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How to choose binoculars for wildlife viewing.

Consider the type of binoculars(Roof, Porro), the magnification, the construction material used, Lens coating, Objective lenses, warranty and the brand.

See: The Best Binoculars for Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing is a great way to pass time while learning something new about our natural world. Whether you plan to watch birds, zebras, or any other animal, having the right optic is important.

Because most animals prefer to be observed from a distance as they can be quite flighty when approached, it is pertinent to have the right gear so as to have a better view. This is where binoculars come in handy.

Binoculars are made to provide an upright view that is properly oriented left to right. They are more comfortable than single telescopes as they enable the use of both eyes in a natural way.

They provide depth perception and enhance visual sharpness by giving the human visual system two sets of data to process and combine.

Having a good pair of binoculars is a worthy investment as it improves your enjoyment of and engagement with the natural world significantly.

How to Choose Binoculars for Wildlife Viewing

  1. Type

Binoculars fall under two categories; Roof prism and Porro prism. Roof prism binoculars have straight tubes while Porro-prism binoculars have angled tubes.

Roof prism binoculars have a more compact design making them easier to carry around. Because of their compact and lightweight design, these binoculars are more expensive than the roof prism binoculars which are heavier.

Roof prism binoculars are more advisable to pick when choosing binoculars for wildlife viewing.

  1. Optical quality

Another important factor to put in mind is the optical quality. Binoculars with poor optics are basically useless.

When it comes to optical quality, there are two main things to look at. The first thing to look at is the glass lenses. Most standard binoculars have ED or extra-low density lenses.

This is because of chromatic aberration which is their ability to correct. It is when high-contrast images don’t appear sharp. ED glass removes chromatic aberration improving the clarity, sharpness, and brightness of your view.

The second thing to look at is the close focus. Most binoculars have a 3 to 4 meters focus which is good enough for wildlife such as birds. However, if you intend to view insects such as butterflies, you require a pair of binoculars with a close focus of about 2 meters.

  1. Magnification

High magnification offers a better close-up view compared to low magnification. Higher magnification however minimizes the field of view and makes it hard to have a sharp focus of your view. Therefore, binoculars with high magnification are not the best option for wildlife viewing.8x or 10x magnification will work perfectly.

  1. Build and durability

Binoculars are of no use if they will not serve you for some good amount of time. Most binoculars presently have rubber armor that ensures waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof capabilities. The rubber armor also provides a good solid grip.

When it comes to the build, quality binoculars have a superior optical system that helps you view wildlife and whatever else you want seamlessly. They are nonetheless able to deliver images that are sharp and clear.

So, you need binoculars with a good optical system and robust construction for wildlife viewing.

  1. Lens coating

Lens coating plays a crucial role in determining the performance of binoculars. Most binoculars have anti-reflective coated lenses which improve the appearance of the image and also enhance the viewing experience of the user.

Coated lenses permit more light into the scope ensuring images that are sharp, bright, and clear. They also minimize chromatic aberration.

Some lenses have special coatings while others have more than one layer of coatings. Lens glass with multiple coatings generally delivers sharper and brighter images unlike one with a single coating.

  1. Warranty

Make sure that you invest in a pair of binoculars with a warranty. Most quality binoculars come with a lifetime warranty. This means the binoculars can be replaced or repaired for free in case of damage or defect.

What does the objective lens do in binoculars?

The objective lens of a binocular serves to collect light thus enabling the high-resolution observation of distant objects. Each objective lens in a quality binocular is typically manufactured of two separate glass elements. The bigger the objective lens the more light collected.

Do binoculars reflect light?

The lenses in binoculars actually do the opposite which is focusing light rays from far off so you can clearly see distant objects. That means a convex lens brings distant light rays into a focus. It is also called a converging lens as it makes light rays come together.

How do binoculars work?

Binoculars are in essence two small telescopes mounted side by side. They are hinged in the center so they can be separated and closed to fit faces of different sizes. The objective lens takes in light and captures an image.

The second lens, the eyepiece lens magnifies the image so that it’s clearer for your eye. The eyepiece lens can be considered a magnifying glass, expanding the small image it picks up into a larger one for you to view.

This lens takes the image that is projected onto it by the objective lens and magnifies it.

How far can binoculars see?

This depends on the magnification power of the binoculars. Some binoculars can return images from some hundred yards away, all the way up to over 10 miles away.


The right pair of binoculars improve your wildlife viewing experience. They are a must-have tool for any wildlife viewer or enthusiast as they provide better details and bring you closer to whatever it is you are looking at.

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