Which Binocular Magnification is Better – How to Choose the Right Magnification for Binoculars

Which Binocular Magnification is Better How to Choose the Right Magnification for Binoculars

Even though binoculars are pretty popular, there are plenty of features that are still confusing to potential buyers.

For example, how do you choose which binocular magnification is better? 

As well as, what accessories should I be looking for when I start shopping around for binoculars?

At the end of the day, there are several things that you’ll have to take into consideration ranging from the field of view to the coatings on the objective lenses, but by far the most important is the magnification.

If you’ve been having difficulty determining which magnification is best for your daily binocular use, take advantage of this guide, as we will help to explain the ins and outs of choosing the right enhancement for a variety of tasks.

Understanding the Numbers on Binoculars

Understanding the Numbers on Binoculars

When it comes to vision-enhancing equipment, you’re going to notice that there will be a lot of numbers associated with each product you might be interested in. Luckily, when it comes to binoculars, these numbers are simple to understand. As an example, you might notice numbers like “10x42,” which explains the magnification of the set. The first number is always the magnification power and the second number is the width of the objective lens. The bigger the second number is, the wider the lens will be and as a result, more light will enter the binoculars.

What Does 10x Magnification Mean?

The first number on binoculars is typically the strength of the magnification, but what does it really mean? The magnification explains how much closer something will appear in comparison to if you were looking at it with the naked eye.

For example, let’s say you spot a deer in the woods that you can barely see with the naked eye. When you reach for your 10x binoculars, the deer will be ten times closer to you than it would be without the binoculars. This is why they are so popular, as they give people the ability to see things at far distances.

However, what many people don’t know is that there are higher magnification options, but they might require the use of additional equipment to get a clear and steady view.

How to Use High Magnification Binoculars

How to Use High Magnification Binoculars

When it comes to using high magnification binoculars (typically above 10x) you’re going to need to consider using some type of stationary equipment for an optimal viewing experience.

Otherwise, your vision may be blurred and shaky, which can make it relatively impossible to focus on things at a distance. Similar to if you were taking an up close picture, the more you have to zoom, the less stable the binoculars will be.

Tripod Mount

The first thing to look for is a pair of binoculars that comes equipped with a tripod mount on the body. Although the vast majority of high-powered binoculars will come with a tripod mount, others may not, and you’ll be responsible for purchasing your own. These mounts can be affixed to the tripod either with the help of clips or screws.


The second piece of equipment that you’ll need to think about is a tripod. A tripod is a stable object with three legs that you can put on any flat surface and use to focus on far away targets. Depending on where you intend to use your binoculars, you will want to make sure that you choose a tripod that is tall enough.

What Type of Binoculars Should I Use for an Activity?

When you’re ready to think about which binocular magnification is better, it’s important to consider how you will be using them. Do you need a pair for an upcoming sporting event, or perhaps you might be interested in a pair for hunting? Depending on what you intend on using them for, you might want a lower magnification than 10x.

10x Magnification

As the single most popular magnification on the market, 10x gives you the ability to see things ten times closer than what you would be able to see with the naked eye. This can be a phenomenal option for sporting events, concerts, bird watching, or hunting.

Less than 10x

Although any magnification less than 10x might not be recommended for watching wildlife, it may just be the perfect magnification you need for an outdoor concert or game. Those who enjoy going to the theater can do quite well with a magnification of 5x or less.

Over 10x

As mentioned, choosing binoculars that are rated higher than 10x are best for viewing things at striking distances, such as if you want to keep your eyes on big game in the middle of the forest or if you’re using them for sailing.

Which Binocular Magnification is Better? How to Choose the Best Binoculars

No matter how complicated the specifications of a pair of binoculars might appear to be, as long as you’re able to simplify their magnification and understand how close your targets will be to your eyes, choosing the right pair should not be a problem.