the insight you need before you select your next set of Binoculars.
to Binoculars Guide
are currently no manufacturers, of which I am aware, producing 'true'
auto focus binoculars. The majority of camera manufacturers have auto
focus lenses as standard on all their compact cameras and most of their
SLR range of lenses. You just turn the camera on and point it in the
direction you wish to shoot. The lens will usually identify the object
you wish to photograph and focus upon it.
There is currently no comparable system available for binoculars.
There have been attempts to emulate auto focus camera lenses with
binoculars, the most notable being an instrument produced by Minolta,
in the 1990's.
It was reported to be bulky and the performance in terms of accuracy of
the item upon which the instrument chose to focus, left something to be
desired. To be fair, the same can be said, even today, of camera
lenses, in low light conditions and where contrast levels are not
So what are auto focus binoculars?
The term 'auto focus' is somewhat misleading, as it implies a mechanism
to automatically focus the instrument. There is no such mechanism. In
fact there are no moving parts involved. The term is used to describe
an instrument which has a fixed focus. The focus is set to infinity,
and anything in the range of approximately 15m to infinity, will be in
Focus free is another term used to describe such instruments.
These instruments do require the user to have 20:20 vision, as they do
rely on the focusing ability of the human eye-ball to achieve part of
their objective. Spectacle wearers will have to use these binoculars
whilst wearing their glasses.
Auto focus binoculars do have their uses and as opera glasses and for
viewing sports in a large stadium, they are a very good option. This is
especially so where they may be being shared between two or more
people, as the need to re-focus to compensate for each user's eye sight
For other, more detailed observation requirements, they may not be such
an ideal solution. As previously stated, there is some reliance on the
focusing ability of the eye. For lengthy periods of observation, this
can prove to be tiring especially if there is movement involved.
However, as with all binoculars, auto focus binoculars have their role
to play depending on your specific requirements.
Buying Tip #1
what type you need. There are
several different types of
binoculars and they have considerably different features. Zoom,
stabilized and digital to give an example. Decide what type of
binoculars you need to meet your needs before you start to look in
Buying Tip #2
on your budget Binoculars lens
quality has a big impact upon
the final price. Before you fine tune your selection make sure you have
set a budget for the features and type of Binoculars you need. You will
avoid wasted shopping time if you have a budget you are working to.
Buying Tip #3
or Zoom.The larger the zoom the
larger the binoculars tends
to be the rule. The larger the lens size the brighter the image. Both
these elements increase the size of the binoculars. Before you shop
decide on the maximum physical size of binoculars you are happy with.