If you have never owned or used a pair of binoculars, you may not be aware of how useful they can be on a day-to-day basis. So why does everyone need a pair of binoculars?
Binoculars are an extremely versatile tool that provides you with the ability to magnify whatever you are viewing. Just like on your phone, what do you do if you can’t make out the small details of a picture; you zoom in.
Unfortunately, our eyes do not have that same zoom function, so we need to rely on tools to do so. Binoculars are that tool. The ability to magnify those small details can be helpful in many situations.
In this piece, we will answer why everyone needs a pair of binoculars and help you know what to look for when shopping for your first pair or your next upgrade.
First things first, what would you even use them for? Whether you are spending time outdoors, going to sporting events, or just wanting to check out what’s happening across the street, binoculars are a great help.
Binoculars can be found in the bag of many outdoor enthusiasts. Hikers, Hunters, Off-roaders, and more all use binoculars for the same purpose. While these groups use binoculars to magnify what they are looking at, they all achieve very different goals.
A hiker may use binoculars to spot the perfect campsite, find their next place to stop, or take in the surrounding view. Achieving these goals is critical to the hiking experience, and using binoculars only aids the process.
While a hunter could use binoculars for the same reasons, most have different goals in mind. Binoculars help hunters safely distinguish between a doe and a spike buck or what may be moving behind some brush without using the scope of their firearm. Binoculars give hunters peace of mind as they can look around without breaking one of the most critical gun safety rules; always be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
So, let’s say you are not hunting or going on a hike, why would you need a pair of binoculars? Humans, by nature, are very curious. From checking out what all the noise is across the street to just taking a closer look at the stars, it is natural to want to be in the know.
What you Should Look for
When it comes to optics like binoculars, the specs and features can quickly get confusing. From objective lens diameter to complex lens coatings, it is easy not to know what the best option for you is. So, let’s get into the details and what you should look for when buying a pair of binoculars.
Let us start with the most apparent feature, magnification. When looking at a pair of binoculars, the magnification level will be written with a number followed by an x. For example, a set of binoculars with a magnification power of ten would be written as “10x.”
So what magnification level is best for you? This is a tricky question to answer. We first need to figure out how you will be using your binoculars.
If you are going to be bird watching in vast open fields or at a distance, for example, you will want to be able to get the closest image possible. On the other hand, you will benefit more from a slightly lower magnification level for tracking the bird’s movements or for live sporting events.
A lower 8x-10x magnification still provides a great image but allows for a wide FOV (Field of View). A wider field of view will significantly help while at a sports game, allowing you to see more of the area instead of focusing on one singular point.
We highly recommend the Primary Arms SLx 10x42mm Binoculars for any everyday use. At 10x magnification, these binoculars are great for a wide variety of tasks whether you are hiking a trail or scanning from a blind. Their 42mm fully multicoated lenses provide an extremely crisp and clear image. These binoculars are also built to last with a waterproof and shockproof construction so you can take them hunting rain or shine without fear of them breaking.
That brings us to our next point, what is a field of view?
Field of View
Field of view is “the range of the observable world visible at any given time.” In layman’s terms, FOV is the width of an image you can see. This will primarily be measured by how many feet wide at a given distance. This measurement will look like this.
This measurement can look confusing, but it is easy to learn. Let’s break it down. Starting from the left, 350′ is how many feet wide you can see at 1000 yards. A good rule of thumb is when you go up in magnification, typically, the FOV narrows down.
The objective lens diameter is an important quality because a larger lens provides a brighter and clearer image. This is because a larger lens will have better light transmission, meaning it pulls in more light.
Light transmission is essential for image clarity, brightness, and overall quality. If you primarily use binoculars during the day, you could get by with a smaller objective lens. Daylight often provides adequate light to deliver a clear image.
If you plan on using your binoculars in the evening or at night for some stargazing, you will want a larger objective lens. The larger the lens, the more amount of light the binoculars will be able to bring in.
However, a larger lens does result in a larger housing that will weigh a bit more. You will end up sacrificing on weight to optimize image quality. This may seem obvious but it is worth mentioning so you can be mindful of this while shopping around.
This measurement needs to be clarified as well. The lens size will be listed right after the magnification level. Below is an example showing a pair of binoculars with a magnification level of 10x with a 42mm objective lens.
Another essential feature that determines a great pair of binoculars is the coating on the lens. A good anti-reflection lens coating is vital as glass naturally reflects some light. The lens coating minimizes the amount of light that is reflected, granting better image quality.
You can find these lenses with a myriad of different coatings and coating methods. With so many coating options, what should you look for in a coating?
The most common coating methods are coated, fully coated, multi-coated, and fully multi-coated. It would be best to look for a fully multi-coated lens, meaning that all air-to-glass surfaces are coated with multiple layers of anti-reflection coating.
While a coated or fully coated lens will still get the job done, their single layer of anti-reflection coating does not let nearly as much light through. This reduced light transmittance results in less clarity making for an image that leaves you desiring more.
No matter what hobbies you have or what you do on a daily basis, we hope you have found a few good reasons why everyone needs a pair of binoculars.
If you have ever wanted to take a closer look at something but could not get any closer, then you should get your hands on a pair of binoculars. Remember to check for a good lens coating, magnification, and objective lens diameter for your specific needs.