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Binocular guide / buying advice

In our binoculars guide, we would like to give purchase advice and go into other features that should make it easier to understand. Binoculars can essentially be divided into two types, binoculars with Roof prisms and with Porro prisms. Binoculars with roof prisms are more compact, but offer less spatial representation due to the smaller distance between the two lenses. Spatial representation is of interest to those users for whom it is important to estimate the distance to an object; these properties are particularly advantageous for hunting and the military. Because of their compact design, roof prismatic glasses are popular for bird watching and hiking; the focus here is not on estimating the distance.

Binocular function guide

Binoculars magnification

What makes a good pair of binoculars depends on the intended area of ​​use, as does the magnification factor. A magnification of 8 to 10 times is usually sufficient for hunting and hiking. As the magnification increases, it becomes more and more difficult to hold the binoculars steady so as not to blur the image. Binoculars with 12 or 15x magnification are bigger and heavier and don't just disappear into a jacket pocket. This is more of a hindrance when hunting and hiking. This is why binoculars with high magnification are best suited for observation and bird watching, preferably with a tripod. In addition, a nitrogen filling, which protects the glass from internal fogging, is recommended. A lotus coating on the outer lenses allows water droplets to roll off, which is particularly important for outdoor use. In addition, good binoculars should be as light, compact and robust as possible.

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Binoculars housing

The materials used for the binoculars housing are decisive for low weight and high stability; magnesium is used here for high-quality binoculars. High-quality binoculars are always waterproof, because once moisture has penetrated the interior of the binoculars, it is very difficult to remove it. The binoculars are practically unusable and must be sent to the manufacturer for repair. The same quality features apply to spotting scopes.

Binoculars lens diameter

Binoculars with a large lens diameter can capture a lot of light and thus theoretically present a bright image. Binoculars with a large lens diameter of 50mm or 56mm are very well suited for difficult lighting conditions at dusk, but rather unsuitable for hiking or bird watching because their dimensions are larger and they are heavier. High-quality binoculars with a lens diameter of 42mm bring sufficient light intensity for use during the day. In addition, you pay a surcharge for a property that you do not need for the intended area of ​​application.

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Lens coating

Modern lens coatings on binoculars can increase light transmission, minimize reflections, let water drip off and even protect the lens from scratches. Most manufacturers have their own designations for their lens coatings, which we will not go into further here. HD (High Definition) and ED (Extra Low Dispersion) coatings are manufacturer-specific designations based on the same process, they ensure a clear and high-contrast image. A coating (anti-reflective coating) of lenses always has the aim of minimizing reflections and scattered light as well as increasing contrast and color fastness. Lens coatings are sensitive to abrasion, cleaning should always be done with a clean cloth. If necessary, remove dust and coarse dirt from the lenses beforehand under running water.

Binocular field of view

The field of view value of binoculars describes the maximum coverage of the visible area at a distance of 1000 meters in meters. With a field of view of 120 meters (131,23 yard) at a distance of 1000 meters, a width of 120 meters is displayed on the image. High-quality optics usually have a wider field of view than cheap ones, the challenge lies in covering a wide field of view without causing distortions in the peripheral areas of the field of view. A wide field of view is particularly advantageous when hunting and observing, as moving targets can be better kept in focus.

Bincular Field of View

Binoculars twilight number

The value of the twilight factor is a purely arithmetical value from lens diameter and magnification. The twilight factor therefore does not provide any information about the quality of a binocular. the value offers a good overview of the general light output of binoculars.

Exit pupil

The exit pupil indicates the optimum distance between the eyepieces and the viewer's eyes. At this distance, the entire field of view of the optics can be optimally and sharply surveyed. The exit pupil is usually between 3 and 10 mm. Binoculars that have the exit pupil further back (high value) are suitable for people who wear glasses, so that the glasses fit between the binoculars and the viewer.

Binoculars eye relief/eye width

The eye relief distance, also called eye width, describes the distance between the two eyepieces. Two values ​​are often given here, one when the binoculars are folded and one when they are open (e.g. 56 / 74 mm). If the observer's eye relief is greater than that of the unfolded binoculars, the binoculars are too small.

binocular close-range

The close-range describes the distance from which the binoculars can display objects sharply (e.g. 5 m). Below this distance, the binocular cannot focus on an object, even with readjustment. The close range is therefore only interesting for those who want to observe in the immediate vicinity (e.g. butterflies).

light transmission

In contrast to the twilight factor, the light transmission is a real value measured on the binoculars, which indicates the light rays that actually penetrate the binoculars as a percentage. This value allows actual conclusions to be drawn about the quality of the lenses and the construction of the binoculars. Two values ​​are often given for light transmission data, one being measured in daylight and one in twilight. Since the manufacturer's measurements take place under laboratory conditions and are often measured with different wavelengths, the information on light transmission from one manufacturer cannot be transferred to other manufacturers.

binoculars buying advice

The dimensions and the magnification factor should correspond to the desired area of ​​application. Magnifications of 8x to 10x with lens diameters of 32 mm to 42 mm are suitable for hiking. 10x42 binoculars are very popular with ornithologists. 8x42 and 10x42 binoculars are suitable for hunters, when hunting at night the lens diameter can be up to 56 mm. Keep in mind that a larger lens diameter always means more weight and larger dimensions of the glass. The magnification factor does not necessarily affect the weight, but at a magnification of 12x or higher it becomes increasingly difficult to hold the binoculars still and not shake the image. Cheap binoculars often do not have the necessary quality to enjoy them for a long time, the optical performance is often inferior. We hope that you will find the perfect sports optics for your use with our binoculars buying guide.