Why Are Binoculars So Expensive? Cheap Vs Expensive Binos

By Richard

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Binoculars are one of the most practical tools when it comes to birding and hunting. But their prices are higher than any other equipment consisting of lenses. Especially newbie gets stunned by knowing the prices. We have seen many outdoor activists without binoculars because they cannot afford them. In this guide, we will answer the question: why are binoculars expensive?

The usage of advanced technology, premium body material, coating of lenses, and prism types and designs make binoculars really expensive. Aluminum material, FMC lenses, and prism type require serious investment, making binos unreachable to the poor.

A person who is new to optics undergoes different confusion and wants to get answers to all those questions that are related to the prices. It makes the matter perfect if someone guides him about the budget binoculars to ensure that they don’t remain deprived of binoculars. 

If you’re new to optics and don’t have much knowledge about pricings, then worry not! You are going to get all your answers today. Stay connected!

Also Read: Do Binoculars Use Batteries?

How much to spend on Binoculars?

It totally depends on the kind of binoculars you need for outdoor purposes. It is usually said

“You get what you spend for”

This also holds true when it comes to buying binoculars. If you are happy to compromise on many features and want just the OK kind of optics then you will have to spend around 70 to 100 dollars.  The binoculars that are available in this price range are not perfect for outdoor activities.

But by increasing your budget slightly, you can get binoculars that perform optimally in outdoor activities like hunting and birding. By spending fro. 100 to 300 dollars, it is expected that you will get a decent pair of optics that will fulfill all of your needs.

Then comes the third type of binoculars that are made for experienced pros with a handsome budget in their hands. These high-end and premium binoculars will cost you around 300 to 3000 dollars. They have features like image stabilization, video recording, low light usability, and lightweight and compact size. You won’t feel anything compromised while using them.

How much should you spend on Binoculars? Spending anything from 100 to 300 dollars will buy you a decent pair of Binoculars that will be perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities.

Cheap vs expensive binoculars – which one should you choose?

As said earlier, with cheaper binoculars you will get most of your outdoor fun. With the poor build quality and blurry edges, these Binoculars don’t deserve to be used in viewing distant objects. Their build quality and ease of usability are also a matter of concern. Those binos that are under $80 are cheap binoculars.

Expensive binoculars are also bad for those people who have tight budgets. They provide you with excellent performance and top-notch visuals but their prices are too high and a common person cannot afford them. If you have limited resources, we don’t recommend you to go for them.

So what should be your choice? The middle- ranged binoculars that are available from 100 to 300 dollars are perfect to carry for outdoor fun. Their performance, build quality, and visuals will impress you. They put a massive burden on your pocket as well.

Here are our favorite Binoculars!

Best Budget-Friendly OptionCheck Price
Best Performing and middle-ranged BinocularsCheck Price
Premium & High-End OptionCheck Price

4 Reasons Why Binoculars Are so Expensive

There are many reasons that make binoculars very expensive. In this guide, we are going to discuss a few of them to inform you so that you don’t remain confused

1- Production Cost

Most of the binoculars are imported from other countries like Japan, the Philippines, and China. So there are many importation taxes that are very expensive. 

The cost of binoculars is very high when they are made in America as the optical components are not made in the US market and manufacturers import those components from other countries, especially Japan and china.

The question that might come to your mind is why the US Market doesn’t make its own optical components. The reason is that the labor cost in the USA is very high as compared to Japan and china. 

The prices will go up even if the manufacturers use USA-made components which are very costly due to higher labor costs.

Also Read: Best Binoculars Made in the USA

2- Innovative Technology

Binoculars are not very easy to manufacture. This is the specific technology that is used to make them. There is regular innovation and the techniques which are used are also evolving. New and modern technologies are expensive and cost a lot of money. To overcome the cost, the company has to increase the prices

3- Usage of Quality Material

Binoculars that consist of rubber or plastic material are cheaper. The reason is that rubber material is not very expensive. But those binoculars made of rubber or plastic are not durable – slightly harsh usage can damage them.

So, manufacturers use premium quality materials like aluminum and magnesium which make binoculars super strong. But the prices of these materials are very high and that actually puts a bad impact on the overall prices of binos.

4- Usage of Prism

There are two types of prism that are used in binoculars. Their names are as follows

  • Porro prism
  • Roof prism

Porro prisms are not advanced and don’t provide exceptional results in binoculars. In the contrast, roof prism binoculars are very advanced and provide top-class performance but this prism type is very expensive.

Companies that add flare in their products use roof prism binoculars which make binoculars perfect in terms of performance but their prices go up.

Are Expensive Binoculars Really Worth it?

Expensive Binoculars offer a premium features like image stabilization and video recording. These helpful ads-on definitely improve your outdoor fun. Image stabilization is important when you are watching flying birds. Video recording makes your trip perfect.  Their build quality remains on the top. So, yes, expensive binoculars are actually worth it. If you have a handsome budget, we recommend you choose to add thrill to your outdoor fist.

However, if you have a tight budget then we suggest you not buy them as, without them, you will do pretty decent. You don’t need to add extra features that won’t make your day off!


However, our focus is always to give you perfect advice so that you make a suitable and wise decision. Everything related to prices is explained here.

Before writing this guide, we did market research to know about all the questions that newbies face. So, our efforts was to answer them for their betterment. Hopefully, this guide will add value to your life!

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