7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars

21 July 2021
Arkadiusz Olech

2. 7x35? Why?

Let's start with exit pupil that, in case of any 7×35 binoculars, amounts to 5 mm. Such a value is considered to be one of the most universal, making a pair of binoculars fit for both day and night observations, even if the objectives aren't very big.

7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - 7x35? Why?

Magnification is another important matter. When a complete beginner wants to buy a pair of binoculars it's the first thing they notice, and of course they think the higher the better. Meanwhile high magnifications are suitable for big objectives and such instruments more often than not have to be fixed on a tripod – hardly an ideal solution when it comes to a lightweight pair of binoculars for tourism and every day purposes.

7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - 7x35? Why?

What's more, high magnifications are really overrated. The maximum magnification of an instrument that can be held comfortably in your hands is a level of 12-16x, the precise value depending on an individual (taking into account especially their age). You also have to remember that lower magnification not only is easier to stabilize during hand-held observations but also sometimes allows you to notice as may details as higher magnification. Two factors come here at play: the stability of your hands and the brightness of image. The more firmly you hold a pair of binoculars the less blurry the image will be and, with the same objective diameter, binoculars with a higher magnification will be also the one providing darker images. If you want to preserve the same brightness of images you have to increase the objective diameter along with magnification and it means an increase of weight and, stemming from that, weaker stability. The heavier your equipment is, the more difficult it becomes to handle it, especially for a longer period of time.

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7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - 7x35? Why?

As you see, 7x magnification is not necessarily a bad thing; I suppose it's more than enough for most of casual uses, like trips and hikes, sigtseeing, theatre, or sport events. What's more, instruments with such magnification are perfect for the youngsters and the elderly. If you want to buy a pair of binoculars for your child you should never accept a magnification higher than 6-7x. Almost all other instruments will be too big and/or too heavy for a kid so the lower the magnification the more he or she will enjoy its new equipment.

7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - 7x35? Why?

Also the stability of our hands changes with age so binoculars users belonging to the 60+ age group should think about 6-7x magnification binoculars. On many ornithology forums you often see older bird watchers advertisint the fact that they want to swap their 10x42 binoculars for models with lower magnification.

7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - 7x35? Why?

Field of view is another asset of 7×35 binoculars. Firstly, even after employing simple eyepieces with an apparent field of 50 degrees, the field of view of the entire instrument will exceed 7 degrees so will be better than the field of the best 10×42 or 10×50 pairs of binoculars. What's more, 7×35 devices often have wide angle eyepieces so a field of view of 9, 10, 11, or even 12 degrees isn't that rare among them.

7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - 7x35? Why?

Believe me, if you combine an exit pupil that offers you a really bright image and a field of view of 11-12 degrees, a 7×35 instrument can provide you an unparalleled observation comfort. You can immerse yourself in an image, blend with it, and savour it for hours.

7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - 7x35? Why?