Anyone wanting an open-country binocular with more magnification than 10X will be wise to consider Nikon’s new Porro prism 12×50 SE glass. Like its 8×32 and 10×42 predecessors, this model is superb optically, mechanically, ergonomically and in terms of weight (only 31.7 ounces). An especially impressive quality of the fully multicoated Nikon is its exceptionally high twilight factor of 24.5 (calculated by multiplying the power by the objective diameter, in millimeters, and then extracting the square root). In non-technical terms, it is great in low light. The usual caveats regarding 12X binoculars are that they’re too powerful for use in thick cover and that it takes strong, steady hands to stabilize them. However, after using the 12×50 SE for two months in Montana’s wide-open terrain, I am now a fan of 12X.
Nikon 12×50 Superior E
Nikon 12x50 Superior E