Types of Binoculars

Most people are familiar with binoculars and their fundamental use. However, few people are aware of just how many binocular products there are, each of which comes with specific features that allow them to be useful in different situations. 

If you want to learn about the best types of binoculars and what makes each one unique, then you have come to the right place. This article will introduce you to a few of the top binocular products and explain the main general types of binoculars. 

Top Types of Binoculars on the Market Today

Binoculars come in many different styles and varieties, but not all products are equally worthy of your time and attention. Below is a quick list of some of the best binoculars you can own, with descriptions explaining what makes each one stand out:

  • Vortex Optics Kaibab HD 18x56 Binocular: This pair of binoculars has some of the strongest magnification capabilities you can find, allowing you to see a crystal clear image from incredible distances. By allowing you to see that vividly over extreme distances, this product is ideal for any hunter. 
  • Steiner Navigator Pro 7x50c: These binoculars are the ideal pick for boaters, fishermen, and hobbyists of all sorts. The Steiner Navigator Pro has 7X magnification and won't receive damage when you use it in watery environments. Thanks to the built-in compass, it's safe to say these binoculars can help hikers and other adventurers from getting lost as well. 
  • Athlon Optics Argos G2 UHD - 8x42: The Athlon Optics Argos pair incredible clarity with a convenient, lightweight design. These binoculars tend to be 30 to 40% lighter than competing binoculars, and their lenses can capture more than 99% of light, making for a crystal clear image. 
  • ZEISS Terra ED Binoculars 8x32: Not everyone who shops for binoculars needs a complicated product with countless features and capabilities. For those who need a pair that is compact, easy to use, and on the more affordable side, the ZEISS Terra ED Binoculars are a fantastic choice

While there are plenty of other binoculars for you to choose from, the ones in the list above are some of the best options you can choose. Each one comes with quality construction and can be the binoculars of choice for several types of users. 

General Types of Binoculars

Now that you have had an introduction to some of the top binoculars on the market today, it's time to learn about some of the general types of binoculars to help you round out your knowledge on the topic. The sections below explain three of the main general types of binoculars. 

Roof Prism Binoculars

Roof prism binoculars are among the most common types of binoculars in existence. Inside these binoculars is a relatively complicated set of features that allows for excellent magnification and an incredibly clear resultant image. 

However, while roof prism binoculars have complicated inner workings, their external appearance does not immediately indicate the level of sophistication within. Instead, roof prism binoculars have a simple appearance that is often more compact than other binocular options. 

The easiest way to identify a pair of roof prism binoculars is by looking at the position of the objective lenses and the eyepieces. In a pair of roof prism binoculars, the eyepieces will be directly behind the objective lenses. 

That simple arrangement of components results in what may be the greatest advantage of roof prism binoculars: their compactness. The compact nature of roof prism binoculars often leads to a lighter overall weight, which makes them the perfect type of binoculars to use when you are on the go. 

Porro Prism Binoculars 

Similar to roof prism binoculars, porro prism binoculars are another of the most common and popular types of binoculars on the market. However, porro prism binoculars have some distinct differences from roof prism binoculars that make for some clear advantages and disadvantages. 

The most noticeable difference between porro prism and roof prism binoculars is their construction. While roof prism binoculars have a straight-line arrangement of their lenses and eyepieces, the objective lenses of a pair of porro prism binoculars are set wider than the eye-pieces. This makes for an overall wider and larger design. 

While the construction of porro prism binoculars makes them a bit bulkier, it does have a functional use. Within the wider frame of a pair of porro prism binoculars, light travels in a zig-zag pattern that eventually creates a larger image in your field of vision. 

Porro prism binoculars tend to have a lower range than other binocular options, but they also present a wider view, create a very clear image, and are often more affordable than other binocular types. 

Galilean Binoculars

Galilean binoculars are not as commonly used today as the other types we have mentioned so far, but they do have an interesting connection to history. These binoculars get their name from the fact that they rely on the same technology that Galileo Galilei used when observing the night sky in the 1600s. 

Compared to other types of binoculars, Galilean binoculars are very simple in their construction. They consist of convex objective lenses, concave eyepieces, and no prisms whatsoever in between. 

This simple construction makes Galilean binoculars very lightweight, but it also means they cannot achieve the same level of magnification as other binocular types. Galilean binoculars also do not provide a wide field of vision. At times, people refer to Galilean binoculars as opera glasses since they are commonly used to watch theatrical performances. 

Which Type of Binoculars is Right for You?

As you now know, there are more types of binoculars in existence than you might have first expected. Each of these binoculars comes with a unique set of pros and cons as well as specific uses. The key to choosing the right set of binoculars for you is knowing how you intend to use your binoculars. 

For example, if you plan to use your binoculars while traveling, a more compact style, such as roof prism binoculars, will be more fitting. By contrast, if you want a wide field of vision and a clear image, porro prism binoculars might be suitable for you. But no matter which type of binoculars are best for your purposes, the good news is that there are plenty of products on the market for you to choose from. Contact our team at Optics Force today for more information.


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