10×42 Binoculars – Compact But Powerful

This post contains affiliate links. If you follow a link I may earn a small commission at no extra cost for you.

Binoculars with the specification 10×42 are among the most popular binoculars. The 10x magnification allows you to observe distant objects in excellent detail, which is of particular interest to bird watchers, wildlife watchers, and anyone who wants a real close up look at things. The 42-millimeter diameter of the objective lens has good light-gathering power so that these size binoculars perform well in low light conditions, even though the exit pupil is only 4.2mm.

Despite the good magnification and the strong light-gathering power, most 10×42 binoculars models are still compact and lightweight enough, so that they are easy to handle and most of all, easy to carry along. This is especially true for the increasingly popular roof prism binoculars.

What does 10×42 in binoculars mean

10×42 in binoculars refers to the magnification and the objective diameter.

The value “10x” indicates the magnification of an object. Binoculars with 10x magnification let an object that is 1000 yards away appear as if it were only 100 yards away.

The second value stands for the lens opening, which is always specified in millimeters. 10×42 in binoculars means the front lens has an aperture of 42mm.

How much are 10×42 binoculars?

As with all the other binocular sizes, the prices for the 10×42 model vary from low to high. The cheapest models that are made in Asia are already available for less than 100 dollars. Good middle-class models that serve most users cost in the range of a few hundred dollars upwards. Some of those are even assembled in the USA from imported parts. The premium class, the choice of professional users, or anyone demanding the best, cost from 1000 dollars upwards.

Inexpensive Binoculars under 100 dollars

Gosky 10x42 Roof Prism Binoculars for Adults, HD Professional Binoculars for Bird Watching Travel Stargazing Hunting Concerts Sports-BAK4 Prism FMC Lens-with Phone Mount Strap Carrying Bag
  • 【Compact Roof Prism 10x42 Binocular】 10X power magnification and large field of view, specially designed for outdoor activities such as climbing, hiking, driving, watching wildlife and scenery. This power also can be used for watching large stage play, vocal concert, a football game, etc.
  • 【HD Superior Optics】 Best 42mm fully multi-layer coatings green film objective lens and 18mm blue film eyepiece, Large smart phrase BAK4 prism, guarantee the key elements of an optical device, make your view brighter, clearer and deliver crisp images.
  • 【Durable Framework and Rubber Armor】 Its tight fitting protection makes it usable to withstand the toughest weather conditions. The shock-absorbing rubber armor for maximum protection.
  • 【Complete Binocular Accessories】 Comes with Newest Smartphone Mount compatible with Smartphone 11, 11 Pro, Xs, X, 8p, 8, 7p, 7, 6, 6p, Samsung S10/S10p, S9/S9p, S8/S8 Edge, S6/S6 Edge, Note, LG, HTC,Sony, and more. Also comes with Carrying Case, Rubber Lens Covers, Cleaning Cloth, Neck Strap.
  • 【Lifetime Warranty And Lifetime Technical Support】 Shop with confidence, you have it covered by Gosky lifetime warranty and a full money-back and replacement guarantee, on all orders to allow you to test the suitability of our product.
Celestron – Outland X 10x42 Binoculars – Waterproof & Fogproof – Binoculars for Adults – Multi-Coated Optics and BaK-4 Prisms – Protective Rubber Armoring
  • Multi-coated optics and BaK-4 PRISMS: Multi-coated optics help obtain high resolution and high contrast views, while the prisms made of BaK-4 glass will give you enhanced color fidelity. Enjoy crisp, detailed views and dependable performance with our Outland X all-around binocular
  • Waterproof and fogproof: Designed to withstand all weather conditions, our Outland X compact binoculars have been filled and sealed with dry nitrogen gas for rigorous outdoor use without internal fogging of the lenses
  • Protective rubber covering: Our binocular is both durable and well-armored; its rugged exterior ensures protection from all outdoor elements while providing a secure, anti-slip gripping surface. The Outland X is also a great birdwatching binocular
  • Twist-up eyecups for quick adjustment: Large focus knobs make for easy and precise focusing, and twist-up eyecups allow for quick adjustment of eye relief to obtain a full field of view. Eyecups can be easily positioned for use with or without eyeglasses
  • Unbeatable warranty and customer support: Buy with confidence from the world’s No 1 telescope brand and a leading sport optics manufacturer, based in California since 1960. You’ll also receive a Limited Lifetime warranty and unlimited access to technical support from our team of US-based experts.
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 42-mm, Black
  • Quality optics with stunning HD clarity; Exit Pupil: 4.2 millimeter / 0.165 inch
  • 100 percentage quality materials used and tested extensively; Field of view 305/102 feet@1000 yards/meter@1000 meter
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • 100 percent waterproof, O ring sealed and nitrogen purged for reliable, fog free performance
  • BaK 4 prisms and multi coated optics offer crisp clear images with improved light transmission
Vortex Optics Crossfire HD 10x42 Binoculars , BLACK
  • 10x magnification & 42mm objective lenses, these Crossfire HD binos are optimized with select glass elements to deliver exceptional resolution, cut chromatic aberration and provide outstanding color fidelity, edge-to-edge sharpness and light transmission.
  • Fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. Roof prism design is valued for greater durability and a more compact size.
  • Adjustable eyecups twist up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses. Center focus wheel adjusts the focus of both binocular barrels at the same time. Diopter (located on right eyepiece) adjusts for differences in a user's eyes.
  • Rubber armor provides a secure, non-slip grip, and durable external protection. Binoculars are tripod adaptable allowing use on a tripod or car window mount.
  • Nitrogen purging and O-ring seals provide water and fogproof performance in all environments. Rugged construction withstands recoil and impact.

Last update on 2021-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Budget 10×42 binoculars

Budget binoculars are best suited for people who only occasionally use binoculars. They are simply for being able to take a closer look at distant things without the need for perfect optical performance.

Manufacturers of these budget binoculars cut costs mainly on lenses and prisms, which means that standard optical glass is used, and the lens coatings are not particularly complex. As far as the prisms are concerned, these are often made using the cheaper BK7 glass instead of the better BaK4 glass.

The manufacturer can also save on the binocular housings. The focus wheel and diopter compensation mechanism may not be so sensitive and finely adjustable, the barrel hinge may not be that smooth. But it must not be wobbly as this may cause loss of collimation. The eye caps can often only be adjusted to one level and the diopter adjustment often only allows for +/- 2 diopters, which is plenty for most users.

As far as the waterproofness is concerned, cheap binoculars are often not O-ring sealed. A disadvantage as this limits the use in bad weather and increases susceptibility to fogging during sudden temperature changes. Fogging can lead to lense fungus and which will destroy the coating of the lenses.

If you buy binoculars for under $100, you really shouldn’t be too demanding. Factors that drive up the price, such as edge blur, color-true image, and low chromatic aberration are compromised here, in favor of a low price. But most occasional users that have never used a high-end model and have little experience with binoculars, won’t even notice the small, subtle differences that professional users pick up in a flash and will likely be completely happy with a budget model.

Budget Binoculars

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x 42mm Roof Prism Binocular, Realtree AP Camo
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last; Close focus (ft/m): 6.5/1.9
  • 10x magnification, 42mm objective lens binoculars
  • Exceptional optics with ED Prime Glass, Ultra Wide Band Coatings, and RainGuard HD water-repellent lens coating
  • Ultra wide field-of-view with long eye-relief; locking diopter
  • Lightweight, magnesium chassis and soft touch grips; 100 percent waterproof/fogproof construction
Gosky EagleView 10x42 ED Binoculars for Adults, Professional ED Glass Waterproof Binoculars for Bird Watching Travel Stargazing Hunting Concerts Sports- with Smartphone Mount
  • Premium ED (extra-low dispersion) glass binoculars: The Ed glass really helps with minimizing glare and ghost images, Reduces chromatic aberration and offers a sharper, clearer and more accurate color reproduction
  • Optimum magnification: 10x42 binoculars are best for bird watching during long viewing sessions. Many experienced bird watchers prefer them. This magnification is also good for other universal outdoor applications like stargazing, climbing, hunting and indoor applications like watching large stage play, vocal concert, a football game, etc.
  • Superior optics: with wide field of view, advanced fully multi-coated glass lenses, dielectric coating, smart Phase correction BaK4 Prism and ED glass, you can enjoy a breathtaking clarity and brightness
  • Argon purged better waterproofing and thermal stability: argon purging provides waterproof, fog proof protection in any weather, and any environment. Rubber armored body strengthen its durability
  • Rich and useful accessories: Comes with a go sky 2018 newest quick alignment smartphone Adapter. Compatible with Phone XS, XR, X, 8plus, 8, 7plus, 7, 6, 6S, 6plus, 5, 5S, Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, S9, S9+, S8, S8+, S7, S6, S6 edge, S5, Note, LG, hot, Sony, etc. With soft carrying case, neck strap belt, Flip down lens caps and cleaning cloth, This power binoculars can be carried and stored safely and conveniently
Wingspan Optics CrystalView UltraHD 8X42 - ED Glass Binoculars for Bird Watching for Adults - Extra Wide Field of View, Close Focus, Phase Correction Coating for the Ultimate in Clarity and Brightness
  • Close Focus with Extra-Wide Field Of View - Our advanced Ultra HD Bird Watching Binoculars gives you the best of both worlds. Close Focus so you can capture every color and detail of a bird a few feet away. And a Wide Field of View allowing you to capture fast moving birds in seconds.
  • World Class HD Sharpness and Color Fidelity - Step up to spectacular! CrystalView Ultra HD Professional Bird Watching Binoculars delivers Ultra Sharp, Clear, True Color Images, close up or far away.
  • A Cleaner and Brighter Image - Extra-Low Dispersion ED Glass reduces chromatic aberration which causes color fringing and produces a cleaner and brighter image than standard binoculars.
  • High Quality and Protection From Extreme Outdoor Conditions - Ultra Durable Exterior, Waterproof, Fog Proof, Phase Correction, Coated Prism and Fully Multi-Coated Lenses . 8 X Magnification and 42mm Multi-Coated Lenses delivers brightness, high resolution color and the clearest, brightest, steady bird watching views.
  • No Risk, No Worry! - Your Binoculars come with a 12 MONTH PROMISE, Plus a 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE, just in case you're not satisfied with your purchase.
Celestron – Nature DX ED 10x42 Premium Binoculars – Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) Objective Lenses – Multi-Coated Optics –Phase-Coated BaK-4 Prisms – Binoculars for Bird Watching, 72333,Black
  • PREMIUM ED OBJECTIVE LENSES: Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass virtually eliminates chromatic aberration, also known as color fringing, a visual defect common in binoculars.
  • VERSATILE, ALL-AROUND BINOCULARS: These binoculars are a great choice for nature observation, as well as for the trail, stadium, arena, or just about anywhere you want a close-up view of the action.
  • BaK-4 PRISMS FOR OPTIMAL VIEWING EXPERIENCE: The prisms inside Nature DX ED feature quality BaK-4 glass with phase coatings applied to maximize light transmission.
  • DURABLE, WEATHER-RESISTANT BODY: A sturdy rubber-armored, polycarbonate housing protects your Nature DX ED binoculars from damage and can stand up to even the toughest outdoor weather conditions!
  • UNBEATABLE WARRANTY AND CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Buy with confidence from the world’s #1 telescope brand and a leading sport optics manufacturer, based in California since 1960.
Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10x42 Binocular (Black)
  • All Monarch 5 binoculars are now built with Nikon's premium ED (Extra-low dispersion); Glass for a sharper, clearer and more brilliant field of view.
  • Almost an ounce lighter than its predecessor, the new Monarch 5 is even easier to bring along on your next adventure.
  • Fully multicoated eco-glass lenses provide a high light transmittance across the entire visible light spectrum. Apparent FOV: 51.3°
  • It is equipped with user-friendly features such as turn-and-slide rubber eyecups, a smooth central focus knob and flip down lens caps.
  • Built for extreme use, the Monarch 5 is waterproof, fog proof and has a rubber armored body for strengthened durability.

Last update on 2021-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Mid-priced 10×42 binoculars

Binoculars in the middle price range are the choice of many bird watchers, hunters, wildlife watchers, and everyone looking for a good compromise between optical performance and value for money.

The binoculars in this price range are usually excellently made and perform very well regarding optical performance and durability. Good design and mechanics, focus wheel, diopter adjustment, and barrel hinge work smoothly and evenly. The eyecups are multi-adjustable and made of soft rubber that fits well to the eye, and can be folded in far enough for wearers of eye-glasses to use the binoculars in comfort.

The binoculars housings are O-ring sealed and optionally gas purged so that the binoculars are completely waterproof and can be used in all weather conditions.

With regard to optical glass, high-quality glass is used throughout, and the different types of glass are well coordinated to assure optical performance. HD and Extra-low Dispersion glass, which increases transmission and reduces spherical and chromatic aberration, are pretty much standard. All glass surfaces are fully multi-coated and prisms are made of phase-corrected baK4 glass.

Mid-priced 10×42 binoculars

Zeiss Terra ED 10x42 Binoculars, Black
  • 10x magnification for delivering breathtaking enlarged images; field of view at 1000m - 110 m; apparent field of view - 60°; the TERRA ED 10x42 binocular offers you both large fields of view and steady images
  • Effective lens diameter - 42 mm; Exit pupil diameter - 4.2 mm
  • Weatherproof: the operating temperature range of 24 to 140°F and the waterproof body, these outdoor binoculars are a reliable companion even under extreme conditions; water resistance - 100 mbar
  • The binocular is suitable for birdwatching, hunting, nature observation, travelling and outdoor activities; the compact design and the large lens diameter are optimal for hunting in fields and forests
  • The highest optical precision and the hydrophobic multicoating guarantee brilliant images down to the very last detail.Field of View at 1,000 yds:330 ft
Meopta MEOPRO 10x42 HD Binocular - Premium European Optics - ED Fluorite Lenses
  • MEOBRIGHT ion assisted lens multi-coatings deliver an outstanding 99.7% light transmission per lens surface
  • MEOSHIELD coating protects exposed lens surfaces from abrasion
  • FLOURIDE (HD) objective lenses eliminate chromatic aberrations (color fringing) and deliver vivid, razor-sharp images with exceptional brightness
  • MAGNESIUM lightweight chassis for a comfortable carry in the field
Maven B1 10X42mm ED Binoculars Gray/Orange
  • Winner National Geographic Advenute Gear of the Year award 2014 "The clarity on these bad boys is superb, the depth of field quite large, and the color rendition flawless."
  • Audubon Magazine Great Binoculars for Birding 2016 "Fantastic optics that provide a bright image and a relatively large field of view."
  • The B1 features 42mm objective lenses, the most popular hunting and birding size, Compatible with 49mm screw in filters, for protection or image adjustment ED Glass, for true color transmission and amazing brightness, and anodized aluminum adjustments for years of durability.
  • All Maven optics come with an unconditional life-time warranty. If your optic becomes damaged or is at all defective (not including deliberate or cosmetic damage that does not hinder product performance), contact us immediately for repair or replacement. We don’t care where or when you bought it or if it was your fault or not – if it's Mavenbuilt, we will take care of it.
  • Gearjunkie review ~ "Even in low light, these are sharp and bright. The large field of view makes hand shake unnoticeable and they are easy on the eyes. Viewing distant objects is pleasant even for extended periods."
Steiner Model 2015 HX 10x42 Binoculars
  • HD OPTICS - Incorporate the finest index-matched glass and advanced lens coatings for best-in-glass image clarity.
  • FAST CLOSE FOCUS - Central focusing wheel requires minimal rotation for quick, absolute sharpness from close up to infinity.
  • NANO PROTECTION - Hydrophobic molecular coating creates a lens surface so smooth water sheets off and dirt, dust, snow and fingerprints are repelled for easy cleaning and a clear view.
  • N2 INJECTION SYSTEM - Seals 14-psi pressurized dry nitrogen inside the optic, for fogproof clarity in any condition - from artic cold to desert heat.
  • HERITAGE WARRANTY - We stand behind our products. Period! We will repair/replace defective products at no charge for the lifetime of the product. Warranty does not cover damage, loss or theft.
Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD 10x32mm Binocular, Shadow Gray (172660) (172660)
  • Leupold Model #172660 bx-4 Pro guide HD 10x32mm in shadow Gray
  • 100% waterproof, Fog proof, & shockproof
  • High-definition, calcium-fluoride lenses delivers incredible edge-to-edge clarity
  • Open-bridge, dual-hinge design - extremely lightweight and ergonomic
  • Bak 4 Prisms deliver a perfectly round exit pupil with virtually no edge distortion and a crisp, clear image

Last update on 2021-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Premium Binoculars

The high-end binoculars combine the use of the very best materials, precision manufacturing using complex and advanced technology and, not to forget, decades of experience in the manufacture of glass and the expertise to coordinate the different types of glass perfectly.

After all, the decisive factor for designing premium binoculars that are outperformers is the precise selection and good correction of all the optical parts so that the special properties of the different types of optical glass harmonize with one another.

The premium high-end line of binoculars is all in European hands, namely Germany and Austria. Zeiss, Steiner, Leica, Minox, and Swarowski have one thing in common, they make the best binoculars, there is no compromise on quality.

All this high tech and knowledge is not cheap, so don’t be surprised at the high prices of the best binoculars. But they are just real precision instruments that can be relied on even under the most adverse environmental conditions and in all situations, that you can enjoy for many years.

Premium 10×42 Binoculars

Leica 40319 Camera Trinova HD Binoculars
  • Close focus under six feet
  • Innovative carrying system for quick and comfortable use
  • Compact construction
  • Balanced and lightweight
  • German (Publication Language)
Leica Ultravid HD Plus 10x42 Binocular-Black-10x42
  • Cordura Nylon Case
  • Contoured Neoprene Strap
  • Eyepiece Rainguard
  • 2 x Objective Lens Caps
  • 3-Year Leica No-Fault
Zeiss 10x42 Conquest HD Binocular with LotuTec Protective Coating (Black)
  • Compact lightweight ergonomic design for ultimate comfort in the field
  • LotuTec water shedding outer coatings for all weather use
  • Designed and manufactured with traditional German quality
  • Rotating and lockable eyecups for eyeglass or non eyeglass wearers
  • The largest field of view in its class
Swarovski SLC 10x42 Waterproof Binoculars with FieldPro Package, Green
  • The purchase Includes: Swarovski Optik SLC 10x42 Binoculars, Field Bag, Eyepiece Cover, Objective Lens Cover, Lift Carrying Strap, Swarovski Optik Limited Warranty
  • 10x Magnification, 61-degree apparent field of view
  • HD Optical System: fluorite-containing glass offers 91% light transmission, enhancing color fidelity and brightness
  • Premium quality Swarovski product with an extensive 10-year warranty
  • Features SWAROBRIGHT and SWAROCLEAN trademark technologies
SWAROVSKI EL 10x42 Binocular with FieldPro Package, Green
  • This purchase Includes: Swarovski Optik EL 10x42 Binocular, Field Bag, Eyepiece Cover, Objective Lens Cover, Lift Carrying Strap, Swarovski Optik Lifetime Limited Warranty
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Submersion tightness up to 13 ft(4m) deep
  • Lifetime warranty for optics and 10 years warranty for other parts

Last update on 2021-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10x42 Binoculars

Advantages of 10×42 binoculars

  • 10x magnification provides detailed viewing
  • Great light-gathering power
  • Good for low light thanks to 42mm collecting lens despite exit pupil 4,2mm
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great for all-round use

Disadvantages 10×42 binoculars

  • A small field of view

What to look for in 10×42 binoculars?

  • Quality workmanship
  • Smooth mechanics
  • Best optical glass, i.e. ED – to reduce aberration and errors
  • Fully multi-coated lenses, for increase light transmission
  • Phase corrected BaK4 prisms
  • Long eye relief, if you wear eyeglasses
  • Adjustable eyecups
  • O-ring sealed – water and fog proof 
  • Nitrogen or Argon filling –  may increase the lifetime of the lubricated mechanics
  • Additional external lens coating –  provide lotus effect and hardened surfaces to prevent scratches

Read in more detail about binoculars features and evaluating binoculars’ quality.

Share this post: