June 20, 2006
Binocular Advice: Roof Prisms or Porro Prisms?
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
Dear Dave, I will be hunting Mule Deer and Elk in Southeastern Idaho this fall - and need advice on binoculars. Most of my friends seem to think 8x42 or 10x42 would be sufficient...but, then again, none of them has hunted out West as far as I can recall - which is why I turn to you folks. Being an eyeglass wearer...should I go with porro prism or roof prism binocs? What is the difference?
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
Dear Mr. Harper: Thanks for your e-mail.
Being an eyeglass wearer, you want to make sure that your binoculars--of whatever type--have fold-down eyecups. Just about all binoculars do, but check to make sure. Porro- or roof prisms have no bearing on this, just the eyecups.
As for power, I'd go with 10X. 8X is easier to hold steady, but I like that extra magnificatiion, and out West, you need it.
Porro prisms are the older, "dog-leg" style of binoculars; roof prisms are "straight-through" Porro prisms are cheaper to make than roofs, but roof prisms are slimmer, lighter, easier to waterproof, and they are what I would get.