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Review: Opticron Verano 8x32 (2 Viewers)

Steve C

Well-known member
Every so often I come across a binocular that distinguishes itself within its model class, and this one did just that. Conventional wisdom tells us that a 32 mm simply does not have enough light in the system to stand with a similar quality 42 mm., or that they won’t resolve as well. I am finding that with recent experience with some newer 32 mm binoculars that this may no longer be a significant reason to avoid the 32’s. They can't overcome physics but can come closer than one may believe.

The Verano is a new class of binocular recently released by Opticron. Along with the 8x32 there are also 8x and 10x 42 versions, which will be a separate review. I won’t bore you with the particulars, but the specs and technical information can be found here. They all seem to be in line with reality.

Verano BGA VHD 8x32 | Opticron

The eye cups are removable. This leads to a comment or two. This unit had what seemed to be a lot more glue applied than is necessary to secure the rubber eye ring. Some glue was forced into the extension adjustment slots, causing a binding when moving the eye cup. Adjustment movement was stiff enough at one point that the eye cup started to unscrew. Being somewhat curious I went ahead and unscrewed it. Once off it is pretty obviously standard removable eye cup fare. With the eye cup off, I was eventually able to figure the issue out, saw the glue smear, fixed that and replaced the eye cup. Stiff extension movement solved. This was a bit of an issue with the x42 units too. Easy fix if this is a problem greater than my Verano units.

There is another issue that will occur before you can even get to looking at the view. The rain guard on this specimen is so tight as to be mostly unusable Fiddling with it I found it is possible to actually pull the rubber eye cup ring off the assembly when trying to get the thing off. The inner inner surface of the rain guard is somewhat textured, and the rubber eye cup ring is even more heavily so. So when the guard is pushed on there is too much friction to easily over come. Whoever put the accessories on the binocular for sale evidently didn’t want the rain guard to come off in shipment. It is not the typical slick Opticron labeled rain guard, so the easy fix here is to use that one on the Verano 32 as well. The one from the Aurora series fit fine and I think should be used here. Those are just loose enough they will fall off just holding the binocular upside down with a quick flick of the wrist. Makes one wonder about current supply issues.

This comes with a case, strap, microfiber cloth, and objective covers and the previously cussed rain guard, which is pretty standard fare from Opticron. The case is somewhat different as well, this one being a slicker, Velcro closed nylon. The Verano case should become the official Opticron case. The Verano cases are blessed with enough interior room to handle the binocular with the eye cups extended ,with the rainguard and objective covers in place, and with the strap attached without it making you think you need to be a magician to get it all put in place, much less all fastened down. This makes a huge difference in usability of the supplied accessories. The more typical Opticron case with the woven texture and the faux leather fastener are just too small for my liking. Now that they have access to the Verano case, the cost to make the Verano case the Opticron standard should be negligible.

Removing the binocular from the box reveals a kind of plain looking binocular with a grayish black, textured rubber armor. The first thing that struck my attention was that it both looked and felt somewhat larger than other 32’s with similar housings. I got my Maven B3 and Traveller ED and the Verano does come in larger. This is due to a more robust armor and a differing eye cup design.

The single hinge 32 mm binocular format seems to be either like it for the small size if the user has small hands, or dislike it for the small size if the user has larger hands, but still wants something smaller than their 42 mm. You may find this a very useful size if you are in the latter category. The eye cup diameter of the Verano is more similar to what is typically found in 42 mm glass. The ocular lens diameter of both the Traveller and the Verano is 22 mm. The tubes are the same length, but the rubber armor is about 4 mm thicker than the armor on the Traveller. The entire ocular assembly of the Verano is much closer to that of a 42 mm glass, being about a half inch longer that the Traveller ED. The size increase is noticeable. That being said, the Verano is still much smaller than a 42 mm glass.

The focus is clockwise to infinity. There is a total of two full turns of wheel travel, however only three quarters of a turn are needed to go from close focus to infinity, leaving a full one and a quarter turn past infinity. For me this needs three pulls of the focus to go from close to infinity. If going from 50 or so feet to infinity, there are two finger pulls required. The focus is smooth and over travel is non existent. Diopter adjustment is among the best I have seen. Opticron’s standard right eye diopter ring with its slight extension snaps the right eye into adjustment perfectly and effortlessly.

The image is bright, sharp, and clear. The contrast is very good. Overall a very satisfactory view, this binocular hangs right with the Aurora 8x42 in resolution ability. While the 42 mm will display some superiority on low light or other adverse conditions, the overall ability of this binocular will surprise a lot of people. There is something with the coating formula here that makes this glass show a slightly greener green in the image than other Opticron binoculars. It is particularly striking alongside the Traveller ED. Both show an identical very slight green tint when viewed backward through the objective with the ocular pointed at a bright white surface, but the Traveller has a slightly less saturated color display. The Verano has a quite neutral image (not showing an obvious green tint in the image at all), excellent contrast and color saturation and is surprisingly sharp. The Traveller ED tends to wash out colors a little in bright light, but the Verano does not. The small degree of darker green really was only obvious the first time or two I used it alongside the Traveller ED. After using the Verano for awhile it is almost impossible to notice. Familiarization at work I suppose.

I would caution potential users not to automatically dismiss the 7.5* field as too small. At 60* old fashioned afov, this is still classified as a wide field binocular This is the only other place I might be convinced to maybe pick another nit. I personally would like to see a field to match the Traveller ED, but if Opticron did that, the Traveller would pretty much cease to have a reason to exist . In actual field use, the view is not at all restrictive.

Picking detail at the 8x level is not an issue here. This small Verano resolves detail at any distance right in with the 8x42 Aurora, or other good 8x42’s. The 42 gains a few minutes of light, but even a good x42 is not of much use when light gets that low. If going low light most would need to go to a 50 mm glass.

I’d call CA correction very good, the anti-reflection coatings do their job and veiling glare is pretty much a non issue.

This is not a flat field design, but as with many recent conventional curved field designs, the edge is pretty well done. There is not enough distortion to be noticed in my peripheral vision. I’ve had some migrating Warblers bouncing around the yard and there is no problem with either the edges or the width of field to bother me. Others may well differ. If one specifically cranks the eye far enough to actually examine the edge there is a slight amount of distortion to be found. I may be the odd one out, but I am not a particular fan of flat fields, so keep that in mind. I suppose it could be said that if you don’t go looking to convince yourself this is neither flat enough or wide enough you can convince yourself. Just go use it and enjoy it and there should be no issue.

I can get full fov this the eye cups retracted when using reading glasses, so my feeling is this glass should be OK for eye glass wearers.

The image of this is good enough it took me by surprise, particularly how well it stands up to the Aurora. I’ve seen a couple of posts wanting an Aurora 32 mm. I’ve also seen Pete Gamby saying that is not in the works. If you are one of those folks, try this one. If you are looking for a really nice 32 mm binocular, I recommend you give this one a look. The Verano 42 review up coming, but this 32 is the class act of the series. This is a very good, smaller binocular and will have its fans.
 
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gcole

Well-known member
Every so often I come across a binocular that distinguishes itself within its model class, and this one did just that. Conventional wisdom tells us that a 32 mm simply does not have enough light in the system to stand with a similar quality 42 mm., or that they won’t resolve as well. I am finding that with recent experience with some newer 32 mm binoculars that this may no longer be a significant reason to avoid the 32’s. They can't overcome physics but can come closer than one may believe.

The Verano is a new class of binocular recently released by Opticron. Along with the 8x32 there are also 8x and 10x 42 versions, which will be a separate review. I won’t bore you with the particulars, but the specs and technical information can be found here. They all seem to be in line with reality.

Verano BGA VHD 8x32 | Opticron

The eye cups are removable. This leads to a comment or two. This unit had what seemed to be a lot more glue applied than is necessary to secure the rubber eye ring. Some glue was forced into the extension adjustment slots, causing a binding when moving the eye cup. Adjustment movement was stiff enough at one point that the eye cup started to unscrew. Being somewhat curious I went ahead and unscrewed it. Once off it is pretty obviously standard removable eye cup fare. With the eye cup off, I was eventually able to figure the issue out, saw the glue smear, fixed that and replaced the eye cup. Stiff extension movement solved. This was a bit of an issue with the x42 units too. Easy fix if this is a problem greater than my Verano units.

There is another issue that will occur before you can even get to looking at the view. The rain guard on this specimen is so tight as to be mostly unusable Fiddling with it I found it is possible to actually pull the rubber eye cup ring off the assembly when trying to get the thing off. The inner inner surface of the rain guard is somewhat textured, and the rubber eye cup ring is even more heavily so. So when the guard is pushed on there is too much friction to easily over come. Whoever put the accessories on the binocular for sale evidently didn’t want the rain guard to come off in shipment. It is not the typical slick Opticron labeled rain guard, so the easy fix here is to use that one on the Verano 32 as well. The one from the Aurora series fit fine and I think should be used here. Those are just loose enough they will fall off just holding the binocular upside down with a quick flick of the wrist. Makes one wonder about current supply issues.

This comes with a case, strap, microfiber cloth, and objective covers and the previously cussed rain guard, which is pretty standard fare from Opticron. The case is somewhat different as well, this one being a slicker, Velcro closed nylon. The Verano case should become the official Opticron case. The Verano cases are blessed with enough interior room to handle the binocular with the eye cups extended, the objective covers in place, and with the strap attached without it making you think you need to be a magician to get it all put in place, much less all fastened down. This makes a huge difference in usability of the supplied accessories. The more typical Opticron case with the woven texture and the faux leather fastener are just too small for my liking. Now that they have access to the Verano case, the cost to make the Verano case the Opticron standard should be negligible.

Removing the binocular from the box reveals a kind of plain looking binocular with a grayish black, textured rubber armor. The first thing that struck my attention was that it both looked and felt somewhat larger than other 32’s with similar housings. I got my Maven B3 and Traveller ED and the Verano does come in larger. This is due to a more robust armor and a differing eye cup design.

The single hinge 32 mm binocular format seems to be either like it for the small size if the user has small hands, or dislike it for the small size if the user has larger hands, but still wants something smaller than their 42 mm. You may find this a very useful size if you are in the latter category. The eye cup diameter of the Verano is more similar to what is typically found in 42 mm glass. The ocular lens diameter of both the Traveller and the Verano is 22 mm. The tubes are the same length, but the rubber armor is about 4 mm thicker than the armor on the Traveller. The entire ocular assembly of the Verano is much closer to that of a 42 mm glass, being about a half inch longer that the Traveller ED. The size increase is noticeable. That being said, the Verano is still much smaller than a 42 mm glass.

The focus is clockwise to infinity. There is a total of two full turns of wheel travel, however only three quarters of a turn are needed to go from close focus to infinity, leaving a full one and a quarter turn past infinity. For me this needs three pulls of the focus to go from close to infinity. If going from 50 or so feet to infinity, there are two finger pulls required. The focus is smooth and over travel is non existent. Diopter adjustment is among the best I have seen. Opticron’s standard right eye diopter ring with its slight extension snaps the right eye into adjustment perfectly and effortlessly.

The image is bright, sharp, and clear. The contrast is very good. Overall a very satisfactory view, this binocular hangs right with the Aurora 8x42 in resolution ability. While the 42 mm will display some superiority on low light or other adverse conditions, the overall ability of this binocular will surprise a lot of people. There is something with the coating formula here that makes this glass show a slightly greener green in the image than other Opticron binoculars. It is particularly striking alongside the Traveller ED. Both show an identical very slight green tint when viewed backward through the objective with the ocular pointed at a bright white surface, but the Traveller has a slightly less saturated color display. The Verano has a quite neutral image (not showing an obvious green tint in the image at all), excellent contrast and color saturation and is surprisingly sharp. The Traveller ED tends to wash out colors a little in bright light, but the Verano does not. The small degree of darker green really was only obvious the first time or two I used it alongside the Traveller ED. After using the Verano for awhile it is almost impossible to notice. Familiarization at work I suppose.

I would caution potential users not to automatically dismiss the 7.5* field as too small. At 60* old fashioned afov, this is still classified as a wide field binocular This is the only other place I might be convinced to maybe pick another nit. I personally would like to see a field to match the Traveller ED, but if Opticron did that, the Traveller would p.retty much cease to have a reason to exist . In actual field use, the view is not at all restrictive.

Picking detail at the 8x level is not an issue here. This small Verano resolves detail at any distance right in with the 8x42 Aurora, or other good 8x42’s. The 42 gains a few minutes of light, but even a good x42 is not of much use when light gets that low. If going low light most would need to go to a 50 mm glass.

I’d call CA correction very good, the anti-reflection coatings do their job and veiling glare is pretty much a non issue.

This is not a flat field design, but as with many recent conventional curved field designs, the edge is pretty well done. There is not enough distortion to be noticed in my peripheral vision. I’ve had some migrating Warblers bouncing around the yard and there is no problem with either the edges or the width of field to bother me. Others may well differ. If one specifically cranks the eye far enough to actually examine the edge there is a slight amount of distortion to be found. I may be the odd one out, but I am not a particular fan of flat fields, so keep that in mind. I suppose it could be said that if you don’t go looking to convince yourself this is neither flat enough or wide enough you can convince yourself. Just go use it and enjoy it and there should be no issue.

I can get full fov this the eye cups retracted when using reading glasses, so my feeling is this glass should be OK for eye glass wearers.

The image of this is good enough it took me by surprise, particularly how well it stands up to the Aurora. I’ve seen a couple of posts wanting an Aurora 32 mm. I’ve also seen Pete Gamby saying that is not in the works. If you are one of those folks, try this one. If you are looking for a really nice 32 mm binocular, I recommend you give this one a look. The Verano 42 review up coming, but this 32 is the class act of the series. This is a very good, smaller binocular and will have its fans.
Nice review Steve. I was wondering how these compared to the Traveller, considering the price difference is less than $100 with the Traveler sourced from China and the Verano from Japan. Does the Verano have the words Made in Japan on it anywhere ? I have not handled the Traveller ED but the Verano VHD from your observation seems to be the better buy.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
The x42 Verano is a bit of a head scratcher. In most ways it is pretty well what one might expect from differences between same series 32 vs 42 sizes. These have some eye cup issues I need a little more time to come to grips with before posting the review. I'm going to the Aurora next while I let that one sit for a bit.
 

A2GG

Beth
United States
I wonder if the new Verano 8x32 is related to the Leupold BX-4 8x32. The overall body shape looks very similar as well as the eyecup shape/length. The Specs are very similar between the two.

I tried the BX-4 recently and some of what's said in this review matches my impressions of the Leupold. The BX-4 seemed somewhat large for 32mm, but is light weight. The focuser very quick and smooth, but it goes in the CCW direction. Before I ordered it, I read on another optics forum someone describe the color as slightly green. My impressions were a slight blue compared to my Nikon Monarch HG 8x30. The BX-4 has very good apparent brightness and it's very sharp. I felt it had a Zeiss-like quality to the view. I compared it quickly to my Nikon MHG 8x30 which appeared warmer and slightly yellowish. The optics of the Leupold BX-4 are impressive, but I sent it back for the narrow FOV compared to the Nikon HG and sweet spot was smaller in comparison too.
Overall, the Leupold BX-4 is very nice binocular and comes with a good quality case which is one of the best I've seen.
 

dries1

Member
You have your hands full Steve, looking forward to more of these, that Verano 8X32 looks interesting as well as the Aurora in 8X42.
 

Ratal

Well-known member
So you rate the sharpness as good as the new 8x42 Aurora? Thats freaking incredible - I wouldn't swap my Aurora for anything and have tested it against some of the biggest hitters in the field - But if the 8x32 Verano lose nothing to it then I may get a set! To be fair - 800 quid verus 400 thats a pretty hella performace drop for Opticron's flagship and may lead people to wonder why they need spend that extra 400 quid...

But if they are that good, I think my search for a little 8x32 is over. Great review. Appreciated.
 
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Steve C

Well-known member
Beth

I could well be there is shared DNA between the Leupold and Verano. Both Japanese and both likely from the same OEM. The BX 4 42 looks a lot like the BGA VHD.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Ratal,

Mostly what Opticron would have to do is put the Aurora armor and eye cups on the Verano. The fov would need some work to play well at the Aurora price point. Today I noticed that after several days of really gloomy gray weather days that were solid wet overcast that the Aurora showed a better brightness advantage, I would suppose there is a transmission advantage in favor of the Aurora. Rival might not mean equal but even if you don't feel the Verano is quite up to the Aurora, I'd be surprised if you did not wind up keeping it. It is a good binocular. At its price point it surely did surprise me.
 

Ratal

Well-known member
Ratal,

Mostly what Opticron would have to do is put the Aurora armor and eye cups on the Verano. The fov would need some work to play well at the Aurora price point. Today I noticed that after several days of really gloomy gray weather days that were solid wet overcast that the Aurora showed a better brightness advantage, I would suppose there is a transmission advantage in favor of the Aurora. Rival might not mean equal but even if you don't feel the Verano is quite up to the Aurora, I'd be surprised if you did not wind up keeping it. It is a good binocular. At its price point it surely did surprise me.

Going to be having a pair of these in the new year. The Zeiss Victory 8x25 is a marvel, but I love the 8x32 format.

As for Opticron Aurora, these will be a pair of bins I have for decades to come. Mine are absolute cherry, and everytime people have a look through them in the field, they are impressed. Great review by the way. Kudos!
 

ZDHart

Registered User
Supporter
United States
Nice review. I sure don't need any more 8x32 bins, but it's a format that I really love... so the allure of the Verano 8x32, especially at the price, is strong for me! :rolleyes:
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Nice review Steve,....it does sound like optically the Verano is a step up from the Traveler and in regards to size etc...while larger, it is hardly noticeable I am sure in the field. Might have to trade in my Traveler:) .....
 

Upland

Well-known member
Ordered a pair from Optics planet. Initially they said 5-7 to ship. Then 3 weeks. Now 5 months. Guess I’ll be waiting awhile! Called Opticron USA to see what they knew but haven’t gotten a call back yet.
 

gcole

Well-known member
Ordered a pair from Optics planet. Initially they said 5-7 to ship. Then 3 weeks. Now 5 months. Guess I’ll be waiting awhile! Called Opticron USA to see what they knew but haven’t gotten a call back yet.
Optics4birding.com list them to be in stock but you will have to pay more. Their ship date says 7 to 10 business days to ship. You can also probably get them direct from OpticronUSA but that will also be more expensive.
 

Upland

Well-known member
Just heard from Opticron. They have them in stock and are going to contact OP to let them know they are available. Hopefully will have them soon!
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Nice review Steve,....it does sound like optically the Verano is a step up from the Traveler and in regards to size etc...while larger, it is hardly noticeable I am sure in the field. Might have to trade in my Traveler:) .....
Well, the Traveller is a nice binocular. This kind of depends on your personal tastes. If I didn't have both the Traveller and the Maven B3, I'd be tempted to buy these and not send them back. Personally I really like the extra size. I think the 7.5* fov is OK. I'd like to see the field of the Traveller and the B3 there, but in a world of compromises, you can't have all you want.

Glad you enjoyed the review :)
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Great review. Sounds promising!

Steve, can you post some comparison photos of the Opticron vs similar 8x30/32 models? Just to get a sense of size :)

My biggest nitpicks with the Opticron Traveler, which I mostly really liked:
  1. A bit TOO small and light for proper handheld ergonomics (for me)
  2. Eyecups slightly too small / slightly lacking in max extension (common issue with this class)
  3. Mediocre glare / stray light control causing the image to wash out slightly / lose saturation and contrast
  4. Adequate, but sort of cheap feeling build quality and finishing materials
At the time, I thought to myself that if Opticron came out with a similar binocular but with more "premium" features (especially better glare control and superior build quality) and a little more size and mass to make it more comfortable for extended handheld use, I would be quite interested. It seems like the new Verano hits on nearly all of these points!

I don't really care about the difference between 450g and 530g when carrying the binocular -- either way it's light enough for me to carry all day without issue. But for actual handheld use, I would rather have the heavier binocular. It's still considerably smaller and lighter than the bulky "premium" 8x32's like the Zeiss Conquest HD, Leica Trinovid HD, Kowa Genesis XD, etc which are typically in the 600-650g range.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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