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Viking 6.5x32 MD review (1 Viewer)

Binoseeker

Mostly using spectacles (myopic) with binoculars.
I recently bought a Viking 6.5x32 MD on sale, 99.95£, from www.vikingopticalcentres.co.uk.
I received it in a couple of days.

The carrying case for the bin is of a black, soft synthetic textile material with provisions to attach it to the belt on the trousers.

Exterior/mechanics.
- A lot of black rubber armouring on it makes it a bit “fat” & protected.
- The objective protection caps fits a bit loosely, could have been a lot tighter.
- The ocular protection cap is a bit loose which is good. easy to put on/off the oculars.
- The eye cups are easy to twist and have a mechanical feeling I like. They have rubber on the outside, which haven’t fallen off yet ;-) . They can be put in 4 click stop positions.
- The neck strap is ok, the part around the neck looks a bit cheap, is wider, and probably made of neoprene, non-padded.

- The large focus wheel works great, easy to use, turns smoothly, no slop at all. It has rubber surface with ribs on it so the finger tips get a good grip.
- The focus wheel : approx. 1,3 turns end to end.
- I put the bin in the freezer over night. Afterwards the focus wheel was very hard to turn. This is no bino for wintertime usage. It is time for the manufacturers to add info about temperature limits for usage. This can actually be a deal breaker for a lot of people in cold climates who want to use the bin all year. How difficult can it be to put in the “right” grease/lubricants to also support wintertime use, really?

- The dioptre setting is on right ocular. It was very, very tight to twist the first time, i thought it was stuck or maybe of the type you have to pull up a bit before twisting.
- The hinge is very tight which I like, the IPD adjustment stays in place.
- The bin fits my hands very well.
- Weight 600gr.
- Warranty on box: 5 years

Optics
- Ocular lens diameter 23 mm. Eyecup outer diameter 43 mm.
- Multicoated optics.
- BAK-4 phase coated prisms.

- There is only very small distortion of vertical lines at the edges.
- There is some aberration at the outer edge that I can´t correct with the focus wheel. I saw this when I looked at a wall 5m away and I couldn’t get image sharp at the outer edge while focussing (astigmatism?). When using the bin normally I am not bothered by this.

- The coatings on ocular and objective lenses respectively looks green.
- All reflections in the coatings from a white lamp in the ceiling look green except one which is white as the lamp itself.
- I don’t see any sides of the prisms protruding into the light path when looking through the bin from objective side.
- The exit pupil looks round, no edges cut offs, it looks like BAK-4, when viewing through the oculars at a distance of say 20 cm.


- The perceived depth of field is large, me likes….I have only to focus a lot when the object I am looking at is closer than say 100m.
- I can get pretty sharp image but the focus doesn’t snap into sharpness, I have to “work it” a bit first, still ok.

- The focus sweetspot is like 75% of image radius.
- There is some small CA, more apparent on vertical lines. I will check this on a cloudy day also, maybe it is more apparent then?
- The eye relief is large, 22mm, very good for me, even when looking with my Polaroid suncovers on my glasses I get acceptable fov for a quick view, me likes a lot.
- I use the third click stop position of the eye cups to get the best view when looking without glasses.

- I think it is ok collimated since I don´t feel any eye strain during and after looking.
- Close focus distance, I measured it to 98cm.
- FOV is 8°, nice!
- I did my FLT and saw some few small dust particles inside from objective side, these will not effect the image when using the bin. This bin is made in China...:smoke:
- The bin has a serial number.

Summary.
All in all I like this bin a lot despite some shortcomings but what can you expect for a 100£ bin , this is my first lower magnification bin and also my first 32mm bin.
I was worried the lower magnification wouldn’t be enough but I like it, I also find the 32mm format very nice. A function you need on a bin with a focuser is to be able to focus it, you can’t do this at the tested temperature of -18°C with this bin, amazing for a bin sold in Europe…. Buying Chinese bins is a lottery….All in all, I got an acceptable one this time.

Anders
 

Cluster

Well-known member
It's great that you like them. I recently bought a pair on the same deal.
I was also a little concerned that 6.5 might be too low, but when I compared them to my 7x36 Bushnell Excursion (by putting one barrel to each eye and aligning on the same object), I could not see any difference in the size of the image in each barrel.

Sadly mine had a problem, I returned them. I may try another pair sometime in the future.
Dave
 

typo

Well-known member
Nice write-up.

I've mentioned the MD 6.5x32 a few times on the forum and consider it a bit of a gem for the £100 offer price. On two occasions I've compared it to the Swaro CL 8x30. Not only did the view appear sharper, I could without doubt see more detail using the MD even with the magnification disadvantage. That's pretty good in my books. It isn't going to win any beauty contest and the fit and finish could be a little better, but as a budget bino for close range birding I've yet to find anything better.

David
 

Binoseeker

Mostly using spectacles (myopic) with binoculars.
Dave & David,

It is your statements, among others I have read that made me have a go at it.

Thanks,

Anders
 

Chris 37

Well-known member
Hi Binoseeker,
thanks, very interesting!

May I ask the direction of the focusser?
The Meopta Meopro 6.5x32 seems very similar, but they claim it´s made in Czech Republic.
 

typo

Well-known member
Chris,

The Meopta is a different binocular from the Viking. Though they are similar size, weight and FOV, the materials, design and details like the Meopta centre adjustment all point to a different manufacturer. I would judge the Meopta build quality to be better. It's been a while since I tried them both, but as I recall the Meopta had the more neutral, possibly brighter view but I know I considered the Viking to be sharper at the time.

Sorry, don't recall the focus direction.

David
 
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looksharp65

Well-known member
The Meopta Meopro 6.5x32 seems very similar, but they claim it´s made in Czech Republic.

Assembled in USA with Czech glass. Frankly I'm in doubt. The colour bias is considerably more neutral than my Meostar 8x32. Would Meopta use different glass in their two lines, with the cheaper having better properties?

The Fury is somewhat easier on the eye than the Meostar and is possibly a wee bit brighter. That difference is very small, if even existing.
The Meostar has a tighter build and feels more well-made, mostly due to the significant difference between their eyecups.

//L
 

Chris 37

Well-known member
Uuuhh - clockwise is goood! :t:

Yes, I noticed the difference with the dioptre setting of both models. But since almost everything else seems so similar I thought they might have changed it to make them more "different". They both focus clockwise, which seems to be more of a rarity in this price segment. When I tried the Meopta in a shop I think it even had about the same 1.3 turns from stop to stop.
And then both have those rubber bits around the eyepices. When I tried the Meopro 6.5x32 I liked it quite a bit, but that was only a few minutes in a shop.
"Made in Czech Republic" was written on the binocular, although I´m not sure, what that realy means.

Jeeez, I´m having such a difficult time to find a decent pair of binoculars in the 200-400 Euro segment which turns clockwise!
 

SteveTS

Well-known member
A function you need on a bin with a focuser is to be able to focus it, you can’t do this at the tested temperature of -18°C with this bin, amazing for a bin sold in Europe ... Anders

With what passes for Winter now fast approaching in our more southerly climes I repeated this freezer test with the Viking 6.5x32 MD and had a similar result.

There's nothing quite like being out in the real world in a hard winter landscape and I do require my binoculars to work down to at least -10C when here.

I put the Viking in my domestic freezer overnight for 12 hours and although the focus wheel still turned and was just useable it was much stiffer than at ambient temperature, and the twist-up eyecups had frozen in place.

The rear mount of the focuser can be accessed by removing the centre column front button giving access to the central hinge cavity but that doesn't solve the problem of displacing the exisiting lubricant.

However using a water dispersant such as WD40 should keep the eyecups functional.

The other noticable result of the test was that the objective lenses and eyepieces were swamped by condensation.

The lenses are very well coated though as the condensation eventually evaporated leaving little trace on the objectives, but more so on the eyepieces.

I do like this binocular, despite it's utilitarian appearance, and I'm looking forward to trying it in real life winter conditions if Nature allows.

The manufacturer still has it at under £100.00 (originally £255.00) and I've been struggling to find anything of a similar spec being equivalent value for the money.
 

SteveTS

Well-known member
Anders,

A critical point and I checked for this very carefully ; there was none, no condensation whatsoever inside the binocular.

Best wishes
 

Binoseeker

Mostly using spectacles (myopic) with binoculars.
Samandag,

I got condensation on the outside of the bin when I pulled it from the freezer and I didn't want to try to clean the optical surfaces to check if it was condensation inside...maybe if doing this test in wintertime when humidity is low then condensation build up will be absent or much less making it possible to see if there is any condensation inside without the need to touch the coatings...

Well, it is sad that they didn't could afford to put right type of grease in it...

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=263842

Anders
 

SteveTS

Well-known member
Agreed, the challenge with this type of test indoors is the high relative humidity but considering that the bins are dry nitrogen purged and sealed any internal condensation precipitated by the test would still be evident after the external lens is cleared ? I don't think that this is an issue but it's not for lack of trying !
 

Cluster

Well-known member
Whilst my search for a 7x42 is on hold, I hadn't forgotten that my original objective was to find a binocular around 32mm as a winter/holiday/inexpensive compact roof. I'd tried a few, including the MD6.5x32 that sadly had a problem with its focus mechanism.
I noticed that my local binocular dealer had a discounted MD for sale. I went to try it and found that it is nothing like the example that I had some time ago. I bought it.
It's pretty nice, I look forward to trying it out on my woodland walks.

Dave
 
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Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello all,

I started a thread on the Meopta Meopro 6.5x32 here. The version sold in the States is made in the USA of American and foreign components; the European version is made in the Czech Republic.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood :hi:
 

Cluster

Well-known member
After a few days with the Viking MD, and a couple of outings to my local woodland park (looking for Brambling), I thought that I should post my initial impressions.
This is very good, big FOV, wide sweetspot, good definition remaining at the edges and pretty neutral colour. It seems more like a 7x than a 6.5x when comparing directly with my 7x36 EX, I would expect to see that difference when peering into one barrel of each at the same time (hard on the eyes though). I can't detect any difference.

Compared to my Bushnell 7x36 EX, it has a narrower FOV but significantly bigger sweet-spot, is a little brighter but is slightly less contrasty. It's as sharp on axis and (despite not "snapping" into focus) is easier to find the best focus point. There is some play in the focus knob (~3mm), this is less than my EX and is something that I have come to expect in binoculars near this level (so is average perhaps?).

It is a big binocular, specs state it's 600g, on my kitchen scales it's 680g. I don't wear glasses, with the eyecups all the way out (position 4) the field stop is not visible, I have to use the next lower setting (3) to get near it. At position 2, I can see the field stop, but have to position my eye carefully as it's on the verge of blackouts.
The view is very good, I am thrilled by this binocular, in the close environment of woodland, it gives a great viewing experience.

Dave
 
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SteveTS

Well-known member
Another 6.5x32

It's not easy finding roof prism binoculars in this specification but for those interested in 6.5x32 Kunyang Optical do a basic model in green livery, although I haven't yet seen it on the market.
 
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