Barska Blackhawk 8x32


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Barska Blackhawk 8x32
8X32 Roof Prism – Blackhawk and Atlantic

In April 06 I ordered two pairs of Barska 8x32’s from binoculars.com, for my granddaughters to use on camping trips. One pair Blackhawk, the other Atlantic – these appear to be optically identical, but with slightly different styling. These were placed on back-order. At the same time i also bought a pair of 10x42 Blackhawks for myself, as temporary replacements for my Eagle Optics Ranger 10x42’s which had suffered what the insurance industry terms “a mysterious disappearance”, from my office.

Frankly, the 10x42’s did not suit my needs, so I returned them for a refund. Hence I had low expectations for the 8x32’s. Eventually these arrived, and I have been so pleasantly surprised that I bought a third pair of 8x32’s, for use by myself. I admit they are not as good as my long-gone Eagle Optics Rangers, but when used for grab-and-go birding, they do not fall short by all that much – see Pros ‘n Cons below. The ultimate validation came a few nights back, in our backyard; for years we have heard Swainson’s Thrushes during early summer, singing and calling on our property – great to listen to, but almost impossible to catch visually. Hearing one, in early dusk, I set out in earnest pursuit with the Barskas. Finally caught up with him, about 30’ up in a maple tree – these birds are well-camouflaged and move so quickly that they are a difficult target. I followed him all over several trees, singing and catching bugs, until he flew off. The barska’s provided quick and accurate focus adjustment, which helped a lot. For me, this experience alone justified the $62 price of admission – for this sort of use, these binocs are keepers. And if they get lost or stolen, I am out only $62. (The Rangers were $400)


Plusses

Light-weight – good for kids.
“waterproof” – stay tuned, I will check for gradual fogging.
Easy to focus quickly.
Rubber-clad.
No problems with image-merging.
No obvious collimation problems.
No noticeable false-colour issues – this was a surprise.
Good close-focus.


Minuses

1. Not multi-coated – this produces some internal glare with strong incidental light on the field lenses.
2. Focus is not sharp across the complete FOV. I have seen this in other birding binocs, and in practice it matters little.
3. I currently have 3 pairs of the 8x32’s in my house, and I see some QC issues in the mechanical assembly
* there is a wide variation in the stiffness of the focusing and diopter mechanisms, and in the inter-pupillary adjustment.
* one pair has a slight but annoying slop in the main focus mechanism (although this is not nearly as bad as the slop in my Orion Vista 8x42’s). Another has a little slop in the diopter adjustment – not a show-stopper but mildly annoying.

Bob Bennett
Maply Vly, WA

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:7 Value:10
Weight: 17 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: rjb
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=509527

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