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Opticron Discovery WP 10x42 & Hawke Sapphire ED 10x42

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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 13:12   #1
Bob L
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Opticron Discovery WP 10x42 & Hawke Sapphire ED 10x42

Think I am in the wrong area. Can anybody inform me how to move this post to a binocular forum.

Hi, I am new to the forum. I am an ex-mil optronics engineer. I am stating that so you are aware that my comments below are based on some experience of optical equipment.

I joined this forum after being severely disappointed on receipt of the Hawke Sapphire Binos from Amazon and wanted to share my experience of 'so called' mid-level bins. Also, to assist anybody in the market for binos not to make the same mistake I made.

I have the Opticron binos (169) recently bought from Amazon, which I later decided to give to my daughter and 'upgrade' to the Hawke binos.

On checking the Hawkes (410) I found:

1. When fully down, the right ocular relief barrel fouled the diopter ring, such that the ring was very difficult/impossible to rotate.
2. When slightly rotating the barrel it moved the ring, such that the focus setting was altered.
3. Slight backlash and loose movement (at this price) of the centre focus mechanism.
4. When comparing the much cheaper Opticron binos, I could not perceive any immediate and obvious improvement from the Hawke image. Colour, Brightness and Resolution appeared the same. Tested over 30 mins comparative viewing near (up to 400m) and distant (3-7km), where I live in Gozo, Malta.
No resolution chart, but if I needed a chart to see a difference then the cheaper option would win anyway.
5. Night viewing at lit areas up to 400m showed that, both binos had the same image quality, except radiant light around the source was slightly reduced by the cheaper Opticron binos.

I do not have the option of testing various 'decent' binos here in Gozo, Malta. So I researched the web (so called experts and forums) for hours. Taken in by the hype and marketing, shame on me.

I realise my test for two binos is not the 'be all and end all'. However, when a 169 pair are optically the same and better in build quality than the Hawke (410), then something is amiss.

I am not suggesting that the Opticron are the only binos to choose. It is all I had for comparison, luckily. Without the comparison I would not have noticed the optical performance for the price. However, the build quality would have been noted by me.

This is my advice to prospective purchasers, 'not familiar' with binos, who want value for money and not just the most expensive:

1. Research and get advice. Then draw up a shortlist, with prices up to your top budget.
2. If possible, take somebody with you, to a reputable shop, who knows what to look for.
3. Start at your top budget and work down, comparing the binos images outside the shop at near and far views, for Colour, Brightness and, more importantly, Resolution (Details). Compare the top price binos against the next cheaper one. If you see no immediate and obvious differences, go to the next cheaper one down and continue this until you reach the binos which give you a 'worse' image than the previous one. At that point the previous one is the best for 'your eyes' out of all the binos tested. You might not go very far down the order, but the further you go, the more money you save.
4. Always buy purged binos e.g. nitrogen. This should stop any internal fogging of the optics and save you even more money in the long run, by not having your binos optical performance gradually diminish and then having the binos stripped for cleaning.

Depending on your intended use, poor weather, heavy handling etc, build quality will enter into it. However, if you just want good quality general viewing binos and will take care of them, do not spend more just because the salesman says 'they can be thrown in the water or dropped from 'x' height without damage'.

I would like to ask the forum a question, bearing in mind I am not interested in replies about coatings, glass quality, light transmission percentages etc. I know that type of info. It clearly does not stack up from my experience with the Hawke binos, which had dielectric coatings and ED glass over the Opticron, as well as phase coated Bak4 prisms and FMC lenses same as the Opticron. Look how that turned out.

I would like, if possible, for somebody to advise me of a bino or selection of binos, which would show an 'immediate and obvious' improvement in image Resolution (especially) Colour and Brightness (dull day) over e.g. a 169 Opticron. I am aware that on a 'very bright' day, 2000 binos and much cheaper ones can seem the same for brightness.

My budget is open. However, for my 'general viewing' use, probably up to 600 would not be over the top. If more needed to see this marked improvement then please inform me. Based on your recommendations and, according to their price and value for money, I might make a purchase.

Look forward to the forum's advice and comments.

Regards,
Bob

Last edited by Bob L : Wednesday 21st March 2018 at 17:51. Reason: Think i am in the wrong forum for my post, do not know how to my post to binocular area.
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 20:02   #2
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Bob,

Welcome to the forum.

If you spend any time on the forum you will quickly realise that contributors differ widely in their ability to distinguish specific binocular characteristics. Leaving aside the mechanical variables, like you found on the Hawkes, I've heard many individuals admit that they cannot tell one binocular from another from the view alone. Those in trade tell me most choose a model primarily on ergonomics, not the quality of view, but brand and/or price are often the other deciding factors

While you might not be able to see the difference between the Opticron and Hawke be assured that others can. Did you ask your daughter? Age and gender if nothing else may well give her an advantage.

I would suggest there is a fairly big step in optical quality between the Discovery and the Sapphire ED, and it sounds like further improvements on the optical front are probably not what you are looking for, but build quality might be high on your agenda. Models Like the Opticron Natura ED, Countryman HD+, Imagic VHD and DBA VHD are made in Japan and should have fewer QC issues and better logevity than the Hawkes. What other brands are available where you are?

David
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 20:08   #3
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Bob

If you can try binos out before you buy I would recommend you audition Meopta MeoStar B1, Zeiss Conquest HD and Kowa Genesis. IMHO you will find that one of these will 'speak to you' and all of them should comfortably out perform your Opticron Discovery.

Good luck.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 21:23   #4
Bob L
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Bob

If you can try binos out before you buy I would recommend you audition Meopta MeoStar B1, Zeiss Conquest HD and Kowa Genesis. IMHO you will find that one of these will 'speak to you' and all of them should comfortably out perform your Opticron Discovery.

Good luck.

Lee
Thank you lee. Much appreciated.

Regards,
Bob
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 21:46   #5
Bob L
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I have replied to David privately. However, I will state here that I do not base my comparative test on 'suggestions' or what the trade tell me. Please, what the trade tell you is what they want you to hear. As for people not choosing binos for the view. BINOS ARE SOLD FOR THEIR VIEW.

As for gender differences in checking image quality, have you actually read back what you wrote. I have worked alongside and managed female and male optical out inspectors and have never encountered that.

Might be better if you did not assume, suggest or listen to the trade, so much. But rather actually write from experience. Mine was approx 20 years of optronics. Yes, there are differences in better coatings, ED glass etc. The point is whether the purchaser can tell the difference.

Also, I am interested in value for money, not necessarily build quality over optical quality or vice versa. I thought my post was clear enough to show that.

The whole point of my post was for people who are unfamiliar with binoculars and who want them for general viewing at the best value for money. Although, my advice as to how to choose those binos works equally well for those who cannot see much difference, as for those 'experts' who can.

Regards,
Bob
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 22:07   #6
typo
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Bob,

I have not received anything from you. Can you switch on your personal messaging?

David
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2018, 23:06   #7
typo
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Bob,

I thought you might have realised that roughly 50% of men are genetically disadvantaged on colour discrimination compared to women?

Still no message.

David
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Old Thursday 22nd March 2018, 07:17   #8
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Thank you lee. Much appreciated.

Regards,
Bob
Binoculars that are up to 4x more expensive than the Discovery, see list above, could very well out perform the Discovery
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Old Thursday 22nd March 2018, 08:43   #9
Bob L
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David,

The email I thought I had sent to you privately was the reply from my email address to the first birdforum email from you. As you know, I am new so that email is probably in the ether. It is just as well you did not read it. I thought it was going on the forum and when I did not see it I assumed it had been sent directly to you. Anyway......

Whether 50% etc etc . has 'no bearing' on my original post or my first reply to you. It does not stop anybody perceiving collimation or focus problems. It does not stop anybody 'with colour blindness' from assessing the image quality of one binocular to another 'for that person's eyes'. Again, read my original post. Advice for people unfamiliar with binos and who want value for money. Not a potentially colour blind person assessing for somebody who is not colour blind. Clutch and straws come to mind. Again.

One of the reasons I have, until recently, not joined forums, is because of replies like yours. Also, because of reading so many replies to people (from people like you) who are attempting to assist others, but instead get caught up in replies based on 'assumed' knowledge and on what the 'trade' tell them. The thread gets moved further and further away from the original question. As in this case and I have fell in as well. Shame on me.

I am not going to continue on this forum. Lee gave me the answer to my question and did not feel the need to express any assumptions, or 'guess' what I really meant by my first post. He did not need to, it was clear enough.
David, you might learn something from that. You just keep digging deeper and deeper.

Bob
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Old Thursday 22nd March 2018, 09:02   #10
Bob L
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Chris,

I am leaving this forum as stated in my last reply to David. However, although not exactly a scientific method, it is strange that, when Lee posted those bino brands and models, there was not one in price anywhere near the Vortex Viper HD/Nikon Monarch 5 or 7/ZeissTerra etc, which are very approx 350-600. Bearing in mind the cost of the Discovery, I can believe it when I read about people on the web, who state their binos are as good image quality wise with binos costing 2-3 times as much. Nikon 5/7 owners come to mind (but not exclusively). However, have they even tried even cheaper 'good quality' binos to really compare with the Nikons?

I will say again people, just try your chosen binos using the method I posted and get value for money. Whether you end up with a cheaper or more expensive pair, is up to you. But at least you will definitely know, instead of 'assumed' knowledge, what the trade tell you, or biased opinions from some online reveiwers with affiliations to brands.

Trust your own eyes!

Kind Regards all,
Bob
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Old Thursday 22nd March 2018, 09:18   #11
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Bob,

I've used two email accounts and both have decided to block Birdforum elais after a short period of time. The Personal Message option is far more effective and, anonymous, and may have avoided this nastiness.

I did study what you wote and felt it was necessary to respond to:
"4. When comparing the much cheaper Opticron binos, I could not perceive any immediate and obvious improvement from the Hawke image. Colour, Brightness and Resolution appeared the same. Tested over 30 mins comparative viewing near (up to 400m) and distant (3-7km), where I live in Gozo, Malta.
No resolution chart, but if I needed a chart to see a difference then the cheaper option would win anyway."
It speaks volumes. I won't comment further other than to point out I am no spokesperson for the industry, as most here would testify.

I wiish you well.

David

Last edited by typo : Thursday 22nd March 2018 at 10:38.
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Old Thursday 22nd March 2018, 10:22   #12
Bob L
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David,

MY NAME IS BOB, NOT BILL. It is shown on the left side of my posts.

I am now off to unsubscribe. Bye, Bye.
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Old Thursday 22nd March 2018, 10:34   #13
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David,

MY NAME IS BOB, NOT BILL.
Apologies! It's been corrected.

Just in case anyone was wondering I never sent Bob an email. #9

Last edited by typo : Thursday 22nd March 2018 at 10:36.
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Old Friday 30th March 2018, 05:35   #14
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David,

MY NAME IS BOB, NOT BILL. It is shown on the left side of my posts.

I am now off to unsubscribe. Bye, Bye.
Good lord, a real bundle of happiness you are.
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Old Friday 30th March 2018, 07:40   #15
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Apologies! It's been corrected.

Just in case anyone was wondering I never sent Bob an email. #9

David

Just returned to this thread after attending to a heap of other matters and I can't see what got Bob so stoked up about your post. It is normally a matter of regret when a member leaves Bird Forum, not so much this time.

Lee
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Old Friday 30th March 2018, 08:00   #16
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Lee,

That may be premature. He's been loitering on the forum quite a lot since then.

David
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Old Friday 30th March 2018, 09:01   #17
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Lee,

That may be premature. He's been loitering on the forum quite a lot since then.

David
Yes. Keeping an eye open.

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