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How to Choose the Correct Binoculars

How to Choose the Correct Binoculars


Choosing binoculars isn't easy due to the extensively large ranges and confusing sets of numbers displayed on the binoculars.  Sometimes advertisements make hugely exaggerated claims, or push impressive sounding features, such as ‘zoom’ binoculars, which are aimed as a sales point, a feature which is literally pretty useless in the field.

We stock a small range of good quality optics, which are all aimed at observing wildlife, or for general outdoor use.

Only you can make the correct choice for you, bearing in mind price, performance, size, durability, and your own particular needs.

Here, we have tried to answer a few of the most commonly asked questions we receive, but should you have further questions then please contact us. 

What do the figures mean?

Binoculars always come with two sets of figures, which are usually found on the focusing wheel, or sometimes more easily found on the box.

The figures look like this (e.g. 8x32), occasionally accompanied by some letters which usually relate to the style of eyecups.

Using an example of (8x32) I will explain what these figures mean.  The first number, in this case the (8) relates to the magnification, so here the image will appear (8x) larger than life size.  As a general rule for wildlife watching or general use then ideally you require a minimum magnification of (8x) or a maximum of (10x).  The more powerful the magnification the harder the binoculars are to keep still without the use of a support.

The second number, here (32) is the size, in diameter of the objective lenses in millimetres. The larger this number the more light that enters the front element, meaning a brighter image. The downside is the larger these lenses are, the heavier and bulkier the optics become. An objective lens of (32) is the preferred choice by many, as it offers a bright image and yet isn’t overly large and cumbersome.

Which type of binoculars do I need?

Choosing binoculars is a very personal choice and there are lots of different things to consider, such as budget, use, size, weight, etc.

If you require binoculars for watching wildlife/bird watching in woodlands, grasslands and for scanning estuaries, etc. Then my personal preferred type would be the Opticron Oregon (8x32). These are quite small, of a very solid build, great optical performance and have an outstanding close focus feature for looking at smaller wildlife such as butterflies. And the best part is that they punch far above their weight for such a good price.

Browse our full range of binoculars and optics by CLICKING HERE.


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