What is the field of view of a pair of binoculars?

Your binoculars' field of view is the width of the area you can see. It’s usually described in two ways: angular field of view and linear field of view.

Angular field of view is the true angle seen through the optics and is usually measured in degrees. The linear field of view is the width of the area seen and is given in feet observed at 1000 yds. A larger number for either angular or linear field of view means you see a larger area.


Angular field of view can be used to calculate the linear field of view: just multiply the angular field by 52.5. For example, if the angular field of a particular binocular is 8°, then the linear field at 1000 yds will be 420 ft (8 x 52.5).

Field of view is related to magnification. In general, a greater magnification yields a smaller field of view. A large field of view is especially desirable in situations involving motion, such as birds in flight or when you are on a boat or in a car. 

Updated 10/23/13