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Blaser Binoculars

It’s a rare thing for a firearms manufacturer to produce their own optics. Some, however, realise the buying power it offers by getting it in, so, offering a complete package of scope, binoculars, rifle and even ammunition. This saves R&D, development and above all cost, all of which adds to customer appeal and for that matter loyalty. However, Blaser of Germany does things a little differently! Not the largest company out there, but their unique range of prestige shooting products has created a loyal fan base and a huge appeal. Facts they are very aware of, which helps to maintain and build their global brand. So, it was quite a surprise a few years ago when they announced they would be offering binoculars.

We knew

Many assumed this to be the precursor to a family of optics, which at the time they played down, though later proved to be the case. On test here are their range of binoculars to date: 8x30, 8x42, 8x56 and 10x42.

The build shows a magnesium alloy construction for lightness and strength with a two-tone (chocolate/black) rubber armour skin. The brown is textured for grip, aided by shaped thumb/hand support areas. These, as do most other modern designs, use a roof prism, which offers straight barrels, as opposed to the older, dog-leg Porro types. The tubes are linked by a single, short bridge/hinge that to a degree moves the centre of mass rearwards to make viewing for more prolonged periods easier. There’s a 30mm focusing wheel with a cross-hatched rubber outer to aid operation. This is repeated on the single dioptre compensation ring on the right-hand eyepiece.

Lenses and coating

All internal glass surfaces are treated with Blaser’s ‘Contrast and Colour Corrective Coatings’. External glass gets their Smart Lens Protection treatment, which reduces the build-up of moisture and debris, so allows rain to run off to enhance performance.

Nothing radical, as all the major players offer something similar, but it all helps.

All models come in a semi-rigid, leather/ nylon carry case with belt loop and front and rear lens covers. There is a well-padded strap with a clever retention system too that once adjusted; its rubber boot negates the spare strap flying around. As is to be expected from Blaser; a well presented and thought out package, with an optical quality comparable to manufactures like Swarovski, Kahles and Zeiss.

What’s your poison?

Focus is good, with it moving in and out smoothly and positively. What you see gives a 3D-like effect with the subject contrasting nicely with the background. However, with four models to choose from what’s your poison?

Starting with the smallest, we have the ultra-compact 8x30, Blaser describes them as: ‘a lightweight stalking companion for hunting in distant lands and local territories.’ Many discount this lower spec, but the 8x magnification and 30mm objective brings the quarry close enough out to sensible distances. Small, unobtrusive, and light enough to slip into a pocket, they are as described. SPEC: Exit pupil 3.75mm, Eye relief 15.1mm, FOV 8.2° and 144m @ 100m, Dimensions 118 x 114 x 50mm, Weight 475-grams.

Next and probably the most popular choice; 8x42, described as: ‘compact universal binoculars for all hunting occasions’. At a shade over 2 lbs they are twice the weight of the 8x30s, and obviously longer, but not arduous in terms of weight. The greater girth of the barrels fills the hands better and offers a more instinctive feel in use. Again, the 8x magnification is enough, with the larger, 42mm objectives allowing more light in. SPEC: Exit pupil 5.25mm, Eye relief 18.2mm, FOV 8° and 141m @ 1000 m, Dimensions 184 x 144 x 58 mm, Weight 960-grams.

Bigger or wider?

Some hunters might want a bit more magnification, if so there are the 10x42s, Blaser says: ‘ideal for hunting in the mountains or on open ground, enables you to identify details even at great distances.’ At only 10-grams heavier than the 8x42s you pay minimal penalties for the higher mag, though both FOV figures in degrees and meters at 1000m are a little reduced, as is the exit pupil. However, what you are getting here is better target ID. SPEC: Exit pupil 4.2mm, Eye relief 18.3mm, FOV 6.6° and 116m @ 1000m, Dimensions 184 x 144 x 58mm, Weight 970-grams.

Finally, for those who want to be kings of the night, with good performance in deep twilight, there are the 8x56s. Here it’s all about the larger 56mm objectives lenses that offer greater light transmission in these conditions. The payback is of course extra weight with a 180-grams increase over the 10x42s, but only 12mm extra length. For extended viewing periods, you can feel the extra bulk too, equally around the neck when walking, but they do the business. SPEC: Exit pupil 7mm, Eye relief 21mm, FOV 7.6° and 133m @ 1000m, Dimensions 196 x 153 x 66mm, Weight 1150-grams.

In use

Build quality and ergonomics are excellent, as are optical quality and colour rendition; well up to Swarovski/Zeiss levels. Focusing is smooth with the image snapping into clear view with positivity. Equally, visual target acquisition is aided by a new optical calculation combined with the largest eyepiece lenses.

Let’s not kid ourselves, these are high-end binoculars at prices and quality commensurate to the major European brands. For example, Swarovski’s 8.5x42 EL Field Pros are £1829.95, Blaser’s 8x42s cost £1778. With Zeiss’s 8x42 Victory at £1889 and Leica UltraVid 8x32 HDs are £1595, with the similar 8x30s at £1613. However, Blaser’s total package of rifle, scope, binos, clothing etc is more likely to appeal due to customer loyalty and expectations. So, what’s next, a set of binocular rangefinders (BRFs), now that would be interesting?

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Blaser Binoculars

Blaser Binoculars

It’s a rare thing for a firearms manufacturer to produce their own optics. Some, however, realise the buying power it offers by getting it in, so, offering a complete package of scope, binoculars, rifle and even ammunition. This saves R&D, development and above all cost, all of which adds to customer appeal and for that matter loyalty. However, Blaser of Germany does things a little differently! Not the largest company out there, but their unique range of prestige shooting products has created a loyal fan base and a huge appeal. Facts they are very aware of, which helps to maintain and build their global brand. So, it was quite a surprise a few years ago when they announced they would be offering binoculars.

We knew

Many assumed this to be the precursor to a family of optics, which at the time they played down, though later proved to be the case. On test here are their range of binoculars to date: 8x30, 8x42, 8x56 and 10x42.

The build shows a magnesium alloy construction for lightness and strength with a two-tone (chocolate/black) rubber armour skin. The brown is textured for grip, aided by shaped thumb/hand support areas. These, as do most other modern designs, use a roof prism, which offers straight barrels, as opposed to the older, dog-leg Porro types. The tubes are linked by a single, short bridge/hinge that to a degree moves the centre of mass rearwards to make viewing for more prolonged periods easier. There’s a 30mm focusing wheel with a cross-hatched rubber outer to aid operation. This is repeated on the single dioptre compensation ring on the right-hand eyepiece.

Lenses and coating

All internal glass surfaces are treated with Blaser’s ‘Contrast and Colour Corrective Coatings’. External glass gets their Smart Lens Protection treatment, which reduces the build-up of moisture and debris, so allows rain to run off to enhance performance.

Nothing radical, as all the major players offer something similar, but it all helps.

All models come in a semi-rigid, leather/ nylon carry case with belt loop and front and rear lens covers. There is a well-padded strap with a clever retention system too that once adjusted; its rubber boot negates the spare strap flying around. As is to be expected from Blaser; a well presented and thought out package, with an optical quality comparable to manufactures like Swarovski, Kahles and Zeiss.

What’s your poison?

story continues below...

Focus is good, with it moving in and out smoothly and positively. What you see gives a 3D-like effect with the subject contrasting nicely with the background. However, with four models to choose from what’s your poison?

Starting with the smallest, we have the ultra-compact 8x30, Blaser describes them as: ‘a lightweight stalking companion for hunting in distant lands and local territories.’ Many discount this lower spec, but the 8x magnification and 30mm objective brings the quarry close enough out to sensible distances. Small, unobtrusive, and light enough to slip into a pocket, they are as described. SPEC: Exit pupil 3.75mm, Eye relief 15.1mm, FOV 8.2° and 144m @ 100m, Dimensions 118 x 114 x 50mm, Weight 475-grams.

Next and probably the most popular choice; 8x42, described as: ‘compact universal binoculars for all hunting occasions’. At a shade over 2 lbs they are twice the weight of the 8x30s, and obviously longer, but not arduous in terms of weight. The greater girth of the barrels fills the hands better and offers a more instinctive feel in use. Again, the 8x magnification is enough, with the larger, 42mm objectives allowing more light in. SPEC: Exit pupil 5.25mm, Eye relief 18.2mm, FOV 8° and 141m @ 1000 m, Dimensions 184 x 144 x 58 mm, Weight 960-grams.

Bigger or wider?

Some hunters might want a bit more magnification, if so there are the 10x42s, Blaser says: ‘ideal for hunting in the mountains or on open ground, enables you to identify details even at great distances.’ At only 10-grams heavier than the 8x42s you pay minimal penalties for the higher mag, though both FOV figures in degrees and meters at 1000m are a little reduced, as is the exit pupil. However, what you are getting here is better target ID. SPEC: Exit pupil 4.2mm, Eye relief 18.3mm, FOV 6.6° and 116m @ 1000m, Dimensions 184 x 144 x 58mm, Weight 970-grams.

Finally, for those who want to be kings of the night, with good performance in deep twilight, there are the 8x56s. Here it’s all about the larger 56mm objectives lenses that offer greater light transmission in these conditions. The payback is of course extra weight with a 180-grams increase over the 10x42s, but only 12mm extra length. For extended viewing periods, you can feel the extra bulk too, equally around the neck when walking, but they do the business. SPEC: Exit pupil 7mm, Eye relief 21mm, FOV 7.6° and 133m @ 1000m, Dimensions 196 x 153 x 66mm, Weight 1150-grams.

In use

Build quality and ergonomics are excellent, as are optical quality and colour rendition; well up to Swarovski/Zeiss levels. Focusing is smooth with the image snapping into clear view with positivity. Equally, visual target acquisition is aided by a new optical calculation combined with the largest eyepiece lenses.

Let’s not kid ourselves, these are high-end binoculars at prices and quality commensurate to the major European brands. For example, Swarovski’s 8.5x42 EL Field Pros are £1829.95, Blaser’s 8x42s cost £1778. With Zeiss’s 8x42 Victory at £1889 and Leica UltraVid 8x32 HDs are £1595, with the similar 8x30s at £1613. However, Blaser’s total package of rifle, scope, binos, clothing etc is more likely to appeal due to customer loyalty and expectations. So, what’s next, a set of binocular rangefinders (BRFs), now that would be interesting?

  • Blaser Binoculars - image {image:count}

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  • Blaser Binoculars - image {image:count}

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  • Blaser Binoculars - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Blaser Binoculars - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

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features

  • Name: Blaser Binoculars
  • Prices: 8x30 £1613 8x42 £1778 8x56 £1945 10x42 £1778
  • Contact: Blaser Group Ltd; www.blaser-group.com

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