What do The Numbers on Binoculars Mean?

What Do the Numbers on Binoculars Mean?

You have probably seen numbers on the casing of binoculars and wondered, “what do the numbers on binoculars mean?” Don’t worry! The numbers on these useful tools will be explained in this post. Sit back, scroll, and enjoy this easy info on what the numbers on binoculars mean.

Binoculars are the must-have tool for activities in the great outdoors, whether it’s hunting, bird watching, or astronomy from your very own patio. They allow us to see the action and detail much closer than our eyes normally allow us to see. 

It’s crucial to understand what the numbers on binoculars mean, as they affect the quality of the image you will receive from looking through them, and from how far away they work. Let’s take a look at each of the numbers you may come across, and what they mean.

What Do the Numbers on Binoculars Mean -Magnification

What Do the Numbers on Binoculars Mean - Magnification
Image Source: Pixabay

The first two numbers you are bound to come across are something along the lines of 10×50 or 8×25. Magnification is the first of these two numbers, and the most straightforward. What the magnification number refers to is how many times closer an image appears when you use the binoculars. For example, with a set of 10x binoculars, objects appear 10 times closer than they would appear to the naked eye. The higher the magnification number, the closer the object will appear. 

Higher magnification is useful for activities such as bird watching, where the birds are skittish and you can’t get too close, or astronomy if you’d rather look at the stars with a nice pair of binoculars rather than a telescope. 

So if you needed a pair of binoculars for seeing this close-up, between a pair of 8×25 and 10×50 binoculars, the obvious choice would be the 10×50 binoculars. 

What Do the Numbers on Binoculars Mean – Aperture

What Do the Numbers on Binoculars Mean - Aperture
Image Source: Pixabay

The second number in the set is called the aperture, sometimes known as the “objective lens size.” The aperture is the diameter of the lens of the binoculars, measured in millimeters. So a pair of 10×25 binoculars have a lens diameter of 25 millimeters. The meaning of this number in regards to the function of the binoculars is how much light is gathered by the lenses. In other words, a larger aperture means that the image you receive when you look through the binoculars is brighter than it would be when viewed with the naked eye. 

Having a large aperture is useful for stargazing, as stars are small and dim and would need a lot of light to be gathered into the eye in order for their image to be bright enough to see clearly. 

So, if you were going stargazing and needed a pair of binoculars, between a pair of 8×25 and 10×50 binoculars, the 10×50 pair would be the obvious choice as its ability to gather light is superior as 50 is larger than 25. 

What Do the Numbers on Binoculars Mean – Field of View (F.O.V)

What Do the Numbers on Binoculars Mean - Field of View (F.O.V)
Image Source: Pixabay

A final number that is commonly found on binoculars is the field of view. It is often listed in terms of meters/1000 meters or ft/1000 yds on the binoculars. The meaning of this number on the binoculars is the width and height of objects that can be seen at 1000 meters or yards away. For example, if you were 1000 yards away and the field of view of your binoculars was 375 feet at 1000 yards, you’d be able to see 375 feet of a building’s width and 375 feet of its height. 

Another way in which the field of view can be listed is in degrees. If the field of view is listed as m/1000m or ft/1000yd, you can calculate the degrees of the field of view by dividing the first number by 52.4 if it is in feet, or by 16 if it is in meters. Field of view is not often listed in degrees. However, if you are using your binoculars for astronomy it is a useful way to know how much of the sky will be seen in your binoculars.

And there you go. You now know all there is to know about what the numbers on binoculars mean, from magnification to the Field of View. Make sure to take these into account when you are buying your perfect pair of binoculars, as well as finding the best consumer-rated pair for your needs.

Written by Margaret Taylor

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