The edi­tor test drives some new op­tics from a new im­porter

Air Gunner - - Contents -

As a self- con­fessed op­tics fan, Phill Price en­joys dis­cov­er­ing the Apresys range from Op­ti­cal So­lu­tions

I’ ll ad­mit it right up front that I’m a dyed in the wool op­tics nerd. Whether it’s my cam­eras, binoc­u­lars, tele­scope or ri­fle sights, I sim­ply love to see my ob­jec­tive/ tar­get more clearly than I did be­fore. Just af­ter Christ­mas I ‘ac­ci­den­tally’ bought yet an­other lens for my cam­era, through no fault of my own … re­ally, I’m the in­no­cent party. Be­ing able to see clearly, plus hav­ing use­ful data like range and el­e­va­tion makes my time in the coun­try­side more en­joy­able and per­haps more pro­duc­tive, such as when I’m ram­bling through bare win­ter woods in pur­suit of the much de­spised grey squir­rel. Spot­ting them at a dis­tance and watch­ing their be­hav­iour makes me much more pro­duc­tive, so binoc­u­lars are top on my list of tools.


Op­ti­cal So­lu­tions is a com­pany that im­ports the im­pres­sive Apresys range of scopes, binoc­u­lars and rangefind­ers. I had a cou­ple of items in for test and the 8 x 32 binoc­u­lars were right up my street. They’re light and com­pact with a clear bright im­age that be­lies their price. I don’t think that the Ger­man and Aus­trian man­u­fac­tur­ers will be los­ing sleep over these of­fer­ings, but for you and I they’re af­ford­able, if a touch more ex­pen­sive then some more fa­mil­iar brands. At £ 329 they’re not out of the reach of most peo­ple and they of­fer some smart fea­tures that will ap­peal to many of us.

They’re light­weight at just 620 grammes, so they’re not a bur­den on your neck, on top of which they’re sup­plied with a shoul­der har­ness that spreads the weight broadly and makes the bins’ feel as light as a feather. I didn’t get on with this par­tic­u­lar one and soon re­verted to the con­ven­tional neck strap which suited my rather stocky build much bet­ter. Rub­ber rear lens cov­ers are in­cluded, which I found use­ful on a driz­zly day, but I’ve never used front lens cov­ers to any great ef­fect be­cause the ob­jec­tive lenses tend to stay dry sim­ply by be­ing aimed down­ward.


The diop­tre ad­just­ment, that al­lows us to cor­rect the view to suit the dif­fer­ence

be­tween our eyes, in on the right-hand bar­rel. This has no lock, but is stiff to turn so shouldn’t move ac­ci­den­tally. Above this we find the ‘ twist up and down’ eye cups that ac­com­mo­date glasses wear­ers, like me. These are rub­ber coated and com­fort­able in use. I was pleased to see just what a nice clean and crisp im­age these binoc­u­lars de­liver even in drab light con­di­tions. How­ever, I did find that the depth of field is quite shal­low and a lot of re­fo­cus­ing was needed even when mov­ing be­tween ob­jects that were quite close to­gether. Over­all, I found their per­for­mance and er­gonomics good and would hap­pily use them when out hunt­ing.

An­other prod­uct from their range that caught my eye was their lovely, neat laser rangefinder, the Apresys Mini 1600. At £ 320 it’s far from in­ex­pen­sive, but it has one big ad­van­tage over cheap rangefind­ers and that’s the qual­ity of the im­age. They must use some high- qual­ity lenses to get such an im­age, which goes some way to ex­plain­ing the price. It’s tiny at un­der 4” in length and sits in­side my medi­um­sized hand very com­fort­ably mak­ing it pleas­ant to aim and fire. An­other fea­ture that I sim­ply loved was the but­ton that fires the laser be­cause it’s smooth and light to use, re­quir­ing only gen­tle pres­sure to ac­ti­vate. If that but­ton needs force to fire it be­comes al­most im­pos­si­ble to hold the ret­i­cle on the pre­cise tar­get and this leads to all sorts of in­cor­rect read­ings. That’s not the case here at all. I’m gath­er­ing data from all my win­ter squir­rel hunt­ing – the range and an­gle of ev­ery shot I fire this win­ter, both hits and misses – and I found this great lit­tle tool to be a real as­set for that work.


As with all rangefind­ers these days, the 1600 has stacks of func­tions, but I needed only two pieces of in­for­ma­tion, dis­tance and el­e­va­tion an­gle, and the black LED al­lowed me to read those clearly. The unit is much eas­ier to use with­out eye wear, as they all are, but I was able to get along with it, glasses on. This re­ally is a great lit­tle rangefinder and it sits in the mid­dle price range of the mar­ket mak­ing it ap­peal­ing to many, in­clud­ing me.

Have a look at the Op­ti­cal So­lu­tions web­site www.op­ti­cal­so­lu­tion­suk.uk where you’ll find much more from the Apresys range, along­side night vi­sion, IR prod­ucts, bipods and much more for those, like me, who love op­tics.

H3208 8 x 32 binoc­u­lar £ 329 Mini 1600 £ 320 www.op­ti­cal­so­lu­tion­suk.uk

These would make a su­perb pair­ing in the hunt­ing field

Great op­tics make for the clear­est im­age qual­ity and most ac­cu­rate rang­ing

The Mini lives up to its name well

Light weight and good ero­nomics make for good field glasses

Al­though the chest har­ness car­ried the weight well, it didn’t suit my build

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