For my entire childhood and most of my adult life, I have been hunting various hardwood stands and cedar swamps across the great state of Michigan. Very rarely, if ever, can I see more than 50 yards in any direction, and all of my hunting is done from ground blinds or treestands. Binoculars were never on the short list of things that made their way in to my pack until I took my first hunting trip out west, and I quickly realized how fruitless my efforts would be without them. Upon my return from that trip, binoculars quickly moved to the top of my gear checklist, right behind firearm, ammunition and a safety harness. Now when sitting on stand back here in the Midwest, I would be lost without a binocular.
In my search for a good all-around optic, I came across the Opticron DBA VHD. It appeared to meet my criteria, which I am sure is not too dissimilar from most hunters out there: “What is the best I can afford, that isn’t going to break the bank?”
My personal preference is 10X42, and I was extremely impressed with specs, especially when compared to some of the top dogs such as the Zeiss Conquest HD or the Leica Trinovid HD. The VHDs are right up there if not better in all of the notable categories I look at when compared to the others. They really deliver on their motto of “smaller, lighter, brighter, sharper”, while coming in at a very competitive price point, beating out most of the competitors with similar characteristics.
Close Focus ft / m
Weight oz / g
8.2 / 2.5
24.6 / 696
8.2 / 2.5
25.2 / 714
How many of us have played the game of: “I will just buy a cheap pair and I am sure they will do the trick. I mean, can you really tell the difference?” The answer is yes, you can tell the difference, and you are going to lose that game every time! That is how my research led me to the DBA VHDs, I have bought my fair share of cheap binos that I had hoped would be “good enough.” I was finally ready to step my game up and invest in a bino I knew would last me more than two or three seasons of hunting abuse.
I wanted a compact model that I could carry all day, but they also had to be something that fit within my budget. Opticron offers plenty of entry and mid-level options, which I am sure are of good quality, but once I saw the VHD, I knew I’d be saving toward that purchase. Despite being their highest priced model (MSRP on 10X42 is $929), you are still getting a ton of value at a cost much lower than that of their competitors with similar specs.
The video below demonstrates what is included with your purchase, which includes a soft canvas case with rain guard, neoprene bungee strap, and rubber objective lens covers.
Key product features include the following:
- Compact, lightweight roof prism design
- Dual hinge, single axis body
- Textured rubber armoring
- Nitrogen gas filled waterproof (16-foot depth)
- VHD optical system incorporating a high-quality ED glass objective system, phase corrected prisms with Oasis prism coating S-type multi-coating to all air/glass surfaces
- Flat field vision
- Long eye relief for eyeglass wearers
- Multi-stage twist type retractable eyecups
- 500° turn smooth action wide wheel focusing
- Close focus to 8.2 ft
- Central diopter adjuster
- Tripod adapter socket
I really like the simplistic, open-frame design of this binocular. They have a premium feel with a non-slip, rubberized texture, and offer other desirable features such as the multi-stage retractable eyecups. Overall I am very pleased with the package, and feel like I got what I was hoping for from my investment.
I will be the first to admit I was skeptical, and everything was telling me to be leery, seeing as though they had such a good price point. That, coupled with the fact that they had similar specs as other, more expensive brands, had me on the defensive, but I was quickly swayed upon closer inspection. Once you get them in your hands, you will see for yourself that there is no shortage of quality and design.
You may not have heard of the company, but they were founded in 1970 and have over 40 years of experience in consumer optics. Safe to say they are not just some flash in the pan. To see for yourself and to learn more about the company, you can visit their web at Opticronusa.com.
In conclusion, I would definitely recommend the DBA VHD. The bino is perfect for sitting in a treestand or box blind in the Midwest, offering you a bright and clear picture in the low-light situations of morning or evening, as well as on overcast days under a dense canopy. And for those far-too-few instances where I am able to venture out west, they offer plenty of power and clarity to scan across the valley, searching for a trophy elk or muley in the gaps of the dark timber or aspens. You can feel safe knowing that you are getting topnotch glass at a reasonable price.
To make things even sweeter, if you purchase the DBA VHDs before December 31, 2016, you are eligible for an $80 mail-in rebate, so long as you submit the claim for no later than January 31, 2017. (You can click HERE to purchase the 10x42s, or HERE to purchase the 8X42s.)