10×50 binoculars – Buying guide & Comparison
If you’re in the market for some good 10×50 binoculars but aren’t keen on spending your time by browsing through reviews and product comparisons, then the following short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know. After going through many specialized articles and 10X50 binoculars reviews, we have concluded that the Nikon 8248 Aculon A211 is the product that will most likely meet your demands for high performance but a still affordable piece. The Aculon A211 received great appreciation for its remarkably sharp contrast, on level with the best Nikon products, and comfortable turn-and-slide rubber eyecups, which make them well suited for extended use, even by people that have to use powerful prescription glasses. There are also durable and relatively easy to carry. If you’re after something basic but highly proficient, then the Olympus 118760 will prove a good purchase.
Our Top Choice
The field of view of this unit extends to 341 feet at 1000 yards. What’s even more impressive is its 50mm lenses which will allow you to distinguish small objects even in low-light conditions. The rubber eyecups offer a customizable fit.
It does appear that this model is not a heavy-duty one, so we recommend you avoid using it in activities that could have you drop it accidentally, to avoid damaging it.
With quality, comfort, and performance working together, this is a unit that will not disappoint. Even when fully-zoomed or when used in poor lighting conditions, the picture will remain crystal clear and bright so you enjoy all your outings.
The light body of this unit is durable enough to handle most outdoor activities thanks to the rubber coating. It also comes with a UV filter that will protect your eyes during the long sunny days when evading the sunshine seems impossible.
While the unit thrives in sunny conditions, the same cannot be said about weak lighted situations which can, at times, give a poor picture, a thing that could lead to frustration.
If you need a product that can handle the rugged conditions that nature can throw at you, this is a great purchase. The UV and anti-reflective lens coatings, in particular, will transform your hunting or birding sessions for the better.
Also To Consider
The 10x magnification is combined with the 50mm objective lenses for bright close-up images. By using multi-coated lenses, this model achieves an exceptional contrast so that you can identify any small detail.
Customers have noted that some units may have a defective knob that can either make it difficult to adjust the focus or it simply stops working for no apparent reason.
Despite some setbacks, if you want to save money on a device that can get the job done on a tight budget, you can’t go wrong with this model. As a plus, this unit is also water-resistant, making it ideal for fishing or hunting purposes.
The 42 lens might give you the answer to life, the universe, and everything but if you want high magnification power at little to no cost to the field of view and brightness, then the 10×50 will surely provide. These make for great boating and stargazing binoculars, and if you aren’t bothered by the extra weight, then bird watching or hunting will feature among its uses. What are some things you need to know in order to pick the best 10×50 binoculars for your needs?
The prism, prism design and how it affects performance
There are two main prism systems out there, Porro and roof mounted. A Porro design can be recognized by the fact that the back lenses don’t align to the objective or front lens. This gives them wider spacing, which among other things, will contribute to a significant increase in the field of view, which is something you will require from a 10×50.
Not just this, but the Porro performs significantly better than similarly priced roof top designs in all metrics indicative of performance. It offers better image clarity and focus, better brightness and falsifies the colorless. However, the more expensive roof top makes for a lighter, more compact piece, and is generally considered more durable.
In regards to material, BAK4 is considered to offer the best results, closely followed by BK7. An important mention is that the quality of glass used is less important for Porros than roof tops since the “superior” arrangement of the system can make up for some loss in quality.
Field of view is important in all situations
If not self-explanatory enough, the field of view refers to how much of the background you will be able to see through the objective. Only the width is considered as a metric, either expressed in units of distance at 1000 yards or two separate angles of view.
Without going into the details of each, the apparent angle of view is equal to the actual one multiplied by the binoculars’ magnification factor. For example, the apparent angle of view for a 10×50 will be 10 times the actual angle.
The angle of view is especially important for binoculars that are in the higher ranges in regards to magnifying power since often times you will have to look at objects that are closer in distance than the maximum effective reach and without an appropriately large background this can be confusing.
Light, filters, and brightness
Fairly obvious, the brightness factor, often referred to as the exit pupil diameter, indicates how bright the image will appear, thus giving you an indication of how well the binoculars will handle in low light conditions. This is calculated by simply dividing the front lens diameter (50 mm) by the magnification figure (10x).
Cheap 10×50 binoculars with a Porro design should allow for decent levels of brightness without any additional features, but it’s always nice to have higher specs. Besides the size of the objective, other factors that regulate brightness are lens quality, prism quality, and light absorption coating.
Besides reducing glare, which causes light to be reflected instead of getting through to your eye, the coating also facilitates the transmission of certain wavelengths that would otherwise be absorbed by the glass, thus falsifying color.
Comfort and eye relief
If you expect to be staring through the binoculars for a considerable amount of time, then this is something you should definitely consider. Some models have soft rubber padding on the eyecups to prevent strain for your socket.
Also, glasses wearers should opt for a product that makes allowances for their condition. Eye relief is the metric that lets you know how much the eyepiece can move to get into focus with your glasses. The bigger this figure is, the better.
Weight might also be an issue with large 10×50 binoculars, so you might want to invest in a comfortable strap or pouch.
How to choose a good Porro prism binocular
Porro prism binoculars are very popular because they have great quality at a lower price than roof prism binoculars. The way they magnify the image is by using 2 Porro prisms that have the ability to invert the image. Because they are two and have to be fitted in a certain position, Porro prism 10×50 binoculars don’t have aligned objective lenses and eyepieces.
Before buying a Porro prism binocular, you should know that its price is lower because the mechanism used to magnify the image is a little bit simpler than the one of roof prism binoculars. However, some of them have higher prices than others because of the glass they use for the objective lens and the eyepiece.
If you decide to purchase high quality 10×50 binoculars that use Porro prisms, you should look for BAK-4 prisms. The prisms inside the binocular act like mirrors and BAK-4 prisms are considered to be at the top when it comes to quality. They are made of a higher quality glass which is a little bit denser and has a special coating that helps make images a lot sharper.
If, however, you don’t want to invest in BAK-4 prism binoculars, you can opt for BK-7 prisms binoculars that come at a more affordable price. They are inferior to BAK-4 but they are a good choice if you are not looking for a very sharp image.
Why eye-cups are relevant when it comes to eye relief
When we talk about the viewing experience that you get when you use a pair of binoculars, it is important to consider the eyecups, but also to better understand what eye relief means. The term eye relief refers to the distance between your eyes and the eyepiece of the binocular which allows you to have the maximum field of view.
The eye relief of 10×50 binoculars typically differs between 14 and 20 mm and is the ratio between the diameter of the objective lens and the magnification power. If this distance is too low, you will experience seeing a shadow that can shift when you move your eyes around.
This shadow will interfere with your field of view. If this distance is too high, however, you will experience a vignette effect and the bigger the distance, the more restricted your field of view will become.
So, you see, it is best to have the right eye relief to be able to use 10×50 binoculars at their best. The way manufacturers provide good eye relief is by making the eyecups flexible. This makes them versatile especially for people who wear eyeglasses.
The important thing to consider is that if you wear eyeglasses, you have a distance between your eyes and the eyeglasses’ lenses, and therefore, the distance between your eye and the eyepiece of the binocular differs between different individuals. There are two types of eyecups that manufacturers use to solve this problem: folding eyecups and twist-up eyecups.
Folding eyecups are usually used for a cheap pair of binoculars and you have to fold them for your eyes to be closer to the eyepiece. They are made of rubber and that is their main downside because rubber deteriorates if you fold it often.
Twist-up eyecups, on the other hand, can be twisted to the distance you want them so that you have perfect eye-relief. If you want a high-quality 10×50 binocular, you should look for eyecups that have good resistance and do not go down when you push your face on them.
If you don’t wear eyeglasses, you should twist the eyecups to the max to have a good view. If you wear eyeglasses, however, you should know that a good eye relief for your needs is between 16 and 20 millimeters. People who do not wear eyeglasses should completely open the eyecups if they don’t want to get the unwanted shadows.
Free focus or auto-focus?
After you have determined what you are going to use your 10×50 binoculars for, you should decide on what type you want to purchase in terms of focus. Auto-focus binoculars are usually set to a medium distance and are best suited for activities that involve sports watching.
However, for other activities where you need to see details more clearly, such as bird watching, free focus 10×50 binoculars are better because you will have to use them for different distances and it is important for you to be able to adjust the focus accordingly. We know that an auto-focus binocular would seem easier to use, but you have to consider its utility.
5 Best 10×50 Binoculars (Reviews) in 2020
If you still have trouble deciding upon a good product from what’s available for sale, then allow us to make a few suggestions. The products showcased below have proven to be of great value to customers and scored top marks in specialized tests when compared to similar binoculars.
1. Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 10×50 Binocular
You’ll see far and wide with this remarkable Nikon model, while not having to sell the farm to afford it. The field of view extends to 341 feet, which is a pretty good number for the 10x magnification it provides.
The 50 mm ecological lenses (no arsenic or lead had been used during the manufacturing process) will let plenty of light through, and the special coating will allow for better performance in low visibility settings.
The image sharpness received great praise, and the strong contrast will make even small objects easy to distinguish. The color fidelity might not be perfect, but then again, this varies pretty significantly depending on weather and time of day anyway.
It allows for plenty of eye relief with the turn and slide cups that are also coated in soft rubber for better comfort. The body is anything but soft with a significant texture to make it easier to grip.
ACULON A211 10×50 binoculars will help you see far and wide while keeping it comfortable for you thanks to its excellent ergonomics and the lightweight materials used.
The product provides a 10x magnification that will enable you to see even small objects that are far away clearly and sharply. You also get a field of view that extends to 341 feet at 1000 yards.
Due to the 50 mm ecological lenses, plenty of light is let through. Furthermore, you will enjoy a greater performance in low-visibility settings thanks to the special coating used.
Comfort is ensured by the turn and slide cups coated with soft rubber. The rubber is also durable providing a non-slip grip even when the product is used in high-humidity conditions, which makes the item ideal for many outdoor activities such as hunting.
The color fidelity might not be perfect. Still, this depends significantly on the weather and time settings.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($139.66)
2. Olympus Olympus Binocular 10×50 DPS-1
This Olympus model offers some nice resilience in a relatively light body to allow you to take it anywhere without much worry, strain, or trouble. They are UV protected for those long sunny days on the sea while also coated in rubber for some extra toughness and superior grip.
Regarding performance, a customer reports on having tried them out against a 1300$ pair and being impressed with how well it compared in regards to image clarity, sharpness, and brightness. As a 10×50 they should behave equally well during sunny days or at twilight hours.
Coupled with their good resilience, this should make them well fit for use while hunting or bird watching in dark woods. The 374 yards field of view will help you follow your mark as it sprints or takes flight.
The item also comes with a strap and its own carry bag, so you won’t have to worry about finding a one that fits.
This model is an option you might want to consider if you are interested in a compact, lightweight, and portable build that provides great image clarity, brightness, and sharpness.
The binoculars are UV protected, which means you can use them for extended periods of time during sunny days. The 10×50 model means you will get to enjoy the clarity and sharpness you want both during sunny days and at night.
The field of view that extends to 342 feet at 1000 yards will help you observe a large area in a short amount of time. Their good resilience renders them perfect for activities such as hunting or bird watching.
The high-grade optical components ensure excellent contrast, sharpness, and light intensity. The rubber coating provides durability and a non-slip grip.
Some customers found it a bit difficult to focus whereas at least one customer said the product proved to be too heavy.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($81.06)
3. Celestron 71257 UpClose G2 10 x 50 Porro Binocular
This Celestron product doesn’t dazzle you with its specs but offers all the functionality you would expect from a 10×50 at a remarkably reasonable price. Many satisfied customers felt the need to remark that this doesn’t automatically translate into poor quality, praising its sturdy aluminum body, which is also covered in rubber for extra grip and protection.
The BK7 prism gives it adequate sharpness and the brightness is good enough to make it suitable for night use and fairly accurate in low light conditions. You’ll be able to use it for stargazing, bird watching and hunting, without finding it wanting, as the good score it received on retail sites would indicate.
It does allow for eye relief, but at 12 mm this isn’t exactly stellar. You could also find an issue with the somewhat large weight of 3 pounds, but the item can easily fit on a tripod.
Ideal for bird watching, hunting, and stargazing, this model can be used both at day and night. Thanks to the BK7 prism, the user will enjoy good brightness and adequate sharpness in low-light conditions.
Light transmission is increased due to the multi-coated optics used, which further help the user enjoy sharper and brighter images as well as a good contrast.
The ergonomic design and stylish rubber-covered aluminum body provide comfort when using the binoculars as well as protection from rough handling.
The product is water-resistant, which means you can use it in high-humidity conditions. The soft, folding eyecups will enable you to use it with or without eyeglasses. The essential accessories for such a product are included.
This model weighs 3 pounds, an aspect some customers found to be a bit uncomfortable. The binoculars can be used with a tripod, though, in order to avoid hand fatigue.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($37.32)
4. Bushnell Poweview All Purpose Binocular
While a shaking image and less than ideal portability are something every 10×50 Porro will have to live with, they’ll generally get good optical quality in all lighting conditions at an unbeatable price.
Fortunately, the Bushnell 131056 model doesn’t break from the mold in this regard, with happy customers praising its image clarity, brightness, and contrast. A field of view of 341 yards will make it easier to keep track of moving objects and will make it more bearable to discern what’s happening at shorter ranges.
What sets it apart, however, is its remarkably low weight. At only 1.5-1.6 pounds it can even outcompete some roof prism models with smaller lenses and less magnification. The body is well protected enough to carry it around dense forests with little worry of hitting branches, and the permanently adjusted focus will make your life easier by not having to tinker with it all the time.
The product provides good optical quality in any lighting condition. It has been appreciated for delivering satisfying image brightness, contrast, and clarity.
The field of view extends to 341 feet at 1000 yards, a feature that will enable the user to keep track of moving objects and distinguish what’s happening at shorter ranges.
What’s more, you get to enjoy these benefits in a small body that weighs only 1.5-1.6 pounds. This further means it can be easily carried for all sorts of outdoor activities that require binoculars.
Thanks to the materials used for the construction of this product, you can easily take it with you in dense forests without worrying that branches will scratch or damage it.
The permanently adjusted focus will help you enjoy your outdoor activity more as you will not have to tinker with the binoculars all the time.
Some customers pointed out that they experienced double vision when using these binoculars.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($69)
5. Simmons ProSport 10×50 Porro Prism Binocular
“Very nice for the price” seems to be the impression these Simmons binoculars give to most folks. You’ll get most of everything you are after from them — good image clarity, lots of brightness, easily adjustable focus, a durable body and a good enough field of view — without having to go too deep into your wallet.
Their fog resistance seems to be pretty good, although the manufacturer doesn’t specify a rating. One customer using them in conditions where condense was a significant threat reported that although fogging did appear on the outside of the lens (it would be unreasonable to expect otherwise) the inside remained clear, suggesting that the body is tight enough to keep atmospheric air out.
There are a few issues with blue contours forming at the extreme edges of the field of vision, but this doesn’t threaten to significantly affect their functionality for any given task.
This model is committed to providing users with good image quality, easily adjustable focus, brightness, and sharpness. Due to the Bk7 prisms featured, the product ensures excellent light transmission.
The solid build makes it possible for customers to use the binoculars even in conditions of high humidity without the image being affected. This body is tight enough to keep atmospheric air out.
Easy handling and a positive grip are ensured by the rubber armor coating which also protects the binoculars in any weather condition.
The product can be used with a tripod to avoid hand fatigue. You can thus boost your comfort when bringing the action up-close.
Blue contours might form at the extreme edges of the field vision. Still, this won’t affect the functionality of the binoculars.
At least one customer reviewing the product said the lenses didn’t focus very well.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($40.19)
Frequently asked questions:
Q: Is 10×50 good for binoculars?
The numbers on your pair of binoculars tell you a lot about their performance. So to know if the 10×50 binoculars are suited for your needs, you need to know what they mean. 10x means that the lenses enhance the image 10 times and the number 50 means that the objective lens has 50 millimeters in diameter.
These binoculars are not very heavy and not very big, either, but they offer higher quality in terms of details than binoculars that have a smaller objective lens do. In general, 10×50 binoculars are great for general purpose activities because they have a high enough magnification and also offer good image quality.
The factor that can change the answer to this question is your need. If you want to look at objects that are very far away and you need higher magnification, these binoculars might not be enough. However, as we have said before, for general purposes, they are a great choice.
Q: How far can you see with binoculars?
The answer to this question is very simple: with binoculars you can see as far as your eyes can normally see. However, the size of the object you are looking at changes. To understand this you first have to understand how binoculars work. The purpose of binoculars is not to see further but to see clearer and in a bigger size when you look in the distance.
So, if you look at a 10-mile distance, the things you see are far from being clear. However, if you look at the same distance through a binocular that magnifies the image 10 times, you will have the impression that you are looking at a 1-mile distance because of the magnification ability of the binoculars.
If you look at objects 1 mile away, you will be able to see them clearer than you would if the same objects were 10 miles away, and therefore, the image that you see looking through the binoculars will have more clarity.
Q: What are the different types of binoculars?
There are different types of binoculars and the main differences between them are the way they magnify the image and what you are using them for. If you want to buy a pair of binoculars you are able to choose between 6 types: astronomy binoculars, opera glasses, marine binoculars, night vision binoculars, roof prism binoculars, and Porro prism binoculars.
The first four types are easy to differentiate and it is important to know your needs before buying them. You won’t need to buy an astronomy binocular if you just want to see the opera singer better. However, the 2 types remaining could make you confused.
We are not going to enter a lot of technical details, the essential things you need to know is that the roof prism binoculars have great image quality and are more expensive than Porro prism binoculars, which are also great in terms of the quality of the image. However, as we have said before, your needs are the number one indicator of which one to choose.
Q: What magnification binoculars is best for bird watching?
Many people who are new to bird watching might think that because you need to see a lot of details, the magnification power of the binocular has to be as high as possible. However, things are not the way you would expect. First of all, when you have higher magnification, the field of view is narrower.
This is why, depending on how far away the bird is, you might not be able to see the whole body of the bird and identify it. Higher magnification also comes with lower brightness and the fact that the image will not be as steady as you would expect. As you know, when the magnification is higher, the steadiness sensitivity is higher also.
Considering these factors, if you want a pair of binoculars that will help you fulfill all your needs while watching birds, the best choices are the ones that magnify the image 8 or 10 times. Anything below or above that will not cover your basic needs.
Q: What’s a reasonable budget for good binoculars?
The truth is that you can get good binoculars on a budget between 100 and 500 dollars. However, we are talking here about general-purpose binoculars, if you need astronomy binoculars you can imagine that the price will be a lot higher.
Investing in a good pair of binoculars can be beneficial because they will last longer and they enhance the comfort you have while using them. Good binoculars will provide great eye relief which is really important especially if you are preparing to use them for longer periods of time.
For example, if you are a bird watcher, looking through a cheap pair of binoculars can cause eye strain. This is why you can find binoculars that are more expensive than 500 dollars, it all depends on your activities and the way you have to use them. Astronomy binoculars that take your experience to a higher level can be up to 3000 dollars.