What Does 10×42 Mean on Binoculars?

  • By: Michaela King

Some serious research and hard work need to be done in order to find a perfect pair of binoculars. Most experts recommend buying 10×42 binoculars.

But the question is what does 10×42 mean in binoculars? For binoculars buyers, understanding magnification and how it works is of paramount importance so you are crystal clear when choosing the right binoculars.

After doing extensive research I have compiled this guide to help you understand what does 10×42 mean in binoculars?

You can also relate this detailed guide to the following types of binoculars if you were looking for other than 10×42 binos.

  • What do 20×50 binoculars mean?
  • What do 30×60 binoculars mean?
  • What do 10×50 binoculars mean?
  • What do 8×32 binoculars mean?
  • What do 8×42 binoculars mean?

What is Magnification?

Ask yourself this: Why do we buy binoculars? The answer is obvious, to see things that are far away and cannot be seen by the naked eye.

In other words, binoculars are tools that are used to magnify an image or scene so that we can see it up close. That is, without a doubt, the main function of binoculars.

How Does Magnification Work?

You already know that most binoculars include their magnification number in their name on the back of the lens.

Often you will see a binocular name followed by some number like 10×42 or 8×42.

The number that comes before x simply means that an image viewed through those binoculars will appear magnified according to that number.

So what does a 10×42 mean in binoculars?

Well, there are 2 numbers here.

The first number refers to the magnification of the binoculars.

The second number is the lens diameter.

Thus, 10×42 simply means that a picture seen through the binocular lens will appear 10 times more magnified or near than original naked eye image.

Let me quote an example to make it really easy for you.

If you are viewing an image that is 1000 yards away than by using 10×42 binoculars that image is going to appear only 100 yards away.

Now that is something to consider when buying binoculars, isn’t it?

What Does Aperture or Lens Diameter Means and How it Works?

To provide you with a clear and high-quality image, magnification and aperture work together. We cannot focus only on magnification while ignoring the lens diameter.

A bigger binocular will have a bigger lens in diameter. Lens diameter basically allows light to enter in the optical pathway thus creating a bright and clean picture.

Having a bigger lens means a brighter and more detailed image. Larger lenses allow more light to enter, which is beneficial in low-light conditions. They also provide a wider field of view and greater magnification. However, the downside to larger lenses add weight and bulk to the binoculars, making them more difficult to carry and use.

Although other factors such as lens coating, use of different prism, and housing material also play a pivotal role in creating a supreme quality picture.

When looking for the answer to what does 10×42 mean in binoculars, we cannot ignore the number that comes after x.

As mentioned the second number is the Lens diameter – The Lens diameter is a measurement of the size of a lens, usually measured in millimeters

In 10×42 binoculars, the lens diameter will be 42mm. An interesting thing to note here is that while lens diameter plays a big role in determining the weight of binoculars, magnification has little to do with the size of optics.

Lens diameter infographic

Field of view is another issue when choosing the right binoculars. Field of view means the area that is being covered when you are using binoculars.

If you own larger lenses that simply means you get to see more area as compared to binocs with smaller lenses.

10x42 binoculars magnification
Credit: bhphotovideo.com

Best Use of 10×42 Binoculars

Now you must be thinking, where and when can you use 10×42 binoculars. Listed below are some ideal situations for 10×42 binoculars though it largely depends on your personal preference too.

#1 Hunting

What do 10×42 binoculars means in hunting? Well, it means more clarity to spot your prey and attack them before they spot you.

10×42 binoculars will help you in your hunting endeavors because of their ability to locate and magnify far-off targets without alerting the prey.

I have reviewed 10×42 binoculars for hunting and I will recommend you read this article. It has a lot of value for you.

#2 Wildlife and Safari

An adventurous soul who loves to explore wild would definitely opt for 10×42 binoculars because of their maximum reach and clarity.

For a wildlife lover seeing a rare or scary animal is an experience of a lifetime but at the same time, you don’t want to put your safety at risk.

10×42 binoculars help you to spot your target and observe the specific details of wildlife from a comfortable distance. Have a look at the best 10×42 binoculars for travel and safari.

#3 Birding

Spotting exotic birds and observing the details do require a good pair of optics. 10×42 binocs for birding will provide you with the reach you need in this case.

Not to forget most exotic birds don’t like human company much, so having a right binocular like 10×42 will ensure that you don’t startle them while observing.

Price of 10×42 binoculars

The price for 10×42 varies greatly from $30 to $3000. All that depends on several factors that determine the quality of an image that binoculars produce.

Housing material, prisms, lens coating, lens diameter, water tightness, and some other factors justify the price of binoculars. The greater the quality, the higher the price.

Doing your own research keeping in mind your budget will surely get you good binoculars that cover your needs.

Bottom Line

We are positive that after reading this guide if any of your friends ask you what does 10×42 mean in binoculars, you can guide them confidently.

Understanding how magnification and aperture work will further simplify binoculars specifications for you thus enabling you to buy just the right pair of binoculars.

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