Astronomy Vs Birdwatching Binoculars

Astronomy Vs Birdwatching Binoculars: All the Ins And Outs

The universe is such a wonderful place!

Starting with birds to outer galaxies, everything is so interesting to observe. 

However, to observe these wonderful creations you need the right binoculars. 

I myself have been an avid observer of both birds and skies. With time I figured out the ins and outs of binoculars used for these activities. 

Thus, I’m confident that I can help you to distinguish between different binoculars if you’re confused. 

So, what’s the difference between astronomy vs birdwatching binoculars? 

Firstly, the magnification of astronomical binoculars is higher than birdwatching ones. Secondly, the image of the birdwatching binoculars tend to be less bright than astronomical. Finally, birdwatching binoculars tend to be on the lighter side compared to astronomical binoculars. 

Intrigued by what you’re seeing? Hop in for more!


Astronomy Vs Birdwatching Binoculars: Brief Comparison

Whether it be gazing at the starry skies or birds, getting the right binocular is important. With all the binoculars available on the market it may get tough for you to distinguish them. 

Keeping this in mind I’ve concocted a table for you: 

Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty details!

Astronomy Vs Birdwatching Binoculars: In-Depth Comparison

Birdwatching and astronomy are both observing activities. So it’s only natural to believe that both of these can be accomplished by the same binoculars. However, that’s not the case as these two activities have different requirements. 

Some of the key requirements are given below:

Specs And Magnification

The magnification of a binocular plays a vital role in both the case of astronomy and birdwatching. You will notice that each binocular have AXB specifications. AX conveys the magnification and B coveys the diameter of the lens. 


Now, most binoculars that are used in astronomy tend to have higher magnifications. As the outer space is far away, you need higher magnification to actually see them. You can see moon, planets, nebulae etc. with astronomy binoculars. 

The 25×100 are the highest specs of a binocular. Even galaxies can be seen with the 25×100 binocular

Here are some my favourite astronomical binoculars:

On the other hand, birdwatching binoculars tend to have lower magnifications. The distance between the birds and you isn’t nearly as much as the planets. As a result, lower magnifications can suffice your birdwatching needs. 

From reading a lot of in depth guides on birdwatching binoculars I’ve noticed that there’s one perfect magnification. The best magnification for birdwatching tend to be 7×35 or 10×42.  


Moving on to the image, each of the binoculars provides different levels of brightness and sharpness. 

The B in AXB also signifies brightness. The higher the value of B the higher the brightness. As astronomical binoculars tend to be more advanced they also provide bright images. 

Birdwatching binoculars mostly have lower brightness unless you specifically want to study feather patterns. In that case, you need to get binocular with more diameter like the Monarch 10×42. 

You can get a more distinct idea about birdwatching binoculars from this video I found on youtube. 

Absolutely Everything You Need to Know about Binoculars for Bird Watching

Astronomical binoculars focus more on a narrow field of view. Whereas birdwatching binoculars tend to have a wide field of view. I’ve noticed that a wider field of view helps to keep moving birds in sight. 

Specialized binoculars for astronomy tend to focus more deeply. Their point of closest focus is more distant. On the flip side, birdwatching binoculars focus is closer. 

No matter how powerful astronomical binoculars are, their image won’t be as clear as all the Dobsonian telescopes. Compared to binoculars, by using Dobsonian telescopes you can see much more planets.


One important thing to consider is the weight of the binoculars. The weight of astronomical and birdwatching binoculars differ a lot. 

A general rule of thumb is that the higher the magnification the bulkier the binocular. As most astronomical binoculars tend to have higher magnifications they’re heavier than their birdwatching counterparts. 

Usually, birdwatching is a time-consuming activity. You go around all day chasing after birds. So, a lightweight binocular is ideal in this case. A lighter-weight binocular also means you can track flying or fast-moving birds with ease. 

These are my recommended birdwatching binoculars that aren’t so heavy:


Most of the heavy-duty binoculars that are used for astronomy are mounted on tripods or stands. As a result, you don’t have to worry about the weight. However, sometimes you might want to keep a lightweight astronomical binocular like the Orion 09351 on the go. 


Cost is another variable that you need to look into while talking about binoculars. 

The cost of binoculars ranges from $30 to even $3000. So you can see that there are more affordable and less affordable options for you to choose from. 

You might be wondering why is there such a big price difference in binoculars? You see, the price depends on a variety of things. Starting from magnification to advanced features to brand value, the price can rely on a lot of things. 

Usually, binoculars with higher magnifications cost more unless you’re talking about brands like Swarovski. Premium brands tend to cost a lot more even when their magnification is lower. 

So, Which One Should You Choose?

The ultimate decision of choosing a binocular depends on your needs and requirements. 

That’s all on the differences between astronomy and birdwatching binoculars. 


Which binocular is better 8×42 or 10×42?

As the 8×42 binocular has a wider view, it’s best for shorter to mid ranges. On the other hand with a narrower view, the 10×42 is better for mid to long distances. 

What binoculars do birdwatchers use?

Generally, most bird watchers prefer binoculars that are between 7x to 8x magnification. 8x is the standard median power. 

Can you see planets with binoculars? 

Yes, you can see planets with a good pair of binoculars. Besides planets, you can also see the moon, star clusters, and even galaxies. 


With that, the astronomy vs birdwatching binoculars analysis has been wrapped up. 

I hope you’re now clear about all the distinguishing features of the two binoculars. Remember to look for the coated lens as they prevent your lens from dust and scratches. 

That’s all for today. Have a wonderful time gazing!

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