Friday, July 30, 2010

Leupold Acadia

I recently purchased this binocular to replace my terribly made Swift Ultra Lites. In terms of the build quality, these are very sturdy without being bulky or excessively heavy. The eyecups appear as though they'll hold up for years to come; this is not always the case, however, as other lower end roof prisms have a similar eye cup design that is prone to malfunctioning after a few months of steady use. Also, the focus wheel is robust and well placed. At just under 23 ounces, they weigh in very comparably to other optics in this class. The multi-coated lenses do yield a very bright and clear image, and the close focus is pretty decent. The biggest pro I can see with these is the rugged design. If you intend on putting your binocs to the test and don't intend on jumping to the $300-$500 price class, these are a good bet.

There are a few negatives, however. The strap, as one might expect for binocs in this price range, is far from adequate. It is thin and does not provide the support needed for a long day of use. If you are considering purchasing these for more occasional use, don't let the strap deter you. It does what it was designed to do. Another small gripe I have is that the focus wheel is rather slow; this is not atypical of binoculars in this price class though, so it really shouldn't be a deal-breaker either. Also, the diopter adjustment is prone to being bumped as it is located along side the focus knob. One other concern I have is that Leupold's warranty does not seem to be as iron-clad as those of say, Vortex or Eagle Optics.

In short, for this price these are well made and provide a sharp, bright image. For under $200 there probably aren't many binocs that can compete with these.

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