Tips for Shopping for Binoculars
Buying a pair of binoculars may seem like a simple task. After all, they are not exactly difficult to come buy. Just trot on down to the local camping store or Walmart, pick the best-looking pair, or the most expensive, ore the one with the greatest zoom and magnification, and you’re pretty much done, right?
Wrong. Buying a pair of binoculars needs plenty of thought, care and consideration. There are a lot of bad binoculars (and binocular manufacturers) out there, and it can be hard to work out who’s reliable and who isn’t.
In short, never, EVER buy a pair of binoculars without at least three recommendations from people in the know. Department store binoculars are normally constructed with very low quality materials and optics, and are often about as robust as an empty Coke can. Most of the imaging will be blurry and unfocused, and may lead to eye strain.
Instead, go to a specialist vendor, particularly if you know of one who deals exclusively with the hobby you plan to use them for. You may pay more, but you’ll be buying something that’s high quality and well-made, that doesn’t need to resort to lame boasts. Make sure you pick a good make with a solid reputation, and research these on the internet before you buy.
Secondly, work out what you plan to use the binoculars for, and work out any specialist requirements. For long-distance trekking you may need shockproof, non-powered binoculars to save hauling batteries around, or if you know you’ll be taking them on a boat or in to a wet environment you’ll want a pair that is waterproof. Check the magnification, remembering that the more powerful the zoom, the smaller the depth of field and the poorer the image quality. 7x-20x magnification tends to be a fairly acceptable median range to plump for.
By answering these questions, you’ll be able to put together a solid idea of the type of binoculars you want to buy. Keep these in mind as you make your choices, because buying the wrong binoculars can lead to a very, very expensive piece of equipment not being used, and just taking up space around the house. Remember, if all else fails, get advice from someone in the know. It may also be a good idea to visit an optician before purchasing, as they may be able to give you additional advice and suggest certain things that you should look for in the pair you end up purchasing.
Night Vision Binoculars