Karl Kaps Binoculars
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- Last updated: 16/12/2016
Karl Kaps is a third generation owned family optics business started in 1946 in Asslar Germany. This town is situated near Wetzlar, a hub of precision optical manufacture and so Karl Kaps has forged a 50 year reputation for quality optics across a wide interest including , medical, dental and sporting use. They offer a range of smaller/compact binoculars but I was interested in the new 8x56mm model, which looked ideal for low light hunting.
They are not large, but are quite heavy at 1095g which is to be expected due the amount of glass in their construction. But that’s a plus point, as the 56mm objective lens are there so you have a larger exit pupil with the higher mag, in this case x8. I like a more powerful binocular; I want to see what I am looking at, especially smaller roe antlers at range. With 8x56mm you get still get a 7mm exit pupil which is optimal and the twilight factor of 21 allows resolution of an image at greater distance in poor light. Once in the hand they feel well balanced and the weight is not really an issue!
The multi coated lens match their phase coated Bak4 prisms so internal reflections are reduced to a minimum and as much available light is sent to your eyeballs. Light transmission is not quoted but it has to be 90% plus as the images are very clear and bright - almost brilliant - and this includes in the murk of the Scottish tree stands after roe.I like the rubberised finish with raised ribbed and the centrally placed focus wheel seems larger than most. That’s good as it has a very smooth and precise, not to fast or slow allowing fine focus at differing ranges. Just behind the wheel at its base is the diopter adjuster to allow for differences between both eyes. Field of view is 109 meters at 1000m meters which is fine in my view as it is not to powerful a mag so in woodland the field of view is to narrow but out on the hill you have good peripheral vision.
They come with a carry pouch along with a padded neck strap that distributes the weight evenly. The eye cups extend to give a clearer view and blocks out stray light and the spacing between the two can be adjusted from 55-75mm, so all face types are catered for.
Those big old 56mm lens really let the available light flood in, with the multi coatings doing a good job. You can see the attention to detail as there are no aberrations, the image is flat and the colours are life-like with a faint bluish hint. To me that says they are optimised for lower light characteristics which is where you want it. They feel good in the hand also with the rubber armoured finish providing waterproofing and a sure grip, and the day to day grime and blood was easily washed off.
I took them out after roe and I always start an hour before first light to get into position and hopefully outsmart a buck. Here the 56mm objective lenses came into their own, with literally no light you can still see your way to your position. As the light came up you appreciated the good twilight factor of 21 enabling close clearer vision than some 7x42mm binos.
I spotted a buck in close pursuit behind the doe and from the 8x power I could see he was nice and so used the Kaps to stalk in closer keeping them in view all the time and spotting for any other deer on route!
The Kaps binocular are a bit of old world German optics with modern manufacturing techniques. The quality is very good, nice flat images, sharp edge to edge and certainly those proprietary multi coated lens really help. Low light performance is excellent and their best feature. The build is ergonomic though at 8x56 a bit heavy, but that’s the price you pay for good performance and well worth it!
FOR - Well priced and effective
AGAINST - A bit heavy
VERIDCT - Price and quality wise well worth a look