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Binoculars: Essential Things to Look for When Buying Binoculars

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Binoculars are an essential instrument for many nature enthusiasts or sports lovers. A binocular produces a magnified view of the distant places, people, or things, thereby enhancing your outdoor experience. Nevertheless, choosing the right binocular for your outdoor adventure can be significantly overwhelming, especially if you are a beginner. There are certain specifications of a binocular that you need to know before you make a final choice. As such, this write-up presents a brief buyer’s guide to selecting binoculars. Read on and stay informed.

Essential Things to Look for When Buying Binoculars

  • Magnification:

Magnification is one of the starting points that you should know when it comes to choosing a perfect binocular. You should note that most binoculars indicate magnification power and objective lens diameter together. For instance, in a 10×28 binocular, 10 is the magnification power, and 28 is the diameter of the objective lenses in millimeters.

You can identify the magnification power of a binocular by the number written before the x. For instance, if a binocular has written ‘8x’, it means that it can magnify the distant object eight times. Generally, the magnificent power between ‘7x’ and ‘12x’ is the best choice for regular use. A binocular above these magnification powers will be difficult to handle without a tripod.  

Nevertheless, when choosing a binocular, you should also consider your specific purposes, such as bird watching, hiking, or astronomy. For instance, if you want a binocular for backpacking and hiking, then a compact binocular with below ten magnification strength will be a fine choice.

  • Objective Lens Diameter:

The size of the objective lens, located opposite the eyepiece, is another thing that you should consider when buying a binocular. As explained above, the number that comes after the x will be the size of the objective lens. It will significantly determine how much light a binocular can gather. As such, if you will be using your binocular in a low light condition, then you should opt for a binocular with a bigger objective lens. It will provide you with brighter and better images.  

  • Eye Relief:

Eye relief is an essential feature, especially if you are wearing glasses. It is the distance between your eye and the eyepiece. Nowadays, many binoculars come with adjustable eyepieces to ensure maximum eye relief. If you are wearing spectacle, then you opt for a high eye-point.

  • Lens Quality and Coating:

Another essential thing that you should know when looking for a binocular relates to the quality and coating of the lens. The coating on the lens will reduce light reflection, while the quality of the lens will ensure better contrast on the image. Overall, it will determine the clarity and brightness of the image.

  • Field of View:

It refers to the area seen through your binocular. You should note that magnification power will significantly affect the field of view. Higher magnification will narrow the field of view and vice versa.

  • Exit Pupil:

The image formed on the eyepiece is the exit pupil. You can calculate the exit pupil size by dividing the objective lens diameter by the magnification power. For instance, the exit pupil diameter of 8×32 binoculars will be 4 millimeters. For a low light condition, then we recommend an exit pupil of 5 millimeters and above.

  • Waterproof and fog-proof:

Binoculars are an instrument used mainly outdoor; as such, you should look for a binocular that is waterproof or weather resistant. Moreover, your binocular can fog up, especially when you are traveling from cold to warm region. It will not only blur the image but can also potentially damage your binocular.


To sum up, choosing the best binocular can considerably enhance your outdoor experience. Make sure that you consider your specific purposes for needing a binocular. Besides, the above-listed points are some essential things that you should look for when buying a binocular and are by no means exhaustive.

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