Hunting Binocular Comparison
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Hunting Binocular Buying Guide
Choosing the Right Hunting Binoculars
How much you choose to spend on your hunting binoculars plays a part in how long they will last and how well they perform. This doesn’t mean that you have to go for the most expensive pair. But it DOES mean don’t go for the cheapest binoculars as well.
There are many mid-range binoculars that will work for your needs. Buyers can spend less than $500 and own a high quality pair of binoculars that are bright, sharp and durable. There are several things that you need to consider when you are shopping for just the right pair of binoculars for your hunting trips and other outdoor excursions.
- Size and weight – You will want to get full-sized binoculars for deer hunting and scouting. These will be between 5 and 8 inches tall and will normally weigh anywhere from 18 to 30 ounces. If you are doing your hunting mostly from hunting stands, you can get away with an even heavier pair. If your hunting trips consist of a lot of walking and moving around, you will want to look for a smaller and lighter pair. Unfortunately, compact binoculars do not offer users the same bright, sharp images that the full-size models do.
- Magnification – High powered optics are very popular but you don’t always need them for deer hunting. The increased power will decrease your field of view, the brightness and the ability to hold the images steady. If you’re using the binoculars for all around use look at 6x for still hunting in deep woods, 8x for all around use such as sporting events and other excursions, and 10x for open terrain hunting. Lower powered binoculars (7x or 8x) are the perfect ones for scanning the tree lines and fields for turkey and deer.
When it comes to magnification, much will depend on the terrain and game you are hunting. The wide field of view provided by lower power binoculars (8x or 7x) is great for scanning wooded tree lines and agricultural fields for deer and turkey. With a wide angle binocular, you’re more likely to see that trophy buck lurking around on the edges of the herd.
- Brightness – Since a lot of your scouting will be done at dusk and dawn, low light capability and brightness is very important. One of the factors that contribute to the quality of the brightness is the lens coating. Brightness is a desired feature so be sure to look for binoculars that advertise their brightness levels and superiority.
- Sharpness – Another word for sharpness is resolution. This is another high priority factor to consider when shopping for new binoculars. Since hunters look for the tiniest details when watching for game, you want to be able to see those tiny details, especially in the middle of dense woods or brush. The size of the objective lenses, the quality of the glass and the prism are all factors when it comes to image sharpness. The sharper the image the more chances you’ll have to have a successful hunt.
- Prism – Most prisms are cheaply made and are simply too bulky to enjoy. Your best decision would be to buy a roof-prism. Make sure that the prism in the binoculars is phase coated. This will correct a specific problem that roof prisms have by realigning the light waves. This improves the contrast and resolution. This is the perfect item for a neighborhood bird watching session.
- Durability and Ruggedness – These are important features to look for when you will be using the binoculars in remote areas and in different weather conditions. An example of this is a roof prism versus a traditional porro prism. The roof prism will withstand high moisture and different degrees of impact much better than the porro will. Almost all of the binoculars with the roof prism are waterproof and fog proof making them much better choices for remote use.
- Common Accessories- There are many different types of accessories that can come with a pair of binoculars. These accessories come in handy when you are outdoors in a tree stand or traveling over rough terrain. We have listed some of the more common accessories that you may want to consider.
- Straps- Having a strap on your binoculars is a lot like having a strap on a camera. It leaves your hands free when you are not using the binoculars. Straps come in all lengths and widths and it is mostly up to personal preference what type of strap you get. Get one that will be comfortable to have around your neck while you are traveling.
- Body harness – many hunters and outdoorsmen prefer body harnesses over straps because it carries the weight of the binoculars across the shoulders and upper body rather than just around the neck. This is particularly helpful if the pair of binoculars you have chosen is heavy.
- Case – cases are always a good idea. They protect your binoculars from scratches, moisture and damage when you are not using them. If you have your binoculars in the case while you are traveling, driving, climbing, etc. They will not be subjected to the degree and number of impacts that they could receive. Too many shocks and drops can result in breaking the interior components of the binoculars and also affect waterproofing. Shock proof pairs minimize this possibility and a good, sturdy case will increase that even more.
Binoculars are undoubtedly one of the more important investments a hunter will make when purchasing their gear. A high quality set of hunting binoculars will improve their chances of finding game and can also allow them to see parts of the environment that they wouldn’t be able to see with the naked eye.
Low quality binoculars are not better than nothing, as you will only find yourself frustrated with the blurry images and limitations that a low quality pair has. Investing in the best pair of hunting binoculars you can will increase the enjoyment of your hunting trips as well as improve the chances of you getting some game to bring home.
With so many choices on the market, it is very important that you know what to look for to ensure that you are purchasing a high quality product. You want to make sure that it will last you a lifetime of hunting, fishing, hiking and camping trips so taking the time now to do some research into the details of the different models you are looking at will pay off.
- Vortex Optics – http://www.vortexoptics.com/
- Carson – http://www.carson.com/
- Nikon – http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/en/index.page