Review of Adlerblick 7x50 binoculars
By Bill Dellinges
I wanted an inexpensive but decent light pair of 7x50 binoculars to replace my old 1974 Swift 7x50’s which had died of old age. After a bit of research, the candidates were down to the Celestron Ultima 7x50 ($200), Orion 7x50 Vista ($200), and Adlerblick 7x50 ($240 plus $17 shipping), all were of the BaK-4 porro prism type .I chose the latter because they had the most generous eye relief (23mm, compared to 20mm for the Celestrons and 22mm for the Orions). Also: I’m not crazy about owning anything with the “Orion” brand name on it, even though their model may, for all I know, be a fine unit for its class. The Celestron was out because I couldn’t quite see the full field with glasses on even with its cups folded down…almost, but not quite. I must admit too, I bought Adlerblicks boast that Terence Dickinson recommended them. I ordered them from Carton Optical in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (www.carton.ca) (613 830-7750). They are the main importer of this line from Japan. Though not a “household name” binocular, Adlerblick nevertheless has a respectable following insofar as what I could ascertain on net reviews. A friend of mine owned a pair and spoke favorably of them. I ordered them over the phone and they arrived three days later. I was amazed they weren’t damaged as it seemed to me there wasn’t much packing protection between the carton and box it was shipped in. Adlerblick also offers: 8x32, 8x42, 10x42, 10x50, 12x50 (in porros) and 8x42 and 10x42 in roof prisms.
Specifications: weight 27.5 oz., exit pupil 7.14mm, body aluminum die cast, field 6 degrees, eyepiece apparent field 42 degrees, fully multi-coated, rubber coated.
So what do I think about this glass? I’m pretty happy with them. For their price and mid-range class (not junk nor top of the line), I’d have to say they’re a fine pair of binoculars. The optics are very good, even out to the edge, with the stars beginning to show coma only about ¾ of the way from the center to the edge of the field-that’s good for any binocular. I compared them to my 7x42 Swarovski’s: edge of field correction was about the same but of course the Swars have an 8 degree field so maybe that’s not a fair comparison. Still, I was impressed. The larger light gathering power of the Adlerblicks over the Swars was evident when I viewed M44, the “Beehive” cluster-they were brighter and I could see more stars (I thought MAYBE the superior quality of the Swars optics might compete with the Adlers larger lenses, but no-thank god).
A note on eye relief: These binos have so much of it, that after folding the rubber cups all the way down, I found with glasses on the view was blacking out on me. I had to unfold them back up about ¼ of the way! I leave them that way as the rainguard still fits over them.
Lets sum up. Pros: excellent optics, light weight, nice feel to the focuser, super eye relief, reasonably priced, handsome appearance.
Cons: thin strap ( I threw mine away and got a better one), narrow apparent field of 42 degrees (power x field = a.f.) kinda like looking through old 40-50 degree a.f. eyepieces, the “looking down a stovepipe” effect. This may not be a problem for some people but my Swar’s 56o a.f. and 10x70 Fujinon’s 52o a.f. have spoiled me. The shipping packaging. The rubber coating ( I’d prefer a vinyl or leather finish on them, like the Orion and Celestron models).
Conclusion: For the money, the Adlerblicks, with their good optics and light weight, should do just fine for a knock about pair of astronomy binoculars. (7/5/02).