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Time for new binoculars — what should you be looking out for?

That special egret, that coot couple, that beautiful dragonfly. Or maybe the nesting sparrow in your back garden, the falcon in the tower, or an approaching ship. Would you like to see them up close? Then binoculars are essential! With a good pair of binoculars, your outdoor experience will become even more special. There are a few things to pay attention to, though. Because how will you know for sure which binoculars are right for you? Here is our list of some useful tips for you.

The most important binocular terms

When you delve into the world of binoculars, you'll come across a lot of terms that you may not have heard before. It's useful to know what these terms mean. For example, all binoculars have an indication such as '8x42'. This first number represents the magnification factor. In other words, with 8x42 binoculars, your subject is brought 8 times closer. The second number is the diameter of the front lens. In this example, the front lens has a diameter of 42 millimetres. The larger this number, the more light will enter the binoculars, and the brighter the image will be. Do keep in mind that binoculars with larger front lenses are generally also heavier. Want to know more about the most important binocular terms? Our 11 things you need to know about binoculars covers the most important concepts. You can find an extensive list of all terms in our binocular dictionary.

Decide what you will use the binoculars for

Taking binoculars outside with you is one thing, choosing the right binoculars is another. Start by determining what you will be using binoculars for. For example, it's important for bird watchers that their binoculars have a wide field of view, so the bird doesn't quickly disappear from the image. This is useful for anyone who wants to view moving objects or animals with their binoculars. Do you plan to take your binoculars with you often? While hiking, for instance? Then a compact pair of binoculars will be most suitable. These aren't too heavy, so you can carry them with you all day without any issues.

Waterproof binoculars aren't only useful in water sports. After all, there's always a chance of ending up in a heavy downpour. If you are viewing insects, it's important that the binoculars have a short focus distance. For a stargazer, a large exit pupil is important because this is usually done in the dark.

Do you wear glasses?

If you wear glasses, you should pay close attention to the eye relief when purchasing binoculars. This is the distance from your eye to the objective lens. If you wear glasses, choose binoculars with a minimum eye relief of 15 mm. If the distance is smaller, you won't have optimum vision through the binoculars while wearing your glasses. Many binoculars allow you to set this yourself.

Consider the magnification factor

Perhaps it seems this simple: the greater the magnification, the more you can see. Unfortunately, it works slightly differently with binoculars, because not only is the visible image enlarged, but the vibrations (which you often cause yourself) also increase. When you choose a magnification above 8, your brain is less able to compensate for the vibration in the image. So you either need a very steady hand, or a tripod. Not always handy if you want to take the binoculars into the woods.

We often get asked the question: "Which is better, 8x42 or 10x42 binoculars?" The answer to this question is not easy, as it depends a lot on your personal preferences. Binoculars with an 8x magnification provide a better overview, while binoculars with a 10x magnification zoom in further. This is an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. Want to watch a bird in flight? Then 8x binoculars are probably more suitable. With a 10x magnification, it is more important that you can keep your hands very still.

What is a good binocular brand?

In the Knivesandtools range you'll find binoculars in all shapes and sizes and from all kinds of different brands. The most famous binocular brands are Swarovski, Kahles, Steiner, Leica and Bushnell. Each and every one is a top quality brand, which is why these binoculars are in a somewhat higher price segment.

We also sell binoculars from our own brand, Eden. These are binoculars with an excellent price-quality ratio. We have listened carefully to our customers' wishes and have had the binoculars produced by a manufacturer that also produces for many other well-known binocular brands.

To explain the differences between the binoculars, we asked binocular expert Folkert de Boer to compare 6 binoculars from our most popular binocular brands. He went out into nature with these binoculars and gave them a rating on the points that are most important to him.

Buy your binoculars at Knivesandtools

These were our top tips of what you should pay attention to when purchasing binoculars. Still finding it hard to make your choice? Then have a look at all the binoculars on our website, or read our binoculars buying guide. It can also help to read binoculars reviews and/or to test the binoculars yourself. This means you can experience the dimensions, weight and configuration options yourself. At Knivesandtools we offer a 30-day reflection period, so you have ample time to try out your binoculars at home. We are also happy to show you the different models in our showroom.

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