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Opticron Aurora Review (2 Viewers)

Steve C

Well-known member
This is the new higher end binocular from Opticron. It seems Opticron has sold quite a few of these. Comments here on BF have generally been positive. The short story is they did not miss much if anything with this introduction. In fact if I were to become the chief mover and shaker at Opticron, I’d be sorely tempted to give everybody involved with this binocular a raise.

Opticron specification and technical data seems to be accurate on all counts and is well done and nicely presented. The binocular is clearly marked Made in Japan, both on the binocular, in two places, the end of the focus, and under the hinge on the left barrel. It is so marked on the box as well.

Aurora BGA VHD Binoculars | Opticron.

Choosing a binocular means sorting through compromises. You are not likely to find everything you want. Like everything in life, if one chooses to chase after fault, you will find it somewhere. Be careful what you look for you may find it. It’s too heavy, the eye cups aren’t quite right, the focus turns the wrong way, the field isn’t wide enough, the edges need to be sharper, the armor is the wrong color, the minimum focus is too far away, the focus tension is wrong, the IPD is not quite right, it costs too much, no it doesn’t cost enough. They fit my hands very well, their balance is excellent. I do not mean to belittle any of these things, or the many others I could have listed. There are always one or more of them that can become either deal breaker or deal maker. It can drive you nuts finding the right balance to suit you. Ultimately we need to find enough of everything that we value in a binocular.

Now the point of the above paragraph, for me at least comes into focus with the Aurora. This is a nicely balanced binocular. The Aurora is a glass that has at least enough of everything I value. The optics are way more than good enough, they are outstanding. They are as bright and sharp as anything out there, their contrast is excellent, their color saturation is excellent. CA control is excellent, as is glare control. Even something like a plain House Sparrow sitting on a limb under the sun in a bright blue sky shows detail. This shows excellent sharpness, with uniform, consistent, accurate color across the image.

The field is wide enough, both 8 and 10x check in at an afov of 65* for each one. Not ultra wide, but wide enough. The Aurora uses field flattening technology. The field is sharp enough at the edges with no rolling ball, While I am no particular fan of flat field, it is OK where it causes me no issue with rolling ball. This one shows a bit of edge distortion if one deliberately directs an eye to the edge of the field. However if viewed with letting the edge sit in peripheral use, the field looks flat, as such the field appears to be almost all sweet spot.

The focus here is counterclockwise to infinity. There are two full turns of focus travel. From close focus to 50’ takes a turn. From there to 75’ takes another quarter turn, and a further quarter turn takes you to infinity, another quarter turn left after infinity. Focus tension is what I’d call medium with no slack or over travel. It’s pretty easy to hit precise focus. The central diopter adjustment is on the end of the focus wheel. Diopter adjust is about perfect. I can easily adjust the diopter with both eyes open. There is a definite point of precise focus that snaps into place. There is no question when you are there.

I am pretty impressed with these eye cups. They make a mighty difference for me in long term use comfort. It appears to be a small detail too. The upper mm or so of the Aurora eye cup is rounded pretty sharply inward to the center of the upper edge. It took some time for the realization of this feature to set in. It is a small detail, but the effects I appreciate greatly. Just taking away the sharper square edge off of what is offered in a lot of eye cups make all the difference. For me it is easy to obtain full field with my reading glasses.

I need to make a comment on the case and accessories that come with the binocular. I noted in the Verano review my preference for that case. That preference for that continues here. Right now the best thing is the Aurora sitting in the large supplied Verano case with the slightly larger Verano rain guard. The binocular slips into that case with very little effort. It fits in in with enough room for the binocular to be cased with eye cups extended, rain guard and objective covers in place and with the strap. I like the larger rain guards. The supplied Verano rain guards are a couple of mm larger in diameter than the ones that come with the Aurora. They come off a lot easier and still are tight enough to stay put if needed. The ones from the Aurora will get a slight suction lock if pressed on a little. I typically attach the rain guard to the strap attachment with a section of nylon cord. That way with a quick flip of the thumb as the glass is raised, the covers quickly fall off out of the way.

The choice between 8x and 10x will come down to personal choice of magnification. Part of me whispers in my ear that perhaps the 8x is just a little better than the 10x. I am largely a satisfied 8x user. However over the last year or so I have noticed I am tending to gravitate more to 10x. Differences in image related to magnification are becoming more evident. I know it seems like the older we get the less power we tend to like, but this seems like another trend I’m bucking. In this regard my choice here would be the 10x42.

To close this out, Opticron’s foray into a higher end binocular is, in my estimation, a successful one. It will likely further the debate of first tier vs second tier (or whatever names you wish to use instead). This is a hard glass to find fault with. It is holistically balanced and few people will likely find fault with either the fit, feel, or the optics. Just remember when someone puffs up and tells you you are driving a Yugo compared to their BMW, just remind them that while they were busy with their alpha, technology has caught up with them. We are now driving the equivalent of the BMW. There are better cars than the BMW and better binoculars than the Aurora. I will tip my hat to Swarovski for their new NL. I applaud the technical achievement of the combination of wide, flat field, and long eye relief. I will offer no real argument to the case that these may well be the best terrestrial viewing binoculars that can be purchased. Analogies are fraught with dangers and using a Yugo example is one of them. Their alpha glass may be 12-15 times better than a Yugo, but it is no where near that much better than the Aurora. People should feel free to buy the gear that suits them. If it is $2,500-3,000 fine, if it is $750-1200, not much is lost. This is a binocular I highly recommend.
 

Boogieshrew

Well-known member
Nice well balanced review. Thank you.
I always prefer 7x to 8x and these are too heavy for me but you have made me want to try them out anyway!
 

SUPPRESSOR

Well-known member
England
Have just sold my pair of 10x42's.
They are a very impressive binocular no doubt about it.
What I did not like...1, Kidney beaning I view without spectacles ,2, Focuser is reverse of what I like,3,Right hand eyecup slides down on occasion, (Leica eyecups is how it should be done) sorted with O rings.

Peter.
 

Upland

Well-known member
Was excited about these until I heard about kidney beans and eyecups falling down. My pet peeve in binos is eyecups that don’t extend out far enough which always results in kidney beans for me. And there is no excuse for eyecups that don’t stay firmly in place in the 1k range especially when so many cheaper models have better eyecups. The fault I’ve found with Opticron is their build quality isn’t the greatest and QC has been a problem on all but one pair (my wife’s Travellers) that I’ve bought. Would rather pay a little extra for better build quality. I know a lot of you have had better experiences with their build quality and QC so maybe I’ve just been unlucky.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Was excited about these until I heard about kidney beans and eyecups falling down. My pet peeve in binos is eyecups that don’t extend out far enough which always results in kidney beans for me. And there is no excuse for eyecups that don’t stay firmly in place in the 1k range especially when so many cheaper models have better eyecups. The fault I’ve found with Opticron is their build quality isn’t the greatest and QC has been a problem on all but one pair (my wife’s Travellers) that I’ve bought. Would rather pay a little extra for better build quality. I know a lot of you have had better experiences with their build quality and QC so maybe I’ve just been unlucky.
Binoculars seem to have a couple of pretty universal weak links. One is the eye cups, There are always complaints about eye cup extension, usually called inadequate eye relief. The second seems to be centered around focus wheel action. I found no fault with the eye cups, but that is a pretty small sample size.

I thought the build on mine were acceptable at the price point. I saw no issues there that concerned me.

The Verano 32 is a good binocular as well. You should be happy with that one.
 

Mikewander

Well-known member
Scotland
My 10x42s have no problems with the eyecups staying put.
I tried a few 10x42s up to around £1,000, and as i don't wear specs either, with the eye cups fully out these were the only ones that didn't give me kidney beans!
It's a funny old world!
 

Singlereed

Well-known member
I reviewed the 10x42 Aurora on here a few months back and am still very happy with them. Build quality is excellent. I find the eye relief very good (which I did not in Zeiss Conquest for example). The only minor gripes are that the eyecups twist back in too easily and I don’t much like the rain guard or objective covers. But I’ve got no issues with image quality or general handling and I’ve enjoyed them a lot. I have found 42mm bins from the top three makes to be too heavy for me as I have a shoulder injury - the Opticrons give me 42mm light at 32mm weight. Also, great performance for the price.
 

cestrian

Well-known member
Supporter
United Kingdom
This is the new higher end binocular from Opticron. It seems Opticron has sold quite a few of these. Comments here on BF have generally been positive. The short story is they did not miss much if anything with this introduction. In fact if I were to become the chief mover and shaker at Opticron, I’d be sorely tempted to give everybody involved with this binocular a raise.

Opticron specification and technical data seems to be accurate on all counts and is well done and nicely presented. The binocular is clearly marked Made in Japan, both on the binocular, in two places, the end of the focus, and under the hinge on the left barrel. It is so marked on the box as well.

Aurora BGA VHD Binoculars | Opticron.

Choosing a binocular means sorting through compromises. You are not likely to find everything you want. Like everything in life, if one chooses to chase after fault, you will find it somewhere. Be careful what you look for you may find it. It’s too heavy, the eye cups aren’t quite right, the focus turns the wrong way, the field isn’t wide enough, the edges need to be sharper, the armor is the wrong color, the minimum focus is too far away, the focus tension is wrong, the IPD is not quite right, it costs too much, no it doesn’t cost enough. They fit my hands very well, their balance is excellent. I do not mean to belittle any of these things, or the many others I could have listed. There are always one or more of them that can become either deal breaker or deal maker. It can drive you nuts finding the right balance to suit you. Ultimately we need to find enough of everything that we value in a binocular.

Now the point of the above paragraph, for me at least comes into focus with the Aurora. This is a nicely balanced binocular. The Aurora is a glass that has at least enough of everything I value. The optics are way more than good enough, they are outstanding. They are as bright and sharp as anything out there, their contrast is excellent, their color saturation is excellent. CA control is excellent, as is glare control. Even something like a plain House Sparrow sitting on a limb under the sun in a bright blue sky shows detail. This shows excellent sharpness, with uniform, consistent, accurate color across the image.

The field is wide enough, both 8 and 10x check in at an afov of 65* for each one. Not ultra wide, but wide enough. The Aurora uses field flattening technology. The field is sharp enough at the edges with no rolling ball, While I am no particular fan of flat field, it is OK where it causes me no issue with rolling ball. This one shows a bit of edge distortion if one deliberately directs an eye to the edge of the field. However if viewed with letting the edge sit in peripheral use, the field looks flat, as such the field appears to be almost all sweet spot.

The focus here is counterclockwise to infinity. There are two full turns of focus travel. From close focus to 50’ takes a turn. From there to 75’ takes another quarter turn, and a further quarter turn takes you to infinity, another quarter turn left after infinity. Focus tension is what I’d call medium with no slack or over travel. It’s pretty easy to hit precise focus. The central diopter adjustment is on the end of the focus wheel. Diopter adjust is about perfect. I can easily adjust the diopter with both eyes open. There is a definite point of precise focus that snaps into place. There is no question when you are there.

I am pretty impressed with these eye cups. They make a mighty difference for me in long term use comfort. It appears to be a small detail too. The upper mm or so of the Aurora eye cup is rounded pretty sharply inward to the center of the upper edge. It took some time for the realization of this feature to set in. It is a small detail, but the effects I appreciate greatly. Just taking away the sharper square edge off of what is offered in a lot of eye cups make all the difference. For me it is easy to obtain full field with my reading glasses.

I need to make a comment on the case and accessories that come with the binocular. I noted in the Verano review my preference for that case. That preference for that continues here. Right now the best thing is the Aurora sitting in the large supplied Verano case with the slightly larger Verano rain guard. The binocular slips into that case with very little effort. It fits in in with enough room for the binocular to be cased with eye cups extended, rain guard and objective covers in place and with the strap. I like the larger rain guards. The supplied Verano rain guards are a couple of mm larger in diameter than the ones that come with the Aurora. They come off a lot easier and still are tight enough to stay put if needed. The ones from the Aurora will get a slight suction lock if pressed on a little. I typically attach the rain guard to the strap attachment with a section of nylon cord. That way with a quick flip of the thumb as the glass is raised, the covers quickly fall off out of the way.

The choice between 8x and 10x will come down to personal choice of magnification. Part of me whispers in my ear that perhaps the 8x is just a little better than the 10x. I am largely a satisfied 8x user. However over the last year or so I have noticed I am tending to gravitate more to 10x. Differences in image related to magnification are becoming more evident. I know it seems like the older we get the less power we tend to like, but this seems like another trend I’m bucking. In this regard my choice here would be the 10x42.

To close this out, Opticron’s foray into a higher end binocular is, in my estimation, a successful one. It will likely further the debate of first tier vs second tier (or whatever names you wish to use instead). This is a hard glass to find fault with. It is holistically balanced and few people will likely find fault with either the fit, feel, or the optics. Just remember when someone puffs up and tells you you are driving a Yugo compared to their BMW, just remind them that while they were busy with their alpha, technology has caught up with them. We are now driving the equivalent of the BMW. There are better cars than the BMW and better binoculars than the Aurora. I will tip my hat to Swarovski for their new NL. I applaud the technical achievement of the combination of wide, flat field, and long eye relief. I will offer no real argument to the case that these may well be the best terrestrial viewing binoculars that can be purchased. Analogies are fraught with dangers and using a Yugo example is one of them. Their alpha glass may be 12-15 times better than a Yugo, but it is no where near that much better than the Aurora. People should feel free to buy the gear that suits them. If it is $2,500-3,000 fine, if it is $750-1200, not much is lost. This is a binocular I highly recommend.
i bought a pair of aurora 10x42 monday (19/1/22) and though im not on any sort level with science & jargon they are clear bright lightweight and excellent fov.. for the money you cant go wrong im definitely recommending them for bird & wildlife
 

Ratal

Well-known member
I own the 8x42 and they are, for me, absolute keepers. I have the 10x42 on my 'to buy' for later in the year. That is how much the Opticron Aurora impresses me.
 

cestrian

Well-known member
Supporter
United Kingdom
This is the new higher end binocular from Opticron. It seems Opticron has sold quite a few of these. Comments here on BF have generally been positive. The short story is they did not miss much if anything with this introduction. In fact if I were to become the chief mover and shaker at Opticron, I’d be sorely tempted to give everybody involved with this binocular a raise.

Opticron specification and technical data seems to be accurate on all counts and is well done and nicely presented. The binocular is clearly marked Made in Japan, both on the binocular, in two places, the end of the focus, and under the hinge on the left barrel. It is so marked on the box as well.

Aurora BGA VHD Binoculars | Opticron.

Choosing a binocular means sorting through compromises. You are not likely to find everything you want. Like everything in life, if one chooses to chase after fault, you will find it somewhere. Be careful what you look for you may find it. It’s too heavy, the eye cups aren’t quite right, the focus turns the wrong way, the field isn’t wide enough, the edges need to be sharper, the armor is the wrong color, the minimum focus is too far away, the focus tension is wrong, the IPD is not quite right, it costs too much, no it doesn’t cost enough. They fit my hands very well, their balance is excellent. I do not mean to belittle any of these things, or the many others I could have listed. There are always one or more of them that can become either deal breaker or deal maker. It can drive you nuts finding the right balance to suit you. Ultimately we need to find enough of everything that we value in a binocular.

Now the point of the above paragraph, for me at least comes into focus with the Aurora. This is a nicely balanced binocular. The Aurora is a glass that has at least enough of everything I value. The optics are way more than good enough, they are outstanding. They are as bright and sharp as anything out there, their contrast is excellent, their color saturation is excellent. CA control is excellent, as is glare control. Even something like a plain House Sparrow sitting on a limb under the sun in a bright blue sky shows detail. This shows excellent sharpness, with uniform, consistent, accurate color across the image.

The field is wide enough, both 8 and 10x check in at an afov of 65* for each one. Not ultra wide, but wide enough. The Aurora uses field flattening technology. The field is sharp enough at the edges with no rolling ball, While I am no particular fan of flat field, it is OK where it causes me no issue with rolling ball. This one shows a bit of edge distortion if one deliberately directs an eye to the edge of the field. However if viewed with letting the edge sit in peripheral use, the field looks flat, as such the field appears to be almost all sweet spot.

The focus here is counterclockwise to infinity. There are two full turns of focus travel. From close focus to 50’ takes a turn. From there to 75’ takes another quarter turn, and a further quarter turn takes you to infinity, another quarter turn left after infinity. Focus tension is what I’d call medium with no slack or over travel. It’s pretty easy to hit precise focus. The central diopter adjustment is on the end of the focus wheel. Diopter adjust is about perfect. I can easily adjust the diopter with both eyes open. There is a definite point of precise focus that snaps into place. There is no question when you are there.

I am pretty impressed with these eye cups. They make a mighty difference for me in long term use comfort. It appears to be a small detail too. The upper mm or so of the Aurora eye cup is rounded pretty sharply inward to the center of the upper edge. It took some time for the realization of this feature to set in. It is a small detail, but the effects I appreciate greatly. Just taking away the sharper square edge off of what is offered in a lot of eye cups make all the difference. For me it is easy to obtain full field with my reading glasses.

I need to make a comment on the case and accessories that come with the binocular. I noted in the Verano review my preference for that case. That preference for that continues here. Right now the best thing is the Aurora sitting in the large supplied Verano case with the slightly larger Verano rain guard. The binocular slips into that case with very little effort. It fits in in with enough room for the binocular to be cased with eye cups extended, rain guard and objective covers in place and with the strap. I like the larger rain guards. The supplied Verano rain guards are a couple of mm larger in diameter than the ones that come with the Aurora. They come off a lot easier and still are tight enough to stay put if needed. The ones from the Aurora will get a slight suction lock if pressed on a little. I typically attach the rain guard to the strap attachment with a section of nylon cord. That way with a quick flip of the thumb as the glass is raised, the covers quickly fall off out of the way.

The choice between 8x and 10x will come down to personal choice of magnification. Part of me whispers in my ear that perhaps the 8x is just a little better than the 10x. I am largely a satisfied 8x user. However over the last year or so I have noticed I am tending to gravitate more to 10x. Differences in image related to magnification are becoming more evident. I know it seems like the older we get the less power we tend to like, but this seems like another trend I’m bucking. In this regard my choice here would be the 10x42.

To close this out, Opticron’s foray into a higher end binocular is, in my estimation, a successful one. It will likely further the debate of first tier vs second tier (or whatever names you wish to use instead). This is a hard glass to find fault with. It is holistically balanced and few people will likely find fault with either the fit, feel, or the optics. Just remember when someone puffs up and tells you you are driving a Yugo compared to their BMW, just remind them that while they were busy with their alpha, technology has caught up with them. We are now driving the equivalent of the BMW. There are better cars than the BMW and better binoculars than the Aurora. I will tip my hat to Swarovski for their new NL. I applaud the technical achievement of the combination of wide, flat field, and long eye relief. I will offer no real argument to the case that these may well be the best terrestrial viewing binoculars that can be purchased. Analogies are fraught with dangers and using a Yugo example is one of them. Their alpha glass may be 12-15 times better than a Yugo, but it is no where near that much better than the Aurora. People should feel free to buy the gear that suits them. If it is $2,500-3,000 fine, if it is $750-1200, not much is lost. This is a binocular I highly recommend.
 

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