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Author Topic: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?  (Read 4851 times)

Offline 7mmfan

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10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« on: April 07, 2022, 08:28:53 AM »
I've been considering for a while upgrading to 12x binos. I've been using the Leupold BX3 Pro Guides 10x42 for several years now and I'm very happy with them. However, since I got them I've started doing a lot more hunting in big country and have found myself feeling a little under powered at times. I do have the 15-30x50 Leupold Gold Ring compact spotter, and it's a great tool, but I can't glass with that thing.

So is the 12x jump worth it? For guys that use them, can you effectively glass while holding them, or do they NEED to be supported? When glassing close, say under 100 yards are you way over powered at that point?

Ultimately, I just don't want to invest that kind of money in something that only has a mediocre increase in effectiveness. I'm very much a tool for specific uses kind of guy, and don't like lots of overlap. I need to feel like I gained a lot by spending the money.

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Offline Rainier10

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2022, 08:32:59 AM »
I have 10x42's for hunting.  For sitting and glassing I have 12x50's.  A tripod makes them much more useful and you can glass longer and more efficiently with the support.
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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2022, 08:34:31 AM »
12x spank 10's on a tripod. With that said, 12's kind of suck when using free hand. For just throwing up and checking something out real quick they are fine but any sort of glassing while unsupported is very shaky and can kick off a headache right quick. I'm a 10 guy still but likely moving to the NL pure 12's. The field of view is incredible and mitigates some of that wobble. This is all just my personal opinion though :twocents:
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Offline Ghost Hunter

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2022, 08:37:42 AM »
I've been considering for a while upgrading to 12x binos. I've been using the Leupold BX3 Pro Guides 10x42 for several years now and I'm very happy with them. However, since I got them I've started doing a lot more hunting in big country and have found myself feeling a little under powered at times. I do have the 15-30x50 Leupold Gold Ring compact spotter, and it's a great tool, but I can't glass with that thing.

So is the 12x jump worth it? For guys that use them, can you effectively glass while holding them, or do they NEED to be supported? When glassing close, say under 100 yards are you way over powered at that point?

Ultimately, I just don't want to invest that kind of money in something that only has a mediocre increase in effectiveness. I'm very much a tool for specific uses kind of guy, and don't like lots of overlap. I need to feel like I gained a lot by spending the money.



I've got both.  I use the 12x from 100 yards for real detail, to miles for spotting.  If using extended, a rest is the best.  10x for all around.  Both Swarovski, both purchased used for a killer price.  New price probably would have passed.  I don't use my 20x60 spotting scope as much since getting the 12x bino's.  Loaned the spotting scope to a buddy last fall for his goat hunt.  Made a big difference for him.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2022, 08:41:03 AM »
I went to 12's

I often use my range finder for those quick peeps, quicker and easier to check that "ear" but I sure like the 12's when I don't have a spotter with me. 

I put some accessory on my trekpoles that snaps them together, gonna see if it'll work for a makeshift tripod

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2022, 08:44:33 AM »
I rarely glass with a tripod, like almost never. But I do glass off my shooting sticks a lot, either extended to standing height, or sitting down. It's proven to be a very lightweight/mobile glassing support. That's probably what I'll continue doing.

What do you feel your effective range gained was when going to 12's? Do you think you can now positively ID animals at an extra 500 yards? 300 yards?

To Ghost Hunter's point, I've considered that if fully supported, they could make finding blacktail hiding in the brush much easier. Picking out an ear, antler, throat patch, etc... at 250 yards in the brush is a challenge.
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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2022, 08:49:01 AM »
I rarely glass with a tripod, like almost never. But I do glass off my shooting sticks a lot, either extended to standing height, or sitting down. It's proven to be a very lightweight/mobile glassing support. That's probably what I'll continue doing.

What do you feel your effective range gained was when going to 12's? Do you think you can now positively ID animals at an extra 500 yards? 300 yards?

To Ghost Hunter's point, I've considered that if fully supported, they could make finding blacktail hiding in the brush much easier. Picking out an ear, antler, throat patch, etc... at 250 yards in the brush is a challenge.
without a tripod your gain is minimal and in some cases diminished.  Your glass is only as good as its support system. You could have the best spotter in the world but if its shaky its gonna suck. Get a tripod man. You're missing animals without it guaranteed.
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Offline 7mmfan

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2022, 08:52:52 AM »
I rarely glass with a tripod, like almost never. But I do glass off my shooting sticks a lot, either extended to standing height, or sitting down. It's proven to be a very lightweight/mobile glassing support. That's probably what I'll continue doing.

What do you feel your effective range gained was when going to 12's? Do you think you can now positively ID animals at an extra 500 yards? 300 yards?

To Ghost Hunter's point, I've considered that if fully supported, they could make finding blacktail hiding in the brush much easier. Picking out an ear, antler, throat patch, etc... at 250 yards in the brush is a challenge.
without a tripod your gain is minimal and in some cases diminished.  Your glass is only as good as its support system. You could have the best spotter in the world but if its shaky its gonna suck. Get a tripod man. You're missing animals without it guaranteed.

Just spending my money for me aren't you?
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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2022, 08:53:29 AM »
I'm hear for you buddy  :chuckle:
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Offline pickardjw

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2022, 09:34:12 AM »
I've been considering the same thing. I have 10x42's currently and liked my buddy's 12x50's when glassing big country. I was thinking about going with some 15's instead of 12's though to really ramp up the power since I pretty much only use a tripod in big country anyway. And I think the extra magnification is better for picking out bedded mulies. Black bear, probably still going with the 10's.

But I need a spotting scope worse so I might be sticking with the 10's this year.

Looks like this company rents 12's, 15's and even 18's if you want to try before you buy.

https://rentoutdoorgear.com/product-category/shop-rentals/binoculars/


Offline pianoman9701

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2022, 09:40:49 AM »
Interesting discussion. My 10x42s are my everyday carry in the woods. I've been thinking about a spotter for long distance and quality glass is expensive. 12x50s may be a more economical option, especially here on the wetside where I normally don't need to see for miles.
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Offline phildobaggins

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2022, 09:52:46 AM »
I carry my 12x50's year round. In the last four years I've had them, I can think of ONE time where I felt like my FOV was too small/magnification was too great, and it was a minor inconvenience.

I rarely ever hunt in timber though.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2022, 10:03:04 AM by phildobaggins »

Offline fishngamereaper

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2022, 09:58:48 AM »
Clear 10x for 90 percent of hunting. 12x is way to much for timber and other close situations. And let's face it, you have to get closer to kill it anyway, so seeing it with 10x or 12x doesn't make much of a difference at a mile.
Big country that requires antler I'd I'll bring a spotter to save boot leather. And if necessary my rifle scope hits 16x if I need to study an animal during rifle season.

Clarity will outperform magnification and is more important. Imo

Offline phildobaggins

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2022, 10:03:46 AM »
Clear 10x for 90 percent of hunting. 12x is way to much for timber and other close situations. And let's face it, you have to get closer to kill it anyway, so seeing it with 10x or 12x doesn't make much of a difference at a mile.
Big country that requires antler I'd I'll bring a spotter to save boot leather. And if necessary my rifle scope hits 16x if I need to study an animal during rifle season.

Clarity will outperform magnification and is more important. Imo

If I'm in "timber or other close situations" I probably won't be looking through a magnified optic LOL

Offline fishngamereaper

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Re: 10x vs 12x binos, is the extra magnification worth it?
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2022, 10:06:46 AM »
Clear 10x for 90 percent of hunting. 12x is way to much for timber and other close situations. And let's face it, you have to get closer to kill it anyway, so seeing it with 10x or 12x doesn't make much of a difference at a mile.
Big country that requires antler I'd I'll bring a spotter to save boot leather. And if necessary my rifle scope hits 16x if I need to study an animal during rifle season.

Clarity will outperform magnification and is more important. Imo

If I'm in "timber or other close situations" I probably won't be looking through an optic LOL

Well I'm a born and raised blacktail hunter so Im stuck looking for part's of deer, an eye, ear, etc.... :chuckle:

But even in elk country I end up in big timber...so I'm constantly picking apart the country with my binos.

 


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