BINOCULARS

Best Auto Focus Binoculars: Capture the Fast Moving World

Night owl optics binoculars
Mike Benton
Written by Mike Benton

We can all agree that it is a real pain when trying to use a binocular to see a particular object or observe a sporting event, and while trying to bring the binoculars into focus, the object will escape your field of view. You surely don’t want this to happen, right? To remedy this situation, a suitable choice is to use an auto focus binocular.

You may think that using an auto focus binocular is not very practical, but here we’ll explain all the necessary facts you need to know and in the end, you will be fully informed about all the possibilities of using such optical devices.

There are many manufacturers of auto focus binoculars and here, we’ll make a review of the top rated products. But first, there are several things you should be familiar with when choosing the best auto focus binoculars for you.

Product Name Magnification
Objective Lens
Dimensions
Weight
Features Price
Bushnell Perma Focus 8x258 x 253 x 5 x 2 in
9.3 oz
Fully coated optics, Focus free feature, compact size, ergonomic design, rubber coated bodyCheck price on Amazon
SKY HARKS Marine 7x50 7 x 503.1 x 7.8 x 5.9 in
32 oz
BaK – 4 glass, Porro prism system, auto focus, waterproof, dust proof, fog proof, floating, inbuilt compass, tripod adjustableCheck price on Amazon
Bushnell Powerview 10x50  10 x 508.2 x 8.5 x 3.5 in
25 oz
Quality multi-coated optical elements, wide angle view, Perma Focus feature, rubber coated body with ergonomic designCheck price on Amazon
Steiner AZ830 8 x 304.2 x 6.7 x 2.2 in
19.2 oz
Floating prism system, compact design, sports auto focus system, durable polycarbonate body with NBR rubber coating,Check price on Amazon
Hammers Perma Focus 6x186 x 184 x 2.3 x 3.6 in
4.4 oz
Lightweight, fixed auto focus lens system, Ruby red coating, soft rubber coated bodyCheck price on Amazon
SkyGenius Rangefinder 10x5010 x 5010.5 x 9 x 4.5 in
57.6 oz
Clear-Sharp optics, BaK – 4 prism glass, fully multi-coated lenses, rangefinder, compass, waterproof, fog proof, floating, auto focus featureCheck price on Amazon
Steiner Marine 7x507 x 508.1 x 5.2 x 2.8 in
36 oz
Sports Auto Focus system, BaK – 4 prism glass, fully multicoated lenses, waterproof, shock proofCheck price on Amazon
Bushnell Perma Focus 10x42 10 x 4218.8 oz10X magnification, focus-free feature, fully coated optics, no slip rubber coating, twist up eyecups, black or camo finishCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

We will explain the basic features of auto focus binoculars and their main characteristics to inform you and help you make the best decision that suits your needs.

Magnification and Objective Lens Diameter

Magnification is the number that shows how larger the image will appear compared to the original at a given distance. In most binoculars, this is a permanent, fixed feature.

Objective lens diameter (measured in millimeters) determines how much light enters the binoculars and forms the image. Two binoculars with equal magnification but different objective lens diameters will have images with different brightness.

Exit Pupil Size and Eye Relief

The exit pupil size is the number when dividing the objective lens diameter and the magnification power of binoculars. The exit pupil size shows how bright will the image is seen through the binoculars. The exit pupil size should be as close as possible with the human eye pupil, which dilates between 2.5 and 7mm. This is also important when using the binoculars in low light conditions like dusk or dawn.

Exit_Pupil

The distance where you should put your eye in relation to the binocular in order to see the whole image is known as eye relief.  This is a very important feature for people wearing eyeglasses.  A larger eye relief will allow the user to have their eyes further away from the lens and still see the whole image.

Field of View

The width of the area you will see standing at a given distance. The most common measure is the width in feet at a distance of 1000 yards. A wider field of view will give a more panoramic image, while a narrower field of view will have a more limited view.

In general, a higher magnification will result in a narrow field of view, with a lower magnification giving a wider field.  If you are scanning across larger areas the wider field of view is preferable, but for detailed viewing of an object, a narrower field of view is a better option.

Size Class and Weight

Compact, midsize and full-size – the three basic size classes. Choose the one that is in accordance to your needs. You will need to balance the size and ease of use with the storage and carrying of a given size.

binocular size

Weight is also very important, especially when carrying binoculars around your neck or on your back for a full day. Heavier binoculars will cause more fatigue in your arms and hands.

Body Coating and Waterproofing

Many manufacturers coat their products in rubber or rubber-like materials to get a no-slip coating and have a better grip on the binoculars. This feature is important when using the binocular in the wild, as the rubber coating will offer some shock absorbing properties if dropped.

Waterproofing is achieved by O-ring seals around all critical areas on the binocular. The water seals prevent water, dust, and debris from entering the binocular and protect the internal optical elements. If you use the binocular in a natural setting, the woods or on a boat, this is a good feature to have.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Above we have mentioned the basic features you should look at when choosing a binocular. Now we will look at the top-rated autofocus binoculars.

Bushnell Perma Focus 8×25 Binocular Bushnell Perma Focus 

Price: Approx. $450

Magnification: 8x

Dimensions: 3 x 5 x 2 in

Weight: 9.3 oz

Best use: Sporting events, hiking, distant objects observation

Special features: Fully coated optics, focus-free feature, compact size, ergonomic design, rubber coated body

Description: The Bushnell Perma Focus 8×25 Binocular  is a good choice for auto focus binoculars. It features 8x magnification power with a 25 mm objective lens diameter, giving it a 3.1 mm exit pupil size.

The main feature of this binocular is the focus-free feature that always has the binocular ready for viewing. To use it, simply adjust the distance between your eyes, and it will auto focus on distances greater than 20 feet. The close focus distance depends on the individual user’s eyesight.

It has Porro prism design made of BK-7 glass and fully coated optic for increased light transmission and bright images. The field of view on this binocular is 341 feet at 1000 yards, the eyecups fold down and the eye relief is 10 mm. This binocular is not adjustable to a tripod and is not waterproof and fog proof.

The external rubber coating offers a good no-slip grip and shock protection, and the compact size makes it ideal for carrying around in your pocket or bag to a sports event or a hiking trip. They come with a carry case and a neck strap and are covered by Bushnell’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.

PROS:

  • Compact size, lightweight, rubber coated body
  • Focus free, auto focus on distances greater than 20 feet
  • Carry case, neck strap
  • Bushnell’s Limited Lifetime Warranty

CONS:

  • Not waterproof, not fog proof
  • Relatively expensive

Related: When considering buying this kind of binoculars, you can treat yourself with a nice comfortable neck strap as the OP/TECH USA E-Z Comfort Strap. Made from neoprene, it fits all binoculars and cameras and can be easily adjusted and it stays comfortably and securely on your neck.

Check the price on Amazon

SKY HARKS Marine 7×50 Binocular
SKY HARKS Marine 

Price: Approx. $99

Magnification: 7x

Dimensions: 3.1 x 7.8 x 5.9 in

Weight: 32 oz

Best use: Hunting, hiking, water sports

Special features: BaK – 4 glass, Porro prism system, auto focus, waterproof, dust proof, fog proof, floating, inbuilt compass, tripod adjustable

Description: The SKY HARKS Marine 7×50 Binocular  is an excellent choice for the outdoor enthusiast, especially for those who enjoy water sports. They feature the magnification power of 7x and an objective lens diameter of 50 mm, with exit pupil size of 6.8 mm. The large objective lens diameter makes this binocular good to use in low light conditions, like dawn or dusk.

They have the auto focus feature, which makes them easy to use and always ready to observe. The close focus distance depends on the eyesight of the user, as with other auto focus binoculars.

The Marine 7×50 Waterproof Floating binocular has Porro prism system with BaK – 4 prism glass and fully multi-coated lenses that provide increased light transmittance and clear, bright, crisp images. The field of view is 396 feet at 1000 yards, which gives excellent panoramic views – the eye relief is 22 mm, accommodating both people with and without glasses.

The binocular is waterproof with proper water seals that keep water and dust outside, protecting the quality optical elements inside. One key feature of this binocular is that if dropped in water, they will float, instead of sinking, which makes them very suitable to use on boats and other water sports or in rainstorms and high humidity conditions. They are also fog proof, filled with nitrogen internal atmosphere.

The body is coated in rubber armor that provides some shock resistance and comfortable no-slip grip. They are tripod adjustable and come in woodland camo finish. There is a built-in compass and assumption range finder. The rangefinder doesn’t have a direct readout, but you have to use math to calculate the distance of the object. Also included are rain guard, objective lens covers, neck strap, carry case and a cleaning cloth.

PROS:

  • Excellent quality optics
  • Auto focus feature
  • Waterproof, fog proof, shock resistant, floating
  • Built–in compass and rangefinder
  • Neck strap, rain guard, and lens covers

CONS:

  • May be difficult to calculate distance
  • Relatively heavy

Related: If you are considering getting this product, then we recommend that you get the Vero Vellini Binocular Float Strap. Even if the Marine binocular floats, still this very comfortable neck strap will help your binocular stay above water. It has a non-slip backing, fits most binoculars and is handmade in Germany.

Check the price on Amazon

Bushnell Powerview 10×50 BinocularBushnell Powerview 

Price: Approx. $56

Magnification: 10x

Dimensions: 8.2 x 8.5 x 3.5 in

Weight: 25 oz

Best use: Sporting events, observing nature

Special features: Quality multi-coated optical elements, wide angle view, Perma Focus feature, rubber coated body with ergonomic design

Description: The Bushnell Powerview 10×50 Binocular  is a very good choice for an auto focus binocular. It features 10x magnification power and objective lens diameter of 50 mm, with exit pupil size of 5 mm.

The prisms have Porro design with BK – 7 prism glass and the optical elements are multi-coated for increased light transmission for bright, crisp images. The eyecups fold down to adjust for eyeglass wearers and the eye relief is 10 mm. They are tripod adjustable but are not water and fog proof.

The focus is fixed and dials in focus automatically at any distance. The field of view of this model is 341 feet over 1000 yards, giving a relatively panoramic image.

The body has an ergonomic design and has rubber coating offering a secure grip and shock resistance. They come with neck strap, lens covers and carry case, and are covered by Bushnell’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.

PROS:

  • Inexpensive
  • Quality, clear optics
  • Ergonomic design
  • Bushnell’s Limited Lifetime Warranty

CONS:

  • Non-waterproof, no fog proof
  • Made in China

Related: If you’re into hunting and you’re considering getting this binocular, then you should definitely check this Bushnell Back Track Hunt. With weather and animal activity predictive data and one of the best GPS technologies there’s no chance you’ll get lost or come home empty-handed.

Check the price on Amazon

Steiner AZ830 Binocular
Steiner M830r 

Price: Approx. $275

Magnification: 8x

Dimensions: 4.2 x 6.7 x 2.2 in

Weight: 19.2 oz

Best use: Sporting events, auto sports, aero sports, general sightseeing

Special features: Floating prism system, compact design, Sports Auto Focus system, durable polycarbonate body with NBR rubber coating, Steiner’s Industry Leading Heritage Warranty

Description: The Steiner AZ830 Binocular  is a reasonably good choice for an autofocus binocular. It has 8x magnification power over 30 mm objective lens diameter.

The prisms are Floating PrismSystem with flexible silicon mount for shock and impact absorption and damage resistance. The focus is Sports Auto Focus system that you only need to adjust to your vision once and it will be set to go. The focusing distance goes from 20 yards to infinity, and it is very easy to focus on fast-moving targets.

The body is made from durable polycarbonate material with NBR Long Life rubber armor that can withstand enormous force, given the binocular durability and prolonged life. They are rain proof and are able to be used in rough conditions, the fog proof performance is ensured by nitrogen filling.

This binocular comes with a neck strap, carry case, lens covers and is covered by the Steiner Industry Leading Heritage Warranty.

PROS:

  • Ergonomic design, durable build, waterproof, rain proof, shock resistant
  • Auto focus feature
  • Made in Germany
  • Steiner Industry Leading Heritage Warranty

CONS:

  • Not so good in low light conditions

Related: When considering buying the Steiner AZ830 Binocular, you can also get the Steiner SkyHawk 3.0 8×42 Binocular. This model, however, does not have the auto focus feature, instead, it has the fast focus control. It also comes with all the goodies like carrying case, objective lens covers, rain guard, and ClicLoc strap, and is also covered by Steiner’s Industry Leading Heritage Warranty.

Check the price on Amazon

Hammers Perma Focus 6×18 Binocular Hammers Perma Focus 

Price: Approx. $20

Magnification: 6x

Dimensions: 4 x 2.3 x 3.6 in

Weight:  4.4 oz

Best use: Hiking, sporting events, cultural events

Special features: Lightweight, fixed auto focus lens system, Ruby red coating, soft rubber coated body

Description: The Hammers Perma Focus 6×18 Binocular  is an excellent choice for extra small travel binoculars. It has 6x magnification power and 18 mm objective lens diameter, that gives it 3 mm exit pupil size.

This Hammers binocular has Ruby red coating on the lenses for sharper images. It has fixed auto focus lens system that enables instant views starting from 10 feet to infinity – there is no need to adjust the focus.

The body is very compact and is coated with soft rubber coating that provides comfortable, no-slip grip. This binocular is great to use when traveling or to sports events and concerts, due to its small size and auto focus features. It comes with a nice soft carry case and a neck strap.

All in all, this binocular provides really sharp images which makes the viewing quality excellent. It’s designed to last, so we highly recommend this mini binocular.

PROS:

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight, compact design
  • Fixed auto focus feature
  • Excellent value for money

CONS:

  • Not suitable for long distances
  • Bit problematic to use with eyeglasses

Related: A nice addition to the Hammers Perma Focus 6×18 Binocular would be definitely this Hammers Multifunctional Mini Compass. Perfect for any prepping kit, this nicely made mini compass plus a thermometer and a keychain can be put them onto your knife, walking stick, backpack, binoculars, etc.

Check the price on Amazon

SkyGenius Rangefinder 10×50 BinocularSkyGenius 10X50 Rangefinder Binoculars

Price: Approx. $119

Magnification: 10x

Dimensions: 10.5 x 9 x 4.5 in

Weight: 57.6 oz

Best use: Hunting, use on boats, outdoor activities

Special features: Clear-Sharp optics, BaK – 4 prism glass, fully multi-coated lenses, rangefinder, compass, waterproof, fog proof, floating, auto focus feature

Description: The SkyGenius Rangefinder 10×50 Binocular  is a good choice for any nature lover. These binoculars come with 10x magnification power and have 50 mm objective lens diameter.

This binocular features BaK – 4 prism glass with High index Porro prism system and full green multi-coated lenses for increased light transmittance and lower light scattering, enabling for crisp, clear HD images.

The focus is adjusted on both eye lenses on first use, and after that, it stays in place and you can easily utilize the auto focus feature. The field of view is 342 feet at 100 yards, the eye relief is 23 mm, and the exit pupil size is 7 mm, suitable for almost all light conditions.

The body of this binocular is waterproof, with proper water seals on all critical areas. It is also fog proof, filled with nitrogen internal atmosphere. This model is fully water resistant and if dropped in water it floats which makes it suitable to use during sailing or other water sports.

The SkyGenius 10×50 Rangefinder binocular has a built-in rangefinder and compass. The rangefinder measures azimuth, elevation, distance and size of objects, the compass has internal illumination and they use batteries that are included in the box.

The body is made from durable materials and is coated with non-slip rubber coating for firm grip and shock resistance. This binocular comes with a soft canvas bag, wide neck strap, lens covers, two batteries for the rangefinder and illuminated compass, instruction manual, and a cleaning cloth.

PROS:

  • Good magnification and quality optics
  • Durable, rugged body design and build
  • Built-in rangefinder and compass
  • Auto focus feature

CONS:

  • Relatively heavy

Related: Even if this binocular floats if dropped in water, it is still a good idea to get yourself a nice float strap, such as the Eyeskey Universal Shoulder Strap. It has no – slip backing that rests comfortably on your neck and is universal which means it will float all 7×50 or smaller binoculars.

Check the price on Amazon

Steiner Marine 7×50 BinocularSteiner Marine

Price: Approx. $269

Magnification: 7x

Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 2.8 in

Weight: 36 oz

Best use: Sporting events, use on boats and water sports

Special features: Sports Auto Focus system, BaK – 4 prism glass, fully multicoated lenses, waterproof, shockproof, Steiner Heritage Warranty

Description: The Steiner Marine 7×50 Binocular is a good choice when looking for an auto focus binocular. It has 7x magnification power and 50 mm objective lens diameter for good light gathering even in more low light conditions.

The prisms have Porro design and are made from BaK – 4 prism glass, the lenses have fully multicoating to ensure maximum light transmittance (rated over 90%) and excellent, sharp, bright images. The eye relief on this binocular is 22 mm and can accommodate people with or without glasses. The field of view is 354 feet at 1000 yards, giving a relatively panoramic view of the landscape.

The Sports-Autofocus system is usable from 20 yards to infinity, and it only needs to be calibrated once to the user’s eyesight. This is a very handy feature to use on boats or to watch moving objects, and even one-handed operation is extremely easy.

The body is made from very durable Makrolon polycarbonate material, coated in rubber armoring to provide shock resistance and no–slip grip even in wet conditions. This binocular is waterproof and is fog proof with nitrogen internal atmosphere.

This product comes with carrying case, neck strap, rain guard, objective lens covers and is protected under the Steiner Heritage Lifetime Warranty.

PROS:

  • Heavy duty, quality design and build of the body and optics
  • Auto focus feature
  • Made in Germany
  • Steiner Heritage Warranty
  • Waterproof, fog proof, shock resistant

CONS:

  • Heavy to hold for a long time
  • Large body for some people’s hands

Related: When getting the Steiner 7×50 Marine Binocular, as it is intended to be used on boats, it is smart to invest in a proper float strap, like the Steiner Binocular Float Strap. It is 55 mm wide and has universal loop ends that fit on all binoculars has bright yellow color and it floats.

Check the price on Amazon

Bushnell Perma Focus 10×42 BinocularBushnell Perma Focus 

Price: Approx. $91

Magnification: 10x

Weight: 18.8 oz

Best use: Hunting, bird watching, general use

Special features: 10x magnification, focus-free feature, fully coated optics, no-slip rubber coating, twist-up eyecups, black or camo finish

Description: The Bushnell Perma Focus 10×42 Binocular is a nice choice for an auto focus binocular. It features 10x magnification power with 42 mm objective lens, which means that the exit pupil size is 4.2 mm, a nice size for all purpose and all light conditions.

The prism glass is BK – 7, and the design is roof prism system for sleek body design. The lenses are fully coated for increased light transmission and clear, bright views. The eye relief is 14 mm, the eyecups can be twisted up or down and the field of view is 305 feet at 1000 yards.

There is the Focus Free system, which allows the user to set the binocular according to its vision once, and afterward use it instantly, focusing easily in many applications like sporting events, auto sports, aero sports, concerts etc. The focus goes from 20 feet to infinity.

The body is coated in rubber armor that provides firm, secure grip, and some shock resistance. It comes in black or camo finish. However, this binocular is not waterproof or fog proof, so you will have to be careful with it and not use it in extreme weather conditions. They come with a carry case and a narrow neck strap.

PROS:

  • Relatively affordable
  • Good optics
  • Focus free feature and easy setup
  • Rubber coated, shock resistant body

CONS:

  • Not waterproof, not fog proof
  • Low-quality narrow neck strap

Related: When purchasing the Bushnell 10×42 PermaFocus Focus Free Binocular, you might want to look at the Bushnell Deluxe Binocular Harness. This strap fits all Bushnell binoculars and cameras, is easy to set and adjust, is made to be durable and sits comfortably on your neck.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

There is no ideal binocular. The user needs to decide on all the required properties in accordance with the application. Ideally, any user should have 3 different types of binoculars: compact, outdoor, general observation. As many people don’t know much about binoculars before you make your next binocular purchase consider what the binocular will be used for and then select the binoculars that offer exactly that.

Above we have made reviews of the top rated auto focus binoculars. Hopefully, you have found this post helpful when choosing your next auto focus binocular. Leave us a note in the comments section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Benton
Mike Benton

Mike is a hunter since he was 6 years old and his father would take him to Alaska or British Columbia. He realized that the difference in gear that you have might have a big impact on how much game will you carry home. Later he decided to share his valuable experience with our readers to help you to choose the proper gear for hunting and outdoors.

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