What Does 16X32 Binoculars Mean? You should KNOW this!

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16×32 binoculars are not very common, but some people use them due to their lightweight, and compact size. Usually, hikers and trekkers use them as they are very easy to carry.

However, what do 16×32 binoculars mean? The numbers (16, and 32) indicate their specifications. They have 16x magnification and 32 mm of objective lens size. They are good for giving you a closer view of the targeted objects but they won’t give you a brighter visual in low-light conditions. The smaller-sized objective lens of 32 mm makes them very lightweight, and compact.

These binoculars target specific users and you won’t see everyone using them as their usability is highly specific to some outdoor activities. Let’s dive in and learn more about them.

Related Article: What Does 60X60 Binoculars Mean?

What Do 16X32 Binoculars Mean?

Two numbers are separated by the alphabet X represents the magnification power and the size of the objective lens. The first number (16x) that is present before the X represents the magnification power. The second number (32mm) that comes after X represents the objective lens size.

So, only two things, magnification and objective lens size are useful and they are written on the packages to show the specification. By reading this specification written on the boxes, you’ll automatically understand the meanings, and the purpose of these 16×32 binoculars.

How Far Can You See with 16×32 Binoculars?

I cannot tell you the exact range of these 16×32 binos, however, you will be able to see objects that are 1500 meters away from you. This viewing range can vary as it depends on many outdoor factors.

Weather and lighting conditions are the two most important factors that contribute to how far your 16×32 binoculars will help you see. If the weather is not supportive, or adequate light is not present, don’t expect to see very distant objects with these 16×32 pairs.

Keep in mind that the viewing range of binoculars majorly depends on the magnification power. These binoculars have 16x magnification power which that you will get 16 times magnified images of the targeted objects.

This magnification is more than enough for many outdoor activities and you won’t have any problem seeing distant objects. Keep in mind that the weather conditions have an impact on the distance that you can see with them.

You might also like to read: How far can you see with 30×60 binoculars?

What Are 16X32 Binoculars Good For?

These 16×32 binoculars are powerful in terms of magnification power, however, they are not ideal in terms of objective lens size. The 32 mm of lens size is considered a bit short as it won’t capture enough light to give you sharper, and brighter visuals.

However, these binoculars are compact due to their smaller objective lens size. It is kind of a trade-off – you will get poor low-light performance, but the compact size and lightweight in these binos. These 16×32 binoculars are suitable for following outdoor activities

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • At sports events
  • Amature Stargazing
  • At concerts to view the performer

One thing that I have noticed in these 16×32 binoculars is that they offer slightly shaky visuals. The reason is that they have higher magnification power which makes the binos sensitive to small movement of hands.

Are 16×32 binoculars good for astronomy?

Yes, these 16×32 binoculars are good for astronomy, and stargazing but not at a professional level. You can use them at a hobby level and enjoy the distant stars. Due to their smaller objective lens size, they are not good for professional use.

Many kids use them as their starting optics – and get a decent view. But these 16×32 binos have an issue of smaller objective lens size. Due to their smaller size, they cannot capture enough light and end up producing dim visuals with no brightness and sharpness.

16×32 Eye Relief and Exit Pupil Size

These 16×32 binoculars come with the exact pupil size of just 2 mm which is considered too small. If you’re aiming to use these binos in the lowlight conditions, you better choose any other pair that offers an exit pupil size of at least 5 mm.

Let’s talk about the eye relief of these binoculars. As you know, different optics brands offer different eye relief in their products. Generally, you get 14 to 15 mm of eye relief which is decent. You’ll be able to use them comfortably even if you wear the glasses.

However, I have serious concerns about their performance in low-light conditions. Their smaller exit pupil also indicates that very compromised or inadequate light will come out from the binos and reach your eyes.

Which are More Powerful, 16×32 or 16×25 Binoculars?

I consider 16×32 slightly better optics as compared to that of 16×25 binoculars. The reason is that the 16×32 binos come with slightly bigger objective lenses which capture more light and offer brighter visuals.

However, both of these bins are almost the same in terms of specification. If you are a newbie, you won’t notice their differences. The 16×32 binos provide you with better visual brightness as compared to the 16×25 binos.

12X32 vs 16X32 binoculars

These two binoculars have the same objective lens however, they have different magnification power which distinguishes them from each other. With 16×32 binoculars, you will be able to get a bigger image of the objects as compared to those 12×32 binoculars. Due to their smaller objective lens size, their low-light usability is not good.

Do 12X32 or 16X32 binoculars help you see farther?

Due to higher magnification power, 16×32 binoculars can see farther as compared to shoes 12×32 binoculars. But we suggest you choose 12×32 binoculars due to their stable visuals. Due to increased magnification power, 16×32 will give unstable and unsteady images which won’t allow you to see everything.

According to my experience, you should be able to see objects that are 1500 meters away with 16×32 binoculars. On the other hand, you will be able to view up to 1200 meters when you use 12×32 binoculars.

Compromised Low-light usability

You will be sad to know that both of these binoculars don’t have very good low-light usability. You won’t be able to use them once the sun goes down. The reason is that they have smaller objective lens sizes and it does not capture more light. So, when there is no adequate light captured by the objective lens, then your optics won’t give you a brighter visual in low light conditions.


16×32 binoculars mean that they have 16x magnification power and 32 mm of objective lens size and they are good for seeing objects which are very far from you. Due to their higher magnification power, they are not considered ideal to be picked for activities like hunting, birding, and hiking. Hopefully, this guide will help you understand the basics of 16×32 binoculars.

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