Opticron BGA T PC Oasis 10x28 Binoculars Review

Opticron 10 x 28 BGA T PC Oasis 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
General Wildlife Rating as Wildlife Observation Binoculars
Hunting Rating as Hunting Binoculars
Marine Use Rating as Marine Binoculars

Before these Opticron BGA T PC Oasis 10x28 compact binoculars arrived in the post and as I do with most of the binoculars that I review, I did a little research into them. One thing that really stood out was that due to their double hinged design they seemed to be very similar to one of my favorite compacts, the Steiner 10.5x28 Wildlife Pro's and I hoped that these compact Opticron binoculars would be as good. Below is my full review of them:

The Body

I ask for a lot when looking for a good pair of compact binoculars this is because I use them more than any other pair. The reason for this is that they are so easy to carry with me... and so I do. I take my compacts with me just about everywhere I go and not just to places where I know I will be needing binoculars. For instance good compact binoculars should be easy to put into my golf bag, or in my carry bag when I go out mountain biking or hiking. In both of these examples, I am not specifically going out to look for wildlife, but you just never know when, especially with birds, that you will need your bins.

So because they get used so much in all sorts of situations, from walking safaris, to camping trips and they get left in my bag or car cubbyhole, they not only need to be compact, but need to be tough as well. I also want the view through them to be as to as good as possible, but they should not be too expensive as to be irreplaceable.

The most important feature on any compact is that they are as small and lightweight as possible:

Weight
At 260g (9.2oz) these not only feel very light compared to a standard binoculars, but rank with the very best compacts as well.

Dimensions
The dimensions of these 10x28 Oasis binoculars are 10.6x10.5cm (4.2x4.1in), when fully opened, which makes them about average for this type of binocular. But because of their duel hinge design, it is when you have them folded up, they become really compact: 10.6x6.9cm (4.2x2.7in).

The size of your binoculars when folded away makes a huge difference and is a very important feature to consider when choosing a compact binocular. Most standard roof prism compacts only have a single central hinge, which means that they are not nearly as small when folded up and porro prism compacts are sometimes even worse. I love the way these fold up which means that you can easily carry them in your pocket when out in the field leaving your hands (and neck) free to carry other objects like a camera.

Single hinge vs duel hinge compact binoculars

The image above of the similar Steiner Wildlife 10x26 with it's duel hinge and the single hinged Barr & Stroud 10x25 Sahara clearly demonstrates my point and shows just how much smaller a duel hinge design helps. For more on this take a look at an article I wrote on the Best Compact Pocket Binoculars.

 

BBR Rating for Body Stats: 9/10

Build Quality
The weight and size of a pair of binoculars can sometimes be misleading because some very lightweight binoculars have cheap (often plastic) components used in their construction. This is not the case with these Opticron binoculars as they have a nice solid feel to them and they look to be well made.

I could not find any details on exactly what the body is made of, but they have been "finished with a soft black rubber coating which feels nice and "grippy" in your hands that will also protect them from scratches and small knocks and bumps. This is important as I will often carry my compact with me in a bag that contains many other things like money and keys that could mark other binoculars.

The black rubber armouring also ensures that your binoculars are less reflective than if the bare metal was exposed and which could frighten away timid birds or other wildlife. Any sound made from an object striking against them (like your watch or a ring) is also dampened down by the rubber armour which also helps to prevent you from frightening away wildlife.

Waterproof & Nitrogen Filled
These compact Opticron Oasis binoculars are 100% waterproof and have had all their internal air replaced with a dry nitrogen gas. The nitrogen helps to stop the interior optical surfaces from fogging up due to rapid temperature changes or in areas that have high humidity. Apart from moisture, waterproofing will also help prevent any dust or other small particles from entering the binocular in dry climates. Once again this will also help me when I store them in places like the cubbyhole in my car which is always filled with dust.

The Eye Cups
The eyecups and diopter adjustment ring on the Opticron BGA T PC Oasis 10x28 BinocularsThe twist-up eyecups look to be made from a very hard plastic or a metal like aluminium. They then have a thin soft rubber coating on them making them feel fairly comfortable even when pushed quite firmly against your face.

The 15mm of eye-relief is pretty good for a compact binocular and should also be enough for most people who wear glasses to use them without having to remove their glasses. There are also two fixed intermediate stops on the twist-up mechanism, which will help ensure that you can get the right amount of distance between your glasses and the eye-piece in order to gain the full field of view without any vignetting.

Non-eyeglass wearers will just use the eyecups in the fully extended position.

Diopter Adjustment
Located on the right barrel, between the eyecup and the barrel is the diopter adjustment ring. It is used to correctly focus the binoculars to your particular eyesight and only really needs to be set up once when you use your binoculars for the first time. The ring itself has ridges on it and the mechanism has click stops that make it simpler to keep it at your desired location. On the pair that I tested, it was tight enough to prevent it from being moved accidentally too easily, yet not too tight to make adjusting it difficult. Apart from the central (neutral) point and a "+" and a "-" sign, there are no markings on the body of the barrel, so if the setting for your eyesight is not neutral, I would suggest making your own mark just incase it were to accidentally move or if you needed to share your binoculars with someone else. To do this you could just make a little etch with a knife or if you don't want to mark them, you could also just remember the number of clicks to the left or right.

Focusing
Like most compacts with this duel hinge design, they have a small centrally located focussing wheel. Larger wheels can sometimes be easier to adjust, but I found that the one on this 10x28 Oasis turned very smoothly. It also has ridges on it to help with grip.

The focusing mechanism is geared so that it takes about 1 and a quarter full turns to go from infinity to it's minimum focusing distance of 3.9 meters (12.8ft).What this means is that focusing from near to far (or vise versa) is fairly quick, but not as quick as some that take less turning. But it does mean that fine tuning the focus is easier than one ones with a more aggressive mechanism.

Best Binoculars Rating for Body Construction Quality: 8/10

The Optics

Lens & Prism Coatings
These compact roof prism binoculars use what Opticron call their Oasis coatings on the prisms. I have been able to find out that this is actually a 64 layer coating process that is applied to the reflective surface of each roof prism. Opticron say that this process improves light emission to 99% over a broader spectrum at the reflective face, a big improvement when compared to the silver coating traditionally used on many high quality roof prism binoculars. This is said to result in a measurable increase in light transmission and overall image clarity. I have not been able to find out any more information on the Oasis coatings as they like to keep a few trade secrets from their competition, but my guess is that they are the same or very similar to the dielectric coatings found on high end binoculars.

Whatever the case, the fact that these Oasis binoculars have in theory a reflectivity of 99% is impressive, as cheaper binoculars often use an aluminum mirror coating that has a reflectivity of between 87% to 93%, whilst more expensive binoculars often have a silver mirror coating and the reflectivity is increased to about 95% to 98%.

When light waves are reflected at the opposite faces of a roof prism, phase shift occurs resulting in marginal deterioration in sharpness. So as well as the Oasis coating, these Opticron's also have phase correction coatings on the prism glass, which are designed to correct this phase shift and therefore produce images that have better overall clarity, contrast and definition.

As yet, I have been unable to establish what coatings they have on the lenses and weather they are fully multi-coated or just multi-coated.

Best Binoculars Rating for Optical Components Quality: 7/10

Optical Stats

Field Of View (FOV)
The field of view for these 10x28 binoculars is 86m at 100m / 258ft at 1000 yards (4.9°) - which does fall a little short of the best. For example the Steiner 10.5x28 Wildlife Pro has a FOV of 264ft at 1000 yards, the Leica 10x25 Trinovid has a FOV of 273ft at 1000 yards and the Minox 10x25 BV BRW has a FOV of 290ft at 1000 yards.

Close Focusing Distance
With these Opticron Oasis binoculars, the minimum distance that you can focus on an object is at 3.9 meters (12.8ft) away, which again is a little off the best. I consider anything under 6ft to be very good. So if you are looking for a compact binocular specifically for things like observing butterflies then I do not recommend getting these. Rather take a look at these close focusing binoculars.

Eye-Relief:
Their maximum eye-relief of 15mm is pretty good and should be enough for most people who wear glasses.

Best Binoculars Rating for Optical Stats: 6/10

Image Quality

As I do for all my reviews, I compared the view through these compact Opticron BGA T PC Oasis 10x28 binoculars with that of my control binoculars with the same or similar configuration:

Image Brightness & the 10x28 Configuration
All binoculars with a magnification of 10x and 28mm objective lenses have an Exit Pupil of 2.8 and a Twilight Factor of 16.7. If you compare these figures to an full size 10x42 binocular, which has an exit pupil of 4.2 and a twilight factor of 20.5, it confirms that the increased objective lens diameter on the 10x42 binoculars will gather more light and make it possible for the binoculars to transmit more light to your eyes. This is the main compromise to using a compact over a larger pair of optics, but having said that in reasonably good lighting conditions like during the day, where your eye pupil size will be only about 2 to 3mm, the smaller exit pupil will not be much of a factor, it is just at twilight and under poor light where you can really notice the difference. You must also remember that having a good pair of compacts even in poor light is still much better than having no binoculars at all!

It is also important to remember that image brightness and the performance of a pair of optics in poor light also depends a lot on the quality of the glass and optical coatings and not just the exit pupil and twilight factor formula. Good coatings on the lenses and the prisms can in some cases double the amount of light that gets through the binocular, when compared to those that have none or poor quality coatings.

So in terms of brightness, these Opticron Oasis binoculars were about equal with that of my control 10x28 compacts, which means that for a binocular in this class I rate them fairly highly.

Color Fringing
Whilst color fringing (chromatic aberration) is present, it is very minimal and only really noticeable when you look at the edges of a light coloured object with a dark background. So once again this is very good.

I would also say that the contrast and the colour reproduction of the image was also good and once you are correctly focussed on an objet the image is very sharp.

The amount of softening of the image on the periphery of the view, was almost none and was better than that of my control pair and once again I rate them very highly in this area.

Best Binoculars Rating for Image Quality: 8/10

10x28 Opticron BGA T PC Oasis Comparisons

Below is a table comparing this Opticron Oasis with a selection of other roof prism compact binoculars. The very top of the range Leica 10x25 Trinovid as well as the Minox 10x25 BV BRW's, Kowa 8x25 BD and the Steiner 10.5x28 Wildlife Pro

Comparing a mid priced binocular like the Opticron Oasis with other binoculars that are far more expensive may seem a little unfair at first, but as long as you keep in mind the price difference, it does throw up a few interesting points and can highlight a few of their relative strengths and weaknesses. It is also interesting to note how the field of view is increase with the 8x Kowa compact.

  Opticron 10x28 Oasis Steiner 10.5x28 Wildlife Pro Leica 10x25 Trinovid Minox 10x25 BV Kowa 8x25 BD
Price (approx): £199 $330 (280) $630 (£440) $160 (£110) $300 (£300)
Weight: 9.2oz (260g) 12.9ozs (366g) 9ozs (255g) 9.14ozs (259g) 11.3ozs (320g)
Length: 4.2in (10.6cm) 5.0in (12.7cm) 4.36in (11.1cm) 4.29in (10.9cm) 4.4in (11.2cm)
Width: 4.1in (10.5cm) 4.2in (10.7cm) 3.63in (9.2cm) 3.85in (9.8cm) 4.2in (10.7cm)
Eye Relief: 15mm 13mm 14.6mm 15.5mm 15.8mm
Close Focusing Distance: 12.8ft 8.5ft 16.4ft 4.9ft 6.0ft
Field of View at 1000yds: 258ft 270ft 273ft 290ft 331ft
ED Glass No No No No No
Phase Correction Yes No Yes No Yes
Lens Coatings Not Sure Multi-Coated Fully Multi-Coated Multi-Coated Fully Multi-Coated
Waterproof Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fogproof Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Duel Hinge Yes Yes Yes No No

Included Extras & Attention to Detail:

Neck Strap
Not much padding is needed on such small and lightweight optics, so with a pair like these, I never expect too much. Having said that these Opticron's come with a pretty basic nylon neck strap without any padding at all. On more expensive compact binoculars, you do find more luxurious neck straps and even though they are probably overkill, it is still nice to have.

Carry Case
Considering how basic the neck strap is, I was really very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the soft leather carry case that is padded adequately enough for a compact. It has a magnetic button to keep it closed and a loop on the rear of it, which you could thread your belt through. Overall the quality is high and it looks to be very well made.

Lens Covers
These come with some basic plastic objective lens and eye-piece covers. As with most compacts, these cannot be attached to the binocular or the neck strap and so I would suggest that you would only really use them when storing away your binoculars and not out in the field. Out in the field it is simple enough to keep the carry case with you to protect your optics. (You could easily attach it to your belt or just keep it in a large jacket pocket).

Cleaning Cloth
These Opticron Oasis binoculars also come with an excellent quality ultra-fine microfibre cleaning cloth that has it's own soft case to keep it clean as well as some basic cleaning instructions. This cloth is one of, if not the best cleaning cloths that comes included with the binoculars that I have reviewed and shows some excellent attention to detail.

User Guide & 30 Year Guarantee
A basic card is also included. It contains some basic user instructions with things like how to adjust the eyecups, the inter-pupillary adjustment, how to properly focus your binoculars, lens care and cleaning. It also contains the Opticron registration card as well as details on the very impressive 30 year Opticron DBA binocular warranty.

Best Binoculars Rating for Extras & Attention to Detail: 6/10

Conclusion

Strong Points: The strongest feature for me is their duel hinge design that enables them to fold away into a very small shape making them easy to carry in something like a jacket pocket. Their optical performance is very good and compare very well with compact binoculars that are far more expensive than these. Their overall build quality is also very good and I like the fact that they are both water and fogproof. The fact that they come with a 30 year guarantee is also very impressive.

Weak points? A wider field of view would really improve these binoculars as would a closer minimum focusing distance.

Ideal Uses: Like most compact binoculars, these are ideal if you are looking for a take anywhere pair of binoculars, perfect for camping and I would take them hiking with me even if spotting birds and wildlife was not my main focus. I also see them sitting in the cubbyhole of my car, or in my golf or kit bag to be used at any time. The fact that they are so small makes them easy to take with you to any sporting event, although a wider field of view would have really been appreciated here.

They would also make great safari binoculars or for most other holidays as the compact design of the duel hinge is ideal on something like a walking safari as you can easily keep them in your pocket when not in use, leaving your hands (and neck) free to carry your camera as well.

Overall, I think for the amount that you pay for these Opticron BGA T PC Oasis binoculars, you get a good binocular for your money and their optical performance to price ratio is very good.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Opticron for sending this binocular to me to review. I would also like to point out that all the reviews on this site, including this one are my opinion of the binocular and are not influenced in any way by manufacturers, distributors or suppliers.

Opticron BGA T PC Oasis 10x28 binoculars with carry case and neck strap

Reviewed by

Best Binocular Reviews Ratings:

Body Construction Quality: 8/10 73%
Excellent
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Components Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 6/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Attention to Detail: 6/10

Compare Prices & Where to Buy the Opticron Binoculars

Main Specifications & Features:

  • Size: Compact Binoculars
  • [explain prism types]Prism Type: Roof Prism Binoculars
  • Magnification: 10x
  • [explain objective lens]Objective Lens Diameter: 28mm
  • [explain waterproofing]Waterproof: Yes
  • [about fogproofing]Fogproof: Yes

  • [explain exit pupil]Exit Pupil: 2.8
  • [explain twilight factor]Twilight Factor: 16.73
  • [explain eye relief]Eye Relief: 15mm
  • [explain IPD]IPD Max: 7.1cm
  • IPD Min: 3.6cm
  • Close Focus Distance: 12.8ft

  • Weight: 9.2ozs (261g)
  • Length: 4.2in (10.7cm)
  • Width: 4.1in (10.4cm)
  • Focus from Near to Far, focus wheel rotates: 450°

  • [explain real field of view]Real field of view: 4.9°
  • [explain apparent field of view]Apparent field of view: 49.0°
  • [explain field of view]Field of View: 86m at 1,000 meters
  • [explain field of view]Field of View: 258ft at 1,000 yards

  • Image Stabilization: No
  • [about Phase Correction]Phase Correction Coatings: Yes
  • [about ED Glass]Extra Low Dispersion Glass: No
  • Locking Diopter: No
  • [about tripod adapters]Tripod Adaptable: No
  • Auto Focus: No
 

More Information:



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Compact Binoculars | Roof Prism Binoculars | Safari Binoculars | Mid Price Binoculars


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Minox 10x25 BV BRW

Tough, water & fogproof compact binoculars with fully multi-coated optics and Bak-4 roof prisms with an exceptional price to performance ratio.


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Where to buy the Opticron 10x28 BGA T PC Oasis Binoculars

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

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