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How to buy binoculars

Want to see that bird up close in order to identify it or maybe see whether the batter at home plate is wincing?

Binoculars will get you there. You will need to choose wisely as good binoculars start at around $200.

Pick the size first – Binoculars are graded by magnification power and lens diameter in millimeters. Models with 25-millimeter lenses are small enough to fit in your pocket.

Don’t over magnify – 7x and 8x power offer better images and just the right amount of light to see things clearly. High power also exaggerates every little wobble of your hand.

Think quality – Rubber coated binoculars are more durable than uncoated ones. Nitrogen filed barrels hold no moisture and won’t fog in cold temperatures or high humidity.

Consider your needs – For whale watching or boating use low magnification (6x or 7x). Bird watching will be more enjoyable with medium to full size (8×42) models with good depth or field. For hiking you will want to stick to palm size with much lower heft.

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