The “Meade Russia” company has kindly provided me with the Meade 8×42 Rainforest Pro for review and testing. Meade is positioning this optical device as a universal binoculars for tourists, hunters, travelers. I myself am a fan of binoculars and have a small collection of 5 binoculars with an aperture of 26 to 100 mm. For me, binoculars are not just a land-eye, but also a tool for observing the night sky, especially if you cannot take a telescope with you. In addition, binoculars are an excellent companion for a telescope – first we study the area of interest with the binoculars, and then we point the telescope there and observe various objects. I consider binoculars with 8x magnification to be the most versatile, since the observations are not yet hampered by shaking hands and they can see quite a lot of objects in the sky – star clusters, as well as the brightest nebulae and galaxies.
I have the following requirements for binoculars:
1) good image quality across the field (at least 2/3 point stars)
2) minimum field curvature (stars in focus from center to edge)
3) large eye relief for observation with glasses (at least 15 mm)
4) full coating of all surfaces (affects light transmission and glare)
5) small chromatism (does not interfere with astronomical observations, but catches the eye during daytime)
Well, let’s proceed to the review.
Meade 8×42 Rainforest Pro binoculars comes in a carton box. The delivery set includes a carrying bag, a belt and a cleaning cloth. High quality, full multi-coated optical surfaces, Bak-4 prisms, water resistance, nitrogen filling and durable rubber-coated housing are claimed. Made binoculars in China. Binoculars are made on the roof-scheme (prism with a “roof”). The stereo base is the same as that of the interpupillary eye distance, but due to the “straight tubes” such binoculars are more compact than the analogous binoculars with Porro-prisms.
Binoculars are quite weighty – the weight is about 700 grams. The case of the binoculars rubberized. The length of the binoculars from the lens to the eyecup is about 15 centimeters. The binocular is comfortable in the hands, the ribbed surface prevents slipping from the hands. It is equipped with protective caps for lenses and eyepieces (not shown in the pictures in the review). In front of the binoculars between the halves under the Meade logo is hidden thread for a tripod adapter.
The measured entrance aperture was exactly 42 mm. The lenses are noticeably sunk, the risk of accidentally smearing the lens with fingers is minimal. The color of lens glare is green, lilac.
An unpleasant surprise was a bright white reflection – either from a focusing lens or a prism. Alas, some other binoculars of this price range are sinning with this, but the manufacturer claims that all optical surfaces are coated.
Ocular eye lenses are large, diameter 23.5 mm. Eyepieces also with greenish coating. The field of view was not measured, but according to subjective feelings it corresponds to the stated.
Raying flashlight revealed that the faces of the prism without blackening. When viewed from the exit pupil, the glaring surfaces are noticeable. Exit pupils are round.
Retractable eyecups with three fixed positions. The eye relief in the initial position of the eyecup is enough for observations with glasses, the field of view is fully visible.
Focusing is performed by a large ribbed drum. Focusing smooth and without sticking. The right eyepiece has a rubber ring with “pimples” – it allows you to adjust the binoculars for people with different diopters of the eyes.
Test in the sky.
Testing binoculars in the starry sky showed a noticeable curvature of the field – in order for the stars to become sharper along the edge of the field, a slight refocusing is necessary. In this case, the stars in the center of the field of view, of course, become blurred. The central third of the field of view causes no complaints, then the image quality deteriorates. The second noticeable aberration at the edge of the field of view is astigmatism, that is, the stars do not look pin-like, but as ovals, extended either towards the center or parallel to the edge (depending on the focus). When observing the Moon were found two bright reflections. There are no problem with collimation – the image is perfectly reduced, when observed through binoculars, the eyes are relaxed. Chromatism is small and imperceptible at night observations. Despite the declared use of phase coating, the X-shaped rays from bright stars and lanterns are still noticeable.
With daytime observations, the image is bright and sharp on the axis. From about a third of the visual field, chromatism becomes noticeable, then the field curvature. Yellowness invisible.
+ Comfortable housing, good build quality.
+ Large eye relief.
+ Excellent collimation.
+ Neutral color rendering.
+ Large field of view.
– No coating on some optical surfaces.
– Bright reflection on the Moon.
– Inaccurately stitched case.