Binoculars

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Choose the right binoculars!

Whether for hiking, birdwatching, boating, astronomy or even enjoying a show at the opera, many leisure activities can benefit from the use of quality binoculars. When looking for a pair of binoculars, it's essential to consider two important criteria: mechanical strength and optical quality. However, there are other aspects to consider when making the right choice. Here are a few explanations to help you find your way around.

Lens specifications

Each pair of binoculars is characterized by two numbers, such as 8x32, 10x42, etc. The first number represents the magnification. The first number represents the magnification. For example, with a pair of 8x32 binoculars, the subject appears 8 times larger than without binoculars. Magnifications below 5x are not very relevant outdoors, while those above 10x are more sensitive to shaking and require a stable support. The second number indicates the lens diameter in millimetres. The larger the diameter, the more light the binoculars capture, resulting in a sharper image. However, it's important to bear in mind that wider lenses make binoculars bulkier. For daylight use, a diameter of 32 or 42 mm is generally sufficient. These two figures are used to calculate the diameter of the exit pupil circle, which is obtained by dividing the diameter by the objective magnification (e.g. 32/8 = 4 mm). Ideally, the diameter of the exit pupil circle should be larger than the pupil size of your eye.

Every pair of binoculars has its own practice

When choosing a pair of binoculars, the first question to ask yourself is what you intend to use them for. If you're a hiker or traveler, it's advisable to opt for versatile binoculars such as 8x32 or 10x42 models. These binoculars should be lightweight, waterproof and durable, with a rubber coating that makes them more robust against shocks. For birdwatchers or those seeking greater precision, a magnification of 10x to 12x is preferable.

In this case, stability is paramount and the use of a tripod may be necessary. On the other hand, if you intend to use the binoculars in a theater or stadium, compact models such as 8x24 will be more practical. It's important to consider the purchase of binoculars as an investment, as inexpensive models are generally aimed at children and don 't guarantee optimum quality.

For those who wear glasses

If you wear glasses, you can use binoculars without having to remove them. In this case, it's advisable to choose a model with retractable eyecups to facilitate observation. Another option is to adjust the binoculars to correct your visual defect, enabling you to use them without glasses. To make this adjustment, follow these steps: close your right eye and use the central focusing wheel to obtain a sharp image in your left eye. Then use the adjustable eyepiece (usually located on the right) to compensate for any difference in visual quality between your two eyes.

It's important to note that autofocus binoculars don't correct visual defects, so it's advisable to use them with your glasses if you wear them.
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