, £579

DBA VHD 8x42,

Bird Watching (UK) - - Event Norfolk Bird Race -


OP­TI­CRON’S DBA BINOC­U­LARS have long been a pop­u­lar choice with bird­ers, but this up­graded ver­sion prom­ises brighter and sharper op­tics. It’s hard to ar­gue with Op­ti­cron’s claim. The im­age pro­duced by the HD glass is very bright, and per­forms ex­tremely well in low light, and it’s sharp, too, with very true-to-life colour. Best of all, the im­age re­mains sharp to the edge of the field of view (122m@1000m), and colour-fring­ing is neg­li­gi­ble even against bright light. Fo­cus­ing is very pre­cise, with the ridged wheel ( just over a fin­ger wide) turn­ing smoothly and rather stiffly, tak­ing two an­ti­clock­wise turns from close fo­cus to in­fin­ity. Close fo­cus, at 2.5m, is good, but not great. The er­gonomics are ex­cel­lent. The eye­cups twist up and down to three dis­tinct po­si­tions, of­fer­ing an ex­cep­tional 22mm of eye re­lief, and the diop­tre on the fo­cus wheel sets eas­ily and stays in place well. There’s plenty of rubber armour, but the open-bridge de­sign keeps weight down and they feel both light, compact and well-bal­anced in the hand. A good neo­prene strap, re­mov­able teth­ered ob­jec­tive lens cov­ers, a snug rain­guard and a fab­ric case com­plete the pack­age.

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