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10×42 or 10x50 binos?
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
bghunter 17-Nov-22
Zebrakiller 17-Nov-22
bghunter 17-Nov-22
KSflatlander 17-Nov-22
Matt 17-Nov-22
timex 17-Nov-22
WV Mountaineer 17-Nov-22
longspeak74 17-Nov-22
Grey Ghost 17-Nov-22
Dale06 17-Nov-22
deerhunter72 17-Nov-22
ohiohunter 17-Nov-22
ahunter76 17-Nov-22
greg simon 17-Nov-22
bghunter 17-Nov-22
SaddleReaper 17-Nov-22
samman 17-Nov-22
Beendare 17-Nov-22
GhostBird 17-Nov-22
BowSniper 17-Nov-22
tm 17-Nov-22
Murph 17-Nov-22
c5ken 18-Nov-22
goyt 18-Nov-22
PECO2 18-Nov-22
Jaquomo 18-Nov-22
RonP 18-Nov-22
bghunter 18-Nov-22
Potro 18-Nov-22
Aspen Ghost 18-Nov-22
JMG 18-Nov-22
bghunter 18-Nov-22
peterk1234 18-Nov-22
Kodiak 18-Nov-22
DanaC 18-Nov-22
Jims 18-Nov-22
bghunter 18-Nov-22
fdp 18-Nov-22
BULELK1 19-Nov-22
BULELK1 19-Nov-22
BULELK1 19-Nov-22
W 19-Nov-22
From: bghunter
17-Nov-22
So last year did my first out west MD hunt (rifle)WY. Hope to hunt out west more. I used 8x42 pair of binos which seemed under powered, at least for me and my eyes.

I am thinking of adding a pair of 10×42 or 10x50 to my gear.

I live in WI and will only hunt out west a little, won't be going every year, so not looking at buying Leica, Swarovski etc, that would cost be price of a used car. I am looking at Vortex mid range like Viper or Diamondback or similar brand.

Curious what those on here would recommend

From: Zebrakiller
17-Nov-22
10x42 for me

From: bghunter
17-Nov-22
Thanks ZK

From: KSflatlander
17-Nov-22
I bought an employee some 10x50 binoculars the other day and he likes them compared to 10x42s. 10x50s are true light gathering binoculars. I’ve always had 10x42s but my next pair will be 10x50. They are only slightly bigger for more low light capabilities.

From: Matt
17-Nov-22
10x42 for me.

From: timex
17-Nov-22
I have 2 pairs. 8x42 for the woods and 10x50 for open country.

17-Nov-22
10x42. Look at leupold bx4.

From: longspeak74
17-Nov-22
10x42's for me

From: Grey Ghost
17-Nov-22
A simple calculation for the "light gathering" abilities of binoculars is to divide the objective lens size by the magnification, called the exit pupil. In low light, the naked eye has an exit pupil is 6-7mm. A 10x42 bino has an exit pupil of 4.2mm. A 10x50 is 5.0mm. So, neither size is going to be brighter than the naked eye in low light. For me, the extra brightness of 10x50s don't outweigh the additional bulk and weight. I'd go 10x42s in the OPs situation.

Matt

From: Dale06
17-Nov-22
10x32 for me

From: deerhunter72
17-Nov-22
I have 10x42s and I love them. I only hunt WT's in IL. They can be a little tricky to find deer in a thick woods but overall, I wouldn't make a change. Nikon Monarch's, they don't break the bank.

From: ohiohunter
17-Nov-22
Really doesn’t matter much, slight more fov. 50’s will be heavier and perhaps more difficult in a harness, otherwise splitting hairs imo. If you’re getting a smoking deal, who cares which exit pupil. Better off buying the best glass per your budget in either configuration

From: ahunter76
17-Nov-22
I've had both but now 10x50s. I think personal preference is the decider.

From: greg simon
17-Nov-22
If I could have only one pair of binoculars they would be 10x42 in the best glass I could afford.

From: bghunter
17-Nov-22
I knew it was going to be a toss up and I would get mixed opinions. Which I wanted as it gives me things to mull over. Once I get a chance I hope to compare both side by side to see which will suit my needs. So far as weight, I am not to worried, as I will never be on a sheep/goat or for that matter a backpack hunt so the small additional weight won't make a difference for me.

From: SaddleReaper
17-Nov-22
To add to the exit pupil information that GG laid out.... there is research to show that pupil dilation decreases with age after late 20s. Avg. pupil dilation during day time is around 4mm for most adults. So, while having more light gathering ability and ultimately transmission back to the eyes is great, you may not actually be able to fully utilize it depending on your age or pupil dilation under the given conditions.

From: samman
17-Nov-22
For me it's worth the weight. I have 12x50's. My hunting partner has 10x42's & while glassing early morning I always spot animals before he does due to the additional light mine gather. With my Badlands bino pack, the weight isn't something I even notice.

From: Beendare
17-Nov-22
I’ve used both 10 by 50s and I own 10 x 42’s. I’m happy with the 10 X 42 tradeoffs.

From: GhostBird
17-Nov-22
I have been using a pair of Vortex Diamondback 10X42 for several years and have been very happy with them.

From: BowSniper
17-Nov-22
10x50mm for out west. 8x42mm for east coast. The 5x math between the two numbers is key for optimum low light performance (plus quality glass). Apparently the human eye pupil (?) Is 5mm at its best low light capability.

From: tm
17-Nov-22
8x42 or 10x50 either for me, but the 8s get more use unless I'm glassing and have a rest. Between the wind, which is always blowing, and my natural sharpness any higher power just isn't worth it.

From: Murph
17-Nov-22
I don’t know what your arsenal of optics looks like I live in Nebraska and had hunted all states west and north of me always with 10x42 mid range optics I’m a blue collar guy, and cannot afford high end stuff. This year before a Wyoming deer hunt got a pair of BX-4 leupold 12x50 binos the results were amazing what I could see against my hunting partner with 10’s. The field of view is exceptional and on a tripod or window mount can really pick country apart to the extent I would leave a spotter at home if weight was a huge issue. Since being home I haven’t put them away they ride in my bino harness even in the whitetail stand considering I’m hunting wide open country at times and not uncommon to glass deer at 500yds so I likely will never go back to a 10 power the 12’s imo are that much better..

From: c5ken
18-Nov-22
Leica 10x42 Geovid range finders for me. Great glass & accurate ranging

From: goyt
18-Nov-22
For glassing at any distance over say 50 yards, IMO glass quality is the key. If the blurry image is 8 power or 10 power, it is still hard to make out. If I am hunting on foot with little glassing on a western hunt, I would use the 10X42 over the 10X50. I have a pair of Swarovski 10X42 Els and a pair of Swarovski 7X42 HD SLC. On whitetail hunts in Ohio the 10X42 normally stay in the truck because I can pick up and evaluate a buck so much faster with the 7X42. I may miss an opportunity at a mature buck if it takes me too long to determine that I want to shoot it. Of course, if I shoot before having a good look the odds are very good that I will be disappointed. Unless you plan to do a lot of western hunting, I would recommend against the 10X50. On run and gun archery elk hunts I have been using 8X42 because I can glass with them with one hand. If I am going to do a lot of glassing, I use the 10X42 because I can take the time to get a solid rest.

From: PECO2
18-Nov-22
I have been very happy with my 10x42 green ring Luepold binos.

From: Jaquomo
18-Nov-22
10x42 for me for my all around western binocs.

Samman, no offense, but the math says your 12x50s have virtually identical light gathering properties as 10x42. You're getting the benefit of the extra magnification, which certainly helps, but you are sacrificing 18% FOV. Tradeoffs.

From: RonP
18-Nov-22
i live in and hunt open country and prefer 8x but i do not sit and glass for long periods. 8x42's like the vortex razor hd or nikon hg are good middle of the road that won't break the bank and are not too heavy.

i wear eyeglasses and like an eye relief of at least 16mm, and a fov of 400' +/-.

From: bghunter
18-Nov-22
Thanks for everyone's opinion. That's why I like bowsite. I am leaning toward the 10x42 based on everyone's opinion, but once I can get them side by side will be the real deciding factor

I am leaning toward Vortex, as I gave several of their products and am a big fan. Their customer service is second to none too

From: Potro
18-Nov-22
10x42 There are many good brands out there

From: Aspen Ghost
18-Nov-22
The statement "neither size is going to be brighter than the naked eye in low light" is just plain wrong. Just go out 45 minutes before sunrise and compare. You'll see sooo much more through either size bino than you will with the naked eye.

From: JMG
18-Nov-22
With all the binoculars on the market today ... if there is no or little difference in size and weight, I would lean towards the 10X50's. You will have to be the judge, because it's your choice. Once you get the 10X50's, find a bino adapter to put mount them on a tripod and you have a great set up for sitting and glassing an area.

From: bghunter
18-Nov-22
Jmg,

My shooting sticks have an adapter for binos which I would definatley use.

That was one thing I thought with the 10x50. I could use then glossing long range then if set off on foot leave the 10x50 at the truck etc and carry by 8x42 with my. Just a thought

From: peterk1234
18-Nov-22
10x42 is probably the choice of 90% of the western hunters. Like somebody above mentioned, good quality glass is what it is all about. With a good pair of 10x42s you are picking off stuff a couple thousand yards away. The high quality glass pays big dividends at first and last light as well. 10x42 is the perfect compromise between good visibility, light gathering and compactness. Now, put that thing on a tripod and you can really go to work picking apart a hillside. A great pair of 10x42s will blow away a cheap pair of 15x50s.

A 10x50 is not going to gain you more distance, just better light gathering. It may buy you a few extra minuets during the beginning and the end of your day. You need to step up to a 15x for that. But I think it is very hard for most people to use higher magnification freehand. A tripod becomes a must.

I use a pair of Meopta Meostar B.1 HD in a 10x42. Amazing glass. When I need more, I drag the Kowa 883 with me. I blew a small fortune on glass this year and it was worth every penny. If you stick with the high quality glass then you can get most of your money back too. The used market for them is very strong. Although you will never sell it once you start to use it; well except to upgrade :)

From: Kodiak
18-Nov-22
10x50s strictly as a vehicle binoc.

10x42 for everything else.

From: DanaC
18-Nov-22
"I could use then glossing long range then if set off on foot leave the 10x50 at the truck etc and carry by 8x42..."

If you're leaving it at the truck why not just use a higher power spotting scope? Bulk isn't an issue, why limit yourself to 10X?

From: Jims
18-Nov-22
I use 10 x 42 Geovid rangefinder combos. It save $ and the pain in the rear of hauling around both binos plus a rangefinder. Also a lot quicker!

I almost exclusively hunt open country. Around 95% of the time I use my 10 x 42s in combination with a Swaro spotting scope. You would be amazed at the number of critters you can spot with a spotter than you can't see with binos. A spotter is also amazing for sizing up/field judging critters from long range....which saves me a lot of hiking.

I've been patient and found incredible deals on either slightly used or demo model Swaros and Leicas. It's definitely one of the best investment I've made in my 50 year hunting career. I actually sold a bunch of stuff I don't use so I could afford the best!

From: bghunter
18-Nov-22
Dana,

First I see how much I hate typing on my phone. Glossing long range lol.

Glad you mentioned that with the spotting scope. I have used them very little and I just don't like looking through them. It is just awkward for me compared to binos.

Now when an animal is located I can look through the spotting scope for a short time but it still gives me a headache and just is awkard,, for me personally.

From: fdp
18-Nov-22
I always go with the larger objective lenses if at all possible.

From: BULELK1
19-Nov-22

BULELK1's embedded Photo
BULELK1's embedded Photo
I went to these a couple years ago 15 x 56's.

I don't carry my Spotting Scope and Tripod anymore as the 15 power is just about perfect for not getting 'heat waves' and the 56 is perfect for first and last light glassing.

Good luck, Robb

From: BULELK1
19-Nov-22

BULELK1's embedded Photo
BULELK1's embedded Photo
Not Bulky or heavy at all

From: BULELK1
19-Nov-22

BULELK1's embedded Photo
BULELK1's embedded Photo

BULELK1's Link
Fit kinda tight in this Bino harness so I went to the Kings Bino Harness and it's perfect

Enjoy,

Robb

From: W
19-Nov-22
8x Swaros have served me well all over the country for twenty years. I recently added 15x glasses for long range glassing in NE Louisiana farm country and Western hunting. I’ve used both this season. It just depends on the stand I’ve been hunting from.

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