Angle Compensation: This feature considers the angle from the device to the target and alters the distance reading to reflect the change in distance and weight of gravity on the projectile. It rarely comes in handy for most users unless angles are quite extreme, but it can be very useful for bow hunters in high tree stands. For those that rarely need it, it may not be worth the higher price tag.
You’ll recognize zoom binoculars by their name – the magnification factor is actually two numbers, such as 8-16×42. This tells you that you can go from 8x, to 16x magnification. You will notice that none of the binoculars on our list are zoom binoculars. There’s also the fact that there aren’t many high-end options as far as zoom binoculars go, only some lower priced pairs.
Terms such as coated, multi-coated and fully multi-coated refer to the location and type of coating processes used. Coated lenses are the most basic and denote that at least one lens surface has at least one layer of coating on it. Multi-coated means that multiple surfaces are coated and/or multiple layers of coatings have been applied to each surface. Fully multi-coated means that all surfaces—inner and outer—of the lenses have multiple layers applied to them. This treatment offers the highest level of light transmission, clarity, contrast, and color rendition. At the pinnacle is broadband fully multi-coated. These coatings are engineered to be effective across a wide spectrum of wavelengths and provide the best performance.
Field of View is expressed as feet at a thousand yards. This is fine if you are in the artillery, but astronomers use degrees to define the field of view. If you see on your binoculars a field of view 316 feet at a thousand yards, it means the field of view is 316 feet from edge to edge in your binoculars. To convert this to astronomical field of view or degrees divide by 53. In this case 316 divided by 53 equals 5.96 or 6.0 degrees field of view.
Good glass is expensive, making binoculars one product where you tend to get better performance the more you pay. That isn't to say the trend is linear, however. For example, we think the Swarovski EL are the best bins you can buy, but you might have to sign away your firstborn in order to afford them. On the other hand, the Editors' Choice winning Vortex Viper gets close to the performance level of the Swarovskis, but at a fraction of the price. The Nikon Monarch 5 and Celestron Nature DX also tend to punch above their weight class, offering great values for those with $300 and $150 budgets, respectively.
The angle and distance display has the ability to be set to one of four different intensities, which can be a pretty useful feature if you intend on using the binoculars in various lighting conditions. When you have a moving target, there’s the ability for a continuous measurement, and it lasts up to 8 seconds. Accuracy of the measurement is incredible, with a very small margin of error – at 100 meters or less, it’s accurate to 0.1 meters, which is very impressive.
It is for this reason and a few others that many professional birdwatchers tend to choose binoculars with a lower magnification and a wider field of view, rather than the other way round. 8x magnification binoculars tend to be the most popular, although if you are often going to be looking at birds at far distances, water birds on a lake for example, you may also think of using 10x magnification, just keep in mind the field of view.
It has a magnification of 10×42. When combined with the lens quality, it lets you the ability to observe far and give crystal clear images of your target. It has an 18 mm eye relief. It is considered to be one of the highest which it comes to rangefinder binoculars. It results in your eye being comfortable the whole time you are staring through it. This is the rangefinder binocular you should buy if you are looking for something which is a symbol of perfection. Click here to see the best price. Click here to see the best price.
Another feature we deemed essential was proper functioning for users with glasses. Your binoculars work only when the proper distance between your eye and the binoculars’ ocular lens (the lens on the eyepiece end) is maintained. Glasses would increase that distance if you didn’t have a way to adjust the inboard or outboard position of the ocular lens. This feature is called eye relief, and the standard recommendation is that those who wear glasses need a minimum of 15 mm of adjustability. Old-fashioned eye relief meant a pair of rubber cups that rolled down to bring your glasses to the proper distance; those cups are still found on some binoculars, but we don’t recommend them, because they’ll eventually stiffen or even tear. Preferable are eyepieces that twist downward into a more compact position, a feature that all of our picks have.
We loved the eyecups on the Swarovski and Zeiss models. Both use threaded eyecups that twist in and out and have very conspicuous stopping points, so you can be sure both eye cups are set on the same depth. The Lecia bins also use threaded eyecups, but the stopping points aren't as solid, and we often had trouble getting both cups set to the same depth. This was particularly annoying when sharing the bins amongst multiple testers with different eyecup preferences, as it took much more finagling to get the eyecups to an acceptable and even setting.
"Amazing binos, i use them a lot a night an the detail that I'm able to obtain is amazing because of the individual adjustment. I also use them to look at birds and the colors and light its a another level! I added a green laser light for night use that way i can align the stars with the light and it works wonders. Save a lot of time too. They are heavy so you will need a tripod."
For the mechanics, Fujinon was the first company to have developed stabilization with high-speed gyroscopes and they brought this feature to market as the "Stabiscope" in 1980 with a 14X binocular. The design was improved and the Techno Stabi introduced in 1999 at price points that make it competitive with the Canon offerings. This stabilization approach works particularly well in adjusting for large movements, such as experienced with vessels on water, but also does admirably with smaller movements. Fujinon optics have earned their reputation for excellence and provide an above average crisp, clean, and bright viewing experience.
Athlon Optics, the company that makes our top-pick binoculars, has a new pair of 10 x 25 compact binoculars coming out. After field-testing a beta version, we found the optics and ergonomics to be top-notch, but also found issues with the hinges and rubberized armor, which Athlon tells us are being fixed prior to its release, which is set for later this spring.
Also concerning zoom binoculars stay away from them. Zoom binoculars show up in greater numbers for repairs than any other design. They were originally developed as a “gimmick” to encourage sales simulating the success of sales of zoom camera lenses.U.S. military specification design is still the best design for binoculars, although not as popular as the center focus design. If someone is advertising their binoculars as “military design binoculars, just make sure they are U.S. military design and not someone else’s military. U.S. military specification design means that each eyepiece has to be focused for each eye, that the barrels of the binocular are sealed or water proofed, and filled with nitrogen, prisms are Bak-4, and the lens are fully multi-coated.Center focus binoculars are not usually water proofed and filled with nitrogen. You achieve focus with a center focus wheel and the right eye piece for the right eye. For a good center focus binocular make sure the prisms are Bak-4 and the lens are fully multicoated.
So, you found the Andromeda galaxy (M31) with your 2-lb.,10x60 binoculars. Now you want to actually see it without all that zigzagging round, turning your stars into lightning bolts. And you also want to show it to your partner. Wouldn't it be nice to just park your binoculars in position on the sky? To do that, you need to be sure your binoculars have a screw mount point for a support system.