WU Jianlong, Professional bird guide & award-winning bird books translator
Optisan, a local Taiwan brand, has been actively involved in promoting nature observation activities in recent years. In 2023, they launched two new models, creatively named ‘ Coucal Brown’ and ‘Olive-backed Pipit Green.’ Both models come in 8x and 10x magnifications, with an objective lens diameter of 34mm. Aside from the color difference, both models share the same structural design, featuring the popular open-hinge design that allows easy single-handed grip. The positioning of the focus wheel is ergonomic, although there is a slight tension when rotating it to the extremes.
The green model is slightly heavier, but the weight difference is almost imperceptible when held. The eyecup adjustment adopts a two-stage elevation, accommodating most users’ preferred heights. However, I think the eyecup can have more stiffness to avoid dropping at the middle position. My Brown model, in particular, tends to be pressed down easily, which can be bothersome for those accustomed to observing in the middle setting. Yet, if you wear glasses and push the eyecups all the way down, this won’t be an issue.
The single-piece detachable design of the objective lens covers is practical for users who often remove them during use. This prevents interference when observing with the covers raised. The attachment and detachment of the objective lens covers are easy, and so far, there haven’t been situations where the covers accidentally fell off when taking the binoculars out of a backpack. I am quite satisfied with this design.
The eyepiece cover, like most binoculars, uses a single-bridge design. Optisan cleverly employs a hook and loop fastener to connect one side of the eyepiece cover and the shoulder strap rope. I find this design ingenious and believe other manufacturers could learn from it. Why do I appreciate this design? Traditionally, the shoulder strap rope would directly pass through the side of the eyepiece cover. If the material of the eyepiece cover is not strong enough, the constant pulling and stress would lead to breakage over time. However, with this small connecting ring, the force applied to the side of the eyepiece cover is significantly reduced, extending its lifespan considerably.
Speaking of the shoulder strap, Optisan binoculars come with the straps pre- threaded, saving users a lot of trouble. After unboxing, users only need to hook the clasps at both ends of the shoulder strap onto the D-rings on both sides of the binoculars to use it. What’s even better is that the hook can rotate, solving the issue of strap entanglement. Fantastic! In terms of optical imaging, the Green model features ED lenses, while the Coucal Brown does not. The Green does have better image quality in field tests. Especially in dark areas and suppressing purple fringing surpasses.”