Binocular Buying Considerations - Part 1

TMI - Too Much Information

You just pick them up and put them to your face and, there you go, that's all you need to know about binoculars - right? Well, not really. As with any kind of optic purchase these days, it's important to do your research so you buy what you need and what works for you, rather than just grabbing what's close and hoping for the best. With all of the choices, options, features, and price points out there, it's really difficult to know what to buy - and the adventure can be a bit scary. It's great to do your research, just remember that the research you find on one specific pair of binoculars may be biased by the company that is selling the binoculars you are researching. That's why it's good to get the advice of people who don't have a product agenda and will just tell you straight up what's what.

Where to Go to Clear Things Up

Some of the best ways to get good information and buying tips is to contact friends and local groups who use binoculars. If you're after hunting binoculars, have a chat with your buddy who hunts and ask him about his rifle scope or what kind of binoculars he uses. If your desire is for spotting lenses, then talk with the local birdwatching groups to see what they advise. There are also chats, forums, and discussion groups online that you can join and ask questions about the products you're interested in. Along with doing your own research, these methods of gathering information will give you a sound basis from which to make your decision.

A Few Things to Know

When it comes to looking for binoculars there are some things you'll need to know about. For instance, you need to know that the objective lens size is important because the bigger they are, the more light they take in making them better in low-light situations. On the other side of the coin, the bigger they are, the more they cost and the heavier they are in your hands. You'll need to know about coatings, too. They're used to improve the quality of the image you're looking at through the binoculars. The best quality lenses are those that are fully multi-coated, which means they are treated with coatings on all of the glass-to-air surfaces of the lenses. If you're on a budget, take note that Porro prism binoculars are good performers for less money, but they are bigger and heavier than the pricier models. They make great "first pair" binoculars. Roof prisms are smaller but they cost more. Roof prisms would be the ones you buy expecting them to last forever.

Take Your Time - It's Your Money and Your Sight

These are just a few of the things you need to know about when you're out scouting for binoculars. If you can do a lot of research, that's great and certainly highly recommended. Take all the time you need to learn about the products before you buy them and don't let a high-pressure salesperson force the issue. The fact of the matter is that higher priced items don't necessarily mean better quality. You're looking for the best fit for your individual needs - so stick to your guns.