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The Backpacker » Binoculars and Spotting Scopes

Archive for the ‘Tips & How To's’ Category

Choosing the Right Binoculars and Spotting Scope

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Binoculars Picture

Choosing the right binoculars and spotting scopes is dependent on many factors, such as your primary use for the device, your desired options, and your budget.

Choosing Binoculars

Binoculars come in many different types. Specialized binoculars are available for birdwatchers, hunters, and other specific applications, such as sporting events. Discount binoculars may seem attractive, but your money will be wasted if the discount scope lacks the necessary features to inspire you to take them off the shelf and put them to use. The best binoculars for you are ones that have the features you want without adding unnecessary cost.

One very important feature to consider when choosing a pair of binoculars is weight and size. If you will be carrying your binoculars over long distances or packing a considerable amount of gear, you may want to choose compact, lightweight binoculars.

One important feature for those who wear eyeglasses is the type of eyepieces present on each model. Special eyecups are required to visualize properly with binoculars while wearing corrective lenses.

Nitrogen gas-filled binoculars keep the lenses from fogging up and are a desirable option for most. If you plan to use your binoculars to hunt at dusk or in other low-light conditions, you will need to choose a pair with wider lenses that allow in more light for better viewing conditions. Coated lenses can also improve the lighting, but add to the purchase price of the binoculars.

Most people, especially bird watchers, prefer a wider field of view. However, this requires sacrificing magnification to gain a greater visual area.

Popular Types of Binoculars

  • night vision binoculars
  • compact binoculars
  • stabilized binocularsCamo Binoculars Image
  • birding binoculars
  • waterproof binoculars
  • zoom binoculars
  • digital camera binocular
  • military binoculars
  • digital binoculars

What’s Popular in Binoculars

Some popular brands of binoculars are Zeiss Binoculars, Bushnell Binoculars, Vivitar Binoculars, Steiner Binoculars, and Nikon Binoculars. You can read binocular reviews written by actual owners online to help you decide which brand you prefer.


Choosing a Spotting Scope

Spotting scopes are used to locate and observe objects the same as binoculars, but spotting scopes are much more powerful than binoculars. They are in essence portable telescopes designed to withstand the rigors of the outdoors and frequent transportation. Scopes provide a brighter, clearer image with greater detail than what is seen through a pair of binoculars.

Spotting scopes are available with either a straight body or an angled body. The difference is often a matter of personal preference.

When choosing a spotting scope, the greatest determining factor is your budget. You may want to field test a few different types of scopes to determine the most comfortable eye relief length for you.

Magnification is varied by replacing the lenses. Most wildlife and bird watchers prefer a magnification in the 20x- 40x range.

What’s Popular in Spotting Scopes

Popular brands of scopes are Carl Zeiss Scopes, Leupold Scopes, Leica Scopes, Burris scopes, Weaver Scopes, Nikon Scopes, and Bushnell Scopes.

Spotting Scope ImageChoosing between binoculars or a spotting scopes is an individualized process. Selecting the right binoculars or spotting scope for you depends greatly on your desired use and your budget.

Purchasing the most expensive devices or whatever happens to be on clearance that week is not the best method for selecting an ocular device. Spend some time researching brands and determining a desired feature set before making your purchase.

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