10 Best 12X50 Binoculars Worth the Money (2020)

The 12X50 binoculars are truly all-around binos. You can use them for any purposes, including hunting, bird watching, wildlife, stargazing, travel, sports, and nature viewing. 

It’s their versatility that makes them a very important tool for outdoorsy. But you can’t achieve any of it if you don’t have the right kind of binos at your disposal. Therefore, choosing the best 12X50 binoculars for the money is a matter of utmost importance.

 And with so many binos available in this category choosing the right one can easily frustrate you. In this guide, we will assist you in finding the best 12X50 binoculars for all your outdoor activities.

We Recommend

Best price/value ratio

Maven C3 ED 12×50

Best budget option

Leupold BX-1 McKenzie

Best for the money

Swarovski EL 12×50

Best 12X50 Binoculars

1. Vortex Optics 12X50 Razor HD Roof Prism Binocular

The Razor HD 12X50 binoculars are among the top choices in this category. 

Vortex Optics has used high-quality roof prisms in the construction of these binos. It means you can use them for a variety of outdoor activities like light sightseeing.

Apart from that, these binos also feature high-quality glass that comes with anti-reflective coatings. 

Therefore, you’ll get plenty of image quality in low light conditions. The chassis of Vortex Razor 12X50 is made of magnesium that makes it lightweight.

The true open hinge design makes it ergonomic to hold. You can also make adjustments to the eye-cups and optimize the fitting for comfortable use. 

To take care of the focal distance between your eyes, the binos can use its right eye diopter which can lock. That is why these are the best 12 power binoculars that money can buy.

Check the price of Vortex Optics 12×50 Razor HD here

What we liked

  • Fog and waterproof construction
  • Hand secreted roof prisms
  • The high-density glass will have anti-reflective coatings
  • EXcellent low-light performance
  • Very ergonomic construction
  • Magnesium chassis with ergonomic design
  • Multi-positioning eye-cups

What we didn’t like

  • No anti-shake features
  • No field-flattening feature

Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 12X
Lens coating: Anti-reflective
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 362 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: Yes
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 2.47 lbs

2. Nikon PROSTAFF 12X50 5 Binocular

Nikon is the leader in the world of optics. The Prostaff 5 12X binoculars will allow you to see the outdoors up close and with more light.

The lenses of Nikon Prostaff 5 12X50 binoculars come with full multi-coating with a roof prism system. 

The diameter of the objective lens of these binos is 50mm, and they can acquire more light even in darker conditions.

The binos feature a turn & slide eye-cups and longer eye relief for very comfortable viewing. 

Therefore, even if you wear eyeglasses, you will be very comfortable using these binos. But you will have to compromise slightly on clarity.

Check the price of Nikon PROSTAFF 12X50 5 Binocular here

What we liked

  • Lightweight construction
  • Fully multi-coated lens for better colors
  • Roof prism system
  • 50mm lens performs well in low light conditions
  • Turn & slide eye-cups with eye-relief
  • Very steady display
  • Ergonomic design

What we didn’t like

  • Not best for low light conditions
  • No mounts for tripods

Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 12X
Lens coating: Full multi-coating
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 300 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: Yes
Weatherproof: No
Weight: 2.2 lbs

3. Celestron 71376 12X50 Granite Binocular

Upon Celestron Granite 12X50 review we have found that they offer you all their models of binos in different styles and specifications. 

The company has used a 50mm ED objective lens in the construction. 

This powerful binocular eliminates chromatic aberration for high-resolution views, in poor light. 

These binos feature a roof prism system and come with full multi-coating. They only weigh around 1.7 lbs, so if you are looking for a lightweight option, then these are good to consider. 

The binos come with lenses that have full multi-coating, so they are great in producing true colors. The binos feature high-quality bak-4 prisms, and they have high reflectivity. 

Bak-4 prisms are good for producing eXcellent hues. These binos also come with a harness strap. Therefore, you can use them comfortably on the move. These binos are one of the top choices for hunting and birding.

Check the price of Celestron 71376 12X50 Granite Binocular here

What we liked

  • Full multi-coating
  • Fog proof and waterproof
  • Arsenic and lead-free
  • Harness strap
  • Bak-4 roof prism system
  • Metal accents for durability
  • Twist-up eye-cups

What we didn’t like

  • Sometimes misty edges on the display

Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 12X
Lens coating: Full multi-coating
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 280 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: Yes
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 1.7 lbs

4. Pentax SP 12X50 WP Binoculars

If you are looking for a pair of binos with a Porro prism system, then you don’t need to look any further. 

These binos have large objective lenses and can gather more light. Therefore, these are better for low light conditions.

The PentaX 12X50 can produce very crisp images that are true-to-life. And they work pretty well in most conditions. 

The full multi-coating ensures that the lens remains safe from any eXternal elements, and they continue to produce some high-quality results. 

These binos are submersible as well (up to 1m) and can resist water as they feature nitrogen filling.

PentaX SP WP binoculars offer 20mm of Eye Relief. This range is good enough to view with your eyeglasses.

Check the price of Pentax SP 12X50 WP Binoculars here

What we liked

  • Porro prism system
  • Good low light performance
  • Full multi-coating protection
  • Filled with nitrogen for waterproofing
  • Ergonomic and durable construction
  • Very soft twist-up eye-cups
  • Tripod mounting point

What we didn’t like

  • Short eye relief
  • Slightly heavy to use

Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 12X
Lens coating: Full multi-coating
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 221 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: Yes
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 2.40 lbs

5. Swarovski EL 12X50 Binocular with FieldPro Package

The prism coatings and enhanced lens of Swarovski EL give you excellent color reproduction at a high transmission level. 

Swarovski has managed to combine the biggest possible FOV with edge-to-edge sharpness. 

Now eyeglass wearers can benefit big time from this combination. You’ll eXperience sharpness across the image. 

The flattener lens has enabled this EL binocular to achieve a flat image with unbelievable sharpness. It means that you can see the tiniest details in a razor-sharp quality.

The Swarovski binoculars 12X50 are waterproof binos and are submersible up to 4m. These binos come with a lifetime warranty on the optics and 10-years on the parts. 

The EL features cutting edge technologies like SwaroVision, SwaroClean, and SwaroBright. And they all make sure that the maids that you get are as clean as a whistle.

Check the price of Swarovski EL 12X50 Binocular with FieldPro Package here

What we liked

  • Ergonomic design
  • Easy to use focus mechanism
  • Modern technologies for brighter images
  • Comes with all traveling accessories
  • Lifetime warranty on optics
  • Submersible up to 4 meters
  • Lightweight construction

What we didn’t like

  • High price tag
  • Strap is not sturdy

Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 12X
Lens coating: Full multi-coating
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 300 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: Yes
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 4.54 lbs

6. Maven 12X50 C3 ED Binocular

These Maven C3 ED binos feature fully multi-coated lenses that are good in dim light and can produce very clear images for you. 

Maven has used, high-quality yet lightweight polymer and has eXtra-low dispersion glass. 

These binos can reproduce true colors very well. The manual focus of these binos is very easy to handle, and it is not shaky. 

The binos are fog proof and waterproof so you can use them in various conditions. They are scratch-proof as well, so they are great for traveling.

The company has used the dielectric coated Schmidt-Pechan prism system to produce bright, clear, bright, and highly sharp images. On top of that, the lifetime warranty will safeguard your investment. 

Check the price of Maven 12X50 C3 ED Binocular here

What we liked

  • Full multi-coated lenses
  • EXtra low dispersion glass
  • Lightweight polymer frame
  • Edge-to-edge clarity
  • Great color reproduction
  • Scratch-resistant, waterproof, and fog proof
  • Unconditional lifetime warranty on optics 

What we didn’t like

  • No image stabilization
  • No locking diopter

Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 12X
Lens coating: Full multi-coated
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 280 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: Yes
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 1.75 lbs

7. Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 12X50 Binoculars

The aluminum construction of Vortex Diamondback binos makes them strong yet lightweight. 

These binos feature chromatic aberration and deliver exceptional light transmission, sharpness, and color fidelity.

The lenses of these binos come with full multi-coating for better low light performance. 

The eye-cups are fully adjustable, and you can twist them up according to your preferences and comfort. 

And a lot of credit goes to the adjustable diopter of the Diamondback HD. The IPD helps to align your left and right pupils to make a crisp and clear image without stressing your eyes. 

The ergonomically designed harness protects your binoculars and keeps it close to your hand for quick deployment. Furthermore, the tethers are attached for additional security against any accidental drop.

Check the price of Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 12X50 Binoculars here

What we liked

  • Lightweight and tough aluminum construction
  • Full multi-coated lenses
  • Fully adjustable eye-cups
  • O-ring seals for fog and waterproofing
  • Non-slip grip
  • Comes with a glass-pak harness
  • Center focus

What we didn’t like

  • Sometimes white objects have a slight yellowish fringe

Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 12X
Lens coating: Full multi-coating
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 300 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: Yes
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 0.50 lbs

8. Bushnell Engage 12X50 Binoculars

Another pair of binoculars featuring ED prime glass with the full multi-coated design. 

Bushnell Engage binos are exceptional when it comes to performing in low light conditions. 

The roof prisms of these binoculars also come with a dielectric coating.

These binoculars are great when you want to capture clear and bright images while preventing glare. 

Furthermore, it repels oil, water, debris, and dust particles. The rugged chassis is built to take a toll. Now you can engage and focus on your image without fearing the breakage.

The lens coating of the Bushnell 12X50 PowerView binocular device also comes with EXo-barrier features to keep water and dirt away. 

Bushnell has used high-quality lead-free glass along with a lightweight but rugged magnesium body for eXcellent waterproofing.

Check the price of Bushnell Engage 12X50 Binoculars here

What we liked

  • Full multi-coated lenses
  • Excellent display brightness
  • Precise colors and clarity
  • EXo barrier coating on the lens
  • Lead-free glass. Magnesium chassis
  • Dielectric prism coating
  • Lightweight body

What we didn’t like

  • No image stabilization
  • Eye relief is very short

Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 12X
Lens coating: Fully multi-coated
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 300 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: Yes
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 1.83 lbs

9. Leupold BX-1 12X50 McKenzie Binocular

Here is another good option for birding and hunting that you should consider. 

This Leupold 12X50 bino is excellent to work in various conditions because it is shock, fog, and waterproof. 

The lenses of these binos are fully multi-coated, and they ensure that you get a very clear and bright picture to see.

The twist-up eyecups give you a great eye relief for an extended image view. 

You can use its focusing system to get a clear image by making fine adjustments.

These binos feature bak-4 prisms that offer rounded exit pupil. And you won’t have to deal with edge distortions. The binos are very ergonomic, and they are lightweight as well. 

Furthermore, there is a Twilight Management System that can provide you with an eXtra glassing light for 10 minutes.

Check the price of Leupold BX-1 12X50 McKenzie Binocular here

What we liked

  • Fog, shock, and waterproof
  • Lightweight and ergonomic construction
  • Twilight management system
  • Clear edge display
  • Smooth focusing
  • Roof prism design
  • Twist Up eye-cups

What we didn’t like

  • No image stabilization
  • No HD glass

Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 12X
Lens coating: Full multi-coated
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 242 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: Yes
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 2.40 lbs

10. Nikon ACULON 12X50 Binocular

If you are a true fan of Nikon as a brand and are interested in buying a pair of lightweight binos, then you should choose the Nikon A211 Aculon

These binos are lightweight, and they have a very ergonomic design. 

There are turning and sliding eye-cups for very comfortable viewing for extended periods. 

The use of aspherical lenses results in razor-sharp clarity without blurring the image.

The glass lenses of Nikon Binoculars 12X50 feature multi-coating and are free from lead and arsenic. 

They are very easy to focus, and the rubber armored body makes them very resilient. The binos are very easy to grip even in wet conditions.  

Check the price of Nikon ACULON 12X50 Binocular here

What we liked

  • Very durable constructions
  • Eco-friendly glass
  • Ergonomic design
  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Very simple to use and operate
  • Lightweight design makes them easy to carry
  • Turn & Slide eye-cups

What we didn’t like

  • No waterproofing
  • Slightly delicate to use
  • Small FoV

Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 12X
Lens coating: Multi-coated
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 272 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: No
Weatherproof: No
Weight: 2.00 lbs

10x50 vs. 12x50 binoculars

If you’re new to binoculars and don’t know much about how they are rated, then let’s introduce them to you. Each binocular comes with some numbers written in a particular format. You’ll find 10X50 binos, 12X50, 14X42, 20X42, etc. 

Now, what do 12X50 binoculars mean?

These binoculars come with 12x magnification. The 50mm lens can gather light and present you with a view that is clearer, even in dark conditions. Now, if you compare it with a 10X50 binocular, then you will get 10x magnification with the same 50mm objective lens. 

It means that the image will be as bright as what is produced by the best 12x binoculars but with 2x magnification less. So there is a better chance of seeing things at a distance with greater details if you use a 12X50 binocular as opposed to a 10X50 one.

But 12X50 binoculars are much heavier than their 10X50 counterparts. 10X50 binoculars are better when you have to carry them around or keep them in your hands for long periods. 

On the other hand, 12X50 binoculars are suitable for dim light conditions, and they allow you to see further distant objects. 10X50 binoculars are better suited for traveling and outdoors. In contrast, 12X50 binoculars are better for hunting, birding, and in some cases, stargazing too.

How to choose the best 12X50 binoculars?

As there are different types of 12X50 binoculars available on the market and from different brands too, choosing the best one can be difficult. Here are some of the important factors that you should consider to make an informed decision.

Prism type

12X50 binoculars come with two different kinds of prisms: Porro prism and Roof prism. Porro features a couple of prisms that are positioned right-angled to each other in juxtaposition. This setup doesn’t have the eyepiece right in the line of the objective lens.

On the other hand, Roof prism features a couple of prisms. They are either positioned with a gap or are connected in a V-shape. Roof prisms are very durable as compared to Porros, and they are brighter too. Still, the image won’t be clear, and there will be a certain amount of blur associated with it.

If you are on the move while using your binoculars, then you need a much more durable pair of binos with you. Additionally, if you’ll be in dark conditions, then go for Roof prism stargazing would be so much better with this type of prism. However, Porro is a lot better in terms of clarity. Therefore, the best 12X50 binoculars for hunting feature this type of prism.

Field of view 

Another important feature to consider here is the field of view or FoV. Most manufacturers express it in meters/yards. FoV is the width of the entire view that you see within your binos. The range that it covers from one side to another gives you the FoV of a binocular.

If your bino has high magnification with a small objective, then the field of view will be wider. A 12X50 binocular needs to have an FoV 6 to 8 degrees for optimal results.

Eye relief 

Eye relief is the distance that is there between the user’s eye and the binos’ focal point. This factor becomes more important if you wear glasses. 

Your binos with eye relief will focus the image impression right behind your distance of eye relief. This feature will significantly improve the sharpness of the display. The best range for you if you wear glasses is 16mm.


The best option for you here is to only consider high-quality materials. Quality always translates well into durability and longevity. Make sure to consider leather, hard rubber, silicone, and aluminum. Binoculars that feature these materials are usually very resilient. 

Manufacturers use various combinations. For outdoor use, your binoculars need to be resistant to impact or shock. It should also be resistant to fog and water. And for this, the binos need to be well constructed.


Binoculars 12C50 can begin to feel heavy if you hold them for too long. It is because of the highly sophisticated lens system that these binoculars come with. Therefore, when choosing such binos, make sure that you pick the lightest of all the options so you won’t have to deal with weight problems when using them.


Fog and waterproofing are very important features that your pair of binoculars need to have if you are going to use them outdoors. Such binos have a barrier that keeps the internal components all separated from the external elements.

Nothing can go in and out here. And it all happens due to an inert gas that the manufacturers fill inside the binos. The dry inert gas completely seals them off. Therefore, there will be no condensation, and the water vapors caused by it.

Frequently asked questions

What does 12X50 mean for binoculars?

“12X” refers to the magnification of a pair of binoculars while “50” refers to the lens diameter in millimeters. Therefore, a 12X50 bino means that it has 12X magnification and 50mm lens diameter.

Are 12X50 binoculars good?

These binos are very decent, and you can use them for various outdoor activities. These include hunting, bridging, stargazing, and nature watching.

Which is better: 10X50 binoculars vs. 10X42 binoculars?

Both 10X50 and 10X42 binos have the same magnification, but their lens diameter is different. A 10X50 bino has a larger diameter, which means that it will allow more light to enter, making them better for low light conditions. 10X42 binos, on the other hand, will be lighter in weight. So it boils down to your preferences and requirements.  

Which is the best magnification for binoculars?

For birding and hunting, 10X and 12X are better. However, for stargazing, you need to go for 12X or even 14X. But with more magnification, a bino becomes more delicate and heavier to use.

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