Binoculars are fundamentally two small identical telescopes buildup on a single frame. Each telescope has a pair of lenses to magnify objects and a pair of prisms to adjust the image into the correct orientation. Binoculars are used when watching the concert and sporting events, astronomy, bird-watching, or hunting.
Choosing the right binocular that suits your specific needs may be challenging and this guide is aimed at helping you understand binoculars' features. Consider where, when, and how often you intend to use the binocular with the aim of selecting the right feature combination to match your needs.
How to Choose the Best Binoculars
Binoculars have various features important when choosing the best binoculars for the outdoor activities. However, this article will focus on the most important features: magnification, power, and exit pupil size.
Magnification and Power
Binocular's key features are normally illustrated by two numbers, for example, 7X50. The first digit shows the magnification (for instance, 7X, signifying 2157 times'). A magnification of power 7 signifies that an image will emerge 7 times closer. For instance, if you are viewing a bird that is around 300 yards away from you using 7x binoculars, it emerges as if it is 42.9 yards away (300 divided by 7).
The second digit indicates the objective diameter in millimeters (1 inch is around 25 millimeters). The second digit is a measure of the apparatus' light-gathering power. For any provided magnification, larger objectives generate a brighter image during the night or in dim light but produce a more massive binocular as well. Binoculars with the larger diameter objective lenses extract lighter, meaning that a brighter view, mainly in low-light settings. Handheld binoculars are considered for typical uses like amateur astronomy, nature study, sports watching, or hunting range from around 6X30 to 10><50. Binoculars that consist of a higher light-gathering power and magnifications are bulky and heavy, mainly for long distances and periods, but they can be mounted on a tripod
Field and opera glasses are types of binocular with narrow fields of view and simple, but less costly, systems and normally have magnification of 2.5x to 5X. Most binoculars' lenses are coated on air-to-glass surfaces to decrease reflections.
Understand that those binoculars with more than 10 magnification power amplify the hands' movements, making it hard to produce stable viewing.
Binocular Exit Pupil
Exit pupil is a figure that shows how a bright an image will emerge when viewing in low-light settings. A higher number signifies images that are brighter and enables you to sustain a full image of an object when your hands shake or move. You can calculate exit pupil size (presented in millimeters) by dividing the objective lenses' diameter by the magnification number.
For instance, for 7x50 binoculars, 50 divided by 7 generates the exit pupil diameter of 7.2mm. In low-light settings, our pupils can broaden up to 7mm. Exit pupil size affects the light accessible to your eyes. For example, if you have an exit pupil size of below 7mm on binoculars, then it will limit the light available to your normal eyes. 7x50 binoculars provide a 7.1mm exit pupil size, suitable or nighttime view.
Exit pupil size is less essential for daylight viewing. In brighter light, human pupils often narrow to around 2mm. All types of binoculars provide exit pupil size of more than 2mm. Binoculars with a high exit pupil size (higher than 5mm) are better choices for low-light settings (while viewing the night sky, within dense tree cover, and dawn).
Most binoculars consist of rubber eye cups passing through the eyepieces with the purpose of stabilizing the eyepieces over the eye while viewing using the binoculars. So, if you are using glasses choose the type of binoculars with eye cups that flip out or retract.
General Use Binoculars
Outdoor, Stadium Sports, Hiking
Wide angle and compact binoculars are good for outdoor activities and watching concerts of sporting events at the arena. Compact binoculars (common specs: 8x25, 10x25) have magnification ranges of 8x to 10x. They are easy to carry on a strap around the neck and in your pocket, and the wide-angle provides a better field of view.
Either mid-size (common specs: 7x35, 10x32) or compact binoculars are great for hunting purposes. A 12x to 16x magnification ranges are best for longer range shooting like varmint hunting. Tripod should be used for larger magnification to increase the stability of the binoculars since you will produce shaking image if used in standing position. Larger magnification amplifies the shaking of your hands.
Commonly recommended binocular for bird watching is an 8x42 binocular. However, to have an in-depth view of smaller birds at a far distance, you may choose a magnification of 10x or 12x with objective of around 42 or 50 millimeters. A close focus and longer eye relief are the best attributes to have on your binoculars for bird watching.
Binocular field of view shows you the width of the area that you can view at a specific time, normally presented in feet. A wide field of view is appropriate for identifying and finding objects like birds. Normally, you should know that a higher magnification power leads to a smaller field of view.
Marine and Boating Binoculars
High magnification is not recommended when you are in the water. A 7x magnification is frequently used by some boating fans and mariners, but they can also opt for 8x and 10x magnifications. Mariners also use a 42 or 50-millimeter objective. Rubber armoring, waterproof and a larger objective lens are the key characteristics to consider for a boating and marine binocular.
Weather-resistant or waterproof binoculars are not entirely impermeable since they are not designed for submersion but light rain.
Wide angle compact binoculars are the best for theater and concert watching. 7x21, 7x18, 8x25, 5x25, and 4x30 are also advised to be used for venues such as music concerts, theater, and opera.
You should also consider reviewing the manufacturer's warrants and reputation. Consider the duration the manufacturer has been producing these binoculars and what other optical products they manufacture, along with how they will address issues if the binoculars fail or get damaged. It is also important to consider the prices of the binoculars to much your pocket. You should consult the seller or professionals to provide you will essential information regarding the type of binoculars that fits your needs and events you intend to engage in.