10 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Choosing Binoculars

Binoculars are a compact and excellent device to watch natural views so closely without disturbing the balance and harmony among the birds, animals, and other elements. Binoculars are a useful tool to enjoy sports and concerts and use during hiking or fishing to get detailed and clear views of distant objects. Choosing the right binocular isn’t much easier or rocket science either. If you keep some basic factors in your mind, you can pick the appropriate one for you. If you are a newbie in the binoculars world, there is a high chance of making several mistakes. Here we have summed up the major 10 mistakes you should avoid when choosing binoculars:

10 Mistakes you should avoid when choosing binoculars

In this section, we are going to discuss the 10 mistakes that are usually made by beginner binocular users as well as the solution to how to avoid these mistakes.

Mistake #1 – Picking highly magnified binoculars

The aim of using a binocular is to see distant objects closely and largely. For this reason, our idea of more magnification power is a good choice for us. That will magnify the targeted objects and we can see all details of the objects. The magnification power is related to several factors during watching any objects like the field of view, stability, image quality, etc. Perhaps you may wonder, if highly magnified binoculars have some drawbacks that will hamper the vision properly such as –

Narrow field of view

Highly magnified means the objects come closer in front of your eyes on a larger scale. But it will reduce the field of view. As a result, you will face difficulty seeing your preferable areas. For small objects, (birds) highly magnified binoculars are okay, but for hiking, sightseeing, and wildlife viewing, too much magnification will make the field of view narrow.

Low image quality

Higher magnifications sometimes make the image quality lower. Because of the high magnification, thicker glasses need to be used. For this reason, enough light can’t pass through it and resulting in low-quality and dim images.

Image Shake

High magnification also may cause image shake. That will disturb your watching period as well as you won’t get your desired images.

Bulky Size

Usually, binoculars with 15x power and 60,70, and 100mm aperture are considered highly powerful. These binoculars are bulky for the bigger objective lens and thicker glasses.

Our verdict

Avoid buying too many powerful binoculars. Go for the binoculars with 8x to 10x magnification power. They are capable of magnifying any distant objects. They are compact and easier to carry anywhere. You will get a wider field of view that can cover large areas at a time. The maximum light transmission will happen so you will get high-quality and shake-free images every time.

Mistake #2 – Choosing zoom binoculars

Many of us decide to buy zoom binoculars thinking they have powerful magnification. At the same time thinking of getting a zoom-in or zoom-out facility in one binocular. That is a great mistake too. Generally, telescopes are capable of adjusting the magnification to zoom in and zoom out. But there are technical difficulties with the binoculars. Because two separated telescopes are assembled where each of them can produce bright and detailed images. For 2 lenses it will be complicated to perform zooming activities. The lens can’t synchronize properly when you choose the zoom binocular. Thus zoom binoculars produce low-quality, less sharp images.

Our verdict

Zoom binoculars are two types. One is manufactured by brand companies, the other is manufactured by unauthorized companies. For the technical complexities, we strongly recommend avoiding the zoom binoculars of the second group. They will form poor images as well as you will face trouble during adjusting the magnification. And it ends up with lots of disappointment. If you want to buy zoom binoculars, go for the first group. Here you need to spend more money as well. Above all, we forbid you to buy any zoom binoculars.

Mistake #3 –  Selecting binoculars with a digital camera

It seems very impressive when a binocular comes with a digital camera. It allows you to see objects closely as well as take photos and record videos at the same time. And we made mistakes at this point also by picking a binocular with a digital camera. But most of the models come with cheap manufacturing materials concentrated on the digital camera. The magnification, objective lens, and prims are not up to the mark if you don’t choose high-end binoculars. Therefore, you will get poor performance in magnification and low-resolution images.

Most of the time, you’ll get more value by buying powerful cameras with a zoom lens. An alternative is to get binoculars that come with adapters allowing you to attach your camera to the tool. Some models are more convenient since they let you do the same function with your smartphone.

Our verdict

Avoid binoculars with digital cameras unless you have a huge budget for buying expensive binoculars. The alternative way is to choose the binoculars which have a universal smartphone adapter. As a result, you can place your phone with it and take photos and record videos of the magnified objects easily. This extra feature won’t cut the manufacturing cost much more, so the brand can maintain the standard and provide quality products to you.

Mistake #4 – Choosing binoculars without rubber eyecups

Whether you are a glass wearer or not, choosing the binocular without rubber eyecups is another major mistake. If the eyecups don’t have rubber armor, it’s difficult to adjust for glass wearers. You won’t get clear and bright images in the absence of a rubber layer. The absence of a rubber layer may cause eye fatigue. For eyeglass wearers, the eye relief distance should be greater than 15mm whereas non-wearers can adjust the range between 5 mm to 23mm in normal daylight. The rubber armor of the eyecups makes the balance when you wear eyeglasses. So picking without a rubber layer will be a problem for the glass wearers.

Our Verdict

Glassware also can use the same binoculars if you choose it with rubber eyecups. Also, the viewing experience should be smooth and comfortable. Make sure the binocular comes with more than 15mm eye relief distance to avoid eye fatigue. Choosing a pair with rubber eyecups is a wise decision. It can be twisted up and down so you can easily adjust with your eyes. The images will be brighter because maximum light can enter into the ocular lens, especially for the glass wearers.

Mistake #5 – Not buying weather-sealed binoculars

Sometimes we forget to consider whether the binocular pair is water, fog, heat, and dustproof or not. Many of us aren’t even concerned about these conditions. But it’s an extensive mistake if you ever make it. Most of the time, you use binoculars for outdoor activities like hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, sports, watching concerts, and so on. What will you do during rainfall or foggy weather? Your favorite binocular pair will be damaged for producing algae and fungi due to water leakage. A similar situation happens for fog and moisture as well. Direct heat also causes damage to the binoculars. Also not buying dirt cleaning technology and clothes is also a mistake. The lifespan will be reduced and the durability will be decreased.

Our verdict

Always choose water-resistant and fog-proof binoculars. Make sure the binoculars are O-sealed. As a result, it can withstand water, fog, moisture, and dirt. The binoculars should be argon purged or nitrogen purged to be water and fog-proof. They can absorb the water particles thus you can use them in wet conditions as well. The grip should be anti-slip in water conduction. Again, the lens should be UV protected. That will protect the binoculars from direct heat. Check the package contains the carrying bag and lens cleaning cloths as well. So you can keep the Binocular pair dirt free after every use.

Mistake #6 – Not buying fully multi-coated lenses

Binoculars are designed with several numbers of lenses inside. Many of us are not aware of the lens and its coatings. It’s a common mistake when buying binoculars. The overall performance and image-producing quality will affect the coating of the lens. Without coating, each lens loses up to 5% light when you use it. You won’t be able to see clear images in low light conditions due to the loss. In this case, the fully multi-coated lens will work well reducing around 10% loss of light and rendering clear and bright images. Choosing without coating binoculars isn’t a wise decision anymore.

Our Verdict

You should avoid choosing binoculars without lens coating. Make sure the selected pair is engineered with a fully multi-coated lens. The FMC lens is the best for light transmission. It will produce sharp and contrast images of distant objects maximizing the light transmission up to 95%. In addition, it helps to reduce the glare, halos, and reflection of light. It will be helpful during nighttime driving as well. You should avoid tinted coatings as they cause damage to both lens and image quality. Always go for binoculars with a fully multi-coated lens. That will enhance the performance as well as prolong the lifespan.

Mistake #7 – Picking binoculars with the wrong prism type

Binoculars are designed with 2 types of prisms – Roof prism and Porro prism. You should have enough knowledge about these types. Most of us buy binoculars without knowing the prism types. As a result, we have faced several problems like it won’t match with their purposes, does not focus properly, poor image quality, bulkiness, and so on. Generally, the prism maintains the focus on the targeted objects. Binoculars with Porro prism are quite bulkier and they can’t work well for close objects. Usually, Porro prism binoculars won’t perform well within 20 meters. It is a better option for long-distance objects. On the other hand, roof prism binoculars are compact and lightweight. You can see at almost any distance focusing on the targeted objects.

Our verdict

You must be concerned about the prism type of your selected binoculars. If you go for a long hike or rough trails, roof prism binoculars will be best for you. For close objects, you can easily focus on long-distance objects. So it’s suitable for hiking, fishing, bird watching, wildlife viewing, sports, and any other activities. If you want higher performance focus on long distant objects and the weight won’t bother you, you can go for Porro prism binoculars. The zig-zag pattern can gather maximum light to produce detailed and clear images of long-distance objects.

Mistake #8 – Choosing without knowing the exit pupil value

The exit pupil value of the binoculars affects the viewing experience the most. Choosing a binocular with a lower exit pupil value isn’t the right choice. The exit pupil distance is related to the magnification and aperture values. You can easily calculate the exit pupil value by dividing the diameter of the objective lens by the magnification value. For example, if you choose a 10 x 35 binocular, the exit pupil value will be 3.5mm. If you choose 10x50mm, the value will be 5.0. Now the question is which value is decent for a smooth viewing experience without eye fatigue? Research says that more than 4mm exit pupil value can provide a smooth viewing experience.

Our verdict

Before deciding to purchase a binocular, look at the specification. If the exit pupil value isn’t mentioned. You can simply calculate it by the method. Make sure the value of exit pupil value is not less than 4 mm considering other necessary factors.

Mistake #9 – Not looking at customer reviews for binoculars

Some of us select binoculars just to see the specifications and features. But user experience is as important as features. Buying binoculars without observing the customer’s review is one of the measurable mistakes. In online shops, there is a review section that is open to customers. In this section, people share their experiences with the product and the services provided by the seller. The product, sellers’ behaviors are also important. A good salesperson will cooperate to find the best one as well as provide services when required. Buying a binocular knowing the opinions of others will help to choose the appropriate one.

Our verdict

Before buying, we recommend checking the customer review section. You should look at where massive customers write their opinions and give their ratings for the corresponding product. You should read their experiences about what are the positive sides and the drawbacks. As a result, you can easily decide whether it is a good deal for you or not. You can ask questions in the forum. Associate members will answer you truly. There are so many websites like ours, where you will get the actual reviews about a product. Before buying a binocular, check the customer’s review and ratings. If most of the customers are satisfied and give 5 stars then you can go for this pair without any doubt.

Mistake #10 –  Prefer cheap binoculars

Sometimes we make a contradiction between cheap and low-cost products. Low-cost products don’t mean their quality is cheap. Similarly, high-budget binoculars do not perform outstandingly all that time. So choosing a cheap binocular is a great mistake. The cheap binoculars are manufactured with normal materials, poor quality prisms, lenses without coating, lower magnification, small eye relief, exit pupil distance, no rubber armor, no water resistance, and so on. Some unauthorized brands advertise so many features at less prices. These will not produce good-quality images for sure. For extra features and quality, you must pay more money. Make sure the binoculars you choose to invest money in, that value your money proves the right manufacturing elements according to the price range.

Our verdict

There are so many varieties in the price range of various types of binoculars. If your budget is tight, we recommend choosing affordable binocular pairs which perform well. You will get excellent performance even under $50 if you can choose carefully. To ensure, you can follow the costumes review, specifications, and features. Make sure the selected pair is designed to fulfilling the basic requirements of binoculars. Thus there is no chance to deceive but rather get the right services and performance as per your spending money for the particular binoculars.

Wrapping it up

Here we tried to sum up the mistakes that you should avoid strictly while buying binoculars. These mistakes are very familiar and if you are not concerned about them earlier, you can get the best pair for you. If you look for either hiking, birding, wildlife viewing, or sports whatever the purposes are, you should avoid these mistakes. Otherwise, you will fail to get high-resolution images as well as the outstanding performance of your favorite binocular pair. Hopefully, this content will help you to choose the best quality binocular circumventing the mentioned mistakes.

About James William

My name is James William, and I am a professional writer with a passion for optics. With years of experience writing about binoculars, spotting scopes, monoculars, and rifle scopes, I have developed a deep understanding of these products and their technical aspects. I pride myself on my ability to convey complex information in a clear and concise manner that is accessible to readers of all levels of experience.

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