A Work Commenced October 20 2021
Product Name: Svbony SV202 10 x 50 ED
Place of Manufacturer: HongKong
Field of View: 106m@1000m(6.1 angular degrees)
Exit Pupil: 5mm
Eye Relief: 17mm
Dioptre Compensation: +/- 3
Close Focus: 2m advertised, 2.09m measured
Chassis: Textured rubber armoured Magnesium alloy
Coatings: Fully broadband multi-coated, dielectric and phase correction coatings applied to BAK-4 Schmidt Pechan roof prisms
ED Glass: Yes
Nitrogen Purged: Yes
Waterproof: Yes IPX7(1 metre for 30 minutes)
Weight: 951g (advertised), 914g measured
Dimensions: 16.5 x 14.8 cm
Tripod Mountable: Yes
Accessories: Tethered rubber rain guard & objective covers, lens cleaning cloth, quality logoed padded neck strap, soft padded carry case, comprehensive instruction sheet.
Retail Price: £157-166(UK)
In ancient Hebrew lore, the number 3 is associated with harmony or completeness. How apt this is for the subject of this next review. In previous blogs I showcased two remarkable, low-cost roof prism binoculars marketed by Svbony; the SV202 8 x 32 ED and 10 x 42 ED. Despite desperate attempts to discredit these excellent performing instruments by hateful snobs and trolls, they’re now selling like hot cakes lol. But there is yet one more model in the same SV 202 series which I did not test out: enter the 10 x 50 ED
The SV 202 10 x 50 ED was kindly lent to me by Mr. Slim Loghmari, a keen binocular enthusiast and amateur astronomer hailing from North London. He purchased it directly from Svbony, Hong Kong, taking just over a week to reach him. After reading my review of the 8 x 32 ED, he went ahead and bought in all three models including the 10 x 50 ED and posted some useful video clips of its optical performance. This review will therefore complete my work on all three models from this phenomenal family of low-cost, high-performance binoculars. As you will see, the 10 x 50 ED is every bit as good as the two smaller models and really excels in some areas.
Slim despatched all of the original packaging to me so you can see that the contents are the same across the series. The package includes the binoculars in a nice padded soft case, nicely fitting, tethered ocular and objective covers, a quality neck strap, lens cleaning cloth and a comprehensive instruction manual in the major languages.
When I first prized the binocular from its case, I was immediately impressed by its excellent build quality; the same quality, in fact, as the two smaller models. The eye cups twist up and rigidly lock in place, with three intermediate positions, the focus wheel was even smoother and easier to turn than the 10 x 42 ED and the instrument felt really solid in my medium-sized hands. Like the smaller 10 x 42 ED, the focuser on the 10 x 50 ED takes about one and three quarters of a turn to go from one extreme of its focus travel to the other.
The dioptre ring moves very smoothly, just like its smaller siblings and stays in place once adjusted to my optimal setting. I immediately noticed the greater weight of the 10 x 50. I measured it at just 914g without the strap and lens covers. That’s actually lower than the quoted weight of 951g and rather good news if you like to handhold binoculars for prolonged periods of time.
The coatings looked identical to those on the smaller models; a deep and beautiful magenta hue as seen in daylight. These anti-reflection coatings were applied very carefully and evenly, with no sleeks or pits.
Unlike the two smaller models, which have just enough eye relief to use with eye glasses, the larger 10 x 50 ED has considerably more. Testing these with my own eye glasses confirmed that the entire field can be seen with ease.
The textured rubber armouring affords excellent protection against the elements and makes the binocular very easy to grip and hold steady. And yet it is not overly thick, like some binoculars I’ve tested over the past few years. Again, its texture and finish reminded me very much of the Zeiss Terra ED binos.
In summary, the ergonomics of the 10 x 50 ED are every bit as good as the smaller models, and has a wonderful feel about it from the second you get your hands around the barrels.
To be honest, I was expecting great things from this 10 x 50 ED based on what I experienced with the smaller models.
Did Svbony deliver?
Yes, in spades!
Performing my flashlight test on the 10 x 50 ED, showed another excellent, clean result. There was no sign of any significant internal reflections, no annoying diffraction spikes and no sign of inferior optical components causing the light to diffuse around the light source and cut down on contrast. Absolutely brilliant!
Looking at some bright sodium street lights at night showed zero problems with diffraction spikes, glare or internal reflections. ” Will make a great Moon gazing ‘scope.” I remember writing in my notebook. More on that later!
Examining the eye pupils of the 10 x 50 ED showed great results, as you can see from the images presented below. Both pupils looked nice and round, with no annoying light leaks near them. I would rate this result as excellent. Well done Svbony!
From the moment I brought the instrument to my eyes, I was treated to a wonderful, bright and sharp image, rich in contrast and saturated colours. Like the 10 x 42 ED, the instrument arrived on a rather grotty day, with light rain and leaden clouds presenting the harshest observing conditions for any binocular. I was impressed by the binocular’s control of glare, especially veiling glare – as good as I had seen on the smaller models. Even under these challenging conditions, the vibrant colours of autumnal leaves were very striking to the eye. The wonderful light gathering power of this 10 x 50 presents a very large sweet spot, making the view especially delightful. Depth of focus was good for a binocular with these specifications and the close focus was astounding – I measured it at only 2.09m – a jolly good result. Indeed, the reader will note that the close focus on the 10 x 50 is significantly shorter than the 10 x 42 model – which came in at 2.8m in comparison. Slim already pointed that out on one of the Cloudynights threads on these binoculars, with even the premium alpha models typically coming in at 3 metres or more! This remarkable value will make the 10 x 50 an excellent choice for those who like using their binos as long distance microscopes to study insects, leaves, rocks and fungi in glorious detail. I’ve personally never heard of anyone using a 10 x 50 to do this kind of work.
Comparing the 10 x 42 ED to the 10 x 50 ED
I thought it would be useful to compare and contrast the images through the 10 x 42 and 10 x 50. After going back and forth between the instruments on a dull mid-October afternoon, I was impressed at how consistent the image quality was. Both have very similar fields of view and both present lovely, big sweet spots. Colours are vibrant, vivid and faithful in both models. I felt the view were a little more immersive in the 10 x 50 though, a consequence I suppose of its more generous eye relief. I also felt that the image appeared slightly larger in the 10 x 50 too. Not by much but enough to notice. I suppose I could accurately determine their magnification by measuring the diameters of the objectives and the exit pupils. Dividing one by the other provides the enlargement.
If I were to be super critical, I would say that the 10 x 42 was a hair sharper than the 10 x 50 but this might easily be attributed to the smaller exit pupil on the 10 x 42, which engages a better corrected part of your eye. I noticed a small but significant increase in brightness moving from the 42mm to the 50mm bino under these dull, ambient conditions, and that larger aperture began to pull ahead as the light faded in the late afternoon. The large ocular lenses on both these models can let in some peripheral light however, but just as I found with my 10 x 42 ED, it helps to press your eyes firmly against the cups to remove it.
What is most apparent though is the weight increase in moving from the 10 x 42 ED to the 10 x 50 ED. An extra 200+ grams doesn’t sound like much of a weight hike on paper, but I felt it was quite significant in prolonged field use, moving about and negotiating fences, bushes and brambles. As a glasser who puts a maximum emphasis on portability, I would choose the 10 x 42 ED for most applications, but your mileage may vary! Indeed, I know Slim prefers the larger model because, as an eye glass wearer, he enjoys more comfortable eye relief which can make all the difference, especially when observing for prolonged periods of time.
Under the Starry Heaven
I received the 10 x 50 ED during a spell where a bright Hunter’s Moon graced the sky, drowning out the light from the faintest stars. Thus I was unable to fully test the binocular as well as I had initially intended. But I was able to confirm some excellent results just by looking at the full Moon of October 20 2021, as a rash of blustery showers moved away inland from off the Atlantic. Comparing the 10 x 50 ED to the smaller 10 x 42 ED model, I immediately noticed how much brighter it was compared with the latter. Indeed, it was almost blindingly bright in the clear and dust free sky, swept clean of particulates. Just like the 42mm model, the larger 50mm served up a beautiful, high contrast image of the lunar regolith, and once again, I came away with the distinct impression that the lunar orb was slightly larger in the 10x 50 than in the 10 x 42. The image was free of glare and internal reflections, as my preliminary tests showed. Later, as more clouds began to move across the face of the Moon, I enjoyed some awesome light shows with the 10 x 50, with beautiful colours as the refraction of light through raindrops played out their magic, approaching and receding from the Moon. The grey maria really stood out cleanly as did several marble-white ray craters.
I detected a trace more chromatic aberration in the 10 x 50 ED compared with the 10x 42 ED model, a natural consequence of the larger glass gathering more light. But what little I did see was quite sensitive to eye placement. By taking an extra few moments to centre my pupils in the eyecups, I was able to make it all but disappear. Moving the Moon from the centre to the outer part of the field did introduce some lateral colour in both instruments but I judged this to be largely inconsequential in both instruments. Turning next to the Pleiades, off to the east of the bright Moon, I was able to show at a glance that the 10 x 50 ED was pulling in more light as evidenced by brighter stars and more numerous stars compared with the 10 x 42 ED. Turning to the magnificent Alpha Persei Association very high in the midnight sky, I was once again bowled over by how good and sharp the fields of view presented in both binoculars. Though this stellar association is large and sprawling, filling most of the field of view in these 6-degree field instruments, I was impressed by how well they focused the stars even in the outer part of the fields near the field stops. The cluster was that little bit more impressive in the 10 x 50 ED however, a natural consequence of its greater light gathering power.
Bright white stars like Vega easily show up chromatic aberration in less well-corrected 10x binoculars in these larger formats, but on axis, both these binos delivered very clean, sharp and high contrast images with hardly a trace of false colour. Again, only by moving the star off axis, did I see some secondary spectrum creeping in. That said, it was only slight and quite non-injurious to the aesthetics of the view, and I admit to liking a bit of the sparkly blue. Some modest bloating of the star did occur near the field stops in both instruments but I consider this edge of field distortion to be quite acceptable for general star gazing. All in all, the 10 x 50 ED will make an awesome stargazing bino, which can be enjoyed for decent long spells just hand held, but you’ll go a whole lot deeper by mounting it on a lightweight tripod or monopod.
Conclusions & Recommendations
I’ve gone on quite a journey with these wonder glasses from Svbony! I’m particularly impressed by the two larger glasses though; they have phenomenal optics that will delight even the most discriminating of observers, especially when you factor in their modest cost. To be frank, they are worth many times more than what Slim and I paid for them. But that’s life; sometimes fortune smiles your way. I give these instruments my highest recommendation. Like I said before, my 10 x 42 ED has sated any desires I once cultivated to acquire an alpha model in this size category from the leading European binocular manufacturers. Let’s just say I’d rather spend my spare cash on other things! Their optical performance leaves little to be desired! Go grab yourself a bargain while you can!
Thanks for reading.
The author would like to sincerely thank Slim Loghmari for kindly sending the SV202 10 x 50 ED for review. Rest assured, it will be winging its way back to its proud owner in the week ahead.