Binoculars are hand held optical devices which magnify distant objects using an eyepiece, allowing them to be observed more closely.
The name ‘binocular’ comes from Latin, bi (meaning two) and oculus (meaning eye).In the most general sense, binoculars are just two telescopes joined together. But how exactly do they work? It is hard to describe any scientific process without sounding like a school teacher, so here is a very simplified version of what actually happens inside a pair of binoculars:
Remember that binoculars are just two telescopes? Well, at the end of each of theses telescopes is a large optic lens. Light passes through this lens, and an image is captured. The light then travels along the chamber, becoming magnified, so that the image appears much larger and closer than it is. The inclusion of a second lens at the eyepiece ensures that the image is then magnified further.
Because of the way binocular lenses work, this image at first appears upside down. Field glasses (slightly different to binoculars) use a second lens, further up the chamber to invert the magnified image so that the image will always appear the right way up. However, most popular compact binoculars these days use prisms. In these binoculars, a prism in each tube performs the work of the second lens more accurately resulting in a much clearer image and greater magnification potential.
For more information and to view a comprehensive range of pocket binoculars, visit Sherwoods Photographic, a family owned company who specialise in telescopes and binoculars.