10×42 binoculars are widely regarded as the ultimate multi-purpose binoculars.
You see, because of its fair magnification power along with objective lens diameter, this binocular is ideal for nearly all your favorite hobbies- bird watching, game hunting, watching sporting events and concerts, you name it.
We reveal the best 10×42 binoculars in this article to help you make an informed choice when shopping- we don’t want you overwhelmed by the many brands out there.
If you’re new to binoculars, we recommend that you go through our buying guide first- we have explained every critical feature and the unfamiliar terms to help you understand how to make the right choice.
Let’s get down to business.
Is a 10×42 Binocular good enough?
Short answer: Yes! The 10×42 binocular is the best bet for enthusiasts who want a capable binocular that fills multiple roles.
Long answer: Now, a 10x magnification is considered excellent for viewing distant objects and actually captures a great deal of details than many lower power binoculars.
At the same time, the 42-millimeter diameter objective lens provides the right brightness for image clarity and will show much brighter images even when it’s pouring or dark.
In fact, most people cancel their plans to purchase another binocular as soon as they experience this binocular’s remarkable optical performance.
Buying Guide (how to choose binoculars)
When J. P. Lemiere unveiled the binocular telescope in 1825, buying a binocular was simple- it was essentially a pair of small prismatic telescopes (joined together) and there wasn’t much to think about.
Fast-forward more than a century later, and modern binoculars are so diverse and advanced that buying one is definitely not a one-model-fits-all kind of decision.
Luckily, this guide will point first-time binocular buyers in the right direction.
To begin with, the most basic things to seriously think about are:
- Your budget– the amount of money you’re planning to spend may determine the quality you’ll get.
- Durability – who won’t be happy to have a binocular that boasts a durable design?
- Easy of use– beginners prefer binocular that are easy to focus and get going. You cannot overlook ergonomics too.
- Portability -you may want to look at the best compact binoculars in the 10×42 space and the most lightweight seeing that a lighter optic causes less fatigue.
Once clear with that, you’ll have another set of questions to answer….
I must say that these are more on the technical side and hence indispensable.
Here they are:
Eye relief is simply the optimum distance you can hold the binocular away from your eyes and still get a full viewing angle. Overall, brands with a longer eye relief tend to offer a smaller viewing field compared to models with shorter eye relief.
Tip: Extended eye relief brings less eyestrain to the eye and is recommended if you wear eyeglasses.
Field of view
This is the width of the area you can view without moving the binocular. It’s typically expressed in feet from a distance of 1000 yards (or 1000 m) and should be printed on every binocular.
On the whole, the best high-end binoculars have a wider field-of-view because their eyepiece design includes extra glass elements.
Close focusing distance
This refers to the closest point binoculars can focus on and is usually within the 0.5 m – 30 m range.
You can view details hidden to a naked eye if the model you chose has a short close focus distance in comparison with the magnification.
This is nothing else but the bright circle you can see -in the center- of the eyepiece when holding the binoculars 30cm away from the eyes while pointing the objective lenses toward a bright enough light.
For the most part, you’ll be fine with any 10×42 binocular whose exit pupil equals the size of your own pupils (at least) even if you’ll be viewing things in dimly light conditions (or at dusk/night).
Lens coatings help eliminate glare and are also worth mentioning.
In general, pricier brands have more extensive lens coating and remove any glare better for sharper images.
A word on Prisms and the glass quality
Prisms – optical bits of glass- are added to the inside of binoculars and act like mirrors ensuring that you’ll never view images upside down.
As a general rule, top-quality binoculars feature BAK-4 prisms – a german-originated glass- and deliver ultra-sharp images.
Porro prism vs Roof Prism System
While still on the topic, the choice is usually between Roof Prism binoculars and Porro Prism binoculars.
Porro Prism binoculars comprise of a pair of right-angled prisms (facing each other).
Here is the thing: The folded distance between the eyepieces and the objective lenses is frequently longer while the light path is simpler in these optics resulting in superior image clarity and greater depth perception.
On the other hand, the objective lenses line up straight with the eyepiece in roof prism binoculars.
Indeed, both the lenses and prisms are aligned straight and the whole engineering is much simpler.
Turning to results, this design gives better magnification strength and has made roof prism design tremendously popular among adventure seekers.
However, there are situations where you’ll find the Porro Prism binoculars more adept such as heavily forested areas.
Best 10×42 Binoculars Reviews
These are the best 10×42 Binoculars you can get right now, based on features, performance, and value for money.
The Bushnell Ultra HD Binocular isn’t just the most celebrated 10×42, it’s also the most refined.
More importantly, it’s a 10×42 that offers a crisp, sharp vision of objects at a distance, even in low light conditions.
Essentially, the manufacturer has incorporated everything that matters in this, giving it an edge over the competition.
The ED (extra-low dispersion) prime glass, in particular, is very impressive with its improved color resolution and fantastic contrast creating amazing image quality in all conditions.
What’s more, through the super wide field-of-view, the Bushnell produces superior optical performances (they type you’d expect from flagship binoculars).
Compared to its peers (and most binoculars at this price range, for that matter), the Bushnell has a longer eye-relief not to mention that focus adjustment is easy with the locking diopter adjustment.
This never fogs up thanks to Bushnell’s RainGuard water-repellent lens coating, which also prevents water or oily fingerprints from messing your vision.
Durability is another strong suit of the Bushnell. Not only does its rugged, waterproof housing keep elements at bay but the entire body is built pretty solid.
In short, the Bushnell offers the best balance of features for the price, and its highest quality glass makes it the right choice for adventurers.
- Quite lightweight (magnesium chassis).
- Carrying gear included- soft carrying case and neck strap.
- Near perfect.
Nikon’s MONARCH 7 10×42 raises the bar with its best-in-class design guaranteeing exquisite optical performance even when conditions threaten to wreck your outing.
Besides, the compact body, excellent ergonomics, and rugged construction make this one of the very best 10×42 Binoculars.
With Nikon’s unparalleled optical system at the heart of this gem, you’re likely to get a viewing experience that brings copious amounts of pleasure.
Just to put you in the light, Nikon has added its premium ED glass, proprietary lens, plus their prism coatings in this model, elevating brightness and resolution to unmatched levels!
Also enhanced is the field of view (351 ft/1000 yds vs 340ft for Bushnell), close-focus capability (8.2 ft vs 6.5ft for Bushnell), and even eye relief (16.4 mm vs 15.2mm for Bushnell).
But performance isn’t the only thing that makes the Nikon’s MONARCH 7 a great 10×42 optic..
The rubber-armored coating makes it dependable on any environment (keep in mind that it’s waterproof and fogproof).
It has a comfortable design too with its ergonomics a significant upgrade on the Bushnell.
We cannot recommend it highly enough.
- High-resolution viewing experience.
- Extremely comfortable to handle.
- Rugged build for all conditions.
- Pricier than the Bushnell.
The Vortex Viper HD 10×42 binoculars is another premium-quality bino from a brand that is always sweeping all the awards.
Vortex Viper HD’s stunning resolution, edge-to-edge clarity, and color fidelity makes it a brilliant choice for hobbyists who need a capable Binocular for all occasions.
Like the previous two models, the elite extra-low dispersion glass is the power behind the high-definition, color-accurate images here assisted by the ground-breaking coatings (boost light transmission).
I must say that the phase correction coating has made it one of the best binoculars for birding (for those obsessed with 10x42s).
We also appreciate the adjustable eyecups, center focus wheel, and the locking diopter.
In terms of construction, this Vortex Viper model is- as you would expect from a name with a proud history of making quality binos- superbly engineered.
The O-ring seals mean moisture, debris, and dust will never penetrate the binocular while the Argon gas purging reins in on fogging, no matter the conditions.
The rubber-armored chassis boosts external protection whilst the ultra-hard, scratch-resistant armortek coating keeps the lenses protected.
About the key parameters, the Vortex Viper HD bino is rated 319 ft/ 1000 yd (field of view), 5.1 ft (close focus), and 16.5mm (eye relief).
- Unbeatable warranty.
- Out-of-the-world images.
- Reduced field of view.
This article has introduced you to the best 10×42 binoculars to buy when you’re ready for some serious bird watching, trophy hunting, concert and sports watching, etc.
Further, our buyers guide covered the factors to keep in mind when buying binoculars including the critical features, lenses, and the key numbers.
In short, you’re now primed to walk away with the very best 10×42 binocular to serve your needs.