HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT HUNTING BINOCULARS

Are you lost when it comes to choosing your binoculars? In this article, we’ll explain everything that you need to know!

hunting binoculars

If, like me, you struggle to know where to start when it comes to choosing a pair of binoculars, this article is for you! I spent an hour and a half with Alexandre, our optics expert, and... now, it’s all crystal clear (yes, I took my chance to get a pun in there - simple but effective!) So, I’ll share with you all the low-downs for the technical terms and criteria for selection.

(1). 10X42 10X32 8X56 BINOCULARS
IS THAT THE STRENGTH OF MY BINOCULARS?

In fact, it's simple: the first number refers to the magnification of an object. So, an object is magnified 10 times or 8 times.
As for the second number, that refers to the lens diameter. So, that would be 42 mm or 32 mm, etc.

Hunting binoculars diameter
hunting binoculars magnification

What is the best magnification?

There isn’t a best or worst when it comes to magnification. It all depends on your requirements. Even so, it's worth noting that a higher magnification (x10, x12, etc.) will lead to a shakier image.

(2). HOW TO KNOW IF MY BINOCULARS ARE BRIGHT ENOUGH

Well, this is where Alexandre enlightened me (I promise I’ll stop with the puns!), it all comes into play at the exit pupil.

Exit pupil binoculars

THE EXIT PUPIL

1st thing you should know: In bright daylight, the diameter of the pupil of the human eye varies between 2 and 3mm.
In dark lighting, someone under the age of 40 will have a pupil measuring between 6 and 7mm, and someone over the age of 40 will have a pupil measuring between 4 and 5mm.
Next: the exit pupil of the binoculars corresponds to the ratio between the lens diameter and the magnification. If the value obtained is superior to the size of the pupil of my eye, my pupil will be entirely lit up. This way, the binoculars will be bright under these observation conditions.

Practical example: I’m 30 years old, my pupil therefore measures between 2 and 3mm in daylight and between 6 and 7mm in darkness.
If I opt for a pair of 10x42 binoculars, my exit pupil will be: 42/10 = 4.2 mm my pupil will be entirely covered in daylight and partially covered in darkness.
However, if I go for an 8x56 pair (56/8 = 7mm), my pupil will be entirely covered, and I’ll be able to see my subject even when it’s dark.

What is important, and Alexandre really reiterated this, is that for a pair of binoculars to be high-quality, it doesn't depend solely on one factor or element.The same applies for any technical feature, it doesn't depend solely on one single element, which is what makes it a complex product!

If we get back to the issue of brightness, this also depends on the optical quality, the quality of the prism used, as well as the quality of the coating on the lens. Okay, onto the next point!

OPTICAL QUALITY, WHERE DO I START?

Don't worry, we're not going to analyse every single characteristic of the prisms. We’ll just focus on a few smaller elements that are interesting to know.
There are 2 types of prisms: BK7 and BaK4.
The prism's function is to inverse the image and reduce the bulk of the binoculars. Clever, eh?!

In terms of quality, the BaK4 is superior to the BK7. It offers higher precision and brightness. The difference is in the fact that the Bak4 offers higher precision and brightness. This has a subsequent influence on image sharpness and the observed subject.

DID I MENTION THE LENS COATING?

I bet you’re starting to see a little clearer, now.
So, what is the lens coating? These are the layers applied over the lens which enables for reflections on the glass to be limited and for the light transmission rate to be increased. This coating always affects the contracts and sharpness of the image.

COATING binocular lenses

For our 3 product levels , there are 3 different coatings:
100: MC treatment: multicoated (1 layer)
500: FMC treatment: fully multicoated (5 layers)
900: FBMC treatment: fully broadband multicoated (7 layers)

As I mentioned before, the difference between the three different coats lies in the light transmission rate. The higher the number of coating layers, the better your binoculars will retransmit light, with fewer reflections.

Now that you can see your options better, are you up to the challenge of choosing a pair of high-resistance binoculars?

(3). ADAPTED CASING FOR RESISTANCE AGAINST THE ELEMENTS

The casing is the body, or structure, of the binoculars. It can be made of various materials, depending on the binocular range.

This is how we’ve put together our ranges:
100&500: this is a plastic casing (reinforced ABS with fibreglass), which is shock-resistant
900: It is made using magnesium, which is a material proven to be highly resistant against thermal dilations. It is lighter than aluminium and, of course, shock-resistant.

Another important point to consider when selecting your binoculars is the field of vision.

binocular casing

(4). HOW TO DETERMINE THE FIELD OF VISION OF A PAIR OF BINOCULARS

The field of vision is associated with several criteria. First of all, it is associated with the magnification. The weaker the magnification, the larger the field of vision.
Next, the lens diameter also comes into play. Between 10x32 and 10x42 binoculars,the second option will offer a broader field of vision than the first.
Well, it also depends on the quality of the prism used. On a 900 10x42 model, the binoculars have a wider field of vision than on a 500 10x42 model.

(5). TIPS FOR THOSE WHO WEAR GLASSES DON’T PANIC!

For those who wear glasses, the majority of binoculars have retractable eye cups.
For someone who wears glasses, the eye cups should be kept retracted, and for someone who doesn’t wear glasses, they should be unfolded, so that the eye is at the correct distance from the binoculars, enabling you to benefit from an optimal image.

hunting binoculars eye cups

What if we simplified the task of selecting your binoculars? Let’s take a look at your observation requirements, and we’ll point you in the right direction for a pair that corresponds to those requirements.

(6). HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT PAIR OF BINOCULARS BASED ON YOUR HUNTING PRACTICE.

Go on then, I’ll make the task even easier for you... We’ll stop talking in numbers and just look at this image. There’s nothing simpler, right? Here is an overview of our range, linked to their main practices. You can also discover, through clear photos, the image quality they provide in daylight and at dusk. It’s pretty clear, right? We also include the waterproofing of our binoculars, which is an important criterion when it comes to maintaining high-quality observation, and in selecting a pair that may even be passed down to future generations...

How to choose your hunting binoculars

I hope we’ve been able to help simplify the ins and outs of your pair of binoculars for you - now, you just need to make your choice! Should you want further information, you can take a look at our article on adjusting your binoculars.