Introduction of 8×42 versus 10×42
Welcome to Optics Trade debates. In each episode, we talk about a different topic and try to answer the most common questions we receive about it. Today we are going to talk about 8×42 vs 10×42 binoculars.
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These two configurations are the most common ones on the market. Every manufacturer makes at least one model of binoculars in both configurations. The competition is so fierce that consequently, the quality to money ratio is better than in any other configuration.
Want to find the best 8×42 binoculars?
The main difference between the two configurations is the intended use.
8×42 binoculars are a better choice for low light use, for hunters and for novice users. They are brighter, have a wider field of view and handshaking is less noticeable.
What are 10×42 binoculars good for?
10×42 is intended for daytime use and for more experienced users. The image has better resolution at higher magnifications than the 8×42 binoculars. The image is sharper but it’s harder to compensate for the shaking.
Exit pupil of 8×42 vs 10×42 binoculars
The brightness somewhat depends on the exit pupil size, which is calculated by dividing the diameter of the objective lens with the magnification. The diameter of the exit pupil is 5.25 mm for 8×42 and 4.2 mm for 10×42. The difference doesn’t look big, but the surface area of the light that hits the eye is more than 20 % bigger. So, in terms of brightness, the difference will not be noticeable in the daytime, but in dusk or twilight, the 8×42 will perform a lot better due to the larger exit pupil.
Is 8×42 better than 10×42?
We would recommend 8×42 binoculars to all the people that are buying their first binoculars. Because they are brighter, easier to use, they offer a wider field of view and are more comfortable to use due to the bigger exit pupil. 8×42 binoculars usually have a longer eye relief.
The main advantage of the 10×42 binoculars configuration is the better resolution. And we would recommend it to more experienced users that intend to observe finer details in the daytime.