The Best Magnification For Binoculars

Binoculars are made to help us enjoy more clarity in outdoor environments. People who love bird-watching, hunting, astronomy and star gazing, going on safaris, plane spotting or bringing the sporting action in stadiums closer will find that binoculars are important in their activities. Choosing the right binoculars for each of these activities, however, is a skill for everyone to master. Binoculars are made with different specifications for different uses. To be able to choose the best pair, one needs to understand the specs and features they need before buying.

Every pair of binoculars has a model number that basically explains the strength and size of the binoculars. The size is the magnification power, also called zoom, while the size is the diameter of the objective lens. A 10x42mm pair of binoculars tell that they have a magnification power of 10 and the objective lens measures 42mm in diameter. What the magnification power means is that the object being viewed will appear ten times closer that it would to the naked eye. Binoculars have a magnification power of either 5, 7, 8 10, or 12.

These magnification powers differ depending on how close the image magnifies. A strength of 5 would enlarge the view of the image 5 times more than the naked eye, but 12 obviously enables the best viewing, exposing every detail of the image. There are various factors that would affect the effectiveness of the magnification power of binoculars. One of these is a very high magnification, like that of 12. The first skill in enjoying binoculars is learning to be still when using them. In this case, if one gets a pair with a magnification of more than 10, the object would appear shaky due to very high magnification, and it would be very difficult to use without a tripod.

It is also important to note that magnification power greatly influences the field of view. The field of view refers to how widely the object being viewed can be enjoyed, or how wide the visible area is through the binoculars. Magnification influences the field of view, also called FOV, in that the higher the magnification is increased, the narrower the field of view will be. If a field of view is described in a pair of binoculars as 113ft at 1000 yards, it means that if one was to use the binoculars to view an object that is 1000 yards away, the width of the object being viewed would be 113ft. To buy the right pair of binoculars, one needs to do some calculations to know which is the best. Since the field of view is calculated in degrees, it is important to know that 1 degree equals 52.5 feet at 1000 yards. If a pair of binoculars is described with the field of view at 444ft / 1000yds, then to calculate its field of view in degrees, one should divide 444ft by 52.5ft to get 8.4 degrees. As the field of view dictates what the user sees when using binoculars, it if advisable to choose a pair with a favorable magnification power. If one wants to view larger images, one shouldn’t choose high magnification.

Having binoculars with a high magnification power does not guarantee quality viewing. On the contrary, a high magnification power will affect the quality of the image even with a strong objective lens. Large objective lenses offer better viewing since they allow in more light to images. When buying binoculars, one needs to effectively balance the magnification power for other aspects of the gadget to work properly.

The following are environments where 10x and 8x binoculars offer the best magnification among other types of magnification. They are perfect for many settings, and easily portable as they don’t require the use of stands and tripods. In April, 2020, lists, as the best pair of binoculars for most uses, the Upland Optics Perception HD 10x42mm.

10x and 8x Models

These binoculars are perfect for many adventures due to their magnification power and size. These binoculars strike the perfect balance for many activities. These are ways in which the binoculars succeed in offering the best images to users.


Hunting is one activity that requires the use of binoculars to spot targets from a safe distance. As such, a magnification of 8 or 10 times is perfect to allow the hunter to easily spot their target, and their immediate surrounding. These models provide a good balance, and with strong lenses, not only in magnification, but also portability, light gathering and durability.

Bird Watching

Bird watching has become popular all around the world. As such, bird watchers need to use a pair of binoculars that balances specs to enable them follow their targets in perfect images. The 10x binoculars offer the right balance in magnification and stability. The user is able to magnify the image of a bird resting or flying away 10 times than their eyes would, and the magnification is perfect for slight and steady movement in their hands to enable them follow the bird with the binoculars. The 8x models may offer an even stronger experience since the lower magnification means a stronger quality image.


Going on a safari is everyone’s dream adventure. An African safari is nothing short of breath taking, getting so close to majestic and even dangerous animals is a dream to live for. As equally important would be to carry a strong pair of binoculars. A pair with the ability to magnify 8 or10 times is perfect for moments when one can’t get close enough to wildlife.

Plane Spotting.

Plane spotting is an amazing adventure, but one that requires great binoculars to spot planes from thousands of feet high until they land. A pair of 10x binoculars works great when one does not have the time or means to set up a higher powered pair.

As magnification works in concert with better quality images, these binoculars are best for hobbies as they offer better image stability.