Olympus Trooper 7x35 DPS R

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Olympus Trooper 7x35 DPS R
These retail for around $50 US, though Olympus America is selling new binocs on eBay with scuffed packaging. The winning bid usually being roughly half the new retail price. Note: I was told by an Olympus representative that these are better optically than the Trooper DPS I models.

I got these for general daytime use and for scanning & learning the night sky. Based upon what I've read everywhere, I was expecting the edge sharpness to be annoyingly bad for day and especially astronomical use, since these are wide-angle binocs (these are stated as having a 65 degree apparent field of view...which is the minimum for a binocular to be considered wide-angle).

To my surprise, I didn't find edge sharpness to be nearly as bothersome as I was expecting. In fact most of the time I don't even notice it, day or night. And the expansive apparent field of view is really nice. One thing I did notice is a slight 'funhouse mirror' effect when panning side to side, which made me feel a bit seasick, though I quickly got used to it and don't notice it any more. In the center of the field these are plenty sharp. Chromatic aberration is minimal (except near the edge, where it doesn't bother me). Eye relief is not adequate for eyeglass wearers, even with the eyecups rolled down. If you don't wear glasses, there's enough eye relief that your eyelashes don't touch the eyepiece when the eyecups are unfolded. Depth of field and close focus are good...useful for daytime use/nature watching. My one complaint about these optically is that looking through these makes my eyes feel slightly strained. Though collimation seems to be okay.

Mechanically, these feel solid for an economy binocular...they don't feel cheap at all. But these are heavier than average for non-waterproof 7x35s. The eyepiece bridge is quite solid, and the right diopter has a firm feel, so it won't constantly drift out of focus. The rubberized center focus wheel also has a slightly stiff feel. This can be a plus or minus. For astronomy, it's a plus.

These are currently the binocs I grab for all daytime use, and for astro use when taking in large swaths of the night sky. A very good value.

Overall Rating: 7
Optics:7 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=370420

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