What does 8x32 mean in binoculars? If you’re unfamiliar with binoculars, you might not even know that there are different power magnifications and other numbers to consider when buying them. But what do they mean? Read on to learn more about 8x32 binoculars and how they can benefit your viewing experience.
What are 8x and 32 numbers in binocular specs anyway?
Some binoculars have numbers like these, which refers to magnification power: how much closer objects appear through your binos. So an 8x32 pair of binos brings what you see eight times closer. For example, if you’re 300 feet away from a target and put those binoculars up to your eyes, what you see through them will appear as though it were only 40 feet away. (8x is also sometimes called power or magnification.) The number after that (in our case, 32) is called the field of view. That’s how wide an area you can see at one time with those binoculars. If we use our previous example, with our 8x32 pair of binos, what we can see at once will be about 6 degrees wide which means that if we look straight ahead while using them, we’ll be able to take in almost everything within a circle that’s 6 degrees across on all sides.
That’s pretty darn good for most uses! It means you won’t have to keep moving your head around so much when trying to keep track of something interesting. What you see through an 8x32 pair of binoculars will cover nearly 90% of what you’d see with your naked eye and that’s without counting peripheral vision. This is why many birders prefer a higher-power/lower-field-of-view set; they want to get closer to their subject without moving their heads around so much.
A higher number here doesn’t mean more magnification; it means a wider field of view. In other words, don’t get confused by thinking that 8x means more powerful. It doesn’t; it just means less hand movement is needed between targets! And if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, try holding your hands out in front of you one at arm’s length, fingers spread wide, and one held close to your face. Look at how much smaller each finger looks in comparison. That’s because what you see through your hands changes based on where they are relative to your face. In other words, bring them closer together, and what you see gets bigger! And vice versa!
How to use these numbers to compare binocular models:
While binocular specs are a great place to start when shopping for your next pair of binos, you may find that you need more than just numbers to pick out your best pair. Let’s look at what those numbers mean and how you can use them to compare different models with relative ease. Higher numbers indicate a wider field of view. Eye Relief How far away from your eyes do your binoculars need to be for you to see clearly through them. More extended eye relief typically comes with higher magnifications. Exit Pupil How big each window appears when you look through your binoculars; is directly related to the field of view and magnification power.