How to Buy Binoculars – Ultimate Buying Guide

Binoculars are magnificent instruments that can spice up many activities such as hunting, bird watching, sports, and even astronomy. In essence, a binocular takes a distant image, magnifies it through its lens, and presents that image for our viewing. Binoculars are just two mini telescopes set side by side so that viewing can be done satisfactorily with both eyes as opposed to just one. This helps to create a depth of field of the objects being observed a lot better than if it was a single scope.

Binoculars and Scopes come with many different features and various price ranges. Could you be wondering how to buy binoculars? Essentially, there are certain details and considerations that you should look for before purchasing such an optic. Here are some of the major parameters that you must check out?

How to Buy Binoculars - Ultimate Buying Guide

Magnification

Hand-held binoculars at a high magnification tend to have too much movement for the highly-magnified image to be useful. Usually, binoculars that have anything more than 10 times magnification should be mounted on a tripod instead of being held. Hence, if you're planning to use binoculars without a tripod, you should stay within the 4-8): magnification range.

The Objective Lens

The second number referred to as the objective lens ("aperture"), is related to the size of the lens at the remote end of the binoculars. This number is quite important to take note of because larger objective lens diameters mean that the binoculars will capture more light. Larger objective lens diameters mean that the binoculars will capture more light. The larger the aperture, the brighter the image will appear in the viewer. Be careful about this particular aspect of binoculars. As the aperture grows larger, the binocular will also grow bigger and heavier.

Range of View

One thing to also consider is the field of view. The field of view is the measurement of the viewing area that is 1000 yards away from you. There is usually in the inverse relationship between magnification and field of view. Which means that the higher the magnification, the narrower the field of view.

Intended Purpose or Use

If the activity you plan on using your binoculars is a little light situation, i.e., at night or in a dimly lit situation, whether indoors or outdoors, then you'd need a larger objective lens for your binoculars. Generally speaking, 3omm and above is essential for low light situations, to ensure that you're capturing as much light as possible.

Key Features

In addition to autofocus and zooming focus, you should also consider what other features the binocular has. You can get other features that can include eyepieces that are comfort fitting, multicoated optics, and for ergonomic comfort, body armor that is rubberized. 

The camera feature of zoom binoculars might consist of shutter releases that are delayed, have a single image, and continuous video or capture. The broadband optics of these binoculars will increase the transmission of light that comes through the visible spectrum. This will help to provide brighter, clearer resolution. They may also include various accessories, software drivers, internal memory, and cables.

Style and Design

The next parameter that you should look at is the body style and the size of the objective lens. You will need to know the millimeter of the lens you want such as sixty-five or eighty. You will also need to know if you want your optics straight body or angled. One thing to remember is that the bigger the objective lens, the lighter it gathers and is beneficial when you're glassing at a long distance in a low-light situation.

Price and Affordability

Still looking for answers on how to buy binoculars? The best step to purchasing quality binoculars or scopes is gauging the price. Though the best binoculars are a bit expensive, they are more effective and of higher quality. When looking at optics quality you will notice that the least expensive one have lower magnifications, usually from fifteen x to thirty x, but this is all you might need. 

If you go to a higher range of magnification, there is a chance that you will lose image quality. A higher price spotting scope or binocular will have optics that range around sixty x and give you sharp, bright images. The higher price ones also may incorporate new glass formulas and lens coatings in order to give the user the sharpest details, color clarity, and highest transmission of light.

Tripod Recommended

Long distance viewing binoculars are larger in size and will be quite heavy to hold over long durations. Hence, buying a tripod is always advisable. Since most of the times you will be carrying your tripod, to make it easier, it would be wise to look for a carbon fiber tripod, as they are lighter in weight.

Actual Weight of the Binoculars

You should also consider the actual weight of the binoculars that you're buying. For activities like hiking, or hunting, it's probably best to acquire a pair of light weight binoculars. Plastic lenses, which weigh a lot less than their glass counterparts, may be the solution. The tradeoff is that glass lenses perform a lot better at the same cost, but are heavier and more fragile.


How to Buy Binoculars - Ultimate Buying Guide - Video



Conclusion

In summary, you'd need to consider which activities you'd most likely be using your binoculars in when choosing the right binoculars. The magnification and objective lens are critical factors, but you may also consider getting water-proof ones depending on your needs. A more expensive pair of binoculars will generally be more robust and able to withstand longer-term use.


Jim Shockey
 

Jim Shockey is a Canadian outdoor writer, a professional big game outfitter, and television producer and host for many hunting shows.

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