Braun WP 8x42 Binoculars Review

Braun 8 x 42 WP Binoculars
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Buy & Compare Prices for the Braun WP 8x42 Binoculars
Price Range: (2/6) Low Cost 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

Located in Germany, Braun Photo Technik are probably best known for their slide scanners and cameras, but they also produce a range of mostly entry level binoculars including the Braun 8x42 WP binocular, that I was recently given the opportunity to review.

The Main Body

Their dimensions are fairly standard for a full size roof prism binocular, but weighing only 670g (23.6oz), they are one of the lightest 8x42 binoculars that I have reviewed. Overall these Braun binoculars feel well balanced and the tough rubber armoring that covers the binoculars not only help to protect the optics, but also feels great in your hands. I would also like say that these are a pretty good looking pair of binoculars... if that is possible?

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
The Braun 8x42 WP is waterproof (Immersion tested at 1.5m for 3 minutes). This obviously helps to protect them against moisture, but will also prevent any dirt or dust from entering the system in dry sandy locations. 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 a full 17.8mm of eye relief, which means that they easily make it onto my list of "Long Eye Relief binoculars." This 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 very smooth and accurate. The dial takes 2 full turns to go from infinity to it's closest focusing distance of 4 meters (13.1ft). 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 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. 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.

Braun 8x42 WP Optics

Taking into account that this is a low cost entry level binocular I was fairly impressed with the quality of the image produced through them. Comparing them to my mid range benchmark binocular that I use for all my reviews, I would describe the brightness of the image produced as good. The sharpness of the overall image is good as well, but as with most binoculars in this class you can notice more softening of the image around the periphery of the view than what you get in top of the range optics.

Whilst they do fall short of the range binoculars in terms of brightness and sharpness, I would say that in their class the view is well above average. You must also remember that top of the range optics cost more than 10x the cost of these. So is the view on something like the Kowa 10.5x44 Genesis XD binoculars 10x better? Not in my opinion. As with everything the closer you get to the top, the more you have to pay to get the smallest gains.

So within their price range the view is impressive and to achieve this Braun Germany have used good quality lenses and coatings that are not always found on binoculars in this class:

Lens & Prism Coatings
Braun PhotoTechnik use quality BaK-4 roof prisms on these 8x42 binoculars, meaning that they are made of superior optical glass that produces a sharp and high-contrast picture over the full field of view. 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.

Stats

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 have an Exit Pupil of 5.25, a Twilight Factor of 18.3 and a Relative Brightness of 27.6 - all of which point to the fact that they should work pretty well in most low light conditions like what you encounter early in the morning or late afternoon/evening when birding and most wildlife observation 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 (the width of the view you see through the binoculars at a specified distance) for the Braun 8x42 WP is 119m at 1000m (356ft @1000yds) and they have an angle of view of 6.8° which does fall short of the best where something like the Zeiss Victory 8x42 T FL has a field of view of 135m at 1000m (405ft@1000yds). But once again you have to remember that the Zeiss binoculars cost well over 10x the cost of these.

In comparison to binoculars in this price range, the field of view is about average. The very popular Bushnell 8x42 NatureView for example has a field of view of 330 at 1000 yards.

The close focusing distance is 4 meters (13.1ft), which again does fall short of the very best and I would not recommend these as good butterfly binoculars for example where you would be looking for a minimum focusing distance of about 6ft or under.

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 fairly standard nylon neck strap.

The Braun 8x42 WP lens caps 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!

Conclusion

Overall I would say that at their selling price, these Braun WP 8x42 binoculars make good value for money binoculars. They not only look great, but he view through them is very good as is the quality of their outer construction. Highlights include the use of quality Bak-4 prisms and their light weight in comparison to other 8x42 binoculars.

A small disappointment for me was the relatively far minimum close focusing distance and it would have been nicer if the field of view was a little wider. All told though, if you are looking for a good performing, good quality entry level binocular ideal for general use as well as birding and nature observation you could do far worse than these at this price.


Braun 8x42 WP Binoculars including carry case

Reviewed by

Best Binocular Reviews Ratings:

Body Construction Quality: 7/10 65%
Very Good
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Components Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Attention to Detail: 5/10

Compare Prices & Where to Buy the Braun Binoculars

Main Specifications & Features:

Walk-Around Video of the Braun 8x42 WP Binoculars

 

More Information:



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Similar Binoculars:

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

Bushnell 8x42 NatureView

Excellent optics for birders and naturalists, the 8x42mm NatureView Binocular is also suitable for watching sporting events and all-around observation


Binocular Price Comparison
Where to buy the Braun 8x42 WP Binoculars

General Price Range: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars

Below is a link that will take you to a page with online retailers in both the US and UK that sell Braun 8x42 WP Binoculars this page makes it easy to compare prices and then to buy from your preferred option:

 
 
 
Where to Find BBR