Best 7 x 50 Binoculars

For many looking to buy binoculars for the first time, there is always the burning question, "which binoculars are the best?"

The answer to that is simple. It depends what you plan on using the binoculars for.

Well, duh...to magnify what's far away so I can see it - dude!
Yes, of course. But do you want to schlepp around an astronomy binocular to do some bird watching, or hunting? No. It's just too heavy to drag with you eveywhere. That's why binoculars come in many sizes, magnifications and levels of quality.

One of the most popular sizes is the 7x50 binocular. This size is made by every binocular company and is popular for several reasons.

Here is a primer on 7 x 50 binoculars..

First, is the size of the magnification. That would be the "7" in 7x50. This number says that whatever you are looking at will be magnified by 7 times what the human eye can see. Why is seven a popular number? Basically, because you can hold it and see your subject with minimal shakiness interfering. Somewhere between 6 and 8 times is about as high as you should go if you want to hand hold your binos. 7x magnification is also the most you can work with if you plan to be on a boat or ship. That's why it is a favorite with mariners and navy people.

Now the "50" in 7x50 is the size of the front objective lens. That's the lens furthest away from your face. A lens diameter of 50mm, although larger for using as a hand held, is popular because it allows in more light than, say, a 30mm. This is evident when using the 7x50 binoculars in low light conditions. They actually brighten up what you see.

Another point to consider when buying a 7x50 binocular is the diameter of the exit pupil. This is image you see when looking through the viewing lens which is where your eye is closest to. To determine the exit pupil size of a pair of binoculars, the objective lens size is divided by the power of magnification. In this case, we look at 50 (objective lens) divided by 7 (power) which will give you approximately a 7.1 exit pupil.

Not coincidentally, a 7.1 exit pupil is about the maximum the size the human pupil can enlarge to in dim lighting conditions. Unfortunately, this will benefit you most when you're young. You see, the average enlarged pupil size of a middle aged person is only around 5mm.

Nevertheless, it seems 7x50 binoculars are popular because they appeal to a large group of people who hope to keep their binoculars for a long time, regardless of the diminishing returns of aging eyes.

So to sum up, If you: want a pair of binoculars that will give you great image clarity even in low light conditions, don't mind a slightly heavier binocular (somewhere between 2-3 lbs. on average), something that doesn't involve too much hiking and running around...then 7x50 binoculars should do just fine!

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