Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars
The market of binoculars keeps growing very quickly indeed. In fact every year we see a new company which launches several series of products. What’s more, already existing companies tend to replace its product line-ups much quicker than before. Often we observe a situation where many pairs of binoculars come from the same factory and they differ only in their brand name on the casing. Sometimes the differences are more pronounced – a given company can order better coatings than the competitors or close the same optics in a better casing.
Of course every single manufacturer praises its products, stating that they are superior to those of its immediate rivals. Facing such a wide offer, available on the market, the verification of different claims in more detail becomes more and more difficult. Many customers decide to buy the products of well-known, renowned companies, which have been present on the market for many years as they can provide good warranty conditions and a long warranty period, based on a proper warranty service. However, it is often the case that such products are significantly more expensive than those made by companies existing on the market for a shorter period of time. Our optics tests show that many cheaper models can rival very efficiently with even the most reputable pairs of binoculars.
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Although we try our utmost to make our tests as extensive and detailed as possible they don’t answer one important question. As a typical test lasts about a month we can’t find out how a given pair of binoculars would manage the long and intensive wear and tear in different conditions. After all durability is often a decisive feature, making customers to buy a definitely more expensive product, manufactured by a company with an established position on the market. They are willing to pay more for a device which is known for its unquestionable solidity, representing a widely recognized brand. The problem is that we don’t know how solid the products of companies less renowned are, especially as they can sometimes cost a lot as well. In most of cases these are produced in Japan, their mechanics during our tests was beyond reproach and their manufacturers claim that they are fully weather-proof; sometimes they even come with life-long warranty.
Overall you can say that producers, fighting over prospective customers, can include different achievements in specifications, most often stating that their devices are waterproof, shock-proof, can work in a wide range of temperatures; they boast of dirt- proof qualities of the coatings, their abrasion resistance, and so on. The truth is that nobody checks these claims in detailed and comparable testing conditions. It’s a pity - there’s a lot to be done after all.
Combining all these factors, mentioned above, it is not difficult to guess that, in order to make our tests more comprehensive we decided to conduct a long-term endurance test of binoculars.
We chose the 8x42 class (including 8x40, 8.5x42 and 8x43) because there is the biggest number of those instruments on the market so in our opinion the producers could take their pick and had plenty to choose from. Apart from that the binoculars with such parameters haven’t been featured in our optical tests yet.
All Polish binoculars distributors were informed almost two months in advance about the test which was supposed to last about a year. The information in English also appeared on our Allbinos.com site. We let the producers and the distributors choose what models and how many of them they would like to send to be examined and tested. We warned them that the binoculars after the test might be broken because we weren’t going to spare them anything.
The following companies decided to take part in our test:
We congratulate all of them – you showed courage and you proved you trust your own products. Unfortunately distributors of such companies as: Celestron, Eschenbach, Fomei, Kahles, Meopta, Minox, Vanguard or Vortex didn’t agree to take part in our test. I am sure our Readers can assess that fact properly on their own.
All endurance tests our binoculars were subjected to we conducted at our own risk, in many cases exceeding the norms stated by the producers. We strongly discourage you from copying those tests using your private equipment.