Binoculars reviews

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars

30 April 2013
Arkadiusz Olech

8. Docter 8x42 ED

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Docter 8x42 ED

Docter always impressed us with its huge Nobilem binoculars which fared very well in our tests. The results of the 8x42 ED and the 10x42 ED roof prism models perhaps weren’t so perfect but still remained acceptable. The 8x42 ED model in the optical test got the final score of 131.6 points, being placed near the end of the top ten best binoculars of our ranking. In the case of the Docters, with the good durability reputation of this German make, you could expect that a bit weaker optical properties would be compensated by excellent, though mechanics. Is it really true? Let’s find out.

Low temperature

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In a temperature of -22 deg C the central focusing wheel works correctly, with a bit greater resistance than in the room temperature. For a change the individual focus ring (for dioptre regulation) could be barely moved – it is a huge slip-up at this price point. The eyecups moved with a bit greater resistance but we didn’t have any reservations concerning the tripod mounting blockade and the gauge of the tubes.

High temperature

After the high temperature test we didn’t notice any slip-ups but the performance wasn’t perfect either. The central wheel works with a normal resistance but you can hear some squelching. The eyecups are a bit looser than normally and the same can be said about the dioptre correction. Only the gauge of the tubes and the tripod mounting blockade fares as they should – so without any change. We also didn’t notice any grease leakages, either on the casing or in the tubes.

Waterproof qualities

The result of the Docter in this category can be easily call one of the biggest negative surprises of our test. A relatively expensive pair of binoculars, produced by a renowned German manufacturer, which, according to the specifications, should remain waterproof up to 1 meter below water surface, definitely doesn’t fare as it should. It’s enough you submerge it in knee-deep water and it becomes completely flooded, making the whole instrument useless. A big slip-up!

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Docter 8x42 ED

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Docter 8x42 ED


Two falls from different heights didn’t cause any external damage of the eyecups or decolimation. There are no traces on the casing. One thing changed – the left eyecup worked with a bit heavier resistance afterwards.

Optics cleaning

We deal here with quite an expensive instrument so you could expect that the producer might use high quality hydrophobic coatings. Unfortunately it is not the case – the cleaning of objective lenses is hardly easy. For example water residue, which got stuck after drying up in high temperature, was very difficult to remove and the fingerprints and grease demanded quite vigorous swipes of the 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:

There’s no sense to beat about the bush –the result of the Docter 8x42 ED in our endurance test is a shame for such a renowned producer. Several less important slip-ups, one very noticeable (cleaning) and one pretty tragic (no traces of declared waterproofness) make this instrument hardly recommendable at all. Its price, compared to its optical and mechanical possibilities, is definitely too high. For such an amount of money you can buy other rival binoculars which fare better both optically and mechanically.