Barr & Stroud Savannah 8x42 Binoculars Review

Barr & Stroud 8 x 42 Savannah Binoculars
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Price Range: (3/6) Mid Price Binoculars       

Ideal Uses:

General Use Rating for General Use Binoculars
Birdwatching Rating as Birdwatching Binoculars
Outdoor Sports Rating asOutdoor Sports Binoculars
Safari & Travel Rating as Safari Binoculars
Hunting Rating as Hunting Binoculars
Marine Use Rating as Marine Binoculars
Astronomy Rating as Binoculars for Astronomy

Just like a Bentley, Aston Martin or even a Supermarine Spitfire, every Barr & Stroud binocular comes with a great heritage. The company started making optics for the Royal Navy over 100 years ago and since then Barr and Stroud have played a leading role in the development of modern optics. It is because of this heritage I eagerly looked forward to reviewing the Barr & Stroud Savannah 8x42 binoculars:

The Main Body

Their dimensions are fairly standard for a full size roof prism binocular and weighing 819g (28.9oz) they are a little on the heavy side. But having said that they also happen to be the same weight as what many believe to be the best you can get, the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL's. Overall these Barr & Stroud Savannah's feel pretty well balanced and their solid feel and tough rubber armoring that covers the binocular re-enforce the feeling you get that you are holding something of substance and have a quality pair of binoculars in your hands.

Waterproof & Fogproof
The Savannah 8x42 is waterproof (Immersion tested at 1.5m for 3 minutes) and are filled with nitrogen gas which stops the optics suffering from internal fogging in adverse weather conditions.

The Eye Cups
I really like the twist-up eyecups on the Savannah, they have 3 click stops - flush against the eyepiece, half-way out or fully extended. So for non-eyeglass wearers, you just use the eyecups in the fully extended position. For people who wear glasses the great news is there is a full 18mm of eye relief, so more than enough. The twisting action is smooth and they work well.

Focusing using the central wheel is smooth and very accurate that takes about 2 full turns to go from infinity to it's closest focusing distance of 2 meters (6.6ft). I personally like to be able to go from far to near focus with fewer turns of the wheel, but this less aggressive gearing does make fine tuning your focus that much easier.

The diopter adjustment is located behind the focusing wheel in the center of the binocular, which is different to most binoculars. It allows you to adjust the lenses separately to allow for differences in each of your eyes and plays an important part in correctly focusing your binoculars. The ring is notched which makes it easy to change and keep at the correct position. Where it is located does make adjusting it simpler than if it were located on the barrel as with most binoculars, but I do feel that this could also mean that you accidentally move it more often, not that this happened during my full day of testing.

Barr & Stroud Optics

Barr & Stroud use quality prisms, lenses and coatings to ensure that the image produced is of the highest quality. I was impressed with the clarity, brightness and sharpness of the image that must surely be one of the best at their price range.

Lens & Prism Coatings
Barr & Stroud use quality BaK-4 roof prisms on the Savannah, meaning that they are made of superior optical glass that produces a sharp and high-contrast picture over the full field of view. Savannah binoculars also have a set of phase correction coatings on the prism glass that keeps light in correct color phases. The optics are also fully multi-coated, which means that all air to glass surfaces have received multiple layers of antireflection coatings meaning that more light gets to your eyes.


Binoculars with an 8x magnification and 42mm objective lenses generally make ideal for bird watching, as they strike the ideal compromise between magnification, field of view, light gathering ability and size.

8x42 binoculars like these Barr and Stroud's have an Exit Pupil of 5.25 and a Twilight Factor of 18.3, both of which make them pretty good in most low light conditions like what you encounter early in the morning or late afternoon/evening when birding is usually at it's best. It is important to remember that whilst these figures do not take into account the quality of the prisms, lenses and their coatings, they do make it possible to compare the performance of binoculars in low light conditions.

The apparent field of view for the Barr & Stroud Savannah 8x42 is a very impressive 143m at 1000m, which is beats many of the best birding binoculars like the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL's (133m at 1000m) and you have to remember that the Swarovski's are more than 10x the cost of these Savannah's!

The close focusing distance is also pretty impressive at 2 meters (6.6ft), which beats many far more expensive binoculars on the market. This can be useful if you also enjoy observing thinks like butterflies or a bee settling on a flower.

Also Included
The quality of the carry case is excellent, it has a semi solid construction that will properly protect your investment. I also like the quality and feel of the neck strap.

The Savannah lens caps also work well and should not accidentally fall off. I really like the fact that the objective lens caps are tethered to the barrels of the binocular (See video below). I am always misplacing my lens caps and this really helps. If you don't like them attached to your optics, they can also be removed, so everyone is a winner!


Overall I would say that at their selling price, these Barr and Stroud 8x42 Savannah binoculars make excellent value for money binoculars. The view through them is very good as is the tough body construction. Highlights include their extremely wide field of view and their close focusing distance make them ideal bird watching binoculars and good for anyone wanting to observe things like butterflies at close range. All told, with binoculars like the Savannah, Barr and Stroud can continue to justly feel proud of the fine heritage in the world of optics.

Barr & Stroud 8x42 Savannah Binoculars including carry case

Compare Prices & Where to Buy the Barr & Stroud Binoculars

Main Specifications & Features:

  • Size: Full Size Binoculars
  • [explain prism types]Prism Type: Roof Prism Binoculars
  • Magnification: 8x
  • [explain objective lens]Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
  • [explain waterproofing]Waterproof: Yes

  • [explain exit pupil]Exit Pupil: 5.3
  • [explain twilight factor]Twilight Factor: 18.33
  • [explain eye relief]Eye Relief: 18mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 6.6ft

  • Weight: 28.9ozs (819g)
  • Length: 5.9in (15cm)
  • Height: 2.2in (5.6cm)
  • Width: 5.1in (13cm)

  • [explain real field of view]Real field of view: 8.2°
  • [explain apparent field of view]Apparent field of view: 65.6°
  • [explain field of view]Field of View: 143m at 1,000 meters
  • [explain field of view]Field of View: 430ft at 1,000 yards

  • Image Stabilization: No
  • [about ED Glass]Extra Low Dispersion Glass: No
  • Auto Focus: No

Barr & Stroud 8x42 Savannah Binoculars Video Review


More Information:

About Barr & Stroud | View all Barr & Stroud products I have written reviews on

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Full Size Binoculars | Roof Prism Binoculars | Birdwatching Binoculars | Wide Angle Binoculars | Mid Price Binoculars

Similar Binoculars:

Below are similar pairs of Binoculars that you may also want to have a look at:

Barr & Stroud 8x42 Savannah ED

With high quality ED Glass lenses, Phase Coated Prisms and a very wide field of view these make an excellent choice as a birding binocular

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Where to buy the Barr & Stroud 8x42 Savannah Binoculars

General Price Range: (3/6) Mid Price Binoculars

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