Binoculars review: Decisions to make in choosing a binocular

When considering to buy a pair of binoculars, you are faced with so many brand names and models available on the market, each with a list of specifications that complicates the matter even further, that you could be left quite bewildered in stead of excited about your new purchase. Don’t despair! There’s a way out of this. Buy making a few crucial decisions discussed below, you should be able to limit your options to a few models and come to a decision in a reasonable time.

Buying a (new) pair of binoculars involves decisions concerning the following matters:

Intended USE of binoculars: What do you intend using the binocular for? Are you looking for a versatile binocular, or one with a specific feature best suited for what you think you are going to use the instrument for (mostly)?(more)

How much are you willing to PAY for the binocular?: Once you’ve determined the maximum you’re willing to pay for the instrument, the choices will become easier.(more)

Decision regarding the PRISM DESIGN of the binocular: Traditional bulky (and heavier) porro prism design or lighter, sleek roof prism design? (more)

OBJECTIVE LENS SIZE (“APERTURE”) of the binocular: How big should the lenses at the front be? As big as practical possible, or small enough to have a binocular compact enough to fit into a pocket, or somewhere in between? (more)

POWER/MAGNIFICATION of the binocular: How much magnification do you need? How powerful should the binocular be? The more powerful, the better? (more)

EXIT PUPIL of the binocular: How much light should flow through the instrument into my eyes? (more)

FIELD OF VIEW (FOV) of the binocular: How wide should the view be I’m seeing through the binoculars? Is the FOV that important? (more)

OPTICAL GLASS AND COATINGS of the binocular: (more)
a. Lenses and prisms: What type of glass should the lenses and prisms be made of?
b. Optical coatings: How many optical coatings is necessary? “Coated”, “fully coated”, “multi-coated” or “fully multi-coated”? “Is phase-corrected” coating really necessary in the case of roof prism binoculars?

EYE RELIEF of the binocular: If you wear eyeglasses, how big should the eye relief be? Why can’t I take my glasses off when viewing, then I don’t need to worry about eye relief? (more)

CLOSE FOCUS of the binocular: Is it important how close a binocular can focus? Why would you need a binocular that can focus on an object real close by? (more)