Binoculars have been interesting from the very day they were conceived and introduced to the market. At first, it was a helpful nautical device; today it is additionally used for fun, entertainment, for armed force use, for event viewing, nature watching, wildlife discovery etc. The versatility of a binocular is huge. A good pair of binoculars, a beautiful setting in the jungle and lots of time to watch the birds and/or animals in their natural habitat is an ideal situation one can think of if you’re a nature lover and an adventurer.
When choosing a binocular for your specific purpose, first figure out what features you require for their intended use and then you can look for binoculars that match all or as many features that you are looking for.
Binoculars for your Nature Activities
Wildlife Observation Binoculars
7x to 10x binoculars are best for wildlife observation. For long distance viewing, a 12x to 16x magnification is best. At larger magnification, use a tripod or stabilise the binoculars so that the image is not shaky while in use in standing position.
The standard binocular for bird watching is an 8×42 binocular. To see details on smaller birds at longer distances, you may opt for a 10x or a 12x magnification with a 42 or a 50-millimeter objective. Longer eye relief and a close focus are also great features to have on your bird watching binoculars.
Boating and Sailing Binoculars
When you’re in the water, a high magnification binocular is not advised. Ideally, use a magnification of 7x, but 8x and 10x are also chosen by few mariners and boating experts. For the lens, use a 42 or a 50-millimeter objective lens. For sailing or boating, look for a larger objective lens which is waterproof and has rubber armouring.
– Binoculars are available with two types of prisms, Porro and Roof Prism.
Porro prism binoculars provide greater depth perception and generally offer a wider field of view.
The prisms overlap closely, allowing the objective lenses to line up directly with the eyepiece. The result is a slim, streamlined shape in which the lenses and prisms are in a straight line.
Standard Binoculars – A standard size binocular can be used for all activities from wildlife observation to spectator sports.
Compact Binoculars – They are lighter and smaller. It’s a good choice for hikes and hunting trips.
Wide Angle Binoculars – They are suitable for tracking fast-moving action in wide areas that could include a wilderness terrain.
Zoom Binoculars – This kind of binocular allows the user to magnify further in order to focus in on the details. It works great from distance as well as near view.
Waterproof Binoculars – With waterproof binoculars, you can be sure of clarity even in difficult weather conditions like fog or rain.
Armoured Binoculars – Armoring doesn’t always make a binocular waterproof but protects it from scratches or accidental bangs against it. It is also comfortable to use.
Center focus binocular – It uses a single wheel to focus on objects. It can focus on objects both from very close as well as from far away. It is a versatile binocular
Individual Eyepiece Focus Binoculars – This is a great binocular for medium and long range objects, but not suited for close up. This could be useful during sailing or boating.
Optical coating of the lenses is important for any binocular. As light hits the lens, some of it does get lost in the optic and does not transmit further. The goal of any optic is to maximize the amount of light entering the lens. For greater light transmission, optics are coated with chemicals.
Coated Lenses – It includes a single layer on one lens surface.
Fully Coated Lenses – Single layer on all air-to-glass surfaces.
Multi-Coated Lenses – Multiple layers on one lens surface.
Fully Multi-Coated – Multiple layers on all air-to-glass surfaces.
With fully multi-coated lenses it is possible to achieve close to 95% light transmission delivering better resolution and retaining clarity.
Cleaning the Lenses
To clean the binocular lens, use a microfiber cloth in a circular motion to protect the coatings. Do not use your finger or any sharp object to clean the lenses.