10×42 vs 10×50 Binoculars: Which is best?

With the revolution of technology, there are lots of changes and improvements happening in the binoculars system and features too. You will find many varieties among the specifications of binoculars like magnification, aperture, price range, and so on. In its continuation, 10×42 and 10×50 specifications are mostly popular among binoculars lovers. For hiking, birding, wildlife viewing, or sports, these both are perfectly appropriate. But that could be a discussion: which one is the best between 10×42 vs 10×50 binoculars? We have arranged this article to make a clear idea about 10×42 vs 10×50 binoculars. So, without any further delay, let’s jump into the main section.

10×42 vs 10×50 Binoculars: Which is best?

10x42 vs 10x50 Binoculars

When it comes to choosing the right pair of binoculars, there are a lot of factors to consider. But one of the most important decisions is whether to go for 10×42 or 10×50 binoculars. Both options have their particular advantages and disadvantages, so it can be tricky to decide which is the best option for you. In this article, we’ll take a look at the features, product comparison, and pros and cons of each type of binocular, to help you make the right decision for your needs.

In short

The magnification is the same for both of the binoculars, so based on the other factors 10×42 binoculars are the best option for general use. It works well for any outdoor and indoor events as well as activities. On the other side, the 10×50 binoculars come with wider objective lenses which can produce brighter and clearer image composition.


The magnification power is 10x for both of the binoculars. You can see the targeted objects 10 times larger and closer to you. 10x magnification is appropriate for all types of activities like hiking, sightseeing, bird watching, sports, etc. In that case, both binoculars stand in a win-win situation. As you will get the same magnification power from both so the real distinction will be with other specifications like the diameter of the objective lens, eye pupil, weight, etc.

Objective lens size

The main differences between 10×42 and 10×50 binoculars will appear in the size of the objective lens first. The 10×42 comes with a 42mm diameter objective lens which is also called the aperture. For the 2nd one, the aperture is 50mm. The 2nd specification has a larger objective lens than the first one. That will make a huge change in the other factors too. So far, 42mm is a standard size for carrying as well as delivering bright images. On the other hand, a 50mm objective lens is quite big and heavy to carry, though it can render clear, fully detailed photos of long-distance objects.

Light gathering capacity

The ability of light to gather is dependent on the width of the objective lens. A more aperture ensures more light-gathering capacity. Though only the ability to gather maximum lights won’t make bright and high-resolution images automatically. Other factors also worked combinedly. In that case, 10×42 is a good option to render bright and clear images of long-distance objects. But with a 50mm objective lens, a 10×50 binocular can gather a maximum amount of light. So it can produce brighter images of long-distance objects while showing all details closely. It can deliver clear images in low light conditions during sunset or in the dark forest for birding and wildlife viewing. At this point, 10×50 binoculars are one step further than the 10×42 binoculars.

Eye pupil distance

The eye pupil value determines the distance between the lens and your eyes. The more value of the eye pupil ensures viewing comfort during using binoculars. The value of the eye pupil should be greater than 4mm for smoothly viewing any objects on a larger scale. At this point, the 10×42 binoculars have 42/10=4.2 mm eye pupil distance which is quite good to watch without facing headache or eye fatigue. On the other hand, the 10×50 binoculars provide a larger 50/10=5.0 mm eye pupil distance. This will be much better for watching objects without any pressure on your eyes. Glass wearers can enjoy hiking and sightseeing without facing any problems.

Field of view

The field of view is mainly dependent on the magnification power. The larger magnification reduces the field of view. But for the 10×42 and 10×50 binoculars, both have the same magnification. There is no effect on the field of view. You can go for any of them. When the term is the depth of field, it’s affected by the size of the objective lens. The depth of field is getting smaller with the increase of the aperture. Moreover, you will get a smaller depth of field for 10×50 binoculars whereas the 10×42 binoculars provide a wider depth of field.


The weight is mainly related to the manufacturing materials, objective lens size, thicker glass for higher magnification glass, etc. The 10×42 binoculars will be a compact choice as well as they are more lightweight than the 10×50 binoculars. The 10×50 binoculars are designed with a bigger objective lens. So that it makes the binocular bulkier. The prism glass attachment also affects the weight. If the roof prism is used, the weight will be less than the Porro prism attachment. However, the binocular has a tripod adapter, so you can go for it. Otherwise, we recommend choosing a 10×42 binocular that you can carry and hold effortlessly.

Price range

The price range varies according to the features and manufacturers. You will get 10×42 binoculars within an affordable price range. There are huge options for high-end binoculars too. For the extra bigger objective lens, the 10×50 binoculars’ price range is a little bit higher. But you will get both binoculars for around $40 to $500. Here we are going to depict an overall comparison between 10×42 and 10×50 binoculars below –

Bushnell Trophy 10×42 vs Bushnell PowerView 2 10×50

PropertiesBushnell Trophy 10×42 Roof BinocularsBushnell PowerView 2 10×50 Binoculars
Eye Pupil4.2mm5.0mm
Eye Relief15.2mm16mm
Prism glassRoofPorro
Weight25 ounce28 ounce
Water-resistance levelWaterproofNot waterproof
WarrantyNot specified‎Lifetime Ironclad Warranty
PriceCheck on AmazonCheck on Amazon
Advantages of 10×42 binoculars
  • Razor-sharp image composition with the right amount of magnification
  • Provide a larger field of view
  • Gives a comfortable viewing experience
  • Easy to use and carry
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Can resist water, fog, and moisture
Limitations of 10×42 binoculars
  • Eye pupil distance is comparatively smaller than 10×50 binoculars
Advantages of 10×50 binoculars
  • Collect maximum light by magnifying distant objects correctly
  • Provide excellent image quality
  • Offers a larger field of view
  • Provide a good length eye pupil distance
  • Able to deliver bright images in low lights
Limitations of 10×50 binoculars
  • A little bit heavy comparing the 10×42 binoculars

Final Verdict

After the whole discussion, hopefully, you got the answer. They are excellent based on their features and performances. If you are looking for a standard binocular with high-resolution images as well as should be compact, then you can go for 10×42 binoculars. It will be suitable for sports, concerts, hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, etc. If the slightly heavyweight won’t bother, then you can choose 10×50 binoculars. It will create a bright image even in weak light conditions. According to the purpose, performance, and budget, you can pick the suitable one for you as these 2 perform outstandingly to deliver bright and detailed enlarged images.

About James William

My name is James William, and I am a professional writer with a passion for optics. With years of experience writing about binoculars, spotting scopes, monoculars, and rifle scopes, I have developed a deep understanding of these products and their technical aspects. I pride myself on my ability to convey complex information in a clear and concise manner that is accessible to readers of all levels of experience.

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