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Binoculars vs Field Glasses: A Closure Look

binoculars vs field glasses
Written by Carolina Pina

Binoculars and field glasses are both optical instruments that magnify faraway objects. In these devices, light is gathered from a distance by objective lenses then magnified and focused.

Each of these devices allows the user to see a more vibrant, sharper image, giving a clearer picture than with the naked eye.

What are the differences? We’re here to explain all this!

What Are Binoculars?

binoculars vs field glasses

To create a highly magnified image, binoculars have prisms inside each tube. A greater path length is shown when light passes through the prisms and reflects.

It allows the magnification to be higher, which allows for shorter binoculars, and the objective lenses can be separated wider, enhancing stereoscopic effects.

What Are Field Glasses?

binoculars vs field glasses

An image is magnified using two objective lenses on a field glass. Right-side-up images are created by convex objective lenses at the front.

With this, you cannot view it as wide an area and the magnification is much lower. Near the eyepiece is the second concave lens.

Binoculars vs Field Glasses: How Do They Differ?

1. Field of View (FOV)

Binoculars

A manufacturer will measure the field of view of a binocular in feet at 1,000 yards, which is the view you would have if you measured it from 1,000 yards away

Field glasses

Field glasses have a higher FOV than binoculars and can see further than 1,000 yards. The amount is determined by the type of field glasses you have.

Winner

The one to choose here is the field glasses with their ability to see further than the 1,000 yards the binoculars can.

2. Durability

Binoculars

When it comes to a broader range of features, binoculars are superior, because they can be waterproof, shockproof, glare resistant, fog-proof, and much more.

Field glasses

They are definitely the better choice when it comes to durability. This is because there are no prisms, so they’re less likely to break, or for the lenses to become misaligned.

Winner

Both have the upper hand here. The binoculars are fog proof and shock and field glasses don’t contain prisms so no worry about breakage there.

3. Eyepiece lens

Field glasses

Most field glasses come with an inverted image created by a concave eyepiece.

Binoculars

binoculars vs field glasses

Binoculars have at least three eyepiece lenses arranged in two groups. There are field lenses and eye lenses. Typically, field lenses are double convex singlets, while eye lenses are compound lenses.

Winner

Binoculars are the better option with the extra features, and they have the adjustable eyepiece which allows you to change the distance between the eyes.

4. Magnification

Binoculars

You can get a binocular view with compact binoculars from 6×30 to 8×50.

Field glasses

Galilean field glasses can only magnify objects through an objective lens. Through these binoculars, it is not possible to magnify an object more than five times its physical size.

Winner

Field glasses due to the higher magnification being possible with the prism inside each tube.

5. Weight

Binoculars

Compact binoculars weigh under a pound (half kilo) or less. Binoculars with large apertures, such as 10X56, may weigh more than three pounds

Field glasses

Depending on the model, basic field glasses weigh between 1.98 and 2.9 Pounds.

Winner

For lightweight options, the field glasses are going to be the winner here.

When to Use Binoculars?

binoculars vs field glasses

Hunting binoculars tend to be more popular because they offer a greater range of features and a higher magnification. You might prefer the hardier field glasses if you’re clumsy or hunt at closer ranges.

When to Use Field Glasses?

binoculars vs field glasses

Binoculars have a wider range of uses, but field glasses are simpler and cheaper. Field glasses may do you for a day of deer hunting, but they do not provide the convenience, magnification, or mobility that binoculars offer.

About the author

Carolina Pina

A Passionate Toxophilite

Carolina believes that hunting is not about downing an animal; rather, it’s about enjoying the purity of this challenge and making a connection with nature. She loves country music, horses, shooting, and hunting; and spends her weekends in the great outdoors with her husband and two kids.

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