WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - LIVING TECH -

1

MAG­NI­FI­CA­TION

The mag­ni­fi­ca­tion of a binoc­u­lar is the num­ber that is writ­ten with the x. So if the binoc­u­lar says 10x, it means it mag­ni­fies the sub­ject ten times. For in­stance, a bird 1,000 me­tres away will ap­pear as if it was at a dis­tanc e100 me­tres away as see with the naked eyes. The best mag­ni­fi­ca­tions for reg­u­lar use are be­tween 7x and 12x, any­thing be­yond and it will be tough to man­age with­out a tri­pod.

2

OB­JEC­TIVE LENS DI­AM­E­TER

The ob­jec­tive lens is the one op­po­site the eye piece. The size of this lens is cru­cial be­cause it de­ter­mines the amount of light that en­ters the binoc­u­lars. So for low light con­di­tions, you get bet­ter im­ages if you have a big­ger di­am­e­ter ob­jec­tive lens. The lens size in mm comes af­ter the x. A ra­tio of 5 in re­la­tion to the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion is ideal. Be­tween an 8x25 and 8x40 lenses, the lat­ter cre­ates a brighter and bet­ter im­age with its big­ger di­am­e­ter.

3

LENS QUAL­ITY, COAT­ING

The lens coat­ing is im­por­tant be­cause it re­duces the amount of light re­flected and al­lows the max­i­mum amount of light to en­ter. The qual­ity of the lens, mean­while, en­sures the im­age is aber­ra­tion free and has bet­ter con­trast. The best lenses work bet­ter in low light con­di­tions as they trans­mit more light. They also en­sure that the colours are not washed out or dis­torted. Users with spec­ta­cles should look for a high eye point.

4

FIELD OF VIEW/ EXIT PUPIL

FoW refers to the di­am­e­ter of the area seen through the glasses and is ex­pressed in de­grees. The larger the field of view the larger the area you can see. Exit pupil, mean­while, is the im­age formed on the eye­piece for your pupil to see. Lens di­am­e­ter di­vided by mag­ni­fi­ca­tion gives you the exit pupil. An exit pupil of 7mm gives max­i­mum light to the di­lated eye and is ideal for use in twi­light and dark con­di­tions.

5

WEIGHT & EYE STRAIN

One should con­sider the weight of a binoc­u­lar be­fore buy­ing it. Con­sider if us­ing the binoc­u­lars for a pro­longed time tires you. Sim­i­larly, use a binoc­u­lar and see if it is tax­ing on your eye. While it is dif­fi­cult to use reg­u­lar binoc­u­lars for more than a few min­utes at a time, the high-end ones hardly cause any eye strain and can be used for long hours at a stretch if needed.

6

WA­TER­PROOF­ING

Since binoc­u­lars are an es­sen­tially out­door prod­ucts, it is im­por­tant that they have some de­gree of wa­ter­proof­ing—this is usu­ally denoted as “WP”. While reg­u­lar mod­els can stay un­der lim­ited amounts of wa­ter for a few min­utes, the high-end mod­els are left un­dam­aged even af­ter a cou­ple of hours sub­merged in wa­ter.

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