8×42 – The Best All Round Binoculars?

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Binoculars are available in many different sizes, more precisely with different magnifications and different sized front lenses. But there is more than just magnification and lens size to look out for.

The types of glass used and the quality of the surface coatings are at least as important. But there are even more features and specifications that are also crucial to optical performance and ultimately what type of activity a particular model is best suited for.

However, if you want to buy a good all-around instrument, then a model with the 8 × 42 specifications is a good choice.

8×42 All-Round Binoculars

  • 8×42 Binoculars are by far the most popular and best-selling binos besides the very popular 10×42 instruments. And not without good reason
  • Binoculars with 42 mm objective lenses are great to use in daylight but also have enough light-gathering power to produce bright and clear images in low light conditions
  • Large exit pupil of 5.25mm
  • The magnification power of 8x is plenty to see objects in detail, while the field of view is wide enough to scan the scenery or follow moving objects
  • Because of these optical values, 8 x 42 binoculars are often referred to as all-around optics. Whether hiking, camping, bird watching or hunting, etc., a good pair of 8 × 42 binoculars is always practical to have

What Binoculars Should I Buy?

The selection of inexpensive beginner instruments is enormous. For an amazingly affordable price, many of these glasses offer excellent performance and optical quality.

8 x 42 binoculars are very popular among bird watchers due to their twilight suitability and also because they offer a large field of view that allows larger areas to be scanned for birds.

The selection of well-performing binos for bird watchers starts in the low three-digit range.

bird watching

Premium 8×42 Binoculars

Price differences in optical instruments can be huge. The materials used, the glass, the quality of the lenses and the coatings, as well as the precise manufacturing ultimately influence the price.

Premium and high-end models are in another league. In terms of quality and optical performance, these binoculars can not be compared with the ones that only cost a few hundred dollars.

Among professional bird watchers, the Zeiss Victory 8×42 SV is a very popular model. It offers exceptional optical performance, the only drawback is perhaps the high price.

What are the advantages of 8×42 binoculars?

  • Wide field of view
  • 8x magnification is easier to hold steady than higher-powered binoculars
  • Great light-gathering power
  • A large size exit pupil, over 5 mm is good for low light
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Can be used all around
  • Large selection of models
  • Suitable for wearers of eyeglasses because of the longer eye relief

What to look for in 8×42 binoculars?

  • Use of high-quality optical glass – to eliminate aberration and errors
  • Multiple coatings on lenses and prisms – improves light transmission and provides bright clear images in low light conditions, in the morning or evening hours
  • Phase correcting Bak 4 prisms
  • Long eye relief, especially if you wear eyeglasses
  • Adjustable eyecups – can eliminate disturbing stray light, and is practical for wearers of eyeglasses
  • Nitrogen or Argon purged – prevents fogging of the inside of the lens during extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • Waterproof – O-ring sealing provides protection against rain and tough weather conditions.
  • External lens coating –  to provide lotus effect and hardened surfaces to prevent scratches
  • Workmanship and feel – good neat manufacturing ensures that the mechanical parts will work. Rubber armor protects and provides grip.
  • Good all-round binoculars should be lightweight and no heavier than about 25 ounces( 700gramm)

If you are interested you might want to read in more detail about all the important features of binoculars.

So what are the best all-around binoculars to buy?

If you are serious about buying a pair of binoculars but still wondering what model to buy, then go for an 8×42 model. The binos with a 42mm lens diameter are very versatile and can be used in about every situation. Whether hiking, bird watching, or on hunting trips – good 8×42 binoculars impress with their optical performance, good handiness, and low weight.