Buyers Guide | Binoculars / Scopes
Venturing in to the great beyond? Don’t be without good quality optics, with a host of binoculars and scopes available from manufactures such as Canon, Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Swarovski & Zeiss Park Cameras have a wide selection and options to suit all needs. Better yet why not capture it with your camera? Park Cameras can help you with all your digiscoping needs.
Deciphering the numbers
Binoculars are identified by their magnification and barrel apertures; this can be read as 12x25, meaning that the binoculars have 12x magnification and 25mm wide lenses. Magnifications will vary from 8-16x and barrels from 21mm to 60mm on conventional binocular designs
The width of the barrels is of paramount importance controlling the amount of light intake and thus the luminance of the scene through the eye piece; the larger the barrel the brighter the scene will appear. The negative consequence of larger barrel optics is that it will greatly increase the physical size and weight of the body.
Digiscoping has grown from the use of compact cameras crudely pointed down the chamber of a spotting scope into bespoke mounts to accept each manufactures SLRs bayonet fitment. Universal mounts are also available enabling the use of most compact cameras and SLRs without the need for individual mounts. These mounts can reduce image quality as it adds more elements in front of the camera’s sensor, but overall it is a worthwhile sacrifice for the advantages in zoom range.
With magnification ratings varying from 8-16x, which is right for you? Well the amount of zoom needed for individuals will differ based on what they wish to view. As an example if you are travelling abroad on a safari I would advise 10-12x as this will offer a good compromise between magnification whilst avoiding hand shake during use.
Other Features Available
Canon offer the integration of their Image Stabilisation system into all of their binoculars, this is particularly useful if you encounter this issue on a regular basis, or if you would like magnifications as high as 18x. Weather sealed binoculars and scopes are also available should you frequently use your optics in inclement weather.