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All About Binoculars

The great thing about binoculars is that they are light and portable, have a wide field of view and what you see is the right way up (unlike some telescopes that show the object upside down). It can be more comfortable for people using two eyes to see with binoculars rather than one eye with a spotting scope or telescope.

There are two important numbers shown with each pair of binoculars. For example, 8x42 or 15x70. The first number refers to the magnification and the second number is the size of the front lenses in millimetres. So using the example above, the binoculars would be 8x magnification and 15x magnification whilst having a 42mm and 70mm lenses at the front of the binoculars. 

If using the binoculars by hand, up to around 10x magnification works well. Consider using a tripod for higher magnifications to add stability and increase accuracy.

Roof and Porro are the two types of binoculars. This specifies the arrangement of prisms that direct the light and make the image the right way up. Roof-prism models have straight barrels and tend to be more compact (ideal for bird watching and taking on walks etc) whereas Porro-prism binoculars are usually bigger and heavier but produce brighter images - this makes Porro attractive for Stargazing.

Binoculars made with higher quality lenses are made from barium crown glass (BaK-4) instead of borosilicate glass (BK7). Another premium feature available is a special coating on the prism that helps transfer light and give us a brighter image with more contrast.

Using binoculars is simply wonderful. Wide-field observation such as passing comets and its tail, vast nebulae or star clusters. You can see the craters on the Moon in detail as well as tracking the four Galilean moons of Jupiter.