on 9 January 2011
I got these for my wife, who found my Barr & Stroud 10 x 42's (reviewed elsewhere)a little too big and heavy for her hand. The more compact size and lighter weight of the 32's suit her perfectly. As far as performance is concerned, we were both surprised to find that these little binoculars performed very well indeed and even on gloomy days they still provide a good clear image and not far off my 42's.
The BAK 4 prisms give a good sharp image with no obvious aberrations, the focussing is smooth and precise and the rugged waterproof and fogproof body means they perform just as well on a dreich Scots winter's day. Another nice touch is the tethered lens covers and eyepiece caps - many makers just can't get these right.
These binoculars will compete with much more expensive makes. At this price they are a bargain and would make a great first purchase for someone interested in birdwatching or watching wildlife without having to lug around a heavy pair of bins.
Whilst the maker is not the Barr & Stroud company of yesteryear, we are very satisfied with the quality of the item and would recommend these to anyone looking for a good quality piece of kit on a budget.
on 14 September 2013
Deliberated long and hard on these. I think most UK buyers of binocs are birdwatchers, and I've valued their reviews here, but I wanted a pair for hillwalking - but not the "pocket binoculars" of the 8 or 10x25 type, which I've always found fiddly and hopeless in poor light. I wanted something with bigger objectives, yet small enough to still fit into a jacket pocket. I also wanted a wide field of vision and a really bright crisp image, which narrowed it down to 8x32's with BAK-4 prisms. I also wanted good eye-relief for use with spectacles.
Mid-sized bins like still this tend to be too big and heavy for use as a casual accessory for hillwalking, and I wondered if I was asking the impossible but after going through all the alternatives at this pricepoint on Amazon, these Barr and Strouds stood out, being the most compact 8x32's I could find.
I ordered them late on Sunday evening, chose the free delivery option, and they arrived Tuesday - much quicker than the estimated delivery, so well done there. I've been using them all summer, and I'm really impressed. The mainly positive reviews here regarding quality, feel and performance are well justified. Maybe I've been used to old fashioned cheap lenses and prisms over the years, but I think the sharpness and the brightness of the images through these B+S is really something. The eye relief is also perfect for use without taking my specs off, and that's so much more convenient when you're out and about. As for size, yes, they're bigger than a pair of 8x25 compacts, but they will still fit in the normally generous sized pockets you get on a walking/casual jacket - no need to sling them round my neck or go fishing for them in my rucksack. Weight - not too bad - didn't really notice them in my pocket, and they're definiiely not so heavy or bulky I'd think twice before taking them out on the hill.
I was cautious at first because I know the Barr and Stroud we're talking about here is a recently resurrected "badge", and has only a tenuous link with the now sadly demised British optical company of the same name. Wikipedia tells me the current crop of B+S bins are made in China. That said, whoever makes them, build quality is good, and they're nicely designed. They fit the hand well, feel sturdy, and the moving parts have a smooth, firm action that's very reassuring. All the adjustments have a chunky feel too, so they're easily operated when wearing gloves - nothing fiddly about them at all. I also like the way the rain/dust caps remain attached, so you can easily pop them back over the lenses. Great for field work or a day out on the hill.
In order to balance this review I've tried to fault them, but I can't do it without sounding picky. The dioptre adjustment is quite stiff, but once I got it moving it settled in smoothly - and you don't want this drifting off all the time so maybe stiff is good anyway. The soft case is fairly basic, but does the job. We'll have to see how time and weather ages them, but first impressions: these bins seem very good indeed, a good quality feel, and a stunningly bright image even in low light. Well worth the money, whatever their lineage.
An easy five stars.
on 8 July 2010
I am new to bird-watching, and the Barr & Stroud 'Sahara' is the first pair of binoculars I have actually owned. Previously, I have had to rely on my husband passing over his (by which time the bird had usually flown!).
I chose them after doing some research on the internet, and am delighted with the quality. They are robust, relatively light, and comfortable to hold. The carrying case is good, although it does not resemble the one in the illustration.
My only reservation is that one of the lens covers is slightly loose, and inclined to drop off easily. However, that is a minor point, and overall, I am very happy with my purchase.
on 3 November 2010
I'm really happy with these binos, amazingly near focus, I was looking through them one day at a huge insect on a plant....NO! when I put the binos down I could barely make out the insect which was two yards away. Very clear and as I wear specs, these are brilliant, no need to take my specs off like I have with other binoculars.
on 25 March 2013
I have had these Barr and Stroud sahara 8x32 binoculars for a few days now and i am very surprised at how well they preform the image is bright and sharp even in poor light i had very nice views of a short eared owl throw them,i wanted a pair of binoculars in the middle size range so these 8x32 bins are exactly what i was after the construction is solid feels very robust not that i will make a habit of dropping them but its always nice to have that protection just in case as for handling there very well balanced and feel nice and comfortable in the hand the eye cups are comfortable against the eyes all in all these binoculars are very good for the price i am very happy with them.
on 10 August 2013
I bought these binoculars for a holiday in the Canadian Rockies and Alaska, hoping to see plenty of wildlife of course. We did see quite a few different species, and these bins helped pick out the more intricate detail in the animals. They were not quite as powerful as I expected but were fine for the reason I wanted to use them. They are nice and light too and one can keep looking through them for quite a while without getting sore arms. Very good for the price.
on 20 February 2014
Reviewed a lot of lightweight bins, these came out well. It was a choice between these and the Sierras in the end, and these suited my needs without paying a bit more. Nice and robust, I didn't want the tiny lightweight sort, I wanted to carry them in a back pack when skiing. Pleased with the size, very well made, took me a few minutes to adjust them but soon got the hang of it. Saw my first vulture in the Pyrenees with them last week! Very pleased with them. I think they will be with me for a very long time !