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Binoculars review

Opticron Countryman 8x42 BGA T

Opticron Countryman 8x42 BGA T
9 January 2013
Optyczne.pl 
The Countryman series consists of three roof prism pairs of binoculars with the following parameters: 8x42, 10x42 and 10x50. These are compact and physically light constructions are nitrogen filled and waterproof up to 3 meters.

The producer states that in 2007 the series was equipped with a 64 layer Oasis reflective coatings – you can find it on one of prism surfaces in order to increase the transmission. Generally all air-to-glass surfaces are to be covered by antireflection multilayer coatings.

Buyers get objective cups, the rainguard, straps and a case. The binoculars come with 10-year guarantee period.

Pictures
  • Lornetka Opticron Countryman 8x42 BGA T
  • Lornetka Opticron Countryman 8x42 BGA T
  • Lornetka Opticron Countryman 8x42 BGA T
  • Lornetka Opticron Countryman 8x42 BGA T
Manufacturer data

Manufacturer:

Opticron
web site

Distribution / Sales:

Kestrel - Jacek Betleja
web site

Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
8 42 109/1000(6.2o) BaK-4/roof 19 mm 635 g 1170 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   41.2+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  41.2+/- 0 mm
4 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 8.1+/- 0.05x 3/3.0
Transmission 81.5+/- 1.5% 10/15.0
Chromatic aberration Moderate in the centre, a bit higher than medium on the edge. 4.5/10.0
Astigmatism Corrected in the right way. 7.2/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of view radius: 64% ± 5% 7/10.0
Coma Appears in the distance of about 70% of the field of vision radius and is on the borderline between medium and high on the very edge. 6.6/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in the distance of 85% ± 4% from the field of vision centre. 7/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Noticeable but not very bothersome. 3.7/5.0
Whiteness of the image Good. Slight differences between particular wavelengths. The dip in the centre of the visual spectrum range not very pronounced. 4/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Opticron Countryman 8x42 BGA T - Internal reflections - Left Opticron Countryman 8x42 BGA T - Internal reflections - Right
Noticeable.
2.2/5.0
Housing Small, compact and handy. Good quality rubber padding. The rubber comes off a bit near the objectives. Regulated rubber eyecups which move a bit too loosely 7/8.0
Focusing Huge ribbed central wheel with the working range of as much as 740 degrees. Individual focusing through a click-stop system on the central wheel. The ribs of the click-stop wheel are a bit too sharp. Nothing moves outside. 4.8/5.0
Tripod Not very comfortable exit. 2.5/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 56.9 to 72.2mm 3/6.0
Closest focusing distance 2.6 metres. 1.5/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view amounting to 52.2 degrees. 5/10.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 6.45 +/- 0.04 degrees and it was a bit wider than stated on the binoculars and in the specifications. A narrow field of view for this class of equipment. 5.5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Black but the tube and the bottom are very shiny. Isolated specks of dust. 3.9/5.0
Vignetting
Left: Right:
Opticron Countryman 8x42 BGA T - Vignetting - Left Opticron Countryman 8x42 BGA T - Vignetting - Right
OL: 0.73%, OR: 2.68%
5/8.0
Prisms quality Good quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Greenish on objectives and prisms. Green-purple-yellow on eyepieces. Medium intensity. 4.5/5.0
Warranty [years] 10 3.5/6.0
Final result
69.6%
118.4 / 170 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.

Summary


Pros:
  • small, compact casing,
  • well-corrected astigmatism,
  • slight distortion,
  • not very bothersome coma,
  • sharp image for most of the field of view,
  • not very high light fall-off on the edge of the field,
  • high quality BaK-4 glass prisms,
  • good whiteness rendering.

Cons:
  • narrow field of view,
  • the diameter of objectives smaller than the declared 42 mm,
  • truncated exit pupils,
  • a lot of flares near pupils,
  • too narrow maximum IPD,
  • noticeable chromatic aberration on the edge of the field of view.



The Opticron Countryman 8x42 BGA T, next to the Fujinon 8x42 MF, the Kowa BD 8x42, the Olympus EXPS I 8x42 and the Pentax ED 8x43 DCF belongs to the group of instruments with the narrowest field of view – their eyepieces have an apparent field of view of about 50 degrees. The following chart shows a comparison between their properties. As you can notice, the Opticron is physically the smallest ant the lightest instrument of all. Although its declared field of view is the narrowest, in reality it is a bit better than in the case of some rivals; the Opticron’s field is wider than declared and other producers have it narrower than stated in their specifications. Still such a field of view we consider too small. In 8x42 class you reach a sensible minimum only with a field of 7 degrees.


Vixen New Foresta HR 8x42 WP, Opticron Countryman 8x42 BGA T and Delta Optical Forest II 8x42

Does the tested Opticron has any other outstanding features, apart from its dimensions and weight? Such a narrow field of view should have been corrected in a perfect way; unfortunately it isn’t. On the other hand the main aberrations are corrected well so you can’t seriously complain about the binoculars’ performance. The shape of exit pupils is quite another story. Not only they are truncated but also the area around them doesn’t look very good. The miniaturization of the dimensions is the reason why the objective lens is a tad smaller than stated in the specifications and the maximum IPD hardly impresses you either – in fact some people might find it too narrow.


If you are interested in a small, handy pair of binoculars and the size of the field of view is not your priority, the Opticron seems to be a quite good choice. It is much cheaper than the Kowa and the Pentax, it fares better than the Fujinon. If the dimensions are not so important, though, the Olympus would be a much better choice, with a superior performance and a lower price tag. On the other hand the Opticron has to face strong competition – such binoculars as the Vixen New Foresta or Steiner Ranger Pro 8x42, keeping roughly a similar price point, offer better optical properties and a wider field of view.