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Binoculars Make The Best And Cheapest Hobby in Our Life

Updated on November 17, 2010

Binoculars are the things which have been familiar from our childhood days. When we were children, we every one might have enjoyed toy binoculars just for fun! But when we start using powerful binoculars in our life, we may get amazing experiences and opportunities to learn many things like Constellations in our Great Universe. These are so called as 'bi' means two and 'ocular' means things related to eyes in Latin language. In ancient times Binoculars had been a long parallel tubes and later, in the year 1854 AD, Italian scientist called Ignatio Porro came up with an idea of placing prisms which were helpful to reduce the length of binocular by folding the path of light.

10x50 Binocular

 Many people are wrongly thinking that these things are to only enjoy and watch distant objects which are at about 300 m to 5 km away from our place. Whenever we enjoy watching nearby things like trees, flowers in the garden, honey sucking butterflies, fruit eating squirrels and dancing birds, it would be really a great pleasure and entertainment. Infact we can not enjoy the beauty of flowers, plants and insects through our naked eyes, even in a close watch, as much as we do them through binoculars. One can easily feel the magic of such optical things which present sharp and crystal clear vision of objects. If you are a person who live nearby hills or rocks and have a powerful binocular, then you will be able to enjoy every thing that happens along the areas of hills. You can locate many houses, windmills, temples and schools along the hills. Sometimes you would be able to watch wild animals like elephants and bisons there.

The Cheapest Hobby!

The other great thing is that it makes cheapest hobby of our life. If you own a binocular, you will never need to spend money further to enjoy it. All you need is a safest place to keep it inside and careful handling of it. Being a portable thing you can bring it anywhere you want to go with. Be it a hill station, wild life and bird sanctuary, lion safari and park, you can make it as an enjoyful trip with your nice binocular. You just need $25 to $30 to purchase a good quality binocular.

How does a Binocular work?

Binocular is nothing but the combination of two refractive telescopes which are held side by side. Light enters through the larger objective lens which is placed at front. The objective lens is used to gather light from the things what we are looking at. The larger the size of the objective lens the brighter and clearer image can be seen. The smaller eyepiece is placed at back side through which we can watch the objects. In between eyepiece and objective lens the triangular prisms are placed at right angle to fold the path of light so as to reduce the length of tubes. Thus the prisms inside the binoculars make it easy to handle and also to get resolved and crystal clear image. The prisms also help getting right end up image around so it doesn't look upside down.

  How can we know the power of a Binocular?

The power of binocular can be measured by its magnification and size of its objective lens. We may have seen that some numbers printed on the surface of binoculars as xxy. Here 'x' is the number of times the object get magnified and 'y' is the size of objective lens which is the source for gathering light from what we are seeing. For instance if you have binocular measuring as 10x50, then 10 is the number of times the objects get magnified and 50 is the size of the objective lens in mm.

Digital Camera Binocular

How to select your Binocular?

As it's going to lend you life long entertainment and pleasure, you should be very careful when selecting the one. In the market we can find them in various sizes, weights and with many special features. It's nice to select light weighted ones as we can handle them easily for a long time with out any strain. We are also to ensure that there is no change of colors of objects while watching through them. If you are beginner to use a binocular, it is advisable to have one in moderate price. Digital camera binoculars are the ones which enable you to record instantly the focused scenaries and things. They may cost around $150 to $300 in the market. Besides camera binoculars you can also find Night vision and Waterproof binoculars.

Leo Constellation

Binocular Stand

We can explore our Great Universe!

Binoculars are not only for enjoy seeing objects on our earth, but they are also simple and great tools for amateur astronomers exploring our Great Universe. Constellations can be watched through these lovely optical things. Constellation is the number of fixed stars grouped with an imaginary line. Sagittarius, Taurus, Leo and Pleiades are some of the Constellations that can be viewed in the sky.

Constellation Pleiades (newly born stars) is about 100 million years old and about 440 light years away from our earth. Whenever you see the Pleiades through your binocular, the things that appear are nothing but the light that has reached our earth after 440 years of travel from there.

Besides Constellations we can also locate planets like Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn in the sky. In the constellation called Leo, we can easily locate planet Saturn and moons of the same. Jupiter, the largest planet of our solar system, can be easily located in the Sagittarius which can be watched on the western nights. It's four bright moons namely Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto can be viewed when we use powerful binoculars. Since Venus is closer to sun than our home planet it can be viewed on early mornings in the east 1 or 2 hours before the rise of sun. The red planet Mars can be viewed two or three hours after the sunset in the eastern sky.

Binoculars provided with Z shaped prisms (porro prisms) are giving amazing experiences while exploring our Universe. In addition we need a stand for fixing binoculars to avoid shaking while exploring the sky. Fixing them properly in a stand will certainly make nice experiences as we will be able to see many more things than we do it with out fixing them. The other important thing is that fixing in a particular point or angle is facilitating to share our experiences immediately with our friends and relatives. In the internet we can find many clubs and forums where we can share our astronomical experiences which we got through our binoculars. As a member we can clarify our astronomical doubts there. Here are the sites where we can learn how to locate planets and constellations in this Great Universe!


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    9 years ago

    I have a pair of Stanley Optic, U.S Navy binoculars from World War II, that belonged to the famous photographer Alfred Palmer, If interested

  • StephenSMcmillan profile image


    9 years ago

    I agree!

  • ratnaveera profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Cumbum

    Dear lindajot, Thanks a lot for your nice comments and binoculars can be used for getting refreshment in our daily life. The great plus is that we never need to spend more money in this hobby.

  • lindajot profile image


    10 years ago from Willamette Valley - Oregon

    Great hub full of useful information! I am finding more and more uses for our binoculars, and thinking about reviving my husband's old hobby of astronomy.

  • ratnaveera profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Cumbum

    Dear genei101, Thank you for coming here and your interest on physics. First of all we need to understand the concept of the refraction which involves the study of bending the path of light. In many places like binocular we just use this property of light for our convenience. For more details you can go through following link Best Wishes!

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    im a grade 10 pupil and i have just started physics. I find the whole topic of refraction to be very complicated and sometimes there any way of understandin refraction in simpler terms just to get a better grasp???

  • ratnaveera profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from Cumbum

    Dear ohkennyabi, Thanks for reading this Hub and your nice comments. I am also having my own binocular. Indeed this would be a great pleasure to watch flowers, plants and insects and stars using powerful binoculars. Thanks for sharing your great experiences!

  • ohkennyabi profile image


    11 years ago from The East

    Well done on the how binoculars work and what you can do with them. For me I used them for astronomy and bird watching.Viewing a clear moonless night sky with a binocular is a wonderful and soothing experience.

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    You can't get good quality binoculars for the price range mentioned in the article ($25 - $30). That's way too cheap and poor quality.

    Decent quality binos start at around $100.

  • ratnaveera profile imageAUTHOR


    12 years ago from Cumbum

    Dear Om. I am happy to see you here and a lot of thanks for your nice comments.

  • ratnaveera profile imageAUTHOR


    12 years ago from Cumbum

    Dear MRM, I am happy to receive your valuable comments Sir! I love binocular watching because our area is surrounded by beautiful hills and there is a chance of enjoying natural scenes.

  • omdelhi profile image

    Om Prakash Singh 

    12 years ago from New Delhi


    Great hub indeed.


  • MrMarmalade profile image


    12 years ago from Sydney

    I did not know there was so much to know about binoculars.

    Thanks for your output.

    I have owned two pair of binoculars in my life. The first belonged to my father. Very old. The second we bought and then son was going out to the snowy mountains and asked if he could borrow same. I have never seen then since.

    Thank you for a very informative hub.

  • ratnaveera profile imageAUTHOR


    12 years ago from Cumbum

    Dear crusador, Thanks for your nice comments. We are living nearby hills and enjoy very much watching many things through our own binocular!

  • crusador profile image


    12 years ago

    You have done a good work by compiling all the information related to binoculars. I'll just say that it's a great hub on binoculars. I've a fascination for binoculars since my childhood but couldn't dare to purchase an expensive one due to lack of knowledge about its potential. Thumbs up for good work.


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