The Helios Mistral WP3 8×42 were the binoculars of choice when a customer visited the Northern Optics, Optics weekend at Barton Upon Humber. With a budget of under £100 they needed a set for bird watching and every day use. After trying a few sets, it was the multi-coated optics and BaK-4 prisms that gave them the edge over the BK7 prism options at a slightly lower price. In the customers opinion they gave the sharper image. He was also impressed with the build quality and handling with such a low priced binocular.
From our point of view, the Mistral WP3 8×42 and 10×42 have stood the test of time, and are on par or better than many modern binoculars in the same price range. To help keep costs down, the case is standard nylon. But the strap is an impressive padded version.
For low light conditions, we recommend the 8×42, with the 10x option getting the edge on longer distance observations. There is some chromatic aberration and a soft cast to the view. But remember at the time of this blog post was £79.99