Article: Optics Buying Guide

Time and Optics5/15/20

Our family owned and operated business was started in 1976 (that’s 43 years ago!). We understand the importance of choosing a binocular or spotting scope that works for you and are pleased to provide this detailed and easy to use Optics Guide. Here are a few pointers that will help you make your selection:

The first consideration is that optics vary in price from under $50 to over $4,000. You will want to stay within your budget, but down the road, you won’t regret buying the best you can afford. The graph below gives you a quick break-down on the price range of optics. While this can vary in manufacturer’s or people’s opinions, it is a basic price guide.

Low Low-Medium Medium Medium-High
High-End
Binoculars under $100 $100 to $250 $300 to $500 $550 to $1,500
$1,500 and over
Spotting Scopes under $500 $500 to $950 $1,000 to $1,550 $1,600 to $1,950
$2,000 and over

For the most part, you get what you pay for. Buying a medium price binocular gives you a lot of binocular for your money, even though a high-end binocular will far out perform medium priced ones. Sometimes a company promotion or a special buy brings high-end optics into the medium-high price range.

The second consideration is the magnification. This is thoroughly covered on our Binocular Basics page. Remember, usually lower power shows more detail, but higher power is sometimes desired for long distance observation. In birding, it would be for raptors, waterfowl and shorebirds. The best way to make your selection is to look through different powers and find what works best for you.

Here are a few other considerations:

· Do you need a lightweight binocular or will some weight not bother you?

· Will you need a waterproof binocular? (Most binoculars over $100 are waterproof these days.)

· Will you be wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses?

· Do you need extreme close focus? Most binoculars close focus to 8-10 feet with some extreme close focus at 4 feet. Usually you will experience some eye strain at extreme close focus.

Consider carefully and invest in the model you like! We are here to help you go through the options.

Sincerely,
Robert Hershberger
Time and Optics, Ltd.

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