How To Rate Binoculars Magnification: Learn how

Magnification is the enlargement of an image by a factor, such as eyeglasses or binoculars. Binocular magnification is most often denoted with the symbol “×”. For example, if binoculars have 10× magnification, they would enlarge images by 10 times. This means that images are enlarged 1,000% (10 times).

It’s important to know how to find out the correct rating of binoculars before you start shopping for them. After all, if you don’t know how much magnification binoculars have, you probably won’t be able to evaluate them properly.

Find binoculars that have decent reviews from other buyers. Do they have the magnification that you want? If they don’t, then find another pair of binoculars that does. This will save you time in the long run. Good binoculars cost a lot of money. If they don’t fit your needs, you’ll be stuck with them. This article can help you to figure out how to rate binocular magnification.

How to understand binoculars magnification?

Source: Asia Canon

First, make sure that the binoculars are adjusted properly. Make sure that the distance between both lenses is approximately 80mm or more. For example, if you are using binoculars with 10× magnification, then the distance between both lenses should be at least 100mm. It’s better to use binoculars over 10× magnification, so that you will get clear images.

Read more:

How to adjust binoculars for left & right eyes

How to check binoculars magnification?

Don’t buy or choose binoculars with magnification less than 7x. Magnification of 7× is the lowest you should consider. The other lower ones include 5×, 4×, 3.5×, 3×, 2.5×, 2× and 1.8x. The lower the magnification number is, the clearer your image will be. Of course, the higher the magnification number is, the more expensive binoculars are.

Magnification by distance
Source: Asia Canon

If you are using binoculars to shoot targets, make sure that they have at least 10x magnification. This allows you to shoot targets from a distance while holding your breath. If you are using binoculars to observe nature, you might want to consider binoculars with lower magnification.

Binoculars with lesser magnification levels are also very useful. They work better when you observe things from a distance. You can use them for getting a clearer image.

Figure Out the Magnification on Your Own

There are some binoculars that will actually tell you the magnification, but most won’t. Usually, they’ll display the optical zoom (the zoom of the lens) instead. Look at the specs on the sides of the binoculars. This will tell you how much magnification they have.

Binoculars with a magnification of 8× will have a 3x optical zoom. If the binoculars have a zoom of 12×, they have a 4x optical zoom. This means that the binoculars have double the amount of magnification. They will show the number as such: 4×.

For binoculars with an optical zoom of 20×, they have a 10x optical zoom. Make sure to figure out how much magnification you want before you start looking for binoculars.

Why It’s Important to Find the Magnification of Binoculars

Every binocular will have a different level of magnification. You’ll need to know exactly how much magnification they have so you can figure out if they’re right for you or not. Magnification is one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for binoculars. It can make all the difference between an amazing pair of binoculars and a pair that is very not useful.

Let’s say that you’re shopping for binoculars because you want to go stargazing. You’ll need a higher amount of magnification in order to make it easier to see the stars in the sky. You might look for 8× or 10× binoculars. You can see that these are higher levels of magnification.

This means that you’ll be able to see the stars better. Higher levels of magnification allow us to see more detail, too. This is important if you want to make out specific objects in the night sky. It’s the whole reason why so many people go shopping for binoculars in the first place.

On the other hand, say you’re shopping for binoculars so you can go hiking. You might not need as much magnification. Lower levels of magnification make it easier to navigate through rough terrain. You’ll want to use lower levels of magnification in order to move around easily.

This is because lower levels of magnification allow you to see a wide area at once. If you’re hiking through a dense forest, you don’t need high levels of magnification. You only need a certain level of magnification so you can see what’s around you. Your eyes will thank you for using a lower level of magnification if that’s the case.

Once again!

How magnification is rated on most binoculars

Exit Pupil: This is the diameter of your pupils at maximum brightness. It’s normally measured in millimeters at the objective lens exit pupil diameter. It’s important to know this because it will help you compare magnification across different brands and models of binoculars. Exit Pupil: 10 mm – 14 mm Nearest Field: Nearest Field represents the size of an object that can be seen without moving your head. There are a few ways to measure this and it’s important to know which one works best for you. The most common way is the Vertex Diopter where you move your head along a line drawn from the center of each eye to the center of an object. Diopter: 8.8 ft

Nearest Focal Plane: The nearest focal plane is the image size that is formed when the light comes out the front of the binoculars. This is important to know because you want to know if you can actually see that image clearly or not. For example, if your binoculars are rated at 12 x 42 but your nearest focal plane is only 40 feet away, you can’t see anything close up like birds. The higher this number the closer you can see. Focal Length: 26 mm

Field of View (FOV): Field of View tells you how much area you can see clearly at one time. It’s measured in degrees and the higher the number the larger your field of view will be. Field of View: 105 ft @ 1000 yd Minimum Focus Distance (MFD): The Minimum Focus Distance is the closest that you can focus on an object. It can vary greatly between brands and models so be sure to check the specs before buying. MFD: 12 ft Close Focus Distance (CDF): The Close Focus Distance is how close you can get to an object to focus on it. CDF: 24 ft

Waterproof/Fogproof/Shockproof/Rainproof – This tells you that it will work in any weather conditions, including water.

These are the most important stats that you need to look for when comparing binoculars to find the best one for you.


Binoculars have a magnification rating. If you don’t know how much magnification a binocular has, you’ll have a hard time finding binoculars that fit your needs. If you take the time to figure out what magnification you want, you’ll be able to find a pair of binoculars that will fit your needs. Try this article if you’re trying to find out what magnification binoculars have.

Read More Related Binoculars Guides Based in Factors:

Binoculars are one of the best tools for birdwatching and scanning the night sky to find constellations, meteor showers, and other celestial phenomenons. It’s not that hard to find a good pair of binoculars; you just need to know what your priorities are and what factors you should focus on. So, here are the best binoculars based for all factors;

Matthew Koch

Hi, I'm Matthew, a passionate blogger and traveler. I'm also a hard-core hiker. Hiking with friends and visiting new places is what I live for. Currently, I'm working at Gear Odds as CEO & Columnist. I would like to provide my best outdoor experience possible.