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Terrible Opticron 8x50...

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Old Sunday 28th April 2019, 22:57   #1
tenex
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Terrible Opticron 8x50...

I was at our (new!) local birding store recently trying on a Rick Young harness. Since I didn't have my large bino along (SLC 56) and 50mm is the largest they carry, I asked for one to try it out with, and they handed me an Opticron 8x50 (looks like "Discovery"). Not the best match, as it's quite lightweight. I haven't used a harness before and wasn't an instant convert, although I think this one is clever and comfortable.

The Opticron was a real piece of junk! And I'm not talking about missing some alpha je-ne-sais-quois. Even after fiddling with the diopter it was incredibly effortful, even painful, to view with. The image didn't seem obviously misaligned, so I'm not sure what the problem could have been, but I can't imagine who would accept this. Is it nonexistent quality control, buyer beware, or is this just a terrible model?
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Old Monday 29th April 2019, 00:29   #2
ceasar
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Hi Tenex,

You need to be a little more specific.

I have owned an Opticron 7x42 WP PC DISCOVERY since Opticron introduced them. It is a well designed small, ruggedly built 7x 42 binocular with a 7.8 FOV and 25mm ER.

Mine had a hard to move diopter when I first got it which Opticron fixed for me at no charge. Other than that nothing is wrong with it.

I find it to be a very good binocular. It's no Swarovki SLC but it only costs $285.00.

There are 6 models including the 8x50 mentioned above. https://www.opticronusa.com/Pages/discovery_wp.html

Bob

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Old Monday 29th April 2019, 10:12   #3
Cluster
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In many of the places that I visit, some dealers and particularly shops in reserves have a range of bins to try out unaided by staff, often tethered by a cable. I suspect that these are treated roughly (maybe even deliberately) by those trying them. Some of them get damaged and tend to stay on display in the busiest places.
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Old Tuesday 30th April 2019, 03:59   #4
tenex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
You need to be a little more specific.
How? I think we know what the word "effortful" means. If a doubtful analogy would help, a bit like trying to focus on something that's too close. I didn't spend more time comparing each tube separately (which would have been useful) or studying other aspects of the view; I handed it back. I have little experience with damaged or poor quality binos, and am curious what would cause this. They're not going to sell any of these with this as a display model.

Last edited by tenex : Tuesday 30th April 2019 at 04:02.
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Old Tuesday 30th April 2019, 04:45   #5
ceasar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenex View Post
How? I think we know what the word "effortful" means. If a doubtful analogy would help, a bit like trying to focus on something that's too close. I didn't spend more time comparing each tube separately (which would have been useful) or studying other aspects of the view; I handed it back. I have little experience with damaged or poor quality binos, and am curious what would cause this. They're not going to sell any of these with this as a display model.

Sorry, I should have been a little more specific in my first sentence.

I thought your comments about the quality control and construction of this particular brand of economy priced binoculars after your experience with one sample in a store merited a 2nd opinion. And I thought commenting about my experience with one was a fair response. I should note that I purchased mine sight unseen through a dealer on the internet.

Bob
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Old Tuesday 30th April 2019, 09:17   #6
pete_gamby
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I made contact with the store in question and whilst we can't account for the lack of quality you saw in the sample, it was unfortunate that you visited whilst the owner, and optics expert, Chip Clouse was on vacation.

He told me that the sample in store is getting old but he didn't think there was any issue with image quality - he will check on his return. He also mentioned that had he been there he'd have offered up a Kowa 8.5x44 as a slightly more reasonable comparison both size/weight wise and also in terms of optical quality versus your SLC.

The Discovery line is one of our best sellers in all markets we sell into due to the price/performance ratio (as mentioned by caesar). We are confident enough in the quality of production from the sub-contractor that makes this line that we only check a small selection from each batch made here in the UK before shipping to dealers and distributors.

As suggested, this particular sample is old and has a lot of air miles as Chip has used it at many, many festivals over the years. It may have picked up a knock during or after it's latest trip without his knowledge.

Apologies you've been disappointed by your experience - it certainly isn't the norm for the thousands of customers we have for this product line. As one example of the quality and durability of the model in question, we supplied over 100 units for use by guests in rooms at the prestigious Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard building in London.

Best regards, Pete
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Old Tuesday 30th April 2019, 11:57   #7
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Tenex,

I have to admit that I did a bit of a double take when I saw your post as I knew when you said "8x50" in the title then you had to be referring to the Discovery.

The double take was because I have now found myself often using the 8x50 Discovery as my Opticron model for birding. I usually flip back and forth between that and the 8x42 Natura ED for different reasons.

With the Discovery I enjoy the extremely large exit pupil and the bright image. It does suffer from some color fringing and the field of view isn't as wide as many 8x42 and 8x32 offerings but the picture-window type view makes the experience very enjoyable to me for certain types of conditions.

So, based on my experiences with that configuration of that model, my guess would be that you handled a poor unit..not necessarily because of alignment...but maybe because it just was at the bottom end of the acceptable range in terms of quality control.

Just my two cents.
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Old Tuesday 30th April 2019, 17:25   #8
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You probably just looked through a rare bad one. Opticron seem to have rigorous QC.

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Old Friday 3rd May 2019, 21:38   #9
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Well, it seems once again that any sort of complaint is a bad idea on this forum. I stand reassured that other samples of this model have been found by some to perform decently, which leaves me with only two questions:

What problem with this unit would cause the impression I had in use? That's actually what I'd most like to know, for reference. Something to do with alignment of internal elements? (Incidentally I also have to wonder how easily such damage can occur in this model, but of course that gets back to the vexed issue of quality, doesn't it.)
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Old Saturday 4th May 2019, 02:07   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenex View Post
Well, it seems once again that any sort of complaint is a bad idea on this forum. I stand reassured that other samples of this model have been found by some to perform decently, which leaves me with only two questions:

What problem with this unit would cause the impression I had in use? That's actually what I'd most like to know, for reference. Something to do with alignment of internal elements? (Incidentally I also have to wonder how easily such damage can occur in this model, but of course that gets back to the vexed issue of quality, doesn't it.)
Tenex:

I suppose you are just used to higher quality binoculars. It seems this
model 8x50, is discounted more than the other Discovery models, selling for around $150 on Amazon.
The others in the model are priced much higher, maybe it is on the way out.

Maybe Pete could respond, he did earlier.

Quality does vary in optics in this price range, most on here know that.

Jerry
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Old Saturday 4th May 2019, 05:52   #11
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I actually think the 8x50 is the best in the Discovery line up.
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Old Saturday 4th May 2019, 15:49   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenex View Post
Well, it seems once again that any sort of complaint is a bad idea on this forum. I stand reassured that other samples of this model have been found by some to perform decently, which leaves me with only two questions:

What problem with this unit would cause the impression I had in use? That's actually what I'd most like to know, for reference. Something to do with alignment of internal elements? (Incidentally I also have to wonder how easily such damage can occur in this model, but of course that gets back to the vexed issue of quality, doesn't it.)
There may have been more than one problem that meant you could bring the bin into focus. Mis-alignment from being dropped on the counter, a smudged eye piece, a stiff or damaged diopter, etc. No way to tell at this point. I've tried demo bins that had obvious problems. The solution was to ask for a new sample in the box.
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Old Monday 6th May 2019, 12:10   #13
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Originally Posted by NDhunter View Post
It seems this
model 8x50, is discounted more than the other Discovery models, selling for around $150 on Amazon.
The others in the model are priced much higher, maybe it is on the way out.
No plans to remove it from the range.

Amazon has a tendency to heavily discount a product when its inventory goes over a certain age (about 90 days) - this model sells in lower quantities than the others in the range but Amazon wants always to be "in stock" regardless of how slowly that inventory will move. Once the deep discount (in this and in most cases losing them money) moves the item out, they re-order another to sit on for three months...

HTH

Pete
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