Most helpful critical review
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
If sand and grit get in them, get another pair.
on February 22, 2015
I suppose I am spoiled, as I am an optics guy and got to play with a friend's Monarch 5 10X42, which was much better in every way, but these little binocs are still useful for birding, wildlife viewing, etc. Falloff gets noticeable at about 10 percent from the edge of the lens, the prisms aren't the brightest but still nice, you can see crisp images through them with some quick adjustments, and they come with a little neckstrap and eyepiece and frontpiece covers. Images don't quite pop, but are still clearly rendered. Lenses seem to bring out the greens and blues quite well. The front lens covers hang down and don't detach, which is a nice addition, but the rear eye covers detach. The build quality is decent, but don't get me wrong--these are no 300 dollar binoculars and won't compare at all to them. My pair is a little stiff in the right hand focus ring on the back and slightly loose in the focusing wheel. The eyepieces at the rear extend with a twist, to shade your eyes a bit from surrounding light.
They are amazing in one way, and in a good way: they are inexpensive, which means that you can throw them in your bag or on the car seat next to you as you head out into parts unknown and have little fear of ruining an expensive piece of equipment. I've found myself taking them to view seals at the beach, leaving them on the dashboard while driving off road, and generally exposing them to the elements. After an especially bouncy cross-country ride after several months of having them I noticed that there was a slightly greater purple diffraction in the right lens, probably from all the shaking. Ruined? Nah. And if sand and grit get in them, get another pair.
General size rule for the 42 sized binoculars:
8X42: good for close-ups and birding when they are moving fast, say from tree to tree. Catch greater light.
10X42: best long range for hand-held, slightly less light. Good all-around viewing.
12X42: bench rest them for the greatest IQ gains, somewhat long distance, less light is caught. If Celestron made an Outland X 12X42 I'd probably buy it.
Have money to spare? Get some Nikons or Leupolds.