Binoculars F.A.Q.

What is the best magnification for birdwatching?

It really depends on a few different factors. If you are chasing smaller birds that move around a lot, an 8x magnification will give you a larger field of view (or window) to look through and make it easier to find your subject, but if you going to be looking for hawks or shorebirds with your binoculars, you may want a little more magnification. A 10x or pair of image stabilized binoculars in a higher magnification would be of benefit. One thing to keep in mind is that as you go up in magnification, your view will become darker and shakier. As a general rule of thumb, anything beyond 10x magnification, without image stabilization should be mounted on a tripod.

Are compact binoculars or full size binoculars better?

Like anything else, there isn’t a perfect binocular for every task. If you have the means to carry, transport and store a full size (42mm) pair of binoculars, they will always give you a better view than the same model in a mid-size (30mm-32mm) or compact (20mm-25mm) sizes.

There is quite a range of prices, what difference will I see if I go up or down in price?

Optics is really an area where you get what you pay for. We put a lot of time and effort to ensure that you are getting the absolute best option in whichever price point you are comfortable with, but there is a difference! As you go up or down in price point, your view will become brighter, and sharper allowing you to see more detail in different lighting conditions. As a general rule of thumb, every time you double the price, you will get a very noticeable change. A $400 binocular will be notably brighter and sharper than a $200 binocular. Not only does the optical quality improve, but build quality takes a step up as well!

What is the absolute best binocular for me?

This is a very personal choice. It will depend on what you are using them for as well as your budget. Our suggestion is to visit a store with a large selection of optics to try. Try a few options in the price range you are thinking is right for you and then stretch your budget a bit and see if the next level up is worth the difference in price. If you do not have a store like that near you, give us a call, we can help you out with some in-home trials!

Should I be looking at binoculars or a spotting scope?

Like most other decisions, it will depend on your uses and situation. If you enjoy birding, you will most likely eventually end up with both, but they each have their purpose. A pair of 8x or 10x binoculars are excellent for birding if you are trying to stay more mobile, or if you are looking at birds up close but if you are looking at shorebirds across a mudflat or ducks/gulls on the lake, a spotting scope will give you the reach you need! Most birders find that they use their binoculars far more often than their scope, so if you are new, binos are a great place to start!