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Binocular Weight is Over-rated
Wednesday March 13, 2019   |
Today’s range of binoculars provides relatively lighter weight models for birders.

There was a time when the a rule of thumb was that the weight of a given binocular provided a level of insight into the quality of the glass used – better quality glass was heavier, hence a better quality binocular was a bit heavier. But today’s glass and other construction materials are lighter and stronger than ever before. Today, the bottom line about binocular weight is that it is one of the most over-rated of all binocular specs. Today's construction materials are lighter and stronger than ever before. With some mid-priced, full-sized, bright, quality 10x50 binoculars weighing less than 30 ounces, any adult should be able to handle them easily.

Unless you are very experienced, you would have a hard time picking up a binocular and telling whether it weighed 28 ounces or 32. Even during the span of a day of using these binoculars, it is doubtful most people could tell the difference, or feel the effects of any “added weight.” The real concern should be balance rather than weight. A well-balanced binocular should put very little stress on your arms, wrists, hands, or shoulders. A poorly balanced pair, even if it’s lighter, will strain your muscles a bit by forcing them to work against any unnatural torque.

If you take the time to do the research, you will find a wide range of weight specs for binoculars in the same size class. One manufacturer has a line with a 10x42 binocular that weighs 25 ounces and a 10x50 model that weighs 29 ounces. Another company has a line with a 10x42 binocular that weighs 31 ounces, and a 10x50 model that weighs 41 ounces. Considering this example, the objective lens size contributes to the weight of a binocular, but the objective lenses may only be a small factor.

A lot depends on other design specifications, but if you want extra light-gathering capability, you can find binoculars that are within a reasonable weight range. If you opt for the more popular 8x42 range of models available, the weight will be obviously lighter too. In short, there are more important features to consider than the weight of binoculars these days.

This article was based on information provided in an article provided by the professionals at Optic4Birding’s that shares insights about how to select and judge different binoculars and their qualities, which you can refer to at https://www.optics4birding.com/chbin.aspx


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