Whether you enjoy bird watching or you like to look at objects that are far in the distance while you are taking a hike, a pair of binoculars are a must have item. If you are a novice binocular user, it is easy to think that all binoculars are created equal; however, there are many different types of binoculars, and they can offer different features and functions, which can make choosing the best pair of binoculars a challenge. In order to help you on your quest for choosing the best binoculars, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide. The information offered in this guide will help you choose the best pair of binoculars for your specific needs. In this guide, you will learn about the different types of binoculars, the things that you should consider when you are shopping for binoculars, the features that this tool can offer, and the best brands of binoculars on the market. With the information you will learn in this buyer’s guide, you will be well informed and ready to choose the best pair of binoculars for your specific needs.
The Different Types of Binoculars
In order to choose the best binoculars for your needs, you first need to understand that there are different types of binoculars to choose from. While the main goal of all binoculars is to magnify vision, they differ based on the way that they magnify.
There are two main types of binoculars, which include:
- The Roof Prism Binoculars
- The Porro Prism Binoculars
Below, you will find a detailed description of these two types of binoculars, including the different variations of each type, and the benefits that each type offers.
The Roof Prism Binoculars
The roof prism binocular is aligned in a straight line. This design allows the binoculars to be more compact and streamlined in the way that they look. Roof prism refers to the type of prism that is used in the construction of this type of binocular. With this type of construction, the prisms are aligned in a straight line, which makes them more compact and sleeker, thus easier to pack. Roof prism binoculars can easily be identified because the eyepieces and the objective lenses (which are large) line up with each other.
The primary advantages of the roof prism binocular is that it has a compact design, which makes them easier to transport. This makes them easier to use for activities like hiking and sporting events. Additionally, they have less internal components than the porro prism binoculars (read below,) which means that there is less of a chance of something going wrong with them. It is also a lot easier to keep these binoculars free of dust and waterproof. On the downside, because of the way that the prisms are aligned inside the roof of the binoculars, the image quality usually isn’t as clear as it is with the porro prism binoculars.
The Porro Prism Binoculars
The Porro Prism binoculars are differ from the roof prism binoculars in that the eyepieces and the objective lenses are offset from one another; the objective lenses are offset from one another – the objective lens is not in line with the ocular lens. The major advantage of the porro prism binocular is that it is spaced wider than roof prism binoculars. This means that it can create a better stereoscopic image than the roof prism binocular. This type of binocular also tends to be larger in size and has more moving parts. While more moveable parts may be advantages for achieving your desired image, it also means that there is more of a chance that something can go wrong when making adjustments, which can make it difficult to dust proof and waterproof this type of binocular. The Porro binocular is best suited for those who want to view wildlife more closely and who want to view sporting events up close; however, because of their size, this type of binocular is heavier, which may make it uncomfortable to use for a long period of time.
In addition to these two main types of binoculars, there are also specialized binoculars available. Specialized binoculars are designed for use with specific viewing activities. Here is a look at some of the specialized binoculars that are available.
The Astronomy Binocular
Though telescopes are usually used to examine the heavens, binoculars have been designed to give an up close view of space. Astronomy binoculars are the largest in size. They have a much larger objective lens and a very large magnification, which makes this type of binocular able to take in large amounts of light. Astronomy binoculars come in different size, and some are capable of magnify different levels of the sky.
The Marine Binoculars
Marine binoculars are specifically designed to work in a marine environment. They are waterproof and are built to handle the excessive exposure to salt. Some models of marine binoculars are also designed to float in oater, so if you drop them while you are out on the water, they won’t sink to the bottom. The most top of the line models will offer a built in compass, which will allow you to find your specific location.
The Golf Range Finder Binoculars
This type of binocular is, as the name suggests, designed to be used in golf applications. It is designed to provide a few of the exact distance of an object, such as the tee or the golf ball, so that you can better determine your stroke.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Binoculars
In order to find the best binoculars for your specific needs, there are a number of factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when you are shopping. Some of the most important things to consider when shopping for binoculars include the power and objective of the binoculars, the field of view that you want and the cost of the binoculars. To learn more about these and other factors that are the most important to take into consideration while you are choosing the binoculars that will best suit your need, please keep on reading.
The power and objective of the binoculars
All binoculars are labeled with a power and an objective number; 8 x 32mm, for example. The first number represents the power, and the second number represents the objective – or the diameter – of the objective lens. The power that binoculars offer starts at 4 and moves up to 32 or ore. The higher the number does not necessarily mean the better the binocular; if the power it too high, images that are closer can be blurry, and if it is too low, images that are far away can also be blurry. In order to determine which power is best for you, you will need to take into consideration your intended use of the binoculars. For example, if you are a hunter, you will want a power that is 10 or more; however, if you are watching birds, you will not need a power as high as the objects that are close to use. If you are viewing the night sky, you will want the most powerful binoculars possible.
The field of view
You also want to consider the field of view when choosing binoculars. The field of view refers to the range of the area you will see around the object that you are pointing the binoculars toward. Binoculars that have a greater field of view will enable you to see a larger area to either side of your focus point.
The weight of the binoculars
Another very important factor to take into consideration is the weight of the binoculars. Obviously, the heavier they are, the more cumbersome they will be to carry. However, do take note that the weight of the binoculars that you choose will be dependent on the amount of power that they offer. The more powerful the lenses are, the heavier they will be, so it is important to keep this in mind when you are shopping for the binoculars that will best suit your needs.
The magnification of the binoculars
You are also going to want to consider the magnification of the binoculars. Generally speaking, binoculars that offer a 10x magnifications are better for distance viewing; however, this also means a narrower field of vision and a slightly darker image in low light, and more hand shake that is more noticeable. An 8x magnification will give you a smaller image that is wider, brighter and may be easier to follow.
The eye relief the binoculars offer
You also want to consider the comfort that the binoculars offer for your eyes. Since you are going to be holding them close to your eyes, you want to make sure that they will be as comfortable as possible. To determine how comfortable the binoculars will be while you are using them, hold them up to your eyes when you are shopping for them and look around. Give them a really good test so that you can determine how comfortable they will be while you are using them.
The cost of the binoculars
Yet another important factor to take into consideration is the cost of the binoculars. Binoculars can vary widely in price, so you want to make sure that you know how much you want to spend before you start shopping. Generally, the more accurate the binoculars are and the more features that they offer, the more expensive they will be. Make sure you set a budget before you start looking for binoculars so that you don’t spend more than you are comfortable with.
Features that Binoculars Can Offer
There are a variety of features that binoculars can offer. These features are intended to make the binoculars easier to use and more versatile. As mentioned above, the more features binoculars offer, the more expensive they will be. It is important to understand the intended purpose of these features so that you can determine whether or not you want or need certain features, and whether or not the additional cost will be worth your while.
Here is a look at some of the most popular features that binoculars can offer.
An adjustable eyepiece
In order to provide you with the most comfort possible, some binoculars feature adjustable eyepieces. With this feature, you will be able to adjust the eyepiece so that you can achieve the maximum comfort possible. Adjustable eyepieces can be retracted or pulled out so that you can achieve the most comfortable fitting to your eyes possible.
Binoculars can offer different types of lens coatings, which will allow you to reduce glare and increase the amount of light that the binoculars gather. This will improve the field of view so that you can get the best images possible.
The best binoculars come with a warranty. A warranty will protect your investment. Should something happen to the binoculars during the span of the warranty, you will be able to have them repaired or replaced, or you may be able to have your money refunded.
The Brands of Binoculars
There are several companies that manufacture binoculars. This can make it difficult to determine which companies offer the best quality binoculars. We have done some extensive testing, and our results have determined that the following brands of binoculars are the best of the best.
Polaris produces some of the highest quality binoculars on the market. Their binoculars are constructed of the most durable materials and the latest technologies. Their binoculars are built to last a long time and provide exceptional views.
Another top contender of binocular brands is Eyesky. This company manufactures durable binoculars that are designed to offer exceptional comfort and are built to last. You will achieve exceptional views with Eyeskey binoculars.
Bushnell Falcon also produces some of the most exceptional binoculars on the market They are durably constructed and offer some of the most cutting edge designs and the latest advances in binocular technologies.
Powerview manufactures exceptional binoculars that are built to withstand extreme conditions and extensive use. They are very durable, offer exceptional magnification and are extremely comfortable to use.