Binoculars reviews

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars

30 April 2013
Arkadiusz Olech

15. Olympus EXPS I 8x42

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Olympus EXPS I 8x42

The porro prism Olympus EXPS binoculars are a very sensible option on our market, a good compromise between the quality and the price. The Olympus 8x42 EXPS I got 124.4 points in our optical test and you should consider it a good result. Will it perform as well in the endurance test? Let’s find out.

Low temperature

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The low temperature test didn’t end well for the Olympus. The central wheel froze over completely and we weren’t able to move it even with both hands. The same situation was with the narrow dioptre correction ring. The change of the tubes’ gauge was very difficult. Only the eyecups and the tripod mounting exit didn’t cause us any problems.

High temperature

The binoculars performed a bit better in high temperature. The rubber didn’t get loose anywhere, we haven’t noticed any grease inside the tubes, the eyecups and the tripod mounting blockade worked as they should, the same can be said about the changing of the tubes’ gauge. Only the focusing ring worked very loosely and we noticed some grease near the dioptre correction ring.

Waterproof qualities

The producer doesn’t declare that the binoculars are waterproof so our expectations weren’t high. After one hour of submerging the device indeed didn’t look great. You could notice droplets of water on the inner elements and prisms and they were fogged, limiting efficiently any usage. Still the instrument looked better than the completely drenched Leica binoculars or the Delta Optical Titanium, which producers claimed they were waterproof.

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Olympus EXPS I 8x42

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Olympus EXPS I 8x42

What’s consoling, after several weeks the humidity evaporated from the inside of the binoculars. You still could notice some dried up residues but the Olympus was fully operational - apart from the slight contrast decrease nobody would notice something was wrong. All other functions worked as they should.


Two falls from different heights didn’t cause any serious problems. The binoculars remained perfectly collimated, the eyecups weren’t damaged and there were no traces on the casing either.

Optics cleaning

A quite decent result in this category although the Olympus doesn’t declare any hydrophobic coatings. Water residue, which got stuck after the exposure to high temperature, is perhaps not completely easy to remove but there are no huge problems either. The same can be said about the fingerprints. The water dribbling down leaves just small droplets behind. Big grease stains can be removed with just several swipes of a dry cloth.


No other flaws.


The chart below shows the results the tested pair of binoculars got in particular categories:

Low temperature:
High temperature:
Waterproof quality:
Optics cleaning:

Taking into account the price of the tested binoculars and the fact that its producer doesn’t state it is fully waterproof or can endure harsh weather conditions you can accept its result. The Olympus EXPS I 8x42 is an optically solid pair of binoculars and a decent device when it comes to endurance, nothing more.