Most people have likely used a pair of binoculars once or twice in their lives, and may have even considered purchasing a pair of professional binoculars for personal use, but find themselves stumped as to exactly how to go about making that purchase. After all, as with all purchases, there are many considerations needed to be made. Getting a pair of binoculars is no different, whether you’re a nature enthusiast or a bird watcher, read on for a quick guide on how to choose the best binoculars that will suit your purposes.
Things to Consider When Buying Binoculars
Here are some of the main considerations to be made when buying a pair of binoculars.
One of the first things you should consider when purchasing binoculars, magnification refers to how much the lenses of a pair of binoculars can magnify your sight, symbolized by a simple x. Keep in mind that different magnifications can serve different purposes. For regular use, a magnification of 7x to 12x is more than enough, and anything over will most likely be heavier and will need the assistance of a tripod.
The objectives of a pair of binoculars allude to the diameter of the front of the lens in the front of the binoculars, which allow light to enter the lens. A general rule of thumb: the wider the objective; the more light able to enter it. The ideal lens size would be something between 8x25mm and 8x40mm lenses.
Also known as field of view, this is the diameter of the area seen through the glass. The exit pupil indicates the brightness of an object in low or bright light. Generally, for low-light situations models with a high exit pupil number are good options, while in brighter light, exit pupil size is not as important.
Often overlooked but important nonetheless, lens coating is used to reduce the amount of light that’s reflected by the lens, that could give you a less accurate image, and increases light transmission and contrast to help make colors look more vivid.
Consider the weight of your binoculars when you are purchasing them. While not as important a consideration as others, the weight will affect your experience with the binoculars, as the heavier they are, the faster you will tire when using them. You might even need the aid of a tripod for extended use.
As binoculars are typically for outdoor use, it is strange that most of them are not waterproof. Not waterproofed binoculars can cause damage if used in wet conditions, so make sure to purchase waterproof binoculars if you will be often using it in damp or foggy locations.