Kenko Ultraview 8x42 DH binocular
Kenko’s new roof-prism bins are pitched at the lower-cost end of the market, and will probably suit the beginner as a reasonably priced first option or the more experienced birder as a ‘glove box’ pair.
Under field conditions, the 8x42 model fared well at all distances, showing tolerable slight fringing and relatively low chromatic aberration in overcast weather. The body feels bulky to those more used to higher-end models, but the binocular is comparatively lightweight and comfortable to carry.
The twist-up eyecups locked well, as did the dioptre, but the focusing wheel was quite stiff, resulting in a relatively slow response when trying to get onto individual birds in a moving gull flock. It took about 1.8 turns to go from close focus to infinity. The colours of birds and plants seemed natural with good light-gathering ability in the overcast test conditions.
The dioptre is situated on the central column, which makes it a bit too easy to knock out of line, though this is easily rectified. Close focus seemed a little bit better than the listed 2.5 m, and there is some distortion at the edge of the image, which otherwise retains flatness and clarity.
The rubber exterior to the polycarbonate body gives a steady grip, and the unit as a whole seemed sturdy and resilient, making it ideal for a knockabout binocular to have handy for birding ‘emergencies’. Both 8x42 and 10x42 models come with a case, strap, rainguard and lens caps.
The binocular compared well with most models in the same price range, and is definitely worth checking out if you are looking for an entry-level binocular.
Size: 131x148 mm
Weight: 660 g
Field of view: 131 m at 1,000 m
Close focus: 2.5 m
Guarantee: 10 years