best binoculars reviews 2016

Basics Of Binoculars

Binoculars are amazing pieces of equipment that require care and expertise when handling and using them. In order to get the best use out of your binoculars, there are some guidelines and information that you should know. This information will help you better understand how binoculars function, how to take advantage of their great functions, and tips on what kinds to buy. A pair of binoculars is made up of the objective lens at the end of the barrel which takes in light from the image far away and then focuses it closer to your eyes to see it more clearly. Binoculars also provide field depth because they are two telescopes next to each other, making them more beneficial than just using one scope.

Read our hunting binoculars buying guide and reviews

binoculars reviews 2016Knowing what the two numbers associated with binoculars are when purchasing a pair is important. Choosing the right kind allows you to have the best experience using them. The number that comes first tells how many times the image can be magnified, or the power of the magnification. A magnification power of 10 determines that the image can be magnified 10 times from its original size. The number that comes second tells us the size of the objective lens, meaning that the bigger the diameter of the lens, the more it will let light in for seeing the image far away. Having a larger objective lens number makes it easier to see images in low light places such as inside at night when there is little light available.

Make sure to have an objective lens number of about 30 or more in these situations. When taking the magnification number into consideration, it is important to know that the largest number does not always mean the best. If you have a large number such as 10 or more, you will probably need to use a tripod for your binoculars to keep it stead and avoid shaking. This will defeat the purpose of your binoculars. If you cannot use a tripod for the activities or purposes you are planning, then it is probably wiser to choose binoculars of a lower magnification number as to avoid using a tripod. This will allow you to keep the image steady in your hands alone. Price is another factor to take into consideration.

As the price rises on a pair of binoculars, so does the fit, finish, and quality. Depending on your situation and need, choose a price range that is suitable for you. A cheaper pair will work if you only use them from time to time, but an avid user will want a more expensive pair. Either way, you should protect your binoculars with a case suitable to your pair. Weight can also come into play when looking to buy a pair of binoculars. Glass lenses are usually less expensive and heavier in weight. They can sometimes give a clearer image, however they are also more susceptible to breaking. Plastic lenses are lighter, specially coated, produce a high quality, and provide a sharp image. All of these amenities, however, come at a higher price.

It does not matter if you use your binoculars for bird watching, hunting, nature viewing, boating, or just for fun: with a good quality binocular you’ll see more. Binoculars are the kind of device that you will want to keep handy at all times.  Just as there are many different uses for Binoculars, there are almost as many different types of binoculars, whether your a hunter, boater, or bird watcher there is a pair of “Binos” to suit your needs.

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Here are a few of the basics on modern binoculars:

Magnification: This refers to the power of the binoculars. A pair of 7×35 binos are magnified 7 times. The lower the power, the wider an area you can see through your binoculars and the brighter the image. This is particularly important in low light situations such as dawn or dusk. Higher powered binoculars are useful for small distant objects (such as birds) in open landscapes with abundant light.

Aperture: This is the measurement of the lens furthest from your eye, or the “objective lens”. The objective lens pulls in light from your surroundings similar to a camera lens. In a pair of 7x35mm binoculars, the aperture is 35mm. A larger aperture can compensate for the loss of light associated with a higher power, the trade-off is greater cost and weight.

Glasses: If you wear glasses at all times, do not choose a pair of binoculars without testing them with your glasses. Glasses increase the distance between the lens and your eye, changing the eye relief.

Focus: Poorly focused binoculars or binoculars that are out of alignment can cause dizziness, eyestrain, or severe eye-ache. To avoid this, be sure to calibrate your binoculars before you go birding or after anyone has used them. Here’s how:

  1. Adjust the two halves of the binoculars so the eyepieces are the same distance apart as your eyes.
  2. Pick a distant fixed object to focus on.
  3. Turn the center focus all the way to the right.
  4. Close your left eye and adjust the right eye piece (the secondary focus knob)  until the object is in focus for the right eye.  This feature equalizes the difference in strength of your eyes.  If your binoculars do not have a focus knob on the right eyepiece, look for this knob either in front of the center focus knob, or around the objective lens on the right.   For future reference, note exact location of this setting (+,-, or 0 on most binoculars).
  5. Open your left eye and adjust the central focus knob until that distant object is clearly focused.
  6. Have patience, this can be a very frustrating experience and may take many tries to get it right! If you or a more experienced birder cannot focus your binoculars clearly, you may need to have them re-aligned.

Types Of Binoculars