Among the thousands of Binoculars out there designed for different purposes, choosing the right binocular for you is not easy. There are different factors that contribute to the choice of the right binocular. Purpose of use, price, features, and other key qualities of binoculars are to be considered before you choose the dream binoculars for you. To help you choose the binoculars you need, we are going to discuss how to choose binoculars in this article. Keep reading.
How to Know Which Binoculars You Need?
That’s an important question to ask before going to buy the binoculars for you. If you are a hunter, you need a binocular that lets you target the game impeccably (Check these 10 binoculars for hunting). On the other hand, if you love safari and want to enjoy the animals at night, your binocular should let you see clearly at night (You can consider Night Hero Binoculars in that case). So, fixing the type of activity you will do with your binocular always comes first to decide the type of binoculars you need.
Other than the type of adventure you are looking for, the price may also become one of the key factors for you while choosing the binocular.
To understand what you need, you should touch, feel, and test as many binoculars models as possible. Only then you can make the best decision for you. In the following sections, we will show you the factors or features you should consider while choosing the binoculars for you.
10 Features and Specifications You Should Look in Binoculars
If you look at the description of any binoculars, you will see two multiplied numbers such as 8×30, 7×42, 10×25, etc. The first numbers you see in these multiplications stands to portray the magnification level of binoculars. For example, if you see 7×42 optic, it means that this optic has a magnification of 7. If you buy a binocular of this optic, you can magnify any object up to 7 times in your binoculars.
Our suggestion to you is to choose binoculars that have a magnification level of 7 to 10x. If it is more than 10x, you might not see the image clearly without a tripod. Moreover, if you are thinking to buy anything with magnification more than 10x, you should buy spotting scope and tripod instead of binoculars.
Objective Lens Diameter
The second thing you should find in the description of binoculars is Objective Lens Diameter. It is actually measured in millimeters. While the first number in 7×42 denotes the magnification, the second number shows the objective lens diameter. The more the objective lens diameter is the clearer and better images you will find. We recommend you to buy binoculars that offer 20-42mm objective lens diameters. However, you have to carry more weight if you go for one with a larger diameter.
If binoculars have objective lenses diameters below 30, they are called compact binoculars and they are ideal for children. In case you are looking binoculars for your kids, you can check this: top 10 best binocular for kids.
Field of View
Field of View or FOV in short is one of the important criteria you should not neglect. It indicated the range of visible area you can see with your binoculars. If you want to catch birds in the lenses of your binoculars, you need binoculars with a bigger field of view. Field of view is generally calculated by feets and yards. The more magnification can decrease the field of view. So, buy one comparing with the magnification.
By Close Focus, the manufacturers of binoculars mean the level of proximity you can get to your subject and catch the picture clearly. We recommend you to buy binoculars with smaller close focus range. It is better if you can choose it within 2 meters or less. However, here too you have to match the close focus with the magnification.
Roof Prisms Vs. Porro Prisms
Roof Prisms and Porro Prisms are different in their styles and view. Porro prisms came earlier than Roof Prisms and they are cheaper to buy. However they are old-fashioned and not that much available nowadays.
On the other hand, binoculars with Roof Prisms are smaller, compact and more streamlined but complicated inside. We recommend you Roof Prisms binoculars for bird watching and hunting as these are lightweight, easy to carry and fit well in hands.
Waterproof and Fog proof
An ideal binocular should not only be weatherproof, but waterproof as well. Additionally, fog proof binoculars are the trend now to buy. It will protect your lenses from humid and moist conditions. However, most of the binoculars that offer fog proof features, keep ‘nitrogen filled’ or ‘nitrogen purged’ level in the description of the binoculars. These binoculars do not have to be costly. You can get them under $200. Here is a list of affordable binoculars under 200 for you.
Eye relief feature is to be considered important to relax your eyes. It enables you to view the object clearly even if your binoculars maintain a close distance with your eyes. You should look for it most if you generally wear glasses for your eyes.
No matter what type of binoculars you buy, you must check the warranty of your binoculars. Better warranty service means that the manufacturer is confident about their engineering. However, different companies offer different types of warranty. Some companies need you to register the product within 30 days of buying to claim the warranty.
On the other hand, some companies might offer lifetime warranty for the fault in the binoculars. But most of them exclude warranty for the binoculars damaged for dropping from the hands or disassembling personally.
Weight and Feel
For how much time can you bear the binoculars? Is it too heavy? Does it fit well in my hands? How do I feel with it? You have to ask these questions when you test any binoculars for buying. However, we suggest you to go for mid-sized binoculars with a lens diameter of 42mm.
Type and Quality of glass and prism, engineering, and the coating determine how much the price of a binocular should be. When it comes to Prisms BK-7 are way cheaper than BaK-4 prisms. Again, top binoculars use extra low dispersion (ED) glass in their binoculars while others may not.
The price also varies based on the type of coatings manufacturers use in their lenses. Coated binoculars are generally the cheapest of all while fully multi-coated lenses are the most expensive. Dielectric high-reflective multilayer prism coating and Phase Correction Coating are also good to choose.
So, that’s our guide on how to choose binoculars. We hope that you can now choose the best binoculars for you as you now know the features and specifications you should be looking for when you choose the binoculars for you or your family.