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Binocular Buying Guide

It can be really confusing trying to work out what are the best binoculars for you. Here are some of the basic features to consider before buying your binoculars. If you want more information or technical details see us in store. We're happy to help!

• Their purpose.   
There are binoculars designed specifically for different uses. For example, travel, tramping or hunting, on the sea, on the land, bird-watching, sports events, or theatre just to name a few. What you will use them for will help you decide the features you need, like weight, zoom, lens size, magnification, field of view and coatings.

• Their power.
Binoculars have a pair of numbers in their name, for example 10x42. The first number (10) is the power or magnification and the second number (42) is the size of the lens in mm. In this case, the 10 means 10 times closer than seeing the subject without binoculars. The lower the magnification, the brighter the subject, and the wider the area you will see. Binoculars with higher magnification will get you closer to your subject, but will be a bit harder to keep steady. Some binoculars have a zoom feature where you can adjust the magnification to suit a number of situations.

• Their field of view (FOV).  
This is the width of the area you will see through the binoculars. If you want to watch a game or race and want to see as much action as possible, then you need a wide FOV. If you want to see small objects really close up from a distance, like for hunting or bird watching, you need a narrower FOV. A larger magnification produces a narrower FOV.

• Their weight.
Are you travelling, hunting, or cruising? Are you going to carry them in a bag or wear them all day? Weight is an important factor. A bigger lens means a heavier and bigger pair of binoculars. However, there are also tons of compact binoculars to choose from.

• Their water resistance.  
Will you view from a deck, or on a boat, walk on the beach, or kayak? Water proof binoculars are more expensive than water resistant pairs, but if you are going to used them where they will be in contact with water, go with waterproof!

• Their durability.   
For climbing, hiking, kayaking or other rugged activities, look for a pair with protective armour. This doesn't necessarily mean they will be bigger, but they might be slightly heavier than a pair without extra protection.

• Their coatings.
Coated lenses increase the amount of light getting to your eyes. More light means more contrast. Multi-coated or fully multi-coated lenses are the better choices. They give the best light transmission for brighter viewing.

• Your eyes.  
Do you wear glasses? Try using the binoculars with and without your glasses. Some binoculars are more comfortable than others to use with glasses. Some can replace the need for glasses depending on the user. 

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