Olympus 8×42 Pro
Objective diameter: 42 mm
Magnification: 8 x
Exit pupil: 5.25 mm
Eye relief (acc. to spec): 18 mm
Usable eye relief (measured from rim of eyecup): 14.5 mm
IPD: 56 – 70 mm
RFOV: 7.5 degrees = 131 m
AFOV (according to spec.): 55.3 degrees
Minimum focus distance (measured): 1.35 m
Focus type: CF (direction of rotation from close to infinity: > clockwise)
Degrees of rotation of focus wheel from 3m to infinity (measured): 380 degrees
Range of diopter adjustment (estimate): +/- 5 dpt*
Excess travel of focus wheel beyond infinity position (estimate): 8 dpt* (!)
Prism system: Schmidt-Pechan
Weight (measured, with eyepiece cover and strap): 781 g
Made in: China
*range of diopter adjustment not affected by position of focus wheel
Without much hype, Olympus in 2018 came out with their new top binocular model, the “Pro”, available in 8×42 and 10×42. At first glance, everything about it seems “boring”, there is nothing unusual, amazing or conspicuous. Its price puts it in the middle of a large number of China made (upper) middle class binoculars which hit the market at a high rate these days. It is well finished, and everything feels just right – size, weight, haptics, etc. Optically, the Pro is pleasant: well defined image, a wider field of view than was the norm for Olympus’ previous roof prism binoculars, good CA correction, good central sharpness , and decent edge sharpness.
The Pro looks a bit „pedestrian“ – everything about it looks a bit boring, you could say Olympus has been going for understatement with their new top model (reviewing the specs, the Pro features about everything that you can expect for this price category).
The Pro is made in China, and it does at first glance appear as a clone of any of those many Chinese binos hitting the markets today.
The extendable eyecups have one intermediate click-stop. The finish is good, the mechanics – hinge, dpt adjustment, eyecups – all work okay.
Picking the Pro up, it rests very comfortably in your hand. Everything feels right – weight, dimensions, balance. The „ease of view“ („Einblickverhalten“) is good; observing without glasses, and using the intermediate stop on the eyecups, I can easily see the entire field of view.
Observing with the Pro, the field is much wider than in the EXWP, compared side by side. Central sharpness is about the same, but the wider image of the Pro is pleasant – much better than in the EXWP, and better than many similarly priced 8x42s I know. The image is completely flat, rectilinear distortion is low; some rolling ball effect. CA correction is perhaps not perfect, but quite good.
Overall, I am positively impressed with the new Olympus. Many more things need to be reviewed (stray-light suppression, sharpness / contrast compared side by side with leading upper middle class models), but so far, the Pro seems a nice addition to the market.
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