How to choose a good Binocular, 5 Easy Steps!

(Last Updated On: March 18, 2018)

Friends, you must be thinking this website “Telescopefever.com” is about telescopes then why is there a post related to Binocular? Because Binoculars are also Telescope, in simple terms binoculars are a pair of telescopes mounted side by side on a metal frame which uses a curved lens to bring the object closer to eyes and also a pair of the prism to create a high-quality image right side up (not inverted like a telescope). Guys if you are having difficulty in deciding a right Binocular for you. Don’t worry, you are at the right place. Here is a 5 step easy guide to help you choose a good Binocular for you.

 

1) Magnification

Magnification is the number written before x. Suppose you are going to buy a binocular ABC8x40 here ABC is brand name and 8 is the magnification. In simple words, it means the view of the object will appear to be 8 times near than the original position of the object. Let me give you an example, let’s say a bird is at the distance of 800m from you but with this 8x Binocular the bird will appear to be at the distance of 80m.

*Don’t go for magnification higher than 10x- 12x for handheld use just because it is very difficult for hands to get steady. Up to 12x is manageable but let’s say you are using 15x magnification then any small amount of movement of your hand will result in 15 times the vibration of an image. To use Binoculars of magnification beyond 10x-12x get a tripod.*

 

2) Objective lens diameter

Objective lens diameter plays an important role in choosing a right telescope. The objective lens is the main lens through which light enters into binoculars. Higher the objective lens diameter larger the amount of light enters into it. Results in better image quality in low light condition. It is the number written after x in the name of binoculars. Example, ABC 8×40 here 40(always in mm) is the diameter of the objective lens.

*Higher the diameter of objective lens heavier and bulkier binoculars will be. So buy it according to your need. or you can use a neck strap to compensate the weight*

 

 3) Lens quality and coating

Binoculars come with a glass lens as well as the plastic lens. Always prefer glass lens over plastic lens because glass lens produces better image quality than plastic lens. There is just one problem with glass lens they partly reflect some light falling on the lens or in simple words it produces glare from the object but does not worry this can be compensated with a right coating.

There are four types of coatings done:-

Coated (C): A single layer on at least one lens.
Fully-Coated (FC): A single layer on all air-to-glass surfaces.
Multi-Coated(MC): Multiple layers on at least one lens.
Fully Multi-Coated(FMC): Multiple layers on all air-to-glass surfaces.

*Better the coating higher will be the price.*

 

 4) Exit pupil

If you are going to use your Binoculars at night or in low light condition then decide according to the size of the Exit pupil. It is a diameter of the image formed on the eyepiece for your pupils to see. During low light condition, a pupil of our eyes opens about 5 to 7 mm so a binocular with an exact Exit pupil between 5-7mm will be good for night viewing.

*To calculate exit pupil just divide objective lens diameter with magnification. For example,  8×40 Binoculars would have an exit pupil of 5mm.*

 

 

 5) Waterproofing

Binoculars are made to use outdoor. So some degree of waterproofing is a must. If you are willing to use your Binoculars during river rafting, boating, skiing or any other water sport then buy waterproof binoculars (WP) otherwise use water resistant binoculars for a different purpose.

 

 Summary

Binoculars are priced from 50$ to above 1000$. Each has their own purpose like some are good for bird watching,  some are for hunting,  some are made for stargazing, some are specialized in sports activities, marine activities and some are for traveling purpose. Before buying any binocular first think what is your primary purpose of buying it and most important what is the budget you can afford then decide.

 

 

Useful links:-

Best Astronomy Binoculars

Top Bird Watching Binoculars

 

 

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2 Replies to “How to choose a good Binocular, 5 Easy Steps!”

  1. Very educational. I’m over 40 years old and I’ve owned many lenses for cameras, binocs, a telescope, and a microscope but never known exactly what the numbers meant. This guide was so helpful. I appreciate it very much. Thanks for your kind-hearted explanation

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