Difference in viewing stars with binocular and a zoom camera?

Started Sep 14, 2013 | Questions thread
just Tony
just Tony Senior Member • Posts: 2,171
No math, just look

hassannabeel wrote:

How will the magnification of a binocular with 8x or 10x zoom and 50MM aperture compare to lets say Fuji X-S1 with 26x zoom range?

Please explain in detail about effective zoom range of a binocular

A formula is the hard way to go because a binocular's angle of view greatly depends on factors you didn't specify and might not easily discover (the apparent field of the eyepiece, or failing that, the diameter of the entrance pupil of the eyepiece and the focal length of the objective need to be known as well). The camera's field of view also depends on factors not specified (sensor size and minimum and maximum focal lengths). The trigonometry is the same for both instruments but you have too many unknowns.

But there is a simple way that avoids any math: Set the binoculars on a stable surface and point them at some distant scene. Move the binoculars until some recognizable object is at the left side, and take note of what is just in the view at the right side. Now point your camera in the same direction and adjust the zoom until the same objects are at the edges of the frame.


Everything above discusses the field of view as the thing you are trying to match. If on the other hand you wanted things to appear the same size in the camera and binocular eyepieces you now have the camera's eyepiece magnification as an additional variable. Again, just look. Set up the binoculars and the camera side by side, one eye looking through a binocular eyepiece and the other looking through the camera. Adjust the zoom lens on the camera until the two views can be overlaid to match. Done.

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