Opticron Verano BGA PC Oasis 8x32 and 8x42 binoculars


Available since November and designed to reflect the demand for this style, Opticron has launched its first open-bridge binocular, the new Verano BGA PC Oasis, which builds on the success and strengths of the previous models in the Verano range.

The significantly re-engineered, restyled and updated model uses a new lightweight polycarbonate and aluminium alloy body to house the fully multi-coated internally focused optical system, which is identical to that employed in the previous model. The mechanics, however, are new. Three binoculars complete the range, 8x32, 8x42 and 10x42, all of which give the impression of being smaller due to the new design. I took to the field armed with both the 8x magnification models to see what these low- to mid-price-range binoculars had to offer.

Arguably, the open-bridge design makes holding the bins more comfortable and serves to increase grip as you can get your fingers around the barrels. This is more apparent in the larger 42 mm model, in which the extra length gives more space between the two bridges which connect them. The textured rubber, non-slip body covering is also designed to increase grip, and extends to cover the aluminium eyecup assemblies, which I found twist in and out extremely smoothly, but do not lock in any given position. The single eye-focusing adjustment is achieved by way of a hard, milled ring on the right ocular; again it is not possible to lock it at the desired setting, but it has enough turning resistance that it won’t be inadvertently moved when adjusting the eyecup above it.

I found the central focusing wheel a little too stiff on both models, making it difficult to quickly refocus between close and distant birds. This was more evident on the 42 mm binocular and became more acute when wearing gloves, despite the wheel’s apparently adequate depth and rubber milling. The latter could perhaps be improved by using a deeper thread with a coarser finish, though the stiffness may not be representative of all units and it is possible it will loosen up after a period of use.

Approximately 1.6-1.7 turns of the focusing wheel takes the image from close focus to infinity in both models, but the depth of field of both – I estimated 60 m to ‘long distance’ – is such that frequent significant refocusing is not necessary. Although the close focusing is specified at “1.8 metres or under”, objects viewed through the larger model were limited to being in focus at this distance, while I found I was able to focus the 32 mm model on objects just one metre away – clearly a bonus for insect observation.

The differences in the field of view between the two models is also highly evident when undertaking a direct comparison. The 32 mm’s respectable 131 m at 1,000 m, compared with the 42 mm’s 109 m, lends a seemingly unrestricted, wide-angled feel to the image. In terms of image brightness in general use, however, the larger model appeared marginally better and, although it was easy enough to obtain a pleasingly good, sharp image with both models, to my eyes that of the 42 mm appeared crisper and less ‘soft’ than the image produced by the smaller model, particularly at the periphery.

In poor light the larger objective of the 42 mm produced a slightly brighter image, but I was able to take in the same amount of fine detail using both models on a roosting Long-eared Owl, deep in the shadows of a thick hedge on a dreary late November afternoon. The binoculars returned images with natural colours and a reasonably good level of contrast, with the overall colour rendition being ‘ice-cold’, which to my eyes has always been a trait inherent in all Opticron products. The level of chromatic aberration is acceptable, and the curvature of field in both models is surprisingly lower than in some of the most expensive models available in today’s market.

Opticron’s Verano range is gas-filled, waterproof and comes supplied with a soft neoprene case, articulated rainguard and a neoprene (unpadded) lanyard. For existing owners they are compatible with Opticron’s 2.5x Universal Tele-Adapter. The 30-year guarantee period suggests they will withstand the most rugged use a birder can subject them to – and that’s saying something.


Tech spec


Verano 8x32

Verano 8x42

Field of view:
Close focus:

120x122 mm 
524 g 
131 m at 1,000 m
1.5 m
30 years
142x125 mm
654 g
109 m at 1,000 m
1.8 m
30 years