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Are you torn between 8x and 10x binoculars? It’s a common dilemma, as each magnification power has its pros and cons. In our previous guide, I guided you about the strongest magnification binoculars. However, we didn’t delve into the specific comparison of 8x vs 10x binoculars.
So, this guide is going to be dedicated to two magnification powers, and trust me this question is literally common among bird watchers and hunters. Both 8x and 10x magnification powers sound quite similar but actually, they are not and they give you a different viewing experience.
8x allows you to see objects eight times bigger, while 10x provides a ten times bigger image. Both have their own pros – 8x binoculars are suitable for birdwatching and hunting, while 10x binoculars are ideal for viewing distant objects.
It was the brief answer, how I have done complete research to give you in-depth information so stay connected so that you don’t miss any of the information.
Related Article: What is the Strongest Magnification for Binoculars?
Factors to consider when choosing between 8x and 10x binoculars: Understanding the Differences
One of the toughest times for an optics user is to be at the optical store and thinking whether I should opt for 8x or 10x magnification. Both options have their own unique benefits, you won’t see anyone saying anything bluntly against them. So, the choice will come down to your personal preferences and needs.
However, I have collected some factors which put a slight difference between 8x and 10x binoculars that can surely help you to choose the right pair. Regardless of which option you pick, be sure to read the section below so that you have enough knowledge and you should be well aware of what you’re going to buy.
Related: 10X50 vs 16X50 Binoculars
In the previous guide, I talked about magnification. In short, it is the ability of binoculars to give you magnified visuals of the target objects. 8x binoculars give you an eight times bigger image whereas 10x binos give ten times bigger visuals. It may seem very simple but this small difference impacts the performance of these binoculars.
Point to remember: The difference in magnification puts impacts on the size, stability of visuals, and field of view.
2- Field of view
The magnification puts a direct impact on the field of view which is defined as the area that a user sees through the barrel of binoculars. When you choose magnification with higher magnification then the field of view gets compromised. With 8x binoculars, you’ll be able to see more space and get a wider field of view.
On the other hand, when you choose 10x binoculars, then the field of view gets compromised and you see less area through the barrel of binoculars. In short, more magnification means more zooming power but less area to look at. Every outdoor activity requires a different FOV. For example, hunting requires a wider field of view to locate the target whereas hiking won’t require you to have a wider FOV.
It depends on your choice and needs. If you are going to choose binoculars for hunting then I suggest you choose 8x binoculars as they will provide you with more field of view. If you are going to see something which is very far, go with 10x binoculars.
Winner: I personally love 8x Bino as they give decent magnification and ideal FOV.
You Might Also Like to Read: 8X32 vs 8X42 Binoculars
3- Stability of visulas
When you choose binoculars with higher magnification power, you actually compromise on the stability of visuals. Your optics become very sensitive to small movements and you tend to feel uncomfortable while focusing on the target. On the other hand, the binos with less magnification like 8x give perfect visuals with decent stability.
If you want to get stable visuals with decent magnification then go for 8x. If the stability of the image does matter to you as zooming is something you need, then I personally suggest you choose 10x binoculars.
Winner: 8x binoculars as they provide ideal stability in the visuals.
4- Weight & Size
Higher magnification binoculars usually consist of a bigger objective lens size which makes binoculars slightly heavier and hard to carry for extended usage. On the other hand, lower magnification binos don’t necessarily need bigger objective lens sizes and you’ll be able to enjoy the lightweight and easy-to-carry optics. In short, the 8x binoculars are perfect but 10x is not too far behind and the difference is literally negligible.
Winner: 8x binoculars have a slight edge but it can be negligible for those who are new to the optics.
5- Tracking moving objects
Most hunters stay away from the target and follow the movement of the bucks and find the right time to shoot. Chances are high that bucks may move too far away then with 8x binoculars the tracking of bucks will be difficult and you’ll certainly need higher magnification to follow the buck and you’ll feel comfortable with 10x binoculars.
However, these can be totally different for the birders as they have to move the binoculars more often to track the flying birds. With the 10x magnification, it can be hard to get a view of the flying birds and your binoculars become too sensitive to small movements of hands. However, 10x will still help you see the birds which are very far from you.
Winner: 10x binoculars are helpful for tracking objects which are very far away and winning the race here.
6- Range or limit of viewing
It is pretty straightforward and I don’t think you need an explanation. With higher magnification, you see objects which are very far away, so they increase your viewing limits. On the other hand, when you choose lesser magnification binoculars like 8x then your viewing range gets limited and you just see up to a few yards. If the viewing range matters for you, I recommend you go with 10x binoculars.
7- Minimum focus distance
The minimum focus of binoculars refers to the shortest distance at which the object can be brought into focus. The higher magnification binoculars give increased minimum focus distance whereas the fewer magnification binos affect your minimum focus distance negatively. It is important to note that minimum focus distance is important when you choose binoculars for seeing butterflies and other insects which are very small.
Winner: 10x is the winner as it helps you give more details of close objects.
Are 8x or 10x binos any good?
Yes, both are excellent pairs of binoculars and they are good for different outdoor activities. But one thing you should keep in mind is that both have different usability. If you’re going to choose 8x binoculars, you’ll get less zooming power and more space to look at which makes them the ideal pick for hunting
On the other hand, when you choose 10x binoculars, your zooming power increases, and seeing objects that are very far away becomes very easy. They are good for long-range hunting, hiking, and stargazing.
Also Read: Which binoculars are better, 10X50 or 20X50?
Comparison of 8x and 10x binoculars
Below is the comparison table which will give more in-depth information about the good and bad of these binoculars.. From magnification to suitability, cost, and image quality, I have added all the key features that differentiate 8x and 10x binoculars.
|Features||8X Binoculars||10X Binoculars|
|Field of view||Wider||Narrower|
|Stability||More stable||Less stable, and may require a tripod stand|
|Weight and size||Lighter and more compact||Heavier and bulkier|
|Suitability||General use, birdwatching, hunting||Viewing distant objects, long-range shooting|
|Cost||More affordable||More expensive|
|Image quality||Decent detail with optimal resolution||In-depth details of the targeted object|
|Ease of use||Generally easier to hold steady||May be more difficult to hold steady|
What activities are 8x binoculars good for?
If you’re still confused, don’t worry, optics can be really confusing for those who are new to optics. Previously, you’ve been told about the feature difference between these two binoculars. But here is the list of activities that can enjoy with 8x binoculars;
- Event watching
- Viewing wildlife
- Concert and theater
- Normal birds watching
What activities are 10x binoculars good for?
Similarly 10x binoculars are also used for specific activities which are mentioned below. The aim behind going into this much detail is to give you a clear vision and help you not to make wrong decisions and waste your budget.
- Military use
- Sports events
- Sightseeing and touring
- Stargazing and astronomy
- Boating and marine activities
Frequently Asked Questions
Using 10x binoculars for long periods of time can be more tiring than using 8x binoculars. The reason is that you’ll have to hold 10x binos firmly to get steady visuals which can be frustrating at times. In contrast, 8x binoculars are easy to use and won’t tire you for a long period of time.
In stargazing, you see objects which are very far away from you. With 10x binos, you get a closer view of the very distant objects so I recommend you choose 10x for stargazing.
The choice is ultimately yours, but I have put in the work to provide a thorough understanding so that you can make an informed decision. A small mistake in purchasing optics can damage your budget and negatively impact your experience. So, relax, sit back, take time, think twice and make your final decision. With the hope of goodness, I’m signing off!
I’m a passionate outdoor activist who has got special love for optics. The school studies in optical mechanics and the travelling experience has made me an expert in optics like binoculars, scopes, and other devices. Stay connected with us for in-depth knowledge!