10X50 vs 20X50 Binoculars – Which one is right for you in 2023?

By Richard

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Those were the days when people had to choose their binoculars from limited options. Over time, things changed drastically, and more and more features have been introduced to binoculars. The binoculars with minimal features were replaced with top-notch quality and excellent performance. There is hot competition among binoculars in the present era, and it is pretty hard to choose the best binoculars for different outdoor activities. This article will discuss 10X50 vs 20X50 binoculars and determine which one is the best. Below is a brief answer about this comparison.

Both 10X50 and 20X50 binoculars are equally good. 10X50 binoculars have an ideal exit pupil of 5 mm. The bigger-sized exit pupil gives them the ability to produce a brighter image in low-light conditions. So,10X50 binoculars have a slight edge over 20X50 binoculars.

In this guide, we will compare 10X50 and 20X50 binoculars and find out which one is the best for all outdoor activities.

Also Read: Best Binoculars for Football Games 

10X50 vs 20X50 binoculars – In-depth Comparison

Both 10x and 20x binoculars are good, and the users who use them look pretty satisfied. Every binocular has been made for a specific role. Different magnification power is needed for various outdoor campaigns like hiking, birding, etc. 

If you need more magnification, 20X50 binoculars will work fine. But if you want a stable image with decent magnification, 10X50 binoculars will be perfect for you. Let’s dive deeper to understand what 10X50 and 20X50 binoculars mean.

what Does 10X50 Mean in Binoculars?

Have you ever been confused by seeing the description of binoculars during your purchase? Let’s find out what’s meant by the description written on binoculars.

In 10X50 binoculars, 10x represents the magnification power. 10x magnification means that the actual object will look ten times bigger. 50 in 10X50 binoculars represent the diameter of the objective lens. It’s measured in millimeters. More diameter of the objective lens improves the light-capturing ability of binoculars.

Are you thinking about the 20×50 binoculars distance and range? Although there is no exact answer to how far you will be able to see through these binos. Let me explain. Suppose you use 10x magnification Binoculars for chasing the target; the image of your buck will look ten times more magnified than the actual size. The more the diameter, the brighter the painting will look.

What Does 20X50 Mean for Binoculars?

Similarly, in 20X50 binoculars, 20x represents the magnification, and 50 is representative of the diameter of an objective lens. The image will be 20 times bigger and magnified than the actual size of the targeted object.

What is better, 10X50 or 20X50?

It is probably the most common question that every binos user has in their mind. Well, It is not a straightforward question to answer. Many factors are involved that differentiate both these 10X50 and 20X50 binoculars. 

These 10x and 20x binoculars are good in their way of specialization. It’s the objective of the user that defines the performance of binoculars.

For example, if you want to do stargazing and choose 10X50 binoculars, they won’t give you the expected performance. At the same time, if you use 20X50 binoculars for deer hunting, they won’t give you the desired results as well.

But if you choose 10X50 for hunting and 20X50 for stargazing, both will be doing a fine job. That’s how the binoculars are made. We must be clear about what we intend to do with our binoculars. We should make purchases according to our usage.

Many factors help to understand whether 10X50 or 20X50 binoculars are perfect for outdoor adventures. Those factors are listed below

  • Magnification
  • Field of view
  • Exit pupil
  • Performance under low light
  • stability


Every binocular has its specific Magnification power. If a binocular is made for stargazing or astronomy, it will have higher magnification power. In contrast, if binoculars are made for hunting, they will have lower magnification power.

10x magnification Binoculars

The magnification of 10x will give an optically magnified image with a good field of view. The targeted object will look ten times bigger than the actual size.

20x magnification Binoculars

These binoculars will give additional magnified images of the targeted object. If you’re going to see a thing from a long distance, 20x magnification Binoculars will suit you.

20X50 vs 10X50 Binoculars – Whose Magnification is Better?

Both are good in their way. If you’re buying binoculars for stargazing, sightseeing, or astronomy, you should prefer binoculars with higher magnification. Strong magnification will give the zoomed image.

If you choose binoculars for hiking, sightseeing, or birding, 10×50 binoculars are more than enough. You will get optimal zooming power with a decent field of view.

Stability of image

The most crucial factor that must be kept in mind when making decisions between 10X50 vs 20X50 is the stability of the image. If your binoculars are excellent and give a fully magnified image, but the image is not stable, you have wasted your money.

Imagine yourself in a hunting field with a buck passing by, but you’re using a higher magnification binocular that produces an unsteady and wobbly image; you’ll lose sight of your prey in no time.


The more magnification, the more will be instability of images. 10X50 binoculars give more stable pictures than 20X50 binoculars. In contrast, 20x binoculars will give unstable pictures due to their increased power of binoculars.

How to increase the stability of 20X50 binoculars?

The use of a tripod stand can help lessen the instability to some extent. You will have to carry a tripod stand with you on your journey. 

Make sure to buy a binocular that is compatible with your tripod stand. Fit your binoculars in a tripod and get a more stabilized image.

Field of view:

It represents the area that users can see through binoculars without moving them. If you have more field of view, you will get more space to locate your target. It is vital for those binoculars which are supposed to be used in hunting activities.

Field of view of 10X50 binoculars:

They have a better field of view of almost 400 feet. Four hundred feet of FOV is perfect, especially in stalking and birding adventures.

Field of view of 20X50 binoculars:

Unfortunately, these binoculars don’t have an optimal field of view, and their FOV ranges from 150 to 270 feet. This field of view is not recommended for most outdoor activities. To be honest, It is considered worse for birding and other similar activities.

For astronomy and stargazing, this field of view is over 200 feet enough to have a magnified and bigger image of targeted objects.

Exit Pupil:

It is a small aperture or hole where light leaves the binoculars and enters the eyes. The exit pupil of 5 mm is considered the best. But anything above 4mm is also acceptable.

How to calculate exit pupil?

There is a simple formula to find out the exact exit pupil of any binocular. Dividing the diameter of the objective lens by magnification gives us the exit pupil.

The exit pupil of 10X50 binoculars

In this case, 50mm in diameter and 10x is magnification power. By the above formula

Diameter of objective lens/ magnification = exit pupil

50/10= 5 mm

The exit pupil of 20X50 binoculars

In this case, 20x is magnification power and 50mm is the diameter of the objective lens.

Exit pupil = 50/20 = 2.5 mm

The exit pupil of 10x binoculars is much better than 20x binoculars.

Performance under low light and cloudy weather

The low light performance is relatable to the exit pupil size. Before going deep into the low light performance, let’s explain how we as a human can see in low light.

The pupil of the human eye is very much flexible. It has all the ability to contract and relax to give us the best eyesight. Our pupils shrink to get enough light in daylight and provide a brighter image. Light is more than enough in the day, so the pupil shrinks to get optimal light; not more than is required.

Have you ever seen the sun with your naked eyes? The eyes automatically get closed due to the high intensity of light. Our pupils shrink, and our eyes get closed. 

But in low light, the pupil gets expanded to get more light and give us the best possible eyesight. We can see in both daylight and low light conditions thanks to flexible pupils.

The exit pupil is not flexible; it is fixed to a specific size. So in low light, those binoculars work great and have more significant-sized exit pupils. Bigger-sized exit pupils can capture more light and give us a decent image. The binoculars with smaller-sized exit pupils won’t show a good shot in low light conditions.

The low light performance of 10X50 binoculars

These binoculars have an ideal exit pupil of 5 mm, which means they can better capture light and show a brighter image.

The low light performance of 20X50 binoculars

Their exit Pupil of 2.5 is not good enough to show a decent image in low-light conditions. If you aim to use binoculars in cloudy weather when light is inadequate, we recommend you not to choose 20X50 binoculars and buy 10X50.

Also Read: Accessories for Binoculars

Final Verdict on 10X50 binoculars

As mentioned earlier, these binoculars are not made for extreme zooming on stars. They perform best during hunting or birding. 10x magnification power gives enough power to see every minute detail of the targeted buck.

The stability of images is another point to talk about. Once you take your buck on your radar, it won’t be able to sprint away due to your stable focus. Are you still confused about which 10X50 binoculars are durable and robust enough to stay your companion on the long journey? Worry not! We have your back and tell you the best 10X50 binoculars that will do all your desired work with enough efficiency.

Final Verdict on 20X50 binoculars?

Are you one of those stargazing enthusiasts? We recommend 20X50 binoculars due to their high Magnification power of 20x. Your targeted object will look more zoomed and focused. 

Apart from stargazing, these binoculars will be handy for long-distance views. Keep in mind not to mix their uses. 10x will never be any good in astronomy or stargazing. Similarly, 20X50 will never give you results in smaller-range distance hunting or birding.

The major problem that almost all 20x binoculars users face is instability. The images look shaky, and it becomes tough to focus on the target. If you choose 20X50, make sure to buy a good tripod stand.

The image will look more stable once you fit or fix your binoculars on a tripod stand. It will provide you with the best viewing experience with top-notch zoomed stable images.

Have you decided to buy 20X50 binoculars but are still confused about which 20X50 you should choose? We have researched the best 20x binoculars and found the top-notch and ultimate 20X50 binoculars for you.

Who is the winner?

Let’s find out the winner by ignoring the diversity of their roles. It’s a tough call to announce one as the winner. Both of these are top-notch. To provide you with the best review of 10X50 and 20X50, we did use them and conducted complete research.

Our usage was strict because we wanted to explore them in every aspect. After all the research and personal experience, we realized that 10X50 binoculars are the best and stand one step ahead of 20X50 binoculars.

It doesn’t mean that 20X50 binoculars are not up to the mark. These binos are not hard to beat, but it was just the optimal power of 10x that moves a step ahead.

Video Review of Bushnell 20X50 Binoculars

Frequently Asked Questions

Which binoculars are better, 10X50 or 20X50?

Both are good in their role. But 10X50 binoculars are one step ahead due to their useability in low light conditions. 10X50 binoculars have an ideal bigger-sized exit pupil that increases these binoculars’ light-capturing ability. So, they perform well in low light. and are better than 20X50 binoculars. Moreover, 10X50 binoculars are used for lower-range viewing, while 20X50 binoculars are ideal for stargazing and astronomy.

Are 20X50 binoculars any good?

20X50 binoculars have perfect magnification for stargazing and astronomy. Due to their high magnification power, they can be used for long-distance viewing. So they are excellent in almost all aspects if you use them for long-range viewing.

Are 20X50 binoculars good for stargazing?

These binoculars are made for long-distance viewings like stargazing and sightseeing. Their magnification of 20x gives a decent view.

How far can 20X50 binoculars see?

It depends on the focus distance. 20X50 binoculars give a clear image up to 45 to 50 feet. Anything that is 55 feet away will look blurry.

What binoculars are stronger than 10X50?

10x magnification is more than enough for an ultimate hunting experience. Your target will look ten times magnified, and you will be well aware of every minute detail of your buck.

Which binocular is better, Celestron 20X50 or Olympus 10X50 for stargazing?

For stargazing, you need a higher power of magnification. Celestron’s 20X50 binoculars offer more magnification power and top-notch quality than Olympus 10X50 binoculars. So, the Celestron 20X50 binoculars are better.

Are 20×50 binoculars good for bird watching

No, I don’t like 20×50 binoculars for bird watching because their too high magnification which makes it difficult to get stable visuals. Keep in mind that while watching birds you will be in motion, so the visuals will be shaky. I recommend you to go with 10×50 binoculars for watching birds.

Are 20×50 binoculars good for astronomy?

Yes. I consider 20×50 binos a very good option for astronomy as they have higher zooming power which will give you decent visuals of the celestial objects.


Nothing built on this planet is worthless, and these binoculars are no exception. Both 10x and 20x binoculars are suitable for their specific function. Nothing can beat 20X50 binoculars when it comes to stargazing. The same goes for 10X50 binoculars when it comes to hunting or birding. 

In a comparison of 10X50 and 20X50 binoculars, both are equally good due to the diversity of their role. 10x is a go-to choice in hunting, and 20x is unthoughtful for long-distance viewing. 

If you choose the binoculars with higher magnification power, never skip the option of the tripod stand. Without having a tripod stand for powerful binoculars, the image you will get will be unstable.

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