How Binoculars are Measured: How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Binoculars
When you’re ready to begin shopping for a pair of binoculars, you might want to consider making a checklist of all of the things you’ll need to think about, one of which is how binoculars are measured.
Two of the main issues that people experience with binoculars is how they fit on the face and how far they allow them to see, which is why measurements are so important.
Without the perfect pair of binoculars, you’re either not going to be able to see far enough or be able to look through them at all.
How to Determine the Size of Binoculars
First, it’s important for you to think about the overall size of the binoculars you might be interested in as this could weigh heavily on whether you purchase them or not. Ideally, you’re going to want a pair that sits perfectly against your eyes and isn’t uncomfortable in the slightest.
If your eyepieces do not fit your eyes, you could experience dizziness and blurred edges around the left and right fields of view. There are three main sizes of binoculars: full, mid, and compact.
In the majority of circumstances, full-size binoculars can be anywhere from 8x42 to 10x50. The most important part about them is that they are designed for larger faces, particularly those of adults, which is why they might not be the best option for children or individuals with smaller sized heads.
With a full-size pair, the objective lenses are going to be wider than what you would have with a compact pair, which is essential for achieving clearer and sharper images, as well as better viewing in low light situations.
Another important feature of full-size binoculars is they offer a wider field of view, which allows you to see more once you peer through the eyepieces. This is why they are the perfect partner for hunting or bird watching, but due to their size, they may not be the most convenient for hiking or extreme physical activity.
Ranging from 7x35 to10x32, mid-size binoculars are slightly smaller than full-size binoculars but still not as small as a compact pair. These can be a beneficial option for people who don’t want to worry about lugging around a bigger pair, but still want the power and build quality of more professional binoculars. A mid-size pair is best for hunting, boating, and sports.
It’s important to note that although they are smaller than traditional full-size binoculars, they are still relatively heavy, which can make them a little uncomfortable to take with you on an outdoor excursion.
However, the quality of their optics falls in the middle of the spectrum, with a little more than average light transmission so you can still see high-quality images, but not as defined as with a full-size pair.
If you’re truly looking for the most convenient pair of binoculars that you can take with you relatively anywhere you go, compact binoculars can be a phenomenal option. In most cases, they can easily be folded up and stored in a bag, in your pocket, or even around your neck.
The most common sizes for compact binoculars range from 8x25 to 10x25, meaning their objective lenses are much smaller, which helps to eliminate the majority of their weight.
If you’re participating in an activity where you’ll be using the binoculars for long periods of time, it’s important to know that compact designs aren’t as comfortable as full or mid-size designs, as they’re recommended for catching a quick glimpse rather than searching for something in the distance.
How Binoculars are Measured: Understanding Magnification
The second most important part of understanding how binoculars are measured is to pay attention to their magnification. The higher the magnification, the further away you’ll be able to see but high powered binoculars also come with their downfalls.
For example, the higher the magnification, the harder it will be to keep the binoculars steady and you’ll have to consider purchasing stability equipment such as a tripod.
The magnification of your binoculars will be shown as the first number before the “times” sign. For example, 10x50 means all images will be magnified by ten times compared to what you would be able to see with the naked eye.
When it comes to choosing the right magnification for different activities and events, certain magnifications work better than others, for example:
- Stadium Sports: 10x50 and 12x50
- Boating/Sailing: 10x42
- Theater and Concerts: 5x25 and 8x25
- Outdoor and Nature Viewing: 10x42
- Hunting: 10x, 12x, and 16x
Choosing Binoculars is Simple
With the right idea of the type of magnification you need and the size of binoculars you’d be interested in, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the perfect pair. No matter what you intend on using them for, there is certainly a pair of binoculars that can help you to see things at further distances with ease.