What is The Best Magnification For Binoculars?

Reviewed by Dayna Hatmaker
Dayna Hatmaker

Dayna is a professional optician and has been working in this profession for 7 years. She truly understands her customer's optical needs and recommends the best product. She got her optometry degree from the University of Waterloo. Other than this, she loves golfing, fishing, boating, and hitting the gym.

Are you a nature enthusiast looking for the perfect binoculars to accentuate your outdoor experience? Whether you are bird-watching, stargazing, or simply exploring the beauty of nature, having the right magnification power on your binoculars is key.

Knowing which magnification is ideal can be tricky – many factors such as purpose and usage must be taken into consideration! In this blog post, we’ll explore some helpful tips to help you select the best pair of binoculars with suitable power.

We’ll also touch on what to look out for when purchasing so that you can gain more insight into deciding on maximum magnification levels.

If you’re ready to maximize your visuals outdoors, let’s get started learning about how to determine appropriate magnification in binoculars!

What’s the Best Magnification for Binoculars?

Best Magnification For Binoculars

Which Magnification Is Best?

For general use, you need a magnification between 10x and 12x, while the higher magnification levels may allow you to view your subjects better at close range. A 4x or 5x binocular will provide you with the best results when trying to spot small details, and you can also use it for bird watching. You should also pay attention to how stable the binoculars are because shaky images will be at the same time blurred and unclear.

For activities such as bird watching, hunting, or hiking, you should go for 6x and higher. The lower magnifications will not be able to provide you with the best results. If you want to use it for a prolonged period, you should consider getting binoculars with very high magnification.

When it comes to the environment and weather conditions, many different factors influence your vision significantly. This is why it is essential that your binoculars have the best weather protection on them, and they will remain stable in all kinds of weather conditions.

Field of view is a factor that may influence your experience of using binoculars. This is especially true when you handle them in conditions where visibility is wrong or when you want to use them around tall and land-like objects.

The objective lens diameter will also influence your experience because larger lenses mean that you will be able to see more on the screen. The smaller models usually have a diameter of about 50mm, whereas the larger models can have a diameter of up to 70mm.

Therefore, the best magnification would be the one that provides you with the best field of view in all situations, including bad weather, because if you have to focus on a small part of a scene, the image quality will feel blurry, especially when you are closer to it.

These are the factors that you need to consider when it comes to selecting your best magnification level.

In case of porro prism binoculars, you may choose a magnification between 3x and 4x. It is important that your binoculars are comfortable to use, especially when you have to hold it for a long time and look through them continuously.

In addition to the best magnification, you should take into consideration the other features of your binoculars as well. These include being waterproof, shockproof, fogproof, anti-reflective and having a decent eye relief. You need to consider when selecting your best magnification level. If you want more information or help with your decision, please click here.

Importance of Exit Pupil

Although it is also closely related to the type of best binocular you choose, one of the most critical factors that will affect your performance with these devices is the size of the exit pupil.

This is especially true if your binoculars have low magnification levels because they will be hard to use in low light conditions.

The important factor while looking for the best magnification is the exit pupil. This is the amount of light that passes through your lenses. The larger the exit pupil, the better your vision, and vice versa. A smaller exit pupil will give you a tough time trying to spot details in low light conditions.

The best way to compare the effectiveness of the exit pupil is by comparing two binoculars where one has ten times more power than another but has an exit pupil twice as big as its counterpart. This means they will show an almost equal performance in different viewing situations.

It is calculated based on the formula:

Exit pupil = I.A. × D

Where: I.A. is Illuminance, which discloses the intensity of light, and D is Diopter, which is the power of your lenses that indicates how much they distort light when you magnify them 2x.

For example – If you want to know the best magnification for your binoculars, what you need to do first is to focus on how your eyes work. If they are pretty close together and can be used in different positions while viewing, a large exit pupil will bring them closer together.

On the other hand, if the distance between them is already tiny and you can see the image of your subject in its entirety from a distance, then a larger exit pupil would do much better.

Finding the best exit pupil would result in much better performance in low light conditions, so if you want to use your binoculars in poorly lit environments, it is best to find a model with a large exit pupil.

1. Best Binocular Magnification for Hunting

Hunting is one of the most popular activities that are enjoyed by people all over the world. Whether you want to go on a hunting trip or enjoy the wildlife in your yard, hunting binoculars are a necessary piece of equipment if you want to see wildlife and hunt more effectively.

The best magnification for hunting would be in the 8x-10x range, although if you are on a trip with your family or friends, you should consider getting one with higher magnification. This will provide you with a clear view of all the targets you want to spot, especially if you have a large area to cover and need to be very precise in choosing what animals to hunt.

2. Best Binocular Magnification for Birdwatching

Birdwatching is one of the oldest hobbies people have enjoyed for centuries. It is an activity that allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature discreetly, and you can also spot details that you may have never noticed before.

If you are going for a birdwatching trip, we recommend getting a pair of binoculars with higher magnification levels. This will allow you to spot your subject more easily and give you more freedom when trying to move around while still keeping their insight.

The magnification range of 7x-10x would be ideal for both well-lit areas and poor weather conditions. The best choice for birdwatching would be to deliver the best results at all times, so if you decide to go for higher magnification levels, make sure that you spend enough time observing your subject at a distance.

3. Best Binocular Magnification for Elk Hunting

If you are looking for the best magnification level for elk hunting, we recommend that you go for a pair of binoculars that contain a high magnification level.

You will not only be able to spot your target easily but also have a clear view of the entire area because you will not have to move around to adjust your position.

8x, 10x and 12x range of magnification will be more than enough to spot your target. Still, if you are not looking to hunt a large area, there is no point in spending extra money on binoculars that offer you a higher magnification level.

4. Best Binocular Magnification for Star Gazing

Stargazing is one of the activities enjoyed by people all over the world. It gives us a unique opportunity to take a look at the natural beauty of nature. It is a hobby that allows you to learn more about space and other stars around us, but if you plan to go for this activity, you will need a pair of binoculars with a large exit pupil and large lenses.

A range of 10x, 12x, 20x, and 25x magnification is ideal if you want to cover a large area of sky and look at all the stars in it. If you are going for this activity, be sure to find a pair of binoculars with a long focal range. This will give you the ability to look at objects located in different positions and have different distances from your point of view.

5. Best Binocular Magnification for Wildlife

If you love wildlife, you probably enjoy spending your free time outside, looki at the animals that you can spot in the yard and hobby that allows you to get in touch with nature and enjoy some time outdoors. Still, if you want to spot different types of wildlife and make sure that you do not miss anything important, the best magnification for wildlife would be the higher levels.

The magnification range for wildlife would be 8x and 10x. Still, if you want to make sure that you do not miss any important details when looking at your subject, we recommend going for a higher magnification level.

6. Best Binocular Magnification for Boating

Boating is one of the activities done by many people, both adults and children. It gives us the opportunity to enjoy nature while sailing on the water. It can be done in a small boat or a big one, but bigger binoculars would be of great use if we decide to go for bigger boats.

If you want to enjoy your outings on the water while enjoying some boating activities simultaneously, we recommend getting a pair of waterproof binoculars with a long focal range. 7x is the range that we recommend for boating, but if you want your subject to be more visible, you should consider going for a pair with a higher magnification power.


The most important requirement for choosing the best compact binoculars is not to confuse their magnification levels with how far you can spot them. Magnification is an important measurement, but it does not tell you how far away you can see your subject. Objective lens size, focal distance and exit pupil measurement are more important than magnification levels when it comes to choosing binoculars.

The best way to find the right magnification level for you would be to consider all the factors we have listed above and decide on the level that gives you the most benefits.

So, all the best for your next hunting trip, birdwatching session, or day out on the water. Make sure that you keep these tips in mind, and you will find the best magnification for your next activity.

Leave a Comment