Best Binoculars for Anole Gazing?

Having recently lost my trusty pair of binoculars, I’m searching for a replacement before heading to the field this summer. My original binoculars were bought for the express purpose of watching monkeys, but now that I’m spending my days observing anole behavior it’s time to reconsider what makes for a good pair of binocs. So far, I’ve received one important piece of advice: make sure that the close focal distance is as small as possible (definitely less than 10 feet, and less than 6 feet is even better) so that you can zoom in on nearby lizards. And, of course, they need to be waterproof/fogproof against the tropical environs! Specific recommendations so far have included the Eagle Optics Ranger and the Nikon Monarch.

So, what is your favorite pair of binoculars? Any tips or advice on what makes a good pair of herping binoculars?

11 thoughts on “Best Binoculars for Anole Gazing?

  1. I haven’t done much anole-gazing with them, but I have a couple of pairs of the Canon image-stabilizing binoculars and they are amazing. You never realize how much the tiny movements you make while using binoculars contribute to poor viewing until it’s gone. They’re fairly expensive, though.

  2. The Pentax 8 by 42 DCF HRc are relatively cheap, lightweight, comfortable on the eyes, and crazy-weather-proof. I’ve used them for quite a bit of herp-watching and really like them. I imagine you can get smaller focal distances if you want.

  3. I tried both Rangers and Monarchs, and both are very good for anoles and general birding purposes. I ended up going with the Rangers 8×42, and I’m really happy with them. The image seemed a bit brighter and sharper on these than on the Monarchs. They also have a lifetime warranty, and I’ve heard great stories of this being honored regardless of whether the owner was at fault for the damage. I highly recommend them.

  4. Hi Katie,

    another vote for eagle optic ranger 8×42. I have both the 10×42 and 8×42 and the 8’s are much better for following stuff in brush and clutter. The angle of view is wide and I barely notice them shaking even after a day of birding/critter hunting (as contrasted with the tens which shake a lot!). Also, they work really well in low light/shade and their customer service is second to none (they have a no fault policy which allows you to send in your bins for repairs/replacements for a fraction of the original price).

    Basically what Justin said!

    1. Just a quick follow up–the monarchs are very good and are considerably cheaper than the rangers if that’s a consideration.

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