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8X or 10X Binoculars for Yellowstone

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8X or 10X Binoculars for Yellowstone

Postby Guest on Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:12 am

I am planning a trip to Yellowstone this summer and was wondering what you would recommend for general wildlife viewing, an 8X or 10X binocular? I would be taking these with me on various hiking trails. Specifically, I am trying to decide between the Pentax DCF SP 10X43 or 8X43. I wear eyeglasses so that is a consideration. Thanks your thoughts.

Re: 8X or 10X Binoculars for Yellowstone

Postby Jne_K on Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:35 am


Your choice of magnification is more a personal choice than a performance choice. There is no significant difference between an 8x or a 10x in terms of actual performance out in the field. In over forty years of using binoculars, often in side by side tests, 8x versus10x, I have yet to encounter a situation where a 10x would identify a bird and an 8x would not. Yes, going to a 10x will give you a touch more detail, but never enough to make a difference in an identification and going to a 10x makes the binocular tougher to steady and narrows the field of view. If you are in a situation where 8x is not enough magnification, you need a spotting scope. Going to a 10x is not going to solve the problem.

In general, an 8x will have a wider field of view, often a touch more eye relief (on this match, 22m vs 17mm). Overall, an 8x is easier to use, especially if this is your first bino.

That said, I own and use both 8x and 10x models. Base your choice on features other than magnification.

For the basics on binocular construction and features is easy to understand terms, see my article at
How to Understand Binoculars
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