Well, remarkably my SV202 binoculars arrived 15 days early!
Immediately I could tell, the build quality is excellent. Granted, I don't have any on-hand from upper middle tier to do a direct comparison, but drawing upon my memory of holding a few in the past, the SV202 feels right at home. It's... a touch heavy, coming in at just under 25.5 ounces. The profile and stance for 8x42 is conservative.
I picked them up at night, so that's the only type of observing I could do straight off. I have a great city skyline view and nearby apartment buildings and boats on the water can have bright lights shining omnidirectionally.
^ Just a crude photo taken with a phone camera
I do a great deal of low light and night observing with binoculars. For comparison to the SV202 ED 8x42, I have a 7x42 and a 9x25. I have to say, it's really amazing to see the 8x42 deliver a larger FOV. The 7x42 are rated with a 336 ft FOV, the SV202 has just under 400 ft. You can tell the difference. The SV202 are a little brighter than the 7x42 and there seems to be just a little more color saturation. But that wider FOV makes it even more impressive. I was able to focus in on close and distant objects, dialing them into excellent sharpness. In fact, I discovered the SV202 brings in more detail than the 7x42.
This is a photo I lifted from online. I need to take a better photo with my own camera. It's actually a different building I'm referring to, but it looks similar to this one only with wider rectangles of illuminated color. Anyway, the 7x42 barely shows the distinctive lines between the rectangles, but the 8x42 shows them with great clarity, just as good as my 9x25 only brighter.
Glare. I was concerned this might be an issue, but it's not. Some closer, intensely bright parking lot and building surveillance lights show a very slight amount of streaking, but it's absent on most lights. My 7x42 and 9x25 exhibit the same sort of subtle ghost light rays extending out, while they're nearly completely muted from my 12x25 (probably due to magnification). I really do not observe any CA in the SV202. There's an "Allianz" lettering brightly lit up in white on one of the skyscrapers. With my 7x42 I detect a very slight fringe of CA (a little yellow, a little blue) almost too faint to even notice. On my SV202's, it's completely absent. I spotted the NBC peacock lit up on one building and it comes in brilliant color and clarity.
Next I focused on a jumbled framework of wood in the dark shallow water at the river's edge shielded from light by nearby trees. It came in very clearly. I could make out various contours and shapes that are harder to see with the 7x and 9x binos I have. The 12x25 can pick them out OK, only it sacrifices brightness in doing so.
Operationally, the focus wheel moves very smoothly. I would prefer it to be just a little bit tighter, but it works. There's no play. It's easy to do very minor finger movements to zero in to precise focus. The diopter ring has no detents but it has nice friction to it--easy to set and then not worry about.
The eye pieces are some kind of rubberized material with 3 positions (flat, +1, and +2). You really can't look through these with the flat setting using the naked eye--too much kidney bean blackout on the sides. Position +1 still has a little of that, but you get a great FOV. You lose just a little FOV at position +2, but it's easier to avoid the blackouts.
I shined a flashlight into the objective lenses. Nice dark surface inside. One tube is perfectly clean, while the other shows a little glue residue at section seams--absolutely no implication for clarity & performance. No dust. No haze. Everything looks professional and clean.
I'm eager to see how these perform comparatively during the day (tomorrow). But so far, I have to say, they passed the night test with flying colors. There's an MCS Seascape cruise ship docked across the way in Manhattan all lit up... and wow, really amazing to behold with the Sv202!
What's curious to me is the FOV spec data 8x32: 409ft/1000yds, 8x42: 394ft/1000yds, 10x42: 326ft/1000yds
Interesting how the 8x42 is so much better than the 10x42. The Nikon Monarch M7 10x42 is 362ft, and 8x42 is 435ft.
Tonight I was out looking at the Manhattan cityscape. That MCS Seascape? It was all lit up. Some activities going on. It was like looking at multi-street block party. With the air clear (no fog / haze) the gorgeous field of view made it look like I was looking at an HD TV. Truly stunning.
Another cloudy day here, but reasonably bright. The SV202's performed admirably.
So about edge-to-edge clarity. I'm finding that it's better horizontally than vertically, yet overall still excellent for this tier. Focus wheel works smoothly and it's easy to dial in sharpness on the target. I prefer to use the eyecups at position 1 with naked eyes. You do have some kidney bean blackout when turning your eyes side to side within the fixed position, but that's to be expected. Much less with the eyepieces at position #2, but then you have a little less FOV.
(Tyson organized this article with the authorization of the author.)
Welcome to comment.