10X50 vs 12X50 binoculars: Which One Suits Your Needs in 2024?

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Binoculars are useful tools that uplift your viewing experience for a variety of outdoor activities. However, choosing optics with the wrong specifications can be a fun destroyer as you won’t be able to see the objects. So, which specification do you need in your binoculars? This question can be frustrating if you don’t have much knowledge about optics. 

10×50 vs 12×50 binoculars, which one is going to be the perfect fit for your outdoor activities? We know that you’re excited to know and honestly, I am also thrilled to share my own experience and give you the best comparison of these two specifications. At the end of this article, you’ll be able to know which one is going to be perfect for you.

Also Read: Ultimate Winner Between 8X25 vs.10X25 Binoculars

What is the Difference Between 10×50 and 12×50 Binoculars?

Before we go down into the explanation, it is important for you to know the basic difference between these two binoculars so that you don’t remain confused. 10×50 binoculars have 10x magnification power and 50 mm of objective lens. 10x magnification means that you’ll be able to see a ten times bigger image of the targeted object.

The objective lens is the same in both types of binoculars; however, there is a difference in magnification power which makes both of them be used for different outdoor activities. Keep in mind that optics are those things where minor changes make a solid impact.

With 10×50, you will be able to see 10 times magnified images of the targeted object. In contrast, with 12×50, the user will be able to see 12 times bigger images of the targeted objects.

10X50 vs 12X50 Binoculars — A Detailed Comparison

We will walk you down step by step so that you don’t feel things getting complicated. We have found ten factors that play an important role in making binoculars good or bad. Our aim will be to give you a clear opinion about the specifications and the purposes of these binoculars so that you don’t remain confused.

Before going down, here is the summary of this comparison. If you don’t have much time to read: then this table will help you get all the info hurriedly.

Feature10×50 Binoculars12×50 Binoculars
Objective Lens50 mm50 mm
Field of ViewWiderNarrower
Visual StabilityStableLess stable
Low Light PerformanceGoodBetter
PriceLess expensiveVery Expensive
Suitable forHunting, bird watching, general useLong-range viewing, low light conditions

1- Magnification & Objective lens

Image by 12x50 binoculars and captured by iPhone
Image by 10x50 binoculars in sunny day captured by my iPhone handheld

There is a slight difference in the magnifying power of these binoculars. In 10×50, you will get 10x while in 12×50, you are going to see the image 12 times bigger. But, both binoculars have the same objective lens size which means that their lowlight usability and weight will be similar. 

I used both of these binoculars and tested them to view the building which is approximately 6 km away from me. The images that I got are shown above. Conditions were the same when I conducted the test. First, I used 10×50 and then used 12×50 binoculars. You can see their magnification strengths and optical performance.

An objective lens is used to capture enough light to give you better visual quality and brightness. Bigger objective lens size, and better light-capturing ability of binoculars and you will see a much-sharpened image of the targeted objects.

2- Field of view

Field of view is defined as the area or space that you see through the barrel or lens of binoculars. If the binoculars have high magnification power, then their field of view will be short or narrower. In 10×50 binoculars, you will get a slightly widened or larger FOV. In contrast, your field of view will be compromised in 12×50 binoculars.

As a result of the shortened field of 12×50 binoculars, you won’t be able to use your optics for hunting or enjoying those activities where you have to find buck through the barrel of binoculars. Your viewing area will be confined. In hunting, you find the buck with a wider field of view which won’t be available in 12×50 binoculars.

3-  Visual Stability

Visual stability is very important for getting perfect viewing of the targeted objects. If the image is not stable, the shakiness will be there which indirectly has a bad impact on the performance of binoculars. 10x magnification is good and you can have a comfortable viewing experience as it won’t make your binoculars sensitive to small movements of your hand.

With 12×50 binoculars, you cannot get a steady image as the magnification is too high which makes binoculars sensitive to small movements. It is the fact that our hands have small movements which are involuntary. So when the magnification is high the small movements of hands count and it makes the visuals unsteady.

4- Exit pupil size

Image of exit pupil of 12x50 binocular
Image of Exit pupil of 12×50 Binocular that I used

The exit pupil is a small hole in the lens where the human puts eyes to see through the binoculars. It is a place from where light leaves binoculars and enters the human eye. With an ideal exit pupil, you see better image quality with optimal brightness and sharpness. Below is the exit pupil comparison among 10×50 and 12×50 binoculars.

  • Exit pupil of 10×50 binoculars: 5 mm
  • Exit pupil of 12×50 binoculars: 4.16 mm

So, in terms of exit pupil size, 10×50 binoculars are slightly ahead; you’ll be able to get brighter visuals with them as compared to 12×50 binoculars.

5- Weight and Size of binoculars

Weight is directly proportional to the size of the objective lens. But both 10×50 and 12×50 binoculars have the same weight as their objective lens is the same i-e 50 mm. In terms of weight, both binoculars are the same and you won’t feel any massive difference.

Size of 10x50 binoculars that I used - Image taken by me
Size of 12x50 binocular - Image taken by me

Let’s talk about the size of these binoculars. As shown in the images given above, both binoculars look quite similar in terms of their size. Although the shape of these binos varies from brand to brand, their size remains the same across all the 10×50 and 12×50 binoculars.

The reason is also obvious that both of these binos have the same objective lens size. It simply means that they offer similar low-light performance as well. If you carry both in your hands, you won’t be able to know which one is bigger.

6- Which is easier to use — 10×50 or 12×50?

According to my personal experience, 10×50 binoculars are very easy to use due to their moderate magnification power. You will get a wider field of view which helps in seeing everything clearly. Especially if you’re using binoculars for hunting, then the ease of using these binoculars will be excellent.

However, 12×50 is not very bad as it will give you more magnification power. If you’ve purpose to see something very far away and you don’t want a wider field of view, then you will feel comfortable as these binoculars will fulfill your needs.

Applications or purposes of 10×50 and 12×50 binoculars

Every outdoor activity requires different specifications in binoculars. Binoculars which work fine for hunting won’t be good for hiking. Similarly, those binoculars that you use for stargazing can never give you the optimal viewing experience of bird watching. So, the specification of binoculars totally changed the usage of binoculars.

Also Read: Can You Bring Binoculars to Concerts?

Usage of 10×50 binoculars

10×50 binoculars are going to be good for those activities that don’t require very strong magnification power. For example, you don’t need very high magnification power when viewing birds sitting on the branches of trees. So, it would be ideal if you use 10×50 binoculars for bird watching. Hiking is another outdoor activity that requires optimal magnification power and 10×50 is going to be perfect for hiking.

Sitting in the stadium and watching your favorite player or seeing the singer performing in the concert are those events where you just need optimal zooming power which is excellently provided with 10×50 binoculars. Using 12×50 binoculars for the above-mentioned activities is going to leave you in trouble.

Usage of 12×50 binoculars

Some activities require higher magnification power and using 10×50 binoculars is not going to give you a perfect viewing experience. Such 12×50 binoculars prove to be handy due to their increased 12x magnification. You might be wondering what are those activities that require high magnification power.

Stargazing is something that people all over the world do as a hobby. Gazing at the star is fun but with lower-powered binoculars, you are not going to get full amusement. In such cases, 12x magnification proves to be enough.

Long-range hunting is getting popular as you sit too far away from the buck and shoot. But how will you shoot if you don’t even succeed in finding your buck? Higher magnification-powered binoculars like 12×50 binoculars help you see the target from very far away and can be used as helpful tools for long-range hunting. 

Are 10×50 binoculars any good?

Everything made on the earth has both good and bad. The same goes for these 10×50 binoculars. They are very good for a variety of purposes like hunting, bird watching, and hiking. However, they have some drawbacks which are mentioned in the table which is given below

Advantages of 10×50 binocularsDisadvantages of 10×50 binoculars
Good visual stabilityLimit your viewing range
Easy to useMinimum focusing distance
Perfect exit pupilSlightly bulkier
Wider FOVCan’t be used for long-range activities

Are 12×50 binoculars any good?

The answer is quite similar to the previous one. These 12×50 binoculars also have some good and few bad. Below is the table that will guide you about the advantages and disadvantages of these binoculars.

Advantages of 12×50 binocularsDisadvantages of 12×50 binoculars
Good for viewing distant objectsNo visual stability (You’ll have to use a tripod stand)
Good focusing distanceThe narrower field of view
More zoomed visualsSlightly hard to use
Good low-light usabilitySensitive to small movement of hands

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are better binoculars 10×50 or 12×50?

Both are good, but we suggest you choose 10×50 due to their better image stability and wider field of view. The usability of both binoculars is almost the same but you’ll get good stability in 10×50 binoculars.

Which is good for low light usability 10×50 or 12×50 binoculars?

Low light usability depends on the size of the objective lens. A bigger lens size means better low-light usability. However, both of these binoculars have the same objective lens size which means that both will have the same lowlight usability.

Are 12×50 binoculars more powerful than 10×50 binoculars?

12×50 binoculars have more magnification power and can help you see farther than 10×50 binoculars. In terms of magnification power, yes, 12×50 binoculars are certainly more powerful and increase your viewing limit.


Both binoculars are good in their own ways. It depends on your personal preferences and needs. We have given complete details about their functionality and features. All you have to do to make a choice according to what you’re expecting from your new binoculars. Choosing any of them is going to be awesome as they are very capable of giving you an amazing viewing experience. However, I personally love 10×50 binos for my own needs.

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