7×35 Binoculars: Are They Headed Toward Extinction?

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Did you have a pair of 7×35 binoculars when you were young? Maybe they belonged to your parents or even you grandparents. Years ago, 7×35 was pretty much the only model type you could easily get.

We used to own a heavy pair of 7x35s that my dad probably picked up somewhere for cheap. I can still remember playing with them in the backyard, gazing across the fields of my grandfather’s farm.

There aren’t many manufacturers of 7×35 binoculars today. 8×42 or 10×50 (and many others) are more popular, but that doesn’t mean 7×35 is useless. Let’s take a look at what’s available and how you might use a pair like this today.

If you see a section in the table below that interests you, click it to go there immediately. Otherwise, just keep on reading.

Can I Use 7×35 Binoculars for Birding?

The manufacturers of these binoculars do recommend them for bird watching. At 7x magnification, you won’t get quite as close to your feathered friends as with most other binoculars.

On the other hand, the field of view (FOV), which ranges from over 400 feet to about 500 feet is great for finding them in the first place. That, as you may know, can be one of the most difficult aspects of watching that birders face.

Should I Use 7×35 Binoculars for Hunting?

There are better binoculars for hunting, but they will probably be more expensive. If your budget can handle that, great. If not, one of the sets reviewed here may be more to your liking.

Just as a pair of 7x35s is good for birding, so they should help you spot your prey easily too. The relatively low magnification shouldn’t matter that much because you probably have a more powerful tube (possibly a night vision scope) mounted on your rifle anyway.

Are 7×35 Binoculars Good for Astronomy?

For stargazing, you’ll probably want more powerful binoculars that are noted for very low light use. The set of 7×35 binoculars reviews below don’t specifically mention astronomy, so they’re probably not very well suited for that hobby. If they were, manufacturers would certainly take the time to mention the fact. Unless I missed it, they didn’t.

Binoculars that are good for astronomy can be very large and require a tripod. These binoculars are not those monsters. You probably can’t even attach them to one without a special adapter, even if you wanted to.

How Do 7×35 Binoculars Compare to Other Sizes?

While researching various types and sizes of binoculars, some people have wondered how 7×35 binoculars compare to 8×40, how they compare to 7×50 binoculars, or whether 10×50 optics would be better.

Without knowing exactly which model to compare to, I can’t be very specific, but there are a few general remarks I can make.

As the objective lens size increases from 35 to 40 to 50, the glasses are going to get bigger and heavier. They also tend to let in more light, which is normally considered a good thing. Increased magnification from 7 to 8 to 10 can be good too, depending a great deal on how you’re using them and whether they maintain focus around the edges.

8×40 (or more commonly, 8×42) binoculars are usually good for general outdoor use, much like the 7×35 sets.

Binoculars designed for marine use are often of the 7×50 variety. The 7x35s are probably not going to be used on the water. It seems that most of them are not waterproof anyway.

You can find tactical or military binoculars in the 10×50 range. 7x35s are not likely to measure up to those standards.

Schneidern 7×35 Are Self-Focusing

The fanciest pair of binoculars in this group is the Schneidern 7×35 whose claim to fame amongst its peers is that it is self-focusing. I don’t claim to know how that works as I have not had the opportunity to test them myself. However, if you actually don’t have to work (very hard) at focusing them, that would make them an awesome pair to own. You could concentrate on what you’re looking at, not on making the object clear.

The FOV of the Schneidern binoculars is a wonderful 500 feet. That is far above many binoculars that cost a lot more. They have aspherical lenses, which means that there should be very little, if any, distortion! The multicoated optics help keep things clear too.

Eye relief is a full 11mm which is very nice for those of us who wear glasses and want to keep them on while using the binoculars. The weight of this device is about 24 ounces, which is par for the course.

Schneidern 7x35
Schneidern 7×35

The Bushnell 7×35 Falcon Binoculars Are Very Affordable

The Bushnell Falcon binoculars are the least expensive of these three. As with all 7×35 pairs, they are good for general outdoor use, whether birding, hunting, or watching sports in the nose bleed seats in a stadium.

They have what the maker calls an insta-focus lever that should make fine tuning your focus easier than usual.

The 12mm eye relief is good for those wearing spectacles as are the eye cups which fold down as needed. This helps prevent scratching of the lenses.

The 420-foot FOV is the narrowest of those binoculars reviewed here, but that’s still pretty good. These are the lightest in weight of the three at 21 ounces, so if you plan to use them for long periods of time, you might give these more consideration than the others. Even a few ounces can make a big difference over time.

Bushnell Falcon 7x35
Bushnell Falcon 7×35

Nikon Action Extreme: Paradoxically in the Middle

With a name like Action Extreme, you might expect these Nikon binoculars to be at the far end of the spectrum in many respects. On the contrary, of the three sets, these are in between the Schneidern and the Bushnell with regard to FOV (487 feet) and price.

These do have the longest eye relief at 17.3mm (good for eyeglass wearers), however, they also weigh the most at 28.2 ounces. You may not think that’s very heavy until you have to hold them up to your eyes for the whole game.

If you like to use binoculars near water or in rainy weather, these are the ones you want because they are both nitrogen filled (a feature often found only in much more expensive binoculars) and O-ring sealed making them waterproof and fogproof.

Nikon Action Extreme 7x35
Nikon Action Extreme 7×35

How Much Do You Want to Spend on 7×35 Binoculars?

Since the price points on these three sets of binoculars are really quite wide, that may be the strongest factor in determining which of these you’ll want to buy.

The next most important items are probably the waterproof feature and the field of view distance. Balance these against the most common way you intend to use them.

All of these are available, as of this writing, at Amazon.

7×35 binoculars are relatively rare these days. There’s no telling how long manufacturers will keep making them before they decide to shift their concentration to other sizes. If you want a new pair, you may have to act rather quickly.

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