Are you stuck trying to figure out what type of hunting binoculars to choose for your outdoor game? Binoculars are two small telescopes joined together mechanically. Each of them has a large objective lens on its exterior, a prime focal length, a focusing unit, an exit pupil, and an eyepiece.
How to Choose the Best Hunting Binocular
Choosing the best binoculars for hunting is not an easy task. You need to be aware of some essential features before buying your binoculars, and you will find out precisely what they are in this article.
You need to be conscious that there are so many types of binoculars out there in the market. A good hunting binocular will enable you to see the environment and the prey clearly from a distant location. As an avid hunter, you ultimately need to have some specialized binoculars, mainly because you will likely be hunting under low light conditions.
When you go to the market searching for the best hunting binoculars, make sure that you pick a highly engineered hunting binocular that can produce sharp, bright, and crystal clear images.
However, to pick these kinds of hunting binoculars, you need to consider certain factors, and we will guide you through these factors and more.
What to Look for Before Choosing the Best Hunting Binoculars?
One of the critical factors that you need to consider when buying a hunting binocular is high-quality components. They are essential when it comes to hunting binoculars. A good prism will help you view clear images, which is vital when you focus on a target.
You need to be aware that there are two types of prisms available in the market, the Roof prism and Porro prisms.
Roof Prisms Binoculars.
The roof prism binoculars are more compact and have straight optical tubes within. Between the tubes, two pivot points and are not easily adjustable to the user’s eye space. A roof prism will reflect the light up to five times, and the resultant light will exit in the same manner that it came.
The roof prism has lightweight, slimmer dimensions, a compact build, and its objective lens lies directly in line with its eyepiece. So when purchasing hunting binoculars with roof prisms, ensure that it is of a higher value. From our experience, you get more when you pay more for these prisms.
Porro prisms Binoculars.
Their objective lens is not in line with its ocular lens system for Porro prisms, and identification is based on the offset tubes. The distance between the front lenses is closer than that of those at the rear, and the reverse holds true for some models which are more compact.
The design of this type of prisms is usually more superior to the roof prisms. They are straightforward to adjust because they have a single pivot between the two halves of the binoculars.
However, it is essential to note that we also have different types of Porro prisms. So look out for BAK-4 prisms, Hunting Binoculars, and the BK-7 binoculars. The BAK-4 prisms are the best as they produce crystal clear images by eliminating light’s internal scattering. They are made of superior barium crown glass, while the BK-7 prisms use borosilicate glass. We recommend that you go for the BAK-4 Porro prism for hunting binoculars.
Check on the Lens Coating of the Binoculars.
Yet another factor that you need to consider carefully. The ambient light transmission in most binoculars is lost due to reflection, while much of this light is also unutilized, which results in poor contrast and glare.
Always look out for hunting binoculars with a coated optical lens system to prevent the above-stated issue. A coated optical lens increases light transmission, reduces the loss of light, reduces glares on images, and this all sums up to crystal clear and brighter images.
Check whether the coating is applied correctly and uniformly. Also, check if the effects are still fully intact. To make a fair comparison of the types of coatings used in the construction of hunting binoculars, you need to understand what it means to have coated optics. There are several ways in which the lenses of a binocular can be coated.
Different Types of Lens Coatings
Fully coated, multi-coated, fully multi-coated, and phase shift coated binocular lenses. Coated optics have one or more surfaces of glass coated with an anti-reflective optical coating.
- A fully coated optics has all the glass surfaces coated with the anti-reflective optical coating.
- A multi-coated optical system has one or more of the glass surfaces coated with multiple anti-reflective coating optics.
- A fully multi-coated system has all the glass surfaces coated with multiple anti-reflective coating optics.
- A phase shift coating system is typically used to correct the loss of light in the horizontal image plane in the latest roof prisms models.
Now that you have this fundamental insight, you should make easy comparisons between the different lens coatings used in constructing the binoculars.
Check on the Magnification Power of the binoculars.
The first and the foremost feature to consider when comparing two or more models of virtually any binoculars manufactured in the world. You need to understand what the numbers accorded to the magnification power of a binocular mean to make comparisons.
You also need to know that hunting binoculars are classified according to the magnification power and the objective lens diameter. In the expressions (8×42, for instance) commonly associated with binoculars’ magnification power, the first number before the (x) refers to the number of times an object seems closer than when using the naked eye. The second number after the (x) refers to the objective lens diameter.
An important point to note is that a higher magnification power means that you are likely to have a narrower field of view. With this kind of magnification, you will find it challenging to stabilize the images since even minor movements will destabilize the pictures’ appearance.
Consequently, with a device that has a very high magnification power, you will have a smaller field of view, which will also make it difficult for you to scout fast-moving animals in front of you.
To choose the best binoculars for hunting, you need to understand the terrain you will hunt on to pick the perfect match. If you like hunting in the woods, choose some low magnification power binoculars for a wider field of view and more stable images.
Also, check whether the binocular can gather enough light with its wide field of view. If your hunting environment is mountainous or wide-open environments, you need a higher magnification power to spot the prey from a distant location.
Check on the Size of the Objective Lens.
The size of the objective lens is significant when it comes to hunting binoculars. You are most likely to go hunting under low light conditions like during the evenings and early mornings. Because this is an important feature, look for binoculars to make the image as bright as possible under low light conditions.
It is advisable to look out for a lens with a larger objective diameter, even though they are more expensive. Still, you can determine your personal preference from small, medium to the large objective lens. We recommend choosing an objective lens diameter of 42mm and above for a better hunting experience.
Check Whether the Binocular is Fog proof and Waterproof.
These are factors that will determine whether you will enjoy your hunting experience in all weather conditions. When you are out there in the field, you are likely to encounter some unpredictable weather conditions.
Check out whether the binoculars are well-sealed and able to keep moisture, dust, and any other foreign particles from penetrating the lens. Another aspect you need to look out for in a binocular is whether they have sealed with O-rings and a waterproof casing. These are vital and play an essential role in protecting the internal features of the binoculars.
Check whether the binoculars have nitrogen or argon gas filling to withstand any fogging that tends to occur due to fluctuating temperatures.
Also, make sure that you check whether the binoculars are armored with rubber to ensure they can absorb shock and a comfortable grip.
Check on the Focusing System of the Binoculars.
Binoculars available on the market have one central focusing system or eyepiece focus that will only focus on each tube using each eye. You need to understand that you will need to change the adjustment position every time you focus on a moving animal as a professional hunter.
One important thing to note here is that you need to set each eyepiece to allow for each eye’s varied visions. Check whether it is simple to make these adjustments on the lens. Make the adjustments while focusing simultaneously at the same point to assess its performance, after which you can use the center focus button to focus both lenses.
Check in the Field of View of the binoculars.
One of the critical factors to consider when evaluating any binocular. In the case of a hunting binocular, it is the second most crucial factor. The field of view refers to how broad your view is. The smaller the magnification number, the wider or larger the field of view, while a higher magnification number indicates that you will have a smaller field of view.
For a hunting binocular, you need to look out for a wider field of view. A larger field of view will enable you to view more of the environment. You will be able to target your prey clearly, whether in motion or a resting state.
Check on the Exit Pupil.
The objective lens diameter and the magnification power determine the exit pupil size. The diameter of the exit pupil will determine how much light is transmitted to the eye. If you see a pencil (beam) of light, then that is the exit pupil. You can also compute the actual exit pupil diameter.
You can do simple maths by dividing the front objective diameter by the magnification power of the binocular. A higher exit pupil diameter means that you get enough light coming in and will not be limited to what you can see, even in low light conditions. Another aspect that you need to consider is your age because, as you age, your ability to adapt to dim light also ages. So make sure that you evaluate this feature very well.
Check on the quality of the material used in the construction of the binoculars.
A good pair of binoculars has quality optical materials and suitable mechanisms that should be of high class. This is one of the essential features of any binocular. Even though binoculars made from top quality materials are likely to cost more, you will be assured of an excellent binocular that suits your needs.
High-performance binoculars cost a lot of money since they command a high level of expertise during construction and are likely to be lifetime investments.
To assess the binoculars’ quality, you need to check on the prisms, type of glass, and eyepieces’ design. The polishing and grinding of the glass, the size and type of prisms, and the coverage and type of anti-reflective coating systems.
You need to check on the construction materials used in the binoculars. It is essential to check the lens barrels, the mounting of the lens and prisms, the finishing of the binoculars, and the focusing mechanism.
Also, consider where you are purchasing the binoculars and always buy hunting binoculars from knowledgeable and experienced providers who specialize in the sector.
I trust that this detailed buying guide on choosing the best binoculars for hunting has enlightened you. These are the key factors and features that you should consider when purchasing a pair of binoculars for hunting.
Assess the quality of the binoculars by evaluating the features discussed in this buying guide. I hope this empowers you with the knowledge you need to help purchase some of the best binoculars for hunting.