HOS Optics Survey


To help birders to know which binoculars and telescopes are being used by our members we carried out a survey in early September, 2017. The results are shown here.


As in previous surveys (in 2009 and 2013) Swarovski (37%) are the favoured brand of binocular with most respondents, followed by Opticron (17%), Leica (16%) and Zeiss (13%). In 2013 Zeiss's share had dropped to 5% so this is a major increase for them. 


The most popular choice of binocular size was either 8x40 (38%) or 10x40 (35%), with only 10% each opting for the smaller 8x30 or 10x30 models.


For telescopes Swarovski is again the leader (48%). They totally dominate the market, with Leica (15%) coming second, followed by Opticron (10%), Kowa (6%) and Nikon (5%). Most people (84%) choose a zoom lens, with fixed lenses being relatively unpopular. The favoured size of objective lens is 80mm (50%) followed by 65mm (38%).


When it comes to priorities when buying optical equipment, our respondents are mainly interested in quality. 71% said this was the most important factor, with 17% saying that price was key. Only 12% said that weight was important. 


We hope you find this useful information. The charts below give further detail of the survey result.


Brand of binocular

bins brand


Size of binocular

bins size


Brand of telescope

scope brand


Size of eyepiece



Size of objective lens