Are you looking for your first pair of binoculars or looking to upgrade an old pair? Use our guide below to help you know what to look for and the key features to consider when buying a pair of binoculars.

Binoculars are a must-have tool for outdoor enthusiasts, bird watchers, and nature lovers. They are also a great accessory for concerts, sports events, and other activities that require a closer view. But with so many options available, and brands including ZEISS, Hawke, Pentax, Nikon and Swarovski - choosing the right binoculars can be overwhelming. That's why we've created this buying guide to help you navigate the world of binoculars and find the perfect pair for your needs. Remember, you can always get in touch or visit a Wilkinson Cameras store for expert advice as well.


Know your purpose:

Think about what you'll primarily use the binoculars for—bird watching, general wildlife, stargazing, hiking, sports events, at sea, etc. Different activities may require different specifications.


Magnification and Objective Lens Size:

Binoculars are usually identified by two numbers (e.g., 8x42). The first number represents the magnification, and the second is the diameter of the objective lens (the glass you see on the front of the binocular) in millimetres. Choose a magnification suitable for your needs; 8x is a good general-purpose choice. A larger objective lens allows more light, but it also makes the binoculars bulkier.


Field of View:

A wider field of view is beneficial, especially for activities like bird watching and sports. It's measured in degrees or feet at a specific distance. A wider field of view makes it easier to locate and follow objects. Bear in mind that if you are comparing the same binoculars in both 8x and 10x then the 10x will have a narrower field of view.


Quality of Optics:

The quality of the lenses and prisms significantly affects the clarity and brightness of the image. High-quality glass, lens coatings, and prism materials contribute to better optical performance. 

Invest in binoculars with high-quality optics that offer clear and sharp images. Look for features like anti-reflective coatings, phase-corrected prisms, and ED glass.


Exit Pupil and Low-Light Performance:

Consider the exit pupil size (objective lens diameter divided by magnification). Larger exit pupils provide better low-light performance. If you plan to use binoculars in low-light conditions, such as dawn or dusk, go for a larger exit pupil (e.g., 7mm).



Consider how important size and weight will be. Will you carry them for extended periods, for example when hiking? Compact and lightweight models are more portable but may sacrifice some other features.


Eye Relief:

If you wear glasses, look for binoculars with sufficient eye relief to allow comfortable viewing with your glasses on. This is the distance from the eyepiece to where the image forms.


Waterproof and Fogproof:

If you plan to use your new binoculars in all weathers then choose a waterproof and fogproof design. This will be highlighted in the product features. This ensures they can withstand rain, humidity, and temperature changes.



Set a realistic budget based on your needs and preferences. Here at Wilkinson Cameras, we do have a range of finance options available, which will be shown on the product.

There are lots of options available at various price points, but investing a bit more can often yield better quality and features. Consider how often you will use them, where and when you wish to use them and how bright and sharp you need the image to be. If you have a budget in mind but aren't sure where to start, then get in touch so we can suggest some models to you.


Try Before You Buy:

If possible, try out the binoculars before purchasing. All Wilkinson Cameras stores have a good selection of binoculars in stock, including brands like ZEISS, Hawke, Pentax, Nikon and Swarovski. Check for comfort, ease of use, optical performance and overall feel. 

If buying online, then make sure to check out reviews first or you can contact us to ask us for our expert opinion to help you choose.

Remember that personal preferences can be key to choosing the right binoculars. Take your time to research and compare options, and don't hesitate to get in touch with us here at Wilkinson Cameras for advice on buying your new pair of binoculars.


Ready to buy your binoculars? Shop online now!