Olympus 8x42 EXPS I
Buyers get objective caps, a joined rainguard, a strap and a case. This pair of binoculars comes with a 25-year producer warranty period.
- solid, compact and stylish casing,
- good transmission,
- good whiteness rendering,
- excellent correction of chromatic aberration,
- very low distortion,
- slight brightness loss on the edge of the field,
- good quality of prisms and coatings,
- long guarantee period.
- narrow field of view,
- definitely too light areas near exit pupils,
- a bit too narrow maximum IPD,
- inner tubes should have been blackened better.
The list of pros and cons looks exactly like that of the 10x42 model which was assessed during our big test of 10x42 class instruments. Also the final result in the test was similar – small wonder our summary will have the same overtone. Once again we would like to point out a very good price/quality ratio, offered by the Olympus - this pair of binoculars is relatively cheap but very well-made at the same time and with good optical properties. In fact many of its flaws are perfectly forgivable at this price point. One thing that we regret is the fact that it features such a narrow field of view. When you deal with binoculars having 10 times magnification ratio, you should expect a field of around 6.3 degrees. When it comes to the 8 x magnification (although the Olympus is closer to 9x than to 8x) a 7-degree wide field seems to be the bare minimum, especially when such competitors as the Nikon Action EX 8x40 can impress with a field reaching as much as 8.2 degrees.
It’s worth consulting also the transmission graph because it shows clearly what you gain when you use Porro devices which light loss on prisms is limited to the minimum.
The graph is perhaps not ideal but it leaves roof prism binoculars from the same price segment far behind. What’s more, only few roof prism instruments with a price tag two or three times higher than that of the Olympus can provide a comparable or better result. The maximum transmission reaching almost 95% is really a good achievement and if you add to that the surplus of blue light, where the transmission can get near 90%, you get a performance beyond reproach.
The transmission graph allows us to assess the effectiveness of UV coatings Olympus so boasts about – they are really efficient because the waves shorter than 400 nm are almost completely blocked off.
Olympus EXPS I 8x42 and Delta Optical Titanium 8x42
One glance at the photo above shows one more thing – the Olympus, being hardly among lightweight instruments, features a short, compact casing so it makes an impression of a handy and solid device. A long warranty period, given by a renowned manufacturer present on the marked for almost half a century, confirms that impression.
To sum up this pair of binoculars is highly recommendable providing that you don’t bother yourself with the narrow field of view of the Olympus and a bit overstated magnification.