Your binocular must be easy to use, not just bright.
Many hunters judge optics by their size. Big mistake. You may be most effective with a small binocular. Note the singular: â€śBinocularâ€ť means two barrels, two sets of lenses. A pair ofÂ binoculars is just that:: two binoculars. You canâ€™t very well use a pair of binoculars unless you have four eyes.
A binocular with objective (front) lenses bigger than 32mm is helpful at magnifications of 10x and higher. But for hunting, I prefer an 8×32. High power helps you resolve more detail, but it also gives you a reduced field of view, and it magnifies your shakes as much as it does a distant animal. If youâ€™re glassing from a rest in calm conditions, steadiness comes easy. Not so if youâ€™re winded from a climb and must glass with only hand support into a 20-mph breeze. High power also demands big front lenses to deliver the same exit pupil as a smaller binocular of modest magnification. An 8×32 has the same 4mm exit pupil as a 10×42. That is, light transmission is the same. In dim light, theyâ€™re equally bright.
My go-to hunting binocular is a Zeiss 8×32. Iâ€™m also fond of the superb Leica 8×32 Ultravid. The Swarovski 8×32 EL is in the same class, and that company just came out with a fine mid-priced 8×30. Besides their top-drawer optics, these binoculars are also easy to carry on a single strap, which I prefer to a harness. Binoculars that weigh much over 22 ounces can give a strap a knifeâ€™s edge after a long day on the mountain. Compact enough to tuck easily into a coat during a storm, an 8×32 is less likely than a big glass to interfere with other activities. And because itâ€™s lightweight and compact, youâ€™ll almost surely bring it to your eye more often.
The more time you spend in your binocular, the more you see!