Best 12×50 binoculars

Are you looking for the best 12×50 binoculars? Welcome born observers welcome those who want to go beyond what the human eye can see. We know you love to zoom in on the stars, observe animals in their natural environment and look at the unusual details of nature. All this is possible with a good pair of 12×50 binoculars.

Read more: Best waterproof binoculars

Today most binoculars magnify subjects eight to ten times. In addition, they are so compact that they can be carried in a handbag or jacket pocket. Not only are they helpful companions for hikes and nature excursions, but they can also come in handy at the theater, concerts, or sporting events.

But is it necessary to invest in large, expensive professional binoculars, or is a compact, inexpensive basic model sufficient?

What are 12×50 binoculars used for?

How do the 12×50 technology binoculars work? They use prisms that magnify light when it enters the objective lens to enlarge an image. With this technology, manufacturers produce binoculars smaller and smaller and offer better vision.

The binoculars we shall mention have a magnification of 12x and a lens diameter of 50 mm. We chose them because these are the suitable optical values for nature observations from a great distance. The 12x magnification makes it possible to capture objects from a very long distance, while the large lens diameter captures a lot of light. Result: accurate observations even in low light conditions.

The 12×50 is the type of binoculars that hunters might use that, unlike a 10×50, offers higher magnification, without being as bright as an 8×56 model, but with the bonus of being more compact.

The 12×50 binoculars could even be used for astronomical purposes, as 12x magnification is sufficient for exciting observations of the starry sky. The 12×50 is also helpful in security and defense tracking activities and all kinds of nature observations.

What should you consider with 12×50 binoculars?

Decide what you will use your binoculars for before choosing the proper one. For travelers, they recommend 12×50 binoculars which means multipurpose. They have to be light, waterproof, and rugged. A rubber coating on your binoculars is a must, as it considerably increases their resistance to possible shocks.

Features such as water pressure resistance or a nitrogen fill to prevent the internal optics from fogging are helpful. If your 12×50 binoculars often travel into the wilderness, they should be robust enough.

Precise handling is also a must with binoculars in this category, so the surface should be well rubberized and non-slip. Since, as an observer, your hand is even steadier at 12x magnification, a good grip is indispensable.

1. Optical Vortex Diamondback 12×50

Best 12x50 binoculars
  • Completely waterproof and dustproof
  • Fog-free optics through argon gas filling
  • High-quality optics
  • Close-up limit of only 2.1 m (HD version 1.8 m)
  • Slim and handy design

This 12×50 binocular model by Vortex, a U.S.-based company that specializes in optical devices, such as binoculars and spotting scopes. The Diamondback 12×50 stands out as the brightest Vortex binocular. This model is best suited for low light or twilight conditions due to the large lens diameter.

The Vortex 12×50 binoculars were developed primarily for use in nature. This is also reflected in their robustness. Internally, the Vortex has protection against dust and water thanks to a gasket seal. To prevent the internal optics from fogging, it fills with argon gas.

With the Vortex Diamondback, you get extra bright binoculars that you can also get in the HD version. For a slightly higher price, we recommend the HD variant. Whit the Optik-Pro binoculars, the company offers a larger field of view of 91m: a shorter foreground limit of 1.8m. The manufacturers included better optics, as well as slightly slimmer dimensions.

2. Olympus EXPS-I 12×50

Olympus EXPS-I 12×50

Special features:

  • High-quality, multi-coated BaK-4 prisms.
  • All-glass lens system
  • Aspheric optics for plastic and distortion-free images
  • Adhesive design
  • Ultraviolet coating

The EXPS-I in 12×50 Olympus demonstrates why it is known for high-quality binoculars in the lower price range. Suitable for low-light conditions and long-distance observations, these binoculars are positioned as a choice for hiking or hunting enthusiasts.

For optimum contrast and good brightness, the Olympus 12×50 binoculars have a multi-layer coating. The combination with the all-glass lens system produces clear and pleasing images. As with the Vortex Diamondback, they are adjustable. It is a great convenience when wearing eyeglasses. A unique feature of this model is the UV coating, which ensures observation without concern for vision damage.

However, compared to the Vortex Diamondback and its respective HD version, the Olympus binoculars have a couple of debts. The close-up limit is 6m, while the Vortex binoculars focus from 2.1m. Also, the binoculars are a bit larger than many other prism binoculars, and the weight of 910 g is also higher. But, of course, this should not make a big difference when you consider the price.

3. Nikon Aculon A211 12×50

Nikon Aculon A211 12×50

Special features:

  • Attractive price
  • Rubber case
  • Easy to use
  • The high field of view at 1000 m from 91 m (300 ft.)
  • Sturdy design

The well-known company Nikon is also well-positioned in the field of binoculars. With the Nikon A211 in 12×50, you get a good alternative, much cheaper than other binoculars in this class. Now let’s clarify what features the Nikon binoculars have and how they differ from the other models presented.

One minor shortcoming of the Nikon A211 quickly noticed is the lack of ruggedness. The 12×50 binoculars are neither waterproof nor nitrogen-filled. But for a price of just over $100, it’s ok. It is, however, splashproof. Because of design, it is close to Olympus binoculars in terms of weight and dimensions. What is particularly striking about these 12×50 binoculars is the large field of view, which is 91 m at a distance of 1000 m, while many other binoculars with 12×50 optics are more in the 80 m range.

Due to the lack of ruggedness, the binoculars are less suitable for hunting or wild harsher conditions. However, Nikon binoculars figure for bird-watching in everyday observations at an attractive price.

4. Pentax SP

Pentax SP

Special features:

  • Enhanced light transmission coating for increased light transmission
  • Water, oil, and dirt repellent lenses
  • Water pressure-tight (JIS 6 rating) and fog-proof
  • Magnesium and aluminum housing with rubber armoring

Pentax is a brand name of a Japanese company that also specializes in binoculars, among other things. With the Pentax SP 12×50 WP, you get 12×50 binoculars suited for the great outdoors and can prove their worth mainly because of their ruggedness.

The binoculars have a JIS 6 rating, which means they are water pressure-tight and protected from dust and dirt. The internal optics also prevent fogging thanks to nitrogen filling. In addition, the binoculars have a special hydrophobic protective coating on the lenses, which is most often only found on very high-quality models. The protective coating ensures water, oil, and dirt on the lenses are immediately wicked away. The housing is magnesium and aluminum made.

Since good natural binoculars also have to be bright, the Pentax SP has an enhanced light transmission coating, which offers even higher light transmission.

However, deductions about the compactness of the model, as with the large dimensions of the Porro design and the weight, the model is not exactly a space saver for transport. The field of view is small compared to the other 12×50 models.

5. Usogood 12×50

Usogood 12×50

Special features:

  • Attractive price
  • Incl. smartphone adapter and small tripod
  • Waterproof and anti-fog

These 12×50 binoculars come from a relatively unknown manufacturer based in China but offer some handy features at an affordable price. Of course, this model can’t be compared to higher-quality models. But it can still be a good alternative if you don’t have too high optical demands or don’t want to spend too much.

We are suspicious that the field of view at 1000m is 102m and, the weight is only 490g. But at least they are waterproof and anti-fogging binoculars for a price of 50€. This model advertises as a 12×50, but some customers assessed the optical values more like 8×42 instead of 12×50.

Still, this model could be a good alternative for many, mainly because of the price. With the binoculars, you get a tripod and a smartphone adapter. With the adapter, the smartphone and the camera connect directly in front of the lens of the binoculars. Seeing on the screen of your touch phone what you see through the binoculars is an eye-catching feature.



Special features:

  • Multilayer coated lenses and prisms.
  • Environmentally friendly glass optics, lead-free and arsenic-free
  • Water-resistant and anti-fogging, nitrogen gas-filled
  • Lightweight glass fiber reinforced polycarbonate body
  • Multi-click adjustable rubber eyepiece protectors
  • Rubber coating

The NIKON PROSTAFF 5 is one of the lightest binoculars in its class. These binoculars are multi-coated and guarantee image brightness. You will have a sharp and clear view of your observations in nature. All lenses and prisms feature Nikon’s environmentally friendly, lead- and arsenic-free glass.

The NIKON PROSTAFF 5 is a binocular design with polycarbonate. The glass reinforcement is durable to fog and even water. Adjustable rubber eyeshields with a multi-click system make it easy to position the eyes at the correct aiming point. Even if you wear glasses, the distance between the eye and the eyepiece allows a good field of view.

Do you need a tripod for 12×50 binoculars?

Using binoculars with a tripod can be helpful in some situations. The 12×50 binoculars usually have a tripod connection with all standard tripods. The tripod connection is usually part of the standard equipment with these binoculars, but pay attention to it as a precautionary measure.

If the binoculars are only for concealment, and you already have a good stand, a tripod is not essential.

How much do I have to pay for binoculars in this category?

Even with 12×50 binoculars, prices can vary drastically. There are inexpensive models that you can get for less than $100. In addition, there are also premium binoculars from Swarovski, Meopta, and DDoptics priced in the four-digit range and can hardly cheap binoculars in terms of optics.

Our recommendations are, with an exception, in the middle class, as these models are the most commonly used. If you have higher demands, take a look at the online store “Optik-Pro.” There is a much widest selection of high-quality binoculars.

Maybe, you want to know what kind of birds have moved into the nest box in the garden. If you are passionate outdoors, plan your next year’s hiking or hunting trips with 12×50 binoculars.


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