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.
An article we really recommend: http://www.birdwatching.com/optics/binoculars2_porro_roof.html