Coated Binoculars

While binoculars have maintained the same basic structure over the years, modern technology had enabled advancements in the area of lens coating, which has meant better light transmission and thus greater clarity, especially in higher-end binoculars. All binoculars worth considering today should be coated.

Coating the lenses guards against unwanted reflection and transmits as much light as possible to the user. Binocular lenses are typically coated (preferably on all glass surfaces) with a layer of magnesium fluoride. Higher-end lenses may have more advanced antireflection coatings, coating every glass surface with more than one layer.

Look for the words “fully coated,” (or FC) “multi-coated” (or MC) and, for the best of the best, “fully multi-coated” (FMC). (C means, simply, “coated.”) To restate, coated lense binoculars are a necessity. The coating, however, is not intended to protect the glass from scratches, though it is rub-resistant.

Ruby or red coating is a relatively new innovation said to reduce glare, especially in bright light, but some feel it is a gimmick, or a means of trying to compensate for lesser-quality optics. VanGuard, Konus, Vivitar and Meade are among the brands that promote ruby coating on their binoculars’ lenses.

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