EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING THE BEST BINOCULARS
Binoculars, otherwise known as field glasses or binocular telescopes, consist of two mirror symmetrical telescopes that enable you to view distant objects with both eyes. To permit users to view objects symmetrically, two separate telescopes, carried in the binocular, are aligned abreast to point at a certain object with great accuracy.
Different from monoculars which only carry one telescope, binoculars provide you with a three-dimensional view of the remote objects, while at the same time delivering sharpness and visual clarity.
The usage of binoculars are limitless, it can be implemented for military purposes or simple leisure activities. You can even use it for a better view in concerts.
The Use Of Binoculars In Tourism
For the convenience of tourists, many venues of tourism around the world provide binoculars. This would enable viewers to get a closer look at distant sceneries; a great example of its application is in the case of the Grand Canyon. Binoculars are a must for bird-watchers. How else would you relish in the pageantry of birds in destinations such as Uganda, one of the world’s favorite locations for bird watchers.
The Use Of Binoculars In Sports
It is a significant element in various sports: surfing, camping, cricket, horse racing, sailing etc.For instance in clout archery where contestants have to propel the arrow so high to the point where the arrow becomes impossible to view with the naked eye, spectators, contestants themselves, and onlookers employ binoculars as a necessity. The use of the gadget is pre-eminent in various sports of archery ranging from field archery to 3D archery.
In bow hunting, where the sense of smell of your prey is almost supernaturally immaculate, hunters need to keep a great distance from the deer. The only avenue they have of evading the detection of the game is to assume a position either on their tree stand or any distant location, and to monitor the deer through binoculars, until they seize the opportunity to strike.
The binocular is also essential in snowboarding as it enables the skier to survey the terrain and assess the possible dangers ahead.
The Use Of Binoculars In The Military Field
This is more of a professional application of the binocular. The soldier is walking a tightrope between life and death. In this case, the binocular becomes a shield; it allows the military personnel to detect enemies from afar and take mandatory measures of protection. Furthermore, the military unit is able to keep a close eye on intruders entering into their territory. The binocular reinforces the military in more ways than one.
How To Select The Perfect Binocular
Choosing a perfect binocular is very crucial as it will help you decide what is best fitted for you. Binoculars can be used for astronomy, bird-watching, hunting, or watching the action at sporting events or concerts. Selecting the correct pair will create a humongous difference. Thus below are important guidelines you could use to choose ‘your fitted’ binoculars.
Choosing The Lenses
Most binoculars contain glass lenses, which in most cases, supply better image quality; however, it is pricier than plastic lenses. Glass, to a limited extent, reflects the light hitting it but with the right coating this can be balanced.
The following codes are used to describe lens coatings:
- C indicates that only certain surfaces have been coated with a single coating layer.
- FC indicates that the surface of all glass lenses has been coated.
- MC indicates certain surfaces have been coated with many layers.
- FMC indicates that all the surfaces of the glass lens have been quoted with many layers. Even though multiple-layer coatings are better than only one coating, they are more costly.
Plastic lenses are robust despite the fact that the image is of a more poor quality; they should be considered for situations where resilience is needed such as mountain climbing.
Assess The Eyepieces
The lenses of the eyepiece should be placed at a suitable distance from your eyes. If you are wearing glasses, keep it a further distant. This is particularly named “eye relief”. And it is usually at a range o f 5-20 mm. If you are wearing glasses, you need an eye relief of 14-15mm or greater.
Check The Focus Ability On The Binocular
Before purchasing, test how closely you can focus the binoculars. Measure the amount of space between them and the object you are focusing at.
Most binoculars contain a center-post mechanism but some binoculars are “focus-free”, which means that they are devoid of the capability of adjusting the focus. By attempting to concentrate on something nearby than the adjusted distance, the binocular could cause eyestrain.
Make sure you check the weight of the binocular
Large lens and high-magnification binoculars are heavier than normal binoculars. To help you with this problem, stabilize the binocular by using a tripod or put on a strap that lets you carry the binoculars around your neck.
If you are thinking of traveling long distance, consider holding less powerful and lighter binoculars.
Check The Manufacturer’s Industry Reputation
It is better to be in the hands of an experienced binocular manufacturer. Ask what other optical products they produce and how they would deal with a damaged binocular.
The Different Types of Binoculars
In order to meet the public’s demand, binoculars are manufactured in different sizes and for different purposes. Below is a list of binoculars that vary in performance, durability and size.
As its name suggests, this type of binocular is best suited for the wildlife. It is a staple in any Safari guide’s pack, so it definitely should be one for you in your ventures to witness the riches of nature.
Pragmatically speaking, throughout most of your trip, the animals you spot on the plains are most likely to be a great distant away from you. This is when the right kind of binocular would serve a great deal. It will have you view the target— whether it is a pride of lions or a bird floating in the distant air—with the utmost clarity, as though you were right next to it.
Good Safari binoculars are resilient. They are built to weather some pretty rough handling. The journey is no walk in the park; you are likely to drop them very often— let’s be honest, the rides in the Safari cars could be quite rough.
Their sizes could vary:
- Full sized binoculars with objective lenses of up to 42mm or more
- Medium sized binoculars with objective lenses ranging from 32mm to 36mm
- Compact binoculars with objective lenses ranging from 21mm to 28mm
Although many argue that the performance of full sized binoculars and medium sized binoculars outweigh that of the compact binoculars’, it is highly advised to travel light in Safaris and thus use compact ones.
The ideal magnification for safari binoculars for is one between 8x and 10x. Hunting for binoculars of a higher magnification power will not serve a great purpose in this spectrum because the higher your magnification the narrower your field of view (FOV), this will have you miss out on the bigger picture where all the action is happening.
Marine binoculars or cruise ship binoculars
Marine binoculars are often used by those in cruise holidays. They carry a wide field of view and a lower power of magnification. Regarding size however, it is not much of an issue as in the case of the Safari; the rides are rather mellow. In fact, full sized binoculars are preferred for their image quality and brightness in this scenario as carrying heavy luggage is not much of a hassle.
In the setting of hunting, the binocular delivers multiple purposes. It helps the hunter survey the terrain, get a great view of the targeted game, and even distinguish its sex.
For hunting, medium sized binoculars are a great fit. As for magnification and field view, the same reasons in safari walking apply here. The hunter, while still requiring good magnification, needs to have a large field of view. A binocular with a high ability of gathering light –an 8×42 or binocular is a great pick.
As hunting incorporates a legion of rugged challenges, your binoculars should be waterproof, fogproof and should have strong rubber armor.
Made for the purpose of hunting, some binoculars carry special lens coatings which have high optics that discern the colors of foliage and haze and bring out the reds, browns and other pigments of nature. This would allow the hunter to spot games that are hiding.
Other more advanced features hunting binoculars could have are eye relief, eye cups, and range finders.
If you ski off-piste then these binoculars will come in handy. Before descending on the terrain it is significant to make a good survey in order to assess the possible dangers.
As a skier, you will have to carry the binocular with you at all times so it should be compact and easy to tuck in to your ski pack. It also needs to have a high level of durability and should be waterproof as with thick gloves you will probably have on, you are bound to drop them on melting water or snow.
Other features a skiing binocular should have are a wide field of view, good contrast, a high level of brightness, multi coating, foogproofing and durability.
Other Types Of Binoculars
The Various Accessories Of Binoculars
When you are shopping for binoculars there a legion of accessories you can purchase.
Here is a list of some:
These cases come in small and large sizes; it all depends on what your need requires. If you are looking for small cases you can get Swarovski Field bags or Swarovski Bino Guard EL.
If you have a penchant for a rather large suite case, then the following might be your taste: Nanuk 935 Waterproof Hard Case with cubed foam, Loaded Gear HD-300 Hard Case, or Nanuk 920 Waterproof Hard Case.
Products For Cleaning Your Lenses
Cleaning products are essential to preserve your binoculars. You can find an array of these supplies online, but here are a few to get you started.
Like the Zhumell Optic cleaning kit; Nanofilm Ultra clarity lens cleaner ; Zesis lens cleaning fluid.
Harnesses And Straps
Harnesses or straps will tie the binoculars to you, keeping it safe at all times. They are valuable shields in cases of hunting or any other activity set in rough terrains.
Some of them are Bino-Pac Suspension Harness, Swarovski Binocular Suspenders, Steiner Clic-Loc FLOATSTRAP for Steiner Binoculars.
Some of the heavy binoculars will require tripod mount to avoid fatigue from holding it. Few of the tripods listed are
Zhumell L Mount Tripod Adapter, Bushnell Binocular Tripod Adapter, and Bushnell Universal Tripod mount.
Lens Caps and Eye shields
Swarovski Bino Guard EL
Getting the Brightest Binoculars: What a Challenge!
One of the many things people put into consideration when going out to shop for binoculars is brightness. But the task can be quite challenging, and not so many of us end up with a binocular of a high brightness.
Ever heard that saying “the bigger the binocular, the brighter the lens”? Yes, well that happens to be the one factor that contributes a great deal to our failure in choosing a binocular with the desired amount of brightness. But there still is some truth in that saying. In dim light, and only in dim light, large binocular can be brighter.
Generally a binoculars’ brightness doesn’t depend on how small or big it is. The type and quality of the prism, the construction of the optical coatings, and the quality of the lens are all what make out the level of a binoculars’ brightness.
Lens coatings reduce light reflection and improve light transmission. But an increased amount of these thin layers of chemicals on the surface of the binoculars’ lenses affects the brightness of the image.
So to get a binocular with a maximum brightness, it is highly recommended for you to purchase one that is Fully Multi-Coated, which basically means that both sides of the binoculars’ lenses are coated with several layers of anti-reflective chemicals.
And if you are seeking to buy a roof prism binocular, then opt for the phase-corrected one. The prisms of a phase-corrected binocular are treated with a set of coatings that keep light in correct color phases, which would enhance its resolution, contrast and color fidelity.
Note: lens coatings that are of high quality appear as fairly light, subtle shadows of blue, green or violet.
Yes, You Need High Quality Optics
When it comes to the quality of your binoculars’ optical glass, price really does matter. The performance of a binocular regarding its contrast and resolution depends on the quality of the optical glass. For best results, the coatings on all glass surfaces and baffles have to be of superior quality and they have to be fixed up with extreme precision. So it can become quite pricey.
The optical glass is put to the task of gathering as much light as it possibly can without affecting the resolution and sharpness of the image. But the light has to pass through up to eight optical glasses in each barrel. So if the optics is not well made and is not coated with a non-reflective film, the light will reflect backward and about 60% of light will be lost.
So when you are out shopping for a binocular, make sure you opt for a fully coated optics. There are also colored optics you could choose from, Orange, Blue and Green coated optics.
The Orange is covered by additional multi-layer surface, which reduces light reflection. This optic is best used by those living in arid areas. The Blue is used to increase the degree of color pigments. And the Green colored optics is put to use at night, most commonly, by the Night Vision Industry.
One way to test the quality of your optical glass is to examine the edges of the exit pupil. If it is a complete bright circle then the lens is of superior quality. But if you detect gray shades, then the optics is of poor quality.
Note: Some inexpensive binoculars have a coated exterior lens and an uncoated interior optics. Also, binoculars with quality optics display crisp images across the entire field of view.
Know More About The Coating Of Your Lenses
If you are looking to buy a quality binocular, then the first thing you have to put in to consideration is the coating of the lenses.
A binocular with four uncoated lenses passes only 75% to 80% of the available light. And because the remaining light can scatter off in the insides of the barrel, there will be glare in the image.
And a single coating of magnesium fluoride, which many tend to use due to its affordability, increases light transmission by up to 97% to 98%. But most manufactures, coat only some of the optical surfaces. And an optic lens with only some of its surfaces coated with Magnesium Fluoride happens to be the lowest quality.
But Multi-coated lenses transmit up to 99+% of light for each surface.
Multi-coated lenses have multiple layers of coating applied to some surfaces, whereas fully coated lenses have multi-layers of coating applied to all of their air-to-glass surfaces.
One of the greatest advantages of having to use a multi-coated binocular is the quality of its resolution. It is especially used by astronomers.
Single coated Magnesium Fluoride lens appear blue, whereas multi-coated lenses look green or purple. The best way to test the quality of coatings, however, is to view the brightest objects and look for reflection or haze through the eyepiece.
Binoculars within Budget
Some binoculars are expensive. They contain high-magnification binoculars that entail built-in stabilizers to help you in remaining focused on an image, and they cost about $1000 or more. But don’t let the price deter you, for there are four great binoculars you could obtain under $100.
If weight and size aren’t your chief concern, porro-prism binoculars are the best choice. These optics have been criticized for being produced in a cheap and clunky way. However, the predominant factor behind why it costs less is not because their glass is of a reduced quality; it is due to the fact that porro-prism binoculars don’t demand expensive coatings on their prisms.
Asia has highly improved optics’ manufacturing, and currently porros are of an equal standard to a much more expensive roof prism.
This binocular is excellent in sharpness and quality and has a perfect field view. The construction is strong, and it has eyecups that are firmly steady.
This binocular is sharp, bright and amazingly clear. Although it is a little bulky, it is easy to hold.
Leupold BX-1 Yosemite 6×30
This binocular is ideal for bow hunters. It is a light material and easy on the eyes.
The clarity of this binocular is great; however, the durability is weak.
Tips on Balance and Handling
Regardless of how your pair of binoculars deliver high quality image, if they are uncomfortable and unpleasant to carry around and use in the field, it is going to be futile. The weight and balance of a binocular is extremely crucial to having a great time using it.
Light weight binoculars are preferable if you are intending to carry it for a lengthy time. However, lighter is not always opted for.
Optical components that are high quality normally weigh more than inferior equivalents. With a well balanced design it will make the high-end binoculars easier to handle and hold steady for a lengthy time.
Feel And Balance
Your binoculars should feel natural in your hands. It should be well balanced— enough to become like an extension of your body once you are familiarized to it.
All in all, balance and handling is a personal thing, but it would benefit you tremendously if you look through people’s reviews on the internet for more recommendations.
Do You Have The Right Magnification?
Why do people use binoculars? To have a better view of what are miles away from us, right? So it’s no brainer, magnification is the only reason why we go out scavenging for these handy equipments.
The common binocular magnification levels are 6x, 7x, 8x, 9x, and 10x. The number indicates the magnification level of the binocular. 8x, for instance, means that the binocular magnifies the object you have set your eyes on, eight times closer that it really is.
People usually assume that binoculars with a higher magnification power are better than those that are low. The truth, however, is that binoculars with a higher magnification power (10x and above) are harder to stabilize and they often result in blurred views.
High magnifications do make things look bigger, but their field of view is smaller and binoculars with a low or moderate magnification (6x to 8x) have a wider fields of view and they are easier to hold steady. But the level of magnification you opt for when shopping for a binocular, depends of what and how you want to use it.
If, for instance, you want a binocular for bird watching, hunting, or follow some fast-moving action, then a 7x binocular would be your best suit. But if you’re looking to monitor distant objects, then go for the higher magnification.
Any warranty offered by the binocular manufacturer instills confidence in the buyer and extends the life of the product we care so much about.
Depending on the manufacturer, warranties for binocular that are top-notch last from 10 years to 30 years.
Some even offer lifetime warranties with their product. They are poise to mend and supplant any damaged or defected binoculars free from charge.
Vortex optics VIP warranty is one example for this.
In brief, while it is warranty you can’t refuse to take advantage of, don’t fail to focus on the quality and feature of the binocular first before making your final decision, by getting carried away on the strength of the warranty.
Examine Customer Review For Instructive Information
Before purchasing any binocular, it is important to make a lot of research to understand what works best for you. The best way to do that would be reading customer reviews, so that you could gain an honest ‘pros and cons’ from casual people.