How To Choose Binoculars For Football (Best UK Guide)

How To Choose Binoculars For Football (Best UK Guide)

Every football fan knows that you get to see more of the match sitting at home watching Match of the day on TV. But you also know that nothing beats the atmosphere of actually being there and cheering on your favourite team. Premier league clubs charge so much nowadays for the best seats, and to go regularly we often have to get the cheap (cheaper) seats.

The problem is to get a cheap seat often means sitting up in the Gods and not being able to see much of the match because we’re too far away from the action. That’s why we’ve started taking binoculars with us now, it’s true you can’t use them all the time, but, at least you can see what’s going on.

To buy a decent pair of binoculars for watching football can be tricky, what with the amount of brands and models available. So here’s what to look for to get the most from your next match.

What’s the 4 Specs To Consider For Football Binoculars?

There are lots of things to get your head around when it comes to buying binoculars, every hobby has different requirements, so every hobby has different considerations when it comes to buying binoculars. That doesn’t mean you’ll need different binoculars for everything you do, there are crossovers. But here’s the 4 most important things to consider when buying binoculars for football.

They are; the size, weight, magnification and the field of view. Don’t worry if you’re not sure about some of the terminology, we’ll break it all down for you in easy to understand sections. So here goes;

What Size Binoculars Are Best For Watching Football?

Binoculars come in three sizes and they’re determined by the objective lens diameter. The objective lens is the bigger of the two, the one nearest the object you’re looking at. The sizes run like this;

  • Compact Binoculars – These have an objective lens diameter of below 30 mm
  • Mid Size Binoculars – Mid Size binoculars have an objective lens of between 30 to 40mm
  • Full Size Binoculars – Full size binoculars have an objective lens of more than 40mm

What you have to consider here is the weight of the binoculars, not only have you got to carry them to the match, but for 90 minutes you’ve got to hold them too. Plus for a lot of that time you’ll be holding them up to your eyes which although it doesn’t sound like much, after a while your arms will start to ache if the bins are too heavy.

Plus there’s the shakes to think about, we all shake when we hold something in one position for too long. It’s natural and nothing to worry about, unless you happen to be looking through the lens of a pair of binoculars. Under magnification that shake is going to be more noticeable, so we don’t recommend binoculars with more than 10x magnification.

The larger the objective lens, the heavier the binoculars will be, because the glass the lens is made from gets heavier as it gets bigger. So compact binoculars will weigh less than mid size bins and full size weigh the most.

How To Tell The Magnification & Objective Lens Size 

Stamped onto the body of the binoculars you’ll see a series of numbers separated by an X, looking something like 10×42, 8×32 or 7×25. The number before the X is the amount of magnification and the x means times so 10x means 10 times magnification and so on.

The numbers after the X are the size of the objective lens diameter in millimeters so 10×42 has 10 times magnification with an objective lens diameter of 42mm. As the objective lens is over 40, 10×42 is full size. 

What’s The Field Of View?

The field of view (FoV) is how wide a view you can see through the binocular lens from left to right without moving your head. They show it in the specs as either the angular FoV or the linear FoV. Anything between 6° to 8° is a good angular field of view for football. In linear it’s anything between 315 feet per 1,000 yards to 420 feet per 1,000 yards or in metric, 105 metres per 1,000 metres to 140 metres per 1,000 metres (which are all the same values, expressed in 3 different ways).

So What Size Binoculars Are Best For Football Matches?

Now we’ve given you the main facts to consider when buying a pair of binoculars for taking down the ground, you can choose which size to buy. For regular use (every match day) you’ll probably be better off with a compact pair when it comes to weight, they’re lighter to carry, lighter to hold, but they will have a lower FoV than a mid size pair, which very often don’t weigh that much more.

For taking to a football ground we’d recommend a pair of binoculars with 8x magnification and an objective lens of 32mm So our recommendation for binoculars to take to the match are 8×32. As many stadiums now prohibit binocular cases from the grounds, compact or mid size binoculars will be easier to carry in your small backpack or even your coat pocket.

Other Features To Consider For Binoculars To Watch Football

Whether you’re going to a league game, a cup game or an exhibition match it’s well worth taking a decent pair of binoculars with you. We’ve given you the main points and we’ve even recommended the best size binoculars for football grounds. Now there’s a few other features worth having on your new binoculars. They are:

Waterproof Binoculars For Football

Think about the football season, it runs from the end of August, right through to the following May. That’s The end of the Summer, all through Autumn and Winter and finishes the next Spring. Now think about the chances of you getting wet at some point on a Saturday in Great Britain through the Winter.

It’s pretty likely that you will get caught in a downpour at some point during the season so getting a waterproof pair of binoculars will save your investment from getting damaged. When it comes to waterproofing, there’s an industry code which can be a bit confusing but any binoculars with a code IPX6 or above will prevent any rain getting in and doing internal damage.

Fog Proof Binoculars

Having fog proof lenses makes a lot of sense, because getting out of a warm coach and walking into the ground is more than enough to cause the temperature to change enough to fog up the binocular lenses.

How Do They Make Binoculars Fog Proof?

 To make them fog proof they remove the air from the lens tubes and replace it with nitrogen or argon gas.These gasses contain no moisture so they can’t react with sudden temperature fluctuations. As a bonus, because the gas is sealed in, no dust or mould spores can enter the tubes to cause any problems. 

What Type Of Binoculars Is Best For Football?

There are two main types of binoculars available and they both have pros and cons. We don’t want to bore you with a load of facts and figures so here’s a summary of both types. The classic M shaped binoculars are called Porro prisms. They are larger, heavier, bulkier, more difficult to waterproof, easier to damage but a decent pair will cost considerably less than roof prisms.

Roof prism binoculars are shaped more like a capital H, they’re lighter, more compact, easier to carry, easier to hide, easier to waterproof, they’re more robust and because of the way they’re made, they don’t get damaged too easily. But they do cost more than comparable Porro prisms.

Lens Coatings

A decent pair of binoculars will have a lens that’s been coated to prevent too much glare and improve the brightness, light transmission and contrast. The trouble is there are as many different types of coatings as there are binocular brands. So look for fully multi-coated lenses as these are as near to top quality as you can get.

What Does ED Glass Mean On Binoculars?

It’s all to do with the glass the prisms are made from, if you look at a prism, it lets white light in and emits a rainbow of colour from the other side. ED or Extra-low Dispersion glass keeps those colours bright and crisp. Making the images you see (in this case your team scoring plenty of goals hopefully) clearer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are binoculars allowed in football stadiums?

Yes, binoculars are allowed in football stadiums but some grounds prohibit binocular cases.

What size binoculars are best for football matches?

We would recommend either compact or midsize binoculars are the best for football matches, as many clubs prohibit binocular cases from grounds.