Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Review
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- Excellent included carrying case
- Aspherical optics provides a distortion-free view
- Lens covers are not attached
- Right eye adjustment does not stay in focus
- Not as rugged as much of the ecompetition
- Porro prism design uses BK–7 glass, and image quality is not as good as comparably-priced alternatives
Welcome to my review of the Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Binoculars. Olympus is well-known for their superior cameras, and not-so-well-known for their binoculars. However, those who do have experience with Olympus binoculars tend to swear by them, so I jumped at the opportunity to try out the Trooper series. Read on to find out how these binoculars stack up against the competition.
What Do I Get in the Box?
What comes with your binoculars might not be the most important thing to consider, but it’s still something you need to know. The Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Binoculars comes with everything you need to get started, including:
- Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Binoculars.
- Padded carrying case
- Neck strap
- Lens covers
The carrying case is very well-constructed, offering you plenty of padding to protect your investment. The neck strap, on the other hand, is thin and unpadded, which was an unfortunate discovery. I quickly replaced the included neck strap with a better-padded option.
How Much Magnification Do I Get?
The Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Binoculars features 50mm objective lenses, and provides 10X magnification for bringing the birds, sports action, or anything else up close and personal. Don’t try using these binoculars to view anything closer than 20 feet, though, because the close focus distance is a whopping 19.7 feet. The field of view at 1,000 yards is a very generous 342 feet, allowing you to take in a good deal of terrain even with the high magnification. Image clarity and crispness is reasonable, and contrast is acceptable.
What Type of Optics Do the Binoculars Have?
For some odd reason, Olympus has not only chosen to use a porro prism design (which I don’t really have a problem with) on the Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Binoculars, but they’ve used BK–7 prism glass (which I do have a problem with.) In years past, the use of BK–7 glass was understandable to keep the price down on binoculars, but BaK–4 prism glass has come down considerably in price since then, and Olympus has tons of competition using BaK–4 prism glass at the same price point as the Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Binoculars.
What does all of this technical mumbo jumbo really mean? What it means is that if you take the Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Binoculars and compare them with a competing set of 10X binoculars at the same price point but using BaK–4 prism glass, there will be a huge difference in image quality. The image quality of the Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Binoculars simply doesn’t stack up to the competition. Image crispness suffers, as does contrast and clarity. You also will notice more muted colors through the Trooper than through the competition.
Now on to a serious problem, beyond the type of glass used. With the Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Binoculars, I’ve found myself forced to readjust the right eye focus after every 3 or 4 uses. This is definitely not typical for binoculars, since most of the models I’ve reviewed have a locking diopter ring to prevent the right eye adjustment from going out of focus.
What’s the Body Like On These Binoculars?
The Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Binoculars features a sure-grip rubber coating that is advertised to make them rugged and easy to hold. The reality, though, is much different. The rubber coating has almost no texture to it, and no stippling, so the binoculars are very difficult to keep a grip on if your hands are wet, sweaty, or gloved.
A minor quibble, but the lens covers are not attached to the body at all. This means you have to find somewhere to stow the lens covers when you’re using the binoculars, which is a minor (sometimes major) annoyance.
How Durable Are the Binoculars?
I’m always more careful with porro prism binoculars than roof prism models, because I know how easy it is to knock porro prism designs out of collimation. With that said, the rubber armor coating the Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Binoculars does provide some impact resistance, and I’ve subjected my pair to a couple of short drops without any ill effects. That’s the good.
The bad is that these binoculars are not waterproof, and they do not seem to be nitrogen-purged. You definitely don’t want to drop these in water, because the water will go straight into the optics chambers. I’ve tried using the Olympus Trooper 10×50 DPS Binoculars in cold weather, and the binoculars immediately fogged up and were useless.