How to select the right binoculars

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The style and model of binoculars to buy is very much dependant on your primary application for them. The first aspect to take into account is the physical size and weight best suited to your style of activity, mobility along with transport space and weight restriction issues as there is not much point in owning binoculars which you cannot transport or easily use. Other than for general use applications each model is made to differing specifications making them better suited to particular applications than others. For example binoculars used for viewing team sports would typically have a wider field of view than those used for bird watching or for longer distance viewing. Understanding the performance aspects of each model is relatively straight forward as the specifications are usually displayed on the product in the form; 10x40 (Field7degrees) or (126m/1000m). This information denotes the size in mm of the ocular lens (the lens you look into) and the size in mm of the objective lens (the lens toward the viewing target). Next is the width of the field of view at a given distance relative to unassisted sight expressed either as a percentage or as a measured width. Other terminologies often given include coated lenses and diopter adjustment. Lens coating assists in the optical clarity by reducing internal lens refraction and eliminating certain wave lengths of light very much in the way sunglasses do for our eyes improving the image by cutting glare and haze. Binoculars without coated lenses perform much more poorly. The most common coating colours are red, green and blue with each having a differing filtering effect red coating results in a cooler more blue image. Quality coated lenses can also greatly enhance the light gathering capability of the binoculars which is important where they will be used in poorly lit situations such as thick forest for bird watching or late in the day when hunting. Dioptre adjustment refers to the ability to balance the focus of each barrel to suit the left and right eyes individually as many people have slightly different focus ability in each. So before you leap into a purchase take a minute to visualise the circumstances of how the binoculars will be used and what would be the most desirable field size and style of image you will see through them. Finally, for the best results, take care to keep your lenses clean using a high quality lens cloth (pure silk cloth has served me well) and most importantly do not store the binoculars in very hot situations as heat will cause the mounting of internal prisms to warp and distort the image.
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