10×50 vs 20×50 Binoculars: Which is best?

Do you ever think about why there are so many specifications in binocular models? Why have brands designed binoculars with various magnification levels, different size objective lenses, and several optical categories? Well, the main reason is to satisfy all of the customers by fulfilling their specific needs. But sometimes so many varieties create confusion, as well as many of you, don’t have enough idea which specification is needed for what purposes. That’s why I am here again. Today I am going to make a comparison between 2 popular specifications: 10×50 vs 20×50 binoculars. Hope it will be exciting like the previous comparison articles. Let’s begin:

10×50 vs 20×50 Binoculars: A Quick Comparison

Before the broad discussion, I would like to introduce 4 pairs with 10×50 and 20×50 specifications along with all other features. You will get an idea of the 10×50 vs 20×50 binoculars at a glance.

First Comparison: 10×50 vs 20×50 Binoculars

PropertiesBushnell 10X50 BinocularsUncleHu 20x50 Binoculars
Magnification 10x20x
Objective lens50mm50mm
Exit pupil5.0mm2.5mm
Eye relief 10mm12mm
PrismBK-7 prismBak-4
Field of view341 feet/1000 yds287 ft/1000 yds
Lens CoatingMulti-coatedFully Multi-layer
Focus TypeCenterCenter wheel with right eye
MaterialRubberRubber, metal
Tripod CompatibleNoYes
Water resistanceYesYes
Weight1.6 Pounds1.76 lbs
PriceCheck on AmazonCheck on Amazon

Second Comparison: 10×50 vs 20×50 Binoculars

PropertiesSkyGenius 10x50 BinocularsBushnell 20X50 Binoculars
Objective lens50mm50mm
Exit pupil5.0mm2.5mm
Eye relief18mm12mm
Field of view367 ft/1000 yds170 ft/1000 yds
Lens CoatingFMCFMC
Focus TypeCenter1-touch InstaFocus
Tripod CompatibleYesYes
Water resistanceYesNo
Weight1.80 lbs1.88 lbs
PriceCheck on AmazonCheck on Amazon

Now, it’s time to dive into the main discussion on 10×50 vs 20×50 binoculars to decide which one is the best for you. However, the diameter of the objective lens is the same for them. For this, we have to go through every specification except the aperture that I am going to do in this section. Because both have 50mm objective lenses that are good enough to deliver clear and bright images by collecting maximum lights.

1. Magnification

The key difference between 10×50 vs 20×50 binoculars is the magnification power. In that case, 10×50 is designed with 10 times magnification capability whereas the 20×50 comes with a 20x magnification system. In general, in outdoor activities, you should choose the 10x magnification to observe detailed and magnified images of the targeted objects. On the other hand, for long-range shooting or target shooting, you can choose the 20×50 binoculars.

2. Exit pupil

The exit pupil value is another game changer in the decision to pick the 10×50 or 20×50 binoculars. However, the 10×50 has a 5.0mm exit pupil distance whereas the 20×50 has only 2.5mm. If you use binoculars for a long time viewing purposes, 10×50 must be on your bucket list. 5.0mm exit pupil distance will ensure a comfortable viewing experience for an extended period. But 2.5mm exit pupil value may cause eye strains for a long time of observation. So, if you prioritize the magnification power over eye comfort, then you can choose 20×50 binocular pairs.

3. Eye Relief

The eye relief distance should be greater than 13mm. Also, for eyeglass wearers, it should be more than 15mm to adjust the focus and watch comfortably. In the above table, only one 10×50 pair has an 18mm exit pupil value. so, I would suggest going for 10×50 binoculars considering your viewing comfort.

4. Field of view

More magnification always magnifies the objects and reduces the field of view gradually. By this fact, you can easily understand that the 10×50 pairs have more field of view than the 20×50. As you can see in the above table, the Bushnell 10×50 and skyGenius 10×50 have 341ft/1000 yards and 367ft/1000 yards respectively. On the other hand, the Bushnell 20×50 and UncleHu 20×50 offer 287/1000yards and 170ft/1000 yards only.

That is quite less than the 10×50 binoculars and you aren’t able to scan more areas at a time. For long hikes, large stadium sporting events, spying and peeping, wildlife viewing, and birding I would like to recommend 10×50 binoculars. If you need binoculars for long-range target shooting or long-distance viewing, then you can pick 20×50 pairs.

5. Optics

Usually, most binoculars with 8x, 10, 12x, and 20x come with a fully multi-coated optical coating. So, in that case, you can get any of them from 10×50 and 20×50 bino pairs if other properties satisfy your requirements.

6. Weight

The weight depends on the magnification glass, objective lens, material, prism, etc. If you choose a roof prism binocular, it will be lighter than the Porro prism. The size of the objective lean plays a big part in terms of weight. But in this 10×50 vs 20×50 battle, both have the same size objective lens. Weight relays mostly on the magnification power glasses. Typically, more magnification causes more weight. They are difficult to keep steady without a tripod attachment.

For rough trails and long hiking, and sporting events, I will go for 10×50 binoculars because mostly their weight is less than 20×50 binoculars. If you want target shooting or a long-time observation session, then you can select 20×50 binoculars with a tripod attachment. As a result, the extra wait won’t bother you.

7. Price

The price range depends not only on the magnification power, and objective lens, but also on the manufacturing cost, material, prism, lens coating, and many more. In a general scenario, 20×50 costs more when the 10×50 also comes from the same company. The price range can vary from $50 to $1000 based on the features and performances.

Pros of 10×50 binoculars
  • Useful for mid to long-range distances
  • Can produce bright images in low light conditions
  • Provides eye comfort during the long-term session
  • Offers a wider field of view to observe more areas
  • The price range is affordable mostly
  • Not suitable for long-range viewing or shooting
Pros of 20×50 binoculars
  • Can display longer-distance objects’ magnified images
  • Offers precious and more accuracy in target shooting
  • Offer fully multi-coated lens finish
  • Stable, durable, and rugged design
  • Mostly come with a tripod mount system
  • Lack of providing viewing comfort

Final Verdict

Now, I am at the end of the 10×50 vs 20×50 binoculars combat. So which one is the winner from your point of view? If you ask me, I will go for the 10×50 binoculars. If I need for target shooting then I may go for 20×50 pairs, not for the other outdoor activities. I would recommend mounting it with a tripod to keep the focus steady and get rid of blurry images of the 20×50 bino pairs. So far, 10×50 can be your partner in hiking, hunting, whale observing, spying and peeping, and many more.

People Also Ask

What are 10×50 binoculars best for?

10×50 binoculars are best for image stabilizing, birding, sporting events, hiking, and any other mid to long-range target viewing.

Are 20×50 binoculars any good?

Of course, 20×50 binoculars enable you to see long-distance objects clearly and in detail. Also, help with precise target shooting.

Can you see planets with 20×50 binoculars?

Most probably not. 20x magnification is still low to see planets.

What magnification do you need to see Jupiter?

You can see Jupiter at 180x magnification power. Though it should be 380x to see them in high-resolution mode.

About Nathan Mattingly

My name is Nathan Mattingly, and I specialize in writing about optics, including binoculars, spotting scopes, monoculars, and rifle scopes. With a passion for the outdoors, I have developed a deep understanding of these products and their technical aspects. I excel at explaining complex concepts in a way that is easy for readers of all levels of experience to understand. Trust me to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information available to help you make informed decisions.

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