Binoculars review

IOR B/GA 10x40

IOR B/GA 10x40
26 January 2010
The IOR Bucatesti is the equivalent of PZO Polskie Zakłady Optyczne (Polish Optical Industries) in Romania. While PZO has become bankrupt and there’s only one 7x45 model of binoculars on its offer left, the Romanian IOR tries to conquer the difficult European market with its products.

On this company’s offer we find porro prismatic 8x30, 7x40, 10x40 and 10x50 models, offered with individual focus system and with or without a measuring grid. Additionally the IOR has some smaller roof prisms products with 8x21 and 10x25 parameters on its offer.

The company boasts about 70 years of experience in designing and producing optical instruments, the usage of the best mechanical and optical materials (German SCHOTT glass), high quality of binoculars’ housings which are dustproof, waterproof and shockproof, and good guarantee conditions.

  • Lornetka IOR B/GA 10x40
  • Lornetka IOR B/GA 10x40
  • Lornetka IOR B/GA 10x40
  • Lornetka IOR B/GA 10x40
Manufacturer data


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Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 40 100/1000(5.7o) BaK-4/Porro 18 mm 1200 g 1990 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   40.01+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  40.02+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 9.8+/- 0.2x 3/3.0
Transmission 80+/- 4% 9.5/25.0
Chromatic aberration Low in the centre, medium at the edge. 7/10.0
Astigmatism Low. 8/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the filed centre compared to the field of vision radius: 40% +\- 5% 4/10.0
Coma Medium. 5.2/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in the distance of 68% +\- 2% from the field of view centre. 2.5/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Noticeable. 3.2/5.0
Whiteness of the image Very distinct light yellow. A bit less intensive than in the Russian BPCs but still very bad. 1/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
IOR B/GA 10x40 - Internal reflections - Left IOR B/GA 10x40 - Internal reflections - Right
Housing Big and heavy but comfortable to hold. Very nice against the face because of profiled eyecups. Here the good points end. The rubber padding is awful: it stinks horribly, it sticks out and in some places you can literally take it off the tubes. Objective lenses’ caps, massive on thin straps, are rather annoying. 2.5/8.0
Focusing Individual focusing moves very smoothly and comfortably. The focusing doesn’t change positions of profiled eyecups so the comfort of work is great. No bends under pressure. 4.7/5.0
Tripod A pipe inside. 1/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 51.8 to 73.6mm 4/6.0
Closest focusing distance 6.70 m. 0/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 58.5 deg (according to simple formula) and 54.1 deg (according to tangent formula). 10/20.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 5.97 +\- 0.03 degrees and it was wider than in specifications. 5.5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Dark and matt. Some specks of dust still visible. Not blackened, copper elements inside. 4/5.0
Left: Right:
IOR B/GA 10x40 - Vignetting - Left IOR B/GA 10x40 - Vignetting - Right
Slightly truncated exit pupils.
OL: 2.3%, OR: 0.6%.
Prisms quality Good quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Blue-orange on the objective lenses. Orange on the prisms. Inside the eyepieces 2-3 of air-to-glass surfaces seem not to be covered at all. 3/5.0
Warranty [years] 30 5/6.0
Final result
49 place in the overall ranking of 10x42 binoculars’ test
114.5 / 190 pkt
Econo result 56 place in the econo ranking of 10x42 binoculars’ test -17.1pkt.


  • very good astigmatism correction,
  • low chromatic aberration,
  • comfortable profiled eyecups,
  • good BaK-4 prisms,
  • long guarantee period,
  • good blackening inside the barrels,
  • low flares.

  • bad price/quality ratio,
  • stinking rubber on the barrel which additionally sticks out,
  • quite average transmission for a Porro device,
  • significantly yellow image,
  • steep fall of image sharpness at the edge of the field,
  • minimum focus from the distance of 6.7 meters,
  • lack of tripod exit,
  • heavy,
  • truncated exit pupils.

This pair of binoculars is a relict of the past with all the advantages and disadvantages connected with this fact. When we consider the solidity of workmanship, heavy weight and the inner construction then contemporary “Made in China” products could take a leaf out of the IOR’s book. Every optics specialist can disassemble the IOR without any problems, clean it and collimate easily. In the case of Chinese products, with the prisms glued inside, it would be impossible.

On the other hand, though, the plainness of build, so common when we deal with the products from the countries to the east of the Iron Curtain, puts you off very efficiently. Never before have we held a set of binoculars which stank so much. The rubber on the casing is fixed very shoddily – it moves sideways and one sudden movement is enough to take it off. There’s no end to these disparities; for a change, the way the eyecups are assembled is something plenty of other manufacturers, e.g. Steiner, should imitate. In Night Hunters every change of focus demands putting eyecups in a different position; in the IOR instrument the change of focus doesn’t change the eyecups’ position at all so the binoculars is very comfortable against the face.

The next characteristic feature of the Eastern Bloc products was the yellow image – IOR is no exception here. In its case the yellowish hue of the image is the most distinct of all other 10x42 binoculars, tested here. The most probable culprit are the coatings, which work the best in the yellow part of the spectrum and overall aren’t very efficient giving, as a result, an average transmission level for a Porro set of binoculars.

The IOR has a potential to be a good instrument. An attempt to conquer the market, though, can’t be based on minimum effort in the style of offering good guarantee conditions for a price similar to those of Western devices; it must be based on working from a scratch. A better quality control, the usage of better materials and antireflection multi-coatings of the newest generation seem to be a must in a device with the price tag of 700 USD. Currently even for two times less you wouldn’t get interested in the IOR.