Tips for Buying Binoculars
Buying a pair of binoculars can be a challenge, being that there are a plethora of different types of binoculars on the market, to say nothing of the models and brands within those types. A lot of vendors sell their products with claims of high magnification, wide aperture, multi-coated lenses and the like, and it is all too easy to be overwhelmed by the barrage of sales pitches. Therefore, when you buy a pair of binoculars, it is most important to focus on yourself first. By that, I mean that you should ask yourself the following questions: What is your budget? What do you need them for? What size of binocular will you need?
The question of budget is easily the biggest concern when buying a pair of binoculars. You may be glad to know that in general, you get what you pay for when purchase binoculars, since glass is the heart of the binoculars, and more money buys you better glass.
The purpose of your binoculars should then come to mind. Binoculars for marine use should be armored and waterproofed, while astronomy binoculars can be large, because they will need a large aperture to capture more light. Sample specifications are as follows: general purpose binoculars can have a magnification x aperture of anywhere from 7x35 to 8x40, and should have fully multi-coated lenses, a wide field of view, and any sort of focus. Marine and hunting/birding binoculars should have armored, waterproofed casings, long eye relief, a roof prism and a medium to high field of view. Sporting binoculars/theater glasses want binoculars with a high magnification, a low field of view, and an aroof prism. Astronomy binoculars want as great a magnification and aperture as they can get (starting at 7-10x50, more if you use a tripod) along with a roof or porro prism, long eye relief, and a narrow to medium field of view.
The size of the binoculars is also a crucial factor in buying a pair. In general, the larger the binoculars, the better the image quality will be, but then it will also be bulky, and you will be less likely to use it. A large, fancy pair of binoculars that you do not use because it is too troublesome to haul them out of the closet is just as bad as not having a pair at all, possibly even worse, because you’ve spent good money on it already.
How to Choose the Right Magnification for Your Binoculars
What is a Blue Moon?