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12x42 Vs. 12x50 Binoculars | Optics Trade Debates

Hello and welcome to yet another of our Optics Trade Debates. In this episode, we are going to be discussing the difference between two similar configurations of binoculars: 12x42 and 12x50.

These are not as popular as 8x or 10x magnification models for quite some reasons. Such binoculars provide the user with a more detailed image, but with more details also comes more handshaking, which can be a problem. For this reason, we would not recommend them to beginners. They are suitable for hunters, hikers, birdwatchers, etc. – basically for everyone who has a specific taste.

Let us begin with the difference, which is the size of the objective lens. The 12x42 has a 42 mm objective lens, and the 12x50 has a 50 mm objective lens, which means that the exit pupil is wider on the latter (4.2 mm) than on the former (3.5 mm). This also means that the 12x50 binoculars will perform better in low-light situations, even though none of the two are made for such use.

Due to the bigger lens size, the 12x50 binoculars are bigger and heavier when comparing them to 12x42 – the difference is around 100 g. So, the differences are the lens size and everything that comes with it.

When would you choose which? This debate is meant for people who are decided on buying binoculars with a 12x magnification and a more detailed image. The only thing that you have to decide is whether you want a smaller or bigger lens size. If you want binoculars that are not as heavy, then go with the 12x42. If you would like to have binoculars that perform a bit better in low-light situations, then go for the 12x50.

Products mentioned in the 12×42 Vs. 12×50 Binoculars debate:


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