Binocular Magnification Explained

Binocular Magnification Explained
Compacted into your binocular case is a series of lenses and prisms. They work together to enlarge the image of objects far away and bring them into focus. Field binoculars are smaller in size and weight, skipping the prisms and relying only on lenses for magnification.

Inside Your Binocular

A binocular is like two telescopes sitting side by side. When looking at an object, imagine a line of sight traveling through your binoculars. First, it goes through the larger objective lens. This image bounces off two prisms before aiming at the ocular lens and then your eye resting immediately behind.

How Binoculars Magnify an Image

The ocular lens first magnifies the image, which enters the binoculars upside down. This reflects against two prisms, placed in a z pattern, to turn the image right side up again before reflecting it to your eye. The adjustment wheel in the center of the binoculars does not zoom in any further, but allows you to focus on objects at different distances.

Binocular Magnifications

The magnification quality of a pair of binoculars shows as a pair of numbers. For example, if your binoculars have a magnification of 7x50, it means it magnifies the image by seven times its normal size, and the diameter of the ocular lens is 50 mm. Binoculars for wildlife viewing typically offer between seven and ten times the magnification, written as 7x and 10x.

Article Written By Sarah Shelton

Based in Oregon, Sarah Shelton has worked as a freelance writer since 2008. She enjoys covering travel, home and garden, and automotive topics. Her articles have appeared nationwide with Internet Broadcasting, Adventure Travel and Real Estate Experts. With a major in biology, Shelton received her Bachelor of Science from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

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