Is image contrast important for binoculars?

Contrast is the difference in brightness between the objects in your field of view and the background when compared to the background. This is important because good contrast is needed for seeing fainter objects and discerning subtle visual details.

For a given scene, a binocular’s coatings, optical quality, cleanliness, and collimation affect contrast. External factors that can impact contrast include air quality and turbulence.

Updated 10/23/13