Braun Trekking WP 8x32 Binoculars Review

Braun 8 x 32 Trekking WP Binoculars
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Buy & Compare Prices for the Braun Trekking WP 8x32 Binoculars
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
General Wildlife Rating as Wildlife Observation Binoculars
Hunting Rating as Hunting Binoculars
Marine Use Rating as Marine Binoculars

Up until now, it has probably true to say that the German Braun Photo Technik company were probably best known for their slide scanners and cameras, rather than their small range of mostly entry level binoculars. Braun however seem to be doing their best to change this and have recently introduced a few new lines of higher spec optics including the Trekking range which contains this Braun Trekking 8x32 WP binocular, that I was recently given the opportunity to review:

The Main Body

The main reason for most people getting a mid-size binocular with objective lenses of around 32mm like this one is to get at least some of the light gathering capabilities of a full size binocular, yet keep the binocular as compact as possible. So in other words a mid-sized binocular is ideal if you want a bit more light gathering performance than true compacts can offer, but still want a light, fairly small binocular, ideal to take traveling or is just that bit easier carry in the field than full size versions.

Holding the Braun 8x32 Trekking binocular in your hands, they do feel small and their dimensions of 100x107x48mm (3.9x4.2x1.9in) back this feeling up as it makes them one of the most compact mid-size roof prism binoculars that I have reviewed.

Their weight of 17.6oz (500g) also makes them one of the lightest mid-sized binoculars on the market. For comparison one of my favorite 32mm binoculars, the Nikon 8x32 EDG Binoculars weigh 23.1ozs (655g), the Minox 8x33 BL binoculars weigh 22.9ozs (649g) and the top of the range Swarovski 10x32 EL Binoculars weigh 21.5ozs (610g). So in terms of size and weight, we are of to a really great start!

Tripod Adaptable
There is a small cover or cap on the front of the central hinge on theses binoculars that screws off and allows you to then screw on a binocular tripod adapter (not included) that uses the standard ¼-inch threading, which you can then attach to your tripod.

Waterproof & Fogproof
As the "WP" in their name suggests, the Braun 8x32 WP is 100% waterproof which obviously helps to protect them against moisture, but will also prevent any dirt or dust from entering the system in dry dusty areas. These optics have also been filled with nitrogen gas which stops the optics suffering from internal fogging in changeable and adverse weather conditions.

The Eye Cups
I really like the twist-up eyecups on the 8x42 WP, they have 4 click stops - flush against the eyepiece, two intermediate locations or fully extended. Non-eyeglass wearers just use the eyecups in the fully extended position. For people who wear glasses the great news is there is 16mm of eye relief, which means that they just make it onto my list of "Long Eye Relief binoculars." What this means is that these should easily be enough for most people who wear glasses and want to use their binoculars without having to remove them and because there are 4 click stops, you can adjust them to the stop that works best for you.

Focusing
Focusing using the central wheel on my sample was smooth and very fast. This is because the dial takes just 3/4 of a turn to go from infinity to it's closest focusing distance of 1.5 meters (4.92ft). I would usually be concerned that such an aggressive mechanism would make fine tuning your focus a little more difficult, but to be honest, whilst it is easy to overshoot the focus, fine tuning is not bad at all on these and so I have to say that I was impressed. The focusing wheel is large and easy to locate, which is an important feature to anyone using their binoculars with thick gloves on.

The diopter adjustment is located on the right barrel of the binocular, behind the eyecup. 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 adjust and takes you from a setting of -4 to +4. On my sample, I felt that the ring adjustment was tight enough so that it shouldn't move accidentally, but without being so tight as to make any adjustments difficult.

Interpupillary Distance
For those that don't know this is the distance between the two eyepieces on the binocular and these can be adjusted from 56mm to 74mm on the Braun 8x32 to suit people with different spaces between their eyes.

Braun 8x32 WP Optics

Image Quality
Comparing the Braun to my mid range benchmark binoculars that I use for all my reviews, I would describe the brightness of the image produced for a mid sized binocular as good to very good.

I thought that the colour reproduction and contrast was also very good and there was no obvious colour fringing (chromatic aberration) around the edges of objects that you often find with cheaper optics. The sharpness of the overall image was good as well.

Their weakest point was the amount of softening of the image around the periphery of the view which is noticeable, but far from being bad.

So within their price range and their class, I would describe the overall view through these as being pretty impressive and well above average.

Lens & Prism Coatings
Braun PhotoTechnik have used BaK-4 roof prisms on these 8x32 binoculars. What this means is that they are made of superior optical glass as compared to the BK-7 prisms found on lesser quality optics. The effect is that these should produce a sharper and higher-contrast image over the full field of view. Braun say that they have used their ULTRALIT ® coatings on these, which to be honest, I have not been able to establish exactly what it means. They say it provides high transmission, color neutral and sharp images. What I can confirm is that the optics are also fully multi-coated, which means that all air to glass surfaces have received multiple layers of antireflection coatings ensuring more light gets to your eyes for a brighter image.

Stats

The biggest compromise in choosing a mid sized binocular over one that has larger objective lenses is the loss in brightness of the image produced. With good quality optics the difference is not huge, but it is more noticeable in poor light conditions.

8x32 binoculars like these Braun's have an Exit Pupil of 4mm and a Twilight Factor of 16, both of which point to the fact that they should hold their own in poor light conditions and whilst there in no denying that an 8x42 with an exit pupil 5.25 and a twilight factor of 18.3 will in theory perform better, these have the advantage of being more compact.

It is important to remember that these figures also don't not take into account the quality of the prisms, lenses and their coatings. Features like their Bak-4 prisms and fully multi-coated lenses will mean that they outperform cheaper optics of the same configuration and probably beat cheap binoculars, with lower quality prisms and lens coatings with 42mm objective lenses.

The apparent field of view (the width of the view you see through the binoculars at a specified distance) for the Braun Trekking 8x32 WP is 131m at 1000m (356ft @1000yds) and they have an angle of view of 7.5°- Which for a mid sized binocular is very, very good and whilst binoculars like the Nikon 8x32 EDG Binoculars (136m at 1000m) and the Swarovski EL 8x32 (140m at 1000m) may have a very slightly wider field of view, you have to remember they cost more than 10x the cost of these!

Their close focusing distance of only 1.5 meters (4.92ft), is another real highlight. Anything under 6ft is very good. This makes these binoculars extremely versatile, and could easily be used as a pair of butterfly binoculars or for those that want to get a closer view of other insects or even flowers for example.

Also Included
The quality of the soft canvas carry case is good, is pretty well padded on the inside, has a front pocket and a carry strap. Also included is a pretty good padded neck strap. The binoculars also come with a lens cleaning cloth and a small instruction booklet.

The Braun 8x32 WP lens caps work well and should not accidentally fall off. I like the fact that the objective lens caps lock into the barrels of the binocular (See video below) which should prevent them from accidentally falling off.

Ideal Uses
I think a good compact or mid sized binocular needs to be as versatile as possible and in my opinion, these are just that. Their fairly wide field of view makes them ideal for birdwatching and this combined with their relatively small size also makes them perfect to easily put in a bag and take to most sporting events, where a wide field of view and compact size are high on the wish list of features. Tough enough to take with on a camping trip, or as they are fully water and fogproof could even be used for things like skiing! The very close minimum focusing distance also makes them ideal to be used as a pair of butterfly binoculars. In short these make great all round optics and will work well for most uses.

Conclusion

Overall I would say that at their selling price, these Braun WP 8x42 binoculars make very good value for money binoculars. They have a number of highlights including the use of quality Bak-4 prisms and fully multicoated optics. Their compact size and low light weight in comparison to other mid sized binoculars is also a real selling point, as that is pretty much the main reason for choosing a pair over a full sized version.

Their optical performance is also impressive, especially their fairly wide field of view and very close minimum focusing distance.

Weak Points - There are not many to be honest, but if I have to be picky, I would like to have seen less softening of the image around the edge of the view, but I have seen worse on far more expensive pairs of optics in the past.

To sum up, these are a great little set of binoculars and if you are looking for a good performing, good quality, mid priced and mid sized binocular then you could do far worse than the Braun 8x32 Trekking binocular. I would even go as far to say that you may struggle to find anything better in their price range.


Braun Trekking 8x32 WP Binoculars including carry case

Reviewed by

Best Binocular Reviews Ratings:

Body Construction Quality: 7/10 73%
Excellent
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Components Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Attention to Detail: 5/10

Compare Prices & Where to Buy the Braun Binoculars

Main Specifications & Features:

Walk-Around Video of the Braun 8x32 Trekking WP Binoculars

 

More Information:



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Mid Size Binoculars | Roof Prism Binoculars | Close-Focus Binoculars | Wide Angle Binoculars | Mid Price Binoculars


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Barr & Stroud 8x32 Sierra

Mid to entry level mid-size binoculars that feature high quality Bak-4 phase coated roof prisms and fully multi-coated lenses.


Binocular Price Comparison
Where to buy the Braun 8x32 Trekking WP Binoculars

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

Below is a link that will take you to a page with online retailers in both the US and UK that sell Braun 8x32 Trekking WP Binoculars this page makes it easy to compare prices and then to buy from your preferred option:

 
 
 
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