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View Full Version : 10x42 or 10x50???



Mr.BowJangles
06-01-2012, 08:08 PM
Looking for a new pair of binocs and want some of your pros and cons between 10x42 and 10x50. Would be used for mostly stand hunting in Michigan, but also want something that would be valuble on a western hunt. What do you gain/lose with the 50's? Fire away fellas!!

Bitterroot Bulls
06-01-2012, 08:14 PM
You gain .8mm of exit pupil, which should help in very low light. You also lose in something else you gain ... weight and bulk.

Mr.BowJangles
06-01-2012, 08:24 PM
So you will pull in a little more light and thats about it. Is it enough of a difference to really matter with a higher quality glass?

BKC
06-01-2012, 08:52 PM
The average pupil on a human is 3 to 4 mm. If you have a exit pupil of 4 ( in other words objective size divided by the magnification ) then all your pupil is covered with the light that you are looking at. Anything more is a waste. That being said the 10 x 50 will give you an exit pupil of 5mm and a 8 x 42 will give you an exit pupil of 5.25 mm and cover more than just your pupil. My son has a pair of 7 x 50 steiners and immediatly when you put them up you see a great picture. Look in to a bright light and have someone look at the light that is being cast on your eye. You will see how much light is cast outside your pupil. Also the more light your pupils recieve the more they dialate and get smaller. I think the bino people have it all figured out and probably sell more 8 x 42 than anything. It is the most poular size.
l,

Bitterroot Bulls
06-01-2012, 08:57 PM
I like a 4mm exit pupil or larger. The human pupil dialates from about 2mm in bright light to about 7mm in low light/ dark. An exit pupil larger than your pupil isn't exactly wasted, in that your pupil has a little more room to wiggle around, kind of like a stabilized camera lens, so you can get a little steadier picture.

To me, I prefer the weight and size savings of the 10X42 over the 10X50. If I want more exit pupil, I go down in magnification, as BKC noted.

flatlander51
06-01-2012, 09:29 PM
i just learnd more about binos in two post then i have my hole life. thanks for the info

goathunt
06-08-2012, 06:34 AM
For what it is worth I have multiple pairs of binos from compact up to 10x50. The various makers have it figured out that each size has its pros/cons. Guiding out west I use each of them differently, but the one that makes it around my neck the most is 10x42. I believe that the size/weight makes a difference when one uses them day in and day out. Buy the best quality glass that the budget can swallow.

xtreme
06-08-2012, 07:45 AM
Go back to BR to explain the effect of age on exit pupil.

Ikeepitcold
06-08-2012, 08:49 AM
10x50 for me. I have had smaller in the passed and always return to the bigger objective.

Muleys 24/7
06-08-2012, 06:40 PM
I like and have the 10x50 on my weatherby

betterthanwefoundit
06-08-2012, 09:06 PM
I have worked my way up n quality to the cabelas meopta 12x50 & love images. Size &l weight not so much. I use them on tripod a lot. 10x42 is my next purchase. Will be a much friendlier packing bino and also easily tucked in jacket when im on stand for whitetail. Again the best quality i can aff
ord.

NH Boy
06-22-2013, 10:49 AM
10X42 vs. 10X50? I've been looking to buy a new pair of binoculars and am considering the Vortex Diamondbacks (about what my budget can handle). I've always had less expensive binoculars with little attention to lens diameter or exit pupil or any of that... I looked through someone's 8X42 Diamondbacks and was amazed at the clearness and light - a revelation to say the least.

I live on a lake and view birds pretty much from my front yard. I also like to bird in the winter time. In both cases, I'm really not carrying the binoculars for a long period of time. I like the larger magnification for distance.

I'm leaning toward the 10X50 Vortex Diamondbacks - any other suggestions?

hardstalk
06-22-2013, 11:51 AM
10X42 vs. 10X50? I've been looking to buy a new pair of binoculars and am considering the Vortex Diamondbacks (about what my budget can handle). I've always had less expensive binoculars with little attention to lens diameter or exit pupil or any of that... I looked through someone's 8X42 Diamondbacks and was amazed at the clearness and light - a revelation to say the least.

I live on a lake and view birds pretty much from my front yard. I also like to bird in the winter time. In both cases, I'm really not carrying the binoculars for a long period of time. I like the larger magnification for distance.

I'm leaning toward the 10X50 Vortex Diamondbacks - any other suggestions?

I sent ya a p.m. Also I would consider yhe talons over the diamondbacks. The price difference is noticeable they are a great bino for the money!

In God We Trust
06-22-2013, 09:28 PM
BB is an optics Jedi and tests more optics in a year than most of us have a chance to use in 10 years so I would P.M him with questions. Just my two cents. I own a pair of Leupolds in the 700.00 range I bought a few years ago that are 10 x 50 and I like them a lot better than the 8 x 42's but can't say on the 10 x 42.

Musket Man
06-22-2013, 10:02 PM
BB is an optics Jedi and tests more optics in a year than most of us have a chance to use in 10 years so I would P.M him with questions. Just my two cents. I own a pair of Leupolds in the 700.00 range I bought a few years ago that are 10 x 50 and I like them a lot better than the 8 x 42's but can't say on the 10 x 42.

I would agree BB tests more optocs in a year then I will in 30 or 40 years! I have had 1 pair of Swarovski EL 10x42's for the last 10 years and I have no plans to replace them! Think I got them the first year the EL came out. Before that I had stiner predator 12x50 that got blurry after 2 or 3 years. Cabelas gave me a full refund on them so I put it toward the Swarovski's and never looked back! IMO good quality 10x42's are the best all around binos.

Graylight
06-23-2013, 02:08 PM
Upon asking most western hunters, you will come to find that 10X42's are the standard. With that said, if the extra weight doesn't bother you, then the larger objective will only benefit you.

25contender
06-24-2013, 06:46 AM
10X42 Swarovski's here don't leave the truck without them!! My 10x 50s were just to bulky and heavy. I don't really feel you really don't give up that much going with the 10x42s if you get good glass. I surly don't miss the extra weight of the 10x50s. Mark

beav906
06-24-2013, 08:52 PM
I run hd glass 10x36. Works great for me. I hunt spot and stalk back country so use a spotter to find. Then have the light binos for the sstalk. Just my .02

packmule
06-24-2013, 10:23 PM
I stay in the 10x42 range on everything. B&H happens to have a pair of Trinovids priced well.

HiMtnHnter
06-29-2013, 08:27 AM
10x50's are a pretty big binocular for western hunting, unless you are using a tripod. For around the neck I like an 8x42 or 10x42. I use both depending on the situation, but most of the time my 10x42s make the cut.

meathunter
06-29-2013, 02:35 PM
10 x 42 is a good way to go, especially if you are going to use them in Michigan. I'll use the binocs when walking and use a spotting scope for checking areas when on the road with the truck. 10 x 50s just seem heavy without that much benefit in lower light. A good clear optics in 10x42s are a good choice.

Mule3006Elk
07-04-2013, 11:23 AM
10x50 for me. I use Vortex Viper HD. There is only 3.8 oz difference between the 10x50 and 10x42 in this series. With a binocular harness strap, I can barely feel the weight anyhow and I don't think I would notice 3.8 oz less if I went with the 10x42. The 10x50 is 0.9 inches longer than the 10x42 but IMO this is fairly insignificant. Exit pupil 4.2 (10x42) and 5.0 (10x50). Better light gathering in the early morning and late evening hours as well.

Bitterroot Bulls
07-04-2013, 04:30 PM
With the Viper HDs, you do get a bump in exit pupil, but the cost is in FOV with the 10x50s being quite narrow at 278 ft./1000yards while the 10x42s are less narrow (but not super wide) at 319 ft./1000 yards.

Under 300 ft. at 1000 yards is just too narrow for me in a 10x bin.

Mark
07-07-2013, 10:17 PM
I had an opportunity to do some testing this weekend in a controlled environment with multiple pairs of binos. We used eye charts, with contrasting comparison letters measured to replicate MOA at the set distance of 25 yards, similar to those used by Optometrists for eye exams.

My experience was there was a huge difference in cheap binos with poor glass (no suprise there) and very little difference between mid to high end with ED glass. I actually preferred my Bushnell Legend HDs to my classmates Leupolds (in fact, he did also) and I noticed almost zero difference between those previous to and the instructors $2300 Sworovskis. Or at least not $1700 worth!?!

Save yourself about $1500.00 and and get mid to upper mid range name brand binos with ED glass. Also, it is difficult to stabilize (under magnification) much more than 10x42. It's just the way the eye works. That's why you get a spotting scope and a tri pod. So spend the $$ you save on bions on a good spotter for up close glassing.

That's my .02 worth.

Bitterroot Bulls
07-08-2013, 09:32 AM
Mark, that sounds like an interesting test of raw resolution.

I am a little confused about your "comparison letters measured to replicate MOA" statement. Does that mean you were looking at letters that subtended 1 MOA?

Keep in mind that evaluating resolution on a high contrast target is but one factor to consider when selecting a binocular. Indeed most 8x or 10x binoculars in functional shape and of reasonable quality are capable of resolving to the limits of human vision at the center of the field. If that is your goal, than any low-mid range binocular will serve your uses.

However, there many other factors go into the quality of the image including total transmission (brightness), transmission curves (color bias), aberration control, glare control, field of view, sweet spot, distortion, and others. For instance, that $200 binocular that resolved well on the eye chart, may show an image with so much chromatic aberration in the field that the raw resolution goes unused. Or the image contrast is low and you end up glassing over the bedded buck in the scrub pines.

Then there is the Achilles heel of the bargain mid-range binocular, and that is durable build quality and fit and finish. this is an area where the low-mid ($200 - $600) binoculars haven't closed the gap too much with the "alphas."

I agree completely that hunters can get a good usable binocular in the low to mid range, but the top models are still the very best, when all factors are taken into account. It is a personal decision if the extra expense is worth it, and varies from person to person.

Brady
07-08-2013, 11:38 AM
I have always used 10x42's because they are cheaper and lighter. If I need more magnification, I pull out my 60x spotting scope.

Brady

Mark
07-08-2013, 12:50 PM
[QUOTE=Bitterroot Bulls;56903]Mark, that sounds like an interesting test of raw resolution.

I am a little confused about your "comparison letters measured to replicate MOA" statement. Does that mean you were looking at letters that subtended 1 MOA?

Keep in mind that evaluating resolution on a high contrast target is but one factor to consider when selecting a binocular. Indeed most 8x or 10x binoculars in functional shape and of reasonable quality are capable of resolving to the limits of human vision at the center of the field. If that is your goal, than any low-mid range binocular will serve your uses."

Bitterroot Bulls. Yes, more or less you are correct. I'll see if I can scan the math charts we used, unfortunately I don't have the eye charts to share. There were letters on the chart that would fade for contrast comparison and would vary based on distance (or replication of distance). Also we varied light conditions. It was the best test I've ever done with real binos in real conditions. You bring up some great points about birightness etc.

In simple terms we used the scale of 1 MOA = 1" @ 100 yards. (5% error but for simplicity we used this formula)

Number of MOA = height in inches/ range in yards/100
Height in inches = number MOA (range in yards/100)

Assume 36 MOA @ 100 yards 36"=3'=1 yard
36 MOA @ 1000 yards = 360"=30'=10 yards

Anyhow.....I thought it was an interesting way to breakdown the sometimes cryptic measurements the bino manufactures give when stating performance. You've got the level the playing field when comparing stats or it's just garble. Ultimately, the best test is what looks best to the user! :p