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Binocular Guide 2 – How, Where, Who

The OneCall Binocular Selection Guide

How will the binoculars be used?

How will the binoculars be used?

Let's say you have season tickets to your favorite football team, and you want binoculars to get closer to the action. Higher magnification will bring the action of the game closer to you, but will also narrow the field of view (how much of the total scene you can take in). You may want to keep the magnification a bit low and make sure your binoculars have a wide objective lens so you don't miss any of the action.

A smaller objective lens often means smaller binoculars, with compact models featuring 20–30mm diameters. These models will fit comfortable in a pocket, purse or backpack. At the football games, you can expect to be holding the binoculars for a few hours, so a lightweight model would be best. By contrast, if you're a stargazer, you can utilize a tripod to hold your binoculars, so weight is less of a concern.

Where will the binoculars be used?

Where will the binoculars be used?

But maybe you prefer to spend your weekends in nature, as far from the gridiron as possible. If you're a deep–woods hiker, you'll want binoculars with larger objective lenses for better low–light performance. If your ultimate destination is mountain peaks or open fields, you'll want binoculars with a wide field of view so you can enjoy as much scenery as possible. In both cases, you'll want to make sure your binoculars are compact, waterproof and protected from scratches and minor shocks by a rubber armor coating.

Who will be using the binoculars?

Who will be using the binoculars?

You don't want any strain when you hold your binoculars, so you'll need to be comfortable with how the binoculars feel in your hands. Are they too big? Too small? Will they make your hands cramp up after a few hours. Also, be sure the binoculars don't weigh too much for you. Remember, you will be holding them up to your eyes for extended periods of time. Tired, shaky arms will certainly ruin your viewing experience.

If the binoculars are going to be shared by two or more users, determine if one person will be the main user and ensure the binoculars meet that user's individual needs. If the binoculars will be shared equally, be certain they will accommodate the needs of all users. This is especially important if one of the users wears eyeglasses. Eyeglass wearers will require a model with a long eye relief (12–20mm).

When purchasing binoculars for children, you should keep in mind three unique needs for these smaller viewers.

  • Do the binoculars comfortably fit in the child's hands?
  • Can the child easily reach the focus knob while holding the binoculars?
  • Do the binoculars fold in close enough so the eyepieces match up to the child's eyes?