- Quality look and feel
- Very natural image
- Sharp right up to the edges
- Loads of eyepiece adjustment available
- Exceptional close focus
Brunton is a big name in optics on the other side of the Atlantic, selling well to both birdwatchers and hunters, but it’s previously had a rather low profile over on this side of the pond.
It’s positioned at the quality end of the market, with a price to match, but these are certainly handsome-looking bins, with steel-grey rubber armour and metal trim. They’re good in the hands, too – that they feel less than the stated 709g is no doubt down to their excellent balance.
That all whets the appetite nicely for the optics, and they don’t disappoint. That 7.5x43 is an unusual configuration (to UK eyes at least), but it produces an image that’s very clear and sharp, and exceptionally natural in colour.
Field of view isn’t anything out of the ordinary, at 113m @ 1,000m, but the fact that the image is sharp right to the edges ensures that there’s no ‘tunnel vision’ at all – in fact, the view was more than wide enough for all eventualities, out on the field.
Try as I might, I could find only the merest hint of colour-fringing, and then only against strong sunlight and while actively looking for it. In day to day use, I doubt you’d ever notice any.
The eyepieces are comfortable to use, and the five positions offered mean that all users should be able to find the right setting. I did worry that they wouldn’t lock in place, but there were no problems at all.
Similarly, the dioptre adjustment ring, on the right barrel, was easy to set and stayed firmly in place through several days of birding.
Brunton’s own website makes much of the Epoch’s variable speed focus system, and without going into great detail about exactly how that works, I’ll just say that the end result is extremely precise and rapid focusing, using a wheel that’s a little over one finger wide and studded for better grip while wearing gloves. It travels extremely smoothly, and with just the right amount of resistance for my taste, taking one anti-clockwise turn from close focus to infinity.
And now’s a good time to mention that close focus. The quoted figure is 1.8m, but I was able to comfortably focus at less than a metre, a performance so extraordinary that I found myself doing a double-take the first time I tried it. It makes an already fine pair of binoculars that bit more versatile, and it needs to be seen to be believed.
The wide neoprene strap and semi-rigid case (which contains a further ‘holster’, for use in the field) are both excellent, as are the hinged objective lens covers, but I was a bit disappointed to find similar hinged covers for the eyepieces, when, to my mind at least, a straightforward rainguard would work much better.
Still, that’s nit-picking, because these are excellent binoculars. That exceptional close focus performance makes them well worth looking at if you’re in the market for the sort of bins that could last you at least half a birding lifetime.
- Exit pupil diameter: 5.7mm
- Eye relief: 20mm
- Field of view: 113m @ 1,000m
- Close focus: 1.8m
- Dimensions: 152 x 125 x 60 mm
- Weight: 709g
- Price: £1,350
- Contact: For details of UK stockists, please call 023 9252 8711.