Which binoculars suit me?

How do I choose the "right" binoculars?

Although many binoculars look very similar, they have many different characteristics in terms of use and performance. The information on these pages is intended to help you choose the right binoculars for your purpose, within your budget and according to your personal preferences. Every single pair of Bresser binoculars, even the cheapest, is made of high quality optical glass material, robust housings and precise mechanical components that guarantee years of use. The attention to detail and the long experience in manufacturing optical devices are perhaps even the best guarantee we can give you.

Binoculars come in well over a hundred designs with a wide variety of specifications, but all binoculars have these three components:

Binocular lens

The objective lens of binoculars collects light over a larger area than the unarmed eye can. This enables the binoculars to display distant objects magnified with high resolution. The objective lens of good binoculars usually consists of two separate lenses; a so-called crown glass and a flint glass element. The combination of these two types of glass enables the objects to be displayed in true colours.

Prisms: Lenses, i.e. the lenses of binoculars, have the property of imaging objects upside down and laterally reversed. The image produced in this way must first be straightened by the prisms and displayed laterally correct. For this purpose either so-called porro prisms or roof prisms are used. Porroprisms give the entire binoculars their characteristic angled shape, while roof prisms give the binoculars a slim design. No matter which prisms are used, with good manufacturing quality this has no influence on the imaging performance of the binoculars.

Binocular lens

Eyepiece: The task of the eyepiece is to enlarge the image produced by the objective. Eyepieces consist of several separate lenses. Eyepieces with a high eye point and with a foldable rubber eyecup, also allow spectacle wearers to see up to 100% of the binocular field of view with glasses on. Now you know the three essential components of binoculars and can easily determine which binoculars are right for you for which application!

Binoculars designations: The designation of a pair of binoculars, e.g. 7x35 WW means that these binoculars provide a 7x magnification (7x) and that the lenses of the binoculars have a diameter of 35mm each. The addition WW (wide angle) means that such binoculars provide a particularly large field of view. Wide-angle binoculars are particularly suitable for observing moving objects (e.g. at sporting events).

Magnification The magnification of a binocular model is perhaps the most misunderstood feature. High magnifications can be useful, but the magnification itself is not a criterion for the quality, image quality or detail recognition of binoculars! The lens diameter, glass material, coating and the quality of the overall optics determine the ability to resolve small details. The disadvantages of binoculars with a high magnification (e.g. 16x or 20x) are: it is very difficult to produce a steady image over long periods of observation and the field of view is relatively small. With a magnification of 7x, for example, you can see an object at a distance of 70m as if you were observing it with the naked eye from a distance of only 10m (70m : 7 = 10m). Binoculars with magnifications above 12x are generally no longer recommended for use without a tripod.

Field of viewThe field of view of binoculars is either given in degrees, or the number of metres visible at a distance of 1000m. For example, the field of view of the Safari Pro 7x36WW is 9.3° or 163m at 1000m distance. Binoculars without wide-angle function usually only have a field of view from 100m to 130m. A larger field of view makes it easier for you to observe large objects and follow moving objects.

CoatingThe uncoated surface of a lens or prism reflects about 10% of the incident light, the other 90% of the light passes through this surface. The standard coating of a glass surface with magnesium fluoride (MgF2) reduces the reflected light to about 4%. The further perfected multi-coating enables a light transmission of sometimes more than 99%. The multi-coating consists of 7 to 15 individual layers of a special substrate, which is vapour-deposited onto the lenses and prisms in a complex process. The results are brighter images, better contrast and higher resolution.

Field of vision of binoculars

All Bresser binoculars already have the standard coating; the Bresser Everest, Condor and Montana binoculars have a very high quality multicoating, and the Bresser Hunter and other models have the advanced and extremely robust multicoating.

The multi-coating consists of 7 to 15 individual layers of a special substrate which is vapour-deposited onto the lenses and prisms in a complex process. The result is brighter images, better contrast and higher resolution. All Bresser binoculars already have the standard coating; the Bresser Montana binoculars have a very high quality Ruby Multicoating, and the Bresser Everest and Condor models have the advanced and extremely robust Multicoating.

Coating" of binoculars

Binocular designs and their applications

Although the designations for the types vary somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer, most use the following terms:

Mini binoculars are binoculars with lenses no larger than about 26mm and with a slim roof edge shape. Most of these binoculars can be folded, they are small, light and easy to carry.

Example of mini binoculars

Compact binoculars contain Porro prisms and are usually shaped to fit easily into the hands of the observer. The lens diameters are typically less than 26mm. As the name suggests, compact binoculars are lightweight, handy and easy to transport, although they are slightly larger than mini binoculars.

Compact binoculars are very popular for sports, travelling and also as a universal gift, because they are well suited for almost all applications. The compact class perhaps even represents the best compromise between size, weight, price and performance. Examples: Bresser Everest models.

Example of compact binoculars

Porro binoculars are the real universal binoculars. The typically larger lens diameters (35mm or more) provide brighter images with higher contrast. Porro binoculars show what they can do at sporting events, when observing animals from a long distance, or for resolving the feather structure of a bird at a closer distance.

On top of that, these binoculars offer excellent value for money; they are available in many different sizes and designs. Example: Bresser Hunter mode

Design of Porro binoculars

Roof-edge binoculars: In the field of professional binoculars you often only find roof-edge models. These roof-edge binoculars contain lenses with a minimum diameter of 35mm and are designed for advanced applications. For example, for professional animal and nature observation even in unfavourable light conditions. The styling is slim and the glass types used are among the highest quality in the world, the optics are of course multi-coated. The result is bright, very sharp and high-resolution images for almost every observation.

Although such glasses are not cheap, they can be a faithful companion for life. Example: Bresser Montana compact binoculars.

Construction of roof-edge binoculars