Choosing the Right Binoculars for Your Adventure –
No matter what kind of adventures you have planned for the months ahead, one thing is for sure – you will need a good set of binoculars to get the most from your expedition. The digital age might have rendered some equipment obsolete, but binoculars are as important a part of your kit as they have ever been.
This means that every year, manufacturers come up with newer and better binocular offerings. But so much choice can be disconcerting, particularly if you are buying your first set of binoculars. Here we take an extremely close up and magnified view of the things you need to consider for the perfect set of bins.
Types of binoculars and common features –
There are two common prism systems used in binoculars, known as porro and roof prisms. There are pros and cons to each, but broadly speaking, the porro prism provides better depth perception and offers a wider field of view, while roof prisms overlap more closely, meaning a slimmer, more streamlined shape to the overall binoculars.
You will also need to think about what size of binoculars will best suit your needs. Full-size binoculars are perfect for watching nature, but can be cumbersome – compact binoculars are a good choice if you will be doing lots of hiking.
Other features you might wish to consider are a wide angle for tracking animals on the move, or a zoom function for those occasions when you need to see a detailed close up.
What do the numbers mean?
Most binoculars feature two numbers, let’s say A and B, in the format AxB. A is the magnification level and B is the diameter of the objective (front) lens in mm. So for example 8×32 means an eightfold magnification with a 32mm front lens.
As far as A is concerned, it is easy to assume that “bigger is better,” but in reality, the greater the magnification, the shakier the image, so there is a trade off. Anything above ten, and you will struggle to use your binoculars without a tripod.
The second parameter is also important. A larger lens means more light entering the binoculars and therefore a brighter image. But again, there is a trade off to consider. Lighter is better, but larger lenses mean a more bulky pair of binoculars to carry around.
The best binoculars for you –
There is a huge choice available, and the best advice is to get out there and try them out. No two pairs of binoculars are the same, so unless you are a real expert, this is one of those purchases where you really need to try before you buy. Happy shopping!