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10x25 VS 10x32 Binoculars | Optics Trade Debates

Hello and welcome to another episode of Optics Trade debates. Today, we are doing a comparison between 10x25 binoculars and 10x32 binoculars. These come from different categories – pocket and compact binoculars. We also create a guide for compact binoculars, which you may find useful.

These two labels get mixed up a lot – pocket and compact, but there is a really sharp distinction between the two. If we go through the general features, in terms of size, 10x32 is almost double in size and weight compared to 10x25. In terms of construction, the majority of these binoculars use a Schmidt–Pechan roof prism type. There are some Porro prism binoculars with these configurations still available on the market, but there are fewer of them every year, as the market is shifting towards roof prism designs.

A big difference also occurs with the eye-pieces: with 10x32, there are sophisticated twist-up eye-pieces with multiple positions, while with pocket binoculars, you usually get one position. In some cases like with Steiner, some pocket binoculars have rubberized fold-down eyepieces. The focusing is central on all of these binoculars – it is almost impossible to find models with individual focusing in this category. A feature 10x32 models have but 10x25 lack is also the attached lens covers.

As we said, the 10x25 configuration is from the pocket category, and pocket binoculars are used more with hobbies and leisure activities for a simple use like cycling or walking. The 10x32 configuration is already in the more serious category. These binoculars can be used for various purposes like hiking, birdwatching, and mountain hunting.

Regarding the field of view, 10x32 usually has around 115 m of the field of view, while 10x25 have from 80 m to 90 m of the field of view. 10x32 binoculars perform much better in low light – the difference is almost uncomparable. It is extremely difficult to use pocket binoculars in low light, and the exit pupil is also much smaller than with 10x32.

In terms of comfort, there is a bigger exit pupil and a wider field of view on 10x32, so they are much more comfortable to use. The narrower eyepieces on the 10x25 may not be comfortable, but for a couple of minutes of viewing here and there on a cycling trip, they do the job. The eye relief is also much longer on the compact models than pocket ones.

There is roughly 50% of difference in size and weight between the two. In terms of price, there is also a 30%-40% of the difference (the 10x32 model is heavier, bigger, and more expensive). However, compact binoculars perform extremely well – they are almost as good as full-size binoculars. Also, you can find compact binoculars with open bridge design and magnesium housing.

The question is still here, when to buy the 10x25 model and when the 10x32 model? If you are a hiker, hunt in the mountains, a birdwatcher, or if you use binoculars frequently, go with the 10x32. If you cycle a lot, or if you take short walks and like to have binoculars ready, 10x25 is the way to go.

We think we covered everything. Thank you for watching and if you think we forgot anything, or if you have any additional questions – please use the comments below. Check out our other videos, and we will see you in the next one. Bye.


Products mentioned in the 10x25 VS 10x32 Binoculars debate:

10x25 binoculars:

10x32 binoculars:

Compact binoculars:

Pocket binoculars:


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