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Guide to Buying Binoculars, UK

Aug 16, 2008
The task of buying binoculars, UK or otherwise isn't easy to say the least but one way of simplifying the process is by buying binoculars from UK online stores where searching for specific functionality is so much easier than on the high street.

Making the decision to invest in binoculars is the easy part but once you take those first tentative steps towards buying binoculars you soon learn that the process isn't as simple as it seems. There's an amazing amount of choice, numerous top quality binocular manufacturer (are you thinking of buying UK binoculars, German binoculars, US binoculars), hundred's of different types and sizes on offer (waterproof binoculars, IS binoculars (image stabilising), compact binoculars, lightweight binoculars, marine binoculars, bird watching binoculars, the list is endless) and a decision to be made regarding such things as magnification, objective diameter, lens quality and eye relief.

One of the biggest problems with buying binoculars in the UK is that there is so much choice it's hard to make a decision and when you start to realise the whole new world that binoculars give you access to you tend to want to go for the best money can buy (which can get expensive).

So there you have it, buying binoculars (UK), is a minefield, be prepared to follow a few guidelines before you start:

Be clear about what you are buying binoculars for. You can buy binoculars for general use, many of which are very good but if you are looking for astronomy binoculars for example and you want the best quality viewing it's best to opt for specialist binoculars, particular given UK weather conditions.

If you want to use your binoculars in wet, salty, environments then search for marine binoculars which will be waterproof, fog-free and built for extreme weather conditions. The best marine binoculars are also corrosion resistant.

A lot of binoculars aren't waterproof and in nice hot climates this isn't an issue. For UK residents, when buying binoculars, UK weather conditions have to be taken into account, given the number of wet or damp days we have are none waterproof binoculars going to provide you with the flexibility you need?

Do you want to be able to use high magnification binoculars without a tripod? If so you may want to consider buying IS binoculars (image stabilising) which will eliminate the distortion caused by slight movements in your hand normally apparent with high magnification binoculars. If you're buying binoculars to use in a moving vehicle then IS binoculars are ideal.

Are you buying binoculars for travel, UK and abroad, if so look at compact binoculars. They are light enough and small enough to carry around wherever you go maximising the use you get out of them.

Unless you are going to use a tripod or IS binoculars look at buying binoculars that have a magnification of 10x or less. Anything higher and you start to get image distortion due to slight movements in your hand. The Canon 10x42L IS Binoculars are a popular choice.

If you want to take your binoculars out and about all day, weight could be important. Lightweight binoculars are worth looking at with modern materials enabling a significant weight reduction even in full-size binoculars.

In the UK we have some wonderful wildlife which shouldn't be missed, for the best quality viewing try and buy binoculars with high quality Bak-4 prisms and fully multicoated lenses.

* uncoated lenses give extremely poor quality viewing, not recommended
* coated lenses is one coat and isn't necessarily all lenses
* fully coated is one coat all lenses

If you wear glasses or for comfortable all day viewing look at buying binoculars with long eye relief (15mm and above).

Rubber armoured binoculars tend to be more robust.

One final tip for buying binoculars (UK) is that price doesn't guarantee quality but it is worth paying a bit more if you want good quality lenses and an unforgettable viewing experience.
About the Author
For more on buying binoculars and for an extensive range of quality binoculars visit pro-binoculars.com
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