I am outdoors quite a bit, and when I decided to become more involved in maritime activities, I knew enough about binoculars to know that I needed a specialized item which would keep salt water OUT, and give me optimal foul-weather vision (my old Bushnell 7 X 50's are good and have given me years of service, but they are most certainly NOT marine-grade). Therefore, I did some internet research and narrowed my list to three companies, including OpticsPlanet.com.
After further guidance from customer service including reference to their educational pages and links (see http://www.opticsplanet.net/how-to-buy-binoculars.html for information on how to choose a pair of binoculars, and URL's for specific binocular categories and see http://www.opticsplanet.net/binmarine.html for Marine binocular specs), I narrowed my product list to five or six items.
Customer service then addressed my more detailed technical questions and I purchased this item, and its little brother, the Oberwerk 7 x 50 mm Mariner Series Binoculars (product code OW-BI-Mariner-7x50), as well.
These are EXCELLENT binoculars. They fully meet my needs for binoculars which fulfill the rigorous specifications for a MARINE binoculars.
The optics are FULLY BROADBAND MULTI-COATED (all external AND INTERNAL optic surfaces)and use BAK4 prisms, the best in both categories, so Oberwerk really goes all-out and does not skimp on or cut corners in quality with this product.
Another nice feature about this product is its 60 mm objective lenses. Most 10 X binoculars I see have 50 mm lenses. Although 7 X to 8 X is the recommended magnification range for marine binoculars (due to focusing issues on a moving ship), having a set of higher-magnification binoculars for when you absolutely need a closer look is a good idea, if you can afford it. 10 X is the recommended HIGHEST magnification for hand-held binoculars-- a tripod is recommended at higher magnifications, which make image steadiness a problem.
However, as magnification goes up, and field-of-view decreases, the total amount of light entering a given-sized lens, i.e., image brightness also decreases. This may be offset by increasing objective lens diameter, which Oberwerk does with this model, but, unfortunately, many other manufacturers do not do for their 10 X binoculars. Thus, at this magnification the Oberwerk 10 X 60 mm Mariner binoculars will give you a brighter image then most other 10 X binoculars with smaller diameter objective lenses. Again, Oberwerk making a quality product and not cutting corners.
These binoculars are slightly heavier than similar binoculars of the same size, but this is to be expected in RUGGED, FULLY-ARMORED (full-metal chassis), military-spec binoculars, and the slight increase in weight is a negligible trade-off for the increased toughness of this item.
Combined with the water/fog-proofing (with the interiors nitrogen-purged)of this item, this makes these binoculars serious, professional-grade items for people who will be using them outdoors under adverse weather conditions.
They are fairly easy to calibrate, with a right-eye ocular diopter adjustment (if you have problems doing this, call OpicsPlanet.com customer service to talk/walk you through the process-- they are quite courteous and very helpful).
A special issue with marine binoculars arises due to vessel motion at sea. The eye relief on this item is 23mm, allowing use WITH eyeglasses. This also means that WITHOUT eyeglasses, you cannot hold them right up to your eye sockets-- you need to hold them about 4mm to 9mm from your eyes with the eye-cups extended. This is CORRECT for marine binoculars, because if you hold the binoculars with the eye-cups right on your eye sockets, the ambient motion of the vessel may make the eye-cups keep thumping into your eye sockets. In order to obviate this uncomfortable problem, the binoculars are actually designed to be held slightly away from your eye sockets.
These binoculars also come with a hard carry-case and are brass-threaded for a tripod adapter.
The price is quite reasonable, and, although SLIGHTLY more expensive than matching products from other manufacturers carried by OpticsPlanet.com, the difference in quality makes the higher price worth it (if you are looking for TOP-quality in the marine specifications category in this price range).
I highly recommend this product to outdoor enthusiasts who need binoculars that will function reliably under (sometimes severe) foul-weather conditions, while allowing optimum vision. The optics are very clear, water stays OUT of the inner workings, fogging is not a problem, and the binoculars themselves, once
calibrated, are quite easy to use.
I really enjoy the clarity of vision, foul weather reliability, and lack of worry over overly-fragile optics when I use this item or its 7 X 50 mm sibling.
Pros: Excellent optics, FULLY broadband MULTI-coated (this means all external AND INTERNAL optic surfaces) with BAK4 prisms (top-quality); 60 mm objective lenses are a big plus, most 10 X binoculars I see have 50 mm objective lenses; water/fog-proof (insides of binocular are nitrogen-purged); fully-armored chassis with sure-grip rubber coating; eye-cup caps attach to carry-strap.
Cons: Slightly heavy (but this is to be expected in a military-spec, ARMORED binocular-- negligible for the trade-off for ruggedness); objective caps loose (do not attach to binoculars when not in use), i.e., you must keep track of them so as not to lose them, warranty for only one-year.
This review was written in the old system and had content requirements that are different than reviews written today.