Binoculars are a great tool for bird watching, hiking, hunting, or any other outdoor activity that requires a closer look at distant objects. If you are new to using binoculars, you might feel overwhelmed by the different options available on the market. Here’s a beginner’s guide to help you buy the right binoculars for your needs.
Magnification and Objective Lens Diameter
The first thing to consider when buying binoculars is the magnification and objective lens diameter. The magnification refers to how many times closer an object appears through the binoculars, and the objective lens diameter refers to the size of the front lens. A common magnification for binoculars is 8x or 10x, with the objective lens diameter ranging from 20-50mm.
Field of View
The field of view (FOV) refers to the width of the view you see through the binoculars. A wider field of view allows you to see more of the surrounding area, making it easier to locate and track objects.
The exit pupil refers to the size of the light beam that exits the binoculars and enters your eye. A larger exit pupil means that more light enters your eye, making the image brighter and clearer.
Binoculars use either a roof prism or a porro prism design. Roof prisms are more compact and durable, while porro prisms provide a wider field of view.
Water and Fog Proofing
If you plan on using your binoculars in inclement weather, it’s important to look for binoculars that are water and fog proof. This will ensure that the binoculars will not fog up or become damaged in wet conditions.
Consider the weight of the binoculars when making your purchase. Heavier binoculars can be difficult to hold steady for long periods of time, while lighter binoculars are easier to carry and handle.
Binoculars can range in price from less than $100 to several thousand dollars. Keep in mind that while more expensive binoculars often offer better quality and features, they may not be necessary for your needs.
When buying binoculars it’s important to consider the magnification and objective lens diameter, field of view, exit pupil, prism type, water and fog proofing, weight, and price. By considering these factors, you can find the right binoculars for your needs and enjoy a great outdoor experience.