[Note, this review is for the 8x42 model of these binoculars].
When looking for a good pair of birdwatching binoculars, you can do a lot worse than look to Opticron. They won't break the bank to the degree of some of the top brands such as Nikon, Ziess and Swarovski, but provide great, mid-price bins that will do for most circumstances.
These binoculars are a marvel for the price, giving a clear, crisp image through good quality glass, and perform reasonably well even in low light. I wear glasses, and the twist-down eyecups work brilliantly, with long eye relief providing a great viewing experience without ever being tempted to remove my specs.
These are nitrogen-filled, meaning they're supposedly waterproof up to 3m. While I have yet to experiment with dunking them into water, it's great to not have to worry about getting them caught in a downpour, and to be be able to give them a good wash should they get dirty.
The binoculars also have a very good close focus of under 3m, meaning they're great for getting better views of such animals as dragonflies and butterflies.
The focus wheel took a bit of getting used to, as it's slightly on the stiff side, but now feels like second nature. The weight of 682g is fairly light and usually barely noticeable, although after a long day they do occasionally cause a bit of a pull on the neck, but this is unavoidable with binoculars of this size. The rubber coating gives a good, natural grip as you use the binoculars.
While you will undoubtedly get a better view through more expensive binoculars, these are fantastic for <£400. I've had mine for nearly two years now and never regretted it. If you're tempted to by a top pair of a Swarovskis or similar, at least try out a pair of Opticron BGA SEs first, to see if the top end bins are really worth the £500+ price difference!
Opticron Imagic BGA SE 10x42; Are they worth buying?
Having a bit of an interest in astronomy, and wildlife watching -I'm always on the look out for good optics -and you can't beat a good set of binoculars.
I was lucky enough to try a pair of these binoculars out in Jessops not so long back, and I was very impressed.
Granted, I was only looking out of the shop window and across the street with them, but even then the clarity was astonishing -putting my own puny set of 8x30's to shame.
The Opticron Imagic BGA SE are 10x42's, which means they magnify 10 times, and the objective (light gathering) lens is 42mm
These figures aren't the whole story though -it's all about how clear and crisp the image is (for e.g. you can buy binoculars with much higher magnification etc, that on paper might look far more impressive than the Opticron Imagic BGA SE ,but the image quality is let down by poor optics).
Although I was incredibly impressed by the image quality, I didn't buy the binoculars, simply because I couldn't justify spending that much money, when my own binoculars (while not being in the same class) were adequate for me...
So that's really the point; if you're the sort of person who uses fine optics for your hobby, then the Opticron Imagic BGA SE 10x42 could be just what you're looking for...
But if you're only an occasional user, then you'll probably be happy with a far, far cheaper set...
But if I win the lottery this week...lol!!