Hello and welcome to another Optics Trade debate. Today, we will talk about compact binoculars, more specifically those with 8×32 and 10×32 magnifications. We received a lot of questions regarding which to choose, especially in this class of compact binoculars.
If you go through our page, you can see that we strictly divide between pocket binoculars – which have an objective diameter lens up to 28 mm, and binoculars with an objective diameter lens from 28 mm to 36 mm, which are classified as compact. The main difference is that compact binoculars cannot be put into your pockets, as they are too big. They are only 20% smaller than full-size binoculars with a 45 mm objective lens. However, we cannot overlook the fact that they are still 20% smaller, and lighter. There is a huge difference if you are carrying them around all day.
In terms of optics, compact binoculars provide almost equally good optical performance as full-size binoculars. With pocket binoculars, there is always a compromise, as you always lose something in terms of optics. If we talk about the construction, compact binoculars (both 8×32 and 10×32, or 8×30 and 10×30) all come in two shapes: either with a central bridge design with a single hinge, or an open bridge design. In the past, there were also quite a few binoculars with Porro prisms, which are a bit different, but now, all of them have Schmidt-Pechan prisms. However, there is an exception – Swarovski and their 8×30, 10×30 binos, as well as Nikon and their 8×30 models.
The main question stays, and that is: which ones to pick? So, let us continue with who are the main users and for what kind of use these binoculars are most suitable for. We generally recommend these compact binoculars for hikers and travelers who value the smallness and compactness of binoculars. They are also suitable for birdwatchers (the 10x magnification) and day-time hunters, specifically for mountain hunting. That is because when you are carrying them around your neck for a longer period of time, you notice the difference in size and weight between 10×32 and 10×42 binoculars. In low-light use, the 42 mm objective lens models perform better.
What are some differences between 8×32 and 10×42? Let us begin with optics. The field of view on 10×32 is much smaller than on 8×32, which has the widest field of view among all types of binoculars on the market. Many of them have fields of view of even more than 150 m. 10×32 are usually very close to 110 m, 115 m, 120 mm, so this is really noticeable. The second optical difference is that 10×32 do not perform as well in low-light conditions as 8×32 do. 8×32 will also not perform equally well as the 42 objective lens model, but it will outperform the 10x magnification models without a problem.
On the one hand, the 10x magnification model is better when wanting to see details – it gives you much finer details. On the other hand, the 8x magnification is far more comfortable, because the handshaking is not so noticeable. Last but not least, people who wear glasses usually prefer the 8x magnification because the eye relief is a bit longer (1 mm or 2 mm).
When it comes to weight and size, the 8×32 and 10×32 models are completely the same. For the pricing, the 10x magnification models are a bit pricier. If you are a novice user who is inexperienced in the field of binoculars, we would generally recommend the 8x magnification over 10x (less noticeable shaking, for those who wear glasses, and for low-light use). For experienced users who are used to handshaking and those who would like to inspect details (hunters, birdwatchers), 10x magnification is better.
We hope we covered most of the basis, thank you for watching. If you have any additional questions write them in the comment below – we will definitely answer. See you in our next video.
Products mentioned in the 8×32 VS 10×32 Binoculars debate:
8×32 binoculars: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/catalogsearch/result/?cat=4&q=8×32
10×32 binoculars: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/catalogsearch/result/?cat=4&q=10×32
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