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