man with binoculars

QUICK GUIDE TO BINOCULARS

There is nothing like having a pair of binoculars on hand when you are fishing or camping. You will be surprised at how often you will use them when you have a decent pair around. Nevertheless, there are a few types of binoculars better suited for different conditions. Here I take a look at the basic types of binoculars so you make sure you get the right ones.

GENERAL USE BINOCULARS

These are generally what you need if you are camping and hiking. They might be a little more difficult to use if you are on a boat. Compact and wide angle binoculars are excellent for getting a better view when you are outdoors. They are also great to use when you are at a sporting event. Modern, compact binoculars are great for camping and getting outdoors because they are lighter to carry. The last thing you want is another heavy weight hanging off your backpack. You should be looking for something between 7-10x magnification.

BIRD WATCHING

You will need a bit more magnification if you are into watching the birds. You should be looking for something with 10-12x magnification with a 42 or 50mm objective. Wildlife watching binoculars generally have a longer eye relief (the part where you put your eyes into). You will need this to keep them steady and comfortable on your face as you peer into them for longer periods of time.

BOATING AND MARINE BINOCULARS

You can get a view from the distance without having to climb up the main mast with a decent pair of boating and marine binoculars. Binoculars best suited for marine applications don’t offer as much magnification. The best is around a maximum of 7x magnification. Any more than that is not really advised because you are only looking out to the ocean. They should have a larger objective lens, be waterproof and I highly recommend finding a pair that has solid rubber armour.

THEATRE BINOCULARS

Many very cheap, compact binoculars are actually only good for using at the theatre. Compact binoculars with a wide angle suit this purpose best. Keep this in mind when you are shopping for a pair of compact binoculars. 4×30, 5×25, 8×25 and 7×18 or 7×21 are good for using at the theatre but you might feel they are not as useful when you are out camping or hiking and want to look further out to the horizon.

 


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Martin White
martinw@dinga.com.au

Martin is huge on everything outdoors and is even bigger on driving and technology. He loves boats, new stuff and writing about it.