This is a common question that we tend to get asked from customers looking to either upgrade their binoculars or just purchase a pair for the first time. Which magnification used to be very clearly defined depending on the use. It was always thought that if you were going birdwatching you would be using an 8x binocular and if using it for sports it would be a 10x, though the magnifications have stayed the same the thinking has changed a lot.
Apart from making a distant object larger you also need to be aware what factors will change from the binoculars being higher or lower in magnification. A higher magnification binocular will generally give a narrow field of view allowing you to see less of the width of the view. As you narrow the field of view down it becomes harder to find your object and also will give a dimmer image if comparing binoculars with the same aperture. Binoculars also magnify any movement that you give to the binoculars by the magnification factor. For instance if your hand shakes or you are in a moving vehicle, that movement will be amplified by 10x if looking through say a pair of 10×42 binoculars.
Today probably our most popular selling magnification is 10x as it gives the best compromise between field of view, magnification and shake. If you feel you haven’t got the steadiest of hands my advice would be to go with an 8x.
If you wish to discuss any aspect of purchasing a pair of binoculars in further detail or have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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