Superb All-Rounder. Highly technical review - sorry!This is a review of this RSPB HDX 10 x 42 primarily against my mid to high end 10 x 50 porro that I've had for years. I also compare to a few other 10 x 42 models I tried in the shop (that costed ~£100 to £300 less).
Pros: Light, ease of view, ease of handling, bright, sharp, good control of colour aberrations, great eye relief plus great field of view, no stray light bouncing off internal parts from inside ("veiling glare"), rainguard easily flicked on/off but stays put when required, perfect all rounder.
Cons: A bright sky does reflect off some internal lens of the eyepiece but this is common to all binos. The only way to avoid this is to simplify the eyepiece but then you lose eye relief and/or field of view.
The case. Sorry RSPB, this is a poor show! Needs its own strap and strap loops so you can wear it satchel-style, out of the way of the bino itself. As it is, its useless.
The strap is a value item but works OK.
Wonderful all rounder, delighted with them. Although more expensive than the others in the shop, they are the clear superior.
Eye Relief: As a spectacle wearer I really struggle with eye relief. Since no one knows how to objectively measure it, you can't compare across brands or even models within a brand. Too little ER writes off a bino for me. ER of the HDX is superb, especially given its excellent field of view.
Brightness: Compared to the others in the shop, the HDX is far and away the brightest. It is almost as bright as my porro. This is not because the porro has larger objectives (in daylight), but because the porro format has inherently superior transmission; it is a real challenge for a roof to match a porro for brightness despite costing so much more. Therefore, the HDX scores a real achievement.
Sharpness: As above. A roof prism requires phase correction. Imperfect phase correction blurs sharpness. Porro prisms have no roof and therefore don't suffer the problem. My porro is sharper than the HDX but the HDX was easily the best of the roofs I tried.
Colour Aberrations: As above again. A non-waterproof, externally focussing porro is an inherently simpler instrument with far fewer glass to air surfaces so is much less susceptible to CA. Mine being a 50 also has a longer focal length, again lessening CA. The HDX does show aberrations but less than the other roofs and it does not detract from the overall image quality.
Field of View: Awesome. More or less the same as the other roofs and blows my porro out of the water. (This is the main trade off of a much simpler instrument.)
Weight, handling, ease of holding still: Quite simply the easiest binocular to hold still I've ever held. Wonderful. Can scarcely feel it round your neck.
Apparent size of subject: Despite all being 10s, and (so far as I can tell) truly so, the size of a bird through the HDX looks bigger than through my porros. Coupled with being easier to hold still, this makes detail easier to see, even though there is no extra detail in reality. I believe this to be a consequence of the objectives being the same distance apart as your eyes. You can see the effect for yourself. Look at something with one eye. Then open the other. It looks bigger. The effect is the same looking through roofs, but strangely absent through porros.
In summary, birds are easier to ID through the HDX than my porro, despite being a little less bright, a little less sharp and showing a little more CA. Coupled to it great handling, it makes the HDX a superb all rounder and the best sub-£700 bino in the shop by a long way. Very impressed indeed, this will do me for a long time.
By Ben S-H, on 15 Oct 2016
Excelant binoculars but see belowI sought guidance from Viking as requested by RSPB Otics on how to fit the carrying strap as my fitting looked so untidy. Viking confirmed my fitting was correct. Why RSPB Optics could not help when it is RSPB binoculars from whom they were purchased and who have total responsibilty for what they sell felt the need to pass the enquiry to a third party is not understood. I have 10 x 42 HD binoculars and the carrying strap is much easier to fit and a much better design. Why change it.
RSPB response: Thank you for your review, we are delighted that you are happy with the binoculars, they are excellent and well priced. We are very sorry that you did not receive the customer service you expected. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we will look into it however Viking are responsible for our repairs and if the shop assistant couldn't help it may be why you were given their contact.
By Michael Gostick, on 18 Aug 2016
Outstanding ValueI'm used to Zeiss 10x50 which I bought 50 years ago with a lifetime guarantee. They are still good.
These HDX only have a 10 year guarantee, but as I'm now 50 years older, that's not so important!
The difference is like looking at a screen compared to looking through a tube. Really high definition and easy on the eye. I compared them with the Swarovski equivalent and there certainly was not £1100 worth of difference. Not that I could see, anyway.
Some small imperfections in the strap stitching and a very weak rainguard "slip clip", so not perfect. But outstanding VFM. By Loos059, on 15 Sep 2015
RSPB HDX 10 x 42 binoculars
- Product information
Following on from the best selling HD range the HD-X moves the brand to a new level.
Brighter, lighter and with a wider field of view the new HD-X has been designed with ease of use in mind.
The compact optical design housed in an ultra lightweight body helps to make them one of the lightest 42 mm roof prism binoculars on the market.
The smaller bridge allows them to be held in one hand when in use giving the user perfect balance with the binocular.
Class-leading optical performance with the benefit of both phase and SHR (super high reflective) coatings on the prism's leading to high levels of clarity and contrast in a variety of conditions.
Key features: Fully water/fog proof construction dry filled with nitrogen gas, tested to a depth of 1 m for 5 mins; Internal focusing with a close focus of under 2 m; Wide field of view 6.5 deg; Lightweight compact design, finished weight of under 640 g; Integral tripod adaptor socket; High quality 3 position retractable eyecups for spectacle wearers; Fully multicoated optics with ED glass objective lens; Phase coated roof prisms with SHR coating; Ergonomically design body with shock resistant rubber armor; Water and dirt repellent coating; 10 year guarantee.
Supplied with an exclusive pin badge, a leather case and a micro-fibre cloth cleaning bag.
- - Ultra lightweight
- - Close focus under 2 m
- - Ten year warranty
Objective Diameter (mm) 42
Eye Relief (mm) 22
Field of view 6.5 deg
Height (mm) 140
Width (mm) 128
Weight (g) 640
Warranty (years) 10
- Delivery Returns
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RSPB HDX 10 x 42 binoculars
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