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10 Best Porro Prism Binoculars Worth The Money (2022)

Binoculars that use the Porro prism layout can often be recognized by their zig-zag shape. This is due to the prisms and lenses being offset from each other. Porro prism binoculars are often recognized for the sharp image quality they provide as well as the especially wide field of view that they often boast. Porro prisms tend to be bit bulkier than the alternative, but they’re still a great choice for a variety of activities. In this article we’ll go over some of the best Porro prism binoculars on the market!

We Recommend

Best auto-focus

Steiner Predator AF

Best that money can get

Steiner Military-Marine

Best zoom porros

Nikon Aculon A211

Best Porro Prism Binoculars

1. Steiner Predator AF 10X42mm Porro Prism Binoculars:

steiner binocular

The Steiner Predator AF 10X42mm Porro Prism Binoculars are powerful, sharp, and state-of-the-art. Like most Porro prisms, the Predator is bulky, but Steiner promises an ergonomical design with a rugged rubber casing allowing for an easy grip.

To keep your eyes safe from dust and debris, the Steiner Predator features silicone eyecups. The Steiner Predator has a sturdy Makrolon chassis that resists damage from outdoor adventuring. Water and fog proofing keeps your vision safe from adverse weather conditions.

The Steiner Predator is built for long-distance shooting and game spotting. Sharp clarity coupled with a long field of view allows the outdoorsman or birdwatcher on the go to track moving targets at a distance.

The Steiner Predator lacks a manual focusing option as well as image stabilization.


What we liked

  • Good for long-distance hunting
  • Brilliant and bright colors 
  • Easy to grip even when wet
  • Comfortable grip
  • Strong rugged body
  • Withstand rain and dust

What we didn’t like

  • Slightly lower water resistance rating (IPX-4)  
  • No image stabilization

Magnification: 10 x
Lens diameter: 42 mm
Field of view: 381 yds. at 1000 ft
Eye relief: 16.8 mm
Weatherproof: Waterproof, Fog proof
Weight: 30.3 oz
Best for: Sport hunting, bird watching

2. Steiner MM1050 10X50 Military-Marine Binoculars:

tactical binoculars

The Steiner MM1050 is a military-grade pair of binoculars which boasts extremely positive reviews and a generally impressive performance. The MM1050 delivers under low-light conditions thanks to its powerful BAK 4 Porro prisms. It features a strong and rugged Makrolon housing that can withstand water and sun damage. This housing is covered by an NBR long-lasting rubber armor which resists damage. This sturdy build is one of the key selling points of the MM1050.

This pair, like many products from the Steiner lineup, is equipped with Auto Focus technology. Through this, each eyepiece can be independently focused, with the minimum range being 20 yards. 

The Steiner MM1050 is so powerful under low-light conditions because of its large objective lenses which let in plenty of light. High contrast and accurate color reproduction contribute to the all around image quality of the MM1050.

Like other similar products from Steiner, the MM1050 does suffer from a lack of image stabilization.


What we liked

  • Marine-grade housing
  • Withstands dust and water damage
  • Resists 11Gs of impact
  • Excellent low-light performance
  • Good for hunting in the dark
  • Auto-focus for flexibility

What we didn’t like

  • Images may be a bit shaky without stabilization

Magnification: 10 x
Lens diameter: 50 mm
Field of view: 327 ft. at 1000 yds
Eye relief: 17 mm
Weatherproof: Waterproof, Fog proof
Weight: 35.2 oz
Best for: Birdwatching, boating, wayfinding

3. Nikon Aculon A211 10-22X50mm Porro Prism Binoculars:

nikon binoculars

Nikon’s Aculon A211 features a 10-22x magnification power packed into a 50 mm wide lens. This optimizes it for birdwatching, sightseeing, observing, and wayfinding. The rubber armor coating makes it shock-resistance and provides a firm and comfortable grip. The biggest standout feature for the Aculon, though, is its price tag. For such a quality set of Porro prism binoculars, the Nikon Aculon A211 is shockingly affordable.

The objective lenses of the Aculon are fully multi-coated. This enhances the brightness, resulting in clarity even in low-light settings and in your peripheral vision. Moreover, this set features rubber eyecups that provide comfort as well as easy adjustments.

Like most other Porros, the Aculon features a Center Focus for more focus control. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good choice for close-range use. It has a minimum focus range of 49.2 feet. Couple that with the fact that the high magnification of this product can result in shaky imagery and you may want to select a tripod or similar accessory when using this product.

A relatively short eye relief means that users who wear glasses may struggle with the Aculon.


What we liked

  • Highly versatile
  • Rubber armor coating for shock resistance
  • Enhances brightness
  • Comfortable and adjustable eyecups
  • More focus controls
  • Great for long-range hunting and watching
  • Good for low-light applications

What we didn’t like

  • Power adjustment knob is stiff
  • Very short eye relief
  • Eye piece protector cover don’t fit snug

Magnification: 10 – 22 x
Lens diameter: 50 mm
Field of view: 199 ft. at 1000 yds
Eye relief: 8.6 mm
Weatherproof: Waterproof, Fog proof
Weight: 48.91 oz.
Best for: Birdwatching, sightseeing, wayfinding, boating, observing

4. Celestron SkyMaster DX 8X56mm Porro Prism Binoculars

porro prism binoculars

Many people believe that you need a telescope to enjoy exploring the night sky. For beginner stargazers, though, telescopes can be difficult to master and expensive to acquire. For someone just beginning their journey into optics, a sturdy pair of binoculars can be a great tool for checking out the cosmos. The Celestron SkyMaster is the best choice in our Porro prism binoculars review for stargazing, astronomy, and sightseeing.

Celestron has nitrogen-purged this product for maximum protection against fog and moisture. 

The Sky Master’s lenses are completely Multi-Coated for sharp, bright colors that don’t fade away. This maximizes the brightness of the image and allows for clearer night vision. 

This Porro binocular focuses a lot on user comfort. It features silicone eyecups to keep your eye sockets comfortable and dust-free. Combined with the comfortable rubber grip of the SkyMaster, this set makes a very suitable set of beginner binoculars for the Porro prism fan. Furthermore, the SkyMaster won’t break the bank as its price falls on the more affordable side of the optics pricing spectrum.

The Celestron SkyMaster has a large focus knob in the center for manual focusing. However, they can only magnify up to eight times. A user who requires stronger magnification may want to look into one of the other products on our list.


What we liked

  • Sharp bright images
  • Comfortable eye relief
  • Eyecup angle can be adjusted
  • Gives you more focus control
  • Great for stargazing
  • Protected against water and fog
  • Comfortable rubber grip

What we didn’t like

  • A bit unwieldy
  • Lower magnification may not be ideal in all applications (although 8x is plenty for most beginner users)

Magnification: 8 x
Lens diameter: 56 mm
Field of view: 304 ft. at 1000 yds
Eye relief: 18 mm
Weatherproof: Waterproof and fog proof
Weight: 35.04 oz
Best for: Astronomy

5. Nikon OceanPro 7X50 Porro Prism Binoculars

porro prism binoculars

The Nikon OceanPro uses a BAK4 Porro prism layout to deliver crisp views with a wide field of vision. The OceanPro is designed for marine usage and is ideal for boating and wayfinding. The polycarbonate body makes them 100% fog and waterproof.  

Rubber armored and sturdy, the OceanPro resists damage and delivers high contrast vibrant colors even in wet weather. The OceanPro also deatures a nice long eye relief which allows for comfortable use for glasses-wearers.

Since they’re made for wayfinding and boating, the OceanPro has a pretty distant close-focus of 33 feet. This close focus is not ideal for viewing anything nearby, so these binoculars are not ideal for things like birdwatching or hunting. For wayfinding, though, the OceanPro is a strong choice. Like many other Porro prism binoculars, the OceanPro is a bit heavy.

They also have quite a wide exit pupil of about 7.1 mm. This enhances the brightness of the image and allows for the wide field of view which is so necessary for boating and wayfinding.

The OceanPro is a specialized tool. It is not the most powerful magnification tool nor the most generally useful or convenient set of binoculars. For the specific needs of boating or wayfinding circumstances, though, the OceanPro is a very strong candidate.


What we liked

  • 100% waterproof and fog proof
  • Bright and distinct image
  • Can see far and wide
  • Has a wider field of view
  • Extremely bright images
  • Manual focus
  • Good for glasses-wearers

What we didn’t like

  • Somewhat Large to hold
  • Quite heavy
  • Useful under specific circumstances, but not as versatile as other options

Magnification: 7 x
Lens diameter: 50 mm
Field of view: 378 ft. at 1000 yds
Eye relief: 22.7 mm
Weatherproof: Waterproof, Fog proof
Weight: 56.79 oz
Best for: Boating, wayfinding

6. Leupold BX-1 Yosemite 10X30mm Porro Prism Binoculars

leupold binoculars

The Leupold BX-1 has a 10x magnification with a narrow inter-pupillary distance. Both of these features combine to provide wide viewing ranges and powerful magnification. 

The Leupold BX-1 features water and fog-proof construction that keeps your binoculars safe from the elements. These binoculars have a Multi-Coated lens array which is intended to deliver on maximum brightness and high contrast. Additionally, it has a narrow exit pupil of 3mm, making it ideal for use in low-light conditions. 

The Leupold BX-1 features a center focus that can be manually adjusted as well as a diopter focus for tighter focusing. The Leupold BX-1 is shocking light and very portable.


What we liked

  • Protected from fog and water
  • Great for low-light applications
  • More focus control
  • Compensates for parallax
  • Comes with accessories
  • Wide viewing range and short close-focus
  • Bright and brilliant colors

What we didn’t like

  • Not suitable for stargazing
  • Shorter eye relief

Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 30 mm
Field of view: 351 ft. at 1000 yds
Eye relief: 15.5 mm
Weatherproof: Waterproof, Fog proof
Weight: 17 oz
Best for: Birding and all-around wildlife

7. Bushnell Legacy WP 10-22X50mm Porro Prism Binoculars

porro prism binoculars

These Bushnell Legacy come with BaK-4 prisms in a Porro configuration. This binocular has a variable magnification of 10x to 22x. This makes the Legacy a popular choice amongst users who crave long range magnification paired with the high light transmission which Porro prisms provide.

The Bushnell Legacy’s lenses are fully Multi-Coated, resulting in vibrant colors. The objective lens has a wide diameter of 50 mm, which results in extremely high light transmission and unbeatable low-light performance. Furthermore, the exit pupil is about 5 mm at 10x and gets smaller at higher magnifications, capping out at 2.3 mm. This results in a clearer image.

The use of rugged rubber armor coating gives you an anti-slip grip in wet conditions and resists damage from an impact if it falls.

The Legacy WP is 100% waterproof. While heavier than some roof prism binoculars, the Legacy is still a strong choice for the explorer on the go. At just 14 mm, the eye relief on these binoculars is quite short and not likely to comfortably accommodate glasses wearers.


What we liked

  • Foldable eye cups for glass-wearers
  • Comfortable rubber grip
  • 100% water and dustproof
  • Center manual focus
  • Bright and sharp images
  • Great for low-light applications
  • Versatile usage

What we didn’t like

  • Somewhat heavy
  • Short eye relief

Magnification: 10 x – 22x
Lens diameter: 50 mm
Field of view: 314 ft. at 1000 yds
Eye relief: 14 mm
Weatherproof: Waterproof, Fog proof
Weight: 34.2 oz
Best for: wayfinding, stargazing, sightseeing, hunting

8. Leupold BX-1 Rogue 8X25mm Compact Binocular

leupold binoculars

The Leupold BX-1 are compact Porro prism binoculars made with great precision and accuracy. It has been nitrogen-purged for protection against fog and water.

There’s a central focus dial that facilitates manual focusing. This way, you have a lot more control over how far you’re seeing. You also get a Diopter focus to eliminate parallax.  

The Leupold BX-1 Rogue has an ergonomic lightweight design that weighs 12.64 ounces. This makes it easier to hold and use on the go. The silicone-padded eyecups can be twisted up for convenient storage. And the eye relief is perfect for those who wear glasses. 

The objective lens is Fully Multi-Coated to maintain a decent level of brightness that provides clarity and contrast. It comes with a few accessories, such as a carrying case and shoulder strap, to complete your experience.


What we liked

  • Lightweight and extremely portable
  • Center and Diopter focus
  • Comes with lots of accessories
  • Great contrast and clarity
  • Ergonomic design
  • Comfortable eyecups
  • Long eye relief for glasses users

What we didn’t like

  • Strap bracket is short
  • Short eye relief

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 25 mm
Field of view: 337 ft. at 1000 yds.
Eye relief: 15 mm
Weatherproof: Waterproof, Fog proof
Weight: 12.64 oz
Best for: Sports events, general-purpose

9. Celestron SkyMaster 25X100mm Porro Prism Binoculars

porro prism binoculars

The Celestron SkyMaster is one of the best choices for Porro prism binoculars when it comes to stargazing and sky-watching. The SkyMaster features 25x optical magnification that will bring you closer to the stars. 

It’s made using a BaK4 Porro prism system that can focus on objects over long ranges, even in dark conditions. It has a tiny exit pupil of 4 mm, perfect for getting crisp images of constellations. 

These binoculars do lack the traditional nitrogen purging which usually provides water and fog proofing. Celestron does, however, claim that this product is “water resistant.”

The SkyMaster’s large objective lenses let in lots of light which is ideal for stargazing and astronomy. These binoculars are not easily operated without a tripod and their close focus range is quite distant. They are not an ideal choice for handheld use or general nature exploration. For stargazing, though, the SkyMaster is a great tool. Be sure to make use of the tripod adapter which is included with the purchase of a Celestron SkyMaster.


What we liked

  • Ideal for astronomy
  • Diopter and Center focus
  • 100% waterproof
  • Large lens diameter
  • Made for spotting constellations
  • Perfect crisp images
  • Longer close-focus range

What we didn’t like

  • Short eye relief
  • Requires a tripod
  • Not nitrogen purged

Magnification: 25x
Lens diameter: 100 mm
Field of view: 157 ft. at 1000 yds
Eye relief: 15 mm
Weatherproof: No
Weight: 140 oz
Best for: Astronomy, stargazing

10. Vortex Vanquish 10X26mm Porro Prism Compact Binoculars

vortex binoculars

Designed for birdwatching, the Vortex Vanquish Porro prism binoculars are compact and lightweight, perfect for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. They have a 10x magnification power that maintains crisp image quality even at 1,000 yards. This set has a short close-focus of 7.6 feet, meaning you can use it for birdwatching and sightseeing with ease.

Focusing can be done via the center dial focus. There’s also a limited diopter focus for eliminating parallax. The objective lens is quite small, letting in a bit less light than some of the list’s previous entries. This means that the Vortex Vanquish may be a bit less useful in low light conditions than other entries. The Vanquish is still quite effective during the dawn and dusk hours thanks to Multi-Coating which enhances brightness and contrast.

The Vortex Vanquish has been nitrogen-filled and rubber-armored for maximum fog and rain protection as well as an overall rugged build quality. Porro prism binoculars can be bulky at times, so the Vanquish is a great option for someone who wants to experience the optical quality of Porro prisms without the excessive weight.


What we liked

  • Crisp image quality
  • Great for low-light applications
  • Highly durable
  • Protected against water and fog
  • Diamond-pattern grip
  • Center and Diopter focus
  • Great for close-range hunting

What we didn’t like

  • Weaker Diopter focus

Magnification: 10 x
Lens diameter: 26 mm
Field of view: 294 ft. at 1000 yds
Eye relief: 16 mm
Weatherproof: Waterproof, Fog proof
Weight: 12.8 oz
Best for: Birdwatching, general observing

Roof Prism vs. Porro Prism Binoculars

Binoculars work on two main principles: magnification and image re-orientation. A simple magnifying lens (the objective lens) magnifies the image, and a prism orients it the right way up. A roof prism binocular has two prisms stuck together such that the light passes through in a straight line. In a Porro prism, however, the prisms are slightly offset, bending the light slightly. 

Porro prisms, which derive their name from the Italian inventor who created them, tend to provide higher quality images. They produce brighter and sharper images and provide a wider field of view. The trade-off, though, is that Porro prism binoculars tend to be sort of bulky and unwieldy.

There are many applications for which Porro prisms are ideal. Stargazing, for example, is often better served by Porro prisms than roof prisms. For the optics novice, the difference probably wouldn’t be too obvious, but as you dive into the hobby and your needs evolve Porro prism binoculars might just hit the spot!

Roof prism binoculars may be a bit less sharp and clear but they tend to be lighter, more compact, and more rugged. For a hiker, camper, or outdoor explorer, a set of roof prism binoculars is a good bet.

Pricing can also vary quite a bit between Porro and roof prism binoculars, but depending upon the brands chosen both types can be found at pretty much any price range.

FAQ

What is a Porro prism binocular?

A Porro prism binocular is one in which the two prisms are slightly offset to each other. This results in a wider field of view. These binoculars are great for hunting and stargazing.

Which is better: roof prism or Porro prism?

The type of binoculars which is “better” is the one that best suits your specific needs. For a birder on the go, roof prisms are more compact and durable. For an optics nerd looking to break in to astronomy, Porro prisms are the obvious choice.

How do Porro prisms work?

Porro prisms work by first magnifying the image and then inverting it using two prisms. The prisms are offset, so the light ray has to make a short horizontal movement. This makes the image wider and opens up your field of view.

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