Optics Retailers

Take the long view…

Fatbirder regularly reviews birding optics… check out the archives before buying.

After reviews, optics retailers are often the best source of information about birdwatching equipment. It pays them to make sure you get equipment that suits you, not necessarily the most expensive option. Some of the sites have comparisons of equipment, league tables etc. Some manufacturers (see Optics Manufacturers) also thoroughly review their own products and are also good sources for spare part.

A couple of the sites below are just for information… including some no nonsense explanations of the technical terms most birders bandy about but few understand! Also, if you are thinking of buying, take advantage of the modern trend of optics suppliers to go out in the field and show you their wares on your local reserve… it is definitely the way to see what suits you rather than just buy on reputation.

Most of the retailers listed supply worldwide but you may need to add local tax when importing (e.g. Europeans may have to add VAT to US prices etc.)

The mark-up of makers to retailers is often high, but almost all the top brands dictate the retail price leaving very narrow margins for discounters. This is done to keep ‘quality’ optics far more expensive than ‘cheap’ models. But, test everything out often the optical difference between inexpensive optics and the prestige brands is marginal – the difference may well be the after-sales service and guarantee length.

Useful Information
  • Action Optics (UK)

    Repairs
    Action Optics is a repair workshop that was established in 1984 and originally carried out repairs to the whole range of photographic and optical instruments. Southampton based optics retailer. Action Optics is a specialist binocular and telescope repair workshop - http://www.actionoptics.co.uk
  • AllBestBinoculars

    Reviews
    Binocular Reviews & Ratings
  • Best Binoculars Reviews

    Reviews
    In-depth Reviews of the Best Binoculars
  • Binocular Reviews

    Reviews
    Expert reviews, articles, techniques & tips...
  • Birdwatching.com

    Reviews
    Michael and Diane Porter are avid birdwatchers. They've been reviewing binoculars and spotting scopes for over 20 years.
  • Die fernglas Agentur

    Reviews
    In German
  • Expert tips on optics choice

    Article
    12 Expert tips on choosing binoculars for birding and wildlife observation
  • In Focus

    Article
    How to choose the right binoculars or telescope for your needs
  • Observation Site

    Reviews
    We know that there is no shortage of binocular sites on the internet where you can buy binoculars online, but we’re different from other sites for a couple of reasons: We’re not manufacturers or vendors trying to push a limited selection of products. In fact, we don’t care if you ever buy a pair of binoculars in your life.
  • OptRep (UK)

    Repairs
    Optrep Optical Repairs operates from a well-equipped, modern workshop located on the South Coast of England. It has over 55 years of experience to draw upon and an unrivalled range of optical instruments
  • Optics & Lab

    Reviews
    Top Birdwatching Binoculars Reviewed – Buying guide & Comparison for 2019
  • Optics for Birding

    Reviews
    Binocular Reviews, Spotting Scopes Reviewsprimarily) so that they can make informed buying decisions. Although the target audience is those of us who enjoy watching birds, much of the information is generally applicable, no matter what your intended application.
  • OpticsReviewer

    Reviews
    Want good binoculars, but don't have the time and means to test a bunch? We buy, test and rate binoculars like Nikon, Bushnell, Vortex, and more so you don't have to. Read more from original site: https://www.opticsreviewer.com/#ixzz5qSFzW0iD
  • Procular

    Articles & Reviews
    Not 100% sure which binoculars to get? We can’t really blame you! With so many models to choose from and so many features to compare, it really is a tedious task.
  • Spotting Scope Review

    Reviews
    Our Reviews of the Best Spotting Scopes
Forums & Mailing Lists
  • Cloudy Nights Binocular Forum

    Forum & Reviews
    Many rievws listed with comments
Other Links
  • ABA Sales (US)

    Optics
    ABA Sales is the mail-order company that is wholly owned and operated for the benefit of the American Birding Association, and so benefits birders and birding. We carry a wide selection of books for birders, specializing in field guides, ID guides, and bird finding guides, plus other birding titles and checklists. We also carry a wide selection of optics including selected top-notch birding binoculars and spotting scopes by Kowa, Bushnell, Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Meade, Swift, and Nikon, plus the best selection of Gitzo and Bogen birding tripods and parts, and other birding gear and accessories.
  • Adorama (US)

    Optics
    On line US optics
  • Agent 74 (Ireland)

    Optics
    Located in Co Wicklow - Spotting scopes & binoculars perfect for bird watching. Whether you are using a spotting scope on a tripod in a hide or want a pair of lightweight binoculars to take on a hike with you, Agent 74 has it covered
  • B&H Photo-Video (US)

    Optics
    B&H Photo-Video is a retailer and mail order company with among the world
  • Binoculars.com (US)

    Optics
    We offer binoculars for every viewing interest, including astronomical binoculars, compact binoculars, waterproof binoculars, birding binoculars, and sport and hunting binoculars. We offer several leading brands of binoculars, including Barska, Bushnell, Celestron, Leica, Meade, Nikon, Orion, Pentax, Steiner, and Zeiss.
  • Birdnet Optics Ltd (UK)

    Optics
    Binoculars, Telescopes, Digiscoping, Books, Clothing, DVDs, CDs, Accessories, New Naturalist
  • Bob Rigby Photographic Ltd (UK)

    Optics
    Bob Rigby Photographic are the sole official UK importers and distributors of professional quality tripod heads and accessories made by Acratech, Wimberley & GimPro.
  • Brandon Optics (Canada)

    Optics
    Brandon Optics carry well selected brands that sell for the astronomy and outdoor lifestyle industry since 2004. We are dedicated to serving the needs of astronomers, bird-watchers, hunters, tactical gamers and just about everyone who could call themselves an nature lovers.
  • Bristol Cameras (UK)

    Cameras
    Established in 1995 by experienced photographic retailers, Bristol Cameras now have an excellent reputation right across the UK and has gone from strength to strength as established digital camera retailers
  • Camera Warehouse (Australia)

    Cameras
    Camera Warehouse makes it easy to find what you need
  • Camerastore (Australia)

    Cameras
    Camerastore.com.au is 100% Australian owned and operated. We only sell Australian market digital cameras, film cameras, video cameras, SLR's, MP3 Players and related accessories. All our products come with a full 1 year national warranty
  • Carson Optical (US)

    Optics
    Whether you're indoors or out, Carson has the right optic for any situation, at the right price!
  • Clifton Cameras (UK)

    Optics
    A range of cameras and a limited range of binoculars. Mark Williams Tel 01179 734484 Clifton Cameras 82 Alma Rd Clifton Bristol BS8 2DJ
  • Deutsche Optik (Germany)

    Optics
    Founded in 1990, our quarterly catalogue is unique in offering a fascinating mix of new and historical optics from the world`s finest optical houses. Our customers include birders, collectors, decorators, sportsmen, view homeowners, and general enthusiasts from around the world.
  • East of England Binocular Centre (UK)

    Optics
    Based in Lincolnshire another on-line optics retailer. A site where you probably need to know what you want already as it is very sparse. Suppliers of: Bausch & Lomb, Bushnell, canon, Doctor, Helios, Inpro, Olympus, Opticron, Optolyth, Pentax, Swift & Zeiss.
  • Focalpoint (UK)

    Optics
    Focalpoint is a family run business dedicated to its customers in a highly specialized field. We pride ourselves on our friendly, unbiased advice and on our wide range of specialist equipment Telescopes, Binoculars, Tripods, outdoor clothing, and Accessories.
  • Frank

    Optics
    Binoculars have a whole range of use- whether it's bird watching, sailing, plane spotting or anything else, a pair of binoculars are a handy item that can give you a clear and close-up view of distant objects.
  • Harrison Telescopes [UK]

    Telescopes
    The UK Specialists For Telescopes & Binoculars
  • Hunt's (US)

    Optics
    Mail order optics from Maine.
  • In Focus (UK)

    Optics
    We are the leading specialist retail supplier of optics to the birdwatching community, with seven shops and a comprehensive programme of field sales days. As main sponsor to the British Birdwatching Fair, we have a proven commitment to birdlife conservation. Our service is based on value-for-money and personal after-sales attention. All our shops are managed and staffed by optics specialists - many of whom are well-known birdwatchers in their own right. Our shops are listed here and in every one you can be sure of a warm welcome and helpful advice.
  • Jessops (UK)

    Optics
    Jessops is the UK's No.1 Photographic Retailer. Available to buy online you have a choice of 20,000 products including Cameras, Digital and Video equipment, Darkroom products, Film and all related accessories - all backed by our network of over 180 stores nation-wide. Our reputation has been built on the excellence of our service, value for money, the most extensive range of products in the UK, and our unbiased advice to customers. We pride ourselves on our integrity, the quality of our staff - the majority of whom are keen photographers - and our commitment to photography.
  • London Camera Exchange (UK)

    Optics
    All LCE branches sell a wide range of the latest photographic equipment, together with a selection of USED stock. The exact mix of products varies from branch to branch in order to reflect local demands. With this in mind it is always best to contact the branch prior to making a journey to confirm that any items you require are available
  • Microglobe (UK)

    Optics
    Discount optics online from the London store
  • Newpro (UK)

    Optics
    Phonescope etc
  • Opticron (UK)

    Optics
    Clearly the easiest choice you'll ever make
  • Optics Planet (US)

    Optics
    The OPMOD Beginner Birding Kit - Recommended by Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a terrific buy that gives you six products at one low price! This exclusive value package is available only here. The OPMOD Beginner Birding Kit - Recommended by Cornell Lab of Ornithology is perfect for the beginner birder
  • Optik-Pro (Germany)

    Optics
    Wir sind einer der f
  • Optixmania (UK)

    Optics
    OptixMania is a family owned and run business formally located deep inside the Highlands of Scotland. Being surrounded by such stunning scenery it seemed only fitting for our company to provide many with the chance to see nature up close even from a distance!
  • Orion Optics (US)

    Optics
    Orion Telescopes & Binoculars is the largest direct-to-consumer brand of quality optics for amateur astronomers and outdoor enthusiasts in North America. Established in 1975, we've built our reputation on providing high-quality products backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, competitive prices, and the best customer service and support in the industry. We've been selling direct since 1975 through our 100-page mail-order catalog and, since 1997, via our full online catalog. Unlike web-only storefronts, or department stores that sell optics only seasonally, we're specialists in telescopes and binoculars - it's what we do year-round.
  • Park Cameras

    Optics
    Park Cameras was established in 1971 in Burgess Hill, West Sussex. For over forty years we have forged a reputation across the photographic industry as one of the top independent photographic retailers in the UK, serving the needs of all photographers, from enthusiasts through to professionals, through the very highest level of customer service.
  • RCS Optics (US)

    Optics
    RCS Optics offers many resources for fellow birding enthusiasts. Whether you are needing a pair of binoculars, a spotting scope, or wanting to get into digiscoping, RCS Optics can help you out. We also have a birding festival calendar that you can check out as well. Finally we have articles on binocular selection if you desire to learn more or you can simply review the birding binoculars that we have available that are preselected with the features that birders want and need. Simply select the resource you need at the left...
  • Sheffield Photographic Centre (UK)

    Optics
    The premier independent dealer in Sheffield for Canon, Pentax, Minolta, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Kodak, Tamron, Mamiya, Fujicolor, Ilford, Ricoh, Lowepro, Samsung, Kowa, Opticron, Gossen, Meopta, Minox, Swarovski, Agfa, Fotospeed, Tetenal, Forte, Cobra, Metz, Courtenay, Paterson, Kentmere, Manfrotto, Polaroid, Digital Imaging, Used cameras and darkroom equipment, Monochrome products, Chemicals, optics, the list is endless
  • South West Optics (UK)

    Optics
    South West's leading Optics specialist. Telescopes, Binoculars, and accessories. Free Delivery on Internet Sales. (Say you saw it here!) Interest free credit on selected items. Part Exchange often possible. We also sell second-hand equipment. Long term credit available. Leica, Nikon, Swarovski, Zeiss, Opticron, Bushnell etc.
  • Spotting Scopes (US)

    Optics
    SpottingScopes.com provides a spotting scope selection of Leupold, Bushnell, and Nikon spotting scopes and telescopes
  • UK Wildlife Cameras

    Cameras
    Our aim is to provide the best quality products in the wildlife watch market at low competitive prices. We sell all sorts of Camera kits and accessories for your needs and essentials. In addition to this we are daily adding a comprehensive range of garden products
  • Viking Optical (UK)

    Optics
    Viking first began supplying the specialist optics market in 1985, and was founded by individuals whose experience within the optics field stretched back to the origins of modern optical technology, as we know it today. Viking recognized a need for performance and value. Our materials are sourced from around the world and our partners are among the world's leading authorities in binocular design. We strive to combine our experience, user relationships, commitment to quality and dedication to new and improved techniques; presenting a concise and effective range of professional binoculars. Our standards are recognized by the British and internationally acclaimed, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Our relationship has spawned many superb products designed specifically for the naturalist.
  • Warehouse Express (UK)

    Optics
    Voted Retailer of the Year with over 14,000 product lines on their website this company specialises in Optics and Digital Photography and are renowned for their outstanding service. They stock all the leading brands including Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss, Kowa, Opticron, Nikon, Bushnell, Swift, Canon, Fuji, Olympus, Manfrotto, Slik, Skua, etc, and offer a superb next day delivery. Warehouse Express with Birdwatching Magazine are now running a new worldwide competition International Wildbird Photographer with over
  • Wilkinson Cameras (UK)

    Optics
    Digital cameras etc.

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