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7x50 VS 8x56 Binoculars | Optics Trade Debates

Hello once again, and welcome to another episode of Optics Trade debates. We are doing a comparison between two popular categories of binoculars: 7x50 and 8x56. We get a lot of questions regarding which pair should you go for.

8x56 binoculars are very diverse because you can get them with three different prism types: Schmidt-Pechan, Abbe-König, or Porro prisms. You can get them either with an open bridge design, or a single hinge design. The focusing can be either central or the focusing can be individual, separated for each eye. In terms of materials, the most affordable models come with plastic housing, mid-range comes with an aluminum housing, and top-range, the best among them come with a magnesium housing. They are all waterproof and filled with nitrogen gas. Price-wise, they begin at 50 € and go all the way up to 2.500 €.

For the 7x50 configuration, it is easier. Almost all 7x50 binoculars come with a Porro prism, individual focusing, and are usually made out of plastic of aluminum, rarely out of magnesium. The majority of 7x50 binoculars are meant for marine use, so they come in materials that can withstand salt in seawater and a lot of direct sunlight. With 8x56, there are multi positioned or foldable eyecups, and with 7x50, you always only get foldable eyecups.

If we first take a look at the 7x50 category, the binoculars are either meant for marine use or twilight hunting. If we take a look at the 8x56 category, these binoculars are strictly meant for twilight hunting. Usually, 7x50 have a wider field of view. The best 7x50 binoculars have around 145 m of the field of view, whereas 8x56 usually have 125 m of the field of view. Price-wise, 7x50 are usually a couple of hundred euros cheaper. If we take a look at the whole price-rage, the 7x50 category stops at around 1500 €, and the 8x56 stops at a much higher price (2.500 €).

The exit pupil is almost the same, that is 7 mm on 8x56 binoculars, and 7.1 mm on 7x50 binoculars. If we talk about size, 8x56 are always taller than 7x50 and usually, they are also heavier. For the comfort of use, both are comfortable to look through because of the huge exit pupil. The twist eyepieces also play a huge role when it comes to comfort, and that is when we come to glasses. If you wear glasses, then 8x56 with adjustable eyepieces are a must.

Which ones to buy? If you are a sailor, you have a separate 7x50 category. If you are a hunter, it is still a difficult decision. The price is one factor, and also low-light usability. Both perform well In low-light, but 7x50 may be a better choice because when you are using it for roe deer hunting, you will still see details better than with 8x56. What is more, the close focusing is also shorter on 8x56 than on 7x50.

If you want to have all-around usable binoculars that excel in low-light conditions, go for 8x56 with the Abbe-König prism. You will get the best resolution and it will perform well in low light. If, however, your interest is only low light use, you are left with Porro prisms – 7x50 or 8x56, where the main difference is the price, as optically, they are very similar.

We think we covered everything. If you found the video useful leave a like, subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we also have individual reviews. See you in our next video, bye.


Products mentioned in the 7x50 VS 8x56 Binoculars debate:

7×50 binoculars:

8x56 binoculars:


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