Celestron UpClose G2 8×21 binoculars review #71230

Here at Northern Optics I have had my first chance to test the Celestron UpClose G2 8×21 binoculars. With a new and more sturdy body and multi-coated objective lenses, it is a step up in quality from the old UpClose model.

So you are greeted by an attractive box showing an image of the binoculars, recommended uses and full specification. Many lower end binoculars in a similar price range do not show this. In the box is a standard compact soft case with belt loop. Although basic, it does the job.

Take the binoculars out the case, and they instantly feel more solid , yet still only weigh 227g.  The tough rubber covering makes holding them more comfortable and secure in the hands. These are classed as water resistant rather than waterproof, so I would say they are more light shower proof.

The double hinge adjustment feels quite solid and stays in place unlike many cheaper options. The strap is a basic thin un-padded one with no option for upgrades.

The price puts it between the basic end binoculars and the £50 models that come with nitrogen gas filled bodies. Prisms and BK7, but the objective lenses are multi-coated.

So what about the optics ?. As with many double hinge designs, getting the IPD just right takes a little practice, but for me it took under 10 seconds to line up with the eyes. Eye relief is slightly longer than the quoted 11mm suggests, so I found it best to not push them up close to the eyes for the best result with less internal reflection. Talking of eye relief, I found with the cups folded down I could get around 90% of the view with glasses on, meaning they will be suitable for most spectacle wearers.

Field of view is a very good 129m @ 1000m. Sharpness , brightness and colours are much better than standard budget fully coated optics. I have seen some reports of poor optics and inability to focus, so I can only assume they were either defective or the consumer needed some extra help with set up.

So in summing up, these are £25 (RRP at time of testing) binoculars, so I am not going to compare with £50 binoculars. But compared to fully coated binoculars in the £15-£25 range, they certainly give a step up in clarity. Only minor gripes are there is a little internal reflection. This is easily fixed by getting the distance from your eyes correct, and the focus wheel is a little small. But compared to the number of plus factors, including great optics and build quality for the price these are minor quibbles.  Recommended, and slightly better the 10×25 version in my opinion

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Vanguard 8×42 ED ID Endeavor binoculars

The Endeavor ED IV binoculars boasts the SK15 prism which provides stunning image quality, excellent light transmission and vivid colours for a truly stunning viewing experience. In addition to the new prism feature, Endeavor ED IV has been upgraded with advanced Multi Guard Coatings that provide even better light transmission for viewing in low light conditions such as dusk and dawn. Endeavour ED IV’s magnesium body and housing is engineered to provide perfect balance for ease of handling and robust light weight protection.  The new stylish open hinge design and oversized focus wheel provides easy handling and precise focusing in all weather conditions.

Endeavor ED IV was designed for comfort.  This binocular has a newly integrated center locking diopter that allows the user to comfortably fine tune their view settings and three stage adjustable locking eye cups for setting the perfect eye relief.  A binocular tripod adaptor is incorporated in the front hinge for those long viewing periods or for glassing at long distances.  The combination of a new and elegant design, new optical technology, perfect ergonomics, and stunning colour , detail and high contrast make the Endeavor ED IV the clear choice for master birders, avid outdoorsman or anyone serious about wanting to see and experience the word in exceptional detail.

The Endeavor ED IV is backed by an industry leading warranty to allow the user to rest assured that their investment in quality is covered.

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Visionary Mag – 3 pocket fold up magnifier #334388

The Visionary Mag-3 fold up magnifier is a popular seller at the Northern Optics weekend public outlet at the Waters` Edge visitor centre and Barton Upon Humber, North Lincs.

Magnification is not quoted, but I would estimate 3x, which is plenty for looking at varying objects such as close up wildlife , plant life of reading the small print.

The plastic built on case allows the magnifier to be folded away when not in use, to help protect it from damage. Comes packaged in a colourful retail box, making it suitable as a gift

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Skywatcher telescope tube rings

Skywatcher tube rings are built from cast aluminium to create a sturdy support for many mounts / mounting plates from AZ3 , EQ1 up to EQ6. Each is felt lined to help reduce the risk of scratches to the OTA.

Each comes with a piggy back thread mount for cameras. Rings can be slackened to allow rotation. Note that the size in mm shown is not showing what telescope they are for, but is the measurement of the inner width of the rings. For example the 90mm tube rings #20410 (pictured) are suitable for the Skywatcher StarTravel 80mm short tube refractor. If in doubt , ask your local dealer

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Vortex Fury 10×42 range finder binoculars

Designed for the Hunter, the Vortex Fury 10×42 binoculars come with a built in range finder for accurate distance measurements. Range reflective 9-1,600 yards and Deer reflective  9-1,000 yards.

Do not think they are just for using as a range finder. The HD optics make these a true dual purpose optical solution with all the advantages of a high-definition binocular perfectly paired with an angle compensated rangefinder. Right side controls are easy to use and easy to control with a single hand – leaving your other hand free to hold your bow, rifle, or other important piece of equipment.

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Steiner Champ 8×22 binoculars #2112

The steiner Champ 8×22 compact binoculars are ideal for hiking due to their ultra low weight of only 9.5 oz and 4.1 x 4.5 inch dimensions. Without doubt they are affordable with an extremely attractive retail price for a big brand name.

As with most Steiner binoculars, they come with winged eye cups to keep out stray side light, and in doing so increasing contrast. Despite the small objective lens, they will be more than capable in cloudy conditions.

Rubber armoured body for added protection. Close focus down to around 10 feet

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Olympus DPS 10×50 porro prism binoculars

The Olympus DPS 10×50 binoculars and a classic porro prism design, but with the very latest optics for an enhanced view with excellent colours and contrast. A 50mm lens and wide 5mm exit pupil gives great low light performance. This means they can be used for wide field astronomy as well as terrestrial use.

At 855g they are not light weight, but is average for binoculars in this class. The large focus wheel, rubber covered body will make handling very easy. Eye relief is quoted as 12mm, which is the same as the 8×40 version. On paper this means they will not be suitable for spectacle wearers, but I would recommend trying a set first to test this out.

With a close focus of 6m, these will not be suitable for close up work, but will be adequate for most other uses

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Pentax SP 8×40 wide field binoculars

The Pentax SP 8×40 binoculars are a no nonsense classic porro prism design , featuring great optics and a wide 8.2 degrees field of view . Perfect for bird watching and general use.

Fully multi-coated optics and BaK-4 prisms offer outstanding brightness with true colours and high contrast. The wide 5mm exit pupil will also offer great low light performance.

With an eye relief of 13mm, they may not be suitable for all spectacle wearers. But that is the only downside to what seems impressive specs for the price. The porro prism design and rubber body should make handling a breeze and be suitable for users wearing gloves.

With many binoculars now offering 42mm lenses, the older 40mm option is still a favourite objective lens size for many wildlife enthusiasts

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Meostar B1 10×32 binoculars. Compact binoculars with a bright view

The MeoStar® B1 10x32mm binoculars deliver a bright and wide field up with many of the the very finest full-sized binoculars yet are one of the most lightweight and compact 32mm binoculars available. The Schmidt-Pechan BaK-4 prism system and eyepieces provide an very wide and flat field of view for excellent edge of field sharpness. MB5501TM ion assisted lens multi-coatings give extreme brightness and resolution with crystal clear edge-to-edge performance. All this optical perfection is wrapped in a lightweight aluminium body and protective rubber armoured package weighing only 21 ounces. Moulded thumb pockets and excellent ergonomics make extended glassing effortless. Whether hiking the great outdoors, hunting, nature watching or general use, you’ll find yourself reaching for these lightweight and impressive 32mm binoculars every time you head out the door.

The 10x option gives higher magnification for observing greater detail at extended distances. Compact size and light overall weight. Excellent choice for nature watching, hiking, travel, sporting events or any activity where greater observation range is desired.

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Nikon WX IF 10×50 , 7×50 flat field binoculars

The Nikon WX IF 7×50 and 10×50 binoculars offer individual eyepiece focus and a flat field. Choices available are 7×50 and 10×50. The medium power and 50mm lens offer great low light capability. Eye relief is 15.3 – 17.7mm.

Other key specs include ED glass (triplet) field flattner and high quality fully multi-coated optics. Prisms and phase coated BaK-4. Nitrogen gas filled for a depth of 5m for 10 minutes. A 55mm filter (P=0.75) can be attached to objective lens. Employing eyepieces with superior optical performance, a super-wide field of view (apparent field of view of 66.6° for WX 7×50 IF, 76.4° for WX 10×50 IF) is achieved.
Minimising astigmatism and coma aberration, a sharp and clear image is realised, while the sharpness of the image at the centre of the field is achieved all the way to the periphery of the super-wide field of view. Without perceiving the frame, you can experience a feeling as if you are spacewalking into a starry sky.

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