When it comes to choosing binoculars, it makes sense to give the choice some serious thought. If you choose correctly, the binoculars will give you many hours of viewing pleasure. Here are our top things to look in compact binoculars.
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Set Your Budget
Ah, the dreaded “B” word. It is, however, extremely important to decide first of all how much you can afford to pay and then how much you are willing to pay. Prices for binoculars range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars.
Set yourself a price limit upfront so that you don’t get carried away when choosing your set in the end. It is always advisable to get the best pair that you can afford, but it is common sense to also factor in the cost-per-use.
Is it worth paying $800 or $900 for something that you will only use once a year? On the other hand, how long is a $20 pair likely to last if you are using it every day? Generally speaking, the more you are going to use the set, the more it makes sense to pay more.
That said, you do not have to start with a top of the range model either. You can get some pretty good options at lower prices. They may not have as many features, but they will work well.
Again, this is going to depend on what you plan to use the glasses for. At first glance, you would think that the highest magnification is best, but you need to remember that the higher the magnification is, the narrower the field of view would be.
So, at 10x magnification, you will be able to see further, but you will not be able to fit in as much of the scene as you would at 8x.
If you are planning to use the binoculars for over short distances, it makes more sense to choose a lower magnification. Say, for example, you want to use them at the opera. A lower, 4x or 6x magnification would make better sense because you would see more of the stage.
How Weatherproof is It?
This again depends on where you are planning to use the set. If it is as opera glasses, weatherproofing doesn’t matter. If, however, you are on a hike in the middle of a downpour, it does.
Nikon or Canon?
By this, I mean that age-old debate amongst photographers. Those that love Canon will swear up and down it is best. Those that love Nikon feel the same way about Nikon. Be prepared to try a few models of binoculars to see what fits you best.
What Eye Relief Do They Have?
This is important if you wear prescription eyeglasses or if you might be using sunglasses with the set. The eye relief make is possible to still see the full picture without having to worry about seeing the rings of the binoculars getting in the way.
Check out this useful article on Wikipedia for more information in this regard.
What are the Features?
As mentioned above, the more expensive models tend to have a range of different features. Don’t be bowled over by the number of features but focus on how useful they will be to you instead.
When it comes to choosing the right set of binoculars, your best approach is to consider your options carefully. Do some research into who manufactures the glasses, what their reputation is and think about how useful they will be. Don’t rush this important decision.