Opticron's Adventurer T WP 8x42 binoculars offer the benefits of high-quality fully-multicoated optics, waterproofing, and comparatively light weight. They deliver clear sharp views of the heavens and give impressive colors, but their overall performance is only average.
Objective lens diameter: 42mm
Prism type/ prism glass type: BAK4 Porro prism
Apparent field of view: 7.5 deg
Exit pupils (mm): 5.25
Close focus distance: 5m
Pupillary distance max/ min: 53-74mm
Relative brightness: 27.6
Twilight factor: 18.3
They are certainly a contender in the very competitive mid-range binocular field, but offer no stand-out features to make them a firm recommendation. As such, they don't make it onto our list of the best binoculars – but because of their light weight qualities, we do rate them as being some of the best binoculars for kids.
We have to mention the confusing Opticron naming system, with two distinct binocular ranges called Adventurer. Under test here is the Adventurer T WP 8x42, a Porro prism binocular. The Adventurer II WP range, which also includes an 8x42, are roof prism binoculars. Make sure you are getting the type you want!
Priced at around $105, these binoculars won't upset your bank balance too much. But it's always worth taking a look at the best binoculars deals currently available before you make your final purchasing decision.
- Tough rubberised coating
- Fully multi-coated glass
The Opticron Adventurer T WP 8x42 are conventional Porro prism binoculars, the type usually preferred for astronomy over the main alternative roof prism designs. They may look a little old-fashioned compared to roof types, but the simpler internal optical path means more of the light entering the objective lenses will leave through the eyepieces. This is a good thing.
These Opticrons boast a pair of nice large 42mm objective lenses, which collect nearly twice as much light as 30mm lenses. That immediately translates into brighter images, more contrast, and better low-light capability.
Just as important as the collection of light is the processing, and here again Opticron has done everything right. The Porro prisms are made of the BAK4 glass, the best stuff generally available, and every air/glass surface has been multi-coated to maximize light transmission and minimize aberrations.
The barrels are part-coated with a tough rubberised skin for easy grip, and these binos benefit from full waterproofing but are not nitrogen filled.
They offer a decent amount of long eye relief for spectacle wearers, at 18mm, and have the usual dioptre adjustment under the right-hand eyepiece. This proved smooth and positive, as did the central focus wheel. The binoculars include a useful and sturdy-looking brass mount under a screw-off cap at the front of the hinge, which will fit a standard tripod adapter.
Objective lenses are protected by a pair of tethered caps, which seem like a good idea. However it proved possible to inadvertently slide both cap and tether off the barrel when pulling the binos from their bag, which could result in the loss of a cap. At least with plain old pull-off caps (as provided for the eyepieces here), you know when you've removed them and put them somewhere safe. The included binocular strap has a padded neck pad and is plenty long enough, which is more than can be said for the bag strap. This is frustratingly just a little too short to wear the bag dispatch-style.
- Great color rendition
- Good low-light ability
- Some edge distortion
These Opticron Adventurer T WP 8x42 binoculars sit nicely in the hand and are well balanced for astronomical viewing, with the focus wheel falling easily under the index fingers. Being a little lighter than most direct rivals (625g compared to 650g for the Nikon Aculon and 710g for the Olympus DPSI) certainly helps reduce fatigue during long observation stretches.
Objects come into focus easily, and the 8x magnification is enough to reveal four moons of Jupiter under reasonable viewing conditions. These binoculars also did well when pressed into service for a spot of daytime astronomy. With the sun grazing the western horizon and the sky still blue, they were able to pick out the sparkling dot of Venus when this was still invisible to the naked eye. Shortly afterwards Jupiter was also revealed, again under blue skies. This shows the light-gathering power of the 42mm objectives and modest magnification.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the performance of the Opticron Adventurer T WP 8x42s is their delivery of color. Having easily split the famous double-double star, Epsilon Lyrae, into two (but not four – that really needs a small telescope), we turned to another nearby target, Omicron1 Cygni. This popular double star has orange-red and turquoise-blue components, and made a fine sight in the Opticrons. There was no mistaking the reds of Betelgeuse and Aldebaran, or the blue of Rigel, either.
The binoculars were disappointing in some daytime tests, though. The closest focus of 5m is well below par and is a limitation for bird- or bug-watching. Focus was sharp and clear at the centre of the field, but sharpness fell off towards the edges. This is not much of an issue for astronomy, as concentration tends to be on the middle of the view, and could easily be tolerated in daytime use too.
The 8x42 format is a great choice for a general purpose binocular, and the market offers a lot of choice at every price point. Opticron's Adventurer T WP 8x42 have good performance, are well made, and are completely useable for general astronomy. But they don’t offer much excitement, and are only average value for money. There's nothing actually wrong with them, but they just don’t do much to sell themselves to potential buyers.
If this product isn't for you, you could try Nikon's Aculon A211 8x42 binoculars. They have a slightly wider field of view and can be found for around the same price. They are sometimes erroneously labelled as zoom binoculars.
Olympus's 8x40 DPSI are a bit heavier at 710g but have a nice quality feel. They are marginally better in both field of view and close focus ability. For the budget conscious, Bresser Hunter 8x40 is an option worth considering. Not waterproof and with inexpensive BK7 glass, they are considerably cheaper.