Dallas, Texas

Binoculars & Optics

Birding Binoculars Get You Up-Close and Personal with Nature.

Eagle Optics Ranger 

When and Where

Choosing a binocular to buy is based on a wide variety of different things. The most important are when and where you will be using them and what you want to see. To answer these questions, you must do your homework.

"When" and "where" will determine if you need binoculars that are good at light gathering. If you will use binoculars early in the morning, late in the evening or during overcast or rainy situations, you will need a binocular that delivers more light to your eyes. If you are in the woods under a thick canopy or in the shadows, regardless of time of day, you will need a binocular that gathers and delivers as much light as possible. Conversely, if you will only use them during bright sunny days, light gathering is not as important. If you will use binoculars in the rain or snow, you must look for waterproof (not water resistant or weather proof) and fog proof binoculars that are filled with nitrogen. Water resistant or weather proof binoculars will fog internally in the rain or snow and therefore you will only see gray when you use them, at least until they're dried.

The Size of the Lens

To determine a binocular's ability to deliver light, take the objective lens size (the second of the two numbers on a binocular (e.g. 8x32) and divide it by the magnification (the first of the two numbers (e.g. 8x32). The higher the resulting number, the wider the beam of light that is delivered to your eyes. To ensure that the binocular is delivering the crispest, clearest image, select one that has fully multi-coated lenses that are at least BAK4 lens type or better. BK7 (use in cheap binoculars) is low grade glass that will deliver a low grade image.

  

Higher vs. Lower Magnification

The "what" will determine magnification, close focus and field of view. If you are looking at objects that are very far away, higher magnification may be more important but realize that higher magnification binoculars will be more difficult to hold steady and its light gathering capability will be reduced compared to a lower magnification. If you are studying birds and bugs, a binocular that focuses close (e.g. 5 feet), is very important.

The field of view is the distance from left to right that you can see when you look through a binocular. A wider field of view eases your ability to find whatever you picked up the binocular to see.  However, when all other things are equal, your field of view narrows as you increase magnification.

Lining Up With Your Eyes

Make sure that you are getting binoculars that work with your eyes. You must ensure that your eyes line up with the ocular lenses (the lenses closest to your eyes). Interpupillary distance (the distance between the centers of your pupils) must be within the interpupillary range of the binocular. If not, then do not purchase those binoculars. You can only determine this if you look through a binocular before you purchase. If you wear eyeglasses/sunglasses when using binoculars, make sure that the eye cups around the ocular lenses are down. If the eye cups are up and you are wearing eyeglasses, your eyes are too far away from the ocular lens and your field of view will narrow. If you don't wear eyeglasses, twist or move the eye cups up so that your eyes have enough room to move and your eyelashes don't get in the way. When your eyes are too close to the lens, you will see irregular shadows. When the eye cups are set correctly, you can stabilize the binoculars by "resting" them on your eyebrows or eyeglasses.

What We Can Do For You

These are a few of the aspects to keep in mind when looking for binoculars that are the correct ones for you. It is important to touch and test the binocular before you buy so visit our store in Gig Harbor and choose from a variety of Optics. We carry:

  • Vortex
  • Eagle Optics
  • Swarvoski