My favorite binoculars are a cheap, cheesy little tourist trap pair of collapsible, made in Japan, 1960s lookers. While only three power, and having a focus mechanism that is based on pure chance and dumb luck, they are incredibly convenient…you take them out, flip them open and start looking.
Finished? Flip them closed, chuck them in the glove box or slip them in your pocket and you’re done.
Extremely worry free, closed, the lenses are protected. In use, small enough to be unobtrusive, but still large enough for comfortable use by paws the size of mine (I’m 6’2″, 320 and have worked all my life) The things are great! The eyepieces are shrouded, but flat enough to be used by a glasses wearer.
The focus is enough to enhance and clarify the object you are looking at, but not so strong as to magnify the flaws inherent in that level of quality manufacture. In addition to their convenience is the retro-tech quality they have. In looking at them, you see the dream of the 1960’s of style, full functionality, ease of use and ‘new cool’..sort of the beginning of todays’ techno-style.
I am almost always amazed at the number of conversations that get started by producing them from your pocket. It surprises me that something as quaint as my pair can elicit so many positive comments.
In short, for all of their shortcomings as high definition optical aids, they are my favorite binoculars because of all the other things they bring to the table..and can, through the contacts they allow, help me to see aspects of life that you would not normally plan to see through a pair of binoculars.