If you are a horse racing enthusiast, then owning a good pair of binoculars that gets you close to the action will be of paramount importance to you.
There are many different options available in the market today. Therefore before making your decision it is important to understand the 5 necessary features required in binoculars for horse racing.
- 1 Best Compact Binoculars list:
- 1.1 Size
- 1.2 Style
- 1.3 Magnification
- 1.4 Field of view
- 1.5 Eye relief
- 1.6 Get to know about the ideal parameters of a good horse racing binoculars
- 1.7 The 5 best horsing racing binoculars of 2016
- 1.7.1 Nikon Aculon 7X35 Binoculars
- 1.7.2 Bushnell 8X25 H2O Compact Binoculars
- 1.7.3 Zeiss Terra ED 8X25 Compact Binoculars
- 1.7.4 Swarovski 8×32 EL W B Traveler Binoculars
- 1.7.5 Vanguard 8×42 Spirit ED Binoculars
- 1.8 Conclusion
Best Compact Binoculars list:
Horse racing binoculars can be broadly divided into three categories depending on its size.
Full sized binoculars, Midsized binoculars, Compact binoculars
The major differentiating factor between the different sized binoculars is the size of the objective lenses.
Type of binoculars
Size of the objective lens
Full sized binoculars
|42mm or larger|
|32mm to 36mm|
|21mm and 28mm|
The size of the binoculars is a personal choice. Some people like to buy compact binoculars as it is lightweight and easy to carry around while others opt for binoculars that offer better zoom.
While a compact binoculars for horse racing seems to be an ideal choice, there are a few drawbacks in terms of picture quality and magnification.
A full sized or midsized binocular offers the following benefits.
- As the objective lens is larger compared to the compact binoculars, the images viewed through them are usually brighter and are of better quality.
- The magnification of the larger binoculars outperforms the magnification offered by compact binoculars.
As a tradeoff between full sized and compact binoculars, midsized binoculars offer better picture quality and are less bulky.
Based on the type of prism used, there are 2 distinct styles of binoculars. Below is sneak peek into the pros and cons of the different types of lenses.
- Binoculars with roof prism have fewer moving parts. This makes it sturdier and makes the binoculars long lasting.
- The objective lens is not very wide and hence makes it suitable for compact binoculars.
- The picture quality is inferior when compared to the picture quality offered by cheap Porro prisms.
- It is difficult to align the roof prism to get the perfect total internal reflection.
- Roof prisms use expensive coating which drives the price of the binoculars high.
- Due to the advantage of wider objective lens, Porro lens offer wider field of view and good quality stereoscopic image.
- Porro lenses are optically superior and are not as expensive as roof prisms.
- It is heavier than roof prisms
- Porro binoculars have a number of moving parts thereby making it more susceptible to damage.
- It is difficult to make Porro binoculars dust proof and water resistant.
The main use of a good pair of binoculars is to give you a better picture of the action happening on the field. Therefore it is quite natural to feel that a binocular that offers a higher magnification is the better option.
But this is not true as magnification and field of view are inversely proportional. This means that higher the magnification, lower the field of view.
Therefore while you may be able to view the picture with loads of details, you may lose out on some of the action.
Another problem with binoculars that provide high magnification is that it becomes more difficult to get a steady image. This is because any tiny movement will be progressively magnified.
Hence you have to choose between getting up close and personal with the events on the field or getting steady image.
Field of view
This basically refers to the width of the image that can be viewed from the binoculars. A binocular with a larger field of view will allow you to see the action on the field without having to adjust the binoculars too often.
Therefore you must choose the binocular that offers the best field of view in the magnification range you have chosen.
This becomes an important factor to consider if you wear spectacles. The eyecups that are fitted in binoculars are positioned in such a way that you are able to see the entire field of view.
But if you are wearing glasses, then there is a need to adjust the eyecups to ensure optimum visibility. It is advisable for people who use glasses to opt for binoculars that have a longer eye relief.
If you are short sighted or long sighted, you can choose to remove your glasses as the lens in the binoculars will help you see better. But if you have astigmatism, there is no option but to wear your glasses for binoculars for horse racing.
Get to know about the ideal parameters of a good horse racing binoculars
After having understood the various features to look out for in a great pair of horse racing binocular, it is also important to know about the ideal range of each of the features.
As mentioned earlier, magnification and field of view are inversely proportional. Therefore it is ideal to opt for binoculars that offer a wider field of view with the best possible magnification in that category.
A magnification of is 6x, 7x or 8x ideal for horse racing binoculars.
Ideal size of the lens
As horse racing is conducted in the daytime, lighting is generally not an issue. Therefore there is no particular need to choose full sized lens. You can opt for midsized or compact binoculars that weigh less and are easier to carry around.
The ideal lens size falls between the ranges of 21mm to 36mm. This is considered sufficient for daylight use.
Ideal size and weight of the binoculars
As horse racing is packed with high action drama, you will find yourself standing for most part of the game. Therefore it is important to choose binoculars that are compact and do not weigh too much.
Binoculars that weigh between 600-700 gms are generally comfortable to hold steadily.
Ideal brand and price
There are plenty of options to choose from ranging from high end binoculars to the low end category. Some of the leading brands of binoculars include Zeiss, Swarovski, Nikon, Olympus, Vortex and FujiFilm.
They are well known for their good quality optics. If you are on a tighter budget, you can choose binoculars manufactured by Tasco, Barska and many others.
A good quality binocular can cost you anything in the range of $150 to $1000.
The 5 best horsing racing binoculars of 2016
Before moving further, it is required to note that binoculars are often represented by 2 numbers. The number appearing first refers to the magnification and the number appearing second refers to the size of the lens.
Having armed yourself with the all above information, it is now time to look at the 5 best horsing racing binoculars of 2016.
Nikon Aculon 7X35 Binoculars
If you do not want to miss out on any of the thrilling action happening on field, the Nikon Aculon 7X35 should be your best companion. It is the ideal horse racing binocular as it is light in weight and fits comfortably in your gear bag.
The ergonomically designed binocular with rubber armored housing provides comfortable and anti skid handling.
The binocular is durable. It gives a magnification of 7X and the size of the objective lens is 35 mm. The lens is made from eco glass which does not contain lead and arsenic.
It is equipped with BaK4 Porro prism system which makes it suitable for high resolution viewing irrespective of the lighting conditions.
It is economically priced making it a good choice for people who are looking for quality within a budget.
- It is constructed with aspheric eco-glass materials
- It has multicoated optics
- It provides a wide field of view
- It is equipped with twist-up rubber eyecups
Bushnell 8X25 H2O Compact Binoculars
The most attractive feature of this binocular is the folding bridge that allows the device to be folded. The small size makes it very convenient to pack it.
Another stand out feature is the use of sealed o- rings which is filled with nitrogen. This makes the binocular moisture resistant. The equipment will not fog up even when used in wet or humid conditions.
It is constructed using state of the art roof prism and provides excellent image clarity. It comes with a neck strap and carry pouch.
It gives a magnification of 8X and the size of the objective lens is 25 mm.
- It is equipped with multi coated optics that enables high quality light transmission
- It is well constructed and is 100% waterproof
- The anti-slip rubber armor gives a firm grip
- It is light weight
Zeiss Terra ED 8X25 Compact Binoculars
The binoculars are equipped with the trademark Carl Zeiss T* and P* anti-reflective and multi-coating optics. This ensures that the all images viewed are of high definition quality.
The robust construction enables it to withstand any wear and tear. This makes it suitable for taking it along on a wildlife expedition or watching a fast paced horse race.
The binocular is designed ergonomically so that it does not fall out of your hands. It can be used under any weather conditions. The Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms used in the binoculars provide an extra wide field of view.
It gives a magnification of 8X and the size of the objective lens is 25 mm. It comes with a neck strap.
- It is water and fog proof
- It is fitted with glass objectives that provide extra low-dispersion glass objectives
- It is equipped with twist-up eyecups
- It has hydrophobic multicoated optics
Swarovski 8×32 EL W B Traveler Binoculars
This is a light weight midsized horse racing binocular is constructed with a magnesium body. The high quality optical coatings and components used provide impeccable image quality.
The snap shot adapter provided as part of the standard kit can be easily fixed on the eyepiece. The kit also includes high quality neck strap, travel pouch, lens cover and cleaning cloth.
It gives a magnification of 8X and the size of the objective lens is 32 mm. The binocular offers the best wide angle view allowing you to enjoy more action without having to move around.
- It has an open bridge design which makes it very comfortable to hold near your face.
- The twist-up eyecups is covered with soft rubber coating
- It is 100% water and fog proof
- It is a well balanced binocular with thumb indents that allows you to get a better grip
Vanguard 8×42 Spirit ED Binoculars
It allows up to 90% light transmission resulting in optimum viewing experience. It has many user friendly features like light weight, easy to hold design, 100 % water and fog proof. It is equipped with twist up eye-cups that provides longer eye relief.
The BaK4 roof prisms and special lens coatings provide unbelievable picture quality. A good quality black carry case, neck strap lens cleaning cloth and lens cover is included in the standard kit.
The binocular is fitted with many top notch features at a very affordable price tag. It gives a magnification of 8X and the size of the objective lens is 42 mm.
- It has a large focus adjustment wheel
- It offers good performance even under low lights
- In order to provide best quality color reproduction, it uses the advanced ED glass technology.
- The images appearing are bright
The below table gives a brief summary of the different types of binoculars discussed in the article. This will help you to select the best horse racing binoculars that meet your requirements.