Olympus Tracker 8x25 PC I

Olympus Tracker 8x25 PC I Review

March 27, 2012

 

I live in a scenic area with shallow mountains and vast desert landscapes that I trek on occasion to escape the trappings of modern living. The views are spectacular and inspiring and I love going on treks without the hindrance of carrying anything but myself. Be one with nature if you will. Of course this limits how far and how long I can be out with mother nature. Visiting the same area regularly can lose its novelty very quickly so I wanted to expand my boundaries and go where no one has gone before - at least recently. Next outing I will be packing a hydration pack, snack, phone, camera, flashlight, knife and my recently acquired Olympus Tracker binocular. In the rest of the article I want to share my opinion on the Tracker and perhaps help you make up your mind whether it is for you.

It is paramount that the binocular be light weight since the last thing I want is to be bogged down by heavy gear. I am delighted to say that the Tracker is a nice addition to my daypack and doesn't add more weight than necessary. I have gone to different stores trying out different binoculars from the heavy 42 mm down to the featherweight 21 mm objectives. The Tracker has 25 mm objectives. Although I prefer the brightness of a bigger objective the weight really puts a damper on my excitement. The Tracker provides a nice balance of image illumination and weight. At 9.9 oz it is comfortable to carry and barely noticeable when strapped to my belt. Some argue the heftier weight of a bigger binocular helps stabilize the view. From my experience it is the opposite and only makes your arms fatigue quicker.

Olympus TrackerOlympus Tracker Accesories

During my research I also contemplated the roof prism vs porro prism argument. Roof prism binoculars can be more compact due to their straight barrel construction. On the other hand budget roof prism binoculars suffer from out of phase color which may result in lower contrast viewing when compared to porro prism binoculars. The more expensive binoculars employ a phase coating to correct the anomaly. From what I have noticed the majority of roof prism binoculars less than $130 do not have the phase coating on the prisms. The Tracker's BaK-4 prism inherently does not exhibit this problem. Also, since it is a reverse porro prism binocular it is more compact than regular porro prism binoculars.

They say the farther apart the objectives are the more 3D effect you get. I think everyone likes the third dimension. With the objectives being closer together on a reverse porro prism binocular I was concerned of this deminished perception of depth. Once again my fears had no basis. 3D perception is as good as it gets.

I am truly surprised at how compact this binocular is. At around 4.25" x 4" x 1.75" I can easily palm it with my small hands. During use the fit is just right for me. I can wrap my hands around the barrels or use my fingers for more finesse. I did not feel I had to contort my hands.

Olympus Tracker DimensionsOlympus Tracker DimensionsOlympus Tracker Profile

The smooth turning focuser feels very good, providing enough grip and tension for precise adjustment. The right eye diopter ring allows for individual eye focusing. The ring feels solid and easy to adjust. Olympus does not state how many diopters the Tracker provides. If you care, I set mine at the point mark.

I had my eye exam last month and below is my prescription. I have no problems with focus compensation using the Tracker with or without my glasses. The eye relief is 16.5 mm and is more than adequate for me. It is important to mention that I am asian and my glasses sit closer to my face than someone with a more pronounced feature. My interpupillary distance is 63 mm, well within the 58 mm - 72 mm, I roughly measured, the Tracker can accomodate.

  SPHERE CYLINDER AXIS
OD -1.5 DS  
OS -1.25 -0.25 065

To aid in blocking glare the rubber covered eye cups rotate and extend 9mm. Although there are no detents the eye cups remain in position for the most part. You would have to intentionally press hard for them to retract and I doubt you will have problem under normal circumstances.

Olympus Tracker DiopterOlympus Tracker Eyecups

 

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