Opticron dba Binoculars
Opticron dba 10x42 Roof-prism
My initial interest in this product was purely because of the name. As founder of the dba (disabled birders association) I sought some sponsorship from the company with one dba sponsoring another (they were happy to help). They suggested that I borrow some to test out with my Fatbirder hat on.
Opticron have been known for many years now to be a company that offers great standards with very competitive price in a range of optical products for birders. The dba is an attempt by Opticron to line-up with quality binoculars from the likes of Swarovski, Leica and Zeiss with both price and quality, and I field-tested the 10x42 with this in mind. So my interest was in optical qualities, durability and the company`s claims. I have carried them around for several months and so given them a thorough testing in a variety of light and weather and found that the armouring is at least sufficient to protect them from being roughly handled obviously only time will tell as to total durability but, with a 30 year guarantee that should not be a problem.
However, I can vouch as to their being waterproof, as I have just returned from a week in Devon where it rained pretty solidly on 5 out of seven days. I wasn`t birding but fishing and several times fumbled and managed to drop them in a puddle and once only remembered that I had them lying in the open half an hour after putting my umbrella up. Not only did they survive this experience, they did so without fogging up!
I found the optics excellent the image is colour true and crisp right to the edge of the field of view. In bright sunlight they are easy on the eye and in dull conditions seem to channel extra light in so as to illuminate rather than obfuscate as some inferior brands do.
I sat on the veranda of my holiday chalet with some very obliging nuthatches and chaffinches eating crumbs almost in touching range so I tried out the close focus and was very pleased with just how close they could come and still present with a sharp image. I also managed to get an easy ID on a raven settled in a treetop at least half a mile away but I had to lean my elbows on the veranda rail to do so. These binoculars are comparatively light but not when compared to my everyday bins. My disability means that I have had to find the best quality bins that I can afford that are light enough for me to keep to my eyes without a wobble for several minutes. I can`t do that with the dba`s which is a real shame because, optically, they knock spots off my own pair. Gone is that milky light I have had to get used to and the edge distortion is completely absent too!
I am tempted and wish I could afford to own a pair of dba`s as well as the lightweight bins I have, I have got used to having them around to reach for when my own simply will not do. I would not be able to carry them all day round my neck but I would give them space in my luggage on a foreign trip when I often bird from hides and vehicles and would have a place to prop them. I don`t want to do Opticron down here, I have tried the competition and they too are heavier than I can happily carry all day.
I shall be talking to Opticron and Swarovski and Leica about quality 10x42 Porro Prisms and trying to persuade them all to find a way to retain quality yet reduce weight to a more comfortable level.
I am not a naturally technical
type and most of the specifications flow through my ears without leaving a trace of understanding, all I can say is what works well
when birding and these do! The dba bins work well in all sorts of weather and in the many weeks I have used them they did not once
disappoint as they always produced clear, sharp and light images Opticron can rest assured that, as far as I am concerned, they
have met the challenge and if there is any justice should be added to that shortlist of names that trip from the tongue when one is
discussing quality birding binoculars. What is more, given their price, the product should edge out some of the
Created: 15th Jul 2002
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