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Binoculars are like eyeball extensions, keeping all your brain’s visual circuits focused on the task of enjoying the wonders of space. Keeping both eyes walled off from distracting information plays a happy trick on your mental computer.

Depending on the pair you pick, you could see 25 or even 50 times more stars with binoculars than with your unaided eyes. This is not due to the magnification alone, but to the phenomenon of perceptive narrowing driving a flow state. Some people use the term focus, or clarity, to describe the feeling. But it’s not an illusion; it’s a measurable effect.

Which Are Right For You?

Comprehending a few types of numbers can help you decide which binoculars are best for your specific purposes. We’ll give you these in descending order of importance. Skip to the end if you get bored.

In our comparison chart — and printed on most binoculars — you’ll find one or two ways of knowing the Field of View you’d experience with that pair. It might say something like: 298ft at 1000yds, or 5.7 degrees (these are equal).