How to Buy The Right Binoculars For You by Duane Brown
Binoculars are wonderful pieces of equipment that can enhance many of
our daily activities including, birding, action sports, hunting, and
even astronomy. Essentially binoculars take a distant image, enlarge
it through the use of lenses for viewing, all while remaining small
and light enough to be mobile.
The actual makeup of most binoculars is fairly straightforward and
simple. You have the lenses at the end of the barrel called the
objective lens that gathers the light from the distant image and
focuses it on the lens closest to your eyes for viewing. Binoculars
are really two small telescopes put side by side so that you can
view the desired image with both eyes instead of just one. This
imparts some measure of depth of field, much more so than with a
When selecting a pair of binoculars you will immediately find that
two numbers are used to describe their capability. These numbers are
often expressed as "6 X 30" or something similar. Let's break the
code so you will know what these numbers mean.
The first number refers to the magnification power of the
binoculars, or in other words how many times the image is magnified.
So if the number is 6, that means that the image that you view
through the lens is magnified 6 times it's normal siZe.
The second number has to do with the size of the objective lens at
the end of the binoculars.It's good to know this number because the
larger the diameter of the objective lens, usually the more light
will be let in for viewing the distant image.
Now, let's put this information in use in the real world. You may
think that it's best to just get the highest magnification that you
can get for binoculars, but this is not true. At some point, hand
holding the binoculars will affect the clarity of a highly magnified
image and the resulting shake will render the magnification benefits
useless. Generally speaking, anything above ten times magnification
should be mounted on a tripod instead of handheld. So if you are
planning to use binoculars for activities that do not allow you to
be able to bring along a sturdy tripod, you probably want to stay
with a pair of binoculars with 4 -7 times magnification.
As far as light gathering properties are concerned, if you plan on
using your binoculars in any kind of low light situation whether
indoors, or at times of day when there is low available light
outdoors, then you need to have a large objective lens, usually 30
or above, to make as much use of available light as possible.
Finally, consider the weight of the binoculars before buying them.
If weight will be a consideration for activities such as hiking,
then perhaps plastic lenses will be best that are specially coated
to produce a high quality, sharp image. These can be more costly
than glass lenses, but they are considerably lighter. Glass lenses
usually make for much better optics and clearer images at a lower
overall cost, but they can also be more fragile.
Generally speaking, more expensive pairs of binoculars have more
atention paid to fit and finish and will stand up to more vigorous
use, but if you only plan to occasionally use your binoculars, then
a less expensive pair will no doubt work fine. Also, remember that
after the purchase you should be sure to protect your investment
with a suitable binoculars case.
About the Author
Duane Brown - All
About Binoculars provides free information, tips, and resources
on binoculars, telescopes, rifle scopes, and spotting scopes, and
how to find them at the very best price.