Choosing your Binoculars
Choosing your Binoculars
Binoculars are described with two numbers separated by an X, 8x32 for example. The first number is
the magnification (8) they magnify up to eight times, the second number (32) is the size of the
objective lens in millimetres. So the bigger the objective lens, the more light enters and the brighter
the object will appear. Anything upto 10x or even 12 x are good for hand held use, but remember
the higher the magnification the steadier your hands will need to be, so if you are bird watching or
viewing a sports event that could move quickly you will want a lower magnification.
Field-of-View is the size of an area that can be viewed using the binoculars. For example, if two
people were standing 1000 yards away from you, one was to your left and one to your right and the
distance between the two people was 350 feet, then your field-of-view would be 350ft at 1000 yards
while looking through the binoculars. Generally, higher powered binoculars give you a smaller fieldof-view and the opposite is true for lower powered binoculars
Prisms are located inside binoculars that act like mirrors. It is a reflective coating on glass that bends
and refracts light to bring the subjects you are looking at to your eyes. The image that passes
through the binocular lenses is upside down due to the function of the lenses. The prisms are the
optical pieces of glass that correct this and invert the image back to its normal position.
The BAK-4 prism is made of a high quality glass and produces sharp images and good edge to edge
sharpness. Generally, higher quality binoculars will use BAK-4 prisms in the construction process.
Phase coated prisms take it one step further, the coating process enhances the resolution and
contrast of images and reduces glare coming through the binocular, generally applied only on more
expensive binoculars. In Roof Prism binoculars 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 that magnify and correct the image are in a straight line. Many binoculars today
utilize prisms which bend the light as it enters the objective lens and helps to magnify the image as it
passes through the frame. The result is a binocular that can be made smaller and more powerful.
Focusing binoculars, this is done through the center focus wheel and a right eye diopter adjustment
near the eyepiece which will account for the small difference in the strength of each eye. While
looking through the binoculars at a stationary target about 30-50 feet away, close your right eye and
focus using the center wheel until the image is clear for your left eye. Once clear, close your left eye
and open your right eye. Looking at the same target adjust the right side diopter ONLY on the right
eyepiece (DO NOT use the center focus wheel) until the image is clear. When the image is clear you
can now open both eyes and use ONLY the center focus wheel to make adjustments. Your right side
diopter setting is now fixed for your settings. No further adjustment will be necessary except for the
center focus wheel. Always read the user manual included in your purchase.
Eyecups are designed to exclude any additional stray light that may interfere with the eyepieces
during use. Some models use rubber eyepieces that fold down while some may use twist up/down
or pull up/down. Generally, eyeglass wearers will keep the eyecups down which will bring your eyes
closer to the lenses improving your view.
Gardenature Ltd, 801 Fowler Road, Oakwood Business Park North, Clacton on Sea, Essex CO15 4AA
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