Thursday, May 26, 2011
From Mike in Wyoming:
The EL 10X42 binoculars are so bright and crisp that you may forget you don't have bionic eyes. After owning a pair of higher end Steiner binoculars purchased last year I can say that it was a blessing when they met their Waterloo under the tire of my truck last hunting season, because I replaced them with a pair of the Swarovski EL binoculars.
When I previously upgraded binoculars it never seemed like the higher cost was worth the slight optical improvement, and I always felt victimized by the law of diminishing returns. Not so with these binoculars. They are expensive, but worth every penny.
Monday, May 23, 2011
From Chris in Idaho:
I bought these a few years ago after comparing them with Leica's and Swarovski's offerings. I liked the ergonomics of these best but thought the Swarovski's had a slight edge optically. At the time the Victorys were $200 less and the optical difference was minuscule to my eyes so it was an easy decision to go with the Zeiss.
I bought these primarily for hiking but I've ended up using them far more often than my Nikon SE 8x32 or Canon 10x30 IS even though both are better bins. But it's the old saying about the best ones are the ones you've got with you and the Victorys are with me most of the time.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
From Jon W in NH:
I bought this scope after a friend bought the same model and found it excellent for their needs. I have no regrets.
First off, let's be clear about what this scope is not. It isn't a replacement for a high-end Swarovski or Leica or Kowa scope. There's no way a budget scope like this can match those names for quality or durability.
That said, here's what this scope IS: a VERY good value for the money. The image is clear and sharp. The focus is good, though perhaps a bit on the stiff side. The materials and construction seem good considering they're very light weight. When mated with a lightweight field tripod, this is a scope I can carry in the field without getting tired -- even as I'm also carrying a DSLR camera with a 300mm lens on it.
If you want a best-possible-quality, carry-anywhere, do-anything, in-any-weather kind of scope, well then, this isn't the scope for you. If you're on a tight budget and want a low-priced field scope that nevertheless delivers very good performance, then look no further. The Vortex Nomad will do you just fine.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
From Scott R.in Newnan, GA:
I purchased these binoculars (8x40) a week ago. My first two birdwatching trips with them were up in the GA mountains looking for warblers. A warbler is a small bird that stays in the trees anywhere from ground level to tree tops. These are also very active birds not staying in one place very long. Weather was cool with overcast skies and drizzle. These binoculars performed admirably. The lens were crisp and clear. The field of view was excellent which helped finding these elusive birds. Looking through these binoculars reminded me of looking through Nikon camera lenses. Color was excellent with little or no aberration. Focusing was quick and the binoculars exhibited excellent depth of field. I was easily keeping up with the more expensive glass that was there. All in all these binoculars acted like pairs costing much more. I was truly impressed.
The lens caps were fair. They were a little awkward putting on and taking off. I would prefer a rainguard Like Zeiss has over the Nikons. One other thing, the eyecups do not lock very well into position. They will move. My preference was for the middle position.
I would recommend these binoculars over pairs costing $400-$600. I personally think you get a better view with porro's anyhow. They're not trendy roofs but it you want a good view for a reasonable price the Nikon Action Extremes would be hard to beat.
Monday, May 16, 2011
From Lenge H. in New York, NY:
I purchased my Viper HD 8x42's for a birding trip to Costa Rica; they are my first pair of "serious" binoculars, trading up from a small pair of Bushnells that were fine for Central Park ... or so I thought! By the end of the first day of my trip they had more than justified their price. Their light-gathering capabilities were invaluable in the rainforest, and their light weight meant I was never aware of the fact that I had them around my neck all day, without using a shoulder harness. Also I have problems with my wrists, which had made using my SLR camera difficult, but the Vipers didn't strain my wrists at all. The image is so sharp, it really does look like HD. I haven't used a pair of higher-end binoculars, but in this price range I doubt you could do better than these.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
These are well designed with an emphasis on quality and function. The body is covered by a rubberized coating that affords good feel in the hands and protection to the lens barrels. They are compact and light enough to carry all day without fuss, but not so small as to be fiddly. They fit well into average hands, and are suited to use with gloves. I see them as well suited to bush hunting or trekking, where larger, heavier optics are a pain to have swinging around your neck as you climb about the hills and gullies. They will happily slip into a daypack without sinking the ship.
The lens covers fit well and do not fall off unexpectedly. The rain cover on the ocular lenses is a one-piece design and can be attached to the neck strap, which is wide and distributes the weight nicely. The pouch provided is a simple, strong design from padded synthetic material. The strap on the binocular can be fed out the top of the pouch to carry them around your neck, or be tucked inside, avoiding the use of two straps and cutting down on the extra weight.
The lenses are superb and I reckon are up there with the best, making them great value at the price I paid. They provide high resolution and contrast and neutral, true to life colour reproduction with very low chromatic aberration. The result is razor-sharp, bright, clear images with very little evidence of blurring at the edges. The light capturing ability is great, and suited to hunting in forest environs, in overcast conditions or as the evening approaches. I found them noticeably brighter than a Kahles 8x32, and more neutral in colour than the Meopta Meostar 8x32, which has a yellow tinge to my eye.
The field of view is excellent at 140m at 1000m, or 8 degrees.
The central focus wheel turns smoothly, is nicely knurled and is very functional. It strikes a perfect balance, being fine enough for accurately focusing, but not so fine as to make adjustments slow or finicky in the field. The depth of field is excellent and the minimum focus distance is an impressive 1.5m (5 feet), making them also suited to close up work such as bird or insect observation.
The diopter adjustment is a twist ring near the right ocular lens and has a well-designed lock to prevent drifting off setting.
The Genesis in 8x33 are a high quality binocular, well suited to hunting, bird watching or for general use by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. They are robust and well designed, without any gimmicky features. They are high-end optics providing fantastic images and great value for money compared to other glasses of similar quality.
Service from Eagle Optics excellent, and answered my questions prior to purchase, and took the time to chase up info and email back promptly. It is too bad they will not deal directly with offshore buyers.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
From Mike P. in Austin, TX:
Having successfully returned from the chase for Yellow-faced Grassquit, my wife and sister decided to follow suit two days later. I loaned my wife my Leica 8 x 42 BN and she returned realizing, in a very practicalway, that my binocular was much better than hers. We discussed the options and decided to purchase the new Atlas Optics Intrepid ED 8 x 42. She is frugal--she wanted a better binocular but did not want to invest $2,500 or more.
We received them on schedule from the always excellent staff at Eagle Optics. Out of the box, they performed as advertised: bright, sharp and much better than her previous binocular, which were not a beginner's pair. They were $250, but the Intrepid, for a bit more, were much, much better.
We were so impressed that we called other novice birders who were going to join us in High Island and encouraged them to invest in Intrepids. As a veteran birding leader, I knew that people often try birding with poor binoculars and walk away not having truly enjoyed the experience because their view was limited by inferior optics. Two of my brothers-in-law bought three pair of the Intrepids for themselves and a friend and we ventured forth to High Island to test them in the field.
They performed admirably. The quality of each of the four new pair were consistent. They are very bright, sharp, easy to operate and feel good in the hand. Whether a brilliant scarlet tanager, a sublime cerulean warbler, or a swainson's warbler hidden in the dimly lit underbrush, the Intrepid proved itself, living up to its billing. We are all extremely pleased with the purchases. If you want a binocular that provides a stellar view for a modest investment, give the Intrepid a chance to surprise you.
Other reviews have mentioned the action of the adjustable eye cups and the looseness of the rubber objective lens guards. Our experience: the rubber rings attaching the lens guards to the binocular are, indeed, too loose. If you take them into the field you will lose them. As for the eye cups, they do not have the positive feel of binoculars in much higher price ranges, but they worked fine for us.
In summary, nothing beats a great Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss or Nikon in the elite models. But, if for any reason, you want a great glass at a more modest price, you will be very pleased with the Intrepid.