Last Updated on March 9, 2021
For any hunting lover, a binocular is a must-have for making the hunting easy and enjoyable. It will help you to have a good look around the hunting areas and pick your game instantly. But, how to choose hunting binoculars that can do it more precisely and accurately? This is a very valid question as many of you get overwhelmed by the huge number of options you have on the market.
To do good research about the items you want to buy is a must for you. That is why we would suggest you go through as much information as you can. Read the description of the products elaborately, the customer reviews, the company itself, and their customer satisfaction level. Also, you need to know about your needs and preferences very clearly. According to your budget, you need to analyze your options wisely. Furthermore, read our full detailed guideline to know how to choose your hunting binocular.
How to Choose Hunting Binoculars on Your Own
There are various topics and points that you need to consider before buying your hunting binocular. We’ll talk about those things here:
Magnification is the most important part of a binocular for being the ultimate choice or not. But, the more the magnification the better it is, this principle doesn’t always work for your hunting binocular. In general, a magnification level of 7x to 10x will be enough for any hunting operation. Always remember that high magnification comes at the cost of an unsteady and narrow field of view images. But, it’s a real debate for the hunting lover to detect the optimum binocular magnification for hunting.
Besides, there are several issues for a high magnification binocular too. Many of the high-end binoculars i.e. night vision types don’t come with waterproof features. Also, they are not made for any hard use. So, choosing a bigger magnification isn’t always the better choice. You must select them according to your situation and demand.
Objective Lens Size
Objective lens size is enormously important for having a good hunting experience with your binocular. The most common and optimum objective lens size is about 40mm to 42mm. By this lens, you will be able to crack most of the hunting situations. Although the higher lens size will enable you to have a more detailed view of the game, that will require some expensive expenditure from your part.
Higher lens size helps to get a good shot at nighttime. For a regular hunting period, a normal 40mm will be just alright. Also, an increase in lens size will also make an impact on product weight. If you are going to move a lot around the hunting areas, this will be an important consideration. So, choose your hunting binocular accordingly.
Field of View
The field of view is most of the time expressed as FOV at 1000 yards. That is the area that you will be seeing in feet through your binocular at a distance of 1000 yards. Small FOV means that the viewing area would be small and big means the area will be wide. The bigger the magnification the smaller the FOV will be.
There isn’t any hard and fast rule about the ideal field of view. But, if you are going to use that in a wide and open field to locate and watch the fast-moving animals, then a bigger FOV will be the appropriate choice. Many give priority to the image quality over the field of view. That is why a standard amount of FOV will be just fine for most of the hunting operations.
Exit pupil is decided by the amount of magnification and objective lens. If you divide the objective lens by the magnification number, you will get the exit pupil of that binocular. It actually means the amount of light that passes through to the eye. So, a higher exit pupil will allow a large amount of light to pass through.
If you want to get all the parameters correct, like the best magnification, FOV, objective lens, and exit pupil in a product, it will be difficult. Knowing the human pupil may solve the problem. An average young person has an ability to capture in his pupil of around 7mm image and an elderly person has around 4mm ability. You should select an exit pupil that is the same or higher than your eye pupil ability.
Relative Brightness Index
You can find out the relative brightness index by knowing the square of the pupil. In a dim light condition, the perfect relative brightness index is higher or equal to 25 for most of the people. It’s a significant factor for your binocular.
Type of Prism
The type of prism is an important part too. There are mainly two types of the prism. One is roof prism and the other is Porro prism. The roof prism is a more user-friendly one. It is very lightweight and has a slim design. Also, the roof prism is located in the line of your eye. The amount of reflection is five times the light which is really good. The main drawback of it is the price it comes with. It is relatively expensive than the other one.
On the other hand, a Porro prism is something that will require a large object to reflect the light about four times. It is not in direct line with your eye and for that it may look like a bit above the eyepiece. The prism is comparatively affordable for you and you can buy one for you. It’s really difficult to choose a binocular that will be better for your hunting as many other factors also need to be taken into consideration.
The focus is either individual focus or central focus. If the game is about 30 to 40 yards then individual focus plays a very good role. They can be used very effectively for the medium and long-range use. Although, you don’t need a binocular to have a high focusing ability. But, they can be very durable by having no external parts and they are also waterproof.
The center focus types are perfect for a distance closer than 30 yards. When the situation is like this, the individual eyepiece focus isn’t the best solution for you.
Eye relief is the distance between your eye and the lens of the binocular. It is very important as many of the users wear glasses or sunglasses when they are hunting. So, a comfortable range is required for having a good look through the binocular. Before buying your hunting binocular, always check the eye relief and choose the one that is perfect for you. A poor eye relief will make you give extra effort to see the game.
An optical coating is very important because a significant amount of light will be reflected if there is no coating on the lens. It also removes any glare that may happen for the lens. If there is no coating, then there would be a huge problem for you. Nowadays most of the items have either a single layer coating or a multi-layer coating. You will get a brighter and clearer image quality once there is a coating on the lens.
There are many coating options for you in recent products. There are fully-coated, multi-coated, and fully multi-coated options. The higher you go with the coating layer, the more expensive it will be. Most of us don’t need a higher coated one as the moderate level products are well qualified for maximum user satisfaction. So, choose your hunting binocular carefully on this feature as you may want for you.
Quality of the Image
Image quality is very important for a long-time user. If you are using just a couple of times then a moderate quality will be just fine. But, for the continuous use of your binocular, you must go for a quality product with a good image. If you are going to get a moderate option, then a $100 or $150 hunting binocular would be good. But, for good image quality, you should aim for a $200 hunting binocular or even go for a $300 hunting binocular.
That way you will get a nice, dependable, and optically sound binocular. A reputed manufacturer will be a good option to choose any hunting binocular from. The prominent products are always nice as they will never cause any fatigue to your eyes if you are using that for a long time at a stretch.
Weight and Size
The binocular may weigh too much for you when they are built on a heavy glass structure. Sometimes they can be around two pounds or more. If you are about to go for a long expedition or a multi-day hunting operation, then having a weighty binocular around your neck for a long time may be very difficult.
Also, the size is very important for you as you will need to carry all the equipment with maximum ease and comfort. So, picking a quality compact binocular will be a good choice for hunting time. In hiking time, a compact one is good alongside a monocular for variation of choices too. A small objective lens will be good for keeping the weight low, but you may sacrifice the performance of your binocular.
Waterproofness is a must for a hunting binocular as you will use them in a rough world of wilderness. It will definitely come in contact with water and no harm can happen to your product because of that. That way no fog will happen too and leaking will be eradicated. The model must be very durable in all those situations.
Easy to Hold
A rubber coating structure is of high value as you want a good hold of your binocular in all types of situations. In wet conditions, the binocular must be very easy to hold. This feature also contributes to the long-lasting of any product.
Many of the products come with some additional items with it. A strap, binocular case, harness of the body, and other items are very common to find in the box. You can also buy those things separately. You will hang the binocular around your neck by the strap. For easy and comfortable use, you can also use a body harness. That way the weight felt around your neck will be reduced.
A case is also very handy for keeping your product safe for long use. It will protect the binocular from having been scratched through the process of moving from one place to another. Because the rubber coating can’t protect alone from all types of drops and shocks. A shock-resistant product can be a good option to choose as a hunting binocular.
There are a wide variety of products out there and they have a range of prices too. It’s really difficult for us to point to the best-priced product. We will suggest you look for your requirements and budget. Then you may go for a certain product. It is very likely that a $1000 hunting binocular will be very good in terms of glass quality and image quality. But, sometimes they will disappoint you too.
You can also get a very good quality binocular for long-range viewing for a low price too. A $500 binocular can be good for hunting too if you choose wisely for your hunting binocular. There are many other buying options too for a different price. There is really no need to spend a lot for an excellent product.
There are many other factors too if you want to consider more. The user reviews of the previous customers are very helpful too as you can find about the most performing items. Also, renowned brands are a wise option to go for. In a nutshell, we can say that a good buy always requires lots of study and research as a product may accompany you for a long period of time. So, picking the right kinds of hunting binoculars is really important for having a wonderful hunting experience. Enjoy your binocular to the fullest!
Kalman is a hunting expert who has a vast experience with wild game hunting. Though night time hunting is his favorite, he masters the art of daytime hunting and shooting. Being a nature lover and outdoor enthusiast, he wants to pass the knowledge acquired over time to the next generation.