The Basics of Binoculars

Also called field glasses, binoculars are like a couple of telescopes put together and pointed at a similar area. Unlike a monocular, it is easier to perceive depth thanks to the two lenses of binoculars. Binoculars are not exactly a new invention since man has been using it for the past couple of centuries. When the telescope was invented, people began to look through telescopes mounted side by side.

In the 18th century a prism kind of binoculars came out, enabling greater perception as the eyepieces were spaced wider. Porro prisms are the most inexpensive types, allowing bright images. These are also precise instruments, since the binoculars are wider, although they also need to be re-aligned. The roof prism binocular, on the other hand, is an expensive type.

It is smaller and narrower, although it losses some of the brightness. However there is no need to realign the binoculars. Optical coating is used for this type of binoculars. This is a great feature among binoculars, as optical coating helps in creating a brighter image through the reduction in the amount of light reflected. Images are often seen hazy when there is reflected light inside binoculars. There are also other types of binoculars like general binoculars, which are focused through movement of a round wheel, which in turn focuses both telescopes.

More advanced types make use of independent focus; meaning one has to adjust both sides separately. There are binoculars, which make use of image stabilization technology preventing sudden movement. The binoculars can be turned off or on by the user.

High-powered binoculars are also handheld, although the image quality leaves a lot to be desired. The prices are also steep. In most tourist destinations, binoculars appear in coin-operated machines allowing tourists a more detailed sight of the tourist attractions. Most of these coin-operated binoculars are placed on a pedestal, and they are normally high powered.

Binoculars are also used by military personnel. Military binoculars are hand held, with a magnification of at least 5 to 7 times of the image. The typical military binocular is far tougher and rugged compared to other binoculars.

They also boast of other features like the capability to work even when wet and capability of blocking out laser beams Those who are interested in viewing stars and planets would need an astronomical binocular. Pluto, Uranus, and Eris can be viewed using astronomical binoculars.

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The Author runs a weekly column about Binoculars with Cameras.

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