Review: Viking Kestrel ED 10x42
The Kestrel is in the latest range of binoculars recently released by Viking Optics. This model comes in three focal ranges: 8×32 • 8×42 • 10×42 (this review is in respect of the 10×42 model) – and has been designed to be a mid-price pair in their latest ED (Extra low Depression) glass range, which includes the Kestrels cousins: Peregrine ED & Merlin ED. The Peregrine ED is currently under review by my partner in crime Cian Cardiff, his review will be uploaded to the ID Series blog on a later date.
As well as looking and feeling fancy, the Kestrel can also put up with a variety of conditions as I found out; from being battered by wind and salt water on Hilbre Island, to having been completely submerged in silt-water at Sandbach Flash’s, along with other knocks about the place. The Kestrel is well built for the life of a hard-core Birder.
From the start I was impressed with the image I was presented with: bright, natural colours, with the level of contrast and the overall brightness being spot-on; the clarity of what I was observing, no matter the condition is certainly the party card of the Kestrel. When it came to doing a roost survey of Western Marsh Harrier on the Dee Estuary Marshes, they passed with flying colours in low-light, and the overcast/drizzly conditions.
A minor issue I encountered whilst testing the Kestrel were that the separate lens caps at the end often got in the way, especially in windy conditions – these can be taken off, however I would prefer to have them as a single attachment as see on the eye-cups.
My conclusion of the Kestrel ED (10×42 model), is that the pros far out weigh the cons, one of the notable selling points being the 10 year guarantee. This looks set to be another one of Viking Optics high-quality, affordably priced binoculars.
- Price – £199.95
- Dimensions – L140xW130xH45
- Weight – 674g
- Field view (m/1000)- 114m
- Field view (degrees) – 6.5o
- Objective lens diameter – 42mm
- Minimum focus distance – 2m
- ED glass – Yes
- Gas filled – Yes, nitrogen
- Water proof – Yes (1.5m/3min)
- Guarantee – 10 years
- Models – 8×32 • 8×42 • 10×42
Thanks for reading,