If you've been looking to getting yourself some powerful astronomical binoculars, you've likely come across models such as the 25x100 Celestron Skymaster binoculars and more.
Now, you've probably wondered, how far can you see with these binoculars? Well, the answer to that is you can see in-depth views of the moon, stars, galaxies and starfield at 2.7 degrees.
In terms of how far you can see, this all comes down to external factors such as weather conditions, eye health and even location, so how far you can see will be different for everyone even with the same magnification.
There are some advantages and disadvantages to using these 25x100 binoculars which you might not have considered.
Some obvious advantages of 25x100 binoculars have to be there high magnification and large objective lens which allows these binoculars to perform to an excellent standard in low light conditions.
If you are looking for a pair of binoculars to pair with a tripod and see some detailed shots of the milky way or double star system then you will most likely love these binoculars, however, this is not to say they don't come without a few disadvantages.
Due to the wide objective lens on these binoculars, they let a lot of light into your image, allowing you to use them at night and see images clearly through the lenses.
This enables you to study and observe astronomical objects as well as have 3D views in comparison to a telescope, these binoculars gather more light than telescopes too.
25x100 binoculars do come with a couple of drawbacks, for example, the weight of these binoculars are very heavy, meaning you will need a tripod and would not be able to use these binoculars for hunting and birding.
The expensive binoculars also tend to lack centre focus knob options found on other binoculars.
Overall, if your looking for a reliable pair of binoculars for astronomical purposes then a 25x100 pair of binos would be great for you.
As long as you don't mind not being able to hold them, use them for other activities and have a tripod on hand, you should thoroughly enjoy these binos.
You might be wondering how far you can see with other binoculars that have a smaller magnification, we have listed out some of the common sizes below along with how far you can see.
8x42 binoculars mirror your actual eyesight in terms of distance and are not limited to shorter or longer distances when observing through there lenses.
The objective lens on these binoculars also gives a great field of view with a fair amount of light, making them ideal for activities such as bird watching.
10x50 binoculars allow you to see your image ten times bigger than with your own eyes and have a great width of the objective lens for greater light while observing.
These binoculars are best for safaris, outdoor projects and birding if you have a steady hand.
25x100 is allowing you to magnify objects such as terrestrial or planets and still enables you to see what you see with your naked eye, just 25 times bigger.
The wide objective lens on this model performs the best at night.
30x60 binoculars are perfect for astromancy viewing, but in comparison to a 100mm objective lens diameter, they only have 60mm, which makes them less suitable for tracking constellations.
If you've got your astronomy binoculars sorted with there 25mm magnification and 100mm objective lens diameter, there's a couple of other factors which are important to consider in your model.
You can't tell how far away your binoculars can see as this doesn't make sense.
Your binoculars can see the same distance as you, and the subject that you can see through them is the same distance away from you too, it's just the magnification on these binoculars which show the image as appearing as closer even though its at the same distance.
For example, if you are standing 300 feet away from an object and you view this object through your 10x magnification binoculars the object would appear as only being 30 feet away.
When using these powerful astronomical binoculars it's very important to ensure you are using them properly so as you can get the best image quality and spot the best objects in the sky quickly.
We have put together some tips below if it's your first time using astronomy bincoulars out on the night sky.
Can I use these binoculars for birding?
No, the magnification and weight of these 25x100 binoculars is too much for normal birdwatching and likewise not portable enough.
What is a monopod and why are they good for these binoculars?
Monopods are great for binoculars as they only have one leg which is less disruptive than three-legged tripods when stargazing.
How do they differ to telescopes?
Binoculars allow you to view a 3D image through two eyepieces rather than one and tend to be much more portable and versatile than telescopes, allowing you to take them virtually anywhere.
Can I see the milky way with these binoculars?
Yes, you can see many planets and objects such as the milky way with 25x100 binoculars.
The magnification on these binoculars also allows you to pick out details in planets too.
Can a 20x80mm binocular work the same as a 25x100?
Yes, 20x80mm binoculars can still be used to sight planets and stars, and also tend to be much more portable than 25x100 binoculars.
However, they do have a little less magnification.
The most important purpose of binoculars is to help us magnify an image which we couldn't see with detail from a distance.
To work out the magnification of binoculars, you simply divide the objective focal length of your binocular by the focal length of the eyepiece on your model.
Magnification on a binocular refers to how many times closer you can see an object than without the binoculars and can differ from 10x-60x.
So, to make it a little clearer, we have put together a step by step guide below to help you work out your binocular magnification.
To calculate your binocular magnification you simply need to divide your objective focal length and eyepiece focal length.
We have listed out a few steps below to get you started.
Magnification on binocular works through the objective lens and the eyepiece on a binocular.
This objective lens on a binocular collects light and helps you focus on a subject, the wider the aperture of your objective lens, the more light that is shown in your image.
For viewing the image closer, the eyepiece on your binocular helps to magnify the distant object when you look through.
Magnification can be controlled with different focal lengths but is affected in quality by external factors such as lens coatings and brightness.
The x number on your model related to how many times the closer the image is shown to you through your binoculars.
For example, if a bird is 50 yards away from you and you are viewing it through a magnification of 8x then you would see the bird as only being 6.2 yards away from you.
The most common magnification in binoculars is between 8x and 10x, making it hard to determine which level of magnification is right for you and your use.
Most beginners gravitate towards 10x binoculars as they think a higher magnification will be the best, but this is not always the case, and each type of magnification has its pros and cons.
10x magnification comes with many advantages, for example, this higher magnification allows you to view subjects from very far away, making it ideal for hunting or star gazing.
These binoculars are the perfect option if you care less about the field of view and want a magnified detailed view of your subject.
Disadvantages of 10x magnification have to be the smaller field of view which is not suitable for moving objects, this is caused by the higher magnification.
The high magnification also means that the image will be shakier during use as its zoomed-in 10x more in real life, making it susceptible to showing any external movement in the image.
8x magnification is very suited for hobbies such as birdwatching and does not compromise on the field of view, which makes them great for studying and keeping track of moving animals or subjects such as sport.
They are also much more suited for narrow places such as woods and can come in lighter weights than 10x models.
Drawbacks of 8x magnification have to be their lack of magnification for situations such as astronomy and safari. These models also might be harder to use in wider terrain situations.
Overall, there is no wrong or right when it comes to magnification, a 10x model will be great if your planning on looking at subjects from a greater distance and 8x model is still an excellent option if you are looking for a wide field of view too.
The most powerful magnification you can get on binoculars is up to 160x on some of the most top professional astronomical models.
However, typically on the market, you will find a range from 3x to 60x magnification power available. For most general use a magnification of 8x 10x and 12x is the best.
If you are still confused about whether you need a high or low magnification on your binocular after calculating, we have listed out some common activities performed with binoculars below and their ideal magnification level required for you to get the best sight possible when observing.
What type of magnification do I need for viewing constellations?
For professional astronomical purposes, your binoculars need to have a magnification of 40x, 50x, 60x or even 90x.
These models will be much more expensive but allow you to see mars or even Saturn rings with ease in low light.
Is there a general best magnification?
For hobby use, we would recommend sticking with an 8x magnification or a 10x magnification as these models are affordable and still give a better field of view with more stability then magnification levels of 12x and over.
What is an ocular?
An ocular refers to the eyepiece where you look through and see your image magnified during observing.
Will magnification affect my field of view?
Yes, the higher your magnification then the smaller the field of view on your binoculars.
This can be a drawback in situations such as sport or birding as your subject will move often, making it harder to keep track of and follow with the binoculars you have.
Is it true my image will be shaky with a higher magnification?
Unfortunately, higher magnification will need more stability, this moving image is not only annoying but can mean you lose track of your subject easily.
What else affects the magnified image on a binocular?
Many other factors can affect how your magnified image looks on your binocular.
From coated optics to the objective lens diameter, or Porro prism/Roof prism binoculars, there are many features to consider apart from magnification in your model.
Choosing your binoculars for bird watching can be a little daunting with the large variety of binoculars available on the market, all with different magnifications and objective lenses.
For birdwatching, we recommend a size no less or more than 8x magnification, as this will allow you to view your birds close enough while being able to keep your binoculars steady.
In terms of the objective lens diameter, a size of 42mm or 35mm is usually enough to keep sufficient brightness in your image while not adding too much weight.
Purchasing binoculars which have a high magnification may be great for viewing birds up close but will limit your field of view, meaning you can lose your subject in the image quickly if it flies away and have a harder time keeping your binos stable.
The size of your binoculars is determined by the two numbers stated on the models the specification such as 8x42. The '8' refers to the amount of magnification and the the '42mm' refers to the size of the objective lens.
A higher objective lens will offer you more light but also more weight and for birdwatching, it is best to look out for a 1:5 ration in size such as 8x40 or 10x50.
This ratio above also refers to the exit pupil, which is an important size to pay attention to if your planning to birdwatch in low-light situations.
It's not just the magnification and lens size of your binoculars which are important if you want to grab the best pair for birdwatching.
You should also consider the size of your field of view, close focus and eye relief of your model. All these different sizes can impact how your image looks and how your bincoulars feel during use.
For the field of view, your birdwatching binoculars need to have a wide range as this will allow you to track birds easily rather than being limited to a narrow view.
A decent field of view size to look for is around 400-500 ft at 1000 yards.
If you wear glasses you will also want to check the eye relief size on your binoculars for birdwatching, a higher eye relief will be much more comfortable.
The best eye relief size to look out for is anything from 15.5 to 20mm.
If you enjoy getting close-up images to birds with clear detail, then you should ensure your binoculars additionally comes with a close focus size ranging from 6ft to 8ft.
When you are looking for the best-sized binoculars for birdwatching you will often see 8x models are the most popular choice.
Not only are these sized binoculars very affordable, but they also have a wide field of view, giving a nice balance in between 10x magnification and 7x magnification.
We have listed out some further advantages to choosing 8x binoculars below.
There are, of course, other sizes of binoculars on the market that can be great for birdwatching if you want more magnification or a compactor size.
For example, 10x42 binoculars are perfect if your after a more zoomed-in image and care less about the field of view, however, you may find that they are little more difficult to hold without shaking due to the higher magnification and heavier weight.
10x binoculars are the better choice than 8x if your planning to birdwatch birds which can be hard to get within proximity to.
If your planning to have a more compact child-friendly pair of binoculars for bird watching then its best to consider a pair of 8x20 or 8x25 bincoulars.
These sized binoculars are often more portable and affordable but don't work as well in lower light due to the smaller objective lens.
If you are new to birdwatching with your binoculars then it could be useful for you to get familiar with some tips and tricks so as you can get the most out of your pair of binoculars when out on the field.
We have listed out some essential tips for you to consider when birdwatching with your binos below.
Now we are coming to the end of our sizing guide for your best birdwatching binoculars, there's a couple of common questions which you might be asking yourself when it comes to finding the right pair.
How do I clean my birdwatching binoculars?
You can clean the outer surface of your birdwatching binoculars with a soft cloth, however, for the lens itself its best to use a dust blower to blow and dust off and avoid scratching the expensive lenses.
Is a higher magnification better for birdwatching?
Not always, a higher magnification may give you a better chance at seeing birds which are much further away but will limit your field of view too.
Birds tend to fly a lot and move around by nature, so that's why an 8x magnification is recommended as this gives you a wide field of view to mess around with as well as zoom.
Higher magnification will also make your binoculars heavier which means they are harder to keep still.
Can I use birdwatching binoculars with glasses?
Yes, just make sure your model has a large enough eye relief to do this.
You can change the dioptre of your binoculars too if you wish to use your binoculars without glasses and still see clearly. This can make using your binoculars more comfortable with rubber eyecups in comparison.
Do I need Porro prism or Roof prism binoculars for birding?
Roof prism style binoculars tend to be suited for most birders who are looking for a more compact design, however, these binoculars do tend to be a little expensive, so Porro prism models are more budget-friendly.
If you are new to the binocular world, all the numbers and sizes for different models can become confusing.
To make it simple for you, the two numbers you will see on your binoculars refer to the magnification and objective lens size of your model.
You may also come across some other numbers for your binocular referring to features such as field of view or the exit pupil of your model.
We have put together a fool-proof guide below to help your figure out what all these numbers mean.
The first two main numbers you will see on your binoculars are the magnification and objective lens size.
The number at the start refers to the magnification your model can produce such as 8x42 or 7x32 and the magnification means how many times closer your image will appear to your pupil, so a 10x50 pair of binoculars will produce an image which is ten times closer to you.
Higher magnification will need a stabiliser such as a tripod, but for subjects less than 3km away a magnification of under 10x should be sufficient.
The second number out of the two refers to the size of your objective lens within your binoculars.
A wider objective lens will bring more light into your image which is great for using your binoculars when viewing stars or during low-light situations, so, for example, 10x50 pair of bincoulars will be better than a 10x35 in this case.
The bigger the number of this objective lens however normally means the heavier your binoculars will be, so if you want your binoculars to be portable you should ensure your objective lens is not too wide.
On your binoculars, you will likely come across a number referring to feet per 1000 yards or metres per 1000 metres.
A higher number will mean you have a more horizontal width of view when looking through your binoculars, a higher magnification, however, will limit this number.
On average 300-375 seems to be typically the best for most professional binocular users when out on the field.
The angle of view on your binoculars is the same as the field of view on your model and tends to be expressed in degrees.
For the best binoculars, this number always tends to be over or around 6 degrees and is usually expressed as a decimal which can be timed by the magnification of your binoculars to reach a total angle of view.
A close focus number is important if you want to be viewing objects up close in detail which many binoculars are not that great at doing.
For subjects such as birds, this can be quite important with binoculars allowing you to see subjects up to 6 feet away from to 15 feet depending on the model you buy.
The exit pupil number on your binoculars will be measured in mm and refers to the two dots located in either eyepiece of your binoculars.
This number is a result of the division between the objective lens size and magnification. Generally, the bigger the exit pupil on your model the better as this will improve your image.
Eye relief refers to the distance you can be from your binoculars and still see a full range of view which is important for users who wear glasses.
This number will typically be in mm again and should be from 10-15mm for people who wear glasses.
The numbers you should prioritise on your binoculars can differ according to the use of your model.
For example, if you want to do hobbies such as stargazing, a higher magnification number will be much more essential for you rather than a wider objective lens.
We have listed out the best numbers to look for in your binoculars below according to different uses.
For birding, your magnification number should range from 8x-10x depending on your budget and style of birding. The objective lens diameter number of your model should be between 30mm-42mm.
In terms of field of view, your model should range in between 8-6 degrees depending on the magnification chosen and have an exit pupil of at least 5mm.
Eye relief for birdwatching binoculars comes down to whether or not you wear glasses, so the higher the number the better in this case and a close focus of fewer than 2m can be great for up-close bird watching.
For stargazing binoculars, your are looking for a magnification number of in-between 10x-15x, most people assume you need a higher magnification of around 20x for stargazing but this is not the case as it will limit your field of view which is important constellations and connections.
The objective lens number of your stargazing binoculars should be quite high of around 50mm and above as you want your binoculars to be able to work effectively in low light to see the stars.
For the field of view, your stargazing binoculars should come with a range of over 300ft and have an exit pupil of at least 5mm.
Sporting events will require your model to have a magnification number of around 8x-10x with a wide field of view between 6-8 degrees.
The objective lens can be smaller in these binoculars as your looking to save on weight due to holding these binoculars for long periods when spectating.
As hunting requires you to be tracking moving objects, you should prioritise a wider field of view in your model from 6-8 degrees.
Magnification should be sufficient at a number of 8x and close focus is not as important on these models, as most subjects when hunting is far away.
An exit pupil of around 4mm is enough for hunting purposes during daylight.
The best binocular numbers for concert viewing can be under 5x magnification and be very compact, as it is likely what you are spectating will not be that far away, and you will be holding the bincoulars for long periods.
Make sure the numbers for these binoculars range between 6-7 degrees for a wide field of view.
When should I buy high magnification binoculars?
Higher magnification binoculars are best suited to astronomical purposes or when viewing subjects from very far away.
8x, 10x, and 12x are sufficient for general use and zooming here and there.
Where are large objective lenses suited best?
You will need large objective lenses in low light scenarios such as night hunting or star gazing, the wider your lens, the better the low-light image will be produced at the other end.
What's the best eye relief for someone who wears glasses?
For someone who wears glasses, an eye relief of at least 15mm should make your experience more comfortable when using binoculars.
You can also adjust the dioptre on your binocular to match your vision if you would prefer to use your binoculars without glasses.
How do I calculate the exit pupil number on binoculars?
You can find the exit pupil number of your binoculars by dividing the objective lens diameter by the magnification your model which will produce a decimal or single number, for example, 10x50 binoculars have an exit pupil of 5mm.
A higher exit pupil means a brighter image will be provided by your binoculars.
What is a powerful binocular?
A powerful binocular refers to a type of binocular that has a magnification of above 20x and more.
These models often have to be used with tripods and are great from moon viewing and have an eye relief of 20mm and above making them excellent to use for people who wear glasses.
What is the best way to clean your binocular lenses without damaging them?
Using specialised lens wipes and an air blower is the best way to clean binocular lenses to avoid any scratches while cleaning. As for the main body, you are able to use washing up liquid and a soft sponge to remove the dirt.
Binoculars are such a versatile outdoor tool that, when used properly, has an abundance of potential. But if you are to get the best possible results from your pair, then you need to make sure that your binoculars and their lenses keep clean and clear.
Just like any other tool, there are certain methods and different procedures that need to be done to ensure that you do not damage your binoculars while you attempt to care for them and clean them.
After all, no matter how large your budget is when you are buying your first pair of binoculars, if you do not care or clean them properly then they will end up damaged and useless.
To prevent any damage, here is our guide on how best to clean your binoculars.
The first thing to note about your binoculars is that if the lenses are not properly cared for then that will severally impact the use of the tool. In severe cases, you may have to buy a whole new pair.
So how do you correctly care for your lenses? The key is in how you store your binoculars when you are not using them.
If you often use your binoculars then you will not need to worry so much about long term storage issues that may arise like glass mould. However, that does not mean that you can neglect proper storage.
It is best if you avoid any chance of your binoculars getting into contact with water or humidity between uses. Likewise, you need to ensure that your lenses are not exposed to a lot of dust.
The mistake most people make here is that they assume the case that often comes with the binoculars upon purchase will keep your pair safe. While the case may prevent dust from gathering on the lenses, most cases are made out of fabric that could easily absorb water in the wrong conditions.
A plastic carrier bag or a container with a lid will work perfectly to keep the moisture build-up at bay.
That is not to say that you can not keep your binoculars in the case while storing it in a plastic bag or container (the more protection the better) but you should not be relying only on the case to care for your lenses.
If you do not often use your binoculars or have a pair that you save for special occasions such as a night vision pair, then there are a few more precautions you need to take when it comes to storing them.
Just like with the short term storage, you need to ensure that no water and minimal dust comes into contact with your binoculars. The same storage methods can be used e.g. a sturdy airtight plastic container.
With longer-term storage, it is best that you still take your binoculars out every month or so to make sure that no mould is growing and to make sure that they have not been damaged while being stored.
While it may not be much of a problem if you forget to replace the lens caps during short term storage, with long term storage you do need to make sure to replace them as it will decrease the chances of mould or condensation forming.
Lens caps will also prevent any damage being done directly to the lenses themselves which can be an expensive thing to fix.
You should also make sure that you are not storing them somewhere overly hot or cold. This is so that any water that did happen to get into your lenses does not condensate on the lens due to temperature over time.
If this does happen, the quality of the lense will be badly damaged and may in some cases be irreparable.
This is why it is advised that you take your binoculars out of storage every month or so to check for any damage that may have occurred during the storage period. The earlier the condensation is caught, the easier it will be to fix it.
As long as you have followed the correct storage method, you will not need to clean your lenses that often if you only use your binoculars for special occasions.
In fact, the less that you are able to clean the lenses, the better.
For those times when your binoculars are just too dirty to not clean or have gotten wet, you need to make sure to clean then with a soft touch and by using the right tools.
Most camera and even some outdoor shops will supply the following equipment for a reasonable price so if you are planning on using your binoculars often enough for them to get dirty, it is best to invest in the correct cleaning equipment.
You may need:
What you may find is that most of the dust and debris that has collected on your lenses during use can easily be blown off with the air blower. The gentle puffs of air will clean your lenses without you having to resort to wiping them which can cause smudges.
It is also a good idea not to keep your air blower just for cleaning your lenses after use but to also keep it with you when you plan to use your binoculars.
This way you will ensure a clear view every time and will prevent debris buildup.
If you do experience a build-up of dust then you can gently use the lens cleaning wipes or brush to get rid of the dust. Just be careful not to wipe with too much force as that could scratch your lenses.
For the most part, cleaning of the lenses can be avoided so long as you are careful not to touch the lenses directly and keep your binoculars dry and dust-free.
Unfortunately, part of the process when cleaning your binoculars may be to remove mould.
If your binoculars have mould growing on them or in the lenses, which you will be able to identify straight away due to the fungal spores, then you need to deal with the problem as soon as possible.
By leaving the mould to grow and spread more you will be allowing the damaging waste product that fungus process to attach itself onto your lens. While you will be able to remove the fungus itself, this waste product will remain and you will have to eventually replace them.
To clean your lens and remove the fungus all together, you will need to buy the correct type of cleaning solution. Something is most hydrogen peroxide will get the job done best and will also not be too harsh on the lens.
If you are unable to find hydrogen peroxide then your best bet is vinegar mixed with water to make it that little bit less acidic.
Once you have your solution it is a matter of gently dabbing some on the infected lens with one of your lens wipes and then using a new wipe to remove the fungus.
While you may need to let the solution sit for a moment, do not leave it on the lens for too long otherwise it could do more damage than good.
You may find that the fungus was too much to remove in which case it is best to take it to a professional who is able to clean the lens for you. Any camera shop should be able to assist you.
When it comes to the actual body of your binoculars, you are able to be a bit more strong-handed with your cleaning methods compared to lens cleaning.
All you really need is some everyday cleaning solution that will not dissolve the rubber e.g. dishwashing detergent and a damp cloth to remove the build-up of dirt on the body.
The biggest issue you may have with the body of the binoculars us keeping them dry. Even if the body is a little damp and the lenses aren't, it could still result in fungal growth on the lens.
Therefore it is best to ensure that you dry your binoculars off as much as possible before you put them into storage to avoid mould and expensive repairs.
When shopping for binoculars, what should you be looking for?
The best and most reliable binoculars are those that have been made with protective consideration. Multiple layers of coating on the lenses will provide you with scratch-resistant, clear image-producing binoculars - the most important feature to look out for.
Whether it be your first pair or your fifth pair, you always want to make sure that you are getting the right pair of binoculars for your individual needs.
But with so many on the market today offering various features, it is becoming increasingly harder to know what makes a great pair of binoculars and what is just fancy marketing.
To help sort out this confusion, here is our guide on what to look out for when you are shopping for binoculars.
While there will always be the exceptions, there are two types of binocular designs on the market that you need to be aware of so that you can make the right choice for you.
The binoculars that most people have seen or even used at some point are the porro prism binoculars. These are identifiable by the closer together eyepieces but bulkier design.
As for roof-prism types, they were designed to be easier to travel and to take up less room which was achievable by rearranging the prism within the binoculars.
A few years ago there would be a clear difference in the shop between these two models but like everything else, technology has blurred the link between them and they are not as easy to separate by looks alone.
The key difference is the amount of money with porro binoculars being the cheaper of the two usually.
However, it is best to try both of the two types out in the shop if you can so that you can get a feel for which one you prefer.
The optics or the lenses of binoculars are arguably the most important part of the whole tool. For this reason, brands have experimented with different types of lenses, lens coating and the types of glass used to try and be the best on the market.
In short, when it comes to looking for the right lens type, it is the quality of the coatings that you need to keep an eye out for.
If a binoculars brand is not boasting about their lens coating then the product will not be that good.
It is no secret that even budget binoculars can still be fairly expensive so it is important that a brand has considered how to protect the lenses to prevent you from having to replace them later on because of scratches or water damage.
Another key lens coating type that you need to keep in mind when shopping for your pair of binoculars is how much anti-reflection is coated onto the lens.
There are four types of anti-reflection coating levels that you will find:
The more coated that the lenses are, the more expensive the binoculars will be. That being said, cheap binoculars that are only 'coated' with anti-reflection will not serve well in the field.
The different layers of anti-reflection coatings refer to the number of layers there is between the glass of the lense and the air.
You want as many layers of the coating as possible in order to get the best performance and to be able to properly focus on your subject.
Do not worry if you are on a budget and can not afford to be spending a large amount on coated binoculars. Just get as close to 'fully multi coats' as possible and you will still be able to experience a great performance from your purchase.
We mention prism briefly in the two different types of binocular designs above but the type of glass and the various kinds of coating of that prism that the brand decides to use severally impacts how clear your view is when using the binoculars.
Nowadays, brands tend to lean towards three different kinds of glass for their prisms. Like most things, the better the quality of the glass the higher the price of the product.
If you want the typical, mid-range option, you need to be looking for binoculars that use a BAK-4 glass type. This is the glass type that most binoculars use as its internal reflection means that you have a brighter view and will have less of a grainy effect when focusing on a subject.
The cheaper option is a BK-7 glass type. As typical for a cheaper alternative, there are some downsides to the BK-7 prisms with the biggest flaw being a far darker image.
On the other hand, far less common in the every day binocular SK-15 glass type.
It might not be the most expensive in most cases but brands tend to use this type of glass mostly because it is more convenient to use the BAK-4 type of glass.
Regardless of the type of glass used for the prism, the coating used will have an effect on the quality of your view. The types of coating will depend on the type of prism that your binocular uses.
Roof prisms work by splitting the receiving light into two disjointed beams which need to be corrected in order for you to receive a crisp image. For that, the roof prisms need to be coated on phase correction coatings.
These coatings are not cheap so do not be shocked if you find cheaper roof prism binoculars having significantly less phare correction coatings than the more expensive range.
In order to get the best image possible from roof prism binoculars, you will also need to make sure that they have a high reflective prism coating as roof prisms tend to lose light in their reflection process.
Some brands producing cheaper roof prism binoculars may use aluminium reflective coatings which they do not advertise openly.
Therefore if you are struggling to find the type of reflective coating that the binoculars use, the chances are that you have picked up a very cheap brand that will not deliver great results.
Some manufacturers will use the field of view or angle of view when describing the specifications of their binoculars which essentially refers to how much of the view you can see when using the binoculars.
Which specification you chose is up to you but most animal watchers or nature enthusiasts tend to get the most use out of the widest view so that they can experience as much as possible for far away.
The wider view also means that you can track the animal easier and keep it in your view for long.
However, before you decide on the angle of view that you want you first need to choose the ideal magnification for you. The more magnified your view is, the more limited the angle of view will be.
Binoculars are a tool in their own right and are used as such out in nature. For that reason, it is vital to know that if you were to bump your binoculars while searching for a rare bird that they will not break.
One way to assure this is to look at what the body of the product has been made out of.
Even though at first glance you may think the shell of the product has been made out of rubber, that rubber is actually more of a protective coating rather than what the whole body is made out of.
The best material and the most common material used of the body is aluminium. It is both lightweight and will not change shape in heat which is an important feature for any outdoor enthusiast.
Aluminium is also the material of choice for most mid-range priced products.
For the cheaper brand, you will find that polycarbonate plastic is used as the main body material.
While this may result in an easy to carry product, it is certainly a less durable material and is prone to losing its shape quicker than other metal choices.
It is important that you thoroughly read the descriptions and the feature that a pair of binoculars has. Otherwise, you may be buying a product that does not have the right number of coatings to produce the image you want or could be susceptible to breakages making it a waste of money. Something that everyone wants to avoid.
How best to use binoculars in order to get the most out of them?
To make the most out of your binoculars you must make sure that you have chosen the right pair for your specific needs. Then you have to make sure that you know how to change the viewing settings to tailor to your eyesight.
Being the number one tool for outdoor explorers and wildlife observers, it is important to understand how exactly to use such an important tool in the proper way.
Being able to do so will not only allow you to get the most out of your outdoor hobbies but will also allow you to be more successful at spotting and identifying wildlife.
Once you have figured out how to correctly use your binoculars then you will be able to use them to their full potential.
Just like with any other tool, you need to know how binoculars work in order to unlock their full use.
Most people would have seen a pair of binoculars either being used by others when walking or while hiking but many do not know the various functions hidden on the binoculars.
Two separate viewing barrels are joint together by a hinged connection that allows the user to adjust the viewing ports to their eye distance. This makes for a more comfortable experience for you as you are able to alter the barrels to your eyes rather than the barrels being a set distance apart.
As for the barrels themselves, they differ slightly on each side. Even though some brands may differ in their design, usually on the right-side barrel you will find the diopter dial.
It is this dial that you will use to alter the finer focus of your binoculars in order to match your individual sight.
The biggest mistake that many first time binocular buyers make is not adjusting the focus to properly meet their individual eye type. A lack of focus can lead to the user missing rare natural sites or may mean that you misidentify a species.
Not correctly identifying a species can cause havoc for officials trying to keep track of certain endangered species or other nature observers tasked with looking after wildlife.
In order to avoid confusion, you must focus your binoculars if you wish to use them correctly.
You will know that your binoculars are not focused right if your eyes feel strained or if what you are seeing through the lenses feels flat.
The whole point of using binoculars is to get a clear image from a distance so what you are seeing should not appear flat but rather very clear.
First. you need to make sure that you are looking through your lenses properly. You have a clear circular view without any black edges.
If you do see any black edges that that means that your binoculars are not the right distance apart.
To correct this, places your hands on the two barrels and move them either further apart or close together until you achieve the perfect circular view.
Now you can focus on focusing.
Start by choosing an unmoving object a fair distance away that has an obvious different coloured background.
For example, a red signpost against a blue sky background. This will make it easier to figure out if your focus is the best it can be.
keep both of your eyes open and locked onto that object and alter the main focusing wheel on your binoculars until the object becomes sharper.
This may mean that the background of your view is more blurred which is fine as long as your focused object is more defined.
In some cases just altering the focus wheel will be enough to focus on your chosen object of interest. However, in order to properly use your binoculars, we advise that you adjust the finer focus.
To do this, keep your right eye closed and your left open. Adjust the focus wheel once more until you have a sharp image again.
Then close your left eye and close your right to alter the diopter adjustment to bring your object into focus.
Once you open both your eyes again, you should find that your focus is significantly more clear than when you first adjusted your focus wheel.
Keep in mind that you will need to re-focus your finer focus adjustments as you move your attention from object to object.
While this may seem like a pain in the neck, you will get used to altering the focus as you move making the process whole lot quicker and allowing you to properly use your binoculars to focus on the wonders you want to see up close.
One advantage of using binoculars is that, once they are correctly focused and you have a clear vision, you are able to see things that may not be possible to the naked human eye.
Not only is this great for wildlife enthusiasts who wish to see smaller bugs and such or want to catch sight of a rare bird without scaring it away.
It also means that photographers are able to find the perfect subject for their photos that they may not have considered before.
Photographers do not necessarily need to be carrying around a top of the range pair of binoculars in order to get the most out of them.
However, by investing in a pair of budget binoculars, you will be able to find subjects that others in your field may not be able to spot making for the perfect photograph.
What you need to do is act like the lenses in your binoculars are the lens of your camera. This way you will get into the practice of lining up the right shot and figuring out the composition of your image before you have taken it and saving you work as you take the actual photo.
You will find may beginner and even some professional astronomists reaching for a pair of binoculars on a clear night to find their favourite constellations.
While there is no doubt that telescopes are the best tool for stargazing, they are often very bulky and costly meaning that if you just wish to go camping and look at the stars, you probably do not want to be carrying an expensive telescope around with you.
Binoculars are for the most part considerably cheaper than telescopes and are easier to carry around with you wherever you go.
Not only that but they are also able to enhance both the shape and colours of the stars and planets in a way that even some telescopes are unable to as they are not designed to do so.
Even though you may not be an avid stargazer, that does not mean that you can not make the most out of your binoculars by taking them out when the sky is clear.
Most of the ways listed here to help you get the most of you binoculars are land-based activities where most of the subjects are fairly still.
That is why the focusing and finer focusing function works so well with binoculars that are used for land-based activities as you do not have to worry so much about moving while trying to focus on your subject.
However, there are instances like on a cruise ship or if you are a marine worker, that will require a pair of binoculars that you can use while not on land.
Ideally called 'marine binoculars' are usually bulkier than other types to keep your view more stable while moving on the water.
They are also fitted with functions especially for being moved constantly by the water. This is so that you can still get the most out of your binoculars without having a blurry view like you would have if you used a basic pair of binoculars.
All in all, if you want to use your pair of binoculars to their full potential, you need to make sure that you have the right pair for the activity. Not only that, but you have to make sure that you know how to alter the focus as and when you need to so that you do not miss the magnificent sights that nature has to offer.
Have you ever wondered when binoculars were invented? You would assume that they were created around the same time as the telescope, but parts of the binocular were actually being made as early as the 1200’s. The history of binoculars is not as short as you may think because, whilst the idea has been around for a long time, certain inventions needed to be made before the binoculars were able to give you properly orientated images. Read on to find out about the history of binoculars!
In 1267 a friar called Roger Bacon wrote about his solution to the problem of focusing the eyes on close objects, i.e. the short-sightedness which tends to develop with age. He recommended that sections of glass could be placed on pages of writing to magnify their content, and by the end of the 1200’s craftsmen were already making thin glass sections which would be put into frames so people could wear them in front of their eyes, i.e. the first glasses. As these reading glasses were similar in shape to lentils, they became known as lenses because the word lens is Latin for lentil.
Binoculars were actually built in 1608 by a man called Hans Lippershey in the Netherlands. He created a convex lens and a concave lens which, when combined, could magnify the image of distant objects.
He showed his binoculars to the Assembly of the States-General of the Netherlands and they asked that he create a similar object with two lenses as it would be easier for use in battle. He did indeed create these binoculars, but they had poor resolution and bad magnification and so they didn’t become particularly popular. Lippershey wanted to patent his invention, but he was refused.
The origins of the binoculars may actually go back before Lippershey because around that time you could already buy small spyglasses with a similar design.
During the 17th/18th century, a few inventors had a go at creating smaller telescopes or two piece box telescopes, i.e. binoculars, but they were all pretty bad quality and we don’t know much about them.
Galileo may have actually stolen Lippershey’s idea because just one year later in 1609 Galileo started the process of building a telescope. He eventually created around one hundred telescopes which could magnify up to thirty times, and with these telescopes he was able to observe far away objects including the Moon, Jupiter’s satellites and his invention has lived on ever since.
Galileo’s telescopes were pretty basic by today’s standards. He only used lenses which were curved on one side and his creations have a very small field of view.
The development of binoculars doesn’t seem to have progressed very much until the 1820’s when binocular ‘theatre glasses’ started to become popular. These glasses were based on Galileo's design, and even though the magnification wasn’t particularly powerful at all it wasn’t really a problem if the spectators only wanted to magnify a nearby stage.
Later on, in the nineteenth century similar binoculars are known as ‘field glasses’ started to be developed. These binoculars were very similar, but they have a slightly higher magnification.
Ignazio Porro is sometimes thought of as the inventor of the binocular because he received a patent in 1854 for his prism system, and without that prism system binoculars may never have become popular.
Porro prisms were created for a variety of optical instruments with the goal of orientating images so they were correct. They normally work as part of a double porto prism system which will reflect the light four times in total.
The prism is made up of right angles, and when the light enters the large rectangular face of the prism it will internally reflect twice so the image has now turned 180 degrees. There is normally a second prism rotated at 90 degrees and it is there to ensure that the light will go through both prisms.
Porro’s prism design is still widely used today. Prisms are necessary for binoculars because without them any images that you see through the binoculars will be upside down and backward! Prisms have a mirror like an effect which reflects the light back and orientates the images so they are the right way up.
Carl Zeiss had been working on building better microscopes since the 1840s Zeiss ran an optics workshop and in 1866 that workshop had sold over 1,000 microscopes. In 1866 he paired up with fellow inventor Ernst Abbe and along with Otto Schott, they worked on improving lenses for multiple optical instruments including microscopes.
Ernst Abbe is the same Abbe of the Abbe-Koenig prism. Their prism is a roof prism and it is basically designed to invert the image so it is no longer upside down. The prism is composed of two glass prisms which are cemented together in a shallow V shape.
The light will enter one side of the prism, it internally reflects 30 degrees, it is then reflected from the roof section of the binocular, and it is reflected again at 30 degrees on the opposite face of the prism. Roof prisms have been around since the late 1800s, but they only started to become popular on the market almost a hundred years ago in the 1980s.
The idea for the binocular is as old as Galileo, but it was only around 200 years later that the idea actually began to take off. Binoculars are very handy because you can look through them with both eyes at once which means you are not distracted by your other eye and you get a sense of depth, so it’s actually surprising they weren’t invented earlier.
Prisms are pretty much essential for binoculars because, whilst it may not matter if the moon, planet or star that you are looking at is upside down, it will probably matter if you are trying to watch live sports at a stadium or if you’re trying to take a closer look at the local (or not so local) wildlife.
The refraction of light is key to how binoculars work because it explains how lenses work. Refraction is The way light bends when it goes from the air to a different material. Placing a stick in water is a refraction of light because the stick appears bent, however it is not. A lens is a curved piece of glass and when light rays hit a piece of glass such as a lens, they slow down and bend. If the lens curves, so its outside is thinner than its middle, it's called a convex lens. As light rays enter a convex lens, they bend in toward the middle—as though the lens is sucking them in. That means a convex lens brings distant light rays into a focus. It's also called a converging lens because it makes light rays come together (converge). Looking at things through a convex lenses makes them appear bigger—so convex lenses are used in things like magnifying glasses.
A different kind of lens curves the opposite way, with the middle being thinner than the outside is. This is called a concave lens. (You can remember this easily if you think that a concave lens caves in in the middle.) A concave lens makes light rays spread out like the lines of a firework. Imagine light rays coming into a concave lens and then shooting out in all directions. That's why a concave lens is sometimes called a diverging lens. It makes light rays shoot out (diverge). Concave lenses are used in movie projectors to make light from the film spread out and cover a bigger area when it hits the wall.
Binoculars are basically just two small telescopes side by side on the same device, but the difference is that binoculars show you three-dimensional images which you can see from the same perceived viewpoint. As there are two eyepieces, you are able to look at the magnified object with both eyes at once and you won’t need to close eye to avoid ruining the viewing experience.
Binoculars use lenses to bend light and magnify far away objects. The word lens actually comes from the Latin word for lentil, and this is because the shape of a glass lens looks a little bit like a lentil.
Binoculars use two lenses. The first lens is the objective lens and it basically catches light rays from far away objects and created a focused image. The second lens picks up the image from the first lens and magnified it so you can see it.
You can use this information to make your very own basic telescope. If you take two magnifying glasses and use the one closest to your eye as the eyepiece and the one further away from your objective lens you should be able to magnify objects which are difficult to see with the naked eye.
The problem with this basic concept is that the light rays cross over and it results in an upside down image. This isn’t a problem if you’re looking at celestial objects (in fact most telescopes provide you with upside down images), but it is a problem if you want to look at things a little closer to home.
Prisms are pieces of glass which basically act like mirrors. Prisms are very important because without them your objects would not only be upside down but they would also be backward! That’s not really what you want when you’re watching sports or going bird watching, but luckily prisms are there to ensure you see the image the right way up. They reflect the light to correct the orientation of the image so you see the image as it is, it’ll just closer!
The two most popular types of prisms that you are likely to come across are Porro prisms and roof prisms.
Porro prisms are wide, their prism is shaped like a Z, and they are able to give you good depth perception. These prisms give you a wide view so you can see more of you surroundings and so they are a good choice for spectator sports or watching animals. They also tend to give you a brighter image than a comparable roof prism because the way roof prisms reflect light reduces light transmission by up to 15%. Porro prisms tend to be cheaper than roof prisms as they are easier to make, but this has been changing in recent years.
Roof prisms have their eyepieces roughly in line with their objective lens and they tend to be smaller than Porro Prisms. Roof Prisms are also lighter, more compact, they are easier to waterproof and they are a little more durable. Roof prisms reflect light six times whilst Porro prisms only reflect their light four times, and this is why roof prisms tend to give you a darker image than a Porro prism of the same calibre.
A binoculars magnification is shown by a pair of numbers, say 10 x 50. The first number tells you how powerful the magnification is, i.e. how many times the closer the image in question will appear whilst the second number shows you have large the diameter of the objective lens is. The objective lens is the light gathering lens, so together these numbers show you how close the image will appear and how much light the binoculars can utilize.
You will have to focus your binoculars in order to get a clear view of objects which are not at a fixed distance. Some binoculars have independent focus which requires you to focus each eyepiece separately, whilst central focused binoculars normally have a central focusing wheel.
The field of view refers to how much you can see through the binoculars, i.e. how much of the surrounding area can you see depending on how far away you are? A larger field of view is important if you need to see the whole landscape i.e. for sports or watching groups of animals, but more magnification and less field of view may be important if you need to hone in one one specific object.
Eye relief refers to how far away your eye can be in order for you to properly see the magnified image through your binoculars. The larger the binoculars focal point is the greater the eye relief will be. Eye relief can go beyond 2.5 centimeters, but others are as small as a few millimeters. Eye relief is an important considering for people who wear glasses because they will typically need to position their eye further away from the binocular.
Binoculars have multiple air-to-glass surfaces and all these surfaces can lose light. Binoculars lose light through reflection because, instead of contributing to the image, reflected light reduces the contrast between the image you want to look at and its background. You can reduce this and improve your image quality through the use of optical coatings.
These coatings are designed to give you a sharper, brighter image. Your coating options range from coated optics, fully coated, multi-coated and fully multi-coated. Coated optics will have just a few of the surfaces coated, whereas fully multi-coated will have all their air-to-glass surfaces coated.
We hope you have found this article on how binoculars work useful. Binoculars have many important applications for work as well as leisure and it’s important that you understand how they work so you know what to look for if you decide to buy one. As you can see binoculars are not the most complicated instruments in the world, but they are made up of a few essential components which enable them to work efficently.
Okay, so hopefully you can see where we're heading. If you want to see something in the distance, you can use two convex lenses, placed one in front of the other. The first lens catches light rays from the distant object and makes a focused image a short distance behind the lens. This lens is called the objective, because it's nearest to the object you're looking at. The second lens picks up that image and magnifies it, just like a magnifying glass magnifies an image on paper. If you put the two lenses in a closed tube, hey presto, you have a telescope. You can make your own telescope easily enough with a couple of magnifying glasses and a cardboard tube wrapped around them.
Binoculars are basically just two telescopes in one device, but when light rays pass through a convex lens from a distance they cross over. Hence why far away things often look upside down when looking at them through a magnifying glass.
So binoculars have a pair of prisms (big wedges of glass) inside them to rotate the image through 180 degrees. One prism rotates the image through 90 degrees (flips it onto its side), then the next prism rotates it through another 90 degrees (flips it onto its side again), so the two prisms effectively turn it upside down. The prisms can either be arranged in a back-to-back arrangement (known as roof prisms) or at 90 degrees (known as Porro prisms)
The prisms explain why binoculars are heavy and why they are sometimes quite chunky in the middle. Field glasses, which are compact binoculars like the ones shown in the photo here, flip the incoming images using only lenses. There are no prisms, so field glasses are smaller, lighter and more compact—but the image quality is poorer.
Is this becoming any clearer?
No? Okay so basically the 2 lenses you look through in a pair of Binoculars refract the light in certain ways to capture images from far away to be clearer than they really are. Like glasses lenses help you see things differently, so do Binoculars.
Best-Binoculars.UK is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com.
Copyright 2021 © Best Binoculars - Reviewing & Comparing Binoculars