How to Evaluate Binoculars Quality?
If you are planning to buy a pair of binoculars, you first need to set some criteria that will help you choose the right one from a great variety of models available in the market. To get started, you can simply begin with the size and magnification, the area of application, the price, etc., of the binoculars.
And then narrow down the selection by comparing the quality, performance, ease of use, etc. Now, when you know what you are looking for, it will be easier to evaluate the quality of the product you will invest in. Let’s get started!
How to Evaluate Binoculars Quality?
Some basic requirements are there that you need to fulfill when it comes to evaluating the quality of the binoculars. Here are some most crucial things you need to consider when evaluating the quality of binoculars.
In most cases, the magnification ranges between 8 and 10 is common, although you will find binoculars with lower or higher magnifications. This is because the eight power binoculars give you a wider field of view while, at the same time, the ten power binoculars give you a closer, more detailed view of objects.
However, it might seem that the more the magnification, the better the view is. But that’s not always the case to be very practical.
For example, if you are on a boat or a moving platform, binoculars with more magnification will make steady view difficult.
Field of View:
The magnification power directly affects your field of view. Lower magnification gives a wider field of view, but higher magnification narrows it. So if you have a pair of binoculars with higher magnification power, you will get a narrower field of view.
As a result, it will be harder to locate moving objects like flying birds or small objects like little birds. Besides, it weighs more. At the same time, the smaller field of view makes images a little bit darker than the actual object.
Lenses are the most essential while choosing binoculars. Binoculars with larger objective lenses have a wider field of view which is very common for bird watching.
In addition, they gather more light that helps to work in low light activities. On the contrary, if you are someone interested in astronomy, you can get objective lenses of 70mm. It gives you the lowest magnification to see large but dim objects that are far away, e.g., galaxies.
In general, standard-size binoculars have objective lens diameters larger than 30mm, while compact ones have lens diameters smaller than 30mm.
As mentioned earlier, binoculars with higher magnification and large lens weigh more than standard-sized binoculars. While long-distance traveling, you may want to settle for less powerful but light-weighted binoculars.
However, if you must carry your weighty pair of binoculars, you can opt for a tripod that can hold it on long journeys. But if you are traveling nearby and won’t hold the piece for a longer time, you can go with a weighty one if needs be.
The optical axes of the binocular barrels need to be adjusted to each other for a fatigue-free vision. The projected images may seem hazy if the axes are not aligned properly.
Again, if there is a slight miss-collimation, the brain may adjust it, but you will get a terrible headache later, and your whole experience will be very tiring.
If you find double images or double contours, you can say the axes are not collimated and need to be adjusted.
Eye relief is essential if you are someone dependent on eyeglasses and need to use your glasses while using the binoculars. This is because the eyeglasses set the eyes a bit further away from the eyepiece.
So, the eye relief needs to be longer than the eyeglasses. The ideal dimension of eye relief is generally 16mm so that there is no damage to the field of vision.
You will get proper eye relief even in a budget friendly binocular if you choose wisely.
Chromatic aberration also known as the appearance of color defects. For example, you may often see red, green, blue, and yellow color fringes in light-dark transitions at very high contrast.
It is an effect of optical lenses and arises when different lights of different wavelengths are refracted to different degrees.
High-quality binoculars are free from this color fringing. You will also find some pocket-friendly binoculars that offer fringe-free images.
Change in the imaging scale occurs because of distortion. It is a geometrical aberration of optical systems. This change in the imaging scale relies on the various magnification between the edge area and the center of the view field.
Every lens has the property of distorting the enlarged images. The amplification in the center of the image differs from the image of the edge area. This effect depends on optical laws. High-end binoculars are free from these problems.
If you’re a travel freak who wants to explore nature even when it rains, a pair of water-resistant binoculars will be the best choice for you.
Adding to that, if you are planning to take them along with you on whitewater rafting or skiing, opt for a waterproof binocular instead. Notably, these binoculars are slightly on the expensive side.
To talk about this part, it is true that the higher the price of binoculars, the better the quality is. They have better image quality, are more durable, more comfortable but sometimes weighty.
Additionally, there are also a variety of cheaper binoculars that offer many conveniences and are adequately durable. They also have a good image quality. You just have to choose one according to your budget and specifications.
Now, when we are about to wrap up the post, we expect that you have come to know how to evaluate the quality of binoculars. Still, these discussions cannot replace the final assessment.
First, you have to buy your pair of binoculars considering the metrics above, then experience it yourself. So, don’t hesitate too much to take the binocular with you into the field and try it out.
You will only be able to evaluate after using it under actual conditions. So take a deep breath, pick the one you need, and set out to explore the world around you.