Binoculars and Telescopes

Whether you want to gaze out over the Grand Canyon or the Milky Way, the right vision-enhancement tool is the only thing separating you from that awe-inspiring moment. For sights bound to the earth, a quality pair of binoculars is all you need. For sights a little more far away, a telescope is essential. Regardless of whether you want to view what's on planet earth or something a little more distant, eBay has a wide variety of binoculars and telescopes listed, as well as both binoculars accessories and telescope accessories available from a wide variety of sellers. 

What's the Difference Between Binoculars and Telescopes?

While these two devices may seem vastly different from one another, a pair of binoculars is really just two telescopes mounted together, while monoculars are basically just handheld telescopes.  

● In practical terms, because of the sheer amount of technical parts needed to see very far differences, binoculars are generally used to see closer distances than telescopes.  

● Because of the similarities between binoculars and telescopes, you can use a quality pair of binoculars to do a decent amount of stargazing, although not to the caliber you can do with a quality telescope. 

What Should I look for When Buying Binoculars?

One helpful thing to know when searching for the right pair of binoculars is that there are only three sizes: full-size, mid-size, and compact.    Choosing the right type, as well as right focal length, are arguably the two most important factors to consider when selecting the right pair of binoculars. 

● Compact binoculars have portability as their key feature, but suffer when it comes to true magnification and clarity. Full-size binoculars offer the best viewability, while mid-sizes offers a pleasant compromise between portability and quality. 

● The next main specification is the two numbers given with every model, such as 7 x 35. The first number refers to the magnification power, while the second refers to the lens diameter. 7 x 35 means that the binoculars will magnify the image seven times, while using a 35mm lens.  

● When it comes to lens diameters, the larger the lens means the more light that will shine through. For low-light situations, a larger lens size is crucial. 

What Kind of Telescope do I Need?

While you may think that the key thing about a telescope is how much magnification it offers, this is a common misconception. Many telescopes can offer 500 times magnification, but few can actually achieve that level of magnification in practical situations. A more important specification is the aperture, given in inches. 

● If you want to know the true magnification a telescope offers, a good rule of thumb is to multiply the aperture in inches by 50, meaning a 2.4 inch (61mm) telescope can realistically magnify an image 120 times. 

● When choosing a telescope or when viewing various telescope parts, find a setup with solid mounting, as this will be one of the key factors in usability. Solid telescopes do not shake, allowing you to use them to their full potential.