This post may contain affiliate links to products or services which may result in my earning commissions at no additional cost to you.
Are you planning to buy a pair of binoculars? Are you confused by the wide array of models, sizes, and types available? Through this article, we will cover the most important aspects to keep in mind while buying a pair of binoculars. The first thing you need to know is your requirement, do you need it for hunting or do you just want a pair to spy on birds in your neighborhood park? Once you are done reading this article you will have all the answers to your binocular related questions and would be able to make an informed decision.
Before Buying a Pair of Binoculars
Magnification is the first thing to look out for a pair of binoculars. The magnification of a binocular is mentioned with a number followed by an X. A binocular can be anywhere between 2x till 16x, although anything above 12x would. For instance, if the number on a binocular says 5): it means it magnifies the subject 5 times its actual size. An eagle sitting 500 meters away would seem 100 meters away. The best magnification size for bird watching is 8x-12x. Any size bigger than that would not be easy to manage without a tripod.
Objective Lens Diameter
It’s important to know your needs and buy a binocular with an objective lens diameter that is ideal for your needs. The lens size comes after the magnification x in mm, for instance, 8x25mm -the number 25 represents the objective lens diameter. The size of the diameter of the lens is directly proportional to the amount of light that will enter the binocular. Binoculars with bigger diameters are suitable for lowlight situations so if you are planning to watch birds in sunlight it’s better to go with a low or medium objective lens diameter.
Lens quality and coating
This feature is vital to take note of before making a purchase, especially for users who wear spectacles. Lens quality ensures that there is no aberration and has better contrast. A lens with better coating reduces the amount of light being refracted and allow the maximum amount of light to enter. High eye point is something bespectacled users should look out for while getting a pair of binoculars. Another reason to pay attention to lens quality and a coating is that good quality lens don’t have washed out or distorted colors.
Exit pupil is the image that is formed on the eye piece for your eye’s pupil to observe. It is calculated by dividing the lens diameter by the magnification of the binoculars. 7mm exit pupil is the optimum size for viewing in twilight and dark situations.
Field of View
Field of View is the diameter of the area that you can see through the glass. This is measured in degrees. The higher the degree is, the greater area you can observe through your binoculars. It’s useful to have a pair of binoculars with a greater field of view. The greater area you can View with your binocular, the more enjoyable your viewing experience can be.
Most buyers overlook this very vital feature while making a purchase and then end up straining their eyes. The lighter a binocular is, the easier it is to use it for extended stretches of time without ending up straining your eyes. Most high-end binoculars are very light in weight which makes your viewing experience more comfortable and strain-free.
It never hurts to have your product be protected against the elements such as water in case of rain or if you have to swim through a canal while bird watching in the forest. So, if you are expecting water in places you observe, it’s wiser to go for a waterproof product.
This is probably the most important factor for all most all buyers. How much should you pay for a pair of binoculars? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. An entry level binocular can be bought for as cheap as $25 where as an expert level binocular can cost you up to $500, it all depends on your requirement and budget. If you are enthusiastic yet new birdwatcher, you can find a decent pair of binoculars with HD vision for around $100. But if you are looking for something more sophisticated you might need to increase your budget. The most expensive binoculars are mostly used by hunters or die-hard bird watching enthusiasts.