on 1 September 2014
I've been searching for an affordable compact binocular for some time now to complement my excellent praktica 10x42 roof prisms, but without much success. I've tried the sub £10 variety of roof prisms, but they provided mostly dull and disappointing views. A Barr and Stroud 10x25 came close, but it was pricey at £50 and not much smaller than their 10x32 model.
So on to the porro prism variety. A visionking 10x25 looked very impressive with nice big eyepieces, but I couldn't quite merge the left and right images into a complete circle that was comfortable for my eye separation. And then I spotted these - a nikon binocular for £30 delivered?! I had to take the punt.
Glad I did. The soon as I unboxed and removed them from their velcro pouch, removed the eyepiece caps and took my first view, I knew I was on to a winner. With hardly any adjustment I had a perfect circle with both eyes and didn't even have to adjust the right eyepiece diopter setting which was set at 0. Focusing is smooth with the central focusing knob and I was getting a nice, clear, sharp images at everything I pointed it at, and close to what I see in my 10x42s, although with a smaller field of view. According to the specs on the box, they use multi-coated optics and the superior Bak-4 glass for the prisms, which accounts for the quality views.
I would have preferred larger and more comfortable eyepieces, but they're still manageable for me, and it's really difficult to criticise at this price point when you get such nice views through them. The eyepiece caps are a nice touch, but ultimately unnecessary, so they'll be staying in the box.
Listen, if you want a decent compact binocular, don't bother with the sub £10 rubbish or the no-name mini porros. Spend the extra and get something like this that's worthwhile putting in your pocket for the light walks, day out to the music festival, airshow, horse race, beach, whatever. You won't regret it I promise you.