Hunting Binoculars: Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to hunting, you have to put virtually all of your senses to use if you truly want to succeed: hearing, taste, smell, touch and most importantly, vision. Vision affects target acquisition and in many cases, it could make or break the trip. As a result, it’s a very good idea to support your natural eyesight with purpose design accessories like binoculars. While you could always rely on your rifle scope to extend your overall vision, a solid pair of binoculars should be a much better choice. Nonetheless, novice hunters often have multiple questions about binoculars on the market which complicate the acquisition of the optical instrument.

  Unable to make up your mind because you don’t have enough information around? If that is so, this article got something you could use. Right down below are a couple of frequently asked questions regarding the average hunting binoculars as well as their answers. Take a good look at following contents and you should have trouble securing quality optics for your next hunting trips. As different people would have different tastes, feel free to make changes to the provided suggestions and recommendations in order to meet your personal preferences.   

1. Is it wise for me to buy high power binoculars?

There is a misconception that the higher the magnification, the more useful the optic is. For most of the time, there is no need to get a pair of hunting binoculars with extreme power settings. As the magnification gets higher and higher, the steadiness of the image would decrease accordingly. Of course, you could increase the image steadiness somewhat by keeping the binoculars steady but that is often impractical after a long and exhausting hike. Therefore, unless you have specific sighting needs and requirements, stick to examples that have a magnification between 7x and 10x.  In the case that you are able to spare room for a tripod in your inventory, consider getting observation binoculars. That being said, tripods are going to add a lot of weight so things might get tedious on extended trips. Moreover, if you want some tactical flexibility out there, zoom binoculars would serve you well.  Compared to ordinary binoculars that have fixed power settings, zoom binoculars let you change their magnification in times of need. The maximum power setting could even reach up to 50x. On the downside, the field of view of zoom binoculars is inferior to traditional ones and then you tend to face shaky images as well.  

2. What is the best size for the binoculars objective lenses?

To determine the size of lens you should use for your binoculars, you must understand what you are looking for. Normally, 32mm, 40mm or 42mm would suffice for most of the time if you are really just an ordinary hunter.

You should not go for anything lower than 30mm, especially if you intend to hunt in low light conditions/environments. The large the objective lenses, the more detail the target image get but as always, there are drawbacks: large size lenses are bulky and expensive. Take your hunting hours, eye condition along with financial ability into account in order to come up with sensible decisions.

3. Porro prisms Vs. Roof prisms, which one offer more benefits?

While shopping for hunting binocular, it’s highly likely that you would run into several examples that are advertised as Porro prism or Roof prism. So what should you choose? Check out this short overview here and decide for yourselves.

 Porro prisms:

Up until the 1960s, Porro prism binoculars dominate the market and there are good chances are you already see them in classic movies. The most distinctive trait of Porro prism binoculars is the wide hinge between the oculars. Thanks to that, you have no trouble adjusting the binoculars in order to better fit the size of your face. In addition to that, Porro prism binoculars are known for being affordable so get them if you have basic demands and want to save money. However, the resistance and durability of Porro prism binoculars in general tend to fare poorly against their Roof prism counterparts.

 Roof prism:

Introduced by Zeiss, Roof prism binoculars have a complex composition which means they often require precise manufacturing procedures.  Considering the investment required to produce such optical instruments, the price of Roof prism binoculars is not cheap at all. In exchange, Roof prism binoculars receive many praises from serious hunters as well as spotters who prioritize dependability and reliability. If you expect less than ideal conditions and harsh weathers, Roof prism binoculars would definitely prove to be great accessories. Nonetheless, it’s not worth getting these binoculars if you are only a recreational hunter.  

4. Do I have to care about the binoculars eye relief?

“There is no recoil here, why do I need to pay special attention to eye relief?” some hunters ask themselves.  Well, it’s true that hunting binoculars are not affected by recoil and hunters with good eyes don’t need to care about eye relief. That being said, to people with visual impairments and have to wear corrective glasses, eye relief is always a concern. If you don’t take account of your glasses while shopping for hunting binocular, you might end up with a severely reduced field of view. In most of the case, an eye relief of around 15mm or so is often needed to accommodate corrective glasses.

5. What types of optical coatings are necessary for hunting binoculars?

When it comes to hunting in the outdoors, light loss and glare are constant worries. To tackle these issues, it’s of utmost importance that your binoculars got quality coatings. Nowadays, there are 3 types of optical coating available for ordinary hunting binoculars: multi-coated, fully coated and fully multi-coated. Among them, the fully multi-coated coating is the best but the associated cost turns away a lot of hunters. So if you are hoping to get something of good quality, invest and get at least a multi-coated example.


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