After testing Barr and Stroud Sierra 8×32 and 10×50 binoculars, I was looking forwards to trying out the mid sized 8×42. First thing that was brought to my attention was the twist eye cups. The eye relief is long, but I found the twist eye cups came out a few mm to far. This meant to get full view you needed to push your eyes tight up against the cups, and they feel quite solid, so they felt uncomfortable to use when pressing up against your eyes. This was easily remedied by having the twist eye cups on the middle setting.
OK, with that minor issue out the way lets get onto the optics. The view you get is bright and clear. At 129m @ 1000m and small (ish) eye pieces you do not get the picture window wide angle of some of the opposition, but its wide enough to not be an issue.
In the centre of view, chromatic aberration is very minimal and on par with rivals costing £50 more. You do get more false colour towards the edge, and there is also field curvature on the edge of view. Colours and contrast are very good.
Focusing is a bonus. Less than half a turn of the focus wheel gets clear focus from around 8 metres to infinity. This was very useful when I was testing close focus and a low flying plane went by. The plane was centered and in focus in a few seconds.
Just like the 8×32 and 10×32 handling is excellent. They balance very easily in the hands.
The strap and case are very basic but do the job.
Summing up, they don’t have the cutting edge sharpness of the Barr and Stroud Series-4 8×42, but for just £10 less they are still excellent value for money.