Barr & Stroud Sierra 10x42 voted best binocular under £130 at the Annual Binocular Awards 2010 by www.bestbinocularsreviews.com
The new Barr & Stroud Sierra range of binoculars are a blend of superb optical quality and rugged refinement that has produced an elegant range of binoculars that take the Barr & Stroud brand to new level of performance and sophistication.
The Barr & Stroud Sierra 10x42 binocular has an additional 2x magnification over the other 42mm objective lens model in the Sierra range. This extra magnification can be useful to get you closer to the action but there are trade offs. The extra magnification means that not quite as much light gets through to the observers eye as in the 8x magnification model, so in very low light it will not perform as well. It also needs more care to hold steady as any movement will be amplified a further 2x making it more likely that additional support such as a tripod, monopod or hide clamp will be needed. That said if you can hold them steady and they will provide stunning close ups that the 8x can only provide by getting closer to the subject, and if that happens to be a pride of lions in the Masai Mara I’d go for the extra magnification every time!
The Sierra range from Barr & Stroud feature rugged construction combined with brilliant optics. They are waterproof to a depth 1.5m of water for three minutes, plenty of time to retrieve them if you have dropped them in a stream or puddle. This requires a high degree of mechanical quality in the construction of the binocular which is evident as soon as you pick the binocular up or use the super smooth focus control wheel. We don’t expect that you will make a habit of dropping the binoculars into deep water but we do expect that you will want to use them in any weather the planet can throw at you, so you can feel assured that the Barr & Stroud ‘Sierra’ can take it, again and again. This ability is further enhanced by the binoculars’ rubber armoured body which protects it from shocks and knocks.
The binoculars are filled with nitrogen gas which keeps water out and also stops the optics suffering from internal fogging in adverse weather conditions, this binocular is truly weatherproof.
Fully Multi Coated optics are standard features of the Barr & Stroud ‘Sierra’ range as are BaK-4 phase coated prisms. This degree of sophistication ensures that as much light as possible is transmitted through the optics which results in a super bright contrast rich images of high colour fidelity for the user even in low light conditions where less expensive optics and coatings result in a dramatic loss of performance.
For the comfort of the user the binoculars are supplied with metal twist up eyecups that are rubber coated which make them equally practical for people to use with or without spectacles. The rapid focus mechanism takes the user from close focus to infinity in less than one turn of the focus control knob, which ensures that you can follow the action however fast it is happening.
The Sierra 10x42 are supplied with carrying case, rain guards, tethered lens caps, straps and lens cleaning cloth.