The best 7×50 binoculars for astronomy let you observe the night sky without having to lug around an enormous piece of gear. Compact and relatively lightweight, binoculars are a versatile tool with impressive magnification power. Those who are fond of the cosmos can use binoculars in remote areas to get the best view of stars, planets, and other celestial objects. Rather than having to set up equipment and spend time getting things just right, all you have to do is whip out your binoculars and look up!
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need specialized high-power binoculars to take a look at the stars. Not sure where to start? We’re here to help. In this guide, we’re going to answer all of your questions and provide you with all the information you need to find the best binoculars for astronomy.
The 10 Best 7×50 Binoculars for Astronomy
Binoculars are versatile tools that serve a wide range of professions and hobbies. Finding one that’s suitable for stargazing is easier said than done. To make things easier, we’ve rounded up a collection of some of the best 7×50 binoculars for astronomy that money can buy.
The 7×50 binoculars from Celestron are some of the best you can get for stargazing. With its large exit pupil and wide viewing angle, celestial bodies come to life!
The lenses feature several coatings. They help to reduce distortion and improve light transmission. It performs very well in low-light environments. However, it can also serve you well during the daytime for birding or terrestrial viewing.
Despite its affordable price, these are quality binoculars that cover all of your bases. It’s built tough and collects an impressive amount of light to help you view the stars.
Made of durable aluminum
Not as feature-rich as more advanced binoculars
Clad in durable metal, these binoculars from Orion are perfect for travel. It also comes with a protective cap and neck strap. Wearers can keep the binoculars safe in transit to your favorite viewing spot.
In terms of performance, these binoculars don’t disappoint. The multi-coated prism glass provides exceptional quality. Pair that with the wide lenses and you’re getting excellent light transmission. It produces bright images and has a wide field of view to help you see all of the action.
BAK-4 Porro Prism lenses
Simple focusing mechanism
Comes with several accessories
14-foot close focus
Not suitable for kids
From Fujinon, these binoculars serve multiple purposes. They’re primarily built for marine use. The unit is clad in waterproof plastic. When the included neck strap is attached, the binoculars float on water for additional safety. There’s even a built-in compass on top for easy navigation.
All of these features can also benefit you on your stargazing adventures. The unit takes advantage of high-quality Porro Prism lenses to achieve brighter images and breathtaking clarity.
Despite having a housing made of plastic, these are solid binoculars that hold up well in rougher conditions.
Good for astronomy and marine use
Porro Prism lenses
Housing is made of plastic
You can take the Nikon 7239 binoculars anywhere without having to worry about environmental issues ruining your stargazing session. The optical device features full rubber armoring for protection. It’s also sealed to prevent fog or water issues.
Sporting multilayer Porro Prism lenses, these binoculars provide a crystal-clear image. The lenses are dielectric and highly reflective. This improves brightness while also boosting the contrast. Even in low-light conditions, the binoculars will produce a crystal-clear image that you don’t want to miss!
Good low-light performance
Multi-layer lens coating
High brightness and contrast
Fogproof and waterproof
Higher price tag
These binoculars from Mentch have a higher quality build than you might be used to. That’s because they’re built to withstand the toughest environments. The device is clad in non-slip rubber armor and is completely waterproof. The lenses are also nitrogen-purged, which prevents fog.
From a performance standpoint, the binoculars are perfect for astronomy. The BAK4 prism lenses provide good clarity. The field of view is very wide, too. It provides a field of view of 396 feet at 1,000 yards.
Integrated compass and rangefinder
Fully coated lenses
Includes tripod adapter
The ACULON A211 binoculars are a great option if portability and comfort are a top priority. The body is ergonomic and lightweight. Thanks to the rubber armor and folding design, you can easily stow the device away when not in use.
Inside, these binoculars are sporting some advanced features. Aspherical lenses are used. The unique shape of the glass reduces viewing aberrations. Not only that, but it flattens the field to collect light more uniformly. The final results: a clear and bright image.
Light and compact binoculars
Central focus knob
Aspherical lenses with multiple coatings
Includes tripod adapter
Smaller objective lenses
If you wear glasses, these central focus binoculars from Nikon are a good choice. They have a longer eye relief of 22.7 millimeters, which is perfect for accommodating glasses.
These binoculars are made for wet environments. The body is built out of polycarbonate material, which is naturally shock resistant. That material is then covered in rubber armor to provide ultimate protection from accidental drops.
As if that weren’t enough, the binoculars aren’t affected by water or fog. It even comes with a floating nylon strap to ensure that you don’t lose it if you drop it.
Long 22.7mm eye relief
Waterproof and fogproof
Large exit pupil
Wide field of view
Built for marine use, these binoculars have several benefits that can benefit astronomers. First, the lenses offer exceptional clarity. They’re coated multiple times to increase contrast and improve brightness. The binoculars are sporting an auto-focus system as well, so you can use them with only one hand.
The prism lenses are installed with a silicone mount as well. The mount absorbs shock to keep the lenses in good shape.
Overall, these binoculars are one of the most durable on the market. Thick rubber armor provides ample protection while improving your grip
Floating prism lenses
Sports auto-focus feature
Wide field of view
Higher price tag
Need some binoculars that you can use on the go? This product from Meade Instruments is affordably priced and very compact. They’re very small compared to some of the other binoculars on our list, so you can easily toss them in your backpack as you hike to your favorite stargazing site.
The binoculars use high-quality Porro Prism lenses. They feature several coatings to increase brightness and clarity as well.
BK 7 Porro Prism lenses
Comes with lens caps and case
Not the easiest to focus
Poor collimation can degrade image
Great for birdwatching and stargazing, these binoculars can do it all. The aspherical lenses limit distortion while the multiple layers of coating maximize clarity.
While the binoculars don’t do well in utter darkness, they can pick up weak lights. The coating maximizes light collection, making low-light objects look brighter.
The binoculars are well-made. They feature a rubber coating for protection and a better grip. Even with a diopter system, the binoculars are lightweight and compact enough to bring anywhere.
Aspherical multi-coated lenses
Weighs only 1.1 pounds
Not the best in utter darkness
Smaller objective lenses
Check out these binoculars from Bushnell. In the marine world, this unit is renowned for its clarity. The high-quality lenses and multi-colored coatings can benefit astronomy fans, too.
The lenses are treated for better light transmission. They also have a subtle blue tint, which increases contrast and makes the image look more true to life. The field of view is 380 feet at 1,000 yards, allowing you to see more of your target.
The build quality of the binoculars is great, too. The entire unit is hermetically sealed to prevent water, rust, or fog issues.
BaK-4 prisms lenses
Multiple coatings and UV protection
Wide field of view
Large exit pupil
Individual focus system for each eye
Binoculars are far more complex than most people think. They’re advanced optical devices filled with meticulously crafted lenses and careful engineering. If you’re not familiar with the technical jargon, shopping for astronomy binoculars is no easy task.
Plus, not all binoculars are going to perform well for astronomy purposes. The key is to choose a model with the features you need to capture light and see the stars clearly. To help you navigate the saturated market, here are some things you need to know.
One of the first parameters to consider is the magnification power. The whole purpose of binoculars is to magnify the image several times so that you can get a closer look at the celestial bodies in the night sky.
Zoom binoculars can get very powerful. There are some models that can magnify the image several hundred times! While it may be tempting to choose one of those binoculars, they’re best reserved for professionals.
An ultra-high magnification power has its caveats. The more you magnify an image, the more difficult it is to focus. Plus, the field of view gets smaller and dimmer. On top of all of that, it’s nearly impossible to get a clear look at an object due to uncontrollable hand movements. Even the slightest tremble of your hands will cause the image to go out of whack.
You don’t need high magnification binoculars to enjoy the cosmos. 7X magnification will work just fine! Even for some of the most magnificent objects such as the Orion Nebula. So, how do you determine the magnification power of a pair of binoculars? It’s all in the numbers.
The first number used to describe binoculars reflects its magnification level. So, for 7×50 binoculars, the 7 is the number you want to pay attention to. In this case, it means that the binoculars have 7X magnification.
In optical equipment, the aperture is an important component that will determine how much light is getting in. You might be familiar with the aperture of a camera, which is the opening that lets light in to create an image on the focal plane for the sensor to pick up. The aperture of binoculars has the same principles.
Binoculars utilize several lenses to bend light effectively. The last lens on the distal end of the binocular is referred to as the objective lens. Here is where the aperture specifications matter. In the case of binoculars, the aperture reflects the diameter of those objective lenses.
The lens diameter is important because it ultimately determines the device’s light-gathering capabilities. A wider aperture picks up more light lays to provide a clearer image of the object you’re viewing. When you’re talking about astronomy and celestial bodies trillions of miles away, light is crucial.
Wider apertures are always recommended. They can provide you with much better results in low-light conditions. For stargazing, we recommend choosing binoculars that have an objective lens that’s at least 50mm wide.
Earlier, we mentioned that the first number used to describe the capabilities of binoculars represented the magnification power. Well, the second number tells you the diameter of the objective lenses.
For 7×50 binoculars, you’re getting 50mm objective lenses.
Clarity and Focus
Next up, you’ll want to consider what type of focusing features are available to you. Binoculars contain a lot of intricate components that are fine-tuned to provide a high-quality image. But, everyone’s eyes are different. There’s a good chance that you’re going to have to make adjustments to remove blur and optical artifacts.
There are a few features to look into. The first is the eye relief. The eye relief refers to the distance your eye needs to be from the exit pupil to get the full field of view. Have you ever pressed your eye directly against the eyecups of binoculars only to see a blurry image? Chances are, those binoculars had a specific eye relief you did not meet.
The eye relief is important because it affects comfort and clarity. You might have to make fine adjustments to get things right. Not only that, but you might have to make adjustments to each eye individually. Most binoculars these days have focus rings or diopters that allow you to adjust eye relief with a few twists of your finger. But even then, you might need an even longer eye relief. Those who wear eyeglasses will require a long eye relief to accommodate that extra layer of magnification.
Another thing to consider is the close focus distance. This specification tells you the closest distance the optical device can view clearly. Close focus distances can vary dramatically from model to model. But, it’s better to aim for a shorter distance.
That might seem counterintuitive when you’re looking for binoculars for astronomy. However, close focus distance doesn’t just reflect nearby objects. It also impacts the clarity of long-distance objects, too. The finer details become crisper with a shorter focus distance, allowing you to get a clearer image of the cosmos.
Quality of Lenses
Back in the day, binoculars had basic glass lenses. While they got the job done, they didn’t provide the best clarity. There are a lot of factors that could ruin the image. Everything from reflections to chromatic aberration will take an otherwise clear view and make it blurry.
Thankfully, optics have gone a long way! Many binoculars on the market today have high-quality lenses that address common visual issues.
On the lower end, you might find something as simple as anti-fogging agents. Perfect for marine binoculars, they provide a fog proof finish for crystal-clear viewing.
More advanced binoculars usually incorporate multi-coated lenses. Depending on the exact treatment, the lenses might prevent unwanted reflections and other forms of light distortion. For the best clarity possible, choose binoculars with efficient lens coatings. It’ll make all the difference when you’re looking at the stars.
Field of View
The field of view is directly proportionate to the binocular’s magnification power and the diameter of its objective length. Typically measured in degrees, you might also see it specified as yards or feet.
A wide field of view is always recommended. This is especially true when you’re looking at a distant object like the moon or stars. A wider field ensures that you’re picking up enough light to get a clear picture. Plus, it lets you view more of the target object.
Generally, a higher magnification level will sacrifice the field of view. Manufacturers of optical equipment can overcome that decrease with careful engineering and advanced technology. However, those features are typically limited to high-powered devices.
Expect your field of view to shrink as you focus in on an object. To avoid issues when you’re stargazing, start on the lowest magnification level. Point the binoculars up at the sky in the general direction of your target. Then, slowly increase the magnification level.
This is a better way to focus on your target. Not only does it make things easier to find, but it can help you avoid getting dizzy.
Earlier, we talked a bit about eye relief and how it affects the clarity of the image. Another important factor that determines what you see is the exit pupil size.
The exit pupil is, essentially, the small opening where light exits the binoculars and moves through your eye. When you’re viewing stars and celestial bodies, the light has traveled trillions of miles to get into your binoculars and make its way to the exit hole!
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the eyepiece itself that determines how much of the image you’re seeing. It’s the exit pupil. The bigger the exit pupil, the brighter and clearer your image will be.
Like the field of view, the maximum exit pupil size is determined by the diameter of the objective lens and the magnification level. You can figure out the size of the exit pupil with some simple math. Just divide aperture to the magnification level. For 7×50 binoculars, you’re looking at an exit pupil width of about 7.1 millimeters.
This is almost perfect. You see, the human eye can only dilate up to 7 millimeters. Because you’re viewing stars at night, your pupils will naturally dilate to a bigger size. With a smaller exit pupil on your binoculars, you wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of the light entering. With a 7.1-millimeter exit pupil, you can.
Last, but not least, you can’t forget about build quality. Binoculars are usually pretty tough. They have to be to keep all of those precious lenses intact! But, there are a few additional features you can get to prolong the life of your investment.
The first is waterproofing elements. Waterproof binoculars are fully sealed to prevent water from getting between the glass lenses. Once water infiltrates the binoculars, they’re rendered useless. Moisture will manipulate how light flows, preventing you from ever getting a clear picture again.
Waterproof optical devices are a must-have for anyone that plans on viewing outdoor targets. This includes bird-watching enthusiasts, marine workers, and astronomers!
Another feature that can save you a lot of money is a rubber coating. Rubber armor shields the entire optical device. It offers a couple of benefits. First, the rubber layer provides a more tactile grip as you’re stargazing. It decreases the chances of the binoculars from slipping out of your hand.
Secondly, the armor provides some shock protection. Dropping your binoculars could dislodge the lenses, ruining the careful engineering that makes them work so efficiently. The rubber provides an additional layer of protection to prevent that from happening.
Binoculars for astronomy are powerful enough to give you a close look at the wonders of the galaxy above. But, there are a few accessories that can improve the user experience. These accessories, while not required, can make a world of difference. They overcome common issues stargazers encounter and keep your investment protected.
The first accessory you should invest in is a neck strap. A simple neck strap might not seem like much, but it’s going to be one of the most-used accessories you own! Most binoculars have attachment rings on the side to secure straps.
Once in place, you can use the strap to get some hand relief whenever you’re not looking up at the stars. Plus, it acts as an extra layer of defense. If you accidentally drop your binoculars, the strap will catch them to prevent damage.
Speaking of damage, it’s good to have a case and lens covers, too. Binoculars might look tough, but they’re very sensitive to damage. All it takes is one hard fall or bump to knock the delicate lenses out of place. Even if they happen to stay in place after taking a tumble, you might have to deal with visual distortion moving forward.
A case can keep the binoculars well-protected as you make your way to your viewing site. Meanwhile, the lens caps will prevent scratches and dust from causing damage. Lens caps for the objective lenses are most important. However, caps for the earcups are good, too.
Finally, we recommend getting a tripod. The biggest issue that you’re going to face when using binoculars for astronomy is staying steady. The objects you’re looking at are trillions of miles away. Even a slight movement can throw you off the target. Most of us are unable to hold our hands steady for any period of time. Add a heavy pair of binoculars into the mix and it’s nearly impossible.
A tripod addresses that issue. Think of it as the stand for your equipment. You can use it to lock in on your target and get a crystal-clear view you can enjoy.
Is focal length important?
To put it simply, the focal length is the measure of how strongly the binoculars diverges light. When you’re looking up at the stars, light is collected through the objective lens. Inside the binoculars, the light diverges on a single point, called the focal plane, to provide the magnified view.
The focal length is important because it directly affects the magnification level. The longer the focal length, the greater the magnification power. However, it also decreases the field of view.
What field of view is best for standard binoculars?
Oftentimes, the field of view for binoculars is represented by degrees or physical measurements. For most standard binoculars, the field of view is 6.5 or 7 degrees.
In terms of physical measurements, a field of view of 300 to 400 feet for 1,000 yards is pretty good. This means that you can see a width of 300 to 400 feet when looking at a target that’s 1,000 yards away.
Is the eyepiece and exit pupil the same thing?
These two terms are used interchangeably. But, they’re two separate components with distinct functions. The eyepiece is the exterior lens opposite the objective lens. It’s the last lens that light has to go through before traveling to your eye.
Meanwhile, the exit pupil is the physical hole that light rays travel through. The size of the exit pupil affects how much light is going through. The eyepiece is merely another lens.
Both are equally important and work in tandem to create the final magnified image. However, they are not the same thing.
The mysteries of the universe are compelling even with the naked eye. Viewing the cosmos through 7×50 binoculars lets you get an up-close and personal view of those mysteries for yourself. Since the dawn of time, man has been captivated with what lies beyond our planet. Today, you have access to the finest equipment that generations past could only dream of!
Pick up one of our recommended binoculars and see what you can discover!