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Kowa SV II 8×42 Binoculars: Our Evaluation


    A very good, crisp picture however with narrower discipline of view and fewer shut focus than opponents. We rated them as a Center Floor alternative.

    At A Look

    Kowa SV II 8x42 binoculars
    Kowa SV II 8×42 binoculars. Picture by Hugh Powell.


    • Very crisp, clear picture
    • Good efficiency even in backlit situations
    • Good neck strap


    • Stiff focus wheel
    • Considerably longer physique than most different binoculars
    • Slim discipline of view


    • Worth: $259 MSRP at press time. Costs usually fluctuate, so test with retailers
    • Shut focus: Listed as 13.1 toes (399 cm). In assessments, we may focus these a bit nearer, to about 10 toes (305 cm)
    • Area of view: 6.3° (331 toes at 1,000 yards). Extra about discipline of view 
    • Weight: 24.4 oz (691 g)—that’s about 1.1 oz (38 g) lighter than the typical for 8×42 binoculars in our assessment
    • Eye aid: 19.5 mm

    Viewing Expertise: These binoculars are brilliantly crisp, though they’re hampered considerably by a slim discipline of view and fewer than preferrred shut focus. Trying throughout a discipline at a feeder greater than 150 yards away, we made out a chickadee’s black bib and the pink blush of a male Home Finch in situations the place many binoculars would present solely grey, grainy blobs. And in a harshly lit treetop at nearer vary, a Downy Woodpecker was a crisp mixture of sharp black and white contrasts because it curled its physique round a twig, tiny invoice mentioning like a thorn. A close-by titmouse’s huge black eye stood out from its grey face, regardless of the backlight. The slim discipline of view is offset considerably by the standard of the picture you do see.

    Really feel and Construct: These binoculars have a classy look with olive-green armoring and lengthy, gracefully flared barrels. A sculpted ridge swoops down the size of the barrels providing a spot to grip together with your thumbs. The lengthy barrels (a stable inch or 25 mm longer than most different 8×42 fashions) imply these binoculars take up extra space and might really feel much less properly balanced. The eyecups click on firmly by means of 4 preset positions, however on our demo mannequin one of many eyecups appeared fragile and have become very free. The target lens caps do not need tethers—a function that has turn into widespread lately—so that you’ll must hold them in your pockets when you’re out birding.

    Feedback From Testers: 

    • Very crisp picture however slim discipline of view
    • Very sharp picture all the way in which to the sting of the sphere
    • Focus knob was tough to show
    • Binoculars are very lengthy/tall
    • Gradual, stiff focus
    • Good agency motion to eyecups, however extraordinarily stiff focus wheel
    • Match palms properly, not slippery, favored the feel
    • Love the colour
    • Lens covers don’t connect

    This text is one in a sequence of mini-reviews. To see how these binoculars evaluate to others we’ve examined, see our full assessment of reasonably priced 8×42 binoculars.