Binoculars are an optical instrument for magnifying objects at a great distance. The instrument was invented in 1608 by Dutchman Hans Lipperhey from Middelburg.

Today's binoculars are usually double (binocular) and consist of two equal telescopes with small magnification. Both binocular halves contain an objective and an eyepiece and are equipped with an array of prisms to straighten the image (an astronomical telescope without these prisms will give an inverted image). Binoculars are therefore also called prism binoculars. The prisms also shorten the binoculars by collapsing the beam path.

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