Last Updated on November 18, 2020
There are a lot of 10×50 binoculars on the market today. When shopping online, it can be hard to tell them apart. Companies are often more concerned with making sales than they are with giving you the information to make a well-informed choice, which can make this process even harder.
Well-informed customers make great decisions. That’s why our reviews are designed to show you the upsides and downsides to every model, so you’ll be able to find one you’ll love using while avoiding potential problems that would drive you nuts.
We’ve also included a buyer’s guide, so you can learn what you need to know about binoculars, even if you’ve never owned a pair before.
|Best Overall||Vortex Diamondback||
|Nikon 7245 ActionEx||
|Best Value||Nikon ACULON A211||
|Olympus Trooper DPS I||
|Orion E-Series Waterproof||
The Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism 10×50 Binoculars are the best 10×50 binoculars that won’t cost you the equivalent of a small car to purchase. This model comes with an argon gas fill. That helps prevent any fogging on the inside. It comes with adjustable eyecups, so you can use them comfortably with or without glasses. Plus, it has center and diopter adjustments, so you can customize it to each eye, which is great for people with different vision in each eye.
This model also comes with a fantastic, lifetime warranty. If you’re looking for binoculars that will last forever, this model can live up to that claim. If it ever does break, you’ll be able to get a free repair. Our only gripe is that these binoculars struggle at dawn and dusk, though they excel at both day and night. If they were better in those conditions, it would be hard to complain at all. Overall, this is a great pair of binoculars that is built for the long-haul.
The Nikon 7245 Action 10×50 EX Extreme is another great pair of binoculars. It has long eye relief, which makes it easy to use for people with glasses or those who don’t want to rest the binoculars on their faces. It comes with one of the best non-slip grips on the market. That makes it great for use in wet or humid conditions. This model is also nitrogen-filled, which helps keep the internal mirrors and lenses from fogging, so you get a crystal-clear view.
This model comes with an excellent lifetime warranty. If it were to break or arrive damaged, it would be covered for up to 25 years. You can be confident in this pair’s performance for years and decades to come. The only downside is that it’s more than ten percent heavier than our top model. For some people, that won’t be an issue, but if you’re packing to minimize weight, this pair is probably the wrong choice. Still, if you want a somewhat less expensive model with great optics and you don’t mind the extra weight, you could be very happy with these binoculars for a long time.
The Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 10×50 Binocular is designed with backpackers and hikers in mind. It features some of the fastest focusing of any model we reviewed, which makes it great for catching sight of a fleeting animal. It also has Nikon’s great non-slip grip, so you won’t have to worry about using it on wet or humid days. If you do drop it, it’s one of the most impact-resistant binoculars out there. That makes it great for extended trips out to the wilderness. There’s little chance of accidentally breaking it, and it does well in many of the conditions you’ll experience in the great outdoors.
There’s something else about this pair of binoculars that even city slickers will enjoy. It costs 40 percent of what our top choice costs, meaning you get similar performance at a fraction of the price. That makes this model the best overall value for the money on our list. The only thing about it that we don’t love is that it comes with poor-quality lens caps that don’t always fit tightly. If they were improved, we would rank this model higher.
The Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS I Binocular is widely loved for its clarity. This is arguably the best choice for getting a great view. If you’re going to be using a camera to take pictures, you’ll love the clarity this model provides. Likewise, it’s extremely easy and fast to focus. That makes it a great choice for people with poor eyesight. Many such users report that it gives a better image than any other binoculars they’ve used, and that it works just as well when they don’t have their glasses on. If that weren’t enough, it’s one of the lighter ones we looked at. If you’re looking for a portable pair of binoculars, this is a good choice.
Unfortunately, this pair isn’t waterproof. You’ll have to be careful on rainy or humid days. Any moisture that gets into the case could lead to the optics fogging up. This line also suffers from the occasional quality control issue, which is often severe enough to require an immediate return. While these problems hurt this model’s overall value, it’s still one that many people will be very satisfied with.
The Orion 10×50 E-Series Waterproof Binoculars excel optically but leave something to be desired in other areas. This model is waterproof, so it’s safe to use in wet, humid, or rainy conditions. It also comes with excellent eye relief. Because of that, you can use these binoculars comfortably while wearing glasses. This model collects light extremely well, which leads to more vivid images in the day, and better star visibility at night.
Despite having the same power and lenses as the other ones on this list, this pair is noticeably bulkier. That makes them a relatively poor choice for people who want to take their binoculars on long expeditions. This model also ships with an extremely low-quality case and neck strap. Most people would probably be better off providing their own and saving the difference in price, though that’s not an option here. That hurts this model’s value enough to drop it to last place. Overall, this is a decent pair of binoculars, but many people will want a slimmer model with a better case for the price.
Our reviews have already given you some insights into what makes a great pair of 10×50 binoculars. Of course, more detail can help you make a better decision. If you want to make sure you get the pair of binoculars that are right for you, check out this guide. We’ve filled it with great information about binoculars so you can learn to evaluate them like an expert would. Also included are some tips for getting a great deal, if you’re looking to maximize your dollar.
Binoculars come with a pair of numbers in their names that look like this: 10×50. The first number is called the binocular’s “power.” It represents the magnification the binoculars provide. In this example, they would make objects appear ten times magnified when viewed through the binoculars.
The second number is the size of the “objective lens,” which is sometimes shortened to “objective.” This describes the size of the lenses in the binoculars. In this case, the binoculars’ lenses are 50 millimeters in diameter. For objective lenses, bigger is almost always better. Bigger lenses let in more light and can lead to sharper, more vibrant images.
50 millimeters is typically the largest lens size found in portable binoculars. When the lenses get larger than that, the binoculars can become too large to hold comfortably, and become dependent on the use of a tripod.
Most people find that 10x or 12x magnification is the most they want in their binoculars. When you get above that level, it becomes hard to hold the binoculars steady enough to keep the image clear, as even very small movements can send it careening.
Eye relief is a feature that’s more important to people who use glasses, but it does lend some benefits to all users.
Eye relief is a measure of the distance away from the binoculars your eyes can be while the image remains visible. This distance depends on the internal optics in the binoculars, and the shape of the lenses, so it can vary significantly from model to model, even if they have the same power and objective.
The bigger this number is, the further away from your face the binoculars can be while you use them. If you wear glasses, look for a model with at least 15 millimeters of eye relief. That’s generally enough to allow you to use the binoculars without having to rest them on your glasses.
If the eye relief is 10 millimeters or less, you’ll likely have to have the eyecups pressed against your face to be able to see through the binoculars. If you don’t have glasses or don’t mind taking them off, this won’t be a large imposition. However, some people prefer longer eye reliefs because they don’t want to hold the binoculars against their face.
10×50 binoculars generally provide great color and clarity, as well as some of the best magnification you can get out of binoculars that don’t need a tripod. Consequently, getting the right pair depends largely on personal preference.
It’s important to get a pair that you like using. Otherwise, you’re not going to get great value out of the purchase, no matter the price. A good strategy for maximizing your value is to determine what features, such as a high-quality case or gas fill, will most improve your experience.
Then, limit your search to models that have those features. Rank them by price and choose the least expensive remaining model. It has the features that will lead to a happy user, and it comes at the best price, making it great overall value for your money.
Our other binoculars buyer’s guides:
The Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism binoculars are our favorite pair due to their argon gas fill, adjustable eyecups, and a fantastic warranty. In second place is the Nikon 7245 Action 10×50 EX Extreme, which has long eye relief, a non-slip grip, and a lifetime warranty, though the heft keeps it out of the top spot. The Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 is fast-focusing, comes with a non-slip grip, and great durability. Its low price makes it the best overall value for the money on our list. Fourth place is earned by the Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS I Binocular, which has excellent clarity and easy focusing, though it isn’t waterproof and has the occasional quality control problem. The last place belongs to the Orion 10×50 E-Series Waterproof Binoculars, which are waterproof and provide good eye relief and excellent light collection. However, they’re bulky and have a low-quality case and neck strap, which really hurts their value.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you find the best pair of 10×50 binoculars for you.
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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