How Are Binoculars Rated, Binoculars Buying Guide

how are binoculars rated

If you are relatively new to binocular optics, you need to get an understanding of the fundamentals involved. Here are the basics about binoculars explained and how are binoculars rated. When choosing a particular pair of binoculars, it’s recommended study the features of the binoculars to make useful comparisons. This will help you choose the most appropriate binoculars that is the best fit for your needs.

Binoculars Buying Guide – How Are Binoculars Rated

Whether you’re a casual user or a professional, you should try different pairs of binoculars and check their features. As a professional user, you will know the various brands and how to evaluate the quality and pick the right one.

Binocular Brands

There is a lot of popular binocular brands in the market like Swarovski, Celestron, Nokia, Vortex Wingspan, and so on. With different price tags, there is a slew of models available featuring good lens coating, durable glass type and ergonomic properties that make the binoculars lightweight, portable and functionally efficient. If you’re going to choose one of the top models from these brands, be ready to spend anything between $2000 and $3000. But anyone who has ever looked through a top of the line pair of binoculars knows the difference.

Optics makers have over the years stepped up product design and released better quality models in the market that are ergonomically friendly and functionally competent. Generally, whatever is the price range or brand, any good binoculars come equipped with a standard set of features that reflect high quality and reliability. These include lightweight, compact binoculars and completely waterproof binoculars, roof-prism design equipped with top-quality, close-focus optics technology, excellent view, eye-relief and adjustable twisting eyecups. You might have noticed that the top picks include models from some of these noteworthy brands due to their excellent specifications and brilliant features.

So, what aspects you should look for when buying binoculars. Factors like price, brand, magnification, lens diameter, close focus, and ergonomics, are important considerations as to how are binoculars rated.

You should set a budget for your purchase but avoid buying inexpensive brands. They usually do not provide top quality optics. A high price tag for any binoculars is generally a guarantee that the product is durable and functionally competent.


One very important characteristic is the magnification of the binoculars. Normally, binoculars are available in magnification options of 12x, 10x or 8x and sometimes 7x. That being said, 8x and 10x magnification is most common.  In fact, the models from top brands come equipped with great features for both types of magnification. Additionally, the most suitable magnification also depend on your specific requirements. For example, if you’re planning for long-distance observations and viewing features in more detail, then 10x is a more appropriate magnification.

Objective Lens Size & Diameter

Another important consideration when purchasing best binoculars it the Aperture, the diameter and size of your binocular’s objective lens. The diameter should essentially be 5 times the magnification for a brilliant image. The reading of the lens size is a crucial metric and a pivotal specification of bird watching binoculars. It is usually expressed in millimeters of the objective lens with measurements for the front, big and fat lens on the far side. So, a typical 7x size, 35s binocular has a lens size of 35mm, 8×42, 42mm respectively.

The reading is important because light penetrates through the lens providing a bright image, so a bigger lens will have a greater capacity for light assimilation offering a crisp image. The lens diameter directly affects the Twilight performance. If you intend viewing birds in low light conditions like thick, dark woods, in the night or at dawn then the recommended lens size is typical, 50mm for a 10x magnification and a 40mm for an 8x binocular. Avoid buying anything below that range.

Close Focus

Close focus typically relates to the shortest distance at which a binocular can sharply take a focused image of any item or object. If you need to observe insects or moving objects at a close range then this is another important feature to consider.

However, there is a trade-off.  This is because minimum close focal distance increases with higher magnification. Generally, good bird watching binoculars have a focus between 15 feet to 10 feet and depending on your preferences you may opt for, say an 8x magnification binoculars with good short-distance close focus.

Safety & Ergonomics

Top quality binoculars come equipped with safety features like eyeglass friendliness, lightweight, ease of use, focus clarity, balance, and durability. The best binoculars from popular brands will usually have these ergonomic features infused into the design to promote comfortable usage and convenience. When choosing a particular model, make sure it is compact and test it to ensure it feels good and light in your hands. Check the lens, closeness of focus and magnification comprehensively to test eye friendliness and the potential of the pair to provide eye relief. Eye relief is a vital consideration especially for users who wear eyeglasses.

Manufacturer Amenities

With the growing trend of manufacturer support for conservation programs, many makers offer a plethora of amenities and perks to improve customer loyalty. These include service warranty offers for binoculars, funding or support for nature or birding expeditions and research initiatives. It’s a good idea to choose a binocular from the top brand that gives back to the community as part of social responsibility and corporate sustainability. This also ensures your chosen product is high quality and reliable having been crafted by a reputable, socially cognizant optics maker.

So How To Choose The Best Binoculars

Picking out the best binoculars is not simple; there are a number of factors that must be considered in order to make an informed decision. If you’re going to choose a particular brand that’s popular and trending, then make sure it’s best suited to your personal preferences. With Optics, there is a wide array of features to pay heed to, including price range, the lens, optimal magnification, close focus etc. If you’re just going to purchase an expensive binocular because you like its design and fancy new features, it might not be the best deal.

You don’t have to be a professional or an expert to select the best binoculars for birding or nature observations, but at least you should understand the basics. To make this task easier, read the product descriptions and recommendations of the best binoculars.

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