Guide to buying Binoculars

Posted on Νοέμβριος 29, 2017 by Wendy Busa

Whether it is for the sports fan, bird watcher, astronomer or any outdoors person, Binoculars make a great gift! How do you know what to look for when purchasing binoculars? What do the two numbers stand for? For example if the binoculars are a 7x35, the first number is the magnification or how many times larger the subject will appear  and the second number is the diameter in millimeters for the front lens. 

So lets talk magnification, more is better? Not necessarily, that will depend on what you are viewing. Too much magnification makes it hard to hold the binocular still and generaly gives you a narrower field of view. If you go with a higher magnification binocular like a 12x, make sure you get a tripod and a tripod adapter so that you have a stable image to view.

The second number, the diameter of the lens, will determine how bright and how heavy the binoculars are. The larger the diameter the brighter and easier it will be to see in lower light. 

Other features to consider-

Field of view- wider field makes it easier to track wildlife and offers a more broad area for viewing a cluster of stars.

Exit pupil: Indicates low light performance.

The pupil diameter of human eye changes depending on the ambient light conditions. In bright light the eye dilates to 2-3 mm and in low light it is around 7 mm. During daylight viewing, getting a binocular with an exit pupil around 5, will help avoid eye strain. To calculate the exit pupil divide the diameter of the lens by the magnification. Example 7x35 binoculars, 35 divided by 7 = 5. 

Eye Relief: 14 mm or longer for eye glass wearers.

 Eye relief is the maximum distance you can have between your eye and the eyepiece lens before the field of view is reduced. Basically, as you move binoculars farther away from you, you see a smaller and smaller portion of the image, like looking through a tunnel. An example of a binocular with a long eye relief is the Nikon Monarch 8x42.

If you wear glasses, you're going to have to hold the binoculars a little farther away than someone who doesn't. With good eye relief, say 14mm or more, you don't miss out on the full image, even while holding the binoculars' eyepiece against your glasses.

Quality of the lens: Quality glass gives you a clear, sharp and bright image.

The more coatings the lens has the better.

ED Glass
Extra-Low Dispersion or low dispersion glass provides High Density and High Definition images because it keeps light-waves in-phase, from bending, and from producing various types of aberrations.


This is when the actual glass is made without toxic chemicals such as lead and arsenic.
Type of glass in the prism_BAK4 vs BK7: there is not a lot of difference, but...

BAK4 has the higher refractive index rate and the complete, circular shape of the exit pupil will mean more light will be transmitted to the entire field of view. This will mean brighter, color-rich, and sharper edges of your periphery. 

 So when considering which binoculars to purchase, what is important for your viewing purpose? Do you need something that is compact like the Meade wilderness 8x25 

or will you need a binocular that is bright like the Fujinon 7x50 FMTR-SX, that is perfect for low light applications like astronomy or boating.

 or perhaps something in between. Stop by our store to see all of your options.

              If you found this article to be helpful, please like it and share it.

                                     Thanks and happy viewing.

Posted in #binoculars, #birding, #fujibinoculars, #gift, #holidaygift, #meadebinoculars, #nikonbinoculars, #sportsfan, #vanguardbinoculars



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