Today, we will discuss how to choose binoculars to make absolutely sure you’re selecting the perfect one for whatever you’re intending on viewing.
So, binoculars are known for bringing clarity to your vision to see far away objects more clearly. Unfortunately, the answer to this question of how to choose binoculars really not that simple as there are tons of different features and aspects to consider.
The ideal approach to test the optical efficiency, ease of use, and comfort level of a pair of binoculars would be to go to the market and look at a few of them before you make a final decision.
That being said, below we will discuss some core aspects to keep in mind while choosing the best hunting binoculars.
Table of Contents
- How To Choose Binoculars | Complete Informative Guide
- Step #1: Construction Material of Chassis
- Step #2: Magnification Of The Binocular
- Step #3: Objective Lens Diameter Of The Binoculars
- Step #4: Eye Relief Of The Binoculars
- Step #5: Lens Materials Of The Binoculars
- Step #6: Prisms Of The Binoculars
- Step #7: Lens Coatings Of The Binoculars
- Step #8: Field of View Of The Binoculars
- Step #9: Straps Of The Binoculars
- Step #10: Eye Cups Of The Binoculars
- Step #10: Tripod Stand Of The Binoculars
- Step #11: Adapter Cables & Rechargeable Batteries
- Step #12: Protection Features For Binoculars
- Step #13: Water Resistance
- Step #14: Sealing
- Step #15: Rubber Coating
- Step #16; Fog Proof Lenses
- Step #17: Testing Out New Binoculars
- Step #18: Focus Button
Step #1: Construction Material of Chassis
Let’s start by discussing the construction material of the binocular frame. It plays an important role in their overall performance and durability. It comes in a variety of options:
The most common chassis material available on the market is aluminum or aluminum alloy. It is by far the most preferable material, as it is lightweight, robust, and much more economical than the other choices we see today.
They also need less maintenance as they are corrosion resistant so that you can use them in all sorts of weather conditions.
The next most liked material is polycarbonate. It is basically a polymer resin that is also easy to use, inexpensive, corrosion-proof, and very strong.
The biggest benefit of using polymer is that it is temperature tolerant If you intend to use the binoculars under extreme conditions, particularly when it’s cold, the casing will stay at a neutral temperature—unlike Aluminum that can get incredibly cold to touch.
Step #2: Magnification Of The Binocular
While purchasing your first pair of Binoculars, you might come across specifications such as 7×42, 8×30, or 10×42. Here the number 7, 8, or 10 is the magnification value of that particular Binoculars.
Thus, the 8×30 binoculars must have a magnification value of 8, implying that the target would appear eight times nearer than it would to your unaided eye.
Mostly, you can pick between 8 or 10 magnification values, although you can also select versions with lower or higher magnifications depending on how you want to use the binoculars. The 8-Power magnification offers a rather wider field of view, whereas a 10-power magnification shows a very detailed and closer view.
Step #3: Objective Lens Diameter Of The Binoculars
The diameter of the objective lenses is also a very important factor to consider while purchasing a new pair of Binoculars.
For two sets of binoculars which otherwise come with exactly the very same characteristics, a pair of goggles with larger objective lenses can capture additional light as well as provide a brighter image.
The 10×42 specification indicates that the objective lens has a diameter of 42 millimeters. As the objective Lenses will often be the biggest chunk of the gear, therefore, it will impact the total size and weight.
We highly recommend lenses between 30-mm to 42-mm since they seem to find a perfect balance between efficiency and size.
Step #4: Eye Relief Of The Binoculars
The eye relief is just the maximum distance from your eye to the eyepiece or perhaps the focal point through which the light travels into the eyepiece.
Most companies place eyecups on the eyepieces to position the wearer’s eyes at the right distance from the eyepieces to make them more effective to use.
Many binoculars include eyecups that can be retracted to serve eyeglass users or extended to offer shade to non-users. Always look out for long-lasting, durable, and multi-position adjustable eyecups for a better experience.
Step #5: Lens Materials Of The Binoculars
The quality and nature of the glass used in the construction of the lenses play a very critical role in terms of overall performance. Typical optical glass, which is not properly grounded and polished, can bend light improperly. This might lead to a very blurred and distorted image.
On the other hand, highly specialized glass is designed to provide a very clear image with negligible distortion, and it also transmits light much better. Therefore, allowing you to see crisp and bright visuals with actual color rendition.
Some modern binoculars also come with eco-friendly glass which does not include lead or arsenic. While this may or may not have a major effect on the image quality, you are not creating any chemical waste if you throw it away.
Step #6: Prisms Of The Binoculars
The prisms are also the optical components that steer the light from the image towards your eyes with the help of binoculars. The former Porro prism goggles incorporate large front barrels that are not aligned with both the eyepieces.
Whereas, the modern roof prism versions are aligned with both the eyepieces and objective lenses. The Prism material also impacts the image quality significantly, the known materials are:
Barium Crown glass is also known as BAK4 is known to be the highest form of prism glass. It seems to have a high refractive index with a much lower critical angle than most other materials, which implies that it transmits light better with much less light.
BK7 glass is probably the most commonly used binocular glass. Even though it may be of marginally lower quality than BAK4, it features outstanding light-transmission characteristics and a small number of internal flaws.
SK15 is an unusual material that strikes the happy medium between BK7 and BAK4. It boasts a better refractive index than either of those with a dispersion that lies between BAK4 and BK7. The images gathered through the SK15 prisms are of high quality with high color contrast.
Step #7: Lens Coatings Of The Binoculars
Lens coatings are basically thin films glued on the lens surfaces to minimize overall glare and reflection. These films improve light transmission and contrast and contribute to making the colors appear more vibrant. The different types of coatings are:
Single-coated lenses are by far the most basic type of lenses available today. It indicates that the lens surface features at least one thin layer of film coating on it to prevent glaring.
Multi-coated lenses are the improved and better version of single-coated lenses. It has multiple layers of film coating on each surface of the lens. This results in better image quality than the previous one.
Multi-coated lenses are by far the most advanced lenses with several layers of thin film added to each surface. This allows the highest degree of light transmission, visibility, brightness, contrast, and color rendition.
Step #8: Field of View Of The Binoculars
In simple words, the field of view is the visible region you see from your binoculars when you gaze through them. The FOV is inversely proportional to the magnification power. The higher the magnification, the smaller the overall FOV that can be involved in a single look.
Having a smaller FOV will make it difficult to find tiny or moving targets (such as birds) while scanning far away through your Binoculars. The narrower field of view also allows less light, so the images would be slightly darker.
Use of Binoculars
Binoculars can have a variety of practical, professional, fun, and educational uses. Not only that, under certain conditions, the use of binoculars could even be a lifesaver. Let’s have a look at some of the areas where binoculars are extensively used:
For an adventure seeker with a quest to hike deep into the wilderness and appreciate the quality of nature, a pair of high-resolution binoculars come in highly useful. How to choose binoculars for hiking?
The 8×40 binoculars may offer you the best opportunity for exploring new trails and watching wildlife.
Observing birds is an exciting noble hobby done by conservationists in the birds’ natural habitat. A powerful pair of binoculars comes in handy to keep enough distance not to scare the birds away while enjoying observing their wild sanctuaries.
How to choose binoculars for bird watching? A 7X magnification binoculars can offer a broader field of view that is beneficial to view more elusive birds.
Binoculars are an important tool for hunting, like bird watching, binoculars for deer hunting as well.
How to buy binoculars for wildlife Hunting?
Based on what kind of game you might be hunting, magnification value from 8x to 10x will allow you to clearly see your goals while ensuring safe distance.
To ensure the best use of a pair of binoculars, seafaring people need a wide field of view.
How to Choose Binoculars for Birding or Marine Life?
For marine binoculars, the standard specs are 7×50, an ideal ratio to mitigate the adverse effects of the unavoidable trembling and movement on sea.
While purchasing binoculars, one must look out for accessories that come with them.
Step #9: Straps Of The Binoculars
Binoculars are highly valued in hunting and other outdoor activities, however, on such adventures, carrying extra gear is a hard call. Straps come in handy on such occasions, you can hang around the neck with the help of straps to make them more comfortable on long trips.
There is also no risk of losing your binocular by wearing a strap, as it is always around you.
Step #10: Eye Cups Of The Binoculars
Eyecups are an important enhancement to binoculars as they provide a comfortable area when looking through binoculars without any discomfort as they are soft and cushioned. The eyecups are pre-installed on the binoculars, but the dealers have additional eyecups if one is ripped out from extreme use.
Step #10: Tripod Stand Of The Binoculars
Some of the best binoculars with night vision also come with a video recording feature to make it the right gear for professional wildlife photographers. However, often it takes time to capture rare animal encounters, thus the tripod helps to hold the device for a long time.
Step #11: Adapter Cables & Rechargeable Batteries
The best high-end binoculars are delivered with USB adapters to quickly move data from binoculars to computers. Backup rechargeable batteries are essential to provide backup power to binoculars in areas where electricity is not available.
Step #12: Protection Features For Binoculars
The Binoculars should also come with some protection features, such as:
Step #13: Water Resistance
All the latest binoculars are water-resistant and have better IP ratings, which is a big improvement in the industry. This protective function of the binocular makes it ideal for use in rainy conditions without any fear of damage.
Step #14: Sealing
In dusty conditions, there is often a danger of mechanical hardware being damaged or worn out, however, the seal on the binoculars around the lens keeps the lens safe from inside.
This protection prevents all kinds of small particles from destroying the performance of the binoculars and even the best budget binoculars have this feature.
Step #15: Rubber Coating
Rubber coating makes the binoculars highly durable from the outside by having a thick surface that prevents damages and scratches. This helps the user to store them in tight locations without causing any harm to important materials.
Step #16; Fog Proof Lenses
In cold weather, the lens provides less visibility due to fog induced by the user’s exhalation and therefore can ruin the fun experience. Therefore, fog proofing is a must to prevent this situation as it makes the lens clear and most visible under any condition.
Step #17: Testing Out New Binoculars
You may test out the newly bought Binoculars by following these steps:
Step #18: Focus Button
To check the timing and range of the focus, the user may use the assigned focus button to test its capability. The device that is pre-tested during assembly can be verified by the consumer with the focus button. The user may also verify the claims of binocular dealers by using the same button.
The user should decline and incline the binocular to verify that the binocular offers flawless lens imaging and it is preferable to see sideways too. This exercise will confirm whether, without any distortion, the binocular can provide complete visibility at all viewing angles.
Grip and Handling
To make a binocular handy and to prevent it from becoming slippery, grip padding on handles is a significant need. The consumer can grip each side one by one to ensure that it does not slip to confirm its stability.
The world of binoculars is enormous and ever-changing, making decision-making more and more difficult. No matter what you intend to use them for—from a football match to a comet-watching – there’s always something for everyone at every tag.
You can easily find the best hunting binoculars under $1000 and even the best hunting binoculars under $500. In this article, we tried to address the most asked question how to choose a binocular or, What To Look For When are You Buying Binoculars?
We included everything that would affect your overall buying decision and the efficiency of the Binoculars. Once you have made your decision, don’t forget to consider the accessories that can turn a decent view into a great view for you. If you want to choose the best binoculars for elk hunting then click the link.