Choosing Your Binoculars

Tips for Choosing the Right Binoculars for Youvixen.jpg

By Vixen Optics


The most important factor in choosing the right binoculars is magnification. However, it is not always true that the binoculars with high magnification are more worth than those with lower magnifications. It is the best to have binoculars with magnification up to 10x if you observe with your hands. The images seen through the binoculars with magnification higher than 10x would be affected by shaking of the hands. Also, the field of view becomes darker and narrower as the magnification becomes higher.
For fieldscopes, magnification is changed by swapping the eyepiece lens. There are also zooming types which you can vary the magnification according to the object to view. For these type, the field of view is a little darker though the object appears large when high magnification is used.
For example… <The recommended magnifications for different circumstances>

For watching fast-moving small birds on hills or a plateau.v-structure-of-binoculars.jpg
For observing a waterfowl in the tideland or seashore
You can observe by fixing binoculars on a tripod.
For trekking in a plateau or climbing mountain
For going camping by car
It can cover from nature observation to star watching.
For watching soccer, rugby, or ski competitions
The most suitable for a large track field.
For watching basketball or volleyball games
The shaking by hands is not noticeable.
For seeing a night sky casually by holding binoculars with hands
It is the appropriate magnification for seeing star clusters or nebulas or lunar craters, and it is not largely affected by shakings of the hands.
For astronomical observation
To be used With a tripod. A fieldscope is also suitable.
For concerts in a dome or any large event hall
For watching a play or an opera
A high brightness value is recommended for watching a dim stage.
Object Lens Effective Diameter

If the object lens effective diameter is large, sharp images are obtained by the high light gathering power. However, the size of the binoculars also becomes larger as the effective diameter becomes larger, and it makes it difficult to carry them around.


Actual Field of View

It is recommended that you choose the kind with a wide actual field of view if you would like to use them for bird watching or sporting events.

Photo:Popup-Type Eye Relief

Observing with the naked eye becomes easier by extending the eye cups as shown in the photo.
(Picture shows a pop-up type eye cups of Apex Pro Series)
The eye cups are not extended when looking in with eye glasses on.

Eye Relief

The longer the eye relief, the easier to view, because less stress is felt in the eye. If high-eyepoint design is employed, a sufficiently wide field of view is obtained.


Choose the kind that suits your goal and observing style by considering the carrying method and observing location.

Fixed Magnification and Zooming Type

There are eyepiece lenses for binoculars and fieldscopes with fixed magnifications like 15x and 20x and zooming types with variable magnification like 8~32x which can be controlled by a lever and etc. The zooming type allows you to change the magnification in accordance with what you are viewing and offers a broad range of uses. On the other hand, there is a disadvantage that the field of view obtained with high magnification can be narrow and dark.

Photo:Wateroof Design

The binoculars with waterproof design and fieldscopes are recommended for use in the seashore or in the environment where it is likely to get wet by the rain or snow.