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Pro Optics 11 x 70 Binoculars

I've always maintained a keen observer needs a good pair of binoculars in the arsenal. For several years I've been making use of a reasonable pair of 10 x 50mm Nikon binos. They are sharp over most of the field and perform well although the edges suffer over the 6.5 degree field.

I took the plunge if thats a way to put it and purchased a pair of Pro Optic 11 x 70mm from Adorama Camera encouraged by the positive reports of these binoculars.

I've used Russian 20 x 60mm binos and Celestron and Pro Optic 20 x 80mm extensively in recent times. I wanted a pair of hand held giant binos and the Pro Optic binos seemed to fit the bill.

They arrived promptly in perfect condition. I immediately noticed they looked good and have very nice coatings on the objectives and the eyepieces. The eyepieces have rubber guards which should help fight off dew I felt this was a good feature although the objectives did'nt have any form of dew protection. I fashioned dewshield out of foam and felt which slide over the objectives.

The first impressions in daylight were very favourable good baffling was apparent a fault in the 20 x 80 mm Pro optics I have extensively used. The background around the field is lovely and dark so a field stop is usefully employed it seems. They are easily handholdable although I am 16 stone and not lacking in terms of strength. I feel a smaller person may struggle with the weight which is under 3 pounds.

The views are very good in the daytime although to be fair the full exit pupil is'nt being employed which may account for this. The exit pupil is derived by dividing the objective diameter by the magnification. In this case it gets to 6.4mm. In the daytime the pupil of the eye is'nt open this far whereas at night it should open further.

When I used the binoculars at night I found the edge sharpness to be excellant. The field is only 44 degrees but it is satisfactory in terms of sharpness right accross the field. This is'nt the case with 20 x 80mm binos I've tried.

I felt sharpness was resonable but not up with premiun binoculars and some chromatic aberation was present but it was not bothersome. I also found getting best focus difficult for some reason but once I got it I was greated to some wonderful views of the Southern milkyway. I had the 50mm binos with me also and felt they were a touch sharper but nowhere near as bright. I preferred the larger binos which were only slightly heavier than the Nikons. I also felt the focuser to be a bit stiff although some may see this as an advantage.

Eta Carinae was superb better than in 20 x 80mm binos in that the wider exit pupil allowed the brightness of the nebula to be more obvious Omega Centaurus began to show a mottled appearance and looked very nice. On the LMC the views were very nice also as were several starclusters.

In conclusion I wasn't disapointed these binos are outstanding value for money and I can't wait to use them more on the next bright comet than comes along. I highly recommend them as a value for money buy.


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