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Compact binoculars? The market is full of interesting models easy to keep handy when you’re travelling by bike.
We reviewed some of them for you, highlighting the main optical characteristics. Enjoy your reading.

Have you ever brought some binoculars with you? You don’t think they could be useful? You’re wrong. [Un pochino forte. Direi: We think differently] Their usefulness is undeniable. They allow you to analyse the route, see useful details closer, admire in detail animals and scenery, look at the moon, practise bird watching, follow events, concerts… If your trip is for the most part in natural surroundings, do not leave them at home.
If you’ve never had a pair, now is the moment to consider purchasing one.
As anticipated earlier, there are a lot of binoculars presenting features suitable for bike travellers, which we could sum up in lightness (we start from less than 300 grams), small size, possibility to regulate the dioptre, brightness, focal length, sturdiness, water-resistance.

PARAMETERS AND FUNCTIONING

Binoculars are basically an optical instrument that magnifies objects which are far away through a series of elements positioned in parallel. The front lenses pass the ‘captured’ image to a prism, which has the function of straightening the image, and then to the two eyepieces.
In compact binoculars the prism disposition is called ‘roof’. To have good three-dimensional results and offer a perfectly round exit pupil
you need to consider models with BAK-4 prisms.
Focus is for both eyes thanks to the movements controlled by the central knob.
Numbers like 7×35 or 10×50 indicate the enlargement factor (the first) and the diameter in millimetres of the front lenses.
Dividing the second number by the first we obtain the ‘exit pupil’ value, i.e. The diameter of light that reaches the eye, always expressed in millimetres.
The higher the enlargement, the lower the brightness. And also the frame is more difficult to maintain still as it has a smaller field of vision.
Basically if you want to go beyond 10x enlargement you’d better have a tripod with you.
A good compromise could be 8×25 or 8×30.
If you want brightness with good enlargement you will need to choose a model with front lenses of a greater diameter, and consequently greater weight.
These parameters, in the case of pocket binoculars are unavoidably object of compromise, given the lightness, small size and simple handling.
Optics aside, the bike traveller must see if the eyepieces can be distanced correctly and if they do not create problems with eyeglasses. Also the focus distance can be important. This is determined by the central knob and the dioptre corrector (both present in each of the proposed models) in case an eye doesn’t see as well as the other.
While selecting the models to propose we paid attention to the price related to the actual usefulness of the binoculars. The price range is between 80 and 220 euros, with 2 well-out-of-range models (let’s call them outsiders): the Canon with image stabiliser and the ZEISS which sell at 300 and 360 euros respectively (on average).
Check also the guarantee’s lifespan, element that says a lot about the reliability of the product. You can find that the guarantee covers 5 years, in some cases even 10!
Almost all the products presented have a rubber outer coating and are waterproof. This means the inside is filled with nitrogen, an inert gas that helps keep the vision free of mist.

SOME MODELS TO CONSIDER

BRESSER CONDOR 8X32
Excellent if you wear glasses
Dioptre compensation
Waterproof body
Rubber coating
Weight: 584 grams
Enlargement 8X
Front lens diameter 32 mm
Exit pupil diameter 4 mm
Minimum focus distance 3 m
Size: length 132 mm, width 125 mm, depth 50 mm

BUSHNELL 8X42 H20 BINOCULARS
Waterproof body
Rubber grip
Weight: 709 grams
Enlargement 8X
Front lens diameter 42 mm
Exit pupil diameter 5.25 mm
Minimum focus distance 3.6 m

CANON 8×25 IS (image stabiliser)
Weight: 490 grams
Enlargement 8X
Front lens diameter 25 mm
Exit pupil diameter 3.1 mm
Minimum focus distance 3.5 m
Dioptre regulation +/- 3 m-1 D
Image stabiliser system with mobile element in the front lens
with 2 gyroscopic vibration sensors
Operational conditions from -10 to + 45 degrees centigrade and 90 % humidity
Inter-pupil distance regulation 56-73
Size: length 137.2 mm, width 119.7 mm, depth 61.2 mm

CELESTRON NATURE DX 10X15
Waterproof body
Rubber coating
Weight: 343 grams
Enlargement 10X
Front lens diameter 25 mm
Exit pupil diameter 2.5 mm
Minimum focus distance 2 m
Inter-pupil distance regulation 56-72
Size: length 111 mm, width 115 mm, depth 42 mm

ESHENBACH SEKTOR F COMPAKT 10X25
Waterproof body
Weight: 320 grams
Enlargement 10X
Front lens diameter 25 mm
Exit pupil diameter 2.5 mm
Minimum focus distance 3 m
Inter-pupil distance regulation 36-75
Size: length 110 mm, width 108 mm, depth 38 mm

LUGER LX 10X28
Waterproof body
Rubber coating
Weight: 460 grams
Enlargement 10X
Front lens diameter 28 mm
Exit pupil diameter 2.8 mm
Minimum focus distance 3 m
Inter-pupil distance regulation 56-73
Size: length 117 mm, width 117 mm, depth 44 mm

KOWA BD25 X8 DCF
Waterproof body
Rubber coating
Weight: 320 grams
Enlargement 8X
Front lens diameter 25 mm
Exit pupil diameter 3.1 mm
Minimum focus distance 1.8 m
Size: length 111 mm, width 107 mm, depth 39 mm

NIKON ACULON A 30 10X25
Weight: 275 grams
Enlargement 10X
Front lens diameter 25 mm
Exit pupil diameter 2.5 mm
Minimum focus distance 3 m
Eye distance 13 mm
Size: length 122 mm, width 115 mm, depth 44 mm

NIKON COMPACT SPORTSTAR EX 8X25
Rubber coated
Declared water resistance up to 2 metres for 5 minutes.
Weight: 300 grams
Enlargement 8X
Front lens diameter 25 mm
Exit pupil diameter 3.1 mm
Minimum focus distance 2.5 m
Eye distance 10 mm
Inter-pupil distance regulation 56-72
Size: length 103 mm, width 114 mm, depth 43 mm

NIKON PROSTAFF 3S 8X42
Waterproof body
Weight: 565 grams
Enlargement 8X
Front lens diameter 42 mm
Exit pupil diameter 5.3 mm
Minimum focus distance 3 m
Eye distance 20.2 mm
Inter-pupil distance regulation 56-72
Size: length 152 mm, width 130 mm, depth 52 mm

OLYMPUS 10X25 WP II
Wide-angle field of vision
Waterproof body
Rubber coating
Weight: 270 grams
Enlargement 10X
Front lens diameter 25 mm
Extra-large field of vision
Minimum focus distance 1.5 m
Integrated dioptre correction to adapt to the individual’s eyesight (greater than +/- 2 1/m)
Inter-pupil distance regulation 35-73
Size: length 114 mm, width 115 mm, depth 45 mm

PENTAX AD 8×25 WP
Waterproof body (up to 1 metre under water)
Rubber coating
Weight: 300 grams
Enlargement 8X
Front lens diameter 25 mm
Exit pupil diameter 3.1 mm
Minimum focus distance 3 m
Size: length 105 mm, width 110 mm, depth 40 mm

ZEISS TERRA ED 32
Waterproof body
Works between -15 to + 60 degrees centigrade
Weight 510 grams
Enlargement 8x or 10X
Front lens diameter 32 mm
Exit pupil diameter 3.2 or 4 mm
Extra-large field of vision
Minimum focus distance 1.5 m
Eye distance 16.5 mm
Dioptre regulation +/- 4 D
Size: length 125 mm, width 111 mm

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