Last Updated on February 26, 2021
10×50 binoculars are bulky, heavy-duty magnification tools. They look like tanks and can see farther than some telescopes. But how far can you actually see with a pair of these heavyweights?
An average human eye with 20×20 vision can see for about 30 miles if there’s nothing in the way. 10×50 binoculars magnify your normal vision 10 times, so theoretically, you can see for 300 miles. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to the question: How far can you see with 10×50 binoculars? Let’s go with “pretty far” for right now.
Binoculars are classified into types by their magnification strength, with “10×50” being just one example. Other common sizes include 8×25 and 10×42. But what do those numbers represent?
To understand binocular strength, split the number into two parts. The first part – magnification – describes how much bigger objects appear through the binoculars than through your normal eyesight. If the strength begins with “10x,” anything you see through the binos will look 10 times larger.
The second part represents the measurement of the objective lenses, which are the two lenses on the front of the pair of binoculars. Lenses are measured in millimeters. So, 10×50 means you can see things magnified 10 times, through a 50mm lens. In the next section, we’ll explain why lens size is important.
Bigger objective lenses on binoculars let in more light. This makes them better at transmitting clear images in dark environments, a lot like your pupils grow to see better in dark rooms.
By the same token, more magnification doesn’t necessarily mean better binoculars.
A more magnified image requires more stability. Think about the math: when looking at an image magnified 10 times, each movement of the binocs will be 10 times more visible. The minute shaking of your hands, coughing or sneezing, shivering in the cold, gusts of wind, etc. can wildly throw off your aim.
Your field of view is affected by magnification, too. With lower powered magnification, you get a wider field of view and vice versa.
For that reason, you shouldn’t always use the highest magnification possible. Depending on what you use your binoculars for, you won’t always want as much as 10x. For instance, an 8×42 model is perfect for watching wildlife from a distance.
So, you’ve taken the plunge and purchased a perfect pair of 10×50 binos. How can you get the best experience out of your new hardware? Easy — seek out one of the most amazing sights you can see with a good pair of lenses. Below are the 5 most common uses for 10×50 binoculars.
On a clear night in a rural area, you can get a crisp view of the moon’s craters and rock formations, providing hours of mesmerizing glassing.
The larger size of a 50mm lens will give you a more detailed view through heavy shadows, helping you spot the most elusive birds.
They won’t quite be the sizes you’d see through a telescope, but with 10×50 binos, you’ll be able to see all 8 planets — plus non-planet objects like Pluto, Ceres, and the Asteroid Belt.
In 1771, French astronomer Charles Messier identified 110 different deep-sky objects, including nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies. If he could find them with 18th century technology, you’ll be able to spot the brightest of them easily.
This includes the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, plus space stations and man-made satellites in Earth’s orbit. However, it’s a challenge to track objects like the International Space Station, given how fast they move relative to the surface.
There’s a beautiful, colorful world out there, full of vibrant things to discover. 10×50 binoculars are one of the best ways to see everything our planet and sky have to offer. Grab a pair, or whatever else you’ve got at hand, and get out there!
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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