Binoculars are critical gear as long as hunting, birdwatching, tactical activities, hiking, stargazing, and other outdoor activities are concerned. But how to choose the best binoculars that will meet your needs? Well, if you are currently looking for the first bino, you need to know a few things about this device.
First, you should consider the magnification power and objective diameter. These are two numbers you see immediately in the description, for instance, 8x28 or 10x42. Magnification power shows how many times the image comes closer compared to the naked eye. In our case, 8 or 10 times.
The objective diameter indicates the size of the objective lenses, typically in mm. In our case, it’s 28 and 42 mm. You need to take into consideration your intended use and requirements. The higher the magnification power is, the closer the object under observation will be, but at the same time, the narrower field of view you will get. Bigger objective lenses catch more light.
If you wear glasses, you should pay attention to the eye relief number. It is the distance from your eye to the eyepiece. Pick binoculars with long eye relief, at least 11 mm.
Look at the prism type of the bino in question. Today, all binoculars are either porro prism or roof prism. Porro prism is older and a bit obsolete. You will always be able to distinguish between them, as the barrels of porro prism binoculars don’t align with eyepieces. In contrast, roof prism binos have straight barrels. That makes the former weighty and a bit inconvenient to use. Yet, they provide a better-lit picture. Roof prism binoculars are more lightweight and compact.
Choosing the Right Binoculars
Let’s sum up. If you are looking for hunting binoculars, consider environmental conditions, time of day, and animal behavior. The best option for hunting in low-light conditions is binoculars with a bigger objective diameter. If you are not a fan of tripods, you’d better stick to 8x or 10x magnification for more stability. With higher magnification (12x, 15x, and higher), minimal hand shakes will cause inconveniences. As hunting often takes place in unfavorable conditions, consider buying waterproof or fog-proof binoculars. Rubber coating will protect your binoculars from minor impacts.
When choosing birdwatching binoculars, you need to mind practically the same things. If you birdwatch in forests, consider binoculars with 8x magnification and medium or wide objective diameter of 32 or 42 mm. Bigger objective lenses provide a better-lit picture and a wider field of view, enabling you to spot birds quickly.