Top 10 Binoculars: Reviews and Buying Guide

Every far-sighted device fights the distance and brings close objects to close up. Whether in the opera or at a sports event, on vacation or the hunt – binoculars are useful in many life situations.

At the market, you will find a wide range of binoculars and other remote viewing devices. It is therefore not so easy to decide which model best suits your needs. Correctly why we present you at gametoaid.org the most popular and thousandfold proved monocular and binoculars, inform you about the functionality and features of these devices and help to select the right binoculars or telescope.

Top 10 Binoculars

What is a pair of binoculars and what can you use it for?

Each binocular or telescope is a portable optical far-sighted device that magnifies distant objects many times and thus allows them to be observed in detail. A far-sighted device uses a carefully balanced combination of convex and concave lenses, prisms and magnifying lenses to make the picture as natural as possible. A pair of binoculars consists of two mechanically connected tubes and can, therefore, be described as a binocular, while a telescope consists of a single tube and is called a monocular.

To which group of users is a pair of binoculars or another remote viewing device aimed?

A far-sighted device is used in different areas of life. On the one hand, there are several professional groups such as foresters and fishermen, members of the Bundeswehr or the police who use binoculars for service purposes. On the other hand, a bi- or monocular also prove to be irreplaceable for leisure time. To observe animals in their natural environment, to enjoy a theatrical performance to the fullest even from a top-ranked place, or to watch an exciting football match, binoculars are just the thing.

How are binoculars constructed and how does it work?

Whether a monocular or a binocular, most far-sighted devices are similar in their construction. With the exception of theater glasses, these telephoto devices use the Kepler telescope principle and are therefore equipped with a prism. Below we explain specifically the principle of operation of a pair of binoculars since it is compared to a monocular to a complex far-sightedness device.

Within a stable and weather-resistant housing, which today is mainly made of plastic, there is a system of precisely matched optical elements. The incident light is captured by a lens, creating a mirror image of the objects in the field of view. The light is transmitted to a reversing prism or several glass prisms. The prism rotates the image from left to right and from top to bottom, bringing it into the correct position. Subsequently, the light enters the eyepieces of the remote viewing device, where several lenses or lens groups are installed. The lenses, which are concave and convex to each other, serve to enlarge the image.

The two tubes of a pair of binoculars run parallel to each other and have the same structure. A monocular understandably consists of only one tube. The inside of the tubes is filled with nitrogen (N2) on each binoculars or telescope, which are presented on gametoaid.org so that the glass does not fog up and the view always remains clear. The optical elements of a remote viewing device are at least simple, but often also multi-coated, to protect them, among other things against the unwanted reflections and light reflections.

The tubes are connected by a flexible hinge mechanism, the so-called “bridge” so the distance between the eyepieces is individually adjustable. As a rule, a focusing wheel, which serves to focus the image, is integrated into the bridge. On the eyepieces, rubberized eyecups are mounted on almost all models, which provide protection against incidental light and make the objects more recognizable. For people with low vision, most modern binoculars are equipped with a diopter compensation, which compensates for the different refractive power of the eye lenses and is individually adjustable for each eye.

What specifications are important when assessing a telephoto device and what are the characteristics of high-quality binoculars?

We take a detailed look at all aspects and factors that play a role in the search for binoculars. The following characteristics are relevant for the assessment of a remote device:

The magnification varies between 7x and 12x, depending on the model. For example, a magnification of 10x means that an object 1,000 yards away will appear to the viewer as if it were only 100 yards away. A few binoculars have an even higher magnification factor.

A magnification factor between 8 and 12 has therefore established itself as the standard, especially for mid-range binoculars.

The diameter of the lenses plays a role in image quality in that the larger the lens, the more light is captured by the binocular. Therefore, the pictures appear brighter and more contrasty. As a rule, the binoculars and telescopes with a lens size below 40 mm are not the first choices for use at dusk.

  • Reverse prisms. Each binocular, except for the simply built opera glasses, has a prism installed, the image quality depends not only on the model but also on the processing of the prism glass.

Both prisms have the same purpose – to reverse the image and put it in the right position. The Porro prism, so named after its inventor Ignazio Porro, is a system on two reverse prisms. It ensures excellent picture quality but takes up a lot of space in the case.

A roof edge prism, which owes its name to the special shape, is space-saving and is therefore installed in all binoculars of the mini and compact class. Compared to a pair of binoculars with Porro prisms, however, the pictures appear a little less sharp.

  • BaK-4 or BK-7 glass. The reversible prisms installed in a remote-vision device are manufactured either from the barium crown glass, the so-called BK-7 glass or from the boron crown glass, the BaK-4 glass. The BaK-4 prismatic glass is considered to be particularly high quality and enables sharp, bright and colorfast images.
  • Dimensions . At STERN.de we primarily introduce compact leisure binoculars.
  • Mini binoculars fit in any trouser or jacket pocket and are rarely over 10 cm long. The tubes of high-quality upper-class binoculars reach the length of 20 cm and more.
  • Subjective and real field of vision. The stronger the magnification, the narrower the field of view becomes. A  “real field of view”  is a section that can be seen in the eyepiece of binoculars. This is measured either in angular degrees or in mat 1,000 m. A real field of view of 1 ° means that only 17.5 m of terrain can be seen at a distance of 1,000 m. Most of today’s binoculars have a 5 ° to 9 ° wide field of view. Of these, the so-called “subjective or apparent field of vision” is to be distinguished: It is a perceived by the viewer’s visual angle. Depending on the model, this reaches between 35 ° and 60 °. The wider the field of view, the easier the observation.
  • Diopter compensation. To enable people with poor eyesight to use binoculars even without glasses, most of the distance-viewing devices are equipped with diopter compensation. The optics can be adjusted separately for each eye. However, usually, only one visual acuity up to +/- 3 dioptres can be sufficiently corrected.
  • Close-up limit. This number indicates how large the minimum distance to the object may be so that it still appears sharp. This specification is not given by all manufacturers and does not matter to most binoculars. It is to be observed objects in the distance and not the planting of your balcony! Only for the opera glasses, this feature is important. The close-up limit of a theater glass is on average at 2 to 3 meters, so that the spectators can even use a remote viewing device in the parquet.
  • Twilight number or twilight factor. This value depends on the lens diameter and magnification factor and is a square root of the product of these two values. The twilight number indicates from which distance the objects with binoculars or telescope are still clearly visible in the twilight.
  • For a long-term observation, just about every model from the selection on gametoaid.org can be attached to a tripod.
  • The belt mounts are also part of the standard equipment of the binoculars. On the one hand, a belt facilitates the operation, on the other hand, this equipment provides additional security.
  • A carrying case and a cleaning cloth for the lens are also included as standard in the delivery.

Models and designs – so diverse is the range of remote viewing devices

The market surprises with a wide range of high-quality remote viewing devices. At STERN.de we present the best of them and strive to cover the whole range in this category. For a better overview, the offer can be divided into several segments. On the one hand, it can be distinguished between binoculars and binoculars. Binoculars have two tubes connected by the so-called bridge, which allow stereoscopic vision and provide a three-dimensional, natural image. A monocular is a telescope in a compact design and based on the same principle of operation as a pair of binoculars.

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