Need a pair of binoculars? Know there's a wide range of types and qualities but don't know where to start?

Here's a quick primer:

We know: All About Binoculars

What are binoculars?

Binoculars are used to view objects at a distance for a vast variety of purposes. They're used on the job, for viewing sports and arts performances, and for hunting, fishing and bird watching. Three of the common factors people consider when selecting a pair are magnification, availability of light and size.

What are the kinds of binoculars?

There are basically three kinds:

  • Wide set binoculars, where the front lenses of the glasses are set farther apart than the eye pieces. These use a porro prism.
  • Narrow set binoculars, where the front lenses of the glasses are set closer together than the eye pieces. These use a porro prism.
  • In line binoculars, where the tube of the glasses is straight. These use a roof prism.








What does magnification mean?

The magnification or power of the binoculars is expressed in a number. If the label reads 10x, it means the glasses make the object you are viewing appear ten times larger than you naked eye. The power number is usually followed by the objective number (10x50). The objective number (in this case, the '50') tells you the size in millimeters of the front lenses of the binoculars. The bigger the objective number, the more light the binoculars can gather, improving your view.

What about light?

If you need to use the binoculars in dim light, then you want a pair that 'gathers' light. Look for the 'exit pupil' number of the binoculars to tell you more about how much light the glasses can provide you with.

What is the field angle?

This number tells you about how wide the field of vision is for a particular pair of binoculars.

Tell me about price.

In general, the more you pay, the better the binoculars will be. You can buy a pair for as little as $25 or more than $1000.

Who makes binoculars?

Some of the most common manufacturers are Tasco, Bushnell, Canon, Minolta, Swift, Celestron, Nikon, and Pentax.

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