Some of the best hunters have mastered their art by ‘seeing.’ They know when to use their eyes and when they need extra support to see beyond what the eyes cannot see. You need to identify the target animal, their size and sometimes even sex. However, this is not easy when they are far away. You need the right optics to get your vision correct. This is where hunting binoculars come in handy to help.
Choosing the best binoculars for hunting is not easy in a world filled with a wide array of products. You need a pair of binoculars that best suit your needs. Make sure your preferences and needs correlate well with your binocular. To have a clear understanding of hunting binoculars, check our buying guide below:
Factors to Consider When Choosing Hunting Binoculars
Bigger does not always mean better as most people think. Binoculars with a magnification of 7X to 10X will work for most types of hunting. While an even bigger binocular will get you a better view, there are several disadvantages to using one. First, these binoculars are big and sometimes require a tripod stand.
For proper hunting, a magnification of 7X will work just fine. If you’re looking for more magnification, then consider getting a spotting scope.
The objective size also determines the details you see. Usually, the larger the objective, the more details one can see. Objective size usually ranges from 30mm to 50mm or more. They work together with magnification to get you clear images. For example, the magnifications of 7X and an objective lens of 40mm give you 7×40.
However, a larger objective means carrying a bulkier binocular and expensive. If you’re planning on hunting during the day, then an objective size of 40mm will work just fine. Portability is a crucial consideration for any hunting trip. You need to select a compact binocular but one that offers you the right amount of clarity. Objective sizes below 30mm will not serve you well, especially in low lighting conditions.
Exit pupil is a number that determines the beam of light leaving the eyepiece. The number is arrived at by dividing the objective size by the magnification. For example, a magnification of 7 and an objective lens of 42mm gives us an exit pupil of 6mm.
It is recommended that the exit pupil be at least the same size as that of the fully dilated pupil of the person looking through the binocular. A larger pupil exit offers better clarity and more detail. It also makes it easier to put the eye through the eyepiece and see pictures fast. It is worth noting that an average human pupil is around 2-3mm in the afternoon when there is enough lighting. However, the pupil dilates when it gets darker to around 4-5mm and even higher at night. This means getting a binocular of the higher exit pupil, especially when working in low light conditions.
Field of View
The field of view is basically the area the binoculars can visualize at 1000 yards. When considering the field of view, there is no universal rule. In most cases, the quality of the image is more important than the field of view. A higher field of view means a larger area visualized. However, unless focusing on moving animals, you don’t require a larger field of view when hunting.
This is the optimal distance between the eyes and the eyepiece. Eye relief basically means the optimal distance your eyes can be away from the eyepiece and still get a full view. When choosing the best hunting binocular, you need to consider eye relief to make your viewing more comfortable. This is the case especially for persons that wear eyeglasses. Their eyes are usually further away from the eyepiece.
Consider binoculars with adjustable eyecups for comfortable use. Such eyepieces are easily rolled to achieve a suitable distance to the eyepiece.
Since you will be hunting in the wild or woods, you never know when the weather will change. Make sure you choose waterproof binoculars since they are better protected in case of bad weather. We even have models that are submersible in waters.
There are usually two types of prism used in hunting binoculars. These are the roof prism and Porro prism. They both serve the same purpose of turning the image right up. Binoculars with roof prisms are usually small and streamlined and easy to carry. Let’s just say roof prisms are compact binoculars with more complex technology than Porro prism binoculars.
On the other hand, Porro prism binoculars are a bit bulkier but affordable. If you’re on a budget, they can serve you well but you have to handle the added bulkiness.
In conclusion, choosing the ideal hunting binocular should not be difficult with this knowledge. For those who are looking for specific models, I would suggest you to read OpticsAddict.com and check out their top rated hunting binoculars out there! Make sure you understand the best hunting times, conditions, range and choose a binocular with matching specs.