Visionary Inara 7.5x36

  • Unusual size is ideal for birdwatching
  • Bright, sharp image, even in low light
  • Impressively sharp, even to the edges
  • More than respectable field of view
  • All for under £200 – excellent value for money

This is another Chinese-made binocular, with a price tag that many people could afford. Visionary are relatively new to the British birding scene. There are just two Inaras in the range, a 7.5x36 and a 9x36, and these are among Visionary’s more expensive models. Both of the Inaras have an unusual spec – I like that, and 7.5x36 strikes me as a pretty good combination for bird watching. Dropping the magnification slightly and increasing the objective size a bit, compared to an 8x32, results in a 4.8 mm exit pupil, rather than the 4 mm that an 8x32 delivers. 0.8 mm may not sound much, but it means that the exit pupil is about 44% bigger, so all things being equal, this binocular has the potential to get a lot more light to your eye, with still enough magnification to do the job.

The Inara is very light – weighing a mere 565 g, compact, and waterproof. It sat well in my hands and my fingers had no problem finding the focussing. Image sharpness is very good, and objects stayed in focus well when I moved them from the centre to the edge of the view. It wasn’t always easy to find the point of best focus though – I didn’t always get it first time. I found the focus reasonably light and smooth, but it gave its best with a gentle touch. Over 1.75 turns of the focus wheel are possible, anti-clockwise towards infinity, but about 0.5 of a turn was beyond ‘very distant’, and therefore unlikely to be used much – at least by me and my eyes.

The field of view is a very respectable 7.7 degrees, and close focus according to the website is around two metres. For me, it was better than this – I measured it at around 1.75m. The image is plenty bright enough and these little Inaras worked pretty well as the light faded, even an hour after sunset. I did find a yellow colour cast, but don’t think it is a major issue. I found a bit of colour fringing on the edge of roof tiles and around a chimney and an aerial, but it wasn’t too bad (I’m a reviewer, I have to look for it – I recommend you don’t!). My only other comment with regard to the image is that I sometimes saw a soft ring around the edge of the image.


FACTFILE

  • Price: £169.99
  • Dimensions: (length x width x height): 133x106x56mm
  • Weight: 565g
  • Close focus: Around 2m
  • Field of view: 7.7 degrees. 134m @1000m
  • Distributed by: Optical Hardware Ltd. Mount Osborne, Oakwell View, Barnsley, S71 1HH. T: 01226 203275
  • e-mail: info@opticalhardware.co.uk
  • website: www.opticalhardware.co.uk

Dioptre adjustment is via a simple twist ring beneath the right eyepiece, which is stiff enough to stay in place once set. The eyecups twist up and down and have one intermediate position as well as fully up or fully down. Their mechanics are fine, though one of them did seem to sit a tad higher than the other. This caused no problems at all in use, but does beg quality control questions.

The Inara 7.5x36 is a small, lightweight binocular with a good specification. The package includes removeable, tethered objective covers, a rainguard that wasn’t too hard to get on and off, a webbing strap that was perfectly adequate for the job and a soft case. And all for less than £200. As always, if you think they might be right for you, check them out yourself and see what you think.

REVIEWED BY DAVID CHANDLER.