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The Binocular Advisor

Comparing 6x32 to 8x32 Power

by Michael and Diane Porter


A customer asks:

I'm considering either an 8x32 or a 6x32 Vortex Viper HD binocular. I wonder how much an 8x32 would bring things in closer than a 6x32.
Can you show me a picture of looking at an eagle in a tree from the same spot? How much closer would the bird seem to be with 8x32 than with a 6x32?

Anser: What magnification looks like

On the left is an eagle seen with a 6-power and with an 8-power Vortex Viper binocular.

Eagle at 6x and 8x

With the 8-power, the bird looks 1/3 larger than with the 6-power.

However, the field of view is greater with the 6x. That is to say, there is more background in the 6x.

So the image is bigger with higher magnification, but it's harder to spot the bird because you have to get right on it before you can see it. With the lower magnification, you're likely to pick up at least the edge of the bird while you're looking for it, and then you can get on it. Of course, it's pretty easy when it's an eagle against the sky, but it can be tricky when it's a little bird in a tree.

© 2013 Michael and Diane Porter


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