8×42 vs 10×42 Binoculars- Which One To Choose?

Binoculars are mainly used for hunting but for other purposes as well. They allow scouting a detailed view of an area before you actually hop onto the spot. Here we help you choose an 8×42 or 10×42  binocular depending upon your specific needs and requirements.

8x42 vs 10x42 Binoculars

It is not just an accessory but a necessity for the ones who cannot stop themselves from savoring nature. A good pair of binoculars enable you to get a view of the target which is impossible with our naked eye.

It is not as simple as we think because binoculars are also very complicated equipment which you should be doing some research about before starting the hunt for a better and safer hunting experience.

Binoculars are often specified by a set of numbers such as 7×35, 8×40, etc.

Again, to be specific here we will be comparing 8×42 and 10×42 which are one of the most commonly used binoculars for hunting and provide an out of the world experience. Let us first know about the 8 x 42 binoculars.

8x42 Binoculars

8×42 Binoculars

We often wonder about the sets of numbers that comes with the binoculars and is a key component in their specifications.

So, actually, these sets of numbers separated by an ‘x’ describe the strength of magnification of the binoculars. The first number indicates how many times closer the subject is to you and the second number describes the size of the objective lens measured in millimeters. 

Similarly, in “8×42” the magnification level is 8x and 42 is the diameter of the lens in millimeters. These pair of binoculars are mainly used for birding. The 8x binoculars will give you a much wider view of the field. It also gives a stable image.

To have a clearer image of the 8 x 42 binoculars listing the pros and cons is not a bad idea. So, let’s jump into it.

An Example of an 8×42 Binoculars

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars 8x42
  • 8x magnification and 42mm objective lenses, these Diamondback binoculars are the workhorse of Vortex lineup; known for...
  • Dielectric, fully multi-coated lenses transmit more light and clearer, brighter images. A field of view that is one of...
  • A sleek, short hinge design with rubber armor and thumb indents leaves more room for your hands creating an easier,...

8x42 binoculars would be a good extra pair for nature as they are generally lighter and have a   much wider field of view. This allows to track movements and flights easier than with the 10x and higher magnifications. A higher than 10x also tunnels your view more, If your subject moves all of a sudden, its very tricky to reacquire it despite having higher magnification. Moreover, The wider field of view provides more context to your view. An 8 degrees or higher than it would be a decent field of view.

Pros of an 8×42 Binoculars

1. As we discussed above the main thing about the “8×42” binoculars which makes it the ideal binocular for bird hunting and other hunting tasks is that it gives a wider field of view.

In a task like bird hunting not only just a wider field but also a very stable image is required and “8×42” gives a very clean stable image which is clearly a plus point.

2. If Netflix and chill is not your favorite pass time I guess we know what your thing is. Bird watching, right? Well, not a tough guess though since bird watching is a really soothing and exciting experience. Coming back to the topic 8×42 binoculars are good for you because they can easily spot the far- flying and difficult to identify small birds.

3. If your last bird-watching session has got you your favorite looking bird an 8×42 binocular is a must for you because these binoculars help you focus on a single image for a long period of time.

4. A very important plus point for these 8×42 binoculars is that they are light on your pocket. Though they give you the same view as compared to a 10×42 binocular they are cheaper than them. The amount you would pay for a not-so-good 10×42 binocular can be invested into getting an amazing 8×42 binocular.

5. These are also really helpful for people who wear glasses because of eye relief which means the user can have the equally same view even when he is a little far from the eyepiece. Thus, it is not necessary for the people with glasses to take them off whenever they are using these binoculars.

6. An 8×42 binocular can very easily fit into your backpack since it is very light and easy to carry.

Limitations of an 8×42 Binoculars

1. Here come the downs of the “8×42” binoculars. Since it is “8x” magnification the amount of detail on the image won’t be satisfactory. Even though far images like the birds will be visible using these binoculars but the detail which you expect to notice won’t be seen through these binoculars.

2.Also in wider open areas, the use of these pairs of binoculars won’t be appreciable. This is due to the low magnification power of the binoculars.

10×42 Binoculars

These binoculars will be a very superior option for most of the works such as hunting, wildlife photography and many more fields. In the market, the “10×42” is the rival against many other binoculars, especially the “8×42”.

It is one of the most versatile binoculars for a wide field of works. These pair of binoculars will give you a very high magnification up to “10x” and it comes with a lens which has a diameter of 42 millimeters.

Going from 8×42 to 10×42 let’s discuss the pros and cons of these pairs of binoculars.

An Example of a Popular 10×42 Binoculars

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars 10x42
  • 10x magnification and 42mm objective lenses, these Diamondback binoculars are the workhorse of Vortex lineup; known for...
  • Dielectric, fully multi-coated lenses transmit more light and clearer, brighter images. A field of view that is one of...
  • A sleek, short hinge design with rubber armor and thumb indents leaves more room for your hands creating an easier,...

Pros of 10×42 Binoculars

1. This point is sure to put you on shaky grounds but there are some 10x 42 binoculars in the market out there that can compete with the 8x 42 binoculars in terms of the field of view.

An example of such a 10x 42 binocular is the ‘Celestron Trailseeker 10x 42’. This might be a rule-breaker but definitely an advantage for the 10x 42 binoculars.

2. 10x 42 binoculars cone out to be the winner when it comes to the twilight factor. The twilight factor means the clearance and detailing of the image even in the low light conditions.

Hence, these binoculars ate the perfect choice for those who love hunting. When on a hunt you should be well prepared for any type of condition.

3. When it comes to image stability we have already said 8x 42 is a better option but when it comes to 10x 42 these aren’t that bad either. Hence, it can be said as a tie between 8x 42 and 10x 42  when it comes to image stability.

4. These come to be really helpful when you are on a hunt and you cannot afford to take any risk. These binoculars give you the best-detailed image even though you are standing at a reasonable distance from them.

Related Reads- What Do Numbers Mean On a Binocuars Mean, Binocular Parts & Their Function

Some Cons of 10×42 Binoculars

1. This won’t be a great option for people who suffer from short-sightedness since eye relief is really less. Hence, such people should go for 8x 42 binoculars and not these. The cherry on the cake is the very affordable price range from different brands and different models.

2. Moreover, the narrower field of view can be a big drawback for those people for whom a wide field of view is really important.


“8x 42 or 10x 42” are just numbers. These decide only the magnification power and the lens diameter.

There are a lot more factors a buyer would consider a lot of factors such as availability, brand reputation, model popularity, weight, appearance, affordability, etc.

Research carefully, list your needs, and then make the final informed decision. What can help you in the best way are:

  • Buying guides- and an unbiased buying guide will help you buy the perfect binocular according to your needs.
  • Reviews: people who have already bought a particular model might help you the best. They can tell you about the experience, the performance and all under one roof. These are available at any shopping website.
  • Companions: ask your friends or colleagues who have already used it or are using them for a long time.

Check Out our Picks of the: Best Binoculars for hunting

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Last update on 2024-07-15


"Smith is an outdoor enthusiast and Just loves everything about binoculars. Since his childhood he has been a fan of optical gadgets & going into the Jungle with his uncle was his favorite pastime. Besides, He loves watching & studying birds & animals. He is a mechanical engineering graduate and New Jersey Resident. He loves to review binoculars and related optical Instruments and loves testing each one of them." When he is not fiddling with one of his binoculars, you can find him playing his favorite sport Pickleball."

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