Are 10x42 Binoculars Better Than 10x50 Review (Tips for choosing)

Are 10×42 Binoculars Better Than 10×50 Review (Tips for choosing)

As a hunter, having the right equipment is essential to your success in the field. One tool that can greatly enhance your hunting experience is a good pair of binoculars. But with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one for you. In particular, there is often a debate between 10×42 and 10×50 binoculars – both popular choices among hunters.

In this blog post, we will dive into the differences between these two types of binoculars and help you determine whether 10×42 or 10×50 is ultimately better for your hunting needs.

Review: 10×42 vs 10×50

10x42 vs 10x50 binocualrs

Main Features of 10×42 Binoculars

10×42 binoculars offer a 10x magnification power, meaning the objects you view through them will appear 10 times closer than they are. The ‘42’ refers to the diameter of the objective lens in millimeters, which impacts the amount of light that enters the binoculars. These binoculars are known for their portability and low-light performance.

Zeiss 10x42 Victory SF Binoculars

Advantages of 10×42 Binoculars

  1. Compact Size: The 10×42 binoculars are smaller and lighter in weight than their counterparts, making them a perfect choice for backpacking and long hours of handheld use.
  2. Bright Image: A 42mm objective lens diameter allows a sufficient amount of light to enter, resulting in a brighter image even in low-light conditions.
  3. Wide Field of View: These binoculars usually offer a wider field of view, making them ideal for observing fast-moving objects or scanning large areas.
  4. Versatility: 10×42 binoculars are versatile, suitable for a range of activities from bird watching to stargazing.
  5. Durability: Many 10×42 models are built to withstand harsh weather conditions, offering features like water and fog resistance.
Swarovski 10x42 NL Pure Binoculars

Main Features of 10×50 Binoculars

10×50 binoculars also offer a 10x magnification power, but their objective lens diameter of 50mm allows for increased light-gathering ability. This leads to enhanced performance in low-light conditions as compared to 10×42 binoculars.

Uscamel 10x50 Marine Binoculars

Advantages of 10×50 Binoculars

  1. Improved Low-Light Performance: The larger 50mm objective lens allows more light to enter, enhancing the performance in low-light conditions such as dawn or dusk.
  2. Detailed Images: These binoculars deliver more detailed images due to their larger field of view and increased light gathering ability, making them ideal for astronomical observations or viewing distant landscapes.
  3. Comfortable Viewing: The larger exit pupil diameter of 10×50 binoculars provides a more comfortable viewing experience, especially for individuals with larger eyes or those who wear glasses.
  4. Stability: Although heavier, the extra weight of 10×50 binoculars can offer an advantage by providing more stability, reducing the effects of hand shake.
  5. Durable Construction: Similar to 10×42 models, many 10×50 binoculars are built to withstand harsh weather conditions, providing water and fog resistance.
Uscamel 10x50 Marine Binoculars

Considerations for Specific Activities

Bird Watching

For bird watching, 10×42 binoculars are generally a better choice due to their smaller size and lighter weight, which make them easier to hold and carry during long hours in the field. The wider field of view allows for easy tracking of fast-moving birds.


When it comes to stargazing or other astronomical observations, 10×50 binoculars are often preferred. Their larger objective lens diameter enables better light-gathering capability, crucial for viewing celestial objects in greater detail.


For hunting, either size could work depending on the specific situation. 10×42 binoculars might be preferable for daylight hunting because of their portability, while 10×50 could be more useful for early morning or late evening hunts due to their superior low-light performance.

Hiking or Backpacking

For hiking or backpacking, where weight and bulk could be an issue, 10×42 binoculars would be more advantageous. They are easy to pack and carry and still offer a great viewing experience.

Marine Use

For marine use, 10×50 binoculars are often the go-to choice. Their larger size allows for better stability, which is essential when on a moving boat. Furthermore, their improved low-light performance is beneficial for early morning or late evening voyages.

BRIGENIUS 10x50 Roof Prism Binoculars

Price and Affordability

 10×42 Binoculars10×50 Binoculars
Entry-Level ModelsOften less expensive, starting prices can range from $50 to $100. These models offer basic features and decent image quality, suitable for beginners or casual hobbyists.Slightly more expensive due to larger lens size, prices for entry-level models usually start around $70 to $120. These binoculars offer enhanced low-light visibility and are great for beginners interested in stargazing.
Mid-Range ModelsMid-range 10×42 binoculars typically cost between $150 and $300. They offer better image quality, durability and extra features like improved waterproofing and fog resistance.Mid-range 10×50 binoculars usually range from $200 to $350. They offer superior low-light performance, improved image sharpness and additional features like better waterproofing.
High-End ModelsHigh-end models of 10×42 binoculars can cost anywhere from $500 to over $1000. They offer premium quality optics, exceptional durability and advanced features for professional use.High-end 10×50 binoculars can be priced from $600 to well over $1000. These models deliver exceptional low-light performance, extraordinary image sharpness and advanced features suitable for professional astronomers and serious hobbyists.

User Preferences

Survey of user reviews and preferences

  1. Some individuals may prefer the light weight and portability of 10×42 binoculars, while others are willing to sacrifice weight for a better viewing experience with 10×50 binoculars.
  2. Users who value a wider field of view may choose 10×42 models, while those looking for more detailed images may opt for 10×50 binoculars.
  3. Individuals with larger eyes or those wearing glasses may find the larger exit pupil diameter of 10×50 binoculars more comfortable.
  4. For activities like bird watching or hiking, where weight and size are crucial factors, 10×42 binoculars may be the preferred choice.
  5. Serious astronomers or hunters who require superior low-light performance may opt for 10×50 binoculars.
  6. Price is also an important factor for many users, as high-end models can come with a hefty price tag.
amokie 10×50 Marine Binoculars1

Tips for choosing between 10×42 and 10×50 Binoculars

  1. Consider the intended use of the binoculars – if it’s mainly for bird watching or hiking, 10×42 may be more suitable; if it’s for stargazing or hunting, consider 10×50 models.
  2. Think about your personal preferences and priorities – do you prioritize portability or image quality?
  3. Try out both sizes before making a decision, if possible, to see which one feels more comfortable for you.
  4. Read user reviews and seek recommendations from experienced users to get an idea of the features and performance of different models.
  5. Consider the price range that fits your budget and compare different models to get the best value for your money.
  6. Keep in mind that 10×42 and 10×50 binoculars both have their advantages and may be suitable for different activities or personal preferences, so there is no right or wrong choice. Ultimately, it’s about finding the right fit for you.
10X Magnification

Determine whether 10×42 or 10×50 is ultimately better for your hunting needs

Determining whether 10×42 or 10×50 binoculars are better for your hunting needs depends on several factors.

If hunting takes place predominantly during daylight hours in open terrains and weight and portability are essential for long treks, 10×42 binoculars could be the better choice. They offer a wider field of view, enabling quick spotting and tracking of game across vast landscapes and are lighter and easier to carry.

However, for hunting in low-light conditions, such as dawn or dusk, or in dense forests where lighting can be compromised, 10×50 binoculars excel. Their larger objective lens gathers more light, providing a brighter and more detailed image even in less than optimal lighting conditions.

BRIGENIUS 10x50 Roof Prism Binoculars

Additionally, the kind of game being hunted can influence the choice. For fast-moving and nimble prey like birds or small mammals, the wider field of view of 10×42 binoculars may be advantageous. Conversely, hunting larger, slower-moving animals may warrant the image detail and low-light performance of 10×50 binoculars.

Lastly, personal comfort should also be considered. If you have larger eyes or wear glasses, the larger exit pupil of the 10×50 binoculars can offer a more comfortable viewing experience.

Both 10×42 and 10×50 binoculars have their merits for hunting. The best choice will ultimately depend on the specific hunting conditions, the type of game and personal comfort and preference. Remember, it’s essential to try out both sizes, read user reviews and consider your hunting needs and circumstances before making a decision.


While both the 10×42 and 10×50 binoculars have their own strengths and drawbacks, it ultimately comes down to the individual’s needs and preferences. If you prioritize weight and portability, the 10×42 may be a better option for you.

However, if image brightness is your top priority, the 10×50 may be more suitable. It’s worth noting that there are other factors to consider such as lens quality and design as well. Regardless of which one you choose, investing in a good pair of binoculars can greatly enhance your outdoor experiences and open up a whole new world of observation. So whether you’re an avid birder, an outdoors enthusiast or simply enjoy stargazing, don’t hesitate to try out these different options and find the perfect pair for your needs.

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