An ingenious and fairly simple instrument, a binocular does so much to enhance our enjoyment of the outdoors. But, one binocular can’t be expected to fulfill every need of every user. Can it? I mean, we want our bin to give us the same performance quality when viewing feeders out our back window or spotting birds from our canoe. Lightweight enough to carry on an all-day hike, and small enough to stuff in a backpack or bring to the game or the concert. Bright enough to catch the last bird at dusk, versatile enough to bring to the Serengeti or to hand to your child in the Tetons. I often talk to customers who want a binocular that can do it all. And while there is no absolute answer, my suggestion for the most versatility is a low-powered binocular.
-Low-power bins are user-friendly. A person of almost any age can hold it steady. It’s also a great choice for viewing from watercraft, when movement from waves comes in to play.
- Low magnification affords a wide field of view (FOV), the distance you can see to the left and right in the image through the binocular. It isn’t unusual to have a FOV of over 400 ft. in a 6 or 7-power binocular. Good viewing from bleachers, theater seats, and for ease in following moving birds.
- Brightness in low light. The large exit pupil, which is determined by dividing the power (6) in to the objective lens size (32), gives the viewer every advantage for available light in low-light conditions like dawn, dusk, or under tree canopy. With an exit pupil of more than 5, the 6×32 binocular is as bright (assuming we’re comparing equal glass quality) as the 7×42, 8×42 or 10×50.
-Convenient size and weight. The models of 6×32 binoculars I’ve listed below all weigh in at under 20 oz., and are less than 5? in height and 5? in width (the porro prism Kingbird is closer to 6? wide). Still exceptionally light, relatively small, and handy as all get-out. These will take up little room in your suitcase or glove compartment, and are easy to hold up to your eyes for extended periods of time.
Vortex Viper HD 6x32 Binocular (pictured above)
Shopping for a full-size binocular but crave super-wide field of view? Two iconic high-end binoculars in this category would be the LeicaUltravid HD-PLUS 7x42 Binocular (pictured right) and the Zeiss Victory SF 8x42 Binocular. Truly amazing optics!
See what I mean? With the many roles it can fill, a bin with low (6x or 7x) magnification may be just what you need. For further assistance, chat with us at Eagle Optics. We’re always happy to help you find a binocular that’s best for you.
Eagle Optics Staff
Binoculars: Bring them. See what they bring you.