If you are viewing scenery or spotting subjects from a longer distance, typically over 2 Km, then high powered binoculars are a great choice. More magnification means that you will be able to see further and in more detail. The following guide explains how to choose binoculars for very long distance viewing. We also cover the features to look for when buying high magnification binoculars and the best models around for every budget.
How to Identify Binoculars Power?
Binoculars are always represented by two numbers. For example 10×50. The first number being their power (or magnification) and the second being the diameter of their lenses. Generally, binoculars power will range between 6x to 20x. If you are spotting a very distant object across your land or a sailing boat 3 Km from shore then you should opt for 12x to 20x binoculars.
Are High Powered Binoculars the Right Choice?
It is very important to know that high powered binoculars can be difficult to stabilise handheld. This is because every shake of your hands is also magnified as much as the image is. This can lead to a shaky image and is a common issue with using powerful binoculars. Most people can still use up to 20x binoculars to quickly see something in the distance.
If you are viewing for longer periods of time it is recommended that you support your binoculars on a table, stand or tripod. This will eliminate the shakiness of the image. Or otherwise choose other binoculars with lower magnification.
Do I Need a Tripod for High Powered Binoculars?
Not necessarily. If you just need to “quickly see something” then you’ll probably be perfectly fine without one. You can also try leaning your elbows on a table, stand, veranda or other platform to support your arms while using your binoculars. If you are often using binoculars from a fixed location or for longer periods of time then a tripod is still recommended. The good news is that nearly any tripod will do.
We usually recommend that you first purchase the binoculars and then visit your local camera shop to pick out a tripod for them (if you feel it’s needed). We also offer some heavier duty tripods specifically built for binoculars and spotting scopes. These are designed for carrying heavier weight so are more expensive than your standard camera tripod.
What is the Best Lens Size and Weight?
Bigger lenses in binoculars make your image brighter and allow for a wider field of view. High magnification models are usually full sized binoculars with lenses of 50mm to 56mm. These are still very easy to hold, stabilise and carry but are definitely not compact. They will weigh anywhere between 700g to 1.5 Kg. Astronomy binoculars will have even larger lenses, 60mm to 80mm, and can be even heavier than that.
Which Brand Should I Get?
There are plenty of good optic brands out there. Each brand has various binocular model lines depending on optical quality. From entry level binoculars to high end professional ones. With optics you really get what you pay for! Some reputable brands to look at are Nikon, Fujinon (FujiFilm), Bushnell, Bresser, Celestron, Vortex and Zeiss. These all offer excellent binoculars for every type of user. Prices range between $200 to $1,000 for a good pair of high powered binoculars.
Our Top 3 High Powered Binoculars for 2017
** Note: All 3 binoculars recommended below are suitable for eyeglasses users **