Choosing Binoculars

July 11, 2016

Binoculars are a handy optical tool to have in your arsenal. While they may not be "photographic" as such, they share an optical heritage and pedigree. From compact designs to large magnification spotting scopes, there is a product for everyone. But how to choose a pair or scope that suits you? We take you through what all those numbers and acronyms mean.

As an example product, we will look at the ProMaster Infinity ELX ED 10x42 Binoculars (RRP $649, as of 24 Oct 2014).

Magnification
This is the first number listed, the "10", is the magnification. In this case, objects will be 10x as large as they appear to the naked eye.

Objective Lens
The next number, in this case the "42", is the objective lens size. This quotes the diameter of the lens. The larger the number, the bigger, brighter and more detailed the image will be. Although this is at the expense of binocular size.

ED
This designation, or similar, is seen on many high-end binoculars. This signifies the binoculars employ Extra Low Dispersion optical glass elements to correct aberrations and yield sharper images. This is the same high-quality glass used in many photographic lenses.

Other Features
Good binoculars use specially-selected BAK-4 optical prisms. ProMaster's line of binoculars (along with many others we offer) are are waterproof, fogproof and nitrogen-filled to ensure performance in all conditions.

It is also best to look for coated optics to ensure your glass stays free of dust and ensures high light transmission.

Questions? Comments
Contact us at camera@michaels.com.au or (03) 9672 2222
Quoted prices correct as of 24 October 2014. Prices are subject to change.

 

 

 

Special cutaway Leica Binoculars (see them in-store at our Leica Boutique)