Magnification and the size of the binoculars do not matter towards the price of binoculars. A pair of massive binoculars is NOT more expensive than a small portable binocular, and in many cases, it can be the opposite way around.
Why some binoculars are so expensive? There could be many factors behind why binoculars are so expensive, some of the factors are related to the manufacturer and production, while some other to glass quality, precision, collimation and body armour. The price of a binocular in general reflect the quality, but this is not always the case.
Why some binoculars are so expensive?
The glass quality and prisms used
Glass quality and the prisms play the main role in the price of binoculars, and this is a fact. Better the quality of the glass, more expensive the binoculars can be, for the simple reason that the image observed through the binoculars is much better and the resolution is higher than some other cheaper binoculars.
The glass on more expensive binoculars goes through many stages on the production industries, polishing, coating and inspecting before getting into the binoculars as a final product. The same for the prisms which play a major role in the quality of the image resulted.
Another plain example would be ED elements, which is specially treated glass in order to block some colour wavelengths to reduce or eliminate the chromatic aberration. In this case, where the ED glass is found in these binoculars, those are more expensive than the others and sometimes by large margins.
Moreover, the glass can be multi-coated or fully coated to improve the brightness and the contrast and to reduce reflection and glare. Sometimes this can be found as well on the prisms and some of the binoculars front elements are also scratch-resistant.
The body structure and material used
Body structures play a secondary but very important role in the price of binoculars. The body armour can be made from some specific materials to increase durability and this can be partially or fully covered with layers of rubber to absorb damage on impact.
The finesses and the balance of the binoculars are related to the body structure, where the glass elements are placed and these can play an important role in increasing the production cost and the price of the binoculars overall.
Binoculars can be also weatherproof, waterproof or fog-proof, which means that may have an O-seal ring and is nitrogen-purged in order to remove any impurities, oxygen and humidity from the inside of the binoculars before this is sealed. This is one another factor which adds up on the price of the binoculars, but in my personal opinion, it is a factor that worth and every binocular buyer should look for it.
The manufacturer, production line and profit
Binoculars can be as cheap as $20 with the price going up to a couple of thousand dollars or even more. Every manufacturer has a different production line and a different system of production, quality checks, assembly, testing and finishing.
For the more expensive binoculars, the quality checks are more strict from the moment the glass and prisms are manufactured, this is getting through many processes and many hands before is finished. Every glass even with the slightest impurity is rejected. All those add up to the final price of the binoculars.
Moreover, the distributing, storage, transport, and selling cut off the margins of the profit, therefore, as everything has to be covered, the binoculars price is explained.
What is not explained is the low-quality and poor binoculars priced very expensively, where, among the line, the prices are increased for a specific reason, in general, this being more profit at the seller’s end. For this reason, you have to be aware of either test your product before you buy it, and this doesn’t go only in binoculars but with every single product manufactured.
Which binoculars worth the price and which not?
It is difficult to say which binoculars worth their price and where to look for other models where the price can offer more. We don’t have any insights into how much the material costs and the production line of binoculars, what is the profit and where this can be the right one for you or not.
The advice we can give is that if you want to invest into a good pair of binoculars please make sure you pick a reputable manufacturer in optics such as Zeiss, Swarovski, Nikon, Canon and a few other names in the field of binoculars.
One thing you may be able to do is to test the binoculars before you buy them. It is as simple as how the image looks and what are the gains of the specific binoculars. Look for other models on the same price and see if any binoculars can offer more, but beware that where is more to be offered in one side, something may be taken from the other side.
Conclusion on why some binoculars are so expensive.
Investing in a cheaper pair of binoculars may seem the solution for many buyers in special if the binoculars are not going to be used on a daily basis. But you will get in what you invest, and do not expect to get any outstanding quality binoculars for the price.
There goes for the very expensive binoculars, the reason for this topic, does it worth the investment? well… it really depends, if you have the money and you want to make sure you get the best experience of your observations, I can say it does worth but in general, I would say to try something before you buy in special with the expensive products.
What would be my recommendation for everyone is to invest into an average priced pair of binoculars as the quality may seem adequate and very good optics behind, armour and for the binoculars to be waterproof, weatherproof and fog-proof, where on the other side you can save some cash.
It will be more understandable if you are a professional photographer and you want to invest in an expensive spotting scope, which, is made on the same principle as the binoculars. Remember that on the most spotting scopes you are able to attach a DSLR camera and take some professional photographs, where no lens would be able to cover the magnification and power of the spotting scope.
Therefore, for binoculars, I would recommend investing into an average priced pair where for spotting scopes or telescopes, aiming towards the high-end if you can afford financially would worth the price.
I am glad that you remained until the end of this post and I hope that this article may answer you a few questions. I will say good-bye for now and I hope to see you around. You can check our binoculars buying guide if you are interested. Take care!