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Opticron BGA PC.AG N 10 x 42 : First Impressions

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#1 sftonkin

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 04:23 PM

Kenny,

Thanks for the invitation to sound off! :-)

I bought them primarily because I was after something relatively light that I could use on rambles and, secondarily, under the stars. I got that particular model because (a) it had all the features I wanted and (b) because Warehouse Express were (possibly still are) doing a very attractive special offer on them. (The silver coating on the prisms has, this year been superseded.) Until I found that offer, I was going to get the Imagics. These are very prelim and initial opinions; I'll maybe do a full review when I've had an opportunity to test them to their limits:

* A darned well-made binocular. Comes with a wide neoprene strap and a rainguard. The rainguard is great under the stars, because it is like ever-ready eyepiece cover, so protects them from falling beard-druff, mis-slurped drinks and dew-inducing clear skies.

* Remarkably comfortable to hold. Click-stop R e/p dioptre setting is thumb-nailable whilst holding. Click-stop is great because it means I can reset for my lad, then reset back for me in the dark. Also comfortable around neck -- I keep forgetting that I'm wearing them!

* Optically excellent. Snaps to a very distinct focus. Some pincushion distortion, but images remain pin-sharp until the outer half-a-degree of the 5 deg FOV.

* The sky only cleared up here this week (after 2 weeks of continuous MVN, except for one night when I had other commitments), so I've only had them out at night with a Moon. Still, had C/2002/T7 with them a few nights back.

* They aren't 10x50s (my favourite general-purpose astro-bin), but they are very contrasty and I will soon do a side-by-side with some common 10x50s. I expect them to nearly hold their own, due to the quaity of the optics as opposed to sheer aperture.

* The one negative so far is the twist-up eye-cups. They are perfect up for use without specs and perfect down for use with specs. The problem is that they don't stay up! It's becoming an inbuilt habit to automagically twist them up before returning them to unspectacled eyes.

#2 KennyJ

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 05:15 PM

Stephen,

Thanks for that "off the cuff" preliminary review, which I KNOW , and records will prove, you must have rushed out in
literally TWO MINUTES FLAT !!

Your comments about the twist-up eyecups made me smile for more reasons than one.

I'm not sure about this , but I don't think I've ever communicated with ANYBODY in any way , shape or form who dislikes twist-up eyecups as much as I do.

Until I started having to wear eyeglasses last summer , the whole issue of eyecups went over my head , apart from the fact that I much prefer WINGED eyecups to block out extraneous light , and when it is "dewy" I prefer to have them "down" as close to the ocular as possible to allow a free flow of air to minimise condensation and fogging -up.

The main thing that "bugs" me about twist -up eyecups is the "harsh" materials every one I've tried using are made of.

I actually PREFER rubber eyecups :-) -- yes the same ones that many people --including the rather elusive S.I at BVD seem to unconditionally ABHOR :-)

For me , a 5 degree TFOV is an absolute minimum acceptable for a 10x bino , and for a 10 x 42 particularly so.

One would normally expect a wider TFOV with a smaller -objective binocular within these parameters.

From this ,I can only presume that with this model Opticron are "doing a Pentax" and going for the market of those who prefer "pin -sharp" and "flat -field" over a "wide -field", which usually makes for an outstanding astro-bino.

Thanks again for your "preliminary" Stephen.

I sincerely hope you stick around on this forum long enough to give us at least some benefit of your vast experience.

Regards -- Kenny.





#3 sftonkin

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 05:53 PM

I agree about the TFOV fro astro bins, but these are intended as birding, not astro, bins. As the former, they are superb!

I do like the twist eyecups. I'm afraid I'm one of those who loathes rubber ones.

Oh, and I don't type that fast -- I started replying in the Miyauchi thread, then realised it was probably better on its own. :-)


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