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FUJINON HC (Hyper-Clarity) new roof prism binos (1 Viewer)

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
. . . and one example is from Todd Vorenkamp of B&H Photo & Video at:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explor...quality-with-premium-hyper-clarity-binoculars

It does provides some interesting additional detail about the HC's features and handling (e.g. although the eyecups appear to be metal, they are rubber)

However, it does not go into a lot of detail about the optical performance, other than:
‘The view through both the 8x42 and 10x42 binoculars is fantastic — bright and clear. I couldn’t detect much in the way of color fringing or
a degradation in sharpness, even at the extreme edges of the view. These binoculars offer an exceptional viewing experience’


John
 

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Canip

Well-known member
The Fujinon 8x42 HC facing its 8x42 competition

Late last year, I had indicated that I would have a closer look at the new new Fujinon 8x42
HC (“Hyper-Clarity”) and compare it to a number of current 8x42 (upper) middle class
binoculars (I did not find it useful to include any of the more expensive premium class).

I chose eleven binoculars for comparison, many of which are in the same price range as the
Fujinon. Some are a bit more expensive and some are cheaper; all of them appear to be
widely available today.

This is the group of 8x42s included in the comparison:
1. Fujinon 8x42 HC
2. Kite Ibis ED
3. Leica Trinovid HD
4. Zeiss Conquest HD
5. GPO Passion HD
6. Nikon Monarch HG
7. Vortex Razor HD
8. Meopta MeoStar B1
9. Kite Lynx HD+
10.Bushnell Forge
11.Kowa BD II XD
12.Hawke Frontier ED X

This review will be posted in two parts:

A. Description of the Fujinon HC and select specifications for the entire comparator group
B. Side-by-side optics comparisons between the Fujinon HC and individual competitors

Due to the bad weather conditions here in the last few weeks, part B. is still in process and
will be posted as soon as it can be finished.

PART A.
The Fujinon 8x42 HC: First Impression and Comparison of Specifications


The attached table shows some specifications for all included binoculars.

The Fujinon HC (hereafter “HC”) comes as a well built, well finished, compact binocular with
a modern design. Pleasant haptics; excellent grip, dry or wet. The HC is shorter than all the
competitors included in this review, is neither front- nor back-heavy, well balanced, with the
focus wheel comfortable to operate with the index finger. Given the short build, the HC is
comparatively heavy:

Weight (with eyepiece covers and strap, see attached table)
1. Nikon Monarch HG 715 g
2. Kowa BD II XD 722 g
3. Vortex Razor HD 756 g
4. Kite Lynx HD+ 797 g
5. Leica Trinovid HD 812 g
6. Hawke Frontier ED X 815 g
7. Kite Ibis ED 819 g
8. Fujinon HC 865 g
9. Zeiss Conquest HD 866 g
10.Bushnell Forge 938 g
11.GPO Passion HD 942 g
12.Meopta MeoStar 1027g

The central hinge is easy to adjust with just the right amount of stiffness. The screw-type
eyecups are made of metal, with a ring of rubber at the top, and feel comfortable on the eye
sockets. Between the fully out and the fully in positions, there is only one intermediate
clickstop; it is well defined and keeps position, but more intermediate stops would have been
welcome to find the right position for various needs.
The focus mechanism, nice and smooth and precise to operate, initially presents a bit of a
surprise: it is very slow, less than half as fast as the focus in some of the comparator group.
Even “slow-focus” binoculars such as the Trinovid or the MeoStar operate at a much faster
focus speed:

Focus Speed (degrees rotation from 3m to infinity, see attached table)
1. Kowa BD II XD 200 deg
2. Hawke Frontier ED X 230 deg
3. Koite Ibis ED 250 deg
4. Zeiss Conquest HD 260 deg
4. Vortex Razor HD 260 deg
5.GPO Passion HD 270 deg
6. Nikon Monarch HG 290 deg
6. Kite Lynx HD+ 290 deg
7. Bushnell Forge 295 deg
8. Zeiss Leica Trinovid HD 335 deg
9. Meopta MeoStar 360 deg
10.Fujinon HC 480 deg

Otherwise, there is little to criticize: the mechanism works consistently and neither too stiff
nor too easy.
There is ample excess travel beyond the infinity position:

Excess Focus Travel beyond Infinity (details see attached table)
1. Hawke Frontier ED X ample
2. Nikon Monarch HG ample
3. Meopta MeoStar ample
4. Kite Lynx HD+ ample
5. Fujinon HC ample
6. Zeiss Conquest HD sufficient
7. Vortex Razor HD sufficient
8. Kite Ibis ED sufficient
9. GPO Passion HD sufficient
10. Bushnell Forge sufficient
11. Leica Trinovid HD sufficient
12. Kowa BD II XD tight

The diopter adjustment ring below the right eyepiece cannot be locked, but operates at
sufficient tightness, smoothly and precisely, with the “0” position” correctly set at 0 dpt.

Inspecting the HC from the front end: it is of course difficult to assess the quality of AR
coatings. They look fine on the HC, but relatively bright reflections on bright light sources
could indicate that a bit less light will reach the eyepieces than in some top binoculars, and I
wonder whether transmission will be over 90%, despite the “Hyper-Clarity” label. This is
speculation, though, until it is measured.
The tubes appear very well blackened and baffled.

The eyepiece side reveals relatively well rounded exit pupils, with quite a bit of bright
“structures” around the EPs; small false pupils become visible when you look at the
eyepieces at an angle, but they may be sufficiently removed from the exit pupils to do harm.

The ease of view (“Einblickverhalten”) is good, despite the lack of several intermediate
clickstops on the eyecups. No kidney beaning when eyecups are extended. Useable eye
relief is not grandiose, but sufficient to observe the entire FOV with slim eyeglasses:

Useable Eye Relief (see attached table)
1. Zeiss Conquest HD 16.5mm
2. Hawke Frointier ED X 16mm
3. Kowa BD II XD 15mm
3. Meopta MeoStar 15mm
3. Nikon Monarch HG 15mm
3. GPO Passion HD 15mm
4. Fujinon HC 14.5mm
4. Kite Ibis ED 14.5mm
4. Leica Trinovid HD 14.5mm
5. Vortex Razor HD 14mm
6. Bushnell Forge 13.5mm
7. Kite Lynx HD+ 13mm

Minimum focus distance: the Fujinon “leads the field” here with 1.55m:

Minimum Focus Distance (see attached table)
1. Fujinon HC 1.55m
2. Kowa BD II XD 1.6m
3. Vortex Razor HD 1.65m
4. Kite Ibis ED 1.7m
5.Leica Trinovid HD 1.75m
6. Nikon Monarch HG 1.8m
6. Bushnell Forge 1.8m
7. Kite Lynx HD+ 1.95m
7. GPO Passion HD 1.95m
8. Hawke Frontier ED X 2.15m
9. Zeiss Conquest HD 2.3m
10.Meopta MeoStar 2.6m

I had mentioned earlier that, since the measured EP diameter is 5.1mm (according to specs:
5.25mm) while effective aperture is 42mm, the true magnification of the HC must be 8.2x,
instead of the specified 8.0x. However, that’s obviously no cause for big concerns, just worth noting.

Observing with the HC:

The specs state the RFOV to be 7.8 degrees = 136m / 1000m. Funnily, a small mark below
the left eyepiece of the HC reads “8x42 8.0 deg”. My own measurement came to 7.7 deg =
135m. This gives the HC roughly a position in the middle field of the comparator group:

Field of View (see attached table)
1. Kite Lynx HD+ 151m
2. Nikon Monarch HG 145m
3. Kowa BD II XD 143m
4. Bushnell Forge 142m
4.Hawke Frontier ED X 142m
5. Meopta MeoStar 137m
6. Fujinon HC 136m
7. Vortex Razor HD 130m
8. Zeiss Conquest HD 128m
9. Kite Ibis ED 126m
10.GPO Passion HD 125m
11.Leica Trinovid HD 124m

Image quality: only a few rermarks here, more detailed information will be provided in the
one-to-one comparisons in Part B:
Central sharpness / contrast / “brilliance”: good / very good and in line with my expectations for this class
(“upper middle class”?) of binoculars. Brightness is very good but not “hyper” good in my
view, compared to competition.
Off-axis sharpness is okay, but not overwhelming. Blurring starts at about 70% from the
image center and increases towards the edge.
There is little rectangular distortion, but still for my eyes almost no recognizable
globe effect when panning, panning is quite comfortable.
The HC doesn’t show a flat-field image; field curvature is clearly visible, but not dominant.
CA: little in the center, but noticeable if you look for it; more further out, but nothing dramatic.
Stray-light: appears to be well controlled in the HC; with full sunlight on the front lenses,
there are occasional reflections when moving the binocular, and a bit of glare, mainly at the
bottom of the image, which can be reduced or prevented by moving the eye position. Overall
very satisfactory.
Very little ghosting. Spikes are clearly visible on bright light sources, they cover about 75%
of the FOV but are no major hassle at all.
Color fidelity: the HC is for my eyes one of the best in this respect; very neutral image,
maybe you can detect a very slight reddish tone, but the HC appears more neutral than
almost all of its competitors.

Initial tentative summary:
At a price in the lower half of the comparator group, the well built and well finished HC
presents itself as an attractive newcomer in the middle/upper middle class of binoculars.
Excellent mechanics, a bright image, and a very compact body come in a modern design
that may appeal to many.
Whether its very slow focus mechanism can win over birders remains to be seen.


PART B.:
Side-by-side comparisons

{to be updated}
fwiw
Canip

Screenshot 2021-01-14 at 15.34.45.png
 

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binomania

Well-known member
This is the group of 8x42s included in the comparison:
Dear Canip,very beautiful comparison. Thanks. This night i will publish my review with a video review. I think I saw the same things that you perceived. I only noticed an excellent correction of chromatic aberration, during the days in which I tried it and also my specimen from three meters to infinity focuses in 320 ° I have included many pieces of video where I show how it looks in binoculars in various conditions. I also disliked the metallization which is too bright and high when hit by the sun. I would have preferred a green color, thanks again.
 

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