When your favorite band or musician is in town, there is no greater feeling than the one you have as you watch them do what they do best on stage. However, acquiring seats that are near the stage can be almost impossible at times. With all the restrictions imposed during concerts, you may be wondering whether you should bring binoculars with you.
You should definitely carry a pair of powerful but portable binoculars during concerts, whether indoor or outdoor. Regardless of the seats you got, binoculars will help heighten the experience and will leave you feeling like you attended the concert while seated in the first row.
It’s not every day that you get to attend your favorite artist’s concert; thus, you should make sure you go prepared to get the most out of the performance. With the right magnification power and sufficient field of view, you are likely to experience one of the best moments of your life.
Below, I’ll dive into the best magnification and field of view for concert binoculars, as well as other important factors that you should consider. I also have some tips on using the device and how to make sure they do not get lost during the event.
Ideal features of concert binoculars
While all binos serve the sole purpose of bringing the action closer, not all of them are ideal for concerts. Certain specifications are best suited for such occasions. The best pair of binoculars is one that you can use in indoor and outdoor concerts. Additionally, since concerts do not happen every week or month, it is prudent to purchase a device that can be used for other activities such as bird-watching, going on safaris, hiking, or nature exploration.
Magnification and lens size
For concerts, 8X32 binoculars are perfect. An 8X magnification means that the images will appear eight times closer than they are. A 32mm diameter is large enough to allow sufficient light penetration but not too much to become bulky. Besides, in concerts, the main focus is on stage, and thus, you will find that the whole area is well lit, which makes viewing easier.
Field of view
The field of view refers to the entire area you can view using the binoculars at 1000 yards. A binocular with a large FOV offers a wide viewing area, which allows you to observe the performers and the stage in its entirety.
Concerts last between 2 to 4 hours. While this may not seem like a lot of time while watching your favorite band/orchestra/musician, holding on to a pair of heavy binoculars will make it feel like an eternity. The ideal gadget for concerts should be light in weight to allow prolonged viewing. They should also come with a neck strap that holds the binoculars over your neck when not in use (this way, you can retrieve them easily when the need arises).
Top-notch image rendering
What is the use of having a pair of binos that cannot produce clear, crisp, and bright images? Ensure that the device you purchase can render top-of-the-line images regardless of the location or time (indoors or outdoors, day or night). High-quality, multi-coated lenses ensure that enough light passes through by reducing the reflection of light throughout the surface of the glass.
Water and fog proof binoculars
The weather is unpredictable and can surprise us when we least expect it. Consequently, buying a pair of water and fog-proof binoculars guarantees uninterrupted viewing regardless of the weather. This is especially true during an outdoor concert, so make sure you are prepared in case of any changes.
Eye relief of more than 15mm
As mentioned before, concerts can last up to 4 hours! Having a small eye relief translates to straining and interrupted viewing: who wants that?
Eye relief refers to the distance between your eyes and the device’s eyepiece that allows an optimum viewing angle. To avoid this, stick to an eye relief of 15mm or more, especially if you wear glasses.
Firm grip and strategically positioned strap lugs
You wouldn’t want to buy a device that you can easily drop, especially in the middle of a performance. To avoid this, look for binoculars that offer a firm grip. A rubber armored gadget not only offers this feature, but protects the binoculars from impact, falls, and scratches.
Additionally, look for a pair of binos that have strategically positioned strap lugs. If the lugs are small and positioned close to the eyepieces, they will not poke your hands and annoy you. This ensures that nothing interferes with your grip while holding the binos. As mentioned before, you will be holding the binos for hours, and therefore, you need a gadget that will make the process as easy and smooth as possible.
How expensive should the binoculars be?
If you’re using them for concerts, you need to consider the trade-off:
Possibility of loss / theft / damage
The more expensive the optics, the better the viewing experience (usually), but the more you stand to lose in case something goes wrong.
Personally, I wouldn’t bring binos to a concert if they cost more than, say, $200.
Also, you can get pretty decent optics in the $100 – $200 range, so that’s what I would recommend looking for.
How can I make the most out of my binos during a concert?
It is one thing to carry a pair of binos to a concert and quite another to know how to use them to actually have the time of your life. Here are some tips that can enhance your overall experience during the concert.
- Keep the binos somewhere that you can easily retrieve them. This can be around your neck (using a neck strap), in your pocket (if the size allows), on a fanny pack, or a backpack. You wouldn’t want to miss a single second of the performance.
- Always ensure the eyecups are set to fit your needs. If you wear glasses, twist the eyecups down, and if you don’t, twist them upwards.
- While viewing, avoid having the eyecups pressed hard on your eyes as it can create a distorted image.
- Make use of the diopter adjustment knob and focus wheel to fine-tune the image. Perfect and stable images heighten the experience.
- Maintain a proper posture that allows prolonged viewing without getting tired. Having compact binos is not enough – you need to keep your body in a position that does not tire your back or hands. Tip: keep your shoulders away from your head by pulling them down and back. Tuck your shoulders and focus on the stage.
- Keep the lenses clean at all times. Small things like dust, smudges, or water droplets can interfere with your view. However, this does not mean you can use any piece of cloth to clean them. Most binoculars come with a cleaning kit and detailed instructions on how to keep the device clean. Utilize the kit to prolong the life of your gadget.
How can you prevent loss or damage of your binos during a concert?
Binoculars can be relatively expensive, especially the high-end variety. Keeping them safe from damage and loss is a top priority, especially when going to a concert full of hundreds of people. Below is a list of tips that will help you avoid such scenarios.
- Do not share your binoculars with strangers: This does not mean you are selfish; instead, it prevents two negatives. One, when the binoculars are returned, you will have to reset them to fit your viewing specifications, which might lead to you missing out on some action on stage. Secondly, the binos might never be returned. There is always a possibility that they will be passed from one person to the next and get lost in the process. Why risk?
- To prevent falls, use a neck strap so that even if you mistakenly drop them from your hands, they do not hit the ground. After the concert, place the binos in a bag or a pocket.
Do not let the blissful and memorable moments pass you by during a concert – always carry a portable and powerful pair of binoculars that will allow you to see the entire stage clearly regardless of your seat’s position.