the HD images.

The field of view is very wide and which is good because as the ocean is too large and you never know from which part of the water the whale will come up to entertain you. You need to be ready with the wide field of view as the whale and dolphins come for fraction of minute and sometimes seconds only.

The non slipery grip is excellent


  • Textured Rubber Armor for excellent grip
  • waterproof and anti-fogging
  • dieletric and FMC lens
  • Weight
  • No ED Roof

4. Bushnell Marine 7×50 Waterproof Binocular:

There is no match, bushnell is well reknowned leaders in producing the binoculars every special and it always produces something for everyone. The design of the binocular is beautiful. The quick features are 7×50, it is not hidden that the view will be natural and eye soothing due to the 50 mm diameter of the objective lens.

It is waterproof and anti-fogging binoculars, and you need not worry if you stand on the shore or slashes of waterfall on your binoculars. The low-quality binoculars have the problem of fogging which develop inside the space between lens. This problem has been overcome in Bushnell marine binoculars.

It is the excellent combination of optics you can find fully multi-coated lens along with the technology of Bak-4 prisms.


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Good grip
  • UV protection
  • Field of view can be improved
  • Not easy to carry due to big size

5. Athlon Optics, Midas, Binocular, 8 x 42 ED Roof:

If you believe in auto corrected binoculars that are capable to produce the better contrast and vivid color this pair of binoculars from athlon is for you only.

8×42 is 8 times magnifier through the 42 mm objective lens. It has ED Glass this will eensureyou that you need not worry about the chromatic fringe and ttherewill be no mixing of two colors.

The advanced FMC gives the extra better transmission of light than the binoculars in the market.

The field of angular view is 8.1 which can be improved but still, it is satisfactory for the whale observations.

Antifoging and waterproof as like other binoculars is one of the features from the Athlon optics.


  • ED Glass
  • Good eye relief
  • Angular view can be improved
  • warranty

6. Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Porro Prism Binocular:

This is another binoculars in the race for whale watchers. Bushnell need not need any introduction for its name and manufacturing ccapabilities. It is 100% waterproof and they are serious about this features. Even the single moisture cannot enter the binoculars thanks to the O-ring sealed and nitrongen purged. This is high rated customer review binoculars.

The non-slippery rubber armor and soft texture grip not only absorb the small movements shocks but also your hand will not feel slipery any time. The textured grip will ensure you to provide the stability of binoculars in any type of hands.

It has the good controlable and large center focu knob, for easy adjustments. The eye relief is average.


  • 100% Waterproof
  • Soft Textured Grip
  • Large Center focus knob
  • No FMC, only multi coated.

7. Steiner Marine 7×50 Binoculars:

Worry about the various bumps and shocks you might feel while on board – ships, boat or cruize. This is specially designed for the marine purpose only but it is ideal for observing the whale and other fishes in outdoor activities.

It has a 7x magnifier and 50 mm diameter of the objective lens. Because of the big diameter, this is the only reason it is in the list of best binoculars for watching whales.

The optics are of high quality – fully multicoated lens along with the BAK-4 prisms, which ensure to give brighter images.
The long eye relief is one of the best thing you can get from steiner marine binoculars because literally any one can wear it.


  • Eye relief is 20 mm
  • High Quality optics
  • Durable
  • Un usual shape
  • Grip is not good

Things to look at while choosing binoculars for whale watching:-

1. Combination of Power and Magnification-

The binoculars always come with two number separated by ‘x’. Have you ever wonder what these two numbers signify?. The two numbers on the binoculars show the magnification power x diameter of an objective lens. For example ‘7 x 32’, here 7 signify the magnification power of binoculars and 32 describe how big is the diameter of the objective lens.

Magnification Power:- It simply means that how your object (image) will be seen as the result of magnification. Let say your binocular is 8×40, here the first number i.e. ‘8’ denotes the magnification power of the binocular. It will zoom 8 times, means that you will be able to see the image as if it is 8 times closer to its actual position on comparison with seen with naked with no assistance eyes.

The magnification power for the whale watchers should be ranged between 7 to 10 only. If you love to stay on the shaky moving onboard cruize, ship or boat you need to go with less magnifier. The higher magnification says 12 if used on the board for watching the whale, such large size power brings you the blurry image because shaky hand not only magnify the image but also it will result in the distortion. Your focus will be too hard and you ultimately your eyes will feel tired.

We recommend :

On Board Whale watch binoculars – 6 – 8x

Off Board Whale watching binoculars – 8 – 10x

Multipurpose whale watching binoculars – 7x or 8x is ideal.

Diameter Size of Objective Lens– It is the second number and is the measurement in mm, and why this is crucial. For example 7 x 32, here the second number is the size of the diameter of the objective lens in millimeters (mm). Well, If the size of the objective lens is bigger, then more light will enter your binocular prism/lens and your end result will produce a sharper and clear image.

The bigger the size of the objective lens (the side which will direct to the object) better the image can be observed. For the whale watchers, the diameter of the objective lens (second number) need not be more than 50mm.

2. Waterproof and condition adaptability-

The outdoor and closer views of water bodies such as oceans, where the moisture and water is a very common thing in the atmosphere. The water shower, droplets, and moisture in the air are like the villain for the binoculars. This thing was ignored in old age binoculars but nowadays binocular body, lens, and prisms are quite resistant to water.

There is a thin line difference between waterproof and water resistant binoculars. The good waterproof binoculars are one which will not let the water or moisture to come inside and outside the binocular body, means if you submerged the whole binocular in a water bucket, nothing will happen to the waterproof binoculars. And the water-resistant binoculars can tolerate only a few showers of water but are still prone to heavy water.

The gas is filled between the both objective and eyepiece lens, which will make the binocular both waterproof and anti-fog. This is the reason if you are looking for the binoculars which are best and affordable for the whale watching, keep your eye binoculars which can be used in any kind of weather.

3. Eye relief distance-

It is the distance between the viewer eye and the eyepiece lens, at which you get the good field of view without compromising the whale or dolphin. The far away you move from the eyepiece lens the better the image gets and the maximum distance at which you get the soothing view is known as eye relief distance.

It is sometimes hard to have the stable position of eyes and binocular eye lens. Those shaky moments due to an ocean will not let your binocular to have a stable position if you are on board. Thus, the good eye relief distance is a must thing which cannot be ignored for the whale watching binoculars.

This comes in handy for both the adults and eyeglass wearers. For them, the less eye relief distance is not recommended if they are curious to know about the big fishes, whales, and dolphins. We recommend the eye relief distance for the 11 mm or more.

Nowadays the binoculars makers are aware of the fact that different age groups and glass wearer need extra protection. So they came up with the eyecups which are handy for the normal watcher and glass wearer. You can simply adjust the eyecups by rotating the wheel and once it is done you will have a sharp and crisp view of the moving big giants like whales and dolphins.

eyecups for glass wearers

4. Weight and Size-

No one wants to carry those bulky and heavy things inside your backpacks and over the neck. As a whale enthusiast, I can suggest staying away from those heavyweight binoculars if you planning you carry binoculars on the cruize, ships, and boats as a fact these things will move over the waters. Sometimes you just pick up binoculars in hurry and start watching in fractions of seconds.

Before you come to conclusion for the weight and size, make sure you are not compromising the quality of the binocular in a race of lightweight and small compact while choosing the one. The weight is mainly due to the prisms, lens and outer structure of the binoculars. If your objective lens size is bigger, it is obvious that your binocular size will be bigger and heavier.

Another thing you should know is the difference between Porro and Roof prisms binoculars so you carry the perfect pair of binoculars for the great experience of whale watching. Prism not only differs the style of binoculars but also the important thing because of correct the upside down view. Based on the type of prism size and weight is added.

Porro Prism Binoculars- This is the most common prisms used, but they are heavier and bigger in size than roof prism binoculars. The optics make it the ‘H’ shaped binoculars which not only consume extra space but also puts the extra weight on the binoculars. They are the cheaper thing and used commonly in the cheap binoculars which are less than 50$.

Roof Prism Binoculars- These type of binoculars are smaller and lightweight. In these binoculars light which enters from the objective lens hits the roof prism which does all the magic of optics and presents the good quality of the image on the eyepiece lens. They are the best of outdoor activities because of the compactness. These prisms are expensive than its counterpart.

5. Exit Pupil Diameter should be Big-

This is another value which needs to be considered while looking for the best binoculars for whale watching. The exit pupil describes how bright you get the object view even in the dull or low light conditions. You can get the exit pupil diameter by dividing the Objective lens diameter/ Magnification power. The bigger the exit pupil diameter better it is for the whale watchers.

The while circle which appears in the above image is the exit pupil, you can also check in your current binocular. All you have to do it place the binocular in front of your place let the light come in, just start increasing the distance of the lens from the eyes and you can observe the white circle appears on the lens.

Another benefit of the exit pupil is that you can have a better view of the night time also. Since at daytime in brighter light, your natural eyes pupil will become small and when you start the use of binoculars you will not find any difference. In the daytime, the eye pupil is less than the exit pupil. But in dull or low light condition your eye pupil become bigger. If exit pupil size is smaller than the eye pupil you will never get the good image.

6. High-quality optics-

Here we are talking about the optics quality whose main focus is only on the type of coating your lens have. The main purpose of the binocular lens coating is that it reduces the reflection when light passes through the lens (both objective and eyepiece). As a result, you will not get the satisfied view of whale and other ocean views.

There are mainly three types of the lens coating –

1. Single coating– It is binoculars where the anti-reflecting coating is done on the single side of one or both lenses.

2. Full coating– A thing anti-reflecting coating is done on both sides of the objective lens.

3. Fully Multicoating (FMC)– This is a special purpose and high-quality multicoating done on all the lenses. The binoculars have such as objective and the eyepiece lens. It will intake maximum of the light without the loose.

We recommend the use of the fully multicoating lens. If you are planning to buy the binoculars for the whale and dolphin watching.

FINAL WORDS: To know the more and more about the whales is good not only for research but also for the leisure activities. Choosing the right and best binoculars for whale watching, after reading the thing to know and reviews are advisable. Also to read the manual for better and make full usage of the binocular. Watching the whale is not only a fun activity but also it is the responsibility of the user to not do anything against the environment.

Keep yourself and other safes.



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