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Thread: Lidl Bresser 10x50 impressions

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    Default Lidl Bresser 10x50 impressions



    Hi everyone,

    Once or twice a year, Lidl stocks a few binoculars, one being the Bresser 10x50 model. Last year, I picked one up on a whim due to the extremely cheap price of 15 euros, and also the decent (considering the price point) small reviews I have read previously. So, here are some of my impressions:

    In the store:
    I had opened up the box to check the overall quality and collimation within the store. I had to try three or four binoculars before I found one that was properly collimated. This was expected for a cheap binocular, as I am sure Lidl is not concerned about quality control of their sport optics! At least they have a good return policy...

    Opening the box:
    The binocular itself seems sturdy, and is wrapped in a rubber armoring. There are many plastic parts - too many to list - but the overall build seemed relatively robust. The 10x50 is a Porro model with central focusing and twist-up eyecups. The field of view is specified at a relatively wide angle of 6.5 degrees. The binocular is decently heavy but not overly so. Eyepiece and objective covers are included and fit firmly, although every time I take the binocular out of the case, the objective covers fall off (I suppose from being dragged against the inside of the bag). The 10x50s are tripod-mountable with the 1/4 screw in front of the focuser. The case is pretty decent for a canvas/nylon type, and is sturdy (probably cost more than the binocular!). The included neck strap is of the wide variety and is comfortable to use compared to some of the very narrow versions I have seen.

    Mechanical:
    The plastic focusing wheel has a lot of play and often gets 'stuck'. Not too stuck that you can't move it, but enough that more force is needed to keep it rotating. Often, there are popping sounds when you turn the focuser, which I would think are air bubbles trapped inside the focuser's grease. In combination, focusing is not smooth, but can be managed. Also, any amount of pressure on the eyepiece will tend to move the entire focusing assembly and therefore constant focusing is necessary if you brace the binocular with your hands or face near the eyepieces.

    The twist-up eyecups are a bizarre inclusion for this price, and it shows. They operate by friction and I don't think there is any grease to facilitate movement. This would be fine, although the threads used to twist the eyecups in or out are not machined precisely and therefore the action is very jerky. However, once they are in place, they don't move. I haven't used glasses with this model so I can't say how good the eye relief is.

    The IPD adjustment is too loose, and can change if you put too much pressure on the barrels. You have to put a significant amount of force to change it, so it doesn't change during viewing, but I would have preferred something stiffer.

    Optical:
    The specifications indicate that BaK-4 prisms are used, so this should be a step-up in terms of quality from the more expensive Bresser Hunter models which use BK-7. The objective lenses do not seem to be coated at all, or at least the coating is so thin that you cannot notice any coloring in the reflected light. Typically, for a decent single coating, I would expect a bluish tinge to the objectives, and for multi-coating, any number of colorings (most likely green or deep red), however there is no tinge at all. So, I would expect none of the optical surfaces to have significant coating.

    The insides of the barrels, although grey/black in color, are not matte but shiny, and therefore multiple internal reflections are prominent. A small amount of shiny residual glue can be seen around the prisms.

    The eyepieces are large, and the exit pupil seems round from all angles, although I didn't inspect it too closely. The dioptre adjustment is on the right eyepiece, and is prone to the same sticky/stuck influences that the focusing wheel has. There are no gradations (only 0, +, and -) and no specifications on the dioptre range, but I would guess, based on my eyes, that the range is ~ -3 to 3.

    Daytime viewing:
    The color production is true to life (maybe a bit towards the blue side) and not yellow or brownish. Objects did not snap to focus, although a small focus range did provide a decent soft focus. Under about 10 metres, the image does not combine from the two barrels (no close-focusing specification was provided). The image was bright, but lacked contrast, and seemed, again, muted and soft.

    Night testing:
    For me, this is where it really matters. This binocular suffers from significant ghosting from bright light sources, so much so that it is not easy to use when the moon is out. The apparent FOV is wide and seems to be as specified, but I didn't bother measuring it. Stellar colors are noticeable although not crisply defined. The focus was soft and stars did not 'pop' into focus. Stars appeared in-focus and defined within ~60% of the central FOV. Image degradation outside the 60% was noticeable including increased astigmatism and coma. Surprisingly, the eyepieces do ok in terms of fogging, and I haven't had a big problem yet. Whether it is due to local light pollution or internal reflections in the binocular itself, the sky background was not dark, which affected contrast considerably.

    Conclusion:
    Obviously, this is not a quality binocular.
    Pros: Dirt cheap, decently robust, bright, true to life images, good color rendition, nice feel ergonomically, not too heavy, ok on fogging, wide apparent FOV (albeit poorly defined) and did I say cheap?
    Cons: Poor FOV definition outside 60%, no coatings, poor mechanical aspects in the focuser/dioptre adjustment/IPD adjustment/eyecups, poor internal reflections, no 'snap' to focus, poor contrast.

    In summary, the 10x50s suffer appreciably in all areas. However, I have enjoyed the comfort of this binocular, and I have gotten used to the mechanical problems I have mentioned so that they don't bother me when I use it anymore. As it offers a decently bright image and is relatively comfortable and is incredibly cheap, I can recommend this with the following caveats: 1) try it out on the store first to make sure you can merge the image, and 2) this is not a binocular for serious use. Obviously, something like the 10x50 WP IF would be much more suitable in the 100 euro range (offered by Strathspey and recommended by binocular guru Stephen Tonkin no less) and of course, the 'top' of the Chinese import binoculars - the BA8 series 10x50 marine (sold by virtually every vendor).

    All that being said, I still enjoy these 10x50s and they would make a decent gift for someone who just wants a quick look at the sky.

    I can post some pictures if someone wants, but I am assuming most people know what I am talking about.

    All the best,

    Jeff
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  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to sneeds For This Useful Post:

    Canon Pete (10-14-2011),j.gardavsky (10-26-2011),rory (10-27-2011),Ruud (09-15-2012)

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    Agree, I have same pair, check them out in store. Handy for the car as well.

    Clear Skies

    Pete
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    A little update:

    I did a bit of testing this morning concerning eye relief. The twist-up eyecups need to be in the 'down' position (nearest the eyepieces) in order to see the entire FOV. In the 'up' position, about 10% of the FOV is lost. I tried out using my eyeglasses (as a rule, I generally don't wear them for observing), and with the eyecups in (closest to eyepieces), I would estimate a loss of ~20% of the FOV. So not too bad with glasses.

    Jeff

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    Hello Jeff,

    thanks for the review on Bresser.

    JG
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    I did a review on them ages ago - I quite like them for the money. I usually keep mione in my car. If the car gets burgled and someone steals them it wont be a real problem. I might be a bit more upset if the Opticrons were stolen.

    I tested the Bressers againts the Opticon Imagix which were actually 10x the price (literally). Guess which one was the best

    The Opticrons won it but to be honest the price on the Bressers is so ludicrously low that you cant really complain about quality really. I was very selective about the pair I took out the shop though Fussy to the point of making staff cry
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