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What to look for when buying binoculars

So you’re on the lookout for a pair of optics, whether this is your first pair or perhaps you’re looking to upgrade, whatever your situation we’ve got a pair for you

Optical equipment that enables you to magnify far away and moving objects for a better viewing experience. The magnification and objective lens diameter is what will determine the quality of the images you see. The most common magnifications is 8 or 10, and the larger the diameter of the objective lens, the brighter the image you see will be.

What strength do I need?

The most popular magnifications are 8x and 10x – giving enough detail whilst not magnifying shapes to an off-putting degree.

What are the best field glasses for long distance viewing?

10x is the most we would recommend for handheld viewing due to the instability of higher magnifications. For longer range viewing we would recommend a telescope on a tripod with a typical magnification of 20x+.

What should I look for in a good pair?

Glass and the coatings on the glass which improve light transmission, colour and contrast all improve with higher cost instruments. Apply any criteria you may have such as budget, size, weight, waterproofing and compare a few models to find your best fit. Delivery is free for orders over £100.

Best for birdwatching?

A magnification of 8x or 10x would be suitable for bird watching in the UK. An end lens diameter of 25, 32, 42 or 50 is typical, the bigger the end lens, the more light which is especially important at dawn or dusk.

What is the difference between 10×50 and 12×50?

The difference is magnification. The 12x will increase magnification but has the same end (or objective) lens diameter so will be slightly harder to hold still, have a narrower field of view (as increased magnification decreases the width of the view) and let less light through to the eye.

Is 10×42 better than 8×42?

They will make objects appear slightly closer and there is a trade-off in stability, field of view and brightness. In most normal light conditions this will be largely irrelevant so the main mitigation against a higher magnification will be handheld shake. Some people will find the extra magnified movements slightly off-putting.

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