What are binoculars?

Binoculars are optical instruments with a lens for each eye. They are used for viewing long distance objects, nature watching (e.g. bird-watching or spotting dear) as well as some basic astronomy.


Key Terms:

Magnification: Magnification is the ration of the size of the image through the lens compared to the size to the naked eye. The higher the magnification, the larger the image is through the lens. A too high magnification can lead to a narrow field of view and low image brightness.

Effective diameter: The width of the inside lens. The larger the effective diameter, the clearer and brighter the image will be. Binoculars with a very large effective diameter can be quite heavy and bulky. A standard effective diameter is between 30-49mm. Anything greater may be too heavy or too bulky binoculars for children to use.

Exit pupil: The bright circle that can be seen in the center of each eyepiece when the binoculars are about 30cm away from the eyes is known as the exit pupil. The larger the exit pupil is, the brighter the field of view will be.

Eye relief: Where the exit pupil is formed is called the eye point. The distance from the outside surface of the lens is known as the eye relief.

Relative brightness: This refers to how bright the image will be, based on the diameter of the exit pupil. The relative brightness will be greater if the diameter of the exit pupil is large.


Benefits of binoculars for children

Binoculars for children can lead to observational skills to be developed. Binoculars are a good choice for children who are beginning to bird watch or spot wildlife. Unlike telescopes, binoculars for children are small, lightweight and easy to use. They do not require assembly either. This makes them a good choice for beginner observers.


Types of binoculars

Galilean binoculars

Galilean binoculars do not have a prism. This makes this makes them compact and lightweight. Despite a low magnification, these binoculars tend to have a narrow field of view and do not always focus well.

Prism binoculars

Prism binoculars are excellent binoculars for children. As they have a prism, they have a wider field of view and higher magnification. This makes observation more enjoyable. However, they can be heavy binoculars for children to use.


What to look out for when buying binoculars

It is important that binoculars for children have an appropriate magnification. The best range is between 6x and 10x. Anything greater than 12x may result in binoculars to large for your children to hold steady. This could cause their hands to shake and so images will not be clear. Additionally, a magnification to high will make the field of view narrow. It is helpful to have a wide field of view and a large lens effective diameter.

Good children’s binoculars should also have an eye relief of at least 10mm; binoculars for children who wear glasses should have an eye relief of 15mm. As binoculars are great for encouraging children to bird watch and be observant, binoculars for children should be waterproof. This prevents fog and mold developing inside the binoculars.



Binoculars at Brigthminds


Levenhuk Atom Binoculars Range

These prism binoculars are very lightweight and compact, making them good binoculars for children. These binoculars have rubber eyecups, making them comfortable on the face. The rubber body protects the binoculars from dirt and moisture and also helps to avoid them slipping out of your child’s hands.Binoculars for Children

10×25 Binoculars – £19.95

These bioculars have a magnification of 10x and the effective diameter is 25mm. This makes them very light but also means that at 5.7 degrees, the field of view is quite narrow. The eye relief is 11mm.

8×21 Binoculars – £14.95

These binoculars have a magnification of 8x. Due to this, the field of view is 7.4 degrees, slightly greater than the 10×25 binoculars. The eye relief is 11mm.

7 x35 Binoculars – £39.95

These binoculars have a very wide 8-degree field of view. This is because they effective diameter is 35mm. This allows a lot of light in. Additionally, the magnification is 7x, which is not too large. They eye relief is 13mm, which some children may prefer. 7x35 binoculars

8×40 Binoculars – £42.95

These binoculars have the widest field of view, at 8.2 degrees. The effective diameter is 40mm and the magnification is 8x. This makes them excellent binoculars for long distance observation. These binoculars have an eye relief of 12mm.


Levenhuk Rainbow 8×25 Binoculars – £54.99


Levenhuk Levenhuk binoculars for kids You can choose out of 7 colourful prism binoculars. They have a rubber body which fit comfortably in your child’s hand. As they are waterproof and do not fog, they are good to use on camping trips. The magnification is 8x and the effective diameter is 25mm, giving them a good field of view of 7.6 degrees. These binoculars allow a lot of light in, giving a clear image. The eye relief is 10.1mm.


Learning Resources GeoSafari Compass Binoculars – £9.99

Birdwatching for children These plastic children’s binoculars are good first binoculars for children aged 5. The effective diameter is 30mm and the magnification is 4x. This gives the binoculars a good field of view. The binoculars have a compass built in and a rubber grip to prevent them slipping out of your child’s hands.