Birdwatching advice: tips on buying the best birding binocularsA pair of birding binoculars should be tried before purchase. You get what you pay for, so choose a good pair that will last you a lifetime.
Binoculars are very important to anyone who likes to watch birds. Buying binoculars can be very expensive, so you want to purchase the right ones for you. Everyone is different, and with just about anything, you get what you pay for. Don't settle for a cheaply made pair of binoculars. Save up to buy a pair that will last you a lifetime. It will be worth every penny spent. Most binoculars need to take heavy abuse. The best ones will be able to survive any kind of heavy use you can give them. The best binoculars will even withstand immersion in water. They can be dropped from a significant height and not be damaged at all. After being dropped, the best binoculars will most likely still be focused.
A custom fit will make you happiest. Try a pair before you buy them. Ask the dealer if you can take them home, and if you are not happy with them ask if it is possible to return them. If you can do that, then you have a good dealer. Try out a pair to see just how it fits in your hands. See how much power you are comfortable with and try one out in a bird watching environment. Many binoculars are very heavy, so try one that is comfortable for you.
In most binoculars, the on axis resolution or the center of the image, will be the same. But in the more expensive binoculars, the off axis resolution or the resolution at the edge of the image will differ greatly. The off axis resolution is important in any binoculars. A more expensive pair of binoculars will have better brightness, contrast, and color accuracy. Do you wear glasses? If so, you will want a good pair of binoculars that will not affect the image while looking through them with your glasses. The width of the image is important for bird watchers also. Try an inexpensive pair and compare them to a more expensive pair and you will notice the difference right away. The more expensive binoculars will excel in all these areas.
Ask yourself just what you are wanting before buying a pair of binoculars. Do you want to mount them on a tripod? Does they have a good warranty? Is the image large and does it fill your eyes? Are they made from rugged and strong material? Do they have rubber on the outside for added protection? It is a good idea to have well made binoculars that will last a long time.
Remember, when bird watching, you will be carrying the binoculars for a long period of time. Are they too heavy? Is the strap comfortable around your neck? Do they have eyecups and are they attached or removable? The ease of using binoculars is important also. Can they be focused easily and do they stay focused? Be sure there is not too much play in the focus knob, as this will make it hard to keep focused. How close can you focus? Are there any unwanted internal reflections? Is there the bright high contrast you want? Are fine details resolved?
All these questions should be answered before buying a pair of binoculars. If you cannot afford the most expensive pair or you feel like you really don't need to spend that much, then go for a medium priced pair. These will most likely be what you will be happiest with. Remember that your eyes will tell you what will be the best birding binoculars. All brands of binoculars have different styles and only you can choose what is best for you.