From hiking to bird watching to sailing, astronomy and even opera, many hobbies can take advantage of a good pair of binoculars. Mechanical strength and optical quality are two important criteria to consider when getting equipped.
You will also need to consider the location and time you will mostly be using the binoculars. You will use a binocular that can gather enough light if you intend to enjoy good quality images at dawn, dusk, or in places with poor light condition, like the woods.
Humid areas require durable waterproof and fog-proof binoculars. There is just so much to give thoughts to. Let’s navigate through the other points.
Magnification And Objective Lens Diameter
Each pair of binoculars is characterized by two numbers, in the form 8×32, 10×42, and so on. The first indicates the magnification. With a pair 8×32 – the best-selling model – the subject appears 8 times bigger than without binoculars.
Magnifications less than 5x are mostly irrelevant outdoors, but magnifications above 10x are very sensitive to tremors and require the support of a tripod or an image stabilizer. The second number is the diameter of the lens expressed in millimeters.
The wider it is, the more light the binocular captures, and so the sharper the image. It is tempting to choose a wide lens, but it makes the binoculars more cumbersome. During the day, a diameter of 32 or 42 mm is sufficient.
These two data make it possible to calculate the diameter of the exit pupil, which is the result of the diameter divided by the magnification of the objective (for example, 32/8 = 4 mm). Preferably, the diameter of the exit pupil should be greater than that of the pupil of the eye.
Equipment Adapted to the Needs
The first question to ask when choosing binoculars is their main use. For hikers or travelers, versatile binoculars (8×32 or 10×42) are recommended. They must be light, waterproof and robust: a rubberized cladding makes sense because it increases the impact resistance. For more precision, ornithologists will prefer a magnification of 10x to 12x.
At this level, stability is paramount and a tripod is needed. Conversely, at the theater or in a stadium, compact binoculars (8×24) will be recommended, for reasons of practicality. Buying a pair of binoculars is an investment. Cheaper models are also available for children.
For Eyeglass Wearers
Glass wearers can use the hunting binoculars without needing to remove them: in this case, choose a model with retractable eyecups.
It is also possible to do without glasses by adjusting the binoculars so that they correct your visual defect. To do this, close the right eye and use the center focus wheel to get the image of an object in view.
Next, use the diopter adjustment (usually on the right eyepiece) to compensate for the difference in visual quality between your two eyes. Binoculars with autofocus can be challenging to use for eyeglass wearers as they do not correct vision defects.
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