Are you looking for high-end, great quality, super powerful binoculars that will make it look like you’re standing next to the moons craters, or wild animals, or particularly colourful birds?
What does the word ‘powerful’ mean in relation to binoculars? Does it mean magnification, aperture, or quality of image?
When you’re shopping for binoculars, it’s important not to be sucked into buzz words that have no real meaning.
Read on to find out what different factors make a pair of binoculars ‘powerful’ and what features you’ll need for a great viewing experience.
Does a large magnification capacity make a pair of binoculars powerful? A binoculars magnification number refers to how much the binoculars are able to magnify a subject and how close the binoculars can make that subject appear.
For example, a magnification of 10x would make the subject appear 10x closer than they actually are.
While magnifying objects is a huge part of what binoculars are used for, you don’t necessarily want a pair of binoculars which can magnify subjects more than 12x.
Anything more than that will amplify hand movements, so if your hand shakes the image will become blurry. Unless you have a tripod, you should be fine with higher than 6 but lower than 13.
Objective Lens Size
The objective size of your lens has a huge impact on how powerful the binoculars are. This is because the bigger the diameter of the lens, the more light can get into the binoculars and amplify the image.
This isn’t that important in sunny weather (in fact, too much light will make it more difficult to see the subject), but it is very important in darker situations because it will make the images appear much brighter.
Ideally, your objective lens diameter should measure between 8×25 and 8×40 if you’re planning on using the binoculars in the evening.
Field Of View
Does a larger field of view make your binoculars more powerful? It certainly helps!
Your binoculars field of view refers to the diameter of the area that you can see through the lens. Measured in degrees, this number tells you how much you’ll be able to see through the binoculars. If you want to magnify large areas, you’ll want to buy binoculars with a larger field of view.
Water & Fog Proof
Binoculars that fog up easily or get damaged by rain are not particularly powerful. There are many binoculars on the market which are waterproof, water resistant and/or fog-proof.
Waterproof binoculars often include O-rings, which are sealed to protect the lens from water, dirt, dust and other substances that could damage the binoculars.
Water proof binoculars are more powerful than water resistant models, because they are better able to deal with submersion and heavy rain.
Fog proof binoculars use gas to stop the lenses steaming over. Not only does this stop the fog from hampering your vision, but it also protects the lenses from getting damaged by condensation.
There’s no point buying a pair of binoculars with huge magnification abilities, a large field of view, a gigantic objective lens and a water repellent exterior if they are not made out of durable, rugged material that is built to last.
Many binoculars also come with rubber armour which protects the exterior and makes the binoculars more comfortable and slip resistant.
What makes binoculars powerful? It depends on what you mean by power. Binoculars that have more magnification power can bring your subjects even closer, but too much magnification power ruins the quality of your image.
A large objective lens diameter lets lighter in for better, brighter images, but this isn’t as much of an issue if you’re only planning on using the binoculars in sunny, well-lit environments.
Binoculars will be more powerful if they’re strong, so it’s a good idea to pick a model that is durable, made out of strong material, and is waterproof and fog proof.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t be searching for the binoculars that have the ‘most power’. Instead, you should look for a model that best matches your needs and will help the most with your interests.