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Opticron 8x20 Gallery Scope (1 Viewer)

CliveP

Well-known member
I bought a used one of these the other day.

It was covered in quite thick dust but I gave it a clean up and was delighted to see that it came up basically like new and the internals totally free of any dust.

My first impression was that it was very bulky compared with my Optima 6x16 monocular for example. Basically double the size more or less.

So I wondered would the size be justified in the view. Simple answer no.

Over distance the Optima equaled or beat it for resolution but up close the Opticron was more impressive and it had much nicer colour than the Optima.

Over distance though the Opticron was sort of not something that I would have bothered using so I realised then I was disappointed with it.

I checked the Opticron site video of the 8x20 and it looks as though the eyelenses have been upgraded to some wider ones over the model I have although all else seems identical.

I emailed Opticron early yesterday to ask about this and the possibility of upgrading this one but they haven't responded although I'm not even sure if they did whether it would be worth persuing?

I really wanted this to be good for close up viewing but sharp over distance but it didn't have any more resolution than my old Optima over distance so not good and much more awkward to hold steady and focus.

With nothing to loose I pulled it apart to see if there was something I could adjust (I had easily done this with my Optima to clean it) but the prism was a glue on over the eye lens access, so not really workable.

Seems like it's for the bin.

Anyone else have one of these and how have you found it?
 
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CliveP

Well-known member
Well I guess not to many of these in use and probably mostly used for the mini microscope application.

No help from Opticron which is slightly irritating as it should have been a simple request.

When I had a similar problem with a used Hawke 10x25 bin I bought recently, Hawke response took about an hour and soon after I had a new Hawke binocular at a good price from them in exchange for the old one.

So something of a contrast with Opticron in fact I never have received no reply from any optics brand, so unusual.

Draw your own conclusions but one to avoid it would seem.
 

FrankD

Well-known member
Clive,

That is surprising. I usually find Pete, Chris or Rob very responsive on your side of the pond...especially here on the forums. Maybe they are out working some of the birding expos?

I didn't see this post until today. I have tried the newer gallleryscope and thought it a fine instrument for what it was. I tend to see the galleryscope as a niche product. Not really the same as a typical monocular though it could be used in that manner in a pinch. It is more of a double-duty optic that excels at microscopic examination but can be somewhat used in the typical monocular fashion. I never tried the older version which it seems you have.
 

pete_gamby

Birds? What Birds?!
Clive - I find your comments regarding the perceived lack of support from Opticron rather abrasive.

I have just spoken to my colleagues in our service department and they inform me that they did not have a ready answer to your question and so had to check what, if anything, could be done before responding. A reply to your email has been sent.

As you will now know, and for the benefit of others reading this thread, we can supply the top housing and eyelens as a user-fit replacement part.

If in future you have any questions or comments regarding Opticron products or services, please feel free to PM myself, Chris Galvin or Rob Laughton.

Regards, Pete
 

CliveP

Well-known member
Clive,

That is surprising. I usually find Pete, Chris or Rob very responsive on your side of the pond...especially here on the forums. Maybe they are out working some of the birding expos?

I didn't see this post until today. I have tried the newer gallleryscope and thought it a fine instrument for what it was. I tend to see the galleryscope as a niche product. Not really the same as a typical monocular though it could be used in that manner in a pinch. It is more of a double-duty optic that excels at microscopic examination but can be somewhat used in the typical monocular fashion. I never tried the older version which it seems you have.

Hi Frank

Yes I found it more or less useless over distance when I took it out for a try. Lot of strange flare and glare with it also.

The one in the Opticron video clearly shows a wider different eyelens design but I just got a message from Opticron saying they don't think it has changed though it obviously has.

They want about £65 for parts but you can buy the whole thing for £75 delivered online new so that's of no interest to me.

So nothing doing. I'll just bin it and be shot of it.

I tried it against my Papilio II 6.5x and the Papilio was much better so I'd much sooner invest in something like that again instead. Maybe the 8.5x version.

Don't think I'm really a monocular fan in general but my little 4x12 Viking and 6x16 Optima do for something very compact and for some macro use and I don't normally do microscope stuff or else I probably would be more keen on this type of 8x20 monocular with the stand.

I had wanted to try an 8x20 monoc so got the Opticron but win some, lose some, I'll just put that one down as a fail.

I did like it for size for a good grip but the fov wasn't great. The Optima 6x16 10deg fov is simply better and without any glare or usability problems.

So guess at least that's the end of that episode.
 
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CliveP

Well-known member
Clive - I find your comments regarding the perceived lack of support from Opticron rather abrasive.

I have just spoken to my colleagues in our service department and they inform me that they did not have a ready answer to your question and so had to check what, if anything, could be done before responding. A reply to your email has been sent.

As you will now know, and for the benefit of others reading this thread, we can supply the top housing and eyelens as a user-fit replacement part.

If in future you have any questions or comments regarding Opticron products or services, please feel free to PM myself, Chris Galvin or Rob Laughton.

Regards, Pete

You are probably right Pete but I did think I was just being ignored.

Might have been nice if they had just replied even one line initially that they needed to look into it or something and would get back to me.

Doesn't matter now anyhow. In the Hawke case I liked the bin enough to want to persue getting a replacement or wanted it to fill a gap in my arsenal.

With genuine disappointment (as I love to find things I think are great and praise them highly as I have done many times on this forum) I don't think the 8x20 scope would have made me want to take it along over other bins etc that I have. It kind of reminded me of half my Bresser 8x28 only with much better macro ability but any resemblance to the Bresser is unfortunately a bad memory.

The problem I always face is needing to buy things to try them so auctions can be useful in this regard although I do think there has been some improvement with the Gallery Scope model as I can clearly see from your video although I don't know when this happened. The coatings etc on my sample were good and seemed quite modern but the Opticron text was in a strange kind of pyramid script form so an old logo perhaps?

I think I learned enough from the one I had to get an idea that it's not for me unless it was improved quite a lot in regard to distance use (i.e. sharpness, contrast, focusing, flare resistance and fov) so not very good for dual use as I had hoped for.

Thanks Pete for looking into it with the tech guys.
BF is useful after all ;):t:eek::D8-P
 

CliveP

Well-known member
Sunday morning madness saw me buy a Specwell 8x20 monoc.

Got it today. Seems very light weight but longish like the Opticron version and very similar view from what I recall as I no longer have the Opticron to compare.

Got to get out an give it a proper go but it does seem a bit better for dual use not suffering glare to badly and having edges a little less soft. It's supposed to be slightly wider fov than the Opticron but they both seem quite narrow.

At least now I have definitely satisfied my curiosity about these smaller monoculars and I conclude no more for me in future. Much prefer small bins like my cheap 8x22 Carson Scout one side of which can out resolve the Specwell with it's better contrast and it is just as light weight but I do like the slightly more blue bias of both the monocs compared to the Carson. They remind me more of my RSPB 8x20 HD bin which is a very good optic and out resolves the Carson but then it does costs almost 10 times more and yet the amazing Carson is not far behind. Maybe the RSPB 8x20 HD monoc is the one I really should have gone for with it's wider fov and waterproofing but I did want the closeup ability which it lacks.

So I didn't favour the Opticron to well but I don't see any great improvement with the Specwell although there is some but a bit disappointing it was not more but both are good for macro use so maybe worth bringing the Specwell alongside a bin. I'll see how it goes.
 
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