Are 10×42 Binoculars Good for Bird Watching?

William loves to watch birds during his free time. Among so many birds of United States America, dark-eyed juncos have been his favorite since childhood. Usually, dark-eyed juncos are so friendly and they make their nest in lower places like fallen trees and rock piles during the winter season. As the birds are flying around the house, a moderate magnified binocular is good enough to see the birds’ activities. Therefore, his father has brought a pair of 10×42 binoculars for him to watch his favorite birds from the balcony of the house. But the question is: Are 10×42 binoculars good for bird watching? Will William enjoy birding with this binocular? What do you think? Keep reading this article to find out the answer!

Are 10×42 binoculars good for bird watching?

In short

10×42 binoculars are a good choice for birding. You will get a higher magnification balancing with the aperture, eye relief as well as a wider field of view. At the same time, you will be able to watch mid to long-distance birds by these specifications.


When you pick a binocular for birding, you should be concerned about the overall specifications as birds usually live far away from human beings. They move frequently here and there. So watching open countryside birds or ducks, shorebirds and hawks, 10×42 is one of the best options for you. Now let’s reveal the features and specifications that generally a 10×42 binocular will provide to enjoy birding perfectly.


When you choose a binocular, magnification is the main concern for all of us. To see any distant objects like birds, higher magnification is required. Among various specifications, 10x can enlarge the birds 10 times closer to you. As a result, you can see them clearly with all details. As birds are smaller in size mostly, 10x magnifying binoculars will satisfy you with the large-scale view. Most of us are only concerned about the magnification of the binoculars, but there are many factors you should consider before choosing birding binoculars. Otherwise, you won’t get outstanding performance and high-resolution images while watching birds.


There are 2 prominent values in the binocular – 10×42. Here the 42 is the aperture value which means the diameter of the objective lens is 42mm. The bigger diameter ensures more lights can come through it to your eyes and produce brighter images. The 42mm width of the objective lens is a decent size to render clear and bright images of the targeted birds. Birds start flying in the early morning in search of food. Though the sunlight is less in the early morning.

Similarly, they came to their nest drawing sunset. With a larger objective lens, the lights will be controlled and ensure maximum light gathering. You can watch birds clearly during these times even in low light conditions. When you go bird watching, you can see them perfectly with the 10×42 binoculars.

Field of view

The field of view is the area you can see at a time using a binocular. Field of view has a direct relationship with the magnification power. The more magnified, the binoculars will provide a smaller field of view. For bird watching, 330 feet per 1000 yards is considered perfect. Or 6.3 degrees of arc is also considerable. In this case, most of the 10×42 binoculars provide a 300 to 375 feet field of view at 1000 yards. So you can see a large area at a time by this specification.

Exit pupil and eye relief

Exit pupil and eye relief both are interrelated to our viewing comfort. As we have no control over the activities of the birds. We need to hold and observe their movements for a certain period. Viewing comfort is very important. But how can you determine if your selected pair is good for smooth viewing or not? The answer is simple and easy. You should know the values of eye relief and exit pupils. For 10×42 binoculars, the exit pupil value is constant and the value is 42/10=4.2 mm.

An exit pupil value of more than 4 mm is regarded as perfect for comfortable viewing. The eye relief values should be between 5 mm to 23 mm for non-glass wearers. For glass wearers, it should be more than 16mm. You should choose a good brand’s 10×42 binoculars. Thus you will get a decent number of eye relief values which will be suitable for both eyeglass wearers as well as non-wearers.


Some of the birds love to move to the roadside, in front of our houses, or on lakes. Some live far away from the human touch. At the same time, all of the birds often move here and there habitually. The focus is a crucial factor before choosing a binocular for birding. Typically 10×42 binoculars provide a central focus knob to adjust the focus quickly. Some of them have a close focusing system to focus on the nearest birds. 10×42 binoculars are up to the mark for focusing purposes too.


Binoculars come with 2 types of prism attachments. This is the same for 10×42 binoculars also. Prism types vary according to the brands and other factors. Usually, roof and Porro prisms are used to make binoculars. The Porro prism binoculars perform too well but the size is slightly bulky. On the other hand, roof prism attachment makes the binocular compact and lightweight. For birding, a 10×42 roof prism binocular will be more suitable.

Withstand Capacity

A good binocular has water, fog and dust withstand capacity. 10×42 binoculars are mostly waterproof and fog proof. You can watch birds in the open countryside as well as from your house too.


To enjoy birding, you should always prefer lightweight binoculars. As you need to hold them (if the tripod adapter is not set) for a longer period, you should choose a lighter pair. Most of the 10×42 roof binoculars weigh less than 1 pound. It is compact and quite easy to hold as well as move.

Price range

The price range varies according to the manufacturers as well as other features. Most of birding binoculars are plastic and rubber armor made to keep them lightweight. In that case, you will get birding binoculars from $40 to $500. It’s a good deal to get a quality binocular with 10x magnification in an affordable price range. You can go for the high-end too based on your budget and preferences.


10×42 birding binoculars come with a warranty mostly. For any product-related service and customer service, you can choose this specification for bird watching. Here we are presenting 2 examples of 10×42 birding binoculars. The 1st one is affordable, and the 2nd one has a little bit of a high price range. You can easily decide by their features whether a 10×42 binocular can satisfy you or not. Along with the same magnification (10x), aperture of 42mm, and 4.2mm of exit pupil distance, here are the key features –

Alatino 10×42 Compact Binoculars

Key Features –

  • Made of premium plastic material
  • Designed with fully multi-coated lenses
  • Phase-coated BaK-4 prisms attachment
  • Covered by rubber-armor
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • 15 mm of eye relief
  • 4.2mm exit pupil distance
  • Twist-up eyecups with multiple functions
  • Suitable for kids to adults
  • Compact and lightweight (1.10 lb)
  • The price range is affordable

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Vortex Optics Crossfire 10×42 Binoculars

Key Features –

  • Constructed by aluminum
  • Can eliminate the chromatic aberration
  • Has adjustable eyecups which can be twisted up and down
  • Features rubber armor and anti-slip grip
  • Can use glass wearers & non-wearers
  • Assembled by roof prism
  • Tripod adaptable for car or window mount
  • Center focus wheel to adjust easily
  • Provide 6 feet close focus
  • Eye relief is 15 mm
  • Comes with 325 feet per 1000yards field of view
  • Water-resistant and fog proof
  • Comes with Nitrogen purging and o-ring seals
  • Weight is only 23 oz

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Advantages of 10×42 Binoculars

  • Provide a large-scale magnification
  • Gather maximum lights to render bright images
  • Enable a wider field of view
  • Comfortable viewing experience with eye pupil and eye relief distance
  • Made with quality materials
  • Feature fast and easy focusing system
  • Can resist water, fog, and dirt
  • Can choose based on your budget
  • Premium fully multi-coated lens attachment
  • Compact and lightweight

Limitations of 10×42 binoculars

  • Sometimes causes image shack for larger magnification

Final Words

Now, what do you think about the 10×42 binoculars? To understand and decide easily, here we have reviewed 2 pairs of binoculars for you. Hopefully, this content will help you to choose and decide about a 10×42 binocular for birding. After this discussion, we think a 10×42 binocular is a wise choice for birding in the open countryside. You can enjoy birding during driving or from your house window if you choose a tripod-mounted binocular pair. Moreover, you will get varieties of options in the price range. In terms of magnification, aperture, viewing comfort, field of view, withstand capacity, and affordability, we must say a 10×42 binocular is one of the best choices for birding.

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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