How to get a good pair of binoculars



The terminology that’s currently used to depict most of the features in a good pair of binoculars is downright baffling. I wanted to get a model for birdwatching as I like to spend time in the woods on the weekends. It relaxes me and makes me feel like I’m in touch with nature. The problem was that I couldn’t wrap my mind around all of the jargon. I had to learn a lot of things about binoculars and read thousands of reviews before I could finally buy myself a nice pair of binoculars.

First off, there are two kinds of designs that one might come across when prospecting the market. The first is the roof prism binocular, which boasts an H-shaped design, and the second is the Porro prism binocular, the one that resembles the letter M.

One of the primary specifications you will have to decide on is the magnification, and here’s where most buyers tend to get confused as there are two numbers written on the product. The first one relates to the number of times that the binocular is capable of magnifying the image so that it appears closer. If for instance, a model has a magnification of 10x, it can increase the picture you are looking at by ten times. The second number is the objective lens diameter, and this detail is particularly important as it defines the amount of light that’s allowed to enter the binoculars.

The larger the objective lens diameter, the higher the chance for the product to be bulky and cumbersome. One can have a hard time carrying it through the woods if one is interested in getting a portable alternative. Most of the models that are marketed as compact options have an objective lens diameter of under 30mm.

I would also recommend looking at your purpose and requirements as they can define your entire experience with your next pair of binoculars. Will you be looking at moving subjects or would you rather opt for a product that’s primarily designed for studying still subjects? Spending time outdoors can take a toll on such equipment, so you might have to opt for a pair that’s waterproof. If you wear glasses, the matter is even more complicated as you will have to try to understand the eye relief of the binoculars that you are thinking of buying.

Last, but not least, I suggest taking some time and going through several consumer reports. This is a recommendation I have made over and over again, but it doesn’t get old. The fact is that many other owners just like you can let you know if anything has gone wrong with their binoculars.


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Types of microscopes you ought to consider for students


There isn’t a universal rule as to which microscope works for students who are planning to get their degree in biology and those who are studying for their degree in, say, veterinary medicine. Often times, they have to get the best of both worlds. What this means is that they should use both a stereo microscope and a compound one.

In fact, some areas require even three types of microscopes. For example, if your job requires you to go on a field, you probably don’t want a model that weighs a lot as transporting it can become cumbersome. By contrary, students are likely to use the microscopes in school labs and one that’s placed on their desk, in their rooms. In other words, they’re less likely to carry the microscope from one spot to the next as they have to tend to their studying while they are in the same place.

With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see that the domain that the student is currently getting his or her degree in is what matters most. While stereo microscopes are made to satisfy the needs of those interested in looking at leaves, insects, and rather large things such as jewelry pieces and electronics components, the best compound microscopes are a different business altogether.

Another thing that makes the difference between one kind and the other is the magnification power. While compound alternatives can magnify the size of the specimen by up to 1000x and more, few stereo microscopes can do the same. In fact, I’ve never come across one that is capable of doing so, and I’ve been prospecting the market for quite a while. Most of the units you are likely to come across have magnification powers that go up to 90x. If you’re lucky, they might be able to magnify the sample by up to 200x, but that’s very rare.

So, should the student be interested in looking at smears and biological specimens, he or she should consider getting a compound unit. Depending on the working distance made available by the design of the product, the user might be able to look at other items, as well.

The last type of microscope I was mentioning in the beginning was the USB magnifier. Of all the types available for sale these days, this particular one isn’t the one I would recommend for a student. Such models are usually made with poor optical components, they can’t withstand the test of time, they don’t even have eyepieces, and they usually offer a somewhat poorer resolution compared to their stereo and compound counterparts. But they are cheap, I’ll give them that.