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Old 05-02-12, 07:51 PM
Dave H's Avatar
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Default BL 10x42 BR

I bought a pair of these recently, they were used but arrived completely as new.

This is the model just before the new one that has the open bridge. This will bring down the price of the older model, so some good discount might be had.

I compare these to my Nikon Monarch 8x42. This may seem like a non-comparison, but knowing what my benchmark is will give better meaning to my comments.

The BL10x42BR is smaller and even lighter than the Monarchs, they were small enough to make me hold them in a slightly different way in order to get my fingers round them. The soft rubber armour provides a good non-slip hold on them.

The feel of the focus control is good, nice speed and smooth to operate whilst being nicely damped, pretty much the same as the Monarch.

I don't wear glasses so cannot comment on how these would work for wearers, I have the eyecups in the extended position where they stay, well locked in place.

The view was a bit of a surprise initially, and again nearly every time I used them after the Nikons. The image is bright and has a little more contrast than the Monarch and the field of view is very nearly as wide as the 8x Monarchs, giving a wider apparent field of view.
The image is sharp in the centre although more care is needed to focus spot-on, this is one of the downsides to higher mag bins.
At first viewing they are quite nice, giving me the idea that they could replace the monarch 8x in my normal use. Unfortunately the sweet spot is small, the critical sharpness of focus lost only slightly off centre. CA is present in high contrast scenes and gets progessively worse toward the edge. This is not unlike the Monarch but more apparent than would be down to a simple increase in magnification. A view of my neighbours white guttering appearing to have bright neon strips above and below when near the edge of the field.

My observations were not made whilst birding, where perhaps these faults could be less intrusive. Accepting the need to take more care in focussing them, they are a useful addition to my 8x bins. These were a bargain buy and as such I am really pleased with them.

I found that bins with 10x mag are useful for some applications. If these had a sweet spot as large as the Monarch 8x42 (which itself isn't any great performer in this respect) they would be very good indeed (and probably cost much more).

Edit: Used a few times more in the field, mainly on woodland walks. It's surprising how little the small sweetspot is a problem in actual use. This was my only real criticism of these bins. Each time I try them or compare them to my Opticron 10x42 TGA poros and my Monarch 8x42, they have a little wow-factor, can't be a bad thing.

Dave...

Last edited by Dave H; 25-02-12 at 04:34 PM. Reason: update.
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