Dielectric Coatings in Binoculars - What Does it Mean?

Binocular lenses with dielectric coatings

Looking through a pair of binoculars can transport us to extraordinary worlds, unveiling hidden details and bringing distant objects into crystal-clear focus. Behind these remarkable optics lies an often-overlooked hero: dielectric coatings.

These seemingly mundane layers hold the power to enhance brightness, improve contrast, and deliver unrivalled colour fidelity, all while minimizing reflections that can dampen our visual immersion. In the realm of binoculars, dielectric coatings are the unsung champions, revealing a universe of breath-taking sights with every look through them.

Dielectric coatings are commonly found on the prisms inside binoculars. Binoculars use Roof prisms or Porro prisms to correct the inverted image that is formed by the objective lenses. However, dielectric coatings are typically applied to Roof prisms rather than Porro prisms.

Roof prisms have surfaces that are parallel and perpendicular, allowing for the application of dielectric coatings. These coatings help improve light transmission and reduce reflections within the prism.

On the other hand, Porro prisms have surfaces at varying angles, which makes it more challenging to apply dielectric coatings directly onto them.

As well as improving image quality on bright clear days, the dielectric coatings work in low-light conditions, such as at dawn, dusk, or in shaded areas, where there is generally less available light for observation. These coatings help maximize usage of what light is available, allowing for better visibility and enhanced image quality.

Different Types of Coatings

There's many types of coatings that can be applied to binoculars to improve their performance and enhance the viewing experience. Some of the most common coatings include:

Anti-reflective coatings: These are applied to the lens surface to reduce the amount of light that is reflected. This ncreases the amount of light that is transmitted through the lenses and improving image brightness and contrast.

Phase-correction coatings: Applied to the prisms inside the binoculars these correct phase shifts that occur as light passes through them. This works to improve image sharpness.

Dielectric coatings: As mentioned, dielectric coatings are applied to the prisms, reducing reflection and improve image brightness and clarity.

Waterproof coatings: These coatings are applied to the exterior surfaces of the binoculars to prevent moisture getting into the lenses/prisms. They also protect the structure from water damage to enhance their durability and extend their lifespan. Usually the binoculars are also nitrogen purged to prevent internal fogging too.

Scratch-resistant coatings: As the name suggests, these coatings on the exterior surfaces protect them from scratches.

The type of coatings that are applied to binoculars can have a significant impact on their performance and durability. Therefore, it's important to choose binoculars with high-quality coatings that are appropriate for your needs and intended use.

To learn more about the different coating terminology click here.

Overall, it's safe to say that without a number of different coatings, your binoculars wouldn't be half as effective or long lasting. However, a true stand-out are dielectric coatings. Working to give you crisp quality in all weathers, but also particularly useful for those observing objects in low light conditions!

Check out our whole binoculars range here, or head to ligo.co.uk to see our current deals or sales.