Thursday, January 20, 2011

How much magnification do I need?

First, it's good to think about the ways in which you'll be using your binoculars. Do you need more detail at theater and sporting events, birdwatching, wildlife viewing, or hunting? Will you use your binoculars to view things close up or far away? Will you be able to prop your arms on something for support while using your binocular? Do you want a small binocular that you can take anywhere?

The most popular binoculars are those with lower magnifications, such as 6x-8x. These binoculars have wider fields of view and are easier to hold steady than binoculars with high magnifications. A wide field of view is important when trying to follow fast-moving action like game on the move, warblers on the wing, or athletes at a fast-paced sporting event.

High magnifications (10x-12x) will give you more detail, but are more difficult to hold steady than low magnifications. Binoculars with higher magnification also have narrower fields of view. While many people choose to use 10x binoculars, they are generally prioritizing image size and detail.

Note: The diameter of the objective lens is directly related to the size of the binocular -- the larger the objective lens, the larger (and relatively brighter) the binocular.
For a greater understanding of this, see our short video, "Understanding Magnification."

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