Whether you’re hunting, bird watching or simply taking a closer look at nature, binoculars are a great tool to own. At Field & Stream, you’ll find a great selection of binos from premium brands like Barska®, Leupold®, Nikon®, Swarovski®, ZEISS® and more.
Need more than just binoculars to get the job done? Check out our entire selection of optics, where you’ll find quality scopes, rangefinders, monoculars and more.
Before you buy your next pair of binoculars, it helps to understand a few key terms:
- Power of Magnification: On the Field & Stream website, you will usually see binoculars listed with two numbers separated by an “x” (EX: 10x42). The first number refers to power, or the power of magnification. So, binoculars listed as 10x42 would magnify an image 10 times.
- Objective: The second number, or 42 from our example above (10x42), is the diameter of the objective, or front lens. The objective determines how much light enters the binoculars; the larger the objective, the brighter the image will be.
- Exit Pupil: This is also an indicator of image brightness. A larger exit pupil will result in a brighter image. It is recommended that your exit pupil be at least 4mm if you’re using your binoculars in low-light situations like dawn and dusk. To find the exit pupil, you simply divide the power by the magnification—for example, binoculars with specs of 10x42 would have an exit pupil of 4.2mm.
- Eye Relief: This is the maximum distance you can hold the binoculars away from your eyes and still see the full field of view. Longer eye relief can help reduce eye strain.
- Field of View (FOV) at 1,000 Yards: Simply put, this is the total width of the area you are able to see with the binoculars at 1,000 yards. A wider field of view makes it easier to follow action, like animals on the move.
- Prism: Your binoculars will come with one of two prism features: roof or Porro. Roof-prism binoculars typically feature a lightweight, user-friendly design. Porro-prism binoculars typically provide greater depth perception and a wider field of view, but they do tend to be a bit heavier.
For most hunting situations, you’ll want the power of magnification to be anywhere from 7x to 10x (Note: This range is also suitable for general use). However, if you’ll be doing long-range shooting (i.e. varmint hunting), go with 12x to 16x.