Over the years I have bought numerous pairs of ‘budget’ binoculars and accepted the limitations – numerous as they are.
I had for some time been perusing the market looking for affordable quality. I was lucky enough on a recent stalk to try a very expensive pair of well known high end binoculars. The difference in quality was not comparable to the binoculars I had owned in the past. Unfortunately, the £900+ price tag was just a step too far for me. The hunt continued, but I was certain of the type of quality I was aiming for now.
Then I came across Strathspey and the information on their website was very helpful as well as promising. I opted for the 8X32 pair and the added bonus was that they were waterproof.
Within a couple of days they arrived and I was not disappointed. They felt extremely solid and well built with a rubber armour finish and weighing in at 0.6kg, they are comfortable to hold for long periods. You get:
Objective lenses 32mm
Prisms BAK-4 roof prisms
Coatings level IV
Field of view 7.4 degrees
Exit pupil diameter 4mm
Tripod adaptor fitting
The exit pupil is defined as the lens size / magnification, so for 8x32 its 32/8=4mm
In sunlight your eye's pupil will contract to a size of 2-4mm. But at night they'll open to 7mm (depending on age). If the light beam is wider than your pupil if can't all get through, so binoculars with 4mm exit pupil size seem as bright as those with 6mm in daylight. However they may seem dimmer than those with 6mm as it gets darker.
This is a trade off for size and weight I was prepared to make.
Having tried them out the first time watching for flight lines over some fields, I have to say I did not notice the trade off I had made, as the light faded, they continued to provide a clear and crisp view. They performed extremely well at various distances.
I have also had the opportunity to use the binoculars during a heavy rain storm whilst pigeon decoying. They did not steam up and performed just as well as they did in clear, dry conditions. From my experience of them so far, I have no doubt they will perform well in any weather.
These binoculars are intended for woodland stalking, shooting and general outdoor use. One feature which I think is a must is the built in lens covers that you flip down, but stay attached to the body of the binoculars so you can’t lose them. If you are anything like me, then you will have lost more than a couple of lens covers in the field, never to be found again.
I have since been able to compare these binoculars directly with the expensive ones that I first tried. I have to say that I found them just as clear and lighter to carry. I was using them up until 10:30pm at the end of May and they continued to perform extremely well and the field of view was excellent.
The guide I was with was very impressed with the quality of these binoculars, having always purchased the well know high end brands. Having tried these, he is now in the market for a pair himself.
If you are in the market for quality binoculars, but find the £900+ price tags beyond you – as I did – then these are the ones for you. In a direct comparison with a more expensive brand, they actually performed just as well for me.
I have no connection to Strathspey this is my personal view.
These can be found at http://www.strathspey.co.uk/
Sorry for the rubbish quality pics.