If you are a person who loves traveling and adventures, you know how exciting it is to get close to nature. With binoculars, the experience is much more thrilling as the views get even closer. Maybe you want to venture into the exciting world of binoculars and buy a pair, but you're trying to figure out how to choose the best one for you or even how binoculars work. With the large variety of types, brands, styles, and uses for binoculars, it can be sometimes confusing to make the decision, especially if the technical terms are not well understood. This article will better explain the key concepts you need to know when choosing the right binoculars.
Important Key Terms
There are two basic types of binocular design: porro prism and roof prism. The difference between these two types lies in the way light is channeled through the binoculars to your eyes. In porro prism binoculars, the lens and the eyepiece are not in line, and this gives it a traditional design. Conversely, in roof prism binoculars, the binocular tubes and eyepiece are in a single line, and that creates a design. Technological advances have made it possible for a roof prism to produce quality images equal to that of porro prism binoculars. A mid-priced range roof prism binocular will have the same image quality as a cheaper priced range porro prism style. You'll, therefore, have to look at the high-end roof prism models if you want an exceptional image in a roof prism style.
Binoculars used in watching birds and wildlife do not have exceptionally high magnification due to the fact that a lot of light is required for big magnifications. Also, lots of light requires the use of additional huge objective lenses, which would make the binocular unreasonable as it concerns the issue of portability. Additionally, it would be very difficult to hold the image steady with high magnification. A set of numbers such as “10x42” or “10x25" is used to describe binoculars. The first number represents the magnification power, in this case, the numbers indicate that the binoculars magnify the images 10 times than what would be seen with the naked eye.
In determining the magnification of the equipment, you would be buying, it's important to keep in mind that it is harder to hold the binoculars steady. Typically, if you are a bird watcher, like to be out when the light may be poorer, or you'll be viewing at fairly close quarters, a power such as 7x or 8x may be the best for you.
Field of View (FOV)
Simply put, the field of view is the width size of the viewing window. When looking at the specifications, the eyepiece and the magnification will determine the FOV sentence. The field of view decreases as the magnification increases. This implies that a binocular with a 1ox magnification will have a smaller field of view compared to that with an 8x magnification. Also, you must consider the eyepiece design. Eyepieces with wide angles offer a wide field of view. With a wide field of view, following objects such as birds or race cars becomes easier.
This is the measurement of the circle of light transmitted through the binoculars when you look through. The exit pupil is achieved by diving the objective lens by the magnification power. For instance, if your binoculars are 8x40, you take 40 divided by 8, which means that the exit pupil is 5 mm of light. The exit pupil is important as it relates to the amount of light and how well the binocular will perform. For instance, at the end of the day when the light is dim, you can see longer through the binoculars if the exit pupil is higher.
Measured in mm, eye relief is the distance between your eyes and the eyepiece while still providing a full view of the image. Eye relief is especially important for those wearing glasses. A long eye relief creates room for the glasses by allowing the user to see the entire field of view when the eye is further away from the eyepiece. It also helps reduce eyestrains.
Factors to Consider When Buying and Choosing the Right Binoculars
When it comes to sports and outdoor activities, it is imperative to be prepared at all times for crazy weather conditions such as unexpected downpours. Considering a waterproof pair would be a great safety precaution as it will prevent any water from getting in and damaging the mechanical parts of your binoculars.
Size and Weight
If you'll be using your binoculars while out and about, considering the size and weight is paramount. A lighter pair might be preferable if you'll be carrying them for long distances. You can easily fit a compact pair into jacket or coat pocket. Also, important, remember to check the weight of the carrying case since it adds to the overall weight. You may also consider choosing a brand that comes with neck straps since they are a handy accessory for securely and quickly putting down and picking up in between uses and on the move. There are other models that provide additional protection in the form of rugged armour. With this, it becomes easier to grip.
As already mentioned, binoculars with a high magnification can be harder to hold steady. There are binoculars with built-in tripod mount, mostly labeled as “tripod adaptable.” If you need a tripod, you should check whether the binoculars already include a mount or are adaptable. When choosing the right binoculars, it would be best if you try them out first. This way, you'll know if you can be able to use them steadily without the use of a tripod.
Number of objects to view
You need to determine how you will be using your binoculars. For instance, you should ask whether you will be looking at several objects or single objects. If you're interested in looking at one thing at a time, such as a gazelle feeding, the binoculars magnification is much more important as compared to the field of view. Conversely, if you want to watch several things at the same time, such as race horses, consider giving much importance to the field of view over the magnification.