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opticron "imagic" BGA SE 8x42's first impressions

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#1 mark22c

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 03:12 PM

picked these up today and WOW!!! best £360 i've ever spent and well worth saving/waiting for.
i had a look at a pair of these before xmas and was really impressed but they were too expensive... trouble is no other bins i've looked at since quite measure up to them.
to start with they have a satisfying wide 7 degree FOV and an incredibaly sharp image allmost to the edge of fov they really suprised me with their low light performance, i really didnt think these would be as good as my 10x50 bressers at night ie narrow fov and dimmer images but they're infact better! i am so pleased with these and cant wait till the next clear night, stars i can see now through the clouds are perfect pin points across 90% of fov and still reasonably good the last 10% i never though roofs were this good... and so compact!
they came with lens caps(front and rear) that looked cheap but fit well as well as a rain guard, the carry strap supplied is wide and of good quality as is the soft real leather bag which has a neat magnetic catch that works well.
getting back to the bins the lens coatings are very good i can hardly see my face in them out side and they have a beautifull purplish tint on the objectives and an allmost golden orange purple and green tint to the ep's, i can see no internal reflections/ghosting or glare off street lights at night.
focusing requires only 360 degrees rotation from close (2metres) to infinity but still feels precise, twist up eye cups are a pleasure to use and are very smooth and lock in the up, mid and down position positivly.
i'll try and give a better "first light" next time the skies are clear with them allthough there mainly for day use/birding i will definatly be using them for hand held astronomy... oh and their japanese made

#2 mark22c

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 09:28 AM

first off let me appolagise for the frantic over exited ramblings in the above post that gave no real insight into how these perform but after getting these i was just so impressed, they are stunning bins for the price.
i still havnt really had a good chance to test them fully so i'll hold back a bit until i have but... first impressions of these bins in the shop was very good, infact after waiting over 2 months to get a pair i'de forgotten just how good they were. any how heres a few pics if you've never heard of opticron their 8x42's PGK glass prisms with phase correction coatings, fully multi coated, nitrogen gas filled and water proof to 3 metres, close focus of 2 metres, stated FOV of 7 degree's, magnesium bodied and japanese made

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#3 mark22c

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 09:30 AM

here's another view showing the objective coatings, its really hard to see any detail in the face when looking into them in any conditions

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#4 mark22c

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 09:36 AM

the case they come with is quite good quality and made from real leather and as said before the magnetic catch is good, strap is a 1 inch wide neoprene type and is again very good, the eye cups supplied are push over fit and are included for eyepeices and objectives plus a rain guard is supplied, a good qualiy large micro fibre cleaning cloth is also supplied in a handy wallet and they come with a 30 year warranty

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#5 JimB

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 09:53 AM

Congrats on your new Opticron's ... I've just bought a pair of Opticron 10x50 SR-GA models and looking forward to some proper first light but was extremely impressed in the store looking out at trees etc.

The build quality and optics on Opticron is quite something ... canny wait for the first clear night.

#6 mark22c

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 10:10 AM

i've been using a pair of hawke frontier 10x42 roofs that normally retail for about £180 UK pounds although they can be had new for less if you shop around they also are stated as being fully multi coated and phase corrected but are not as sharp and internal reflections are annoying when viewing bright objects at night, when holding them side to side with the opticrons its obvious the coatings are not as good on the hawks as i can see detail in my reflection i just cant see in the opticrons, the whole colour of the coatings is different on the cheaper hawks its a pinky green and the opticrons has a much darker purple orange hue with just a hint of green the image is much sharper further out into the FOV in the opticrons as well but then their twice the price, but worth it IMO. every thing feels better on the op's, focus is much easier as the hawks require about four complete revolutions of the wheel from close (2.5 metres) to infinity were the ops only nead one revolution. i did get a glimps of the stars yesterday through the clouds and i havnt seen stars so sharp in any other bin i've used, even bright ones are pin pricks of light and even if you look for fall off in sharpness at the edge you dont really notice it as its only the last 5-10% that it starts to fall and its not bad. colour correction seems to be very good. i did compare these to a pair of swarovski EL 8.5 42 roofs back to back and opticaly as far as i could tell they were a least 99% as good infact while looking through them in the shop i forgot which ones i was looking through a few times there that close. obviously swarovskis have better build quality, coatings ect but then they cost £960 so i'de exspect perfection but the op's i have are more than good enough for me and far far better than any other i've seen in the same or lower price range. great for birding and more than adiquate for hand held astronomy

#7 mark22c

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 10:23 AM

hi jim
your right about build quality being good, the opticrons are japanese built, i just dont think chinese stuff can match them
all the chinese made stuff i've seen seem to have the same green/pink multi coatings that seems to show a lot of reflection internal and external. the opticrons seem a lot better and more in keeping with swarovski, ziess ect and have a much richer and differant colour to them.
i havent had chance to take them out of the house yet as i only picked them up yesterday and have been a little busy, plus its cloudy/overcast and drizzling here at the moment

#8 mark22c

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 10:59 AM

you can see the differance in the multi coatings here. what isnt evident though is the amount of detail you can see in your reflection on these compared to the opticrons.

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#9 mark22c

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 12:44 PM

spent a few hours with these today on and off, still havent had a chance to take them out and the skies are still cloudy so settled for the view out the upstairs back window watching birds in the trees and looking out over the hills. im still amazed at the apparent FOV with these their stated as having 7 degrees fov and checking them out next to my meade/bresser wide angle 10x50's give the same wide open view (space walk)and dont feel the least bit restrictive ie looking down a straw. edge performance is very good in day light you dont notice any blurring as is depth of focus, there is a little distortion when panning ie vertical objects like telegraph poles appear to bow out a little towards the edge of fov but its not bad and i can only just detect some colour fringing in the outer portion of fov but you have to really look for it to notice. so far so good, i just cant find anything bad yet about them to report.

#10 mark22c

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 02:30 PM

just tested them under stars and they are very good, the afov is really good giving a pleasing wide angle feel at 8x i can just fit the two top stars of orion in the fov, stars are sharp out to about the last 5% of fov and still reasonably sharp even then. comparing them to the (lidl store) meade bresser porro 10x50(42's) that are popular here in the UK with astronomers for there wide angle and sharp centre fov they are every bit as bright(possibly slightly brighter) and noticably sharper, in short there wide angle, very sharp across allmost the whole FOV and fantastic for hand held astronomy and birding.
now im a fussy person when it comes to binoculars and have rejected loads of other bins and regretted buying some other bins, but these are keepers, if you can strech to a budget of £360 there worth waiting/saving for

#11 Mark9473

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 03:18 PM

i can just fit the two top stars of orion in the fov

If you mean alpha (Betelgeuse) and gamma (Bellatrix), their angular distance is 7°32'.

#12 mark22c

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 03:44 PM

that sounds right, there stated as having a 7 degree fov or 122m at a 1000m. these are the MOST expensive bins i've ever bought but i figured their also going to get the most use of any bin i'm likely to own, but uncaracteristically (for me) i had no problems handing the cash over for them in the shop and have no regrets about the purchase, they are IMO supperb binoculars for the price.
i dont know if they are available or even really heard of outside the UK and i havnt spoken to anyone else who has a pair yet which is suprising?

#13 Mark9473

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 03:59 PM

Well I've never heard of any binocular giving a half degree more TFOV than spec, but all the better for you!

#14 mark22c

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 04:17 PM

i could well be error on my part as i cant rule out moving slightly when looking at either star giving the imprision there both in the fov at the same time, ide guess that one lies just out side the fov but its close as just as one pops out of fov the other pops in so 7 degree is probably spot on

#15 sftonkin

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:14 AM

they are every bit as bright(possibly slightly brighter)


This is not surprising, given that the Bresser is internally baffled to what is effectively about 40mm aperture.

i havnt spoken to anyone else who has a pair yet



I have the 10x42 BGA (were listed somewhat pricier than the Imagics, but I managed to get them cheaper). Really very good indeed.

#16 mark22c

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 04:39 AM

hi steve
yep, well aware of the bressers true aperture of 42mm as measured with a loupe, i tested the opticrons and found they have a true aperture of 42mm, i'll allso check eye relief and exit pupil size when i have some spare time. i guess 8x verses 10x isnt fair but then im comparing a roof with a porro, the opticrons definately show more detail when viewing in dark shadow which goes to show what a differance good coatings and quality optics can make. i could make out and read with ease a no smoking sign on a church hall door with the opticrons that i couldnt really make out let alone read with the bressers back to back and DSO's apear the same size as when viewed with the 10x power bins

#17 mark22c

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 09:59 AM

eye relief is stated as 22mm i checked this and it is correct, measuring from top of twisted down eyecups, exit pupil was measured at 5.2+mm approx with a micrometer and scotch tape, stated fov of 7 degrees seems to be correct as established above earlier.






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