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Two Different Binoculars - In Design, Handling, Prices …. With Center Focus Sharpness To Close To Call ? (1 Viewer)

gcole

Well-known member
United States
A day after receiving and handling a pair of the Vixen Apex J 8x42HR WP direct from Japan, we were able to compare them Optically to the Opticron DBA VHD+ 8x42 from another family member. As you can see from the pictures, the Vixen Apex physically is a very different animal. Our Vixen pair direct from Japan was $334 shipped, our family member got his new Opticron at a really low discounted price of just over $500. Both are Japan sourced. Both described as having some sort of ED glass. We owned a Opticron DBA VHD+ 8x42, so we knew how good they were Optically. So when we first brought the Vixen Apex to our eyes, my first (our) thought was dam these are really nice. What we did not know, was how close the center focus sharpness between the two were. One minute we both thought the richness in colors/ sharpness was better with the Vixen Apex, then the next comparison the Opticron edged out the Vixen. After about 25 minutes of back and forth we both agreed in a tie between the two. I am not going to say which ones we think are a better binocular, yes the Opticrons cost hundreds of $$$ more. Weight wise on my postage scale less than 2 ounce difference. Spec wise FOV both 7 degrees. With Opticron having a more immersive view, probably due to its ocular lens Flat Field View with its 22mm eye relief. Both Japan made, different name Brands but maybe the same actual manufactures. Dollar Wise …. Optically I think the Vixen Apex J 8x42HR WP wins hands down, costing hundreds of dollars less.
 

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Very interesting, I was looking forward to reading your impressions on these. I looks like Vixen is always offering very competitive products. If I remember correctly, your impression about the DBA VHD+ is that it was slightly better than its sibling, the Vixen Artes J, so I wonder how close the Apex J and the Artes J are. According to Vixen website the Artes J are «Genuine binoculars made in Japan that succeed the Vixen's flagship ARTES», so apparently Artes does sit on a higher level on their quality ladder.
 
Very interesting, I was looking forward to reading your impressions on these. I looks like Vixen is always offering very competitive products. If I remember correctly, your impression about the DBA VHD+ is that it was slightly better than its sibling, the Vixen Artes J, so I wonder how close the Apex J and the Artes J are. According to Vixen website the Artes J are «Genuine binoculars made in Japan that succeed the Vixen's flagship ARTES», so apparently Artes does sit on a higher level on their quality ladder.
Yes after I read that, I was a little confused because the Vixen Web Site does not mention the ED Apex series at all. It’s odd really no mention of the ED Apex J in comparison to the ED Artes J. If I were to single out just one thing that I liked better than the Vixens series J ED binoculars, it would be the Opticron DBA VHD Series Ocular Lens Design. With its Flat Field Design and it’s much longer eye relief of 22mm making them easier/more comfortable to use than the Vixen’s. Since it’s been a few years since I owned/handled the Vixen Artes J Ed that you experienced, I did not want to rely on my memory for the two comparisons. I felt more comfortable comparing the Opticron DBA VHD + to the Vixen Apex J because I could handle both back and forth in hand in real time. Thinking back about my first impressions of the Vixen Arts J 8x42 Optical Qualities from memory, is the same impression that the Vixen Apex J gave me when I first saw the view they provided. If the Artes J is the higher end in the Vixen J ED series, its probably due to the Vixen Artes J having a more up to date Ocular/Lens Design …. having a tad more eye relief with a FOV more immersive to ones eyes. If we had both in hand today I do not know if we could say which one had the sharper view?
 

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