For the last few months, I have been trialing the Forest Optics Forrester 8 x 42 PPC binoculars. I am always on the look out for affordable, yet quality binoculars as for me and many of my followers, binoculars are an essential bit of kit.
For me personally, I need something that is pretty robust as I do a lot of clambering around, with binoculars round my neck so they need to be able to cope with a few knocks. They need to be fairly light and comfortable in my hands. Binoculars are a very personal thing and it is a good idea to actually have a look and hold of binoculars if you can, as what suits one person, may not suit another.
I really liked the appearance of these binoculars; dark green in colour with a rubber coating, they look and feel good in the hand. The roughened rubber on the sides of the binos ensures a good grip and the focusing wheel is smooth , with a diopter adjustment via a twist ring on the right eye piece. I found it easy to adjust to my eyesight and the twist-up eyecups work well, with a firm smooth twist.
There are attachable lens protectors for the top objective lenses and a comfortable neoprene strap, far better than the woven type normally on binos. They also come with a hard, zip case, although this was a little bulky for my liking and I would rather use a soft case.
These binoculars are waterproof and nitrogen filled. Having waterproof binoculars is a great plus for me as I don’t have to worry about them getting wet nor tuck them in my coat when out in our typically rainy conditions in the UK! The ‘PPC’ refers to the prisms being double phase-coated and this creates enhanced colour resolution.
What are they like out in the field then?
To really get a feel for binoculars, you have to try them out in different light conditions and these performed very well in both bright sunny conditions and in almost darkness! In daylight, the image is clear, crisp and bright. They are very sharp and I was able to see fine feather detail on the birds I was watching. The eye cups are comportable on the eye.
In contrast, I watched the foxes from my upstairs window just as the light was fading. Looking through these binoculars, it almost seemed lighter through the binos than it did with the naked eye and I could see the foxes even when I could hardly make them out with the naked eye. I have been most impressed with the capabilities of these binoculars, particularly in low light.
I liked the fact that these binoculars also focus quite close, at about 1.8m I measured, whilst looking at the frogs in the pond. This is useful when looking at insects and many binoculars will not focus that close. Many people do not think about looking at insects with your binoculars, but it can be really useful especially with insects like dragonflies, where fine detail for ID can be observed.
The model I used is the 8 x 42 , but these binoculars are also available at 10 x 42 .
Overall, I am very impressed with these affordable, high quality binoculars. Retailing at under £200, I feel these offer a quality image, good colour saturation and excellent low light capabilities in a binocular that feels good in the hand and seems robust enough to cope with regular use. The waterproof element is a great plus for me as well.
I am hoping to retail these on my shop in the near future.
Objective lens Diameter 42mm
Field of view @1000yds 420'' @ 1000m 142m
View angle 8
Close Focus 4''6'''' 1.37m
Weight 25.2oz 715g