Best hunting binoculars are one of the most important tools for hunters. They enable us to systematically examine large land areas, which allows us to save boots leather and is non-intrusive for the animals we want.
Good binoculars are essential for successful hunting in any form of hunting, including those in mountains or forests. Many hunting experts agree that the best pair of binoculars for hunting is almost as important as your weapon.
Hunting professionals have a lot to gain from quality optics. They can see what is not there, and that makes it easier for them to hunt. Best binoculars for hunting provide them the tool they need most: perspective.
But, how do you navigate the myriad of choices for sizes, features, and options in binoculars that are available on the market? Is it worth taking out a loan to buy quality binoculars? These are complex questions, but we will show you how to find the best hunting binoculars for your job and budget.
We have reviewed the best binoculars available in the market in this article. For your convenience, we have prepared a comprehensive buying guide for good hunting binoculars to help you determine the features you want in your preferred binoculars.
Best Hunting Binoculars Reviewed: 12 Top Quality Optics
Let’s get on with the list of the best binoculars for hunting.
Vortex is a leading producer of hunting optics. Vortex’s products are both durable and performance-oriented, yet they are still very affordable.
Vortex Optics Viper HD binoculars can be easily packed into small and lightweight boxes. They weigh only 24.6 ounces and are the lightest full-size binoculars on the market. But don’t let that fool you. These binoculars can withstand harsh hunting conditions.
Viper HD binoculars can be fog-proof, waterproof, shockproof, and waterproof, thanks to their argon purged construction and O-ring seals. The binoculars are equipped with a rubber-armored chassis, which provides extra protection from bumps and bangs. The rubberized coating really makes it comfortable to hold on in wet conditions.
Viper HD binoculars have high-density HD extra-low dispersion glass and dielectric multi-layer prism coatings. This allows for bright, clearer images that are rich in color and have excellent resolution.
Hunters can customize the fit to ensure a more comfortable viewing experience with or against eyeglasses. Viper binoculars feature a locking right-eye diopter for easy adjustment of focal differences between the eyes.
- High-quality construction with an O-ring seal
- Works well in low-light
- Accessories included
- Rubber armored chassis with excellent ergonomics
- Higher-density optical system
- Waterproof and fogproof design
- Glass Pak Chest Harness provides a comfortable carry
- Adjustable eyecups
- The dielectric coating on the prism
- Unconditional lifetime warranty
- Eye relief could have been better
The Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42 is basically the Viper with no HD optics. It’s almost the same pair of binoculars with the same waterproof, fogproof, durable construction and 10x magnification. The lifetime warranty is included.
The Vortex Diamondback is a high-quality binocular that offers superior visuals and no compromises. The eyepieces can be adjusted, and the central tool makes it easy to focus the binoculars on whatever you’re following. You can fine-tune your vision to compensate for differences in vision between the eyes. Also, the phase corrected prisms provide better images.
It’s a very user-friendly product. The accessories, such as the case and lenses covers, make Vortex binoculars even more valuable. These binoculars have a rubber exterior that allows for a firm grip even in the rain.
While you can get better optics and image quality for a higher price, the Vortex Optics Diamondback offers superior value in terms of overall value.
- Great for the money
- Waterproof & fog proof
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- Phase corrected roof prisms
- Exceptional image in low light
- Soft tapered Eye Cups
- Rugged rubber armor body
- Unconditional Lifetime warranty
- User-friendly and adjustable features
- Accessories included
- Optics could have been better
It is certainly not easy to find binoculars below $300. But the Perception HD field glasses from Upland Optics certainly fit the bill. These binoculars were designed specifically by hunters and for hunters.
Perception HD binos have been designed for harsh conditions. These binos are waterproof, fogproof, and scratch-proof. They are made of the most robust materials available.
Perception HD glasses are made with extra-low dispersion glass (the same as high-end cameras). ED glass elements reduce chromatic aberration and produce sharp images with bright colors that allow you to identify game species in the field.
Perception HD field optics weigh less than one pound and a quarter. They are lightweight enough to be used with full-size binos. These field glasses are ruggedly durable and offer superb image quality. In addition, they come with a carrying case. A lens cloth is included and a lifetime warranty.
- Superior clarity with Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) Glass
- Sturdy rubber body; water-resistant and fog proof
- Included accessories: carrying case, neck strap, lens cloth, etc.
- Lifetime warranty
- Excellent image quality
- Great value binoculars for the money
- Flip down lens caps are not great compared to high-end products
Say hello to Bushnell Trophy XLT Binoculars. These fog-proof and waterproof binoculars come with an O-ring sealing and rubber-armored housing.
This hunting binocular is comfortable in your hands. You can also find soft touch thumb grips for extra comfort. Flip covers protect the objective lenses, but they aren’t very sturdy and can be easily ripped.
These top rated binoculars are ideal for hunting in any weather condition. Fully multi-coated lenses provide sharp images in low light conditions, especially for the 10×42 optics. Fast focus is a great feature that is useful in situations where time is limited.
The downside is that these are not the suitable hunting binoculars for anyone who wants to travel light. The Trophy XLT’s weight of 2.2 pounds is a bit heavy. However, we think this is an excellent choice if you want to get the most value for your buck, especially when compared with the expensive pairs of binos.
- Durable, rubber-armored housing
- Optics are sharp and vibrant
- Fast focus; great image quality
- Fully multi-coated optics
- Waterproof body with O-ring seal and nitrogen purge
- Ergonomic thumb grip
- Good low light performance
- Heavier than other binoculars
- Lens covers are flimsy
The best choice for bow hunting is the 8×42 pair of binoculars. Nikon Monarch 5 Binocular is an excellent choice for this type of hunting.
The 8x magnification can be used to find details in thick coverings while being small enough that it can be carried into a treestand. You’ll find optics that are versatile enough to be used for all types of hunting if you choose a model with an objective lens size of 42mm.
Some bowhunters may be reluctant to use binoculars if they can only shoot an animal within 25 yards. Binoculars can help you identify an animal’s movements, which might indicate you may need to move your treestand. You can also use them for tracking animals after you take a shot.
Nikon Monarch series is well-known for its optical clarity and ease of operation. The Monarch 5 is easy to focus on, and the ED glasses deliver bright images. Monarch 5 binoculars are among the lightest in their respective sizes. They can sometimes weigh up to 5 ounces less than the competition.
- ED Glass
- Sharper & more precise field of view
- Fully multi-coated eco glass lenses
- Very lightweight
- Turn and slide rubber eyecups
- Smooth central knob
- Durable rubber-armored body
- Nitrogen filled and O-Ring seal
- Waterproof and fogproof performance
- Available in other optics
- Chromatic Abberation Control could have been better
Celestron Nature DX Binoculars are compact and pack many features in a small package. They were the most surprising of all the binoculars reviews. They beat out the competition for the best value hunting binoculars.
The Nature DX body, made of polycarbonate, is light and durable but not as rigid as the aluminum or magnesium housing used in more expensive binoculars.
Here are more user friendly features for the Celestron DX. Many of these features can be found in more expensive binoculars.
- O ring sealed, nitrogen-purged for 100 percent waterproof/fog-proof performance.
- BAK-4 phase-coated prisms for lifelike colors and clarity
- For incredible clarity and excellent light transmission, fully multi-coated lenses are available.
- Rubber armor with soft texture grip for durability and comfort.
- The large center focus knob allows for easy, quick adjustments.
The only problem with the Limited Lifetime Warranty is that it’s not guaranteed to be 100%. This is still a valid warranty. However, if you are ready to spend slightly more, you could get an unconditional lifetime warranty.
Celestron Nature DX Binoculars are a great choice if you’re looking for the best hunting binoculars under $200.
- Fully multi-coated lenses with Bak-4 prism
- Great for birding
- Eyeglass friendly
- Phase correction
- Tripod adaptable
- Compact carrying case
- Fog & waterproof
- 5 feet close focus
- Polycarbonate housing
- Accessories incorporated
- Limited warranty (which can be increased with extra pay)
Steiner, a German company with high quality optics and precision, is well-known.
The Predators were made in Germany and come with the Steiner Heritage Lifetime Warrantee. This model is highly recommended by users and can be bought for less than $500.
These high-quality binoculars have a strong enough focus to do good downrange scouting. They are perfect for exploring the vast agricultural land and open fields of America.
Predator binoculars feature Color Adjusted Transmission coated lenses that brighten dim light dawn and night periods. The Predator 10-x42 is an excellent option if your goal is to hunt big game or use a rifle and bow for deer hunting and elk hunting.
- CAT Color Adjusted Transmission lens
- Great image quality
- Open bridge design
- Military-grade Porro prism
- Ergonomic silicone eyecups
- Waterproof, fogproof
- Available in 10X26, 10X42, 8X30, 8X42
- Needs some time to get adjusted to its optics
The Zeiss Terra ED binoculars are an excellent option for hunting ducks and other waterfowl. They have special hydrophobic binocular lenses which can withstand water and dirt.
These outdoor binoculars are waterproof and have a 100 m bar water resistance rating. This means you can drag these outdoor binoculars across a muddy swamp with no problem.
Zeiss’ Terra binoculars come with a large and smooth focus wheel that is easy to grip. This design allows your index finger to land automatically in a position that will allow you to focus easily without having to fumble. This is an important asset, especially when you need to quickly identify waterfowl within your range of sight.
The binoculars offer a comfortable grip surface and ergonomic eyecups, which hunters will appreciate. The Zeiss Terra binoculars have a wider field of vision, making it easy to view the wild game. These binoculars are great for hiking, birdwatching, and all outdoor activities.
- Wide field of view
- Temperature range of 24°F to 140°F
- Water-resistance – 100 mbar
- Compact & robust construction
- Fast focus
- Hydrophobic multicasting brilliant images
- A bit heavy
The Carson 3D model is a good choice if you’re confident in your ability to hold a good pair of binoculars at 10x magnification and have steady hands. The objective lens diameter of this model is 42mm. This means that it can gather plenty of light to help you locate your target.
The unit also features rubberized armor with a textured coating that will allow you to comfortably hold the binoculars in your hands even when it is raining.
Carson hunting binoculars are well worth considering. It has a 16mm eye relief, BAK-4 prisms, and a waterproof, fog-proof, and fog-proof design. The field of view measures 314 feet at 1,000 meters, which is quite good considering you can use it even for birding if you are passionate about it.
This model boasts a camouflage design and fully multi-coated lenses. It is likely to meet or exceed your expectations. Its looks will allow you to blend in with the surrounding environment. Moreover, the high quality lenses are fully multi-coated and will transmit more light than adequate.
- Excellent light transmission by the multi-coated lenses
- Camouflage design
- Great for birding
- 314 feet field of view at 1000 yards
- Adjustable eyecups
- The twist-up design works
- Fully waterproof and fog-proof
- Weak magnetic flap closure
The Bushnell Legend has all the features you would expect from high end binoculars designed for outdoor adventures. Although it is lightweight, it doesn’t make it any less durable.
The unit’s waterproof design makes it fogproof and waterproof to perform as expected no matter what the weather.
The 10x magnification powers are a great benefit, and the 42mm lens is capable of collecting enough light for bright pictures. It is worth noting that the water-repellent coating on the lens significantly prolongs its life.
The product’s wide field of vision allows you to use it for both hunting and birdwatching. The model is very lightweight, at only 22.5 ounces. This will make it easy to carry.
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Hunting Binoculars are the right choice if your concern is whether or not you will get the best value for money. We can help you relax by telling you that the binos come with a soft carry case, neck strap, and microfiber bag.
- Exceptional optics with ED Prime Glass
- Ultra-Wide Band Coatings
- Rain Guard HD water-repellent lens coating
- Lightweight, magnesium chassis
- Long eye relief
- complete moisture protection by O-ring seal
- The RealTree AP Camo
- Soft case and neckstrap included
- The center focus knob is hard to operate
Nikon is known for high-performance cameras. Nikon’s outdoor optics reflect the same commitment to quality.
These affordable field glasses feel great, even though the Nikon Prostaff 3S falls within the best budget binoculars category.
The Nikon Prostaff 3S is lightweight and compact and has non slip rubber armor protecting it from scratches. It is a sturdy body with a non-slip grip.
The Nikon Prostaff 3S binoculars provide excellent value for money and are one of the best hunting binoculars.
- Multicoated optics
- Great field of view
- Long eye relief
- Waterproof & fogproof performance
- Lead-and-arsenic-free glass
- Turn-and-slide rubber eyecups
- A high-reflectivity silver-alloy mirror coating
- Lightweight binocular
- Warranty is complicated
Hontry binoculars are known for their ridiculously low price. They are the best compact hunting binoculars at a reasonable price, so we were not expecting too much. Affordable hunting gear is always a good thing.
We were amazed at the lightweight and compact design of these folding binoculars. They weigh only 0.6 lbs, which is much lighter than the majority of the binoculars in this list.
However, this small size does have its drawbacks. First, the eye relief at 10 millimeters is small. It’s likely too small to wear glasses.
Although the picture quality isn’t exceptional, it is normal for such a low price tag. These budget binoculars aren’t what we would recommend to a seasoned hunter, but you can use them briefly if you are in a pinch or on a budget. This is really a great deal!
- Extremely cheap; lower price point than other binoculars
- Very lightweight (o.6 lbs. only)
- A field of view of 362ft at 1000 yards
- Fully multi-coated optics
- Compact binocular
- Rubber armor ergonomic design
- Steady grip for accurate focusing
- Usable by both adults and kids
- Small eye relief, you can’t wear glasses
- Average image quality
What do the Numbers (10×42 or 8×30) on the Binoculars Mean?
Well, you might have come across many hunting binoculars which carry an engraved number on its body. There are many combinations such as 10×42, 8×42, 10×50, 8×30, 10×56, etc. So, what do they mean?
It’s rather simple, really. The number of any combination, such as 10×42, is the magnification number. In this example, the binocular has a magnification power of 10, which means you will see objects 10 times close or larger.
The second number in the combination, here 42, describes the lens’s objective diameter (the lenses away from your eye) in millimeters. In this example, the size of the objective lenses is 42 mm. The size of your objective lens determines how much light your binocular will capture from the surroundings.
Best Hunting Binocular Buying Guide: Things to Consider Before Choosing a Binocular
There are many designs and features to be aware of when looking for the perfect pair of hunting binoculars. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors to help you choose the right pair.
When shopping for hunting binoculars, quality should be your first priority. When looking for the best binoculars for hunting, choosing an optically and mechanically top-of-the-line pair is essential.
If you go cheap and spend only $100 on binoculars, you will be disappointed. However, you don’t necessarily have to take out loans to purchase top-notch binoculars. There is a middle way, where quality optical components and reasonable pricing are combined. Our recommendation is: just stick to trusted brands such Pentax, Steiner, and Vortex as well as Nikon, Pentax, Leica, Leica, Leica, Leica, Zeiss, Vortex, Leica, and Steiner.
Understanding the specs of full size binoculars will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your purchase is reliable and lasts a long time.
Many people believe that the greater the magnification, then the better the binocular. This is false. It is challenging to maintain the image steadiness when you see through the optics at large magnifications (any slight movement will be magnified more by high magnifications).
Magnifications that are higher will generally decrease the field of vision (width of the image you see) in general. It will be more difficult to spot wildlife, especially when you are scanning large areas.
The best magnification depends on the terrain you use most often. People who hunt in forests and woods will benefit from a low magnification binocular that has a wide field of vision and light gathering capability. You can choose an 8×42 or an 8×30 binocular.
The diameter of the objective lens can be referred to as the second number in 7×40. A 40 mm or 42 mm objective is usually compatible with almost any type of hunting. You will see more detail the larger the objective lens. A 50 mm lens is more expensive than a 40mm, but it works wonders for hunting at night. A 40 mm objective is a good size if you hunt only during legal hours.
Generally speaking, a larger objective lens will be heavier. A 32mm objective is an option if you want portability. However, you might find it counterproductive as you will only be able to see a small amount of detail. If you hunt in low light conditions, anything less than 30mm may not be satisfactory.
The key idea behind choosing the correct objective size is that large objective lenses are bulkier but allow for more light to enter than smaller ones, which are lighter but have less precision. So, larger lenses are not always better.
Field of View
The field of view is the largest dimension that you can see through a binocular. It is measured in feet more than 1000 yards. The greater the number, you will be able to see more area with your binoculars for hunting. Needless to say, magnification can reduce the image’s size and also the field of view. You will need a wider field of vision if your binoculars are going to be used in highly open areas such as a valley. Additionally, it is easier to target and track moving targets with a broader field of view.
Although this term can be difficult to grasp sometimes, we’ll try to explain it without jargon.
The exit pupil is the number that indicates how well we can see through binoculars in low-light situations. This is calculated by dividing the objective lens number by the number of magnifications. For example, a 10X42 binocular would have 42 mm lenses, which would be divided by 10, giving an exit pupil of 4.2. In low light conditions, anything between 4 to 5.5 will work well.
This refers to the distance your eyes must be from the nearest ocular lenses (the ones closest to you). The range of short eye relief is 9 to 13 millimeters, while the midrange is 14 to 16 millimeters. Long-term eye relief begins at 17mm. Hunters need eye relief because so many hunters wear sunglasses or eyeglasses while hunting. Your eyeglasses may be very thick, or you may prefer to wear them lower down on your nose. These conditions may require extended or midrange eye relief. You should not sacrifice wearing glasses for a sport, right?
Eye relief refers to the distance that the binoculars can be held from your eyes while still maintaining a whole field of view. You can get proper eye relief with some binoculars that have an extendable eyepiece.
Each brand will have its own glass, and not all are created equal. Higher-quality binoculars for hunting will have sharper images and be more useful in low-light situations. No matter what brand you choose to use, the glass is what you will be paying for. The same glass will help you in different hunting conditions.
The prisms found in binoculars will allow you to see higher quality images correctly side-up instead of upside-down.
You can find a prism in hunting binoculars in two main types: Roof Prisms or Porro Prisms. The industry standard is the roof prism. They are more compact and rugged, making them more suitable for hunting binoculars. The Porro prism is another option, and it offers brighter images. You can attain similar image quality with roof prisms if you apply the coatings.
Roof prism: Roof prisms reflect light 5 times, and the light returns to the same spot it was in. This allows for lighter and compact designs.
Porro Prism: Porro prisms reflect light only 4 times. They also come out on a different line from the one it came in on. This means that you need a more extensive body and, therefore, heavier binoculars.
It is pretty challenging to choose the better one because there are so many variables to consider. When it comes to the perception of the prism, many factors influence how it is perceived.
Relative Brightness Index (RBI)
Another indicator that shows how well your binoculars for hunting perform in low light conditions is the Relative Brightness Index or RBI. The RBI directly affects the Exit Pupil.
To calculate the RBI, simply take the square of the Exit Pupil. The RBI is 20.25 if the exit pupil equals 4.5. The RBI is 27.5625 with an exit pupil of 5.25 for an 8×42 pair binos. An RBI of 20 is the minimum requirement for hunting binoculars.
Lens coatings or optical coatings are an essential part of every pair of binoculars. They aid in light transmission and reduce glare.
You may see colored reflections in the objective lens of a pair of binoculars when you examine them. Anti reflective coatings are responsible for this phenomenon. Anti-reflective coatings reduce light loss at different glass surfaces by reflecting back at each surface. This helps to show a clear image. These four descriptions are most common on binoculars for hunting.
Coated: One layer of anti-reflection optical coating is applied to the objective and magnification lenses.
Multi-Coated: Some lenses surfaces can be coated more than once.
Fully coated: All lenses surfaces that are touched by air have a coating.
Fully Multi-Coated: Multiple anti-light reflection coatings will be applied to all lens surfaces.
You probably have no trouble deciding that you prefer fully coated lenses or multi-coated lenses for your binoculars.
Type of Focus
Binoculars come with either an individual eyepiece or a central focus, depending on which focus type they are.
We have found that individual focus (IF) binoculars are excellent for medium and long-distance work. While IF binoculars can be used to visualize the game at distances of 30-40 yards, they do not require any focusing. However, this is not why they are so popular among many buyers, including military personnel. They are actually much more waterproof and have no external parts. This makes them very durable.
Collimation simply means optical alignment. An adequately collimated binocular will have its lenses aligned to the optical axis with high precision. Lenses with poor collimation can cause poor optical performance and headaches for hunters.
The pivot points connecting the optical tubes are another factor. These pivot points make up the bridge of the binoculars. They must be perfectly aligned for your eyes to see well and clearly.
It takes expensive instruments to do this. As such, the best binoculars for hunting will have well-collimated optics. The cheaper pairs will rarely achieve that goal.
The sharpness and clarity in your view determine the image’s quality. Your budget will determine the quality of your images. It might not be necessary for you to have high-quality images. If this is the case, then the majority of the budget hunting binoculars are sufficient.
If you hunt regularly and are often out in all weather conditions (such as low light), you must choose the best optics you can afford. The magnification that you use can have a significant impact on the image quality.
Size and Weight
Full-size binoculars can weigh up to 2lbs and more. This is not ideal for hunters who prefer to travel light, especially when they are out for just a few days. The type and quantity of glass is a significant factor in the weight of hunting binoculars.
While larger binoculars are generally heavier than those with a smaller objective lens, they can be more consequential. Compact hunting binoculars are an option if bulky binoculars are not appealing to you.
Extra-low dispersion glass (or ED glass ) is often used to make hunting binoculars’ lenses. It reduces chromatic aberration.
A pair of binoculars exhibiting chromatic aberration will have color fringing. High-end binoculars for hunting are equipped with ED glasses; they have minimal to no chromatic distortion, resulting in crystal clear images of elk and whitetail deer as well as turkeys and any other wildlife you may hunt.
Hunting is a fast-paced sport. If you have been hunting for a while, you will know how quickly the weather can change. These sudden weather changes can cause severe damage to binoculars. As with all the fantastic hunting binoculars we have reviewed, waterproof binoculars come with nitrogen-filled interior spaces, O-ring seals, and waterproof casings. So basically speaking, condensation can’t form because there is no oxygen in the binoculars.
A camouflaged exterior is a standard option for binoculars targeted at hunters. Although, a full camo binocular might not be required, depending on your preference.
It is crucial for hunters to keep the exterior dull and neutral. The exterior of a binocular will reflect light if it does not have rubber armor. You should still look for rubber armors with engraved patterns and soft surfaces, as these will reflect less light than shiny hard surfaces.
Again, the exterior rubber coating may be a key component in sound buffering. Even lightly tapping hard metallic surfaces can make a distinct sound that travels far and wide. Consider your crossbow, rifle, or other gear coming in contact with your binocular.
To minimize the risk, ensure that as much of your binocular’s exterior is rubber. Some binoculars leave the central metal bridges exposed. This is something you should be mindful of if super quiet is something that interests you.
When shopping for binoculars of the highest quality, it is essential to look at the accessories available. Many accessories are made exclusively for a specific brand. There are many accessories available, including specialty cases, binocular harnesses, and sunshades, as well as tripod adapters, tethered lens covers, sun shades, and tripod adapters.
While it might seem overwhelming with all of the options, this is actually a good thing. It makes it possible to tailor a binocular for you, which is one reason we live in such remarkable age. There is an endless supply of quality gear that’s available, just waiting for you to try it. With these binocular tips, you are better equipped to size up the best binoculars for hunting for you.
No matter what budget you have, where you are hunting, or just what hunting style you prefer, there is a binocular for every hunting need. We believe you will find the perfect one in our hunting binoculars reviews. Our recommendation is: if you can only afford one pair, so get a pair of 10×42 binoculars.
Happy hunting, people! “May the odds be ever in your favor!”
FAQs for Best Hunting Binoculars
Ans: For most hunters, 10X42 binoculars are an ideal hunting gadget. They have relatively excellent magnification and field view, which is the primary requirement for the best binoculars for hunting.
Ans: Bushnell binoculars (Bushnell Fusion, Bushnell Trophy, etc.) are the best hunting binoculars for beginners, as they are pretty cheap. In contrast, Nikon binoculars are high-end binoculars. Suppose you are just starting your hunting journey. In that case, you can get a Bushnell for a relatively low price, along with all the necessary features.
Ans: Swarovski binoculars are costly binoculars. They are generally used by professional huntsmen. They are absolutely worth their money, but they are not a necessary gadget for hunters, for whom hunting is a hobby. They have rangefinder technology.
Ans: For most hunters, 10x magnification is the best one for hunting purposes. They provide a clear view of your game, although the field of view might get narrowed.
But, if you want to use a binocular in an open field, 8x magnification would be better since they have a larger field of view.
Ans: We recommend spending at least a minimum of $150-$200. Binoculars are essential tools for successful hunting. You cannot do much on a hunting trip if you don’t possess a good hunting binocular. We have discussed it broadly in our best hunting binocular reviews.
Ans: 10X50 binoculars will gather more light from the surroundings, as they have a bigger Exit Pupil number than 10X42 binoculars. 10X50 binoculars would be better in a low-light setting or early morning. While 10X42 binoculars are better for viewing on a bright day.
Ans: For long-distance viewing, the binocular must have more magnification power. You need a long-range binocular with 20x magnification to view long distances, which generally feature in the spotting scope. Many popular brands make these spotting scopes.
Ans: If you want higher magnification, then 12X50 will serve you best. But its field of view would be narrow. On the other hand, if you want a decent magnification with enough field of view, 10X42. Since both of their Exit Pupil is close, the amount of light they capture does not differ much.