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2010 Binocular Awards

Binoculars.com announces the winners of its first-ever Binocular of the Year Awards.

Every few years, optics manufacturers unveil new binoculars. Often these are similar to existing models, with a few tweaks and upgrades, but occasionally manufacturers introduce an entirely new model or series. Binoculars.com's Binocular of the Year Awards is an effort to recognize excellent, game-changing products, and to help consumers understand the nuanced advances that happen periodically in the optics industry.

To determine the winners, all binocular models are given a thorough visual inspection and graded according to specific criteria. Our in-house team of experts then subjects each binocular to exacting tests in the field to rate its performance. The standards used to judge a binocular's quality and performance vary for each award category.

Binocular of the Year:

Nikon 10x42 Monarch ATB Binoculars with Dielectric Coating

Best Birding Binocular:

Pentax 8x43 DCF SP Binoculars

Best Hunting Binocular:

10x42 Leupold Camo Cascade Binoculars

Best Travel Binocular:

Leica Ultravid 10x25 Compact Binoculars

Best Astronomy Binocular:

Zhumell Tachyon 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars

Best of the Best Award:

Swarovski EL Binoculars

Excellence in Service Award:

Steiner Binoculars

BINOCULAR OF THE YEAR

Nikon 10x42 Monarch ATB Binoculars with Dielectric Coating

With lightweight design, fully armored body, and a quick, central-focus knob, past Nikon Monarch models were already an outstanding choice. But with the all new dielectric multi-layer prism coating, the Nikon Monarch ATB Binoculars now deliver clearer high-contrast images with nearly flawless color reproduction, even in lowlight conditions. Together, these features make the Nikon 10x42 Monarch a worthy recipient of the Binoculars.com Binocular of the Year Award.

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BESt birding binocular

Pentax 8x43 DCF SP Binoculars

Birders understand the importance of making quick, easy adjustments and enjoying comfortable viewing over extended periods. The Pentax 8x43 DCF SP Binoculars deliver on both fronts and then some, earning them Binoculars.com's Best Birding Binocular honor for 2010. Hybrid aspherical lenses deliver crisp, sharp images all the way out to the edges of your periphery, even in lowlight conditions, thanks to fully multi-coated, high-resolution glass. To give you peace of mind in the field, these binoculars are waterproof up to 1 meter and they're encased in full-body rubber armor.

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Best Hunting Binocular

10x42 Leupold Camo Cascade Binoculars

When you're glassing the horizon at dawn or dusk for movement, you need maximum light transmission, contrast, and clarity, which is exactly what the 10x42 Leupold Camo Cascade Binoculars provide. But that's not the only reason we've named them this year's Best Hunting Binocular. These binos feature a simple, lightweight, ergonomic design that delivers a natural, effortless feel, even when held in one hand. Focusing is elevated to an art form, thanks to a steady center focus and a dial-mounted diopter, which eliminate unwanted adjustments. Wrapped in rugged, waterproof rubber armor printed in your choice of Advantage camouflage, these binoculars are destined to lead to more successful hunting.

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Best Travel Binocular

Leica Ultravid 10x25 Compact Binoculars

Aircraft aluminum housing for a supremely light weight of 9.4 oz. Fully waterproof to an industry-leading 16.5 feet. A limited lifetime warranty and 3 years of Leica's unlimited Passport Protection Plan. These are just a few of the elements that make the Leica Ultravid 10x25 Compact Binoculars our choice for Best Travel Binocular. Leica's High-Lux System features a 42-layer prism coating to produce nearly 100% light transmission. The resulting high image contrast and full-spectrum color rendition is what you'd expect from a full-size pair of binoculars, yet this small wonder is ready to come along wherever your adventures take you.

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Best Astronomy Binocular

Zhumell Tachyon 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars

With giant 100mm objective lenses and a price tag that's tiny by comparison, the Zhumell Tachyon 25x100 Astronomy Binoculars are the absolute best value in astronomy binoculars. But they're more than just affordable. Fully multi-coated optics and BaK4 prisms produce uncompromising images, while filter-ready lenses and a rugged, waterproof construction ensure that these binoculars are ready for your next star party. They're also backed by Zhumell's 25-year warranty.

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Best of the Best Binoculars Award

Swarovski EL Binoculars

The clear-cut winner of the Binoculars.com Best of the Best Binoculars for 2010, the Swarovski 10x42 EL Swarovision Binoculars produced images unlike any other binocular we tested. New SwaroVision technology incorporates HD optics and optimized coatings along with field flattener lenses, which together yield impeccable resolution and clarity across the entire field of view. If that weren't enough, a new focusing wheel makes adjustments smooth and comfortable. Add a close focus of 1.5 meters, and you've got this year's Best of the Best.

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Excellence in Service Award

Steiner Binoculars

For their commitment to customer satisfaction, Steiner is the deserving recipient of our Excellence in Service Award. Both users and optics experts recognize Steiner binoculars for producing quality products that perform in the field. But in the rare case that something's amiss, Steiner has demonstrated an unmatched willingness to make it right.

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