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Glossary | Binoculars | Area of application | Bird watching

Blackbird, thrush, finch or starling? Binoculars helps to spot and identify the bird.

For nature and bird watching we recommend binoculars with at least a 30-50 mm front lens diameter. The magnification should be between 7 and 12 times. Any more than this makes no sense without a tripod. At lower magnification levels, you cannot see the plumage details that may be important for identification.

The use of special types of glass or lens structures reduces colour fringing and also makes it easier to recognize the object being observed. For detailed observing over longer distances, we recommend the additional use of a spotting scope.

Here you can find out which criteria we use to evaluate binoculars for nature or bird watching ...

What is important when selecting binoculars for bird watching?

The "very good" rating for binoculars is achieved if they meet the following points:

  • The magnification should not be less than or greater than 8 – 12 times
  • The front lens diameter should be at least 40 mm
  • An exit pupil of 4 mm or more provides sufficient brightness to sufficiently recognize plumage details at dawn or dusk
  • The field of view should not be less than 110 m, so that you can also easily catch birds in flight
  • The close focus must not exceed 3 metres
  • In addition, the binoculars should be waterproof and use high-quality lens material to minimize image errors
  • Irritating elements, such as a compass or reticle, reduce the rating by one point

For a "good", binoculars must achieve these values:

  • Magnification: 7 – 12 times
  • Front lens diameter: min. 32 mm
  • Exit pupil: min. 3 mm
  • Field of view: min. 100 m
  • Close focus: max. 5 m

For a "medium" we will accept:

  • Magnification: 7 – 15 times
  • Exit pupil: min. 2.5 mm
  • Close focus: min. 10 m

Binoculars that have too low or too high magnification levels, or whose exit pupil is less than 2.5 mm, or which cannot focus at a distance of 10 m, are "not recommended" by us for bird watching.

Of course, these binoculars can also be used to observe birds at the garden bird table, but for serious ornithology it is not advisable to use pocket binoculars or binoculars with single ocular focusing.