How to Choose Binocular Power – There are two numbers on a pair of binoculars. One number is the magnification and the other number is the diameter of the objective lens.
How to Choose Binocular Power
The first step in choosing binoculars is to decide which you want: magnification or light gathering power.
Magnification of Binocular Power
The first number, which is always smaller, shows how much closer the viewed object will seem when you look through the binoculars.
The magnification indicates how much larger the image will be when compared to what you see without binoculars.
This is not always the case, though. Because of this, choosing the right magnification will depend on your intended usage.
Lower magnification binoculars power
Lower magnification binoculars, typically with a magnification of 7x and lower, allow you to see a wider field of view, which makes it easier to spot animals, ships, or birds.
The larger field of view also helps you track the movements of the objects you’re looking at.
When you look at the view through binoculars with lesser magnification, you can see more of what’s in front of you. The scene looks brighter and clearer, even though it is not as magnified.
Because of the lower magnification, binoculars with less than 8x power are less likely to be affected by movement.
If you intend to use them in the field, this feature can be a critical consideration. Finally, lower magnification binoculars are typically able to focus on objects that are closer by than higher-powered binoculars.
Binoculars with lower magnification deliver less detail than those with higher magnification. If you want to see tiny details, get a tripod or binoculars with image stabilization.
Higher magnification binoculars power
When you start to look at higher magnification binoculars, you will need a tripod or image stabilization. The more powerful the magnification, the worse your binoculars will shake.
You’ll need a really high-quality tripod or image stabilization (like in a camera) to reduce shaking and get a clear view.
Binoculars with more magnification are also almost always heavier. So if you plan on using them for an extended amount of time, a tripod is probably a better choice than binoculars with image stabilization.
Binoculars with higher magnification tend to be more expensive than lower-powered models. But if you don’t need high magnification, an 8x binocular is a good middle-of-the-road choice.
Binoculars are a great way to see things in the distance. They are a trade-off between magnification and weight. The more powerful they are, the heavier they will be.
But, at this level of magnification, you can get something that is not too heavy and not too light.
Objective Lens Size
The second number of the power indicates the diameter of the objective lens. The larger the lens, the bigger the binoculars. Bigger lenses usually indicate that overall size of binoculars is bigger.
The more compact your binoculars, the more weight you have to carry. However, binoculars with large lenses are not necessarily better.
It is true that binoculars with larger lenses allow more light to enter the eyepieces and offer a brighter view, but these larger lenses also make the binoculars heavier.
When it comes to night vision, you need high-quality binoculars. And you should stay away from those with small objective lenses.
If nighttime use, or brightness is important, large objective lenses will work best for you. However, large binoculars may be heavy and inconvenient for carrying around.
If you are going to use large binoculars, it is absolutely essential to have a tripod available.
The most commonly used objective lens sizes are between 35 and 50 mm.
Since the brightness of the image is affected by the magnification level (the higher magnification is darker), the objective lens sizes tend to go up as magnification increases to balance out the hard-to-see image.
When you are shopping for binoculars, make sure the objective lens (the larger of the two lenses) is at least 5 times larger than the magnification.
For example, if you have a 6×30 binocular, then the objective lens is 30mm and the magnification is 6x. Binoculars with larger objectives will provide brighter views than those with smaller objectives.