Best Binoculars For Whale Watching From Land or Shore


Once in a lifetime you really need to have a joyful whale-watching expedition. Whales even being magnificent marine creatures, aren’t always easy to see. They stay away from humans and boats. If you want to see them moving around and want to closely observe the details then you need the best binoculars for whale watching.

There are a ton of brands and models available in the market. What to choose and how to choose the perfect binoculars for whale watching are the basic queries you might be struggling with. We have reviewed many and narrowed a list of the best suitable pairs along with their technical features, pros, and cons.

Let’s get started.

Best Binoculars For Whale Watching: Quick Overview

 Now let’s dive deep into each to show you the technical features, pros, and cons.


1 - Nikon ACULON A211 7x35


Top rated binoculars for whale watching


The top-rated binoculars for whale watching on our list are Nikon Aculon A211 7×35 binoculars. If you’re looking for a compact binocular that provides high-performance and reliability at a phenomenal value then Aculon should be the choice.

This innovative model features 35-millimeter objective lenses with advanced Bak4 high index Porro prisms. Fully multi-coated optics provide enhanced brightness and
resolution for an ultra-sharp image across the entire field of view even in low-light and long-range conditions.

All the optics were made with environment-friendly lead and arsenic-free glass to help protect for generations to enjoy. The textured center focus knob allows you to quickly and easily adjust the magnification so you can zoom in up to 7 times your natural sight. The lightweight contoured body makes these easy to grip even during prolonged viewing.

The rugged protective rubber armor can handle even the most demanding days in the field. While the turn and slide rubber eyecups facilitate easy positioning of the eyes at the correct eyepoint to provide comfortable viewing plus the longer eye relief is ideal for those who wear eyeglasses.

Durable lens covers will protect your optics it also includes a carrying case making transport and storage easy and a wide comfortable neck strap so it’s always within reach. We highly recommend these inexpensive best overall binoculars for whale watching.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 7x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 35 mm
  • Field of View @ 1000 yards: 488 feet
  • Close Focus Distance5 feet
  • Eye Relief: 11.8 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 16.4 mm
  • Prism: Porro Prism
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multicoated
  • Weight: 24.2 oz
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2 - Bushnell H2O 8×42 Roof Prism Binoculars

best binoculars for whale watching top rated


Bushnell H2O 8×42 Roof Prism Binoculars are designed and manufactured by outdoor experts. Bushnell made a very affordable roof prism waterproof binocular, great for hunters, marine lovers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Giving you a lot of bang for your buckThis is a great binocular for just about any use

Their BaK-4 prisms allow you to take sharp images with these multi-coated optics. The device is 100% water and fog-proof, and along with the light transmission system and a limited lifetime warranty, you will soon redefine professionalism with these best whale-watching binoculars.

These binoculars feature twist-up eyepieces a simple central focus knob. When focusing the lens on moving objects, the large center focus button makes adjustments easy. If you want to see animals underwater, the 17mm eye relief and the 42mm lens diameter with 8x magnifications and twisted eyepiece provide enough comfort.

These best binoculars for whale watching in Alaska are designed to be held in the user’s hands comfortably with their soft texture handle. These binoculars include a case, neck strap, eyepiece cover, and attached lens covers so you don’t lose them.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1000 yards: 409.5 feet
  • Close Focus Distance: 18 feet
  • Eye Relief: 17 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 5.25 mm
  • Prism: Roof Prism
  • Coating: Multi-Coated
  • Weight: 25 oz
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3 - Nikon Action 10x50 EX Extreme All-Terrain Binocular


Best binoculars for whale watching under $300


The best binoculars under 300 for whale sighting are Nikon Action 10 x 50 Extreme All-Terrain Binoculars. These pair possess a variety of features to make the whale watching experience more exciting and memorable.

Featuring low light performance and a wide objective lens also having an anti-reflection internal design with minimal distortion. It has a high index Porro prism and eco glass lenses resulting in high glass quality. The central focus knob is smooth providing a long eye relief.

The binocular is weather-proof, making it resistant to all types of water, fog, and shock, which makes it the perfect binoculars for whale watching in the ocean. Even watching whales from the land using Nikon Action 10×50 Extreme ATB also delivers high-quality bright images.

It is durable as rubber-coated with a non-slip grip. If waves in the ocean reach your binos, water will not weaken the grip and or cause you to drop the binoculars. A polycarbonate shell around it protects it from shock, scratches, and water.

Get your hands on these best value binoculars for whale watching that lasts for a lifetime.

 Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yds: 343.4 feet 
  • Close Focus Distance: 23 feet
  • Eye Relief: 17.2 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 5 mm
  • Coating: Fully Multi-Coated Optics
  • Prism: BaK-4 Porro Prisms
  • Weight: 36 oz
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You may be interested in knowing: Types of Binoculars

4 - Wingspan Optics FieldView 8X32


best compact  binoculars for whale watching

One of the best compact binoculars for ocean watching we have reviewed is Wingspan Optics FieldView 8X32. The quality construction and viewing are great. These are nice and lightweight. 

They might not be the most powerful binoculars but are great for taking on a hike for birding and other long distance viewing on land or shoreIt can pick up a lot of detail from far away objects like whales and for such a compact size the detail is amazing after adjusting the sights to your vision.

It comes with a carry case neck strap and lens covers. It has a metal body and nice grip for your fingers. You can even take this out on hikes and nature walks as well because of how easy it is to carry around.


 Technical Specifications 


  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 32 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yards: 362 feet 
  • Close Focus Distance: 3 m
  • Eye Relief: 14.8 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 00 mm
  • Prism: BaK-4 RoofPrisms
  • Weight: 15.2 oz
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You may be interested in knowing: Numbers on Binoculars

5 - Aurosports 10x25 Folding Binoculars

best small binoculars for whale watching

Aurosports 10×25 folding high-powered compact binoculars can be used by both kids and adults with weak light night vision.

These are the very inexpensive binoculars for whale-watching. Can be used fearless for both day and night but not in complete darkness. It has a wide field of view, focusing on your target for clean detail at 1,000 yards. Fully multi-coated lenses, waterproof and durable anti-slip grip gives you everything you want from an affordable optic.

They are lightweight and can be folded very conveniently and are easy to carry 10x magnification with 25 millimeters. The 25mm objective lens allows you to see objects 10 times closer with clarity.

Suitable for both adults and kids. Multipurpose binoculars fit for hunting, hiking, exploring, viewing, sailing, bird-watching, concerts, outdoor, and sports, etc.

 Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 25 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yards: 362 feet 
  • Close Focus Distance: 3 m
  • Eye Relief: 14.8 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 00 mm
  • Prism: BaK-4 Roof Prisms
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated 
  • Weight: 8.8 oz
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Might be a good reading: Cleaning Binoculars

6 - Barska Deep Sea 7x50 Waterproof Marine Binoculars


best budget binoculars for whale watching


Barska Deep Sea 7×50 was designed and built with natural and marine enthusiasts in mind. It is absolutely what every marine should have before setting out for any natural adventure.

It comes with a 7x magnification and a pair of super excellent optics providing a clear view for the users from dawn to dusk. Your marine observation is elevated to a notch higher when you are using the Barska binocular.

Barska Deep Sea binoculars are highly durable and have a sturdy build that surpasses its competitor making it an ideal pick for boating and whale watching enthusiasts. It has the focus ability of both eyes instead of the traditional one-eye focus. Also, it has the ability to avert fogging and moisture damage.

It provides you with the most important tool that you require during your voyage. The gear comes with an excellent built-in rangefinder that determines the distance and size of your subject for you whereas the compass ensures that you can trace your way out of a situation.


Technical Specifications 
  • Magnification: 7x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yards: 395 feet 
  • Close Focus Distance: 22.3 feet
  • Eye Relief: 23 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 7.2 mm
  • Prism: BaK-4 Porro Prisms
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated 
  • Weight: 38.8 oz
What we like
What we don't like

7 - Athlon Midas 8x42 Binoculars

best type of binoculars for whale watching



 Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yards: 426 feet 
  • Close Focus Distance: 6.5 feet
  • Eye Relief: 17.2 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 5.25 mm
  • Prism: BaK-4 Roof Prisms
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated 
  • Weight: 23.3 oz
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8 - Hooway 7x50 Military Marine Binoculars

best inexpensive binoculars for whale watching

With an inexpensive whale watching binocular Hooway 7×50 you’re getting a lot of functionality, good quality build, as well as clear and sharp optics.

These are a pair of floating binoculars, so when in the ocean for whale watching water won’t hurt them. They won’t sink even if happen to fall inthe water. These binoculars are completely sealed and waterproof. The lenses are nitrogen-purged, which ensures that they won’t fog up, even if you’re out in fairly humid conditions.

These marine binoculars are completely covered in non-slip rubber armor. This gives you a firm grip, even if your hands aren’t dry. If you’re stationary, you can mount the binoculars on a tripod and get some weight off your neck.

Inside a Bak-4 Porro prism system which gives you that wide field of view, are completely multi-coated. This will make sure that you get a crisp and bright image that’s more than satisfactory.

Since this is a pair of rangefinder binoculars, there is an internal rangefinder that works great. It is accurate, and you can determine both the distance and the size of the objects you’re looking at. There’s also an illuminated compass which helps a lot with direction location and will prove useful at some point.

A perfect choice if you are looking for the best binoculars for whale watching under $100.

 Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 7x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yards: 396 feet 
  • Eye Relief: 22 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 6.8 mm
  • Prism: BaK-4 Porro Prisms
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated 
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
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9 - Bushnell Marine 7x50 Waterproof Binoculars


best marine binoculars under 200 dollars


A fully featured pair of waterproof and fog proof binoculars for marine use is Bushnell Marine 7×50 Waterproof Binocular. 

Anyone looking for a nice pair of well-rounded binoculars should get their hands on. People have been using them for birds and distant scenery. 

The exit pupil is big enough to get an excellent and bright picture even in the evening. Technical characteristics are really good for this affordable price. Great for glasses wearers. The light-gathering capability of these binoculars is great. The image is crisp, bright and clear, even, and especially, at night. 

You have to adjust each eye separately for precise magnification clarity. The exterior rubber is durable with a grip that you can hold, even in rain and when your hands are slippery. A strap made of nylon attaches to the binoculars and a bag with an additional strap comes with it.


Technical Specifications

  • Magnification: 7x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
  • Field of View @ 1000 yards: 367 feet
  • Close Focus Distance: 35 feet
  • Eye Relief: 18 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 7.1 mm
  • Prism: Bak-4 PorroPrism
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multicoated
  • Weight: 37 oz


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10 - Steiner 7x50 Marine Binoculars Waterproof Optics

best binoculars for whale watching under 500 dollars


If you’re looking for a set of binoculars that delivers high performance at an affordable price then let’s take a quick look at the Steiner 7×15 marine binoculars.

The optics are comprised of top-quality glass which is fully multi-coated for excellent low-light performance with peak light transmission. The binoculars provide almost the same brightness that’s perceived by the naked eye accurate color rendition and razor-sharp resolution.

One of the ideal parts about this set of binoculars is the Steiners sports autofocus system which means that once it’s set to the user’s eye everything from 20 yards to infinity remains in focus plus the long 22-millimeter eye relief offers a full field of view even when wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses. This is also a great option for eliminating glare on sunny days.

What makes these an even better value is that they are nearly indestructible with ribbed rubber armor not only does it provide protection but it also prevents slipping even in the wettest conditions. Their nitrogen pressurized making them water and shockproof so they can stand up to the harshest marine use.

These binoculars are loaded with convenience features like lens covers to protect the valuable optics, polishing cloth so you can keep a clear field of view, an adjustable neck strap, and a carrying case with an adjustable shoulder strap.

These are entry-level marine binoculars are surely the best whale-watching binoculars for beginners.

While they are excellent for nature study and ocean viewing. They are also excellent for use in surveillance by law enforcement. The best binoculars for whale watching under 500 dollars.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 7x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
  • Field of view: 356 feet
  • Close Focus Distance: 66 feet
  • Eye Relief: 16 mm
  • Exit Pupil:  7.1 mm
  • Prism: Porro Bak4 Prism
  • Weight: 36.3 oz
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11 - Fujinon Techno Stabi TS1440-14x40 IS Binoculars

best Compact binoculars for Whale Watching under $1000


The world’s first binocular with an internal image stabilizing system was Fujinon’s Stabiscope. Ever since being used by Army, Navy, Sailor, fishermen, and others.

The 14×40 Techno Stabi eliminates the jittery images caused by normal hand tremors as well as the far more profound effects of cyclical and irregular motion found when using binoculars on moving land vehicles, boats, ships, and on aircraft.

Techno-Stabi optics are fully phase-coated for outstanding optical performance hence delivering superb clarity and resolution.

Crystal clear views can be seen in daylight but even darker settings provide the best-stabilized images, fearlessly use them at low-light conditions.

The TS-X 1440 has a stylish design with rounded edges. Slip-resistant rubber armor allows users to enjoy a firm grip with both hands, having a handgrip on the left side. The Techno-Stabi comes with a hand strap that can be attached to either side.

The optimized positioning of diopter rings and On/Off switches for power and image stabilization is for ease of usability.

Can be used under all weather conditions, as they are fog-proof and waterproof. Though portable, however, a bit heavy for their size.

They have a color-changing (green to red) battery condition LED indicator. It operates on 4 AA batteries or a 12-28 VDC external power source. Giving instant image stabilization with minimum power consumption.

The long eye-relief feature attracts eyeglass wearers. The additional accessories like dust protection caps, waterproof housing, carrying strap, and high-quality case offer more value to these excellent compact and portable binoculars.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification:14x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 40 mm
  • Field of view: 70 m
  • Eye relief: 13 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 5 m
  • Exit Pupil: 2.86 mm
  • Weight: 4 pounds
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What we don't like

12 - Canon 15x50 Binoculars


Best binoculars for whale watching from Land or shore under $1500


Canon being top of the line and one of the best types of binoculars for whale watching brings close to natural images. Canon 15×50 are considered heavy-duty binoculars, perfect for long-distance viewing not just for whale watching in fact be used for stargazing or birding.

With high-powered binoculars, it’s difficult to keep the optics steady which results in nonsteady and blurry images. To resolve this problem Canon comes up with an image stabilization feature that helps to autocorrect any unsteadiness caused by jerks while being on the boat or ship in the ocean or be it a hand movement.

Most binoculars usually deliver well when it comes to the overall design and image quality. However, they fail when it comes to power conservation. Canon 15×50 image stabilization binoculars deliver perfectly, both in design and power consumption. This binocular is powered by 2x AA lithium batteries, which are highly durable and last up to 10 times longer than conventional batteries. They keep the charge for a long time to enable you to derive the most from your binocular.

The ultra-low dispersion lens reduces chromatic aberration while its super spectra lens coating delivers a wild viewing experience by producing vivid, bright, and high contrasting images with clear and colorful renditions eliminating any internal reflection that might cause any form of flare. 

To make these binoculars ideal for heavy-duty use even in marine, this model has rubber eyecups to be used for long periods of time, rugged build quality to protect against optical accidents, and waterproof-fogproof.

Although they come under the expensive category, but the optical performance you would be getting is worth every penny you’re paying for.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 15x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
  • Field of View @ 1000 yards: 282 feet
  • Close Focus Distance: 19.7 feet
  • Eye Relief: 15 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 3.3 mm
  • Prism: Porro II Prism
  • Lens Coating: Super Spectra Coating
  • Weight: 41.6 oz
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Choosing Best Binoculars For Whale Watching

When hoping out for binoculars shopping, one needs to be fully aware of and understand the specifications and features best binoculars possess. Without knowing you might end up getting the wrong pair for the whale watching. We have described the most important factors one should look for before considering any particular model.


Every binocular has some numbers mentioned on it. And mostly they are known by the numbers like 7×35,8×20 etc. The first number tells the magnification power of the binocular, which means how much close and amplified object can be made when looking through the lens. For example binoculars with 10×50 tells it will magnify objects 10 times more than seen through naked eyes.

Offshore: If you are going to watch the whale from the boat or from another onboard moving marine platform then the ideal magnification would be 7X or 8x. This is because every shake of the boat is also magnified resulting in an unstable image. Higher magnification will also decrease the field of view so you see less area covered by the lens. 

Onshore: In case you intend to watch the whales from the shore, you can buy a binocular with higher magnification power.

Objective Lens Diameter

The second number from 10×50 is the size of the lens or the objective lens diameter. The larger lens collects more light to show the brighter images. It also increases the field of view, which is the amount of area that you are able to see through the binoculars.

But keep in mind that the bigger the lens, the larger and heavier would be the binoculars; which could be tiring when carrying around or holding in front of your eyes for a long period of time. So larger sets of binoculars can be attached to a tripod to make your viewing more comfortable.

Field Of View

Field of view is the area covered while viewing through the lens. The field of view usually gets narrower with higher magnification numbers. The higher the field of view, the wider area you will see. This is great for scanning large areas and searching for moving targets such as playing whales. For whale watching, the ideal FOV is between 380-500 ft.

Exit Pupil

The exit pupil number tells you how bright the object you’re viewing will appear when you’re in low light situations (dawn or dusk). If not mentioned on the binoculars then it can be calculated by dividing the objective diameter by the magnification number. For example, if you have 10×42 binoculars, you would divide 42 by 10, giving you an exit pupil diameter of 4.2mm. 

Eye Relief

Eye relief is the distance between your eyes and the eyepiece. Longer eye relief allows you to hold the binoculars farther away from your face and makes them more comfortable to use. This is a must considered a feature for eye glass wearers. Ideal eye relief would be 11mm or higher.

Prism Type

Binoculars cannot work without prism. There are two types of prism a binocular can have:

Roof Prism: These binoculars tend to be compact, slimmer, and smaller. Roof prism binoculars have delicate mechanics inside so they tend to be a bit more expensive. They’re an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Porro Prism: Porro prisms are usually less expensive than roof prisms, but they’re are bulkier and heavier, however, they do have better depth of field and may cost less.


Lens Coatings

The purpose of lens coating is to avoid scattering light. Consider fully coated lenses for the most bright and vivid images. As light hits the prisms in the binoculars, some of the light coming in gets reflected resulting in making objects look darker. The lens coating helps deter the amount of reflection to allow as much light as possible.


Focus Type

To adjust the focus of the image binoculars come with the: Central adjustment wheel: This wheel adjusts the focus of both viewing barrels at the same time. Diopter adjustment ring: The wheel is usually located on one of the barrels near the eyepiece. It focuses on each barrel individually.



A key feature for whale-watching binoculars. The advantage of waterproofing in binoculars is that it usually comes with fog proofing. This means that your binoculars will not fog up in varying temperatures. Good waterproofing will also prevent moisture inside your binoculars and extend their lifespan.


Size and Weight

When buying a binocular for whale watching purposes you should remember that you will have to hold this binocular for a long time to watch the whales and if the design is not comfortable, or having heavyweight, you will end up putting it aside and missing the whole show.

Best Binoculars For Whale Watching - FAQs

How To Choose The Top Binoculars For Whale Watching?

Following are the notable features while choosing best binoculars for whale watching: Prism Type, Multi-coated optics, Waterproof ability, Long eye relief, Fog proof construction, Magnification & objective lens, Extra wide field view

8×42 or 10×42 Binoculars for Whale Watching, which is best?

8x42 are best binoculars for whale watching on the boat. As lower magnification is less heavy and less prone to shake and much more stable to movements. 10x42 are the best binoculars for whale watching from shore or land. So that you can see more details from far with high magnification. Tripod could help if you mount the gear to get stable views.

What Power Binoculars Needed for Whale Watching?

That depends on whether you are watching the whales on a boat or land. From land binoculars with power 7x or 8x allow you to watch the whales in the moving boat and see clear and bright images even with your hands shaking. To watch whales from the land you need binoculars with 8x or higher magnification binoculars. This will allow you to see more details of the whales from a far distance.

Why Do We Need Binoculars For a Whale Watching?

Well, yes they are magnificent but either you or they won't come close to each other. The only way to make your whale watching experience more exciting is using best binoculars to see the whales up close in detail.



We hope this comprehensive guide would help you to answer the questions like what binoculars are best for whale watching? or how to choose the best binoculars for whale watching? We highly recommend Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 8×25; all-rounder, super lightweight binoculars. These surely are the best kind of binoculars for whale watching. Hopefully, we have given you enough information to help you better know what your needs are and narrow down the choices.


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