While most birders and hunters prefer a small binocular, for some users, a 12x magnification binocular is preferred for better distance viewing. Many companies make 12x binoculars, and when combined with a 50 mm diameter opening, a 12x can give excellent image quality.
Leica Ultravid 12x50
The Leica Ultravid 12x50 ($2,399, 2010 price) is the biggest in the top-of-the-line Ultravid series. Leica, a German company known for superior optical quality, uses Fluorite-Ion lenses in the Ultravid to ensure superior brightness and to minimize chromatic aberrations, giving the binocular excellent edge-to-edge optical quality. The AquaDura coating repels water and dirt, and the rubber coating on the body makes the Leica easy to hold, even in cold weather. The Ultravid is both waterproof and fogproof. The Ultravid weighs 36 oz.
Vortex 12x50 Razor
The Vortex 12x50 Razor ($870 in 2010) uses XD extra-low dispersion glass to ensure high optical quality. The lenses are also coated with a scratch-resistant coating. The fine focus system on the diopter has a locking mechanism, so that when you get the focus right, you can lock it in place. The Razor is waterproof, fogproof and shockproof, making it a rugged offering good for hard use. The Razor weighs 37 oz.
Meopta 12x50 Meostar B1
The Meopta 12x50 Meostar B1 ($949, 2010 price), made in the Czech Republic, is a ruggedly built binocular in an aluminum housing. Meopta was founded in 1933, and has long built glass for industrial applications. The Meostar has Schmidt design roof prisms for better brightness in twilight viewing conditions, and is equipped with a tripod mount. Waterproof and fogproof, the Meostar weighs 36 oz.