Types of Binoculars and Uses / Functions

Types of Binoculars and Uses.

Whether you are an avid outdoor person, or you are just starting your outdoor recreation hobby, having a quality pair of binoculars is important. Binoculars bring people closer to nature. They have lenses that make distant objects appear closer and brighter than when observed with the naked eye. They are easy to use, reliable, and suitable for a wide range of applications.

There are many different types of binoculars and uses. Each type is suitable for specific use and choosing the best type starts with knowing what you intend to use the binoculars for. In this piece, we are going to take you through the different types of binoculars and what they are best for. Let’s take a look.

Types of Binoculars and Uses

Roof Prism Binoculars

Roof Prism Binoculars

Binoculars are available in two prism designs, roof prism or Porro prism. Modern binoculars have a roof prism design. With this design, the lenses and prisms are placed right behind each other. This makes the binoculars more compact and lightweight. The binoculars feature a streamlined, straight-tube design on the outside and more complex machination on the inside.

Roof prism binoculars produce a higher magnification strength and brighter images. Thanks to the high-light transmittance, the binoculars are ideal for hunting and birdwatching even in low light conditions.

Other than that, you bring the image into focus by moving the lenses instead of the eyepiece. Doing so makes the unit less susceptible to dirt, dust, and moisture. The main drawback of this binocular type is the high cost. Due to the complex design, they tend to cost more than their Porro prims counterparts.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Higher magnification suitable for viewing distant targets
  • Bright and clearer images
  • Less susceptible to dirt, dust, and water

Cons

  • Costlier
  • Some models have a smaller field of view

Check out: Best Roof Prism Binoculars

Porro Prism Binoculars

Porro Prism Binoculars

Porro prism binoculars are the oldest types of binoculars. With this type of binoculars, the lens and the eyepiece are not in line. All images are transported through an N-shaped bend. This makes the binoculars wider. Some of the merits of using Porro prism binoculars include a wider field of view, great 3D imaging, and more affordability compared with the roof prism binoculars.

However, this type of binocular has its demerits as well. For starters, the zigzag design makes the binoculars wider and a little more cumbersome. You also focus the image by moving the eyepiece making the optic more susceptible to dust and water.

Porro prism binoculars are suitable for all-around use. You can use them for hunting, hiking, scouting, any sporting event, and astronomy.

Pros

  • Less expensive
  • Wide field of view
  • Excellent 3D imaging
  • Suitable for multiple applications

Cons

  • Lower magnification
  • Big size and bulky

Check out: Best Porro Prism Binoculars

Night Vision Binoculars

Night Vision Binoculars

A standard pair of binoculars is going to be less useful when it comes to viewing targets at night or in low-light conditions. In this case, having a pair of night vision binoculars is important.

Night vision binoculars have electronically assisted lenses that take the little amount of light available and amplify it using a number of photon-enhancing components. This gives you better imagery when navigating targets in low-light conditions.

Night vision binoculars are used for viewing wildlife at night, nighttime surveillance, hunting, and spelunking.

Pros

  • Nighttime vision
  • Multi-purpose application

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Very fragile

Check Out : Best Night Vision Binoculars

Marine Binoculars

Marine Binoculars

Marine binoculars are specially made to be used in and around water bodies. These binoculars are fully waterproof and fog proof as well. They are equipped with a wider ocular and objective lens to provide the best views in different light conditions.

They also feature moderate magnification as too high magnification will be difficult to hold steady with the water waves. Marine binoculars also feature a wide field of view which makes them useful for use under the waves and on the land ad well.

When it comes to usage, marine binoculars are mainly used for whale watching, ship gazing, diving, snorkeling, marine operations, and many more.

Pros

  • Wide field of view
  • Waterproof and fog proof construction
  • Durable housing
  • Bright and clear views

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Easy to get lost if not equipped with a flotation strap

Check Out: Best Marine Binoculars

Opera Glasses

Opera Glasses

Opera glasses are probably the last thing that comes into mind when you think of binoculars. They have been around for years and still remain the most stylish optics around. Unlike other binoculars that are suitable for outdoor recreation use, opera glasses are primarily used for watching theater productions and during concerts, opera, and musical performances.

If you love going to musical concerts, these binoculars will help you catch all the action that musicians and actors put into their craft. Opera glasses have a smaller magnification power.

Typically, the model with the highest magnification strength has about 4x magnification. However, this is enough for its application. Besides, the low power magnification makes them easy on your eyes and reduces eye fatigue during long viewing sessions.

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Affordable
  • Low magnification strength
  • Minimal eye fatigue during long viewing sessions

Cons

  • Suitable for theater and music concerts only

 

Check out: Best Opera Glasses

Astronomy Binoculars

Astronomy Binoculars

Today, avid astronomers are switching from telescopes to binoculars for astronomy. Unlike the big and bulky telescopes that make the excursion tiring, binoculars for astronomy are compact, lightweight, and more flexible.

Binoculars for astronomy are available in different types. If you are always on the go, you should get a compact and lightweight model that lets you carry it with you wherever you go. Besides flexibility, small astronomy binoculars are relatively affordable.

You can also get a big-sized model and use it with a tripod. Such models provide a larger field of view which helps you identify different celestial objects with ease and keep track of moving meteors and comets. However, these models are more expensive and cumbersome as well.

Pros

  • More portable than telescopes
  • Available in different sizes and magnification
  • Suitable for astronomers who are always on the go

Cons

  • Expensive than standard binoculars

Check out: Best Astronomy Binoculars

Final Thoughts

Finding the best pair of binoculars is easier said than done. With the market offering a wide range of models, choosing the best pair becomes a little overwhelming. We hope that this post will help you find you find a pair that matches your needs and personality.

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