We’ve been using 12x binoculars almost exclusively for just over a year now, having made a switch from the excellent Swarovski SLC 15×56 binocular. It’s not that the 15s are bad, as the thousands of hunters that rely on them to find western game will attest. It’s just that the 12s offer a few advantages over the 15s that we feel make making the switch very much worth it.
There’s a great post about this on our friends at Gila Outdoor’s website here.
Essentially, when animals are moving in the early and late hours, the easiest way to find them is by noticing motion. The extra field of view looking through 12x optics gives you more area to find moving animals than 15s. And still enough magnification to determine whether you’re looking at a male or a female. 12x optics also won’t weigh you down as much as the 15s. And finally, though you absolutely need a tripod to use 15s, you can (in limited amounts) hand hold 12s.
So a little over a year ago, we swapped our SLCs for Vortex Razor 12x50s… and we honestly haven’t looked back.