Product Review: The GPO Passion ED 8 x 42.

The GPO Passion ED 8 x 42 in sand coloured chassis.

Product: GPO Passion ED 8 x 42

Country of Manufacture: China

Field of View: 143m@1000m(8.1 angular degrees)

Exit Pupil: 5.25mm

Eye Relief: 17mm

Close focus: 2m advertised, 1.95m measured

Coatings: GPO Proprietary broadband multi-coatings, dielectric coatings on Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms, Hydrophobic coatings on outer lenses

Light Transmission: 90%

ED Glass: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

Nitrogen Purging: Yes

Tripod Mountable: Yes

Weight: 740g advertised, 743g measured

Accessories: Custom GPO hard clamshell case with strap, wide neoprene logoed neck strap, microfibre cloth, ocular and objective covers,  instruction manual, warranty card

Warranty(European): 10 Years

Price(UK): £404.00

 

 

By popular demand, I’ll be test driving the GPO Passion ED 8 x 42.

Tune in soon for full details……………

 

 

De Fideli.

Spectrum.

Take a Closer Look.

If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.                                                   

                                                                                                            John 8:31-32

 

 

In this blog, I’ll be exploring subjects of general interest/concern, as our societies become increasingly wicked, depraved and deceived.

 

The Dark Side of Transgender Medicine

 

How the Media Manipulates Truth

 

Cogito Ergo Sum

 

The Secular Case Against Homosexuality

 

Our Fragile Home

 

The Anti-Social Network

 

A Form of Child Abuse

 

Cool stuff you never hear in Church

 

The Rise of Homeschooling

 

James Clerk Maxwell: a Great Life Lived

 

Reasonable Faith: An Interview with Professor Alvin Plantinga

 

Doubting Dodgy Science

 

Evaluating World Views

 

Depraved Minds

 

The Beauty of the Creation

 

The Preciousness of Free Speech

 

Walking your Way to Good Health

 

Did the Eye Really Evolve?

 

Unholy Alliance: when Dodgy Science Merges with Theology

 

The Truth about UFOs

 

The Rise of Neo-Paganism

 

From Spiritual Shipwreck to Salvation

 

The Rise in Euthanasia Killings

 

The Greatest Story Ever Told

 

Holocaust Survivor

 

Coming Soon to a Town Near You: The Rise of Bestiality

 

The Death of Naturalism

 

From Gaypo to Paedo

 

When Scientists Lose the Plot

 

The Sixth Mass Extinction Event in Our Midst

 

‘Depth Charging’ the Values of the Ancient World

 

The Truth about the Fossil Record

 

AI

 

The Language Instinct

 

Not the Same God

 

Greening the Deserts

 

Moving the Herds

 

Evolutionary Atheist gets his Facts Wrong…..Again

 

Distinguished MIT Nuclear Physicist Refutes Scientism

 

Pursuing Truth

 

The Dangers of Yoga

 

Pseudoastronomy

 

Get thee right up thyself! : The New Transhumanist Religion

 

The Biblical Origin of Human Rights and why it’s a Problem for Atheists

 

A Closer Look at the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

 

Winds of Change: Prestigious Science Journal Concedes Design

 

A Distinguished Chemist Speaks the Truth

 

The Scourge of Pornography

 

Eye

 

Bart Ehrman Debunked

 

An Evil Generation Seeks After a Sign

 

Decimation of Global Insect Populations

 

The Spiritual Suicide of a Once Christian Nation

 

Mass Animal Deaths Worldwide

 

Not Going Anywhere

 

UN Report: World’s Food Supply under ‘Severe Threat’ from Loss of Biodiversity

 

False gods of the New Age

 

From Abortion to Infanticide in the “Land of the Free”

 

Sports Personalities Speak Out Over Transgender Athletes

 

Magonus Sucatus Patricius

 

Celebrating a Killing

 

Human “Out of Africa” Theory Debunked

 

The Other Side of the Rainbow

 

Vintage James Tour: How to Cook Up a Proto-Turkey

 

Big Brother Watching

 

Follow the Evidence: The Problem of Orphan Genes

 

Follow the Evidence: The Genius of Birds

 

The Butterfly Enigma

 

Man’s Best Friend

 

Darwinian Evolution On Trial Among Biologists

 

New Fossil Finds Thwart Human Evolutionary Predictions

 

Global Persecution of Christians

 

 Ratio Christi

 

Questions About the Qur’an

 

Engaging with Islam

 

Calling Evil Good

 

Parousia

 

Tall Tales From Yale: Giving up Darwin.

 

More on the Proto-Turkey:  Dr. Tour Responds to Cheap Shots from the Pond Scum Merchants

 

Good Riddance: Despicable British TV Show Axed after Death of Participant

 

There’s Heehaw Out There…ken.

 

The Fastest Growing Insanity the World has Ever Seen

 

Pharmakeia

 

Darwinism & Racism: Natural Bed Fellows

 

The Modern Root of Anti-Semitism

 

Jesus & Archaeology

 

A Victory for Common Sense: Transgender Weightlifter Stripped of his Medals

 

The US Equality Act: A Plea for Caution

 

Reunited: Music & the Human Spirit

 

Gladys Wilson

 

1st Century Christian Insight: The Didache

 

The Clothes Maketh the Man

 

Why Some Books were Left Out of the Bible

 

Why the Human Mind is not Material

 

What God Thinks of Scientific Atheism

 

For the Love of the Creator

 

An Essential Component of a Modern Education

 

Peace Cross

 

Earth: “Presidential Suite” of the Universe

 

How to Really Stand Out in a Crowd

 

Straight from a NASA Scientist: Jewel Planet

 

The Singularity

 

No Life Without Super Intelligence

 

Darwinism as a Cargo Cult

 

Body Plan Development Raises New Headaches for Evolutionists

 

Membrane Biochemistry Stymies Evolutionary Origin of Complex Cells

 

Science Speaks: Common Abortafacients Harmful to Both Mother & Child

 

Biblical Ignoramus Twists the Words of Christ

 

Apologia Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

 

Attention Parents: American Psycho Association Promoting Polyamory to Pre-Teens as ‘Ethical.’

 

The Only Rainbow God Recognises

 

Calling Time Out on Evolutionists’ Failure to Explain The Cambrian Explosion

 

7 Reasons to Reject Replacement Theology

 

Psychiatric Diagnoses are ‘Scientifically Meaningless’ Study Shows

 

Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God

 

Universalism Debunked

 

The Prosperity Gospel Debunked

 

New Science Reveals First Cellular Life to be “Amazingly Complex”

 

New Law Firms Being Established to Counter the Rise in Christian Persecution

 

Playing the Numbers 32:23 Game

 

Multiple Lines of Scientific Evidence Converge on 3rd Century BC Age of the Famous Isaiah 53 Scroll.

 

Meet the Gestapo

 

Exposed: Theologians Deceived by Darwinian Ideology

 

New Insights into the Shroud of Turin

 

What we Know and Do Not Know About the Human Genome

 

Debunking Da Vinci Code Tosh

 

Sorry: No Such Thing as “Gay” Penguins

 

Genetic Entropy

 

Dunderheid Alexa

 

The Extinction of Reason

 

A Biblical Perspective on Diet

 

Revelation: Number of Transgender People Seeking Sex Reversals Skyrockets

 

Psychologist Debunks Pseudoscientific Explanations for Human Love & Compassion

 

The Dismantling of the Feminine

 

Disturbing Trends in the Roman Catholic Church

 

N = 402

 

The Nazareth Inscription

 

A Christian Response to Halloween

 

Seeking Methuselah

 

Beware the Enneagram

 

No Safe Spaces!

 

Pale Blue Dot

 

Encyclopedia Galactica

 

Phillip E. Johnson: A Tribute

 

The Darwinian Response to Human Life: Let the Baby Die!

 

The Best Explanation for Beauty

 

What is Feminism?

 

Insects & Light Pollution

 

Candy-Ass Christianity

 

Antiobiotic Resistance in a Post-Darwinian World

 

Adam & Eve: Redux

 

Joyce Meyer

 

Michael Behe Says No to Theistic Evolution

 

New Atheism: An Autopsy

 

Serenading an Old Girl.

 

“Progressive” Christianity as a Political Cult.

 

The Church of Satan, Sweden

 

A Rational, Christian Response to Humanism

 

More Depravity: the Sexualisation of Children

 

Shameful Humanity:  Murder of the Unborn Now the Biggest Worldwide Killer.

 

Origin Stories

 

Privileged Planet

 

Brokeness

 

Sorry Sam Smith, You’re Still a ‘He.’

 

Nature Genetics: How ‘Evolutionary Thinking’ led Biologists Astray about Pseudogenes.

 

A Kingdom Divided Against Itself: Why Evolutionary Psychology is Bunk

 

Of Melting Glaciers and Darwinism

 

First US President Addresses 47th March For Life, as theSecular Media Duck for Cover

 

Wolves Among the Sheepfolds

 

The New Science of Separate, Distinct Creations

 

That Sacred Space

 

Faith of the Fatherless

 

More Tales of Darwinian Thuggery

 

Keeping your Children Strong in the Faith

 

Former Editor of Nature Waves Bye Bye to the RNA World

 

At Scientific American: Physicist Pours Cold Water on Scientism

 

A Biblical Perspective on Alcohol Consumption

 

High Priest of a Pseudoscience Rears His Ugly Head Again

 

Another Step into the Human Immorality Sewer: Normalizing Throuples & Sologamy

 

Symptom of a Depraved Society: Scientists Now Fighting to Affirm a Basic Fact of Life: Sex is Binary

 

Speaking the Truth in Love: Where the LGBTQ Community is Ultimately Headed

 

The Power of Biblical Prophecy: The Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem

 

Origin of Life Debate: James Tour versus Lee Cronin.

 

7 Rock Solid Scientific Arguments for the God of the Bible

 

SETI@Home Shuts Down

 

An Existential Crisis in Neuroscience

 

AI Hype and the End of Moore’s Law

 

Discerning Fact from Spin/Fiction in Cosmos 3.0

 

Polly’s No Statistician!

 

Why All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men Cannot Put Humpty Together.

 

COVID-19

 

The James 5:16 Phenomenon; the Healing Power of Prayer

 

Heart of Darkness: Organ Harvesting of Chinese Prisoners

 

Confessions of a (yet another) Darwinian Sceptic

 

Selflessness

 

Darwinism as a Mentally Retarding Virus

 

Who is the God of the Bible?

 

Legendary Biologist Claims Atheism has Nothing to do with Science

 

Why Nature Should Never be Worshipped

 

What ‘Evolutionary Theory’ is Really Good at Explaining: Cancer.

 

Avoiding the Most Deadly Virus of All

 

The Prince of Peace Versus the Prophet of Islam

 

Coronavirus Outbreak Spurs Record Bible Sales

 

More Tales of Woe for Darwinian Junk Science: No Such Thing as Pseudogenes

 

Earth Fine-Tuned for Space Exploration

 

Pious Frauds

 

The CCP Virus

 

By the Rivers of Babylon

 

Abiogenesis & the Tooth Fairy

 

A Whale of an Evolution Tale

 

New UN Report: COVID-19 will Produce Famines of ‘Biblical Proportions’

 

American Schism

 

An Interview with Dr. Frank Turek

 

The S-Blob

 

Neanderthal DNA & the Leviticus 18:23 Question

 

Debunking Scientific Materialism through Mathematics

 

Incompetent Experts & Bad Government

 

Intelligent Design Now Thriving in Europe

 

Cosmic Fine-Tuning: an Interview with Christian Cosmologist, Dr. Luke Barnes.

 

Ivy League Philosopher Dismisses Evolutionary Psychology as  Pseudoscience

 

Preterism Debunked

 

Ravi Zacharias(1946-2020) RIP

 

Ten Things you Need to Know about Scientism

 

Why Humans have Souls

 

Freeman Dyson: God is a Mathematician

 

J.K. Rowling Takes a Stand Against Militant LGBT Activists

 

Humans Together

 

Talking about Racism

 

Lest We Forget: William Wilberforce

 

Update on the Long Term Evolution Experiment(LTEE): Sickening News for Evolutionists

 

An Interview with Mathematician William Dembski

 

Fatherless America

 

A Technical Look at Fine-Tuning in Biological Systems

 

David Pawson(1930-2020) Remembered

 

The Colour of Christian Art

 

Date Setters

 

Punctuated Equilibrium Debunked by Researchers

 

Harari’s Fictions

 

For the Attention of Greta Thunberg

 

Why We Should Cancel Darwin

 

No Ordinary Star

 

Darwin, Africa & Genocide 

 

What Everyone Should Know About the BLM Movement

 

The Principles that Made America Great:

Part I

Part II

 

The Artifact Hypothesis Debunked

 

Why the Multiverse is Bunk

 

Why Christians Should Support Israel’s Claim to the West Bank

 

Earth’s Deep Water Cycle Fine-Tuned for Life

 

When Darwinism is Applied to Politics

 

Science Update on COVID-19

 

COVID-19: The Economic Fallout

 

Whale Evolution Further Debunked Part 1

Part 2

 

New ENCODE Results Unveil Still MORE FUNCTIONS in So-Called Junk DNA.

 

Concerning Energy

 

The Politicisation of Hydroxy Chloroquine

 

The Wonders of the Human Mind Part 1

Part II

Part III

 

God Among Sages

 

Trapped by Language: Why Biologists Can’t Avoid Teleological Verbiage

 

A Little Lower than the Angels

 

Heretic Pope Affirms Transgender Depravity

 

Latest on Orphan Genes Affirms Creationism

 

For Math Challenged Woketards: Two Plus Two Really Equals Four

 

A Critical Review of Josh Swamidass’ Book, The Genealogical Adam and Eve

 

Angels & Demons

 

Worrying Developments in the American Workplace

 

The Decadence of Gender Ideology

 

Electric Mud

 

 Strictly Come Dancing Turns Gaypo

 

The Philadelphia Statement

 

Graceland Vandalised by BLM Thugs

 

Update on Recent Desperate Attempts to Find a Naturalistic Origin of Life

 

More Bad News for Pond Scum Merchants: No Sign of ETI in New Mega-Survey

 

Netflix Promotes Paedophilia

 

Cultural Marxism

 

A Lost Generation

 

World Class Palaeontologist Debunks Ancestors to Cambrian Animals

 

Empire of the Beast

 

Religion of Green

 

How Christians Should Respond to Environmental Issues

 

Breakthrough: Intelligent Design Theory Now Being Published in Mainstream Science Journals

 

Woke Pope

 

The Great Barrington Declaration

 

The Astonishing Hypothesis

 

Facebook n’ That

 

Auschwitz Rising

 

Jesus was No Socialist!

 

Facebook Removes Ex-Gay Testimonies

 

Responding to Richard Dawkins & The Old Testament

 

The Perils of Favouritism & the New “Woke” Gospel

 

British NHS Defends Giving Sex Change Hormones to 10 Year-Olds

 

American Pastors Organising to Fight Back Against “Tyrannical” Democrat Shutdowns

 

The Rule of Six

 

The Left’s Communist Manifesto for America

 

The Origin of the Lockdown Mentality

 

The Developing Beast System : Apostate Pope Attends One World Religion Event

 

Victory for Common Sense: UK Equalities Minister Blasts BLM & Critical Race Theory

 

Update on Masks

 

No Phosphine Found In the Venus’ Atmosphere Follow-Up Study Shows

and

A New Call for the Retraction of the Original Paper After Another Analysis of the Data

and

Another Negative Report

and

Yet Another Rebuttal

 

First Eukaryotic Cells were Already Complex

 

When Scientists Make Truth Claims Outside Science

 

Warning to Masktards: A Distinguished Neurologist Speaks

 

Davos Great Reset

 

Did China Fund The Phony Joe Biden Campaign?

 

The Great American Coup

 

Democrat-Run Oregon Decriminalises Crystal Meth, Heroin and Cocaine Use, as its  Cities Burn.

 

Why Origin of Life Researchers Must Embrace Intelligent Design

 

Should Christians Ever Employ Civil Disobedience?

 

Are Bacteria Really Evolving?

 

Catholics Discuss their Apostate Pope

 

Marxism Appropriated to the 2020 US Election

 

Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed Develops Moderna Vaccine with 95% Efficacy

 

Veteran Military Chaplin Fired from US Air Force for Holding Biblical Views on Sexual Morality

 

Schooling Masktards: Multiple Studies Show Masks are Ineffective and Possibly Harmful

 

An Amusing Take on the Utah “Monolith”

 

From the USA: A Major Victory Over LGBTQ Tyranny

 

Sidney Powell’s Kraken

 

Treasure Trove of Rock Paintings Dating Back 12,500 Years Discovered in Remote parts of Colombian Rain Forests

 

Sick Morality: As Countless Unborn Humans Are Murdered, Activists Push for “Personhood” Rights for Elephants

 

Galapagos Finch “Evolution” Debunked

 

After Weighing the Evidence, Medic Ditches Theistic Evolution for Intelligence

 

Some Effects of Transgenderism

 

Leaked: Biden Administration Urged to Persecute American Conservative Christians

 

Advanced Computer Models on Earth’s Long-term Habitability Continue to Affirm its Extreme Rarity/ Uniqueness

 

Raven Intelligence Raises More Problems for Evolutionists

 

I’ll Own What I Choose to Own and my Happiness is none of your Damn Business……Comrade!

 

Another Defeat for Darwinian Junk Science: the Thymus is Not a Vestigial Organ

 

Argentinian Socialist Government  Legalises Abortion

 

Morons in da House

 

Requiem for the American Republic

 

A Catholic Priest Comments on the Consequences of the 2020 US Election

 

Warring Against the Beast

 

Darwinian Time Trees Don’t Work, New Analysis Suggests

 

Battle for the Soul: Surviving a Chinese Communist Re-Education Camp

 

The New American State Religion- Wokeness

 

Conservatives: You Gotta Get Your Kids out of Illinois Public Schools

 

New Geochemical Research Findings Affirm the Genesis Creation Account

 

An Interview with Dr. John Sanford

 

Illinois Christian High School Student Faces Disciplinary Hearing after Refusing to Take a Class on Deviant Sexual Behaviour

 

Did the American People Really Vote this Guy in?

 

The Curious Case of Ivermectin

 

Mormons

 

Burn it Down!

 

New Zealand: where Capitalism Triumphed over Socialism

 

Hitting Woke Big Tech & the Fake News Media where it Hurts

 

More Bull from the Masktard King

 

The Devout Catholic

 

Yet Another Putative Human Evolutionary Ancestor Debunked 

 

Marxist Pope Francis Pushes Great Reset

 

Revisionist View of Homosexuality Debunked

 

Poisoning of the Youth: A look at Amerika’s New, Ultra-Woke School Curriculum

 

From Newsweek: Transgender Man Warns Others About the Dire Health Consequences of Her Actions

 

The Wonders of Honey

 

Curbing Wokeness & Cancel Culture: UK to Introduce Legislation which will Fine Universities that Limit Free Speech

 

It Happened on Your Watch: How the Rise of Evil is Destroying American Cities

 

 

Great Reset Creep’s Plan to Destroy the American Agricultural Industry

 

Lessons for the USA: Venezuela’s Experiment with Socialism Falters as it Embraces Privatisation

 

New Insights into ‘Super’ Earths Suggest they’re Uninhabitable

 

Insane Biden Administration Destroying Girl’s Sports

 

Amazon Quietly Removes Book Criticizing Transgender Ideology

 

WokaCola

 

Just Like You!

 

Dozens of House Democrats Requesting Biden to Relinquish Sole Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons

 

What the Equality Act Means for Ordinary US Citizens

 

Great Reset Creeps Suffer a Propaganda Crash

 

Why Darwinian Junk Science Remains Popular with the Pagan Masses

 

Levity

 

Another Evolutionary Icon Bites the Dust: Beta Globin Pseudogene Shows Functionality

 

Are Electric Vehicles Really the Future?

 

Prehistoric Cave Art & The Imago Dei

 

Vatican Clarifies its Position on Same Sex Relationships – Declares them “Sinful”

 

Where Cancel Culture Naturally Leads

 

Self-Evident Truths

 

New York Columbia University’s Woke Graduation

 

Long-term Study from 10,000 Generations of Yeast Cells Reveals Devolution not Evolution

 

What the Green New Deal is Really All About

 

Avi Loeb’s Oumuamua Alien Hypothesis Debunked

 

What Everyone Needs to Know About the Proposed Vaccine Passports

 

America: Land of the Insane

 

Son of the Devout Catholic

 

Mars & Nestle Join the Woke Brigade

 

Attention Parents: What the Sexually Depraved are Now Teaching Your Children 

 

What Next? Incest?

 

Ten Reasons why Birds are Not Living Dinosaurs

 

An Open Letter to John Kerry

 

Covidian Masktard Evolution

 

Debunking More Pseudoscience: New MIT Study Shows Social Distancing Rules Are Completely Pointless

 

From a Leading UK Journalist: Biden is Smashing America’s Moral Compass

 

You What? Even the Spineless CNN Calls out Biden as a Masktard

 

Obama Administration Scientist Admits “Climate Emergency” is Bunk

 

Richard Dawkins’ Desperate Claims about the Origin of the Bacterial Flagellum Now Disproven

 

Fighting the Marxists: US States Begin to Ban the Teaching of Critical Race Theory in Schools 

 

Sickos: Have a Very Happy Woke Birthing Person Day!

 

Woke British Universities Could Face Fines for Suppressing Free Speech/De-platforming Guest Speakers

 

Journey out of Mormonism

 

Fighting Back: Concerned Ohio Parents Take a Stand Against the Teaching of Marxist Critical Race Theory in Public Schools

 

Marxist Ideologies Infiltrating the US Military

 

Darwin’s Tree of Life Finally Gets the Chop

 

Imago Dei

 

Covid 19: What We Now Know

 

Evidence for the Biblical Exodus

 

Gaps Everywhere in the History of Life!

 

For the Memory of Shang Di

 

From Prager: How to Re-Take A Nation from the Marxist ‘Democrats’

 

The Transgender Contagion Corrupting the Youth of the World

 

Nickelodeon Ratings Crash Amid LGBTQ Push

 

News from Canada: Campaign for Sexual Immorality Extended From a Month to a Season

 

Who did Allah Love in Eternity?

 

Critical Race Theory: A Crash Course

 

Pushing Back: Australian Parliament Bans the Teaching of Critical Race Theory in the School Curriculum

 

Long Awaited Pentagon UFO Report: A Big Fat Nothing Burger

 

Landmark Study on Heme Biosynthesis and Storage Raises Major Headaches for Evolutionists- Spectacularly Confirms Intelligent Design

 

Culture Wars: France Tells US  ” Keep your Wicked Wokeism to Yourself!”

 

O’ Biden Regime Spying on Prominent Conservative TV Personality

 

Welcome to the New Cult of ‘Safetyism’ 

 

Wokecabulary

 

Allan Sandage: An Astronomer’s Journey to Faith

 

Climate Models: Worse than Nothing?

 

Trump Goes After the Big Tech Bottom Feeders

 

From Trans to Frankenstein

 

More Bad News for Evolutionists: Landmark Study Shows Endogenous Retroviral (ERVs) Play an Essential Role in the Immune System

 

US Military Goes Woke

 

While America Leans Ever Closer to Communism, Cuban People Take to the Streets to Condemn it

 

What the Darwinist and Transgender Lobby Share in Common

 

 Sex Mania-Induced Societal Psychosis

 

What Next? Climate Lockdowns?

 

Inspired by Crystal Meth?

 

Inflation

 

Trump Discusses  Arizona Audit Findings and the Biden Regime’s Disastrous Record in Government

 

About Kamala

 

The Covid-19 Files: The Curious Case of Sweden

 

An ID Prediction Concerning CRISPR Gene Editing

 

7 Lies your Kids Pick Up in the Secular World and How to Correct Them

 

The Link Between the Political Left and Paedophilia

 

Evolution of Daphnia Debunked

 

COVID-19 Survivors Display Stronger, Better Immunity to the Virus than Vaccinated Individuals

 

Massive Increases in Home-Schooling Across USA

 

British Bull Corporation(BBC) Goes Woke

 

Mark Zuckerberg Launches Church of Beelzebub

 

Why Biblical Justice Trumps Social Justice

 

The Wonderful World of Diatoms

 

Distinguished Scientist Breaks Down the Climate Change Hoax

 

Forgive Them Lord, for They know Not What They Do: Brainwashed Gen Z Sleepwalk Their Way into Socialism

 

The Ministry of Truth Comes to Life

 

Antipodean Darkness: Australia Bans Peaceful Protests Against Abortion

 

Agenda 2030

 

What to Make of the 6th IPCC Report

 

Antipodean Control Freaks

 

Manning UP

 

Hungary: a Beacon of Christian Freedom 

 

The Taliban and their Worldview

 

Stop the Mandate

 

The Rise of Systems Biology

 

New Peer Reviewed Study Suggests the Sun and not Human-Derived Carbon Dioxide is Driving Climate Change

 

The Masktards Who Live by Lies

 

Why Atheists Can’t Think Straight

 

Arthropods Amaze Engineers!

 

Normalising Sexual Deviancy in Scottish Schools

 

Peppered Moth Evolution Debunked

 

Deflating the Multiverse & the New Atheists

 

The Mystery of Life Lies Beyond Science

 

From The Times of London: US 2020 Presidential Election was Rigged

 

Vindicating Michael Behe: More Evidence for Devolution and Not Evolution: Yeast Splicosome was More Complex in the Past than Today

 

Why Pronouns Matter……but not in a Woke Way

 

UK Athletic Equality Group Deems Trans Sports Unsafe And Unfair

 

Francis Collins & His Moral Failings

 

How the Maggots at Facebook Helped The O’ Biden Marxist Regime Over the Line

 

Leading Mainstream Science Journal Now Waving Bye Bye to Junk DNA

 

Wikipedia Slides Down the Leftist Sewer

 

More Facts for the Brainwashed Masktardii

 

Did Humans Evolve from Ape-like Ancestors? The Evidence is Surprisingly Weak!

 

Marxist Kalifornia’s Attack on Smart Kids

 

William Lane Craig: Heretic

 

Green Murder

 

A Critical Review of Yuval Harari’s Sapiens

 

Why We Should All be Sceptical of Human Evolution

 

It’s Official: Roads are Racist!

 

The Fables Told by Evolutionary Psychologists

 

A Visit to the Museum of Lies

 

Masktards on Planes

 

From Norway: Santa Turns Gaypo

 

Vicar of the New World Order

 

Conversion Therapy

 

Tales from an Ozzy Covid Quarantine Camp

 

The Depravity of Gen Z

 

Go to Work on an Egg

 

The Benefits of Traditional Marriage

 

Ethnos Against Ethnos at a Denver Elementary School

 

Reflections on the Launch of the James Webb Space Telescope

 

Deception: NASA Hires ‘Theologians’ to Study Humanity’s Reaction to ET

 

More Tales of Woe for Brainwashed Darwinistas: The Bacterial Flagellum Could Not Have Evolved

 

When Wokeness Comes Back to Bite the Hand that Feeds

 

Problems with Common Ancestry 

 

Why Evolutionary Explanations of Adam & Eve Fail

 

Why Climate Change Alarmists Embrace Authoritarianism

 

Cambrian Explosion Occurred in Just 410,000 Years New Study Reveals

 

Jordan Peterson Resigns His Chair in Protest of the Wicked & Woke University of Toronto.

 

Wicked Scottish Government Pushing to Criminalise Biblical Views on Marriage and Sexuality

 

The Roman See

 

A Message for Young Americans

 

More Education for the Masktardii

 

Told You So: Lockdowns Accomplished Nothing

 

Biology of Second Reich Censored by the Evolutardii

 

Collapse of the Communist News Network(CNN)

 

Kalifornian Junkies

 

Homology

 

What You Need to Know About January 6

 

The Paedophile Files

 

Buddhism Debunked

 

Klaus Schwab: a Closer Look

 

Kalifornian Child Murderers

 

The Wicked US Democratic Party’s Attack on Christians

 

The Illusion of Evidence-Based Medicine

 

Christian Transhumanism Debunked

 

The New Woke Religion

 

Ditching Disney

 

Schooling Darwinistas: Species Pairs & The Waiting Time Problem

 

The O’ Biden Regime’s Ministry of Truth 

 

US Public & Private School Pushing Sexual Perversion

 

2000 Mules: How the US 2020 Presidential Election was Stolen

 

Church of Scotland Now the Church of Sodom

 

Top Ten Dystopian Ideas Discussed by the Invertebrates at the WEF

 

Perilous Times Ahead for Australian Christians & Conservatives

 

Curse Amulet

 

What the Early Church Taught about Abortion

 

New York Slimes Embraces Inflation as a Marxist Virtue

 

The Long Road To ‘Positive’ Paedophilia Part 1

Part 2

 

Sentient AI Debunked

 

Surviving the Month of Sodom

 

Woke Ozzie Politician Loses the Plot

 

Keeping Up with the Paedophile Agenda

 

Woke Capitalism & ESG

 

Debunking the Green Credentials of EVs

 

Legalising Psychedelic Drugs in Kalifornia

 

Tim Kelller’s Woke Gospel

 

Transgender Teen Speaks Out About How She Destroyed Her Body

 

Achtung: How the Left Plan to Seize Control of US Local Election Offices

 

Crisis in the US Military-The Root Causes

 

The Dangers of Universal Basic Income

 

The Desperation of Panspermia Adherents

 

Joe Bama’s Monkey Pox Czar

 

Mainstream Newspaper Highlights the Many Problems of Darwinian Junk Science

 

Go Woke, Go Broke

 

Mammoth Support for Devolution

 

The Federal Bureau of Intimidation(FBI)

 

Converging on a Creator

 

Shameful CDC Finally Come Clean on Natural Immunity

 

Chicago Public Schools Promoting Looting & Burning as a Means of Achieving ‘Equity’

 

The Cult of Greta Thunberg Falls Apart

 

LGBs Turning on the Ts

 

What the Great Reset Really Entails

 

The Wonder of Water

 

Scotland’s Child Sex Guru

 

Nobel Prize Winning Developmental Biologist calls Transgenderism “Nonsense”

 

Zoophilia

 

Return of the Dark Ages

 

Technocrats & Misanthropes

 

JWST Affirms a Cosmic Beginning

 

NASA Goes Woke

 

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Zeiss Terra ED Pocket 8 x 25 Redux.

 

Zeiss Terra ED Pocket 8 x 25(China) Package.

A Work Commenced October 1 2022

 

Preamble

When the Zeiss Terra ED pockets were first launched, many enthusiasts were pleased to learn that they were manufactured in Japan, but as of 2020, Zeiss moved the production of these units to China, where all of the larger Terra ED models continue to be made. At first, it was the source of some confusion, with some folk chiming in to inform me that their new Terra pockets were marked “Japan,” while others showed pictures of “China” under the bridge. When I made some enquiries, I was first told by one Zeiss employee that they were still being made in Japan, but shortly thereafter they backpedalled, informing me by phone that the new Terra pocket glasses were now being made in China, leaving only their flagship Victory pockets in Japanese production.

A solidly constructed instrument, just like the Japanese-derived model.

Over the last few years, I bought in, tested and evaluated many pocket binoculars from many manufacturers, and inevitably, the build up of equipment in my house meant that I had to gift many of them to friends or sell them on – and that included my Japanese-made Zeiss Terra ED 8 x 25. But after owning and using some top pocket binoculars from Leica, including the 8 x 20 and 10 x 25 BCA models and the Ultravid 8 x 20, I gradually came to accept their limitations, as charming as they are, especially when I began to explore the larger format 8 x 30 and 8 x 32 models. The latter were simply much more comfortable and easier to use, with their bigger eye box and more comfortable handling. And as for optical versatility, the larger 30-32mm formats were in a completely different league to any pocket glass, however sophisticated. A week using my superlative Nikon E II 8 x 30 – my favourite binocular by a country mile – finally convinced me to sell off my little Ultravid 8 x 20 to help recoup some funds(I’m not a collector but an observer), but it did leave a small hole in my modest stable of instruments. I still yearned for a good quality pocket binocular for occasional use, for trips to the theatre and galleries, for travel and exploring interesting buildings in the towns and cities of Scotland and further afield. What to do? It was at this time that I thought I would give the little Terra pocket a second chance, noting that it was still selling at about the same price I paid for my first Terra – £270 – so I took the plunge and ordered a unit up from Cameracentre UK in South Wales.

The China label on view under the bridge.

When it arrived, I was pleased to see that the instrument was presented in the same presentation box my first Terra pocket came in; a sturdy fold-out arrangement, with a lovely presentation of an alpine nature scene. I was equally delighted to see that the binocular was stored inside the same hard, zip-fastened clamshell case, with a magnetic latch to boot. This was a very pleasant surprise, as a 10 x 25 Terra ED model(with a new black chassis) I bought off Amazon in 2021 only came with a soft pouch – hardly enough protection for the instrument, which I returned after not being entirely happy with its optical performance.

A closer look at the large ocular lenses on the Zeiss Terra ED 8 x 25.

The exact same strap was supplied with this new Zeiss Terra ED 8 x 25 too; another good thing, as it is of high quality and perfectly designed to support this small pocket glass(310g). Examining the instrument, I was pleased to see what I had previously observed with my Japanese-made unit. Well put together, with the same grey-black chassis as before. I liked that colour scheme, with the blue Zeiss logo located just ahead of the central focus wheel. I was relieved to see that the double hinge was tight, maybe not as tight as I recall on the Japanese unit, but tight enough. The same immaculate Zeiss multi-coatings were smoothly applied to the ocular and objective lenses, and applying a breath test on a cool, afternoon outdoors, showed that the company’s proprietary LotuTec hydrophobic coatings rapidly dispersed the condensation. Neat!

The wonderful coatings applied to the deeply recessed objectives.

The twist-up eye cups were also working perfectly, rigidly staying in position once clicked into their grooves. The dioptre adjuster – a small wheel located at the far end of the wide bridge – moved smoothly – and once adjusted, I was ready to test the optics.

Beginning with my flashlight test, I directed the light from my Iphone torch adjusted to its brightest setting into the binocular from across my living room to examine the focused image. As I noted with my Japanese model, the results showed very good suppression of internal reflections and very little diffused light around the intensely bright beam but, as before, it did show up a prominent diffraction spike, which was also unfortunately picked up by looking at some streetlamps after dark. No difference between the Japanese and Chinese-made instruments in this capacity. The little Leica glasses were much better in this regard, showing very little of diffraction spikes in comparison.

I never conducted an examination of the exit pupils on my first Terra ED pocket, so was keen to see how they fared in this unit. I’m pleased to report that the results were very good, as you can see below; both pupils presented as perfect circles, with no significant light leaks around them. Bravo!

Left exit pupil.

Right exit pupil

But things turned out even more swimmingly as I began to study the images in bright autumnal sunlight. The view was excellent; bright, sharp, lovely contrast and vivid colours – all the things I had admired in the Japanese-made unit. That’s a consequence of the Schott ED glass used in the objectives and dielectrically coated Schmidt-Pechan prisms delivering an impressive light transmission of 88 per cent. The sweet spot is very large, with only a small amount of softening near the field stops. The view is wide – 119m at 1000m(6.8 angular degrees) – better than on my Leica pockets. I judged the Terra ED’s glare suppression abilities to be very good too – significantly better than my Leica’s, as I remember, with veiling glare being especially well controlled – for a pocket glass at least. The deeply recessed objectives and highly efficient coatings applied throughout the optical train definitely work together here. The quoted eye relief of 16mm is generous enough to enjoy the entire field using glasses, if that’s your thing. It’s also water and fog proof, making it suitable for the most adverse weather conditions Mother Nature is likely to throw at you.

If I’m being honest, the large focus wheel on the Zeiss Terra ED 8 x 25 was, if anything, a little smoother than on my Ultravid 8 x 20. Just over one full turn clockwise brings you from closest focus(~ 1.9 m)  to beyond infinity. Indeed, the wheel moved further beyond infinity than many other binoculars I’ve tested. Surely that means that with a bit of clever tweaking(which can be done!), the focuser can be re-adjusted to render the close focus even shorter, but that’s for another day.

Comparing the Nikon E II 8 x 30 to the Zeiss Terra ED 8 x 25(right).

In good lighting conditions, and taking into account its considerably smaller field,  the Zeiss Terra pocket throws up very comparable views to my Nikon EII 8 x 30, with broadly similar levels of contrast and sharpness. Colour tone is noticeably warmer in the little Zeiss Terra though, and following the course of a long, straight section of country road, the compact Nikon Porro easily showed greater levels of contouring(stereopsis), as I expected from its more widely spaced objectives. This is a quick and easy way to see the advantages of Porro prism binoculars over their roof prism counterparts. The fact that you can more easily discern the bumps and depressions in the road is proof enough that the Nikon shows more spatial information than the little Zeiss roof prism binocular.

Another significant difference between the models is comfort and ease of viewing; eye placement is a lot more finicky with the Zeiss, requiring the precise alignment of one’s eyes with the barrels, and the smaller exit pupil requires a little more skill to find a satisfactory viewing experience. But a 3.1mm exit pupil is much easier to engage with than the 2.5mm pupils on my Leica glasses. None of this was an issue with the little Nikon 8 x 30 though: you simply bring it to your eyes for instant gratification, and drink up the enormous 8.8 degree field in all its optical glory! Having said all that though, I was very impressed how well the little Terra handled the affair. It’s a pocket binocular after all!

A quality experience.

So, in conclusion, should I be worried about the fact that the new Terra ED pockets are made in China? For me, the answer to that question is definitely no. It’s every bit as good as the Japanese unit I once had. Properly looked after, it ought to give many years of service. After all, it’s still a Zeiss binocular; and you can tell that from the instant you gaze through it!

Happy Camper!

 

Neil English has tested more pocket binoculars than you could shake a proverbial stick at. Find out more from his up-and-coming book: Choosing & Using Binoculars: A Guide for Stargazers, Birders and Nature Enthusiasts, published by Springer Nature in late 2023.

 

 

De Fideli.

Product Review: GPO Passion 8 x 56.

GPO Passion 8 x 56.

 

 

A Work Commenced September 23 2022

 

 

Product: GPO Passion 8 x 56

Country of Manufacture: China

Chassis: Rubber armoured magnesium alloy

Exit Pupil: 7mm

Eye Relief: 20mm

Field of View: 126m@1000m(7.35 angular degrees)

Close Focus: 2.3m advertised, 2.14m measured

Prism Type: Abbe-Koenig

Coatings: Fully broadband multi-coatings, phase correction coatings on Abbe Koenig prisms

Light Transmission: 92%

ED Glass: No

Waterproof: Yes

Nitrogen Purged: Yes

Weight: 1245g advertised, 1257g measured

Dimensions: 19.2 x 15.8 cm

Accessories: Instruction manual, cleaning cloth, hard, case, neoprene neck strap, hard case strap, objective covers, ocular covers and warranty card.

Warranty(European): 10 Years

Price: UK £589.00

 

In previous blogs, I reviewed some excellent quality binoculars from the new German-based company, German Precision Optics(GPO). In these reviews I was very impressed with the outstanding build quality of their products, not to mention their excellent optical quality. But GPO have not just settled on securing a solid niche in the compact and mid-sized binocular market, they have also developed larger aperture models specifically designed for low light work and astronomy; enter the GPO Passion 8 x 56 and 10 x 56 series.

I acquired a 8 x 56 unit on loan from Steve at First Light Optics for testing and evaluation, and I must again say how delighted I was to see that GPO really are delivering excellent value for money in this competitive corner of the sports optics market.

The instrument arrived in a beautiful presentation box, as shown in the photo above. The binocular was set rigidly in place in the cut-out foam section and lying adjacent to it, the beautifully designed hard case to store the instrument. Inside the case you’ll find the usual accessories; padded neoprene logoed neck strap, carrying strap for the case, a comprehensive multi-language instruction manual and microfibre lens cleaning cloth. If you take the case out, you’ll also find the 10-year European warranty card for the instrument.

Ergonomics

The GPO Passion 8 x 56 is one chunky instrument and you immediately get the feeling of quality the second you prize it from the box. This larger instrument is a scaled up version of the 42mm and 32mm Passion ED binoculars, with a magnesium alloy chassis overlaid by a nicely textured black rubber armouring.

The distinctive curves of Abbe-Koenig optics are abundantly in evidence at first glance.

Tipping the scales at 1257g, this is not an instrument that many would happily trek with all day long; unless you’re Hulk Hogan.

The underside of the GPO Passion 8 x 56. Note the absence of thumb indents which aren’t really necessary anyway.

It’s designed to be used for short hand-held viewing but mostly for tripod mounted activities, such as hunting in low light or watching the stars The focus wheel is covered in a textured black rubber which is easy to grip, rotating just over one full revolution anti-clockwise from nearest focus to just beyond infinity. Though I have reported a small amount of free play in a smaller 10 x 32 GPO Passion ED in a previous review, I was pleased to see that there was none apparent on the focus wheel of this 8 x 56 model.

The beautifully machined aluminium twist-up eyecups are amongst the best in the industry.

A closer inspection of the shape of the barrels betrays the nature of the prisms used in this binocular; the large Abbe-Koenig roof prisms that deliver higher levels of light than standard Schmidt-Pechan prisms incorporated into the smaller GPO models. It’s these Abbe-Koenig prisms that contribute to the weight and the length of this binocular, but it’s all the more remarkable that this optical design is incorporated into this low light binocular at this price point. These prisms are notoriously difficult to make well and are usually only found in instruments costing at least twice as much as this 8 x 56 costs.

The beautifully machined twist-up aluminium eye cups are covered in soft rubber for very comfortable viewing. Four positions are offered to suit most anyone’s requirement for eye relief. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: these are amongst the best eye cups ever designed by any binocular manufacturer, period. I was easily able to access the entire field of view with eyeglasses, so absolutely no worries there. The dioptre adjustment is accessed by turning a ring under the right ocular. It moves smoothly but with considerable tension, ensuring it won’t easily be moved out of position in field use.

The proprietary broadband multi-coatings present with a fetching purple hue in broad daylight and are immaculately applied. Viewed head on, they make the lenses almost disappear. The instrument is dry nitrogen purged internally and o ring sealed to prevent fogging up of the internalized optics. It’ s also waterproof, but GPO don’t mention to what degree it will withstand water immersion.

The view of the ocular lenses and focus wheel from above. Check out the beautifully applied antireflection coatings as seen in broad daylight.

The reader may be surprised to learn that, unlike the smaller ED models, the larger 8x and 10 x 56 models do not contain ED glass. GPO believe it wasn’t necessary to incorporate extra low dispersion glass in these models because their main use was in low light conditions, when seeing any colour in a given target becomes difficult to discern, so there would be little advantage in employing an ED element which would have significantly increased its production cost. Having enjoyed many hours testing the instrument both in low light situations and under the stars at night, I can only agree with their design philosophy, as I shall report on a little later. All in all, the build quality and ergonomics of this 8 x 56 are exemplary, and quite in keeping with the other models I’ve reviewed from both their ED and HD lines in the past.

The large objective lenses on the GPO Passion 8 x 56; note how the glass almost disappears when viewed from certain angles.

Optical Testing

My first optical test involved shining a bright light source into the binocular and examining the images produced. I detected a few minor reflections but nothing too intrusive. Diffraction spikes were very subdued and there was very little in the way of diffused light around the light source, indicative of good, homogenous glass. Turning the binocular on a bright streetlamp after dark did show a few minor internal reflections as I anticipated, but by and large I was quite happy with the result. Placing the lamp just outside the field of view showed very little in the way of stray light intrusion; an impressive result compared with many other similar tests performed on other binoculars.

Examining the exit pupils also yielded good results, as shown below. The large 7mm exit pupils were perfectly round with little in the way of extraneous light around them. I did pick up some light leaks well away from the pupils though, a consequence of using Abbe Koenig prisms perhaps? Thankfully they appeared to make no material difference to the images garnered by the instrument, in daylight at least.

Left exit pupil.

Right exit pupil: note the arc of light away from the pupil at lower right.

Testing the binocular out on a bright, sunny afternoon revealed very impressive images right from the get-go. The view is razor sharp inside its very large sweet spot, with only a small amount of softening of the images noted near the field stops. Contrast is excellent.  Scanning a large swathe of trees at the edge of a forest proved to be a very comfortable experience and extremely easy on the eyes, with no blackouts or the rolling ball effect, kept under control courtesy of a modest amount of pincushion distortion near the field stops. Colours are very vibrant in this big glass and I immediately noted the warm tone of the images – very much like those I reported on the smaller ED and HD models. Indeed, I had long wondered whether this warm colour tone was a manifestation of the ED glass utilised in the smaller GPO binoculars or just from the coatings used. I now think it has more to do with the latter than the former.

Glare suppression is excellent in the GPO Passion 8 x 56. It stubbornly refused to show any on bright autumnal days, and also on grey overcast days in the open air. Veiling glare was also exceptionally well suppressed in this instrument too; a testament to the excellent coatings applied to the lenses and prisms, as well as the baffling used throughout the optical train. Close focus was also very surprising. I measured it at just 2.14m, so slightly better than the advertised 2.3m. I consider that amazing for such a large glass!  Chromatic aberration was also very well controlled in this unit. There is a small amount visible on high contrast targets, such as imaging the side of a telephone pole against a bright overcast sky. Lateral (off axis) colour is a bit more pronounced in this large aperture instrument though, as I openly expected, but I felt it was perfectly acceptable given the modest price tag of this instrument. Overall, I would rate the daytime images as quite excellent.

Testing its low light capability, I compared and contrasted it with the views through my excellent Opticron Imagic TGA WP 10 x 50 Porro prism binocular. I found the views very comparable until about a half hour before sunset on September evenings, with the 8 x 56 pulling noticeably ahead on selected targets under poorly illuminated hedgerows as the last rays of sunlight dipped below the horizon. By about a 40 minutes after sunset, the 10 x 50 was really struggling in comparison with the 8 x 56.

Under the Stars

I was dying to find out how the GPO Passion 8 x 56 would perform under a dark, clear sky at night, and I wasn’t disappointed here also! In fact, the views were absolutely stunning! The very generous field of view effortlessly frames wonderful star fields. Bright stars such as Vega and Aldebaran are rendered in their natural colours. Chromatic aberration was a non-issue in the inner 50 per cent of the field, and only showing mild splashes of bluish purple as the stars were moved to the outer part of the impressively large field of view. Fainter stars were examined to see how well they maintained their pinpoint sharpness. I was very pleased to see that they remained impressively small and tight across about 75 per cent of the field, with some mild field curvature beginning to show up thereafter. Only in the last 10 per cent of the viewing portal, could I make out  a small amount of astigmatism and coma creeping in.

I was genuinely surprised how long I could hand hold the binocular while scanning the Milky Way through Cygnus, Perseus and Cassiopeia. The low power of 8x definitely helps in this regard. For more serious studies though, I resorted to mounting the instrument on a light weight monopod. Views of the Pleiades and Hyades in Taurus were simply stunning, its impressively high light throughput presenting very faint stars quite invisible to a 42mm model. In fact, this instrument threw up some of the best binocular views of the heavens I have personally experienced. I enjoyed exploring many early autumn open clusters, such as the M36, 37 and 38 spanning the mid-section of Auriga. M 34 in Perseus and the great globular cluster in Hercules (M13) in this large binocular light bucket. Mighty Jupiter, now prominent in our night skies, was dazzlingly bright, with its four giant moons being easily seen. Fiery red Mars was also stunningly presented in Taurus against a jet black sky.  The Alpha Persei Association and Double Cluster in Perseus were breath-taking in this binocular too. Rising up in the wee small hours of late September, I was treated to some extraordinary views of Orion; with the white and blue-white Belt stars shining brilliantly, and below them, the famous Sword Handle of the celestial Hunter, with the magnificent Orion Nebula blazing forth across the light years. The excellent light gathering power of the GPO 8 x 56 allowed me to follow much fainter tendrils of nebulosity than I could make out in a optically excellent 7x 50 Porro prism binocular, though I must concede to yearning at times for a look through its higher power sibling; the 10 x 56, which probably would have totally blown me away lol. All of these experiences only consolidated what I had seen during the day: this is an excellent low light/astronomy binocular that would satisfy the most discriminating of observers.

Bon Voyage!

So, here we have yet another GPO binocular offering exceptional ergonomics and really good optics for a very decent price. I say this in light of a cursory examination of other 8x or 10 x 56 models, built around Abbe-Koenig prisms. The Zeiss Conquest HD 8 x 56, for example, has a build quality quite comparable to the GPO Passion, but its field of view is slightly smaller(125m@1000m), its weight slightly heavier(1265g),  its eye relief lower(18mm), its close focus distance much longer(3.5m), and possesses a light transmission of 90 per cent, lower than that of the GPO Passion, even with ED glass. But that instrument retails for more than twice the price of the big GPO light bucket! Or consider the fluorite containing Maven B5 10 x 56 costing a few hundred pounds more than even the Zeiss Conquest HD but with the same light transmission as the GPO Passion(92 per cent or so). Seen in this light, the GPO Passion 8 x 56 offers tremendous bang for buck and absolutely deserves great success in the burgeoning sports optics market.

 

Highly Recommended!

 

 

Dr Neil English explores many more hot bargains in his up-and-coming book, Choosing & Using Binoculars: A Guide for Stargazers, Birders and Nature Enthusiasts, due out in late 2023. 

My sincere thanks to Steve at First Light Optics for kindly lending me the instrument for field testing.

 

 

De Fideli.

Evaluating a Classic Nikon E 10 x 35.

The Nikon E 10 x 35.

A Work Commenced September 7 2022.

Preamble 

 

If you’ve been following my blog reviews, you’ll be aware of my great affection for the Nikon E II 8 x 30. From the moment I put it to my eyes, I was stunned by the magnificent views it served up: a wonderful, tack sharp, ultra-wide view, rich in contrast and detail, and all with an enchanting 3-dimensionality. That experience got me curious about other small Nikon Porros and I became intensely interested in the now discontinued E series, especially after reading Roger Vine’s glowing report on the Nikon E 8 x 30 linked to in the preamble above. I decided to bite the bullet and purchased a used Nikon E 10 x 35 from a seller based in Tokyo, Japan.

The workmanship that went into the making of the Nikon E 10 x 35 is exemplary.

The seller stated that the instrument was in good condition, with no fungus and a small amount of dust that had made its way inside the instrument. Checking the serial number, I was relieved to see that it was one of the later, multi-coated models, which were manufactured between 1988 and 1998, after which time Nikon introduced their latest, greatest small Porros – the venerable E IIs and SEs. Judging by the numbering – 611675 – I guessed that it was made in the mid -1990s.

The serial number most likely dates this instrument to the mid 1990s.

It took just a week for it to travel from the Far East to my home here in rural central Scotland, and I was very excited about the prospects of holding the instrument in my hands. The binocular was exceptionally well packed, taking what I felt was an eternity to remove all the bubble wrap before I could finally hold it! Straight from the get-go I was extremely impressed with the instrument, coming only with a neck strap of extremely high quality. The instrument looked very lightly used, with no significant scuff marks on the body. I could instantly tell that this instrument was made during an era where craftmanship was at a much higher level than it is today; the beautiful contouring of the solid metal chassis, overlaid by an immaculately applied retro leatherette armouring. As Mr Vine states, you simply don’t get instruments made to these standards today!

The underside of the binocular.

Weighing just 624g without its strap, the instrument feels great in the hands. Like the newer E II models, the eyepieces are fitted with soft rubber and offers decent eye relief for eyeglass wearers. Texture-wise they felt just as firm as the E II, which came as a relief to me, as I had heard that this type of rubber hardens with age. The focus wheel is slightly less refined than on the E II though, feeling significantly stiffer to turn. The opposite was true when I examined the dioptre adjustment mechanism, located under the right ocular. It was significantly easier to move then the E II dioptre ring, but still stiff enough to remain in place firmly during field use.

The objective lenses looked immaculate, with the characteristic green coatings. Ditto for the ocular lenses.

The multicoated objectives are in pristine condition.

View from the ocular end of the instrument.

I was relieved to see that the instrument arrived in excellent collimation. The exit pupils were nice and round, with very little extraneous light around them. Performing my Iphone torch test showed no significant internal reflections, diffused light or diffraction spikes, all characteristic of a well-executed Porro prism design. But I hit a snag when I examined the interior of the binocular from the objective end. Yes, there was a small amount of dust visible on the prisms, a very thin veneer of haze, but also significant fungal growth on the prisms of both barrels – something I was assured was not present by the Tokyo seller.

Saprophytic wee blighters. Top centre. Some haze present also.

Bummer.

Left exit pupil.

Right exit pupil.

Fortunately, the fungal growth and dust didn’t significantly compromise the view. How was it? Well, I can agree with Mr. Vine about its sheer superiority to the classic Zeiss 8 x 30s. Compared with my late 1980s multicoated Zeiss Jenoptem 8 x 30, the Nikon view was indeed much better. 10x in a very well corrected 6.6 degree field offers a unique perspective; at least from my own experiences. Brightness, contrast, glare suppression and sharpness were all very good in this modern classic. And just like my smaller E II, the view is supremely comfortable, with no problems with eye placement and zero issues with blackouts. I disagree with Mr Vine’s claim of 90 per cent transmission though. Maybe at yellow-green wavelengths, but surely not over the entire visible spectrum.

I also disagree with Mr. Vine regarding the ultimate quality of the view; comparing the images of the Nikon E II 8 x 30 to the E 10 x 35, I judged the former superior in terms of contrast and glare suppression. I also compared it to my excellent Opticron Imagic TGA WP 10 x 50, which served up a noticeably brighter and maybe even a tad sharper image, with much better glare suppression and noticeably more vibrant colour renditions. I know this was not a totally fair comparison, as there is a world of difference between a 10 x 50 and a 10 x 35. In bright sunny conditions, the views were quite comparable, but under overcast skies, the 10 x 50 pulled far ahead of it.

A properly executed modern Porro prism binocular can edge out even the greatest of classics. Opticron Imagic TGA WP 10 x 50(left) and the Nikon E 10 x 35(right).

This came somewhat as a shock to me, but in retrospect, modern anti-reflection coatings are just superior to older ones, and there’s no getting around that. The world has moved on. Mr. Vine also stated that to get images in the same league as the E series, you’d have to move to the Swarovski Habicht, Nikon E II or SE series. My comparisons of the Nikon E 10 x 35 with the Opticron Imagic TGA WP proved otherwise.

A Great Night Under the Stars

In the wee small hours of the morning of September 6, I enjoyed sumptuous views of the Hyades in Taurus and right above it, fiery red Mars and the Pleiades. 10x has  been my personal favourite magnification for stargazing of late. It just goes that little bit deeper than a 8x equivalent. I was very impressed by the Nikon E 10 x 35’s wide field of view, with pinpoint stars across most of the field. Near the field stops, you can readily make out some field curvature, which can be focused out to some degree. Moving higher into the sky, the Nikon E served up excellent views of the early autumn Milky Way through Cygnus, Cassiopeia and Perseus. Views of the Double Cluster were also highly captivating, following the curving chain of stars northwards to commune with the lovely starry patch, Stock 2. Later in the season, this will make a nice lightweight binocular to study the winter constellations of Gemini and Orion, both of which are rich in astronomical booty.

Notes form the Field

At home in nature.

I enjoyed one more day with the Nikon E 10 x 35, taking it up to one of my local patches – Culcreuch Pond – where I enjoyed some great views of Mute Swan cygnets learning how to fly. It’s all about mimicry. The adult directs the cygnets to one end of the pond, then takes to flight, keeping low above the water. The cygnets began flapping their wings frantically but as yet, they’ve not mastered the power of the air. I was also lucky enough to watch a magnificent Red Kite circling over the newly cut hay in a nearby field, the 10x glass showing some nice details quite invisible to a 8x equivalent. Close focus was measured to be 3.7 yards – plenty close enough for the vast majority of birding activities. It was during such a time that I thought about what I’d do about this very good modern classic, and I decided on getting it professionally serviced by skilled experts. I wanted to have the fungus removed from the prisms and the optics thoroughly cleansed so that it would enjoy a new lease of life. So I phoned Tony Kay, technical director of OPTREP, based in Selsey on the south English coast( the home of the late Sir Patrick Moore no less), explaining what work needed done to the instrument and whether he was willing to refurbish it for me. To my relief, he accepted. So I fetched my leatherette pouch that came with my Nikon E II 8 x 30, which proved to be a snug fit for the larger 10 x 35 glass, packing it away in a small box with plenty of bubble wrap. The next day, September 7, it was winging its way to his workshop.

Haste ye back!

Needless to say, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Tony can do to revitalise the Nikon E 10 x 35. Hopefully, I’ll get it back soon, when I’ll provide an update to this blog.

Update: On Saturday September 24, the instrument arrived back safely from its journey to the English south coast. I’m happy to report that the Nikon E 10 x 35 was thoroughly cleaned internally, with no sign of fungus, haze or dust inside the barrels. Collimation was perfect also. All in all, a very happy camper and excited to begin new adventures with this great classic Porro prism binocular from Japan.

The refurbished Nikon E 10 x 35.

I prepared another ‘sarcophagus’ for this instrument to keep it bone dry and free of internal moisture; just in the same way I store my Nikon E II 8 x 30.

The water and air tight container filled with several silica gel desiccant sachets to maintain a bone dry storing compartment for the instrument.

I’ll have more to say about both these instruments in the coming weeks and months, so watch this space.

Thanks for reading!

 

Neil.

 

 

De Fideli.

Product Review: Kowa SV II 8 x 32.

 

The Kowa SV II 8 x 32 package.

A Work Commenced  September 20 2022

 

 

Product: Kowa SV II 8 x 32

Country of Manufacture: Japanese designed, assembled in the Philippines

Exit Pupil: 4mm

Eye Relief: 15.5mm

Field of View: 136m@1000m(7.8 angular degrees)

Close Focus: 2m advertised, 1.68m measured

Chassis: Thick rubber armoured polycarbonate

Coatings: Fully Multicoated, phase correction coating on Schmidt Pechan roof prisms, KR hydrophobic and anti-scratch coatings on outer lenses.

ED Glass: No

Waterproof: Yes

Nitrogen Purged: Yes

Tripod Mountable: Yes

Weight: 565g advertised, 563g measured

Accessories: Soft padded case, quality logoed neoprene neck strap, rubber ocular rain guard and plastic lens covers, instruction manual.

Warranty: 10 years

Price UK: £229.00

 

The Japanese optics company Kowa has earned an excellent reputation among sports optics enthusiasts for over three quarters of a century. Today, they offer an exciting range of binoculars and spotting scopes that constantly push the envelope in ergonomic and optical performance. At the time of writing, Kowa manufacture an impressive array of binoculars to suit most people’s budget, ranging from tiny, pocket-sized binoculars right up to 56mm monsters. The SV series, Kowa’s entry level mid-sized binoculars, were first introduced in 2011, and created quite a splash, with many birders and hunters singing high praises for their innovative design and great optical performance. But in January 2020, Kowa introduced their revamped SV II series, which gives the customer a choice of six models in all – just like the original series  – a 8 x 32, 10 x 32, 8 x 42, 10 x 42 and two 50mm models giving 10x or 12x. I ordered up the 8 x 32 SV II model for testing and evaluation. I’m also delighted to say that it was a very pleasant surprise! To see why, read on!

The Kowa SV II 8x 32 has a very well designed chassis with a distinct ultra-modern accent.

Ergonomics

The binocular arrived inside a padded logoed carry case, which in turn was placed inside a small green box. The instrument has a thick green rubber armouring; very reminiscent of the Leica Trinovid HD 8 x 32 I tested in 2021. The chassis is fashioned from a lightweight but tough polycarbonate substrate and has extra rubber padding around the objective lenses to afford them some extra protection from stray light and the elements. The rubber is beautifully textured and very easy to grip but does attract dust rather easily.

Close up of the textured rubber used on the Kowa SV II 8 x 32. Though it grips well, it does attract dust rather easily.

The eyecups on the Kowa SV II 8 x 32 were also a very pleasant surprise. They have four positions in all and lock into each place with a reassuring ‘click’ sound. I’m also happy to report that the eyecups don’t collapse unless a sizeable force is applied to them. Eye relief is tight though: I struggled to see the entire field with my eyeglasses on. Fortunately, that isn’t an issue for me as I don’t wear glasses while using binoculars. The focus wheel is covered in soft rubber with tear shaped indentations very much like those used on Kowa’s YF range of compact Porros. I judged its tension to be excellent – very smooth with no free play and backlash when rotated in either direction. 1.75 revolutions clockwise brings you from closest focus to just beyond infinity.

Close up of the serial number and country of assembly.

The Kowa SV II 8 x 32 feels great in the hands, as it’s so easy to grip and wrap your hands around. Kowa didn’t skimp on the strap either; it was easy to attach and is nicely padded for comfortable transporting. The exterior lenses are treated to Kowa’s proprietary KR coating to repel water, dirt and oily deposits, and helps protect against accidental scratching.

Check out the extra thick padding around the objectives!

 

There was no cleaning cloth supplied with the instrument however. The ocular rain guard is made from standard rubber, but the objective caps are of the cheap plastic variety. To summarise, I love the thoroughly modern accent of this binocular, which was very thoughtfully designed to be pushed hard in the great outdoors.

Optical testing

I began to test the optics by examining how the instrument handled an intensely bright beam of light from across a room. The results I got were very encouraging. There was very little in the way of internal reflections and ghost images. I did see a weak diffraction spike though, but it was quite subdued compared with other instruments in this price category. There was very little diffused light around the beam, indicating the glass used was of very good quality and of high homogeneity. Later, after dark, I turned the Kowa SV II 8 x 32 on a bright sodium street lamp and, as expected, I got a great result; no ghost images and only the merest trace of a faint diffraction spike. In another test I photographed the light emanating from the exit pupils. The results were excellent as you can see below, with nice dark areas around the perfectly round pupils. So far, so very good!

Left exit pupil.

Right exit pupil.

The view through the Kowa SV II is excellent; very bright, sharp and with really impressive contrast and a lovely hard field stop. Collimation was spot on. The excellent tension on the focus wheel brings the images to a very precise, razor-sharp focus, with absolutely no ambiguity. Colours are vibrant and true to life, presenting with an overall neutral cast to my eyes. The sweet spot is very large, with only the extreme edges of the field showing any significant distortion. This I was able to ascertain by star testing more fully at night. Centring the bright star Vega in the field of view, I was able to monitor how the image changed as it was moved off axis towards the field stops. I was delighted to see that even at the extreme edges, there was only very minor distortion mostly attributed to very mild field curvature. To be honest, I had expected it to fare worse in this regard as the specs of this binocular – 7.8-degree field, 15.5mm eye relief etc – are found on quite a few other models, such as the Svbony SV 202 8 x 32 and the Celestron Trailseeker 8 x 32, for example, each of which had quite blurry images near the field stops, as my notes showed. This Kowa SV II turned out to be in a completely different league in this regard, with a much flatter outer field.

Glare suppression was also in a completely different league to the aforementioned models but I’d also have to include the Vortex Diamondback HDs here too. The excellent coatings and baffling on these Kowa SV IIs made all the difference in aggressively suppressing both general and veiling glare as revealed after extensive field testing. Close focus was measured to be just 1.68m, considerably better than the quoted 2m stated in the accompanying user manual. Blackouts – caused by spherical aberration of the exit pupil – were pretty much non-existent as well. Overall, I found the views extremely relaxing and engaging; a sure indicator of an optically excellent  instrument.

Though the field of view is fine and wide, one gets the impression that it’s wider than it really is owing to the well corrected outer field. Chromatic aberration is very well controlled despite its non-ED labelling. I could detect the merest trace of it in the centre of the field on the highest contrast daytime targets, and an average level of lateral colour as one moves away from the centre to the periphery of the field of view. There is a modest amount of illumination drop off as targets are moved to the edge of the field. This was easily seen by centring the Pleiades in the binocular field and then moving the celebrated asterism to the field stops.

Portable Pleasure.

In conclusion, the Kowa SV II 8 x 32 is an excellent instrument for birdwatching, nature studies and even for enjoying the showpiece objects of the night sky. For its modest retail price it sure punches well above its weight. At the time of writing, I note that its bigger brother; the 8 x 42 is available for a lower price than then 8 x 32 model. That sounds like one heck of a bargain!

 

Highly recommended!

 

Neil English is currently writing a comprehensive binocular buyer’s guide. Choosing & Using Binoculars: A Guide for Stargazers, Birders and Nature Enthusiasts hits the bookshelves in late 2023.

 

 

De Fideli.

Two Low Light Binoculars Compared: Opticron Imagic TGA WP 7 x 50 vs 10 x 50.

The Opticron Imagic TGA WP 7 x 50 & 10 x 50.

A Work Commenced August 26 2022

Preamble 1

Preamble 2

Preamble 3

Preamble 4

 

There’s been many highs and lows on my 4-year journey through the wonderful and sometimes weird world of binoculars. Arguably the greatest high for me was my re-discovery of the many charms of Porro prism binoculars. Yet, it’s certainly the case that these instruments have been unfairly demurred for reasons that continue to baffle me. The simple truth is that a well-made Porro prism binocular can produce outstanding images using relatively simple technology compared with roof prism models that never seem to stand still. Almost every other week a new model hits the market promising out-of-this-world performance at out-of-this world price tags. I spent more than three years testing all manner of roof prism instruments without ever giving a thought to the humble Porro prism binocular- apart from the quirky reverse-Porro design of the Pentax Papilio II. Why? I supposed I swallowed hook, line and sinker the urban myth that the latter were simply inferior just because they were cheaper. After all, you get what you pay for, right? I mean, how could a full-featured Porro prism binocular costing a couple of hundred pounds realistically compete with a sexy, streamlined roof prism model costing a cool grand or more? Fortunately, I’ve spent the last six months buying in and testing some really nice Porro prism binoculars, and these collective experiences have consolidated my preference for these over their roof prism counterparts.

And I appear to be in good company.

UK-based Opticron is to be lauded for keeping high quality Porro prism binoculars alive and well in the 21st century. As one of my main birding binoculars, I enjoy the excellent quality views of the now discontinued SR.GA 8 x 32 which delivers very similar though not quite as stellar views to my favourite instrument; the superlative Nikon E II 8 x 30, which I tend to baby just a little owing to its lack of rubber armouring.

But that got me thinking about what higher power instrument to use for the dull days of Winter and/or for longer range work, but most especially as a general purpose astronomical instrument to be used during our long, dark(and often cold) winters  here at 56 degrees north latitude. I had enjoyed a high quality 10 x 32 for a while but it lacked the light gathering power of bigger 10 x 42 models, which I also seriously considered. I had contemplated using the Opticron Adventurer T WP 10 x 42, a larger format Porro, but instead I decided to buy in and test two intriguing 50mm instruments from the same company – the 7 x 50 and 10 x 50 Imagic TGA WP models – to field test and learn as much as I could about them. I’ve been testing both of these instruments in various conditions, by day and by night, both at home here in Scotland, and while on vacation in south Wales, and have been so impressed with them that I decided to hold onto one model – the 10 x 50 – as I now firmly believe that it will do everything a 10 x 42 model can do, only better! To see why, read on!

A Closer Look at the Ergonomics of the Instruments

As outlined in Preamble 1 above, I had previously acquainted myself with the many delightful features of the Opticron Imagic TGA WP in the smaller 8 x 32 format, which is now in the capable hands of a keen lady birder on Jersey, in the Channel Islands. I was delighted to see these larger instruments had precisely the same features. Porro prism binoculars are not generally known to be waterproof, and this is one reason cited by some for rejecting them for serious field use. These instruments are o ring sealed and purged with dry nitrogen gas, so that traditional excuse is no longer valid.

Both 50mm models are waterproof and nitrogen purged.

“I don’t like the old-fashioned rubber eye cups on those classic Porros,” I hear you say.

These Imagic TGA models have fully modernised twist-up eyecups that click solidly into place and hold their positions firmly.

Check out the excellent rubber armouring and solid twist-up eyecups on these 50mm models.

What about eye relief? That’s quite poor in classic Porros isn’t it? Not on these models; the 10 x 50 has 19.5mm of eye relief and the 7 x 50 has a full 21.5mm. That’s ample for any eyeglass wearers. And yes, I’ve tested them both using my own eyeglasses and both present the full field in complete comfort.

“What about the dioptre mechanism? Isn’t that the usual ring under the right ocular?”

No, these models possess an ingenious click-stop mechanism. The ring has an unusually high degree of tension and clicks its way round to your preferred setting. Once there, it clicks into place and doesn’t budge: just as effective as any locking dioptre setting featured on much more expensive roof prism models. What an excellent piece of applied engineering! Incidentally, fellow author, Stephen Tonkin, a highly experienced astronomy binocular enthusiast(see Preamble 2 above), whose opinions I trust, referred to the dioptre as being ‘very stiff.’ That’s true, but he likely under-appreciated this feature for daytime uses, when dioptre settings are more likely to wander.

The right eye dioptre is ingeniously engineered, clicking into place firmly and quite incapable of being accidently moved.

“Oh but Porro prism binoculars are big and clunky right?”

Ah, no, both of these instruments tip the scales at just over 800g. The 7 x 50 weighs 823g, while the 10 x 50 weighs just one gram more. That’s lighter than some of the heavier 42mm roof prism models I’ve tested, and for a 50mm specification, these are reassuringly lightweight.

Heavy? Nah……the scales say no!

“Yer but they’re awkward to handle!”

Nope, these instruments are exceptionally easy to handle. The weight is brilliantly balanced in my medium sized hands. Indeed, both instruments rate very highly in terms of pure form factor. They feel great in the hand.

“What about the armouring? I’ve heard this can be a bit skimpy on classic Porro models.”

Maybe on older models, but not on these. Both are endowed with a good, thick, protective rubber armouring, with upraised ridges for exceptional grip, even in wet weather.

“OK, OK, but they just don’t look as cool as roof models.”

Oh please; don’t be so shallow!

Ocular & Objective Lenses

Both instruments are fully multicoated and treated with the company’s proprietary differential  F coat to minimise glare and internal reflections. The objectives are nicely recessed to protect the instrument from rain, dust and stray light. Check it out below:

Nothing shallow about these: the beautifully applied anti-reflection coatings applied to the deeply recessed objective lenses.

The ocular lenses are large and easy to engage with.

The ocular lens with eyecups fully retracted.

There is only one significant physical difference between the two instruments, and it pertains to the size of the eyepiece lenses. The 10 x 50 has a 21mm diameter, while the 7 x 50 lens measures only 18mm.

The ocular lenses are larger(21mm) on the 10 x 50 model, compared with 18mm for the 7 x 50.

The focuser on both instruments is exceptionally smooth and backlash free in either direction: very similar if not identical with my smaller SR.GA. 8 x 32. Tension is perfect for my taste – excellent in fact! It takes just three quarters of one revolution anticlockwise to go from near focus to infinity, and beyond.

Tripod/monopod compatible?

Yep, just unscrew the cap at the head of the bridge, mate it to a good quality tripod/monopod adapter and you’re off to the races!

Both binoculars have a decent IPD range: 57 to 73mm, so even smaller faces can engage with them easily.

What about accessories?

Well, you get a basic but perfectly functional rain guard that can be attached to the strap if you like it that way. I don’t like any appendage hanging from my optics so I usually carry it in my jacket or trouser pocket if its raining or threatening to do so. The objective caps are basic plastic covers but they fit tightly.

The carry case accompanying both instruments is well made from faux leather. It is lined internally and has enough space to carry the binocular with its strap attached

Both instruments come with a very nicely designed case which very adequately protects your investment.

The instruments fit snugly inside the supplied carry case, even with the strap attached.

 

Optical Assessment: 

I measured the effective aperture of both instruments simply by shining a bright light through the ocular lenses and measuring the size of the circle of light projected on a flat surface. Both showed no evidence of stopped down optics with effective apertures of  about 49mm for both the 7x and 10x instruments.

Next I examined the exit pupils of both instruments. Both delivered satisfactory results. Shown below is the results for the 10x instrument.

Right exit pupil.

Left exit pupil.

Both pupils are perfectly round, so no truncation here. There is some light outside the exit pupil but this had very little effect in practice, as my subsequent tests showed.

Placing an intensely bright light at a distance of about 5 metres and examining the focused images through both instruments produced pretty much identical outcomes. Both showed very good results, with only a few minor (read very low intensity) internal reflections, no diffraction spikes(as expected with Porro models) and no diffused light around the beam, all indicative of high quality, homogeneous glass. Testing on a bright sodium street lamp after dark showed excellent results too – again clean with no annoying internal reflections. So far, so very good!

In agreement with all of the reviewers cited in Preamble 2, 3 and 4  above, the daytime images delivered by these binoculars are very impressive. Both deliver very bright, high-contrast images, with very large sweet spots. Even the edges near the field stop are satisfyingly sharp. Colours are very faithfully represented and appear neutral to my eye. Chromatic aberration is very well controlled. It’s pretty much non existent for the most part but a trace can be seen when viewing roosting corbies perched high on treetops against a grey sky background. A small but very tolerable amount of lateral (off axis) colour can also be witnessed when viewing branches near sunset against an overcast sky. Incidentally, the light transmission of these instruments was measured by allbinos to be in the region of 88 per cent, so these are very efficient light cups which will prove especially useful for my primary use for them – astronomical viewing.

Glare suppression is excellent too. Indeed, when comparing the images in both my Japanese-made SR.GA 8 x 32 and the Imagic TGA 7 x 50, I judged the latter superior in this regard. On dull afternoons, for example, glare usually manifests itself in most binoculars when glassing in the open air, in the direction of the Sun. Under these conditions, the 7 x 50 produced a slightly more contrasted view when imaging a hill top. Veiling glare was also slightly better controlled in the 7 x 50 Imagic TGA too. You can readily test for this by imaging the topmost boughs of a tree against a bright overcast sky with the Sun nearby. Indeed, consulting my notes on the smaller 8 x 32 Imagic TGA model,  I had already noticed this when I briefly compared it to my newly-acquired SR.GA.

This may come as a surprise to some readers, as the SR.GA  is arguably one of the best modern compact Porros available until recently(they replaced Opticron’s excellent HR series you’ll remember). I understand the Imagic TGA models are also Japanese-designed but are actually manufactured in China. So what’s going on here? I think it’s the coatings applied to the lenses and prisms on the Imagic TGAs. These were introduced later than the SR.GAs and so may have benefitted from slightly better coating technologies. Just a hunch, but I’ve yet to come up with a better explanation!

I took some images with my Iphone 7 hooked up to the 10 x 50 Imagic TGA, using my Nikon EII 8 x 30 as a control and comparison. Both are 10-burst images taken with a 3-second delay to reduce vibrations. They were taken just a few minutes apart on the afternoon of August 27 2022. The results are shown below:

Image through the Opticron Imagic TGA WP 10 x 50.

Image captured through the Nikon E II 8 x 30. 

  • The reader will note that the field of view of the 10 x 50 is 5.3 angular degrees (confirmed later by measurement). The Nikon E II 8 x 30 is a world-class compact Porro with a stupendously wide field of 8.8 angular degrees.

You can make up your own mind about these images.

Notes from the Field

Both these large aperture binoculars are extremely comfortable to look through, with no blackouts experienced while panning across a landscape. Close focus on the 7 x 50 was measured to be 5.6 yards while the 10 x 50 was slightly longer at 5.9 yards. Both instruments present nice, well defined field stops, as well as instantly recognisable stereopsis. This is especially noticeable when viewing  objects in close proximity to each other, such as in a forest, with the 10x glass being a little bit more pronounced in this regard. This is yet another feature I find particularly charming about Porro prism binoculars in that they readily deliver views with more spatial information owing to the larger separation of the objectives than in their roof prism counterparts. I had a particularly vivid experience of this stereoptic effect in the very early morning of August 7, when I sat, completely enchanted, observing a magnificent dragonfly hovering over my brother’s garden pond in South Wales. The mist was still dissipating from the water’s surface in the cool of the morning, as I watched in sheer amazement as its iridescent wings, bulging compound eyes and body glistening in the feeble, hazy sunshine some 10 metres in the distance. I became totally captivated by the dexterity with which it manipulated its two sets of wings, changing both their orientation and power stroke from moment to moment before accelerating at breakneck speed off into the distance. I later found out that these giants of the flying insect world have been clocked moving at more than 18 miles per hour!

“How wondrously designed these creatures are,” I thought to myself. Small wonder they’ve served as the inspiration behind drone technology and a whole raft of artificial visual systems that enrich human life.

The 7 x 50 gives an ultra-stable viewing experience owing to its lower power, allowing the user to view for significantly longer periods of time. That said, I found viewing through the 10x glass to be the more immersive of the two, despite its smaller field of view(5.3 degrees as opposed to 6.0 degrees for the 7x 50). Depth of field is noticeably deeper in the 7x instrument though. Indeed, having both instruments readily at hand, I conducted some measurements of this with the help of my son’s golf rangefinder. Carefully targeting well defined objects in the centre of the field to minimise the effects of field curvature, the 7 x 50 unit delivered a close focus at infinity of 50.9 yards, while the 10 x 50 produced a value of 70.5 yards.

In previous work, I fleshed out some of the details of the factors that influence depth of field, showing that the most important parameter was magnification and which scales inversely with power. I thus expected a (10/7)^2 or two fold greater field depth in the 7x 50. Plugging the figures in yielded (70.5/50.9)^2 = 1.92, in close agreement with theory.

Neat!

Large aperture instruments such as these naturally come into their own in low light situations, such as late evening viewing. Observing at sunset, and about half an hour into the dusky twilight, I was readily able to discern that the 7 x 50 yielded brighter images of targets set in the shade, such as leaf litter under bushes. But here’s the thing; I was very impressed by how well the 10 x 50 was keeping up! Magnification is, of course, at play here, providing a more enlarged view of targets which partially compensates for the grater brightness of the lower power glass. I mean, what good is a brighter image if it doesn’t show detail? You can find more on this interesting topic here.

Ad Astra

Although I could more or less instantly tell both instruments were well collimated in daylight tests, I was easily able to verify this under the stars. Centring the bright star Altair in both the 7 x 50 and 10 x 50, I turned the dioptre setting to the end of its travel, defocusing the star from a tight pinpoint to a defocused anulus of light. Both instruments showed the focused star well inside the anulus, indicating that both instruments had their barrels well aligned.

Turning to the Big Dipper, I took the opportunity to test the size of the field of view in the 10x glass by noting that the pointer stars(which show the way to the North Star, Polaris), Dubhe and Merak are precisely 5 degrees 21′ apart, or 5.3 angular degrees. I was delighted to see that both stars could just fit inside the field of view, so no discrepancy here with the stated field size. Impressive!

While I was in this part of the sky, I took the opportunity to hunt down the two Messier galaxies in The Great bear – M81 and M82  – easily swept up by drawing an imaginary line from Phecda through Dubhe and extending that line as far again until I could see both galaxies close to each other in the same field of view. Comparing the views in the 7 x 50 and 10 x 50, it was immediately obvious that the 10x glass showed these faint fuzzies considerably better than the 7x glass. This is all textbook behaviour for these binoculars. The 10x glass delivers ~ 0.5 magnitude boost over the 7x glass. The main reason is the larger magnification of the 10 x 50, which darkens the sky approximately (10/7)^2 or 2x greater than the 7 x 50, making these faint objects stand out better in the former. This is a very convenient way to see the immediate benefits of a 10 x 50 over a 7x 50 under dark skies.

But it was also obvious when I turned the binoculars over to the Alpha Persei Association in Perseus, where the 10 x 50 swept up more stars than the 7 x 50. The same was also clear from looking at the Double Cluster, located roughly midway between Cassiopeia and Perseus. Fainter stars could be seen in the 10x glass than the 7x glass.

Bringing both the 7x 50 and the 10 x 50 to a very dark site in rural South Wales during warm and settled summer weather afforded ample opportunities to do some quality stargazing. For the steadiest, deepest views, a monopod is recommended with either of these instruments, but on this occasion, I enjoyed simply hand-holding them while lying back on a zero gravity chair. Views of the Milky Way through Cygnus were breath-taking in both binoculars, particularly in the region around Sadr. What I really like about these binoculars is their very well corrected fields. As I’ve stated before, optical defects are much easier to see under the stars than during the daytime, when the eye tends to be overwhelmed by the amount of detail seen in and around the centre of the image, but star images are less forgiving. Under some super dark skies and the Moon setting early in the first week of August, I could see that the central 80 per cent or so of the field of these binoculars produced sensibly perfect star images, but in the outer 20 per cent, the effects of field curvature began to manifest themselves. Thankfully, these aberrations were very mild(as you can see from the photos taken above), with the images nearly all the way up to the field stops still being acceptably small and sharp to my eyes. Indeed, the views very much reminded me of those served up by my largest binocular – the Pentax PCF 20 x 60 WP, with its aspherical eyepieces – only with a much wider field( 5.3 compared with just 2.2 degrees).

Images of the Moon in both binoculars displayed excellent contrast and sharpness, and I could detect very little in the way of chromatic aberration in the centre of the field, with lunar craters peppering the southern highlands with impressive clarity. Off axis, a small amount of lateral colour (mostly yellows and a splash of purple) began to creep in but that’s all par for the course in most any 10 x 50 you’ll look through.

The formidable light gathering power of these high-quality Porro prism binoculars from Opticron proved very beneficial for enjoying the colours of bright stars. I enjoyed some magnificent views of the Pleiades in the wee small hours of late August, as well as M34 in Perseus, and the ghostly light from the Great Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda(M31). The Dumbbell Nebula(M27) in Vulpecula looked terrific too in the 10 x 50 but less impactful in the lower power of the 7x glass. The same was true when I turned the instruments on the Coathanger asterism(Brocchi’s Cluster) nearby. And moving back across the sky into Cassiopeia, I compared and contrasted the view of the ET Cluster in both instruments, with the victory, once again, going to the 10 x 50.

The excellent sharpness and contrast of these binoculars proved ideal for observing colourful single, double and multiple stars, with the 10 x 50 coming out on top once again. Mu Cephei – Herschel’s Garnet Star – was compelling in deep red, as were the beautiful colour contrast binocular doubles O^1 Cygni and Delta 1 & 2 Lyrae sailing high in the late Summer sky. Colourful stellar associations, such as brilliant white Altair contrasted against the  orange giant star, Tarazed, in the same field, were admired in all their preternatural beauty.

The Vortex Diamondback HD 10 x 50 is no match for the Opticron Imagic TGA WP 10 x 50.

I’m of the opinion that star images are more aesthetically pleasing through good Porro prism binoculars, owing to their complete lack of diffraction spikes. I came to notice this in comparing a few bigger roof prism binoculars with the 10 x 50, and in particular, a Vortex Diamondback HD 10 x 50. During daylight tests, for example, the Opticron Imagic TGA WP  10 x 50 produced crisper images with noticeably better contrast and less glare than the big Vortex roof. But that really didn’t surprise me as you’d probably have to fork out at least two or even three times more money to get a roof prism model that can compete favourably with these very well appointed Porro glasses. Under the stars though, the Diamondback HD did quite well, but didn’t quite deliver the same off-axis performance to the 10 x 50 Imagic TGA WP I compared it to. Eye relief is noticeably shorter on the big Diamondback HD too(16mm). It was also a little bit heavier(~850g) than the Opticron, which counts in extended hand-held use.

A keeper!

Are there better Porros out there? Yes, the Nikon SE 12 x 50 comes to mind, or a Fujinon FMT 10 x 50, or even a classic Swarovski 10 x 50,  but these cost several times more than either of these binoculars – if you can even get them. But if, like me, you can live with the smaller field of view offered by these instruments, you’re in for a real treat when you test them out in daylight or better still, under dark, starry skies where they’re in their element. Couple all this to their modest cost – both under £200 – and Opticron’s excellent 30-year warranty, and you may begin to see why it’s really hard not to like them!

Highly recommended!

 

 

Neil English has been observing the night sky for over 40 years. His latest book on binoculars will hit the shelves at the end of 2023.

 

 

 

 

De Fideli.

Product Review: Olympus EXPS I 10 x 42.

 

The Olympus EXPS I 10 x 42 package.

A Work Commenced August 20 2022

 

Product: Olympus EXPS I 10 x 42

Country of Manufacture: China

Exit Pupil: 4.2mm

Field of View: 96m @1000m(5.5 angular degrees)

Eye relief: 18.4mm

Dioptre Compensation: +/- 3

Coatings: Fully Multicoated Optical System, UV Coating, High-index Bak-4 Porro Prisms

Eyepieces: Aspherical design

ED Glass: No

Waterproof: No

Close Focus: 5m advertised, 3.38m measured

Weight: 785g advertised, 790g measured

Dimensions: W/L – 13/18.7cm

IPD Range: 60-70mm

Accessories: Soft case, padded logoed neck strap, rain guard, objective lens caps, instruction sheet.

Warranty: 25 years(European)

Price(UK): £154.36

 

Recently, an amateur astronomer I correspond with told me how much he liked the Japanese camera giant Olympus’ entry-level model; the DPS I 8 x 40. Intrigued, I decided to buy in one of their premium Porro prism models; the EXPS I 10 x 42. Unlike the DPS I models which only have fully coated optics and BK7 prisms, the EXPS I instruments featured BAK4 Porro prisms and a full multicoating in a sleek, ergonomically advanced chassis.

A Walk Around the Instrument

The instrument arrived in a very similar blue box to the DPS I models, with the instrument neatly stored away inside a soft black carry case. The binocular also came with plastic objective lens caps and rain guard, together with a nice logoed neck strap.

Groovy as you like: the Olympus binocular comes in a big, blue box.

The instrument itself is very solidly made, with a thick rubber armouring. In the hand, the instrument felt quite hefty but its redesigned contouring made it very easy to hold in a comfortable position. I measured the weight of the instrument without its neck strap to be 790g.

The nicely contoured chassis of the Olympus EXPS I 10 x 42.

The focuser is Excellent.! I mean really, really Good!

Thick rubber-clad with really good grip. It moves with silky smoothness with no free play or backlash. It’s very fast too; taking just three quarters of a revolution anticlockwise to go from closest focus to infinity, and a little beyond.

Underside of the Olympus EXPS I 10 x 42. Note the nicely delineated dioptre settings.

The dioptre compensation ring is located under the right ocular lens and has just enough tension when rotated to hold its position well. There is a scale that allows you to easily memorise your optimal setting.

The eyecups are fully modern and twist up before locking in place, giving generous eye relief. The specifications state 18.4mm. I didn’t measure this but I could very comfortably engage with the entire field with my eyeglasses on, so no worries there.

The ocular field lenses are large and easy to engage with.

The modern, twist-up eyecups are nicely made and hold their position well.

The objective lenses have very nicely applied anti-reflection coatings and are quite deeply recessed to protect against dust, rain and extraneous light.

The central hinge is quite rigid, but I did note the rather narrow IPD range from 60 to 70mm. That pretty much rules it out for those who have smaller faces or narrow set eyes.

All in all, I would rate its ergonomics very highly indeed. But what about the optics?

Optical Assessment

As usual, I began by shining an intensely bright light from my Iphone 7 torch situated several metres away and examined the image presented by the binocular. I noted a few minor internal reflections which were certainly a bit more prominent than I’ve witnessed in other similarly priced Porros from other manufacturers. Next, I examined the exit pupils of the instrument. As you can see below, there was no sign of any truncation as evidenced by the perfectly round shafts of light, but there is a considerable amount of extraneous light around and in close proximity to the exit pupils. When I pointed the instrument at a bright yellow sodium street lamp after dark, I could detect some weak internal reflections but nothing too distracting. Close focus was considerably better than advertised; 3.38 metres compared with the 5 metres quoted in the specifications sheet.

Right exit pupil: the blue reflection is from a TV in the background.

Left exit pupil.

But it was only as I began to study the daytime images that something was quite amiss. The image was good and bright in agreement with the high transmission values measured in independent tests. The centre of the image was really sharp with good contrast but the left-hand-side of the image was badly distorted in the outer 30 per cent of the field. And anywhere near the left-hand field stop was totally blurred! The same was not true on the right-hand-side of the image though. I found this aberrational asymmetry quite disturbing, especially when the field of view is quite small to start with( 5.5 degrees).

I was able to assess the situation better when under the night sky, where aberrations are much easier to identify. Centring the bright star Vega, now nearly overhead, I was able to obtain a really good, sharp image of the star in the centre of the field. Collimation was spot on. But as I moved it toward the left-hand field stop, the star became grossly deformed with what looked like a mixture of field curvature, astigmatism and coma. Attempting to refocus the star, I was only able to clean it up partially. That astigmatism and coma just couldn’t be focused out!  So much for the aspherical lens elements advertised by Olympus!

I took the liberty of capturing a photo of the image on a flat rooftop several tens of metres away. The below image is a 10-burst image taken through my Iphone 7. I think you can easily make out the very badly distorted image near the left-hand field stop.

Image captured of a nearby flat roof. Note the bad distortion on the left-hand-side of the field.

What a disappointment!

A de-centred element in the optical train? Maybe.

In other daytime tests, I compared and contrasted the image to another, similarly priced Porro prism binocular – the Opticron Imagic TGA WP 10 x 50. Comparing the views on a variety of targets and in different lighting conditions showed the Olympus EXPS I 10x 42 to have substantially more glare and less contrast than the former. And compared with the excellent edge-to-edge sharpness of the Opticron, the Olympus EXPS I was downright shoddy.  I was also disappointed with its ability to control veiling glare, easily tested for by looking at the branches of a conifer tree with the Sun immediately above it. The Opticron image was clean and well contrasted in contradistinction to the badly washed-out Olympus EXPS I image. Now this was not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, but it was enough to deliver my verdict; this so-called ‘premium’ binocular from the famous camera giant Olympus was nothing of the sort! This is an instrument I cannot in good conscience recommend, especially when there are other models in the same price range that deliver much better optical performance.

Comparing the image quality of the Olympus EXPS I 10x 42(left) and the Opticron Imagic TGA WP 10x 50(right).

I was intrigued by the report of the less expensive Olympus DPS I 8 x 20 provided me by my astronomer pen friend, but its specifications lend me to believe that it might even be worse than this EXPS I.

My tests are all the more disappointing in light of the great ergonomics of this Olympus binocular, but it counts for nothing if the optics are so disappointing! The reader will also note that my unit did not fare as well as the unit reviewed by allbinos.com linked to in the text above.

Not recommended!

 

Post Scriptum: August 25 2022

A second unit of the Olympus EXPS I 10x 42 was ordered up for testing but proved to have the same optical issues as the first unit.

Dr Neil English has tested binoculars of all genres to build a sizeable portfolio of work for his up-and-coming book, Choosing & Using Binoculars: A Guide for Stargazers, Birders and Outdoor Enthusiasts, which hits the bookshelves in late 2023.

De Fideli.