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12X 50 Binos

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2006 at 09:40
Rusty View Drop Down
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Does anyone use 12X50 binos for hunting deer or elk?  Just curious.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2006 at 10:22
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Most people would tell you to use 10X maximum, with 8X being the most popular.  I prefer 6X.  I can't imagine trying to hold 12X steady under any circumstances, much less after climbing half a mountain.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2006 at 11:12
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Some of the answer to your question is going to depend on the kind of terrain in which you are hunting. Heavily overgrown riverbottoms and swamps, where the maximum viewing distance is not much more than 100 yds. are probably not the best places for such high magnification. 

 

However, open country glassing is an entirely different animal altogether. Noted optics "expert" (whatever that means) John Barsness, in an article entitled "Looking Long" wrote the following:

 

"For more specialized open-country glassing I like more magnification. I've used a bunch of good 10x glasses, but last fall found my ideal in the Leica 12x50's... Last fall in Colorado I was hunting with my friends [and] we field-tested a pile of good binoculars [in 8x, 10x, and 12x magnifications.] I cannot remember how many times somebody saw a deer in the smaller glasses that turned into a stump in the 12x's. We could also see antlers much more clearly, even at over a mile. I suspect that 12x will become more popular for big-country glassing in the near future. It's as much as most people can hand-hold, while providing a distinct advantage over 10x."

 

In the same article, John gives a fairly erudite explanation of how binoculars of higher magnification are properly used to minimize shake and maximize perceived detail:

 

"Most hunting magazines run photos of hunters standing up and glassing, often holding their binocular in one hand.  I have taken many of these myself, because they look good and magazine editors like good-looking photos. Since editors pay my rent, I try to keep them happy.  But, except during the very last stages of a stalk, offhand glassing is almost as dumb as offhand shooing. You may think you're seeing the country, but the wobbles of casual offhand "glassing" prevent you from seeing detail. And detail is what a binocular is for.... You should sit down or lie down to glass. Why? Because real glassing takes time, and if you're standing up, you get tired. Glassing is a lot like a good meal. You've got to sit down and savor it."

 

What he's basically getting at is that you have to use your optics properly to get the most out of them.  Higher magnifications are definately useable and represent a very viable alternative, especially for open-country hunting.  There are quite a few 12x glasses (in just about every price range) available to try if you are so inclined.

 

Bushnell Elite 12x50  -$1300

WindRiver Olympic 12x50 - $500

Nikon Monarch 12x56 - $430

Nikon Monarch 12x42 - $330

Pentax PCF WPII 12x50 - $190

Nikon Action Extreme 12x50 - $190

 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2006 at 07:37
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A 12x50 or 12x56 would be useful in open country, but only if you sit down and rest elbows on knees while glassing. Off-hand glassing will not work.

I used a Zeiss 10x56 for finding Coues deer in Mexico. It worked well, but i also think that a good 10x42 would have worked just as well, with less weight to carry in the backpack.   

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2006 at 09:47
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

A 12x50 or 12x56 would be useful in open country, but only if you sit down and rest elbows on knees while glassing. Off-hand glassing will not work.   

 

Actually, I would say this is a true statement regardless of what magnification you are using.  Even low power optics can benefit from good stabilization technique.

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