With so many different kinds of optics available, choosing the one that works best for any given circumstance can prove to be baffling. Take a look at binoculars and telescopes, for example. Each of them can be used for a broad variety of situations, and some might even overlap. Both binoculars and telescopes make distant objects appear closer in order to let the observer look at the details. But can telescopes also be used as binoculars?
When to use Binoculars?
So, when to use binoculars instead of a telescope? A good rule of thumb is that if you plan on moving your device around, binoculars are the wiser choice. This is because it can be extremely troublesome to set up and take down a telescope. And with constant movement, this can be a challenge.
Also, if you do not need such a high magnification, a telescope would only mean unnecessary work dragging it around for other purposes. Here are some circumstances in which a pair of binoculars is favoured over the use of a telescope: bird watching, whale watching, sporting events, hiking, hunting, golfing, and sailing.
When to use a Telescope?
Although binoculars may seem like the more practical choice, telescopes certainly have their own function that binoculars simply cannot compete in. That is astronomy. Studying space and its celestial objects is just about what telescopes were designed for.
Even though our planet is rotating round the clock, the rotation is still steady enough that the observer can make necessary adjustments. Telescopes are also used for photography and since you mount them on tripods, the image is perfectly stable.
When can a Telescope be Used as Binoculars?
Of course, telescopes can be used as binoculars, but the question is: when? An astronomical telescope can observe things on Earth if they are distant enough to be focused, and if the telescope can be pointed at them. Frequently, the image of the target is flipped upside down, but there are prisms to correct that.
Most telescopes can be used for terrestrial viewings such as bird watching, scenery, sports, or even for wildlife viewing. Users can also take pictures of different scenic views, wildlife, and nature in general. Even though situations such as observing birds is not their primary intention of use, it can still be done. However, being able to do something does not always mean it is the best idea - it depends on the situation.
Some circumstances may call for a particular optic, but there are rare occasions where the most suitable device for the job may shock you. So, in a nutshell, yes, you could turn a telescope towards objects here on Earth instead of a pair of binoculars, and it would work, but for best results and easiest performance, use binoculars instead.