For many years, Europe has been leading other nations of the world in many areas and they’ve contributed greatly to technological advancement and scientific research. The field of optics is one of these areas, leading to the production of many amazing products.
As a result of their commitment towards innovation and quality, some European nations are seen as the forerunners of optics science and engineering. They’ve always remained ahead of many nations of the world.
As the years went by, some Asian countries began to contribute to science and technology, and Japan was a primary contributor.
By WWII, many countries began to experience great economical and technological advancement due to the influence of the United States. During this time, several companies started the production of binoculars in Japan after the optics businesses began.
At first, the Japanese binoculars produced were of low quality and far in technological advancement to those made in Europe. With time, the manufacturers were able to improve the quality of these binoculars by getting high-quality raw materials.
Today, Japanese binoculars are one of the best binoculars around the world and the only ones that match European standards. These are some of the top Japanese binocular brands that have been changing the optics industry in Japan.
Top Japanese Binoculars Brands
Nikon is a well-known brand at the forefront of imaging systems production in Japan. They’re known for making the best film cameras, camera lenses, laser rangefinders, mirrorless cameras, microscopes, Industrial Metrology equipment, ophthalmic lenses, and lithography systems.
Nikon was founded in 1927 in Tokyo, Japan. The company originally started with the production of microscopes, telescopes, and other optical lenses and cameras. By 1932, Nikkor lenses were unveiled. This gave rise to their brand name, NIKON. Nikon products at that time were more military-grade products specifically produced to meet the needs of the Japanese Armed forces during the war. However, they went back to producing civilian products as soon as the war ended, which led to the release of the first NIKON camera in 1948.
Some of the notable products by NIKON include:
- WX 7×50/10×50 IF
- PROSTAFF 3, 5 and 7s
- The ACULON series
- Elegant Compact
- Travelite EX
- Standard Action EX and more.
CANON is a Japanese company that has become a household name in the manufacture of optical and imaging devices. The company is a multinational company with its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. They’re well-known for the manufacture of optical, imaging, and industrial products like lenses, cameras, printers, sports optics, photocopiers, scanners, and much more.
When CANON was established in 1937, it was referred to as Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory and it was producing hand-held cameras at this point.
In the beginning, CANON did not have access to the raw materials used in manufacturing glass lenses and this prompted them to use the Nikkor lenses (by NIKON) back then.
With time, they began to grow and introduced many new devices in their product line including camcorders, printers, scanners, ink-jet cameras, SLR cameras, electronic calculators and they recorded huge success.
Some notable binoculars by CANON include:
- 8×25 IS
- 10×30 IS II
- 10×32/12×32/14×32 IS (The three medium-range binoculars)
- 12×36 IS III
- 15×50/18×50 IS (All Weather)
- 10×42 L IS WP (all-rounder binocular)
As one of the oldest companies in Japan, KOWA has evolved into a multinational corporation with several divisions that include, textile, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, optics, IT, and machinery equipment.
KOWA’s optics division manufactures numerous products including lenses, spotting scopes, binoculars, and smartphone digiscoping adapters.
KOWA started as a textile manufacturing brand in 1894 before expanding into other operations that led to the formation of the KOWA Optical Works.
They started with eyeglasses production before they started the production of binoculars. KOWA binocular series include:
- Prominar Genesis XD
- BDII-XD and BD Compact
- SV II and YF II
- Prominar High Lander.
SIGHTRON is a popular brand known for riflescopes, and they’re known for the manufacturing of sports optics in Japan.
SIGHTRON’s headquarters is located in North Carolina, US while most of its products are being manufactured in Japan.
The company manufactures spotting Scopes, binoculars, riflescopes, and illuminated reticle sights for hunters.
The company was established in late 1993 and all their products were made in Japan at this time. After their expansion, they moved the production of the budget products to their SIGHTRON facility in the Philippines, Manila while premium ones were made in Japan.
SIGHTRON offers a series of binoculars that come with a lifetime warranty and they include:
- SIII ED Series
- SII WP Series
- SI Series
- SI WP SerJapa
Fujinon is a manufacturer of multi-lenses for motion pictures and still photography.
The brand is a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings Corporation, which is well-known around the world for the production of camera lenses, digital cameras, and other imaging products.
The company was established inn1934 as a manufacturer of photographic films before they expanded into the optical lenses market. Their Fujinon lenses gained popularity among camera manufacturers early enough due to their incredible light transmittance and optical performance.
This set the foundation for creating the Fujinon brand and the Fuji Photo Optical Co. Ltd was established in 1944. With time, they expanded their product line into the production of binoculars in 1947 and many innovative products have been produced ever since then.
- FMT Series,
- MT Series
- Mariner Series,
- TECHNO-STABI Series
- HYPER-CLARITY Series
- LB-150 Series
- STABISCOPE Series.
Pentax is one of the few brands that come to mind when talking about the pioneers of imaging and photography in Japan. Pentax was established after WW1 and the brand has produced many analog and digital cameras, and other imaging products including binoculars.
The Pentax division that produces binoculars was bought by Ricoh Imaging in 2011, but most of its binoculars still have the Pentax label to date.
At this point, the company has become a major supplier of lenses for different camera manufacturers before it manufactured its first SLR camera Asahiflex in 1952. This recorded great success and inspired the company into changing its brand name to Pentax Corporation in 2002.
Several DSLR variants were produced by the company throughout 2000 before there was a merger between Hoya Corporation And Pentax HD Corporation to form Hoya Pentax HD Corporation. By 2011, Ricoh Imaging acquired all Pentax products. Ricoh has the following binocular series toLander.
- Z Series
- S Series
- U Series
- A Series
- Papilio II
- V Series
Things to consider when buying Binoculars
We have looked into the basics of the best Japanese binoculars. The next thing is for you to understand what to put into consideration before settling for any binocular. When buying a pair of binocular, the things to consider are:
It is the first thing to consider when buying binoculars. A lower modification refers to being far from your target or object.
Generally, a beneficial “all-encompassing” magnification for a purpose ranging from birding to hunting can be any one of 10x or 8x.
There is a need to consider a better stable surrounding, for example, a chair that could lay prone if higher magnification for a specific thing is what you want. You can opt for a lower magnification if you like to view a sporting match or concert.
Field of View
Binoculars’ field of view is an area you can see at a definite distance. For example, two binoculars with a 300ft field of view at 1000 yards. It implies that one can see an area of 300ft when viewing an object one thousand yards away.
When a lens is touched by light, a portion of the light is lost and not reflected on the surface. Thus, the manufacturers of binoculars add a slight coating on the surface of the lens to improve the whole light transmission and subdue the loss.
Any good binocular should have their lens coated and this is very crucial. A lot of lenses exist in a set of binoculars or scope. five percent of the light of a standard lens can be lost if not coated. You can lose thirty-five, twenty-five, thirty percent light of binoculars without a lens. Inevitably, It would lead to an image that is not good enough.
Your eye relief is important provided you put on your glasses. It is because the binoculars’ image center is what you will see if you wear glasses and your eye relief is too short.
Each set of binoculars made possesses a logical distance that the eyepiece is supposed to be from your eyes. It depends solely on the process involved in measurement used in the company manufacturing the binocular.
Usually, your binoculars can be specified by numbers like 10×50 or 8×42. The magnification is shown by the number that comes first. Thus, in the example that comes first 8×42, there is an 8x magnification. It means that the object emerges eight times closer.
The number that comes after is objective lens size. In the 10×50 example, the size of the objective lens is fifty millimeters while magnification is 10x. The larger the lens, the more the light that enters. You will get a clearer and sharper image with binoculars of a large set.
There are Zoom binoculars that are comparable only If magnification could be adjusted. Zoom can be 10-22×50. The Zoom could be 10x little or 22x much with an objective lens size of 50mm.
The twilight factor compares how effective the binocular and scopes of the spotting is and how you can use them in places with low light.
Getting the twilight factor is by multiplying the magnification by the size of the objective lens in millimeters. Next thing is to find the result afterward. How large the twilight factor is will determine the more detail you see in low light. A 17 twilight factor or more is necessary for rational usage of low light.
Many Japanese binoculars brands are amongst the top in the world and the major reason for this is their high quality and cost. Moreso, their products are on the same level as regards quality and manufacturing standards of many European nations.
When using a binocular, you need to achieve the best results and some parameters are very important for this. They include fully multi-coated lenses for better image brightness and quality and large magnification. However, you need to choose these parameters according to the intended purpose of use.