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Jacob's Photo & Digital
9 Mokoia Road
Birkenhead
Auckland 0626

When buying Binoculars it can be overwhelming. Below is a breakdown of what the numbers mean, different types of coatings, Magnification Power and the Objective Lens Diameter.

Things to consider when buying binoculars:

  • Desired use
  • Picture quality
  • Viewing Conditions
  • Comfort and Ease of Use
  • Price

Once you have worked out what your budget is, what you value in a pair of binoculars and
what you are going to be using them for, it's going to be easier to find a pair from our large collection.

What the numbers mean.
Binoculars come in all shapes but they all have 2 numbers separated
by an X. 

The first number is the Magnification.
For example:
7x50 Binoculars would mean that the Binoculars have a magnification power of 7
That means that the object would appear 7 times closer than it would using your unassisted eye. 

If you were looking at a boat 100 meters away, using a pair of 7x binoculars would make that boat
appear to be around 14 meters away.

The second number is the Lens Diameter.
The lens diameter is measured in millimetres and is the size of the objective lenses (the lens furthest away from you).The diameter largely controls how much light is gathered and is important for image brightness and low-light viewing. It also gives us the exit pupil rating which gives you the low-light performance rating.

The Magnification (7) Divided by The Lens Diameter (50) = a 14mm exit pupil diameter 

The higher the number, the brighter the image during low light viewing.

Prism type and coatings.

Prisms are the heart of your binocular and it pays to know the difference 
between each type.



Roof Prism: Straight profile, eyepieces in line with objective lenses, fairly new design.

Pro's:

  • Strong and Durable
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Normally waterproof

Con's:

  • Roof Prisms are complex and requires a high level of manufacturing to align the prism. Which drives up the price.
  • Requires coatings to compensate for light loss which makes them slightly more expensive.
  • Slight image quality loss when not coupled with phase correction technology (most if not all binocular we sell have this technology)

Porro Prism: Classic design, eyepieces set closer together than the objective lenses.

Pro's:

  • Better image quality for your buck at the low end of the price scale.
  • Most of the time Porro bino's have a brighter image due to a larger advantage lens diameter
  • Low cost

Con's:

  • Often not waterproof
  • Often bulky when compared to a Roof prism.
  • Not very Durable when compared to Roof prism Binoculars

The type of coating the binocular has depends on what the intended purpose of that
Binocular is. Marine binoculars are great at viewing objects on the water for example where as hunting binoculars are designed to spot animals.

As a general rule everyone's eyes are different, therefore when possible we suggest you try before you buy.

For advise on what binocular is right for you visit us and talk to one of our highly 
trained staff or send us an email.

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