Binoculars Buying Guide

Binoculars are convenient devices in the areas of hunting, bird watching, wildlife viewing, golfing and much more. If you're shopping for great binoculars, it's important to know what you're looking for and which details will best suit your needs. In this buying guide, we will teach you the basics of binocular shopping.

Types of Binoculars

It's important to know that there are a few types of binoculars. Depending on your specific need and occasion, knowing the difference between the types of binoculars may be a crucial thing. Let's take a look at them.

Galilean Binoculars

The Galilean binoculars are interesting because they have roots that stem from the first existence of the telescope. The name should sound familiar as it comes from the famous astronomer, Galileo Galilei. The Galilean binoculars use the same telescope mechanisms as that of Galilei in 1609.

They have convex lenses for the objective and concave lenses. These form erect imagery enabling you to have closeup views of things very far away.

Since there is no prism involved, these binoculars are typically very light and easy to tote around. However, these aren't usually the binoculars that people are most familiar with.

As an added fun fact, opera glasses fall into the Galilean category.

Porro Prism Binoculars

Porro Prism binoculars are one of the styles that most people recognize today. They were invented in Italy during the mid 1800s by Ignazio Porro. This is the oldest form of prism binoculars known today.

How can you identify the Porro prism binoculars? It's very easy. The eyepieces are off balance from the objective lenses. With other binoculars, the eyepieces and objective lenses are in balance.

Due to the objective lenses being spaced further than the usual style of binoculars, they offer a better image. Even better? The Porro prism binoculars are generally more inexpensive than other types. Why? Because it's cheaper to make and produce the Porro prisms.

These binoculars are less compact and have more active parts and gadgets than the others. This quality makes it harder for the Porro prism binoculars to be water and dust proof. However, if you're into bird watching or viewing wildlife, the Porro prism binoculars would make a great asset to your hobby.

Roof Prism Binoculars

Roof Prism is the third type of binoculars. How do they work? The prisms are aligned and balanced in a straight line design. This enables them to have more slender styles than the Porro prism binoculars. They're super easy to recognize with the the evenly balanced eyepieces and objective lenses.

Since this design is more compact and has less moving parts, it's generally easier for you to find water and dust proof models. However, the quality of the images can suffer due to the aligned prisms.

This is also a great choice for wildlife viewing, sporting occasions and bird watching.

Pay Attention to

Prism Types

According to the specific need of your event or occasion, it's important to pay attention to prism types within the binoculars. This will determine the overall operation of your binoculars. Keep in mind that the prism sort is identified as "Roof" or "Porro" types.

Magnification Settings

The strength and quality of the magnification process will determine the image quality of your binoculars. The higher the magnification, the more you will see in the distance. Remember that.


Are you needing binoculars that are weather proof? Dust proof? This will help you make decisions on the binocular types that are the most durable.

Weight and Size

Do you need binoculars that are light weight and can easily fit in your pocket? Or do you need a set of heavy duty binoculars? This all depends on the occasion that you need them for.


What is your budget for a good set of binoculars? Remember that your budget can be best formed by recognizing what you need in a set of binoculars and the type of name brand that you prefer. Some brands are more costly than others.

Top Brands and Product Lines of Binoculars


Bushnell is a popular brand in binoculars. They produce high quality binoculars for a wide variety of occasions such as tactical, hunting, bird watching and more.


Olympus is another big brand in the optical product world. They've been around long enough to produce excellent quality binoculars.

Eagle Optics

Eagle Optics is a company that's fully devoted to producing binoculars, monoculars and spotting scopes. They're an excellent choice for someone that needs reliable binoculars for hunting, viewing wildlife and more.


Nikon is known for producing eye catching products such as cameras. In fact, they may be most known for their cameras than anything else. However, they produce great quality binoculars for reasonable prices. If you're on a budget, Nikon may be the brand for you.

If you're in need a good binoculars and have no idea of where to start, hopefully this buying guide will have given you the direction and knowledge that you needed. Always do research before you buy blindly.