Vortex Diamondback 10×42 vs 12×50 – Which Binoculars is better performing?

Vortex Diamondback 10x42 vs 12x50

If you plan on taking a weekend hike with your buddies, you have to be prepared to see the unseen as far as the horizon. Binoculars will help you do that. Which between Vortex Diamondback 10×42 and 12×50 will get you to see further?

When I bought my first binocular set, I was so much focused on the magnification power it would offer me. After all, a higher magnification means a sharper image and long-range viewing, right?

It was while on a mountain climbing trip with a team of adventurous people, I had the opportunity to look through one of the team’s binoculars when my perception was shattered.

She had a 10×42 Vortex diamondback and I was sporting the 12×50 but the image clarity and the degree of scope was undeniably better than mine. So, I did some further research to try and understand why this was true.

What are the differences between Vortex Diamondback 10×42 vs 12×50?

Vortex Diamondback 10×42
Vortex Diamondback 12×50
Lens Diameter
Field of View
345 feet
241 feet
Exit Pupil Diameter
Eye Relief
607 g
879 g
5.9 x 5.1”
6.7” x 5.5”

Vortex Diamondback 10×42 vs 12×50 – How do they compare?

Lens Diameter

The 10×50 is capable of transmitting more than enough light to your eyes whether in light or dark conditions. Its 50mm objective lens is large enough to gather more light rays which guarantees better performance in low light.

There is only an 8mm difference in diameter compared to the 10×42 Diamondback which makes a real difference in light transmission especially in poor lighting.

The exit pupil for both the 10×50 and the 10×42 is barely noticeable which means that your eyes will not perceive much difference while looking through either scopes.

With your eye pupil contracting to 2-3 mm in bright light and dilating to 7mm in low light, the two scopes which both offer a 4.2mm exit pupilwhich is adequate for good imagery. With a larger exit pupil, it is easier for you to line up your eyes to the light exiting the eyepieces.

With the 12×50, the light-gathering properties are expectedly higher than the 10×42 because of the 8mm difference in their lens diameter.


These two binoculars are both built with magnesium for their chassis and they use Argon gas inside the chamber which gives then anti-fog propertiesand makes them perfect for viewing in any weather conditions. Waterproofing is provided by the O-ring sealing coupled with the green rubber external armor.

Setting the barrels to fit your specific eye difference can be done by using a diopter control knob located on the right lens of both binoculars. While this feature on the 10×42 is not lockable, on the 12×50, it is possible to unlock, make your preferred changes and then lock them in place.

Because the 12×50 binoculars are fitted with Extra-low Dispersion glass and the 10×42 havepremium Barium Crown glass or BaK4 prisms and the mirrors are dielectric coated to increase light reflectivity up to 99%, the quality of their lenses will not produce much chromatic aberration to cause you any inconvenience.

The Vortex Diamond 12×50 is better than the 10×42 because it comes with an optional add-on lens that can be attached to the ocular lens to double the magnification power making it an alternative scope.  

Eye Relief

The 12×50 offers a 52-degree field of view and this wider scope makes for more detailed viewing and tracking of fast-moving objects.

The 10×42 achieving 6.6 degrees which is a slight improvement. This wide view makes for enjoyable observation and minimizes the soft edges.

The level of detail and color attained from the center of the image towards the edges is commendable for both diameters and the image contrast is very noticeable and appreciable. You can focus on objects as far as 345 feet with the 10×42 and 241 feet far with the 12×50 binoculars.

10×40 provides users with just 16mm of eye relief compared to 18mm by the 12×50. This means that spectacled individuals will have a harder time using the 10×42 model. 

Vortex Diamondback 10×42 vs 12×50 – A Comparison Overview

Vortex Diamondback 10×42 Review 

Vortex Optics Diamondback 10x42 Roof Prism Binocular
  • Roof prism full-size 10x42 binoculars provide 10x magnification through a 42mm objective lens.
  • VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty means Vortex Optics will fix or repair at no cost to the customer, no...
  • Multi-coated optics and phase corrected prisms
  • Waterproof and fogproof protection

These binoculars are quite nice and stylish and they are built with ergonomic measurements. The rubber armor fits tight around them and helps to keep the binoculars securely in your grip. You should find it easy to hold with the thumb indents.

Looking through them should pose no frustration or strain because the eyecups have been rubberized and offer you three positions for regulations. They offer 10x magnification through a 42mm diameter lens.

The lenses are multicoated, fog, and waterproof as well. They come with a rain guard, tethered lens covers, a molded custom carry case, and a comfortable neck strap. They have a 345 feet field of view and 5 feet at close view.


  • Strong, ergonomic casing
  • Minimal astigmatism
  • Great color
  • Clear and clean optics


  • Chromatic aberration on edges of FOV
  • Some image distortion

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Vortex Diamondback 12×50 Review

It has eyepiece protectors attached to the strap and flip-down ocular covers. It has four-position twist out position rings for eyepieces with positive clicking action and position meaning they don’t fold in when they get hit.

Locking diopter adjustment on the eyepiece and you can unlock it to your preferred settings and then lock it down. On the right eyepiece, it has a focusing ring in the center that focuses both eyepieces and balances both sides.

Multilayer anti-reflective coating is done on the eyepieces and objectives. The surface is rubberized to protect them from most bumps or falls. They feel good in the hands because it is smooth yet grippy keeping them securely fit in your hands.

The weight is over 27 ounces but they are not too heavy which makes them easier to handle over long periods with a minimal shake. If you have unsteady hold, you can mount the binoculars on a tripod or a high and stable surface.

They also have an optional eye-piece to connect to one of the oculars to double the magnification of your binocular if you would like to use them as a spotting scope.


  • Clear image
  • Tripod compatible
  • Doubles as a scope
  • Quick focus


  • Higher magnification increases image shading

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The 10×42 provides the right mix between weight and quality performance. They offer a wider operating window to work in regards to image brightness in low light conditions.

The 12×50 creates more vivid images within a slightly narrower field of view and offers better eye relief and light gathering capabilities. Being able to convert it into a scope is a unique added advantage.

Final Verdict: So, which is better? Vortex Diamondback 10×42 or 12×50? 

The Diamondback 10×42 is a worthier buy compared to the 12×50. This is because it offers you a wider field of view, lesser weight and length measurements with impressive image quality and target tracking. Even with the lesser magnification and exit pupil, it is overall a better performer.


What does the 12×50 have over the 10×42 Binocular?

The 8mm diameter advantage increases light gathering capacity and enables the 12×50 to produce clear and crisp images even in low light conditions. It also has better eye relief which is comfortable for spectacled individuals.

How can I convert my 12×50 Vortex Diamondback binoculars into a scope?

By attaching an extra pair of lenses provided to the ocular lens. This doublesthe magnification power of the 12×50 binoculars essentially turning them into a valuable alternative scope.


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