Observing Basics: Buying Binoculars

In this first installment visiting Senior Editor Michael E. Bakich's "Little Corner of the Universe," learn what to look for and test when picking out new binoculars.
By | Published: January 17, 2012 | Last updated on May 18, 2023

Five tips when buying binoculars

1. Make sure you can hold the binoculars to access the quality of the workmanship.

2. Look in the front lenses for any dust or contamination. Make sure the inside is immaculate.

3. Determine how much the binoculars weigh and if they can be mounted on a tripod. Heavy binoculars equal tired arms.

4. Look through the binoculars to make sure they focus properly and show the entire field of view.

5. If you wear glasses, test the binoculars with them on to ensure they are still comfortable and can get close enough to your eyes.


Expand your observing at Astronomy.com


Check out Astronomy.com’s interactive StarDome to see an accurate of your sky. This tool will help you locate this week’s targets.

Intro to the Sky: Get to know the night sky
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