Sightron SII 8x42 Blue Sky and Premium Series III 8x42 binoculars
- By Pete Moore
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 15/12/2016
AIM Field Sports have made a serious job of handling Sightron optics. Both Chris Parkin (firearms) and Terry Almond (airguns) Shooting Sports contributors have tested top end scopes from them with no complaints. However, they also offer a range of binoculars, so I thought I would take a look at two examples – the SII 8x42 Blue Sky and Premium SIII 8x42.
As a hunter binoculars need to offer me decent low light ability, true colour balance and be of a practical size and weight. OK you can splash out on stuff like Leica, which does offer a level of operation that cheaper makes might not achieve. But not all of us want to throw £1500+ at the problem!
Light & Compact
The build of both follows the modern recipe with phase-corrected roof prisms, which allow straight ocular barrels and a single, central hinge point, black rubber armour and twist-up eye cups to suit normal all. Lenses are multi-coated to offer good anti-reflective capabilities. Both come with a soft bag, strap, front and rear lens covers and a cleaning cloth. Plus they are backed by Sightron’s life time guarantee.
Controls consist of a wide and deep, centrally-mounted focusing wheel. However, setting the initial focus differs slightly. The SIIs is done solely on the wheel, whereas the SIII has a separate adjuster ring under the right eyepiece. Visually the SII (Blue Sky) looks like the top end model, though is the cheaper of the two! Both however are compact with the SIII being about ½” shorter but also heavier at 24.5oz even though they have a magnesium body as opposed to the 22oz of the SIIs.
Low Light OK
In daylight both models worked well, with the extra weight of the SIIIs being noticeable, which made them more stable in use. For a control I used my Leica 8x56 BRFs, which give true colour balance and have exceptional optics, both the Sightron’s came up a tad light in that department, but otherwise proved effective. Viewing a variety of targets at various ranges showed a crisp image and good contrast too.
Low light sorts the men from the boys, but the Sightron’s though not as good as the Leica’s none the less stood up very well. At 450-yards there was a field with Canada geese on it and I could still make out the birds and their colours quite late on into the evening. At 250-yards it was still possible to distinguish rabbits from hares lying in the grass by colour, shape and size.
My question was which was the better model? As things seemed identical through both, however, as the light finally ebbed away the SIIIs showed just a bit more performance than the SIIs in terms of focus and contrast. Which seems a bit odd as Sightron quote identical relative brightness and twilight factor figures of 27.5 and 18.3 accordingly. However, at the price and given they will mainly be used in daylight the Blue Sky comes up as more cost effective!
SIIIMS 8x42 £ 436.74
SIIBL 8x42 - £ 289